Classic Car Capital

Barrett-Jackson Orange County 2012 – Auction Report

Barrett-Jackson, Orange County Fairgrounds, Costa Mesa, California, June 22-24, 2012

Report and photos by Rick Carey, Auction Editor

In its 41st anniversary year Barrett-Jackson appeared for the third time at its newest venue, the Orange County Fairgrounds in Costa Mesa, California.

This is, among all four Barrett-Jackson locations, the best site for B-J’s collector car event production. It’s big. It’s amenable to a fair midway presentation along the highline chair lift and ideal for station after station of vendor, sponsor and exhibitor booths, trailers and tents. Nothing is very far from anything else.

There are numerous permanent buildings for safe, secure display of auction cars backed up by acres of asphalt for overflow preview tents.

The OC Fairgrounds staff on the gate, parking lots and around the site is experienced, efficient and helpful.

I missed 2011, attendance pre-empted by family matters, and the new layout for 2011 and 12 with a pair of Scottsdale tents for the auction and vendor displays freed up room for better pre-auction display of the cars and a more cohesive on-site layout.

Barrett-Jackson carefully structures the cars it consigns to its four auctions and OC reflected the Southern California car culture. A full third of the lots offered were self-described as customs or street rods. They’re admired on Southern California roads and freeways and in the cruise-ins that happen all over the region every day of the week and B-J gave its Southern California bidders many chances to satisfy their urges to own something that resonates in the region.

With a median value of under $25K it’s also a venue with many rides accessible to the thousands who follow Barrett-Jackson live on SPEED TV.

How successful is B-J at presenting its “collector car event” format? They now have all three US major manufacturers, Ford, GM and Chrysler (featuring the new SRT brand), as exhibitors plus Toyota – which for some totally inexplicable reason presented a display of the Prius Hybrid family to the horsepower-obsessed crowd at B-J OC.

Barrett-Jackson Orange County, even more than usual, was permeated by legions of day-tripping tire kickers, but also a high proportion – maybe even higher than in Scottsdale – of knowledgeable, informed, serious folks who knew what they were looking at, and what they were looking for.

They could not have been impressed by a number of cars that were presented with sketchy, and often completely lacking, information and documentation, but such documentation shortcomings were largely – but not completely – reflected in bidders’ unwillingness to chase shaky cars to exalted prices. Bidders knew what they were seeing and acted responsibly on that knowledge.

For the most part.

Here are the numbers:

B-J Orange County
Cars Offered / Cars Sold
Sale %
Average Sale
Median Sale
Total Sales
406 / 406*
$24,200 [67.4%]
333 / 326
$30,800 [74.9%]
397 / 397
$30,800 [77.8%]

*There were a passing few cars offered with reserve that did not sell. They were not reported by B-J and have not been included in these results.

Barrett-Jackson Orange County 2012 – Auction Report

1987 Alfa Romeo 2000 Spider Veloce
Lot # 26.1 1987 Alfa Romeo 2000 Spider Veloce; S/N ZARBA5581H1048314; Red/Beige; Visually maintained, largely original, 3+ condition; Hammered Sold at $7,500 plus commission of 10.00%; Final Price $8,250 — Alloy wheels, 5-speed, A/C, Kenwood satellite radio, P/W. Good repaint, interior and chrome. Chassis is road grimy. Body and most seals are sound and well preserved. Said to be a California car from new, it doesn’t display the sun and ozone damage so common in similar cars and looks much better than the 165,584 miles on the odometer suggest. It’s ready to be driven and looks like a sound value at this price.
1966 Lincoln Continental Convertible
Lot # 38.1 1966 Lincoln Continental Convertible; S/N 6Y86G401626; Powder Blue/Dark Blue leather; Visually maintained, largely original, 3+ condition; Hammered Sold at $20,000 plus commission of 10.00%; Final Price $22,000 — Town & Country AM-FM radio, tilt steering column, A/C, narrow whitewalls. Good repaint. Surface cracked but sound original upholstery. Chassis is cleaned up but not repainted. 1999 Del Monte Forest grille tag is a neat touch. Odometer shows 19,970 miles, which might be real. Sold at McCormick’s Palm Springs auction in February for $21,263, its price here in Costa Mesa is right in line.
1963 Porsche 356B Coupe
Lot # 42.1 1963 Porsche 356B Coupe, Body by Karmann; S/N 210935; Engine # P608873; Smyrna Green/Black vinyl; Cosmetic restoration, 2- condition; Hammered Sold at $40,000 plus commission of 10.00%; Final Price $44,000 — Color code 6210. Chrome wheels, blackwall tires, clock, no radio. Good paint, chrome and interior. Body panels fit well with even gaps and tight, flush fits. Twin grille, outside fuel fill. Body painted assembled with some flaws. Neat engine compartment. A good little driver represented as a 2-owner Arizona car with its original engine, documented with Porsche Certificate. Titled by the engine number. Bought right and ready to be driven, the bodywork is impressive even if the paint could have been better masked and finished. The price it brought is far, far below prices of similar open Porsches, and even a little light for the quality of this car and its presentation making it a good value.
1961 Jaguar Mk II 3.8 4-Dr. Sedan
Lot # 43 1961 Jaguar Mk 2 3.8 4-Dr. Sedan; S/N P214505BW; Black/Scarlet leather; Cosmetic restoration, 3 condition; Hammered Sold at $29,500 plus commission of 10.00%; Final Price $32,450 — Automatic, chrome wire wheels, blackwall tires, pushbutton radio. Freshly repainted over old paint. Old chrome polished but not replated. Attractive new upholstery but interior wood not done very well. A superficial cosmetic redo of a sound but aged Jag. This is a handsome price for a needy Mk 2, even with the 3.8 engine. It looked good under the lights, but that’s about all.
1950 GMC 100 Pickup
Lot # 50 1950 GMC 100 Pickup; S/N A228314809; Red, Black running boards/Black leatherette; Truck restoration, 3+ condition; Hammered Sold at $25,500 plus commission of 10.00%; Final Price $28,050 — 228 six, 3-speed, hubcaps, trim rings, whitewalls, black painted bed floor and strips, heater, chrome grille and bumpers. Fresh, sharp paint, chrome and interior but the underbody, frame and suspension are only superficially cleaned up and repainted assembled and wired. A very pretty but only driver-quality truck. This GMC is nowhere near as good as its exterior appearance would lead bidders to believe, but they were not fooled and paid a realistic price for it.
1946 GMC CC Pickup
Lot # 50.1 1946 GMC CC Pickup; S/N 2198770; Black/Black vinyl; Truck restoration, 2+ condition; Hammered Sold at $22,000 plus commission of 10.00%; Final Price $24,200 — Heater, hubcaps, trim rings, blackwall tires, painted steel bed floor. Very good fresh paint, interior and chrome. Painted grille and bumpers. Underbody and chassis done to nearly like new condition. Nice truck. This is more truck than the price it brought, a rare post-war GMC, restored to unusually high standards. Its lack of glitz probably deterred the B-J bidders, but it is true to type and deserved more recognition. The buyer got a superior truck for a very conservative price.
1962 Chevrolet Impala SS Convertible
Lot # 63.2 1962 Chevrolet Impala SS Convertible; S/N 21867B128349; Engine # T1027S; Light Yellow/White vinyl; Black vinyl top; Unrestored original, 3+ condition; Hammered Sold at $26,500 plus commission of 10.00%; Final Price $29,150 — 327/250hp, Powerglide, P/S, P/B, pushbutton radio, spinner wheel covers, narrow whitewalls, P/W. Very good original car with sound original paint, lightly soiled upholstery, pitted wheel spinner chrome. Engine and chassis are neat, orderly, dry and surface rusted. 60,189 miles and original throughout except for some service replacement items. Reportedly bid to $48,000 at McCormick’s Palm Springs auction in February, the consignor found a conservative crowd here in Costa Mesa who didn’t assign any value at all to this Impala SS’s originality, not that originality in a plain jane Impala SS convertible is worth much. It would not have been overpriced at a $30,000 bid, however, and is a tasty value at this price.
1963 Chevrolet Corvette Convertible
Lot # 64.2 1963 Chevrolet Corvette Convertible; S/N 30867S103717; Engine # 3103717 T106RC; Red/Red vinyl; White vinyl top; Visually maintained, largely original, 3+ condition; Hammered Sold at $47,000 plus commission of 10.00%; Final Price $51,700 — 327/250hp, 4-speed, AM-FM, spinner wheel covers, narrow whitewalls, two tops. Good new paint, chrome and interior. Underbody freshly sprayed black. Engine compartment is orderly and clean but unrestored. 25,981 miles. Sold for $46,750 at Auction America’s Ft. Lauderdale auction in March, the result here confirms its value, a sound acquisition at this price.
1965 Chevrolet Impala SS Convertible
Lot # 65.1 1965 Chevrolet Impala SS Convertible; S/N 166675L123162; Ermine White/Red vinyl; Black vinyl top; Cosmetic restoration, 3+ condition; Hammered Sold at $37,500 plus commission of 10.00%; Final Price $41,250 — 327/300hp, Powerglide, P/S, P/B, A/C, buckets, console with clock, pushbutton radio, spinner wheel covers, narrow whitewalls, tilt steering column, P/W, remote mirror. Good paint, chrome, interior and top. Underbody repainted over old undercoat. Doors and sills are filled. A very pretty cosmetic restoration. Sold for $24,200 at B-J’s West Palm Beach auction in 2011 and nicely presented here, this is all the money and then some for this car.
1968 American Motors AMX Coupe Custom
Lot # 84 1968 American Motors AMX Coupe Custom; S/N A8M397T268712; Pink, Black stripes/Black vinyl; Cosmetic restoration, 3+ condition; Hammered Sold at $15,000 plus commission of 10.00%; Final Price $16,500 — 390/automatic, side exhausts, Magnum wheels, buckets and console, Firehawk tires, woodgrain steering wheel. Decent repaint in 1968 Playboy Playmate of the Year AMX pink. Good interior, scuffed bright trim, dry, original underbody with some exterior overspray. The VIN decodes to a 343/280hp engine with a 4-speed, not the ‘Go-Power’ 390 automatic presently claimed to be on the car, but it isn’t the powertrain that sells this car, it’s the Playmate of the Year color. Bought a Big Block Corvette? This is what your sweetie wants to go with it, and it’s no more than reasonable fun money at this price.
1959 Chevrolet Impala
Lot # 349.1 1959 Chevrolet Impala 2-Dr. Hardtop; S/N F59S291276; Engine # T0121D; Roman Red, White roof/Red vinyl, cloth; Cosmetic restoration, 3 condition; Hammered Sold at $49,000 plus commission of 10.00%; Final Price $53,900 — 283/185hp 2-barrel with 4-barrel carb, P/B with dual circuit block added, grille guard, spinner wheel covers, whitewalls, skirts, dual rear antennas, pushbutton radio. Superficially cosmetically restored. Scuffed bright trim, delaminating windshield, pitted interior chrome. Engine compartment quickly auction prepared with a superficial black respray and some touchup. Auction car. When it comes to home runs there’s nothing better than this car to illustrate the concept. It has nothing, that’s n-o-t-h-i-n-g, to recommend it. Not a whomping great engine, not a sharp restoration. Not a charmed, largely original, life. Nothing. It was bid to $34,000 at the Kruse auction in Boca Raton in 2009, then $35,000 at Mecum’s Indy auction in 2010, either of which would be a superb result for its specifications and condition. The price here is … well … irrational. It’s a $30,000 car all day. But it has great fins, one of just a few 59’s in Costa Mesa this weekend. Maybe that’s a hint of a growing trend?
1967 Chevrolet Camaro
Lot # 349.2 1967 Chevrolet Camaro 2-Dr. Hardtop; S/N 124377N192749; Black, White nose band, Black vinyl roof/Black vinyl; Older restoration, 2 condition; Hammered Sold at $43,000 plus commission of 10.00%; Final Price $47,300 — 396/325hp, Powerglide, P/S, P/B, Rally wheels, trim rings, red line tires, console gauges, tilt steering column. Restored like new. Engine number pad milled off leaving shoulders, not decked. Represented as 25,103 original miles, but without any other documentation. At this price the B-J OC bidders should have expected more documentation of this Camaro’s history and original configuration. They had neither and paid handsomely for its glitzy presentation. This is a premium price for a beautifully presented but inadequately documented Camaro.
1936 Ford Model 68 Deluxe Phaeton
Lot # 350.2 1936 Ford Model 68 Deluxe Phaeton; S/N 183124626; Olive Green/Brown leather; Tan cloth top; Older restoration, 3 condition; Hammered Sold at $44,000 plus commission of 10.00%; Final Price $48,400 — Big hubcaps, chrome wheel spiders, turn rings, wide whitewalls, fog lights, wind wings, dual outside mirrors, radio, banjo spoke steering wheel, enclosed rear spare, luggage rack, skirts. Good older restoration with subsequent use. Paint is sound with some chips. Good interior and chrome. Chassis and engine are dry, dusty and surface rusted. A very good driver. The fender skirts are a bit much but the rest of this ’36 Ford is choice. Restored right and sympathetically used and maintained, it appears to need nothing and is an outstanding value in a rare open Ford V-8 body style.