Gooding Pebble Beach 2013 – Auction Report

Gooding and Company Pebble Beach 2013 – Auction Report Page Four

1955 Nash Metropolitan Convertible
Lot # 52 1955 Nash Metropolitan Convertible; S/N E14624; Engine # 2910208; Turquoise/Beige; Black top; Estimate $50,000 – $60,000; Recent restoration, 2 condition; Hammered Sold at $60,000 plus commission of 10.00%; Final Price $66,000. No Reserve – Early “cat’s paw” hood Austin-based Metropolitan, cloth upholstery, whitewall tires – Rotisserie restored in 2011 to a standard not often seen on Metropolitans, correct interior, decent paint, usual iffy panel fit, good plating. – Early cars lack the bright two-tone colors usually associated with Metros and do not have an exterior trunk lid or the A-series engine. This car has been around the circuit recently, selling for $50,600 at Barrett-Jackson Scottsdale in 2012 and being offered at Auburn Fall later that year. Even with the prior sale, however, the result here is astonishing for an early Metropolitan. It is probably the best in the world, but it could be replaced by two Metropolitans in nearly as good condition for this much money.
Lot # 53 1963 Mercedes-Benz 300SL Roadster
Lot # 53 1963 Mercedes-Benz 300SL Roadster; S/N 19804210003142; Engine # 19898210000107; Tunis Beige Metallic, Black hardtop/Red; Estimate $1,600,000 – $2,200,000; Visually maintained, largely original, 2- condition; Hammered Sold at $1,475,000 plus commission of 10.00%; Final Price $1,622,500. – Disc brakes, alloy block, original documents, original books and records, factory hard top and soft top, blackwall tires, radio, power antenna – Spectacular original, car with 43,449 miles. Rare gold/red leather color combination, single ownership until 2010 with a 1980s repaint in the original color. All else is original with light wear to the original leather interior and brightwork. – The ultimate version of the 300SL roadster with impeccable provenance to match. This is a premium price even for this car’s specifications but also so original and well preserved it is hard to imagine another one like it showing up and that makes the price fully justified.
1929 Duesenberg Model J Disappearing Top Convertible Coupe, Body by Murphy
Lot # 55 1929 Duesenberg Model J Disappearing Top Convertible Coupe, Body by Murphy; S/N 2134; Engine # J-108; White/Brown; Estimate $2,250,000 – $2,750,000; Concours restoration, 1 condition; Hammered Sold at $2,150,000 plus commission of 10.00%; Final Price $2,365,000. With Reserve – – Chrome wire wheels, dual-mounted spares with mirrors, front-hinged doors, radiator shutters, single Pilot-Ray. – Considered the prototype for California coachbuilder Murphy’s “disappearing top” body style, movie car from 1934 Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers vehicle “Gay Divorcee”. A great combination of glamorous provenance with fastidious care, restoration work by Fran Roxas resulted in numerous concours awards. Notable owners include Charlie Norris, Gordon Apker, Ken McBride and John Groendyke. Stupendous in every way. – This is an important Duesenberg which has maintained without regard to expense throughout its life. Sold at RM’s Monterey auction a year ago for $1,897,500 in essentially the same condition and showing only 12 fewer miles than the 109 on the odometer today. Today’s result is 24.6% more, which represents a very attractive ROI.
1962 Porsche 356B Super 90 Cabriolet
Lot # 56 1962 Porsche 356B Super 90 Cabriolet, Body by Reutter; S/N 155997; Engine # P804397; Black/Black; Black top; Estimate $135,000 – $150,000; Older restoration, 2+ condition; Hammered Sold at $175,000 plus commission of 10.00%; Final Price $192,500. No Reserve – Nardi style woodrim steering wheel, aluminum oil cooler, dual brake master cylinder, Blaupunkt multiband radio, California yellow plate and Vasek Polak license frame – T6, matching numbers engine and transaxle, numerous correct date codes. Restored in 2005, with recent Super 90 engine rebuild by Larry Markham and mechanical upgrades. Superb paint, correct in all small details and options. – Sold here in 2005 for $82,500, fresh from a Classic Showcase restoration, now showing 831 more miles on the odometer. A very attractive car with solid provenance. A handsome and reassuring car, but this is all the money for a Cabriolet, and then some.
1974 Ferrari 246 GTS Dino
Lot # 57 1974 Ferrari 246 GTS Dino, Body by Pininfarina-Scaglietti; S/N 7808; Red/Black leather; Estimate $350,000 – $425,000; Recent restoration, 2 condition; Hammered Sold at $360,000 plus commission of 10.00%; Final Price $396,000. – Becker Mexico cassette stereo, Borletti A/C, P/W, Campagnolo alloy wheels, Michelin XWX tires, Daytona seats – Freshly and thoroughly restored except for the scratched and bent A/C panel. – It is something of a mystery why restorers expend serious long term effort and money to complete a meticulous, thorough, accurate restoration and then leave some minor detail in the final assembly process undone. It’s usually old, scratched door handles but in this Dino’s case it’s the scroungy A/C panel that looks like it was walked on for the two years the restoration took. And the job has been complete since 2010, plenty of time to source a switch panel that is consistent with the quality of the rest of the car. Sadly, a minor oversight like this calls into question the attention to detail of the entire restoration, including the engine and transaxle which were ‘in excellent condition and were meticulously detailed to factory standards.’ Detailed isn’t the equivalent of rebuilt. The Pebble Beach bidders seemed unmoved by the quality of the paint, interior and bodywork and took this Dino home for what is, in today’s environment, a modest price.
1932 SS Jaguar SS1 Coupe, Body by Swallow
Lot # 58 1932 SS Jaguar SS1 Coupe, Body by Swallow; S/N 135302; Engine # 135279; White, Black roof and fenders/Dark Blue leather; Estimate $150,000 – $200,000; Older restoration, 1- condition; Hammered Sold at $140,000 plus commission of 10.00%; Final Price $154,000. No Reserve – Sliding sunroof, white painted wire wheels, rear-mounted spare behind a leather covered luggage trunk, JDHT Certificate – Very early matching numbers SS1, one of only eight known to exist, a CCCA Full Classic ™ with provenance which traces it to Australia in 1938. Converted to roadster (!) then back to the US in the 1970’s. Restored in 1997 by marque expert Dave Davenport in the UK, and a multiple concours winner since then. Beautiful (and fanciful) green-tinted interior woodwork and correct pattern seats and interior trim. – A complex restoration with fabric body and trunk and top and an extreme example of long-hood sporty appearance which William Lyons did so well for Swallow. A beautiful and rare car that will stop traffic wherever it appears, which is good because its 48hp engine limits its escape velocity. It is a sound value at this price.
2005 Ferrari FXX Evoluzione
Lot # 59 2005 Ferrari FXX Evoluzione; S/N ZFFHX62X000145369; Pearl Silver, Red accents/Black; Estimate $2,300,000 – $2,600,000; Unrestored original, 2 condition; Not sold at Hammer bid of $1,900,000. – The first FXX built, upgraded to 860hp Evoluzione specs at Maranello in 2008 – Nearly like new, having participated in only three Corse Clienti FXX events since new, just one since the Evoluzione upgrade. – Fortunately having a Ferrari with massive performance that is usable only on track days isn’t all that unusual, although the FXX seemed maybe to be a little more extravagant that the Pebble Beach bidders could justify. With the McLaren F1 going for $8,470,000, almost four times the FXX Evoluzione’s low estimate, it seems like the FXX is something of a bargain even if it is useful only for track days.
1971 Mercedes-Benz 280SE 3.5 Cabriolet
Lot # 60 1971 Mercedes-Benz 280SE 3.5 Cabriolet; S/N 11102712003214; Engine # 11608012002641; Dark Blue/Gray leather; Estimate $280,000 – $320,000; Recent restoration, 2+ condition; Hammered Sold at $310,000 plus commission of 10.00%; Final Price $341,000. – Floor-shift automatic transmission, Behr air conditioning, leather interior, narrow whitewalls, hubcaps and trim rings, fog lights, tools – Excellent restoration by Lothar Motschenbacher with multiple awards including Best in Show at the 2010 M-BCA Concours. Good body fit and plating, excellent interior and top. – Winning combination of solid restoration by well-known craftsman and it’s not 1970’s brown, which is a huge advantage (about $150,000, I’d guess). But even at this, if this isn’t silly money, it’s darned close.
1965 Ferrari 275 GTB
Lot # 63 1965 Ferrari 275 GTB, Body by Pininfarina/Scaglietti; S/N 07523; Engine # 07523; Azure Blue/Red leather; Estimate $1,300,000 – $1,600,000; Cosmetic restoration, 2- condition; Hammered Sold at $1,400,000 plus commission of 10.00%; Final Price $1,540,000. – Short nose, alloy centerlock wheels, 3-ear knockoffs, books and tools – An older cosmetic restoration with sound paint, mostly good chrome, lightly used interior and a clean, orderly engine compartment. Comes with a Ferrari Factory Heritage Certificate and copy of the no-longer-obtainable factory build sheets. – An undistinguished but reasonably clear history and the kind of never taken apart but always well maintained presentation that suggests a car that has always had its needs met. It’s a presentation that encourages bidders and it brought a representative price.
1946 Ford Super DeLuxe Sportsman Convertible
Lot # 64 1946 Ford Super DeLuxe Sportsman Convertible; S/N 99A1224940; Dynamic Maroon, Wood/Golden Tan leather; Tan cloth top; Estimate $250,000 – $300,000; Recent restoration, 2 condition; Not sold at Hammer bid of $180,000. – Bumper overriders and tips, steel wheels, hubcaps, trim rings, wide whitewall tires, oil filter, radio, clock, heater – Good paint and chrome, original wood looks to be heavily varnished but is sound and with limited water stains. Good interior. 2012 Dearborn Award winner. – Woody wagons, sedans and convertibles were a nightmare to maintain, requiring re-varnishing every year, and were most unhappy left out in the weather. As such they are rare but perhaps deservedly so, and particularly with this car’s well preserved original wood. Even at that, though, it could have been sold at the reported high bid. A quarter-million dollars for a Ford Sportsman (not a Mercury, mind you, which is another story) is asking a lot.
1959 Fiat 600 Jolly, Body by Ghia
Lot # 65 1959 Fiat 600 Jolly, Body by Ghia; S/N 438635; Light Green/Wicker; Green top; Estimate $75,000 – $95,000; Recent restoration, 2+ condition; Hammered Sold at $135,000 plus commission of 10.00%; Final Price $148,500. No Reserve – Striped Surrey top, wicker seats, whitewalls – Invoices total $65,000 for restoration, which you might think is steep for something so simple. Very nicely done, however. Excellent paint in good color, new seats, good plating, clean engine. Distressingly little history accompanied this car. – Supposedly one of about 200 built, most of which seem to have been sold lately. Is there a Jolly factory somewhere? Park it beside the Amphicar and the 23-window VW bus and it won’t seem quite so expensive. This is result is hard to accept for a car that sold cross-town a year ago at Mecum’s auction for $66,250. This is a lightning strike transaction, right place, right time, right car and should not be treated as anything other than an irrelevant outlier on the Jolly value curve (or the bubble is dangerously large.)

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  1. “This result is beyond silly, it’s bizarre and out of contact with reality.”
    The reality is that the wealthy expect runaway inflation, and are wisely getting green money out of their portfolio. The manner in which they’re doing it doesn’t seem wise, but it will down the road.

  2. David,
    [David’s comment refers to the $126,500 VW Type 2 21-Window Microbus.]
    There is a certain logic to your observation, although I should have reserved the comment for RM’s Alfa 1750 Spider, at $121,000 even further detached from reality than the bus.
    My trouble with your rationale is that spending money foolishly is not a hedge against inflation. It is spending money without regard to how it might otherwise be employed. Either of these two vehicles could have been bought for much less than the high bid. A rational economic person does not throw $50 or $60 thousand away just in order to acquire a hard asset that could be acquired for much less. This is not ‘wisely getting green money out of their portfolio.’ It is replacing a asset that may depreciate by some unacceptable but as yet uncertain rate (‘green money’) with a hard asset that is already instantly depreciated by 30-60% by over-paying for it.
    That isn’t a hedge against inflation.