A selection of sporting automobiles will be featured at the Gooding and Company Scottsdale 2013 auction, scheduled for January 18-19 in Scottsdale, Arizona. The headline consignments include a one-off 1957 Maserati 150 GT Spider, 1938 Bugatti 57C Atalante, 1957 Mercedes-Benz 300 SL Roadster and an original 1965 Shelby 289 Cobra.
“Our market is thriving because people continue to want superb cars,” says David Gooding, President and founder of Gooding & Company. “Cars such as these represent exactly what collectors desire most in core areas of value such as rarity, historical authenticity and preservation.”
The 1957 Maserati 150 GT Spider was originally constructed as an A6GCS sports racing car and campaigned with success at venues throughout the 1954 racing season. The A6GCS was later modified, thus becoming the prototype for the 300 S model. Following its two-part career as a Maserati Works racing car, the chassis of the 300 S prototype was once more reworked for the development of a new road car. The result was this one-of-a-kind 150 GT Spider. Once completed, Maserati decided that the competition-based prototype was too expensive to be a feasible production car, and opted to move in a different direction with the mass-produced 3500 GT. Restored and mechanically rebuilt by marque specialist Steve Hart, this one-off prototype retains its original, matching-numbers engine, A6G/2000 gearbox, 250 F Grand Prix-type brakes and its Fantuzzi coachwork. With a curb weight of only 1,900 pounds (860 kg) and 195 horsepower, the 150 GT offers performance that surpasses many 12-cylinder sports cars of the period. (Estimate $3,000,000 – $4,000,000).
“Unlike production cars, which have a track record and comparable sales, one-offs and prototypes make their own market,” says David Brynan, Specialist at Gooding & Company. “What I really admire about the Maserati 150 GT we’re offering is its fascinating pedigree, a combination of the best competition and coachbuilt features and its extraordinary originality.”
The 1938 Bugatti 57C Atalante, chassis 57766, is a matching-numbers, award-winning example first sold to Greek playboy and racing driver Nicholas Embericos. It was later sold to Al Garthwaite, a pioneer in the early years of American motorsport, who raced it at Bridgehampton and Mount Equinox. Also owned by collectors Dr. Sam Scher and John W. Strauss of New York, the Bugatti survived the passing generations due to the kind stewardship of its few caretakers. Discovered in untouched condition at the estate of Mr. Strauss, chassis 57766 proved to be an ideal candidate for restoration and therefore was taken to Sargent Metal Works in Vermont where the Bugatti was brought back to life with added value, preserving its original features and rich history. Since that time, the 57C Atalante won a class award at the 2011 Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance and a Best-of-Show at the 2012 Saratoga Invitational. (Estimate $1,400,000 – $1,800,000).
“The best restorations start with a complete, matching-numbers and thoroughly-documented car, a reality only attained by the top 5-10% of collector cars,” says Scott Sargent, owner and expert restorer of Sargent Metal Works. “What makes cars the best candidates is that they have all the information intact that can be documented and used to provide a thorough, correct, and authentic restoration, which may be used as future reference for the marque. Twenty to 30 years ago all of this information was erased by restorers who didn’t think of preserving original features. Things are different today because of what we’ve learned and, therefore, we strive to save everything to preserve the soul of the car, including the human fingerprint on how the car was made by different
The 1957 Mercedes-Benz 300 SL Roadster is one of approximately 25 factory-delivered Rudge-wheeled 300 SL Roadsters built. Finished in midnight blue over red, the chassis 198.042.7500195 is the rarest variant of these blue-chip automobiles. “An early 1957 Mercedes-Benz 300 SL Roadster with Rudge wheels certainly ticks off all the rarity buttons, plus it is eligible for all the pre-1959 events,” says Alex Finigan, Classic Car Specialist at Paul Russell & Company. “If you add a hardtop, fitted luggage, Becker Mexico radio, European headlights and low-mileage, you’re right up there at the top of the heap with the rarest of the rare. As always, these are the most highly-sought after.” (Estimate $1,000,000 – $1,300,000).
The 1965 Shelby 289 Cobra, CSX2509, has approximately 35,000 miles from new and only four owners, including the current caretaker. A black on black example that only 11% of 289 Cobras share, this car was built at the Shelby factory with features including two 4-barrel carburetors. Originally sold through Hayward Motors in Northern California, CSX2509 has resided in California ever since and still retains its original, black license plates and registration records. This unrestored example won the FIVA award at the 2011 Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance. (Estimate $850,000 – $1,100,000).
“You can only be original once, of course, and originality must be protected and preserved,” says Adolfo Orsi, Chief Class Judge for the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance FIVA Awards since their inception in 1999 and Author of the Classic Car Auction Yearbook. “Preserved cars are few and far between and with each passing day there are even fewer. It is not surprising that prices of preserved cars have been consistently increasing.”
The 2013 Gooding & Company Scottsdale Auctions will be held January 18 and 19, starting at 11 a.m. both days, at Scottsdale Fashion Square, located at the corner of E. Camelback Road and N. 68th Street. Guests may preview the cars Wednesday through Friday, January 16–18, from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., and Saturday, January 19 from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. An auction catalogue for $80 admits two to the viewing and auction. General admission to the viewing and auction can be purchased at the tent for $30 per person.