Report and photos by Rick Carey, Auction Editor
RM Auctions recently moved into Southern California with the all No Reserve ‘Classic Muscle & Modern Performance’ auction in San Diego, held June 19, 2010 at the Town and Country Resort in San Diego. Built around 78 cars from the collection of San Diego dealership owner Glen Konkle, the ‘Classic Muscle’ part was pretty straightforward. The ‘Modern Performance’ on the other hand was a little out of the collector car mainstream, consisting of four late model Mercedes and thirteen BMWs.
They turned out to be the stars of the sale. All five of the BMW X5s brought prices above their high estimates as did one of the Benzes. Of the ‘classic muscle’ only one car, a superb ’69 Bloomington Gold Survivor 427/435hp Corvette roadster, could manage the same.
56.9% of the lots hammered sold under their low estimate, and the hammer bids totaled $6,251,000, just 89% of the $7,025,000 catalog low estimates. The sale brought in a total of $6,876,100 including buyer’s premium.
The cars in the core collection were prime examples of restored or preserved original cars with big motors. Between here and Mecum’s Spring Classic Auction in Indianapolis three weeks earlier the market for Pontiac GTOs has been pretty well defined, and it’s pretty good. Two L88-powered Corvettes in one sale is also unprecedented, and both of them brought good money.
Then it was a slog north up I-5 to Costa Mesa for Barrett-Jackson’s inaugural Orange County auction the following weekend: a year’s worth of American Muscle and Southern California lifestyle in just ten days.
Click complete results:
Classic Muscle & Modern Performance Results Summary
1965 Pontiac LeMans GTO 2-Dr. Hardtop; S/N 237375Z125757; Engine # 592624 WS; Metallic Maroon/Black vinyl; Estimate $60,000 - $80,000; Recent restoration, 2+ condition; Hammered Sold at $48,000 plus commission of 10.00%; Final Price $52,800 -- 389/360hp, Tri-Power, 4-speed, Rally wheels, trim rings, buckets and console, red line tires, dual outlet exhausts, no P/S or P/B. Restored like new underhood including the rudimentary smog system required in California (where it was first delivered) in 1965. Excellent paint, chrome, interior, glass, etc. by Scott Tieman. Documented with the original window sticker. Fantastic. No Reserve. This is the way to start an auction, with a fastidiously restored, thoroughly documented, meticulously maintained example of one of the best and most desirable cars in the sale. The early bidders took home one of the best of the sale at a very advantageous price. The late arrivers, and those who kept their hands in their pockets waiting to see how things were going, had to work hard to catch up. -- Lot # 101
1970 Pontiac GTO Convertible; S/N 242670P268340; Black/Black vinyl; Black cloth top; Estimate $60,000 - $80,000; Older restoration, 2- condition; Hammered Sold at $49,000 plus commission of 10.00%; Final Price $53,900 -- Automatic, Rally II wheels, no trim rings, Polyglas G70-14 tires. Excellent paint, swirl and scuff free. Excellent interior, glass and top. Better than new visually, chassis shows some age and use. Restored with a color change from Polar White and Ram Air III added. No Reserve. Reported sold at Mecum's Rockford (now ‘Spring Classic’) sale in 2004 with Judge trim (and an Auburn Gear limited slip) but in its present Black/Black/Black livery where it sold for $42,000. It went on to RM Meadow Brook where it brought $49,500, then Auburn Fall where it was reported a $49,000 no-sale. Cleaned up here of its extraneous Judge-ment, it brought a realistic price for its very sharp condition and checkered history (which many of the bidders knew.) -- Lot # 107
1965 Pontiac Catalina 2+2 2-Dr. Hardtop; S/N 252375D107940; Engine # 123940 WJ; Montero Red/Black vinyl; Estimate $30,000 - $40,000; Older restoration, 2- condition; Hammered Sold at $37,000 plus commission of 10.00%; Final Price $40,700 -- 421/376hp, Tri-Power, 4-speed, 8-lug wheels, Hurst shifter, A/C, narrow whitewalls, woodgrain steering wheel, P/W, P/S, no P/B. Mediocre repaint over old paint, erratically masked. Good major chrome, some thin chrome trim. Big paint blisters below rear window. Good interior. A very desirable car but erratically presented. Very clean and nearly like new underhood and chassis. No Reserve. The erratic cosmetic presentation is cause for concern but the underlying 421 Tri-Power, 4-speed 2+2 is a very nice piece, rarely seen and highly desirable. The price is generous for its condition, but not for the specs, a reasonable compromise even if a bit fraught with contradictions. -- Lot # 111
1970 Chevrolet Chevelle SS LS6 Convertible; S/N 136670B152004; Red, Black stripes/Black vinyl; Black vinyl top; Estimate $350,000 - $400,000; Recent restoration, 2+ condition; Hammered Sold at $210,000 plus commission of 10.00%; Final Price $231,000 -- 454/450hp, automatic, AM-FM, P/W, Rally II wheels, Polyglas F70-14 tires, P/S, P/front disc brakes, console, F41 suspension. 49,618 miles. One of only an estimated 16 LS6 convertibles built Excellent paint, chrome and interior. Documented with build sheet, Protect-o-Plate and owner's manual. Restored better than new and impossible to fault. No Reserve. The Holy Grail among Chevelles, this is what it's worth as shown by any number of transactions (aside, that is, from B-J's Ray Allen drag car a few years ago, an aberration by any standard later set right in RM's Ralph Whitworth auction at the Petersen last year.) This is a lotta money for a Chevelle. It's also a lotta Chevelle for the money. -- Lot # 121
1967 Chevrolet Corvette 427/435 Roadster; S/N 194677S106632; Engine # T1213JE 7106632; Blue, White stinger/White vinyl; Black top; Estimate $175,000 - $225,000; Recent restoration, 2- condition; Hammered Sold at $195,000 plus commission of 10.00%; Final Price $214,500 -- 427/435hp, 4-speed, side exhausts, alloy wheels, narrow whitewalls, AM-FM. Excellent clearcoat repaint, good interior and chrome. Shiny restoration, more shiny than like new, but Bloomington Gold in 1996, NCRS Top Flight in 1998 and 2003 Meadow Brook Concours Corvette class winner. No Reserve. A choice Corvette, and a choice price for it, too. This is top of the market, particularly for an aged -- even if superbly maintained -- restoration like this. -- Lot # 126
1970 Ford Mustang Boss 429 Fastback; S/N 0F02Z120982; Calypso Coral/Black vinyl; Estimate $175,000 - $225,000; Cosmetic restoration, 2- condition; Hammered Sold at $142,500 plus commission of 10.00%; Final Price $156,750 -- 429/375hp, 4-speed, P/S, P/B, pushbutton radio, wood grain steering wheel, Hurst T-handle shifter, Magnum wheels, smog equipment, 235/60R15 Radial T/A tires. Kar Kraft #2272. Good paint, interior and engine. Chassis repainted assembled. Attractive but not spectacular or particularly impressive. No Reserve. Cosmetically beautiful, the recesses of this Boss-Nine leave something to be desired and are presumably the reason the San Diego bidders didn't give it the props the consignor expected. The Price is Right. (The other Boss-Nine in the sale, a 1969 Lot 140, which I didn't have a chance to inspect, brought $181,500 with commission, substantiating in the most tangible terms its superior restoration and presentation). -- Lot # 131
1965 Pontiac Catalina 2+2 2-Dr. Hardtop; S/N 252375X184424; Engine # WH; Champagne Gold/Black vinyl; Estimate $20,000 - $30,000; Visually maintained, largely original, 3 condition; Hammered Sold at $21,000 plus commission of 10.00%; Final Price $23,100 -- 421/356hp, Tri-Power, 4-speed, Hurst shifter, pushbutton radio, spinner wheelcovers, P/S, P/B. Quick old repaint looks good at ten feet. Good original interior. Fair chrome. Engine, underhood and chassis are clean, orderly and original. Steering wheel rim is badly cracked. Driver's seat cushion has one tear and seat back is just starting to separate along the outside seam top. Cataloged as a 421/338 hp single 4-barrel, it displayed both Tri-Power intake and the appropriate WH engine stamping but an otherwise illegible engine number. Documented with a build sheet and Protect-o-Plate. No Reserve. So what is it? An upgraded 4-barrel with re-stamped engine or a Tri-Power? It makes all the difference, and the numbers looked real to me. At this price it makes no difference at all and it is if anything a better 2+2 than the one sold earlier today for twice the money. I think the buyer got very good value for the money, if not a bargain. -- Lot # 145
1969 Chevrolet Corvette L88 Coupe; S/N 194379S736298; Engine # T1105LO 19S736298; Red/Saddle leather; Estimate $350,000 - $450,000; Older restoration, 2- condition; Hammered Sold at $365,000 plus commission of 10.00%; Final Price $401,500 -- 427/’430’hp, L88, 4-speed, Rally wheels, P/B, blackwall F70-15 Goodyear Speedway Radial tires, Positraction, tilt/telescoping steering column, F41 suspension, T-top. Good repaint with minor masking holidays, original interior and carpets. Thoroughly documented. Good chrome, upholstery and glass. Like new underhood. Bloomington Gold, NCRS Top Flight, Gold Spinner Triple Crown. Attractive, but not extraordinary, presentation but 2,265 miles and with the original owner until 2005. No Reserve. As good as it gets in a C3 Corvette, as is the price. An extraordinary car and a serious, Corvette-collectors, result that substantiates the performance and rarity of its drivetrain. -- Lot # 151
1968 Pontiac GTO Convertible; S/N 242678B122225; Engine # 253922 YS; Red/Black vinyl;; Estimate $70,000 - $90,000; Older restoration, 2- condition; Hammered Sold at $74,000 plus commission of 10.00%; Final Price $81,400 -- 400/335hp with added Ram Air hood and automatic with dual gate shifter. Tilt column, pushbutton radio, Rally II wheels, Firestone G70-14 tires, hood tach, P/S, P/B, P/W, 3.55 Safe-T-Track. 68,825 miles from new. Excellent paint, chrome, upholstery and glass. Good fits and gaps. Restored better than new with overly shiny presentation underhood. Now evidencing some age but still exceptional if not fresh. No Reserve. Reported sold by RM at Monterey in 2003 for $61,600, an exceptional price at the time. This result is for its compromised driveline and mediocre presentation also nothing less than exceptional. The buyer could have spend the money much better than on this GTO. -- Lot # 154
1965 Pontiac LeMans GTO Convertible; S/N 237675P297583; Engine # 150674 WT; Night Watch Blue/Pearl vinyl; White vinyl top; Estimate $60,000 - $80,000; Older restoration, 2 condition; Hammered Sold at $47,000 plus commission of 10.00%; Final Price $51,700 -- 389/335hp, 4-speed, no console, pushbutton radio, Rally wheels, redline times, P/S, no P/B. Good clearcoat repaint, bright, sharp chrome. A sharp, shiny older restoration now with some age but little if any use. No Reserve. A way cool GTO, just like a young buck would have bought it in 1965 with minimal options aside from those that made it a great car. I think it is several thousand dollars under the money. -- Lot # 161
1969 Chevrolet Corvette L88 Coupe ‘Automatically Yours’; S/N 194379S710256; Gold/Black vinyl; Estimate $225,000 - $300,000; Older restoration, 2- condition; Hammered Sold at $192,500 plus commission of 10.00%; Final Price $211,750 -- 427/’430’hp, automatic, Rally wheels, trim rings, P/B, red line Firestone Super Sport tires, T-tops, radio delete but has a heater. Good clearcoat repaint, interior, chrome and glass. Shows some age but very nice. No Reserve. Sold by Christie' s from John Moores' collection in 1998 for $64,100 and by Mecum at Elkhart Lake in 1999 for $60,380, ‘Automatically Yours’ value has become recognized in recent years, with this result. Remarkably preserved and presented, it needs nothing and will honor any collection with its ultimate Big Block performance. It is what it is and the price isn't by any standard very much for it. -- Lot # 163
1965 Chevrolet Chevelle Z16 2-Dr. Hardtop; S/N 138375K169953; Red/White vinyl; Estimate $130,000 - $160,000; Older restoration, 1 condition; Hammered Sold at $80,000 plus commission of 10.00%; Final Price $88,000 -- 396/375hp, buckets and console, 4-speed, P/S, P/B, AM-FM, underdash amplifier, mag wheelcovers, gold line tires. Excellent paint, chrome, glass, upholstery. Done better than new. Replacement engine and some body panels. No Reserve. A fine example of the first response from Chevy to the success of Pontiac's GTO, one of just 201 Z16 Chevelles built in 1965 in a trial run preceding introduction of the SS 396 in 1966. Checkered history including fastening the original body tag and VIN plate to new panels, which accounts for its modest price. Offered by Kruse at Auburn Fall in 1992 where, freshly restored, it no-saled at $52,500. It's nearly as good today as it was then and brought a price appropriate to its history. -- Lot # 167
1966 Chevrolet Corvette 427/425 Roadster; S/N 194676S118195; Engine # T0309IP 6118195; Nassau Blue/Dark Blue vinyl; White vinyl top; Estimate $110,000 - $150,000; Older restoration, 2- condition; Hammered Sold at $87,500 plus commission of 10.00%; Final Price $96,250 -- 427/425hp, 4-speed, P/B, spinner wheelcovers, narrow whitewalls, side exhaust, AM-FM, woodgrain steering wheel. Duntov Award winner with miles on it since. Bloomington Gold, NCRS Top Flight, Gold Spinner. Very thoughtfully done without going overboard. Paint appropriately shiny without excessive clearcoat gloss. A very attractive car with some miles since its restoration. No Reserve. I far prefer this '66 427/425hp Corvette with its sympathetic restoration and comprehensive awards to the glossy '67 427/435 sold earlier for $214,500. It is by any standard a much, much better value, too. Well bought and extremely satisfying. -- Lot # 171
[Source: Rick Carey]
It has to make many of us who failed to become filthy rich a little ill to see the dream cars of our high school years trading hands for such ridiculous sums, and to know that those great automobiles will only be displayed like some rare artwork, never to be driven or enjoyed as intended.
As the caretaker of these cars for many years, they were driven a bit at least every quarter, and run every month. I miss all of the cars but it was an honor to have them in my care for such a long time.
Not sure if this message will find you, but I have a question about a 66 vette that I believe was in Glen Konkle’s collection. I bought it in 2002 in Carlisle from Unique Corvettes. It a 327/350hp, Nassau Blue, with AC and knock off wheels. Would you remember this car at all?