15 August 2012

Monterey Cars To Watch: Low-price options

Word association games with the name “Pebble Beach” usually triangulate on “expensive,” but the truth is, at least when it comes to the annual August auction scene in the Monterey area, there are plenty of cars on offer that are within reach of most enthusiasts. Here are three vehicles that will cross the block this week, all of which are expected to cost below $50,000.

LOW (<$50,000)

1966 Chevrolet Corvair Yenko Stinger coupe 
Russo and Steele
Certainly one of Don Yenko’s strangest ideas was turning the Chevrolet Corvair into an SCCA racer, but that is exactly what he did in 1965 (model year, not calendar year). Russo and Steele have consigned a Corvair Yenko Stinger reportedly with the proper papers and a recent cosmetic restoration. Most intriguingly, it is a no-reserve car, and since these cars rarely trade in the public eye the sale should be informative. Yenko Stingers have lately been trading between $20,000-$35,000, but this sale will serve notice as to whether those numbers still hold true. Regardless of the price, the Corvair Stinger remains the cheapest way for anyone to acquire legitimate Yenko credibility.

1949 Plymouth P-18 convertible 
Gooding & Company
Early post-war Plymouths don’t exactly stir the soul the same way that most of the cars up for auction in Monterey do, but the example being offered in Pebble Beach looks to be a great buy. This Plymouth Deluxe represents the most affordable car available at the Gooding sale, is mostly original from the esteemed Pettit Collection, and it is a convertible to boot. Assuming the new owner aims to enjoy the car in its current state, this could be a nice buy.

1976 International Scout II
Mecum Auctions
The past few years have seen plenty of 1960s and 1970s off-road workhorses sell for strong money at the so-called “lifestyle” events, but those sales have mostly been confined to Ford Broncos, Toyota FJ-40s, and Jeep CJ5s. As prices on those mass-appeal models have increased, the International Scout II has become that much more attractive. Mecum will sell a restored example that is amazingly in stock spec and in good period colors. We’ll be watching this one to see if the entire pre-SUV segment is riding a wave, or if there are still buying opportunities lurking.

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