10 January 2017

Auction Preview: Barrett-Jackson Scottsdale 2017

For some, January means New Year’s resolutions and the NFL playoffs. For gearheads, it means Barrett-Jackson. The Arizona-based auction company returns to its usual schedule for 2017, holding its annual Scottsdale auction at Westworld, Jan. 16-22. Most folks think of Barrett-Jackson strictly as a muscle car Mecca, but the lineup is always more diverse than the company gets credit for. Here are a handful of consignments that show just how far-reaching the Arizona offerings are.

1989 Nissan Skyline GT-R
Presale estimate: N/A
Hagerty Price Guide: N/A
For years the R32 Nissan Skyline GT-R didn’t exist on American streets. In 2014, however, the 25-year ban on imports expired on the oldest of these cars, and they became instantly legal and collectible. The cars have yet to work their way into collector car auctions, however, which will make the sale of this particular example interesting. It runs early on Wednesday evening, which eliminates prime-time pressure but still faces a large audience. The price this one fetches will provide insight as to whether or not “Godzilla” has arrived in the mainstream.

1989 Ford Mustang Saleen SSC
Presale estimate: N/A
Hagerty Price Guide: N/A
Steve Saleen made his name on the track before becoming a Mustang tuner extraordinaire (as well as a supercar designer). His work has always included body kits and appearance packages, along with the uber-important engine mods, of which the ‘89 model had many. Power numbers for that year’s Saleen jumped from 225 horsepower in the stock model to 292hp and production totaled about 200. Barrett-Jackson scored big at $71,500 for a 101-mile 1984 Mustang GT 350 convertible last year, so surprising numbers for special Fox-body cars are certainly possible, and this is one of the most desirable models of the breed.

1964 Cheetah GT
Presale estimate: N/A
Hagerty Price Guide: N/A
With only perhaps 10 remaining, a true Bill Thomas Cheetah is a rare sight—reason enough to make this consignment exciting. Even better, though, it is the only Cheetah equipped with Chevrolet’s famed L88 engine and it has reportedly been restored to a phenomenal standard. A 2016 appearance at the Goodwood Festival of Speed further underscores this car’s importance. Expectations for this Cheetah reach past seven figures, which is a price that would certainly bring this model into collectors’ conversations.

1999 Pontiac Firebird Firehawk
Presale estimate: N/A
Hagerty Price Guide: $9,400-$30,400
The Firehawk is possibly the coolest forgotten Firebird. Rare and potent, it has started gaining recognition over the past year, with values climbing as a result. Even still, the model delivers more performance per dollar than just about anything on the market. This particular example will be one of the first cars offered this year, which could make it a bargain buy—even considering its auto transmission and high miles.

1986 Ferrari Testarossa
Presale estimate: N/A
Hagerty Price Guide: $67,000-$150,000 (but not for Sonny Crockett’s)
If transport companies had loyalty programs, this car would have diamond status. One of two used in filming the hit 1980s TV show Miami Vice, this same car has appeared on eBay multiple times (with aspirations of $1.75M), almost at Mecum’s 2015 Monterey auction (where it was apparently withdrawn prior to the sale), and most recently at the 2016 Kissimmee auction (where it missed again at $475,000). Repeat appearances rarely help a car’s value, especially given the current market’s obsession with fresh offerings, but this time the car is offered at no reserve. Time to see what it’s really worth.

2005 Aston Martin DB9 Convertible
Presale estimate: N/A
Hagerty Price Guide: N/A
The knock on the DB9 has always been that its production numbers were too high for it to ever be truly collectible, but “too high” is a relative term and really only makes sense when compared to other ultra-exclusive European brands. Practically speaking, you aren’t likely to see another on the road. Furthermore, these cars have beautiful lines, a V-12 engine and an Aston badge, all for at or around $75,000. This particular example is a convertible and is from the first years of production. Best to buy now, because it isn’t likely to get any cheaper.

1988 Jeep Grand Wagoneer
Presale estimate: N/A
Hagerty Price Guide: $6,100-$33,700
The Grand Wagoneer arguably created the luxury SUV niche that went from the margins to the mainstream within a generation of buyers. Even if the ownership experience doesn’t always live up to the promise of the Jeep’s stout good looks, these full-sized rigs have broad appeal across generations. Prices have levelled off the last two years, but there is still upside for nice examples.

1990 Chevrolet 454 SS Pickup
Presale estimate: N/A
Hagerty Price Guide: $4,600-$28,500
Performance pickups are a niche within a niche, but they have a very passionate following. The 454 SS was Chevrolet’s entry in this segment during the early 1990s, with quarter-mile times in the mid 15s. Three have sold above $30,000 at auction over the past 12 months, illustrating their appeal. Another sale above that threshold could very well signal a new ceiling for the model.

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