14 April 2015

Auction Preview: Barrett-Jackson's 2015 Palm Beach Sale

After a very successful 1,600-car opening sale in Scottsdale this year, Barrett-Jackson is back April 17-19 for a three-day sale at the South Florida Fairgrounds in Palm Beach, Fla. This is Barrett-Jackson’s 13th sale at Palm Beach, and it promises to be another solid auction with a little bit of something for everybody, from hot rods to American muscle to low-mileage exotics. There are hundreds of vehicles to choose from, but here are five that we’ll be keeping an eye on.

1970 Dodge Dart Swinger 340 

Hagerty Price Guide: $9,100 - $29,500

The Dart was introduced in 1963, but by 1967 it had grown enough to handle big V-8s, and by 1969 Dodge had introduced the Dart Swinger 340, which came with Rallye suspension, front disc brakes, bumble bee stripes, a few unique color options and, of course, the 340-cid, 275-hp V-8. Barrett-Jackson’s example, finished in HEMI Orange with black bumblebee stripes, has an upgraded intake and carburetor, MSD ignition, and headers coupled to an HD 727 TorqueFlite automatic. Therefore, it might not be the car for the originality and preservation police, but for those that really want the classic Mopar muscle sound and look without shelling out the kind of dollars that some of the Dart’s bigger siblings are generating, the Swinger 340 is a tempting option.

1969 Pontiac GTO Judge 

Hagerty Price Guide: $37,000 - $127,000

This GTO received a four-year rotisserie restoration and has a concours award from the GTOAA Nationals. That was about five years ago though, so it isn’t a super fresh restoration anymore, but it remains a solid GTO Judge equipped with the Ram Air III 400/366 hp and a four-speed manual with Hurst shifter. This was the last model year that the GTO had the hidden headlights, and many think ’69s are about as attractive as the GTO got. While GTO Judges are usually seen with wild colors and stripes and stickers, this one is finished in the refreshingly subtle and correct color of Palladium Silver.

1967 Chevrolet Corvette 427/435hp L71 

Hagerty Price Guide: $96,800 - $227,000

When it comes to vintage Corvettes, equipment is pretty much everything, and this example is loaded. Represented as a matching-numbers car, it has the L71 427/435-hp (with factory Tri-Power and solid lifters) V-8, close-ratio Muncie four-speed, Posi-Traction, power brakes, side exhaust, factory AM/FM radio and tinted glass. Along with ’57 Fuelies and ’63 Split Windows, ’67 cars with the high-horsepower 427s are among the very top choices for Corvette collectors. As always, there’s no shortage of Vettes at this Barrett-Jackson sale, but this car is definitely one to watch.

1989 Lamborghini Countach Silver Anniversary 

Hagerty Price Guide: $218,000 - $360,000

These 1980s poster cars have shot way up in value over the last couple of years, and good Countaches have been coming out of hiding and making their way to collector car auctions in response to the change in the market. All Countaches are pretty wild cars, but some prefer the later ones and feel that the more scoops and wings, the cooler the car. The Countach offered by Barrett-Jackson is from the second-to-last year of the Countach and is one of just 650 Silver Anniversary Edition cars produced in 1989. The car apparently had a little fender bender that was repaired in 2013, and today it still has less than 2,500 miles on it. Mecum sold another Anniversary Countach with a few more miles on it for $350,000 earlier this year at Kissimmee, so it will be interesting to see what the bidders in Palm Beach think of this one.

1969 Mercedes-Benz 600 

Hagerty Price Guide: $37,400 - $151,000

At Geneva this year, Maybach was reintroduced with the Pullman S600 Limousine. This was a nod back to the old long-wheelbase Mercedes-Benz 600 Pullman of the 1960s and ’70s, which was itself the grandest of the grand when it came to luxury. The short-wheelbase sedan version of the 600 is more common, but production still numbered less than 2,200. The sedan offered by Barrett-Jackson has a divider window and a wine chiller cabinet in the back, so it’s not short on luxury, and presuming all of the equipment works, this has the potential to be a relatively decent buy since Barrett-Jackson isn’t the usual crowd for these types of cars.

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