Russo and Steele, Newport Beach, California, June 21-22, 2013
Report and photos by Rick Carey, Auction Editor
It takes chutzpah, or at least determination, to hold a collector car auction in southern California.
Consider the track record. There was Rick Cole in the early and mid-90’s.
Christie’s tried the Petersen Museum in 2000, followed by Barrett-Jackson with three sales at the awkward and cramped rooftop setting of the Petersen Museum parking structure. Barrett-Jackson then after a hiatus tried the Orange County Fairgrounds in Newport Beach before baling out after last year.
Dean Kruse, in the ebullience of the eBay days, tried a sale at California Speedway in Fontana in 2003. Spectrum tried Marina del Rey for several years.
Only Keith McCormick has created a successful series of sales and they are sited in Palm Springs, not in the Los Angeles area.
The short answer is that no one has found the formula for holding a series of successful collector car auctions in southern California.
It begs understanding. This is where major auto manufacturers site their advanced design centers. It’s where the automobile is a central element in the society. The metroplex known as “LA” is built around, for, and because of the automobile.
So why can’t collector car auctions establish themselves?
The short answer, once again, is that no one knows, and only experience will tell the tale.
Line up the impediments:
Every day there are multiple collector car events, from survivor shows, tours and concours to the famed Cars and Coffee gatherings, that distract collectors and spectators;
There are collector car dealers on every major street (and many minor ones) blowing smoke up the skirts of newcomers, making them feel important and informed and selling cars that are subject to statutory warranties of fitness that don’t apply to the auctions;
In a diverse market that appreciates everything from grand classics through restomods to modern supercars it’s difficult for an auction to keep potential buyers’ attention through several hundred cars over two or three days.
In the face of history and in spite of the challenges Russo and Steele staked its claim on the beaches of southern California June 21-22, 2013, starting a 10-year deal with Newport Dunes.
Newport Dunes itself is an interesting environment. Located on Newport Bay, it is a publicly-owned recreational facility combining a beach, boat ramp, marina and RV park. It’s visible from the Pacific Coast Highway, across the street from the Newport Beach Country Club and the posh Fashion Island mall, next to a Hyatt Regency and, in the curious juxtaposition that southern California’s growth sometimes perpetuates, adjacent to a waterfront mobile home park on some of the most expensive real estate in America.
How did Russo and Steele do in their first year in Newport Beach? On the numbers not that well, but behind the numbers they racked up nearly $6 million in sales and brought generally full retail prices for the cars that sold and reasonable bids for most of the ones that didn’t. The inventory was generally sound and there were plenty of spectators and bidders.
Drew Alcazar has shown his determination in Scottsdale and Monterey, creating a unique and festive auction environment that draws its own mix of bidders and has established a number of record prices. Russo and Steele brought that same ambiance to Newport Beach, starting out with a festive Gala on Thursday evening and treating bidders and their guests to the best hospitality in the collector car auction world.
It’s Drew Alcazar’s view that in the car-savvy southern California environment it takes time to build awareness, visibility and confidence among customers and prospects that you have the commitment to remain on the scene and will continue to provide a differentiated, quality, product and environment.
That is certainly true and Russo and Steele is off to a good start in Newport Beach.
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Russo and Steele Newport Beach 2013 – Auction Report
Lot # F408 1977 Volkswagen Thing Utility; S/N 1872008853; Orange/Tan vinyl; Tan vinyl top; Unrestored original, 3+ condition; Not sold at Hammer bid of $17,000 – Trim rings, hubcaps, Blaupunkt CD stereo, gas heater – Good original paint, interior and top. One of four Things built in Germany. All original and clean but shows age and use appropriate to the 33,463 km on the odometer. – Consignment #4180. Most Thing production was in Mexico, but apparently four were assembled in Germany at the end of production of which this is one. German marked and all original but tired. It will be hard to justify using it given its history and preservation and it doesn’t appeal much to the bidders, bringing the same reported high bid here as it did in Scottsdale five months ago.
Lot # F410 1957 MG A Roadster; S/N HDL4319623; White/Black leatherette, White piping; Visually maintained, largely original, 3 condition; Not sold at Hammer bid of $19,000 – Silver painted wire wheels, wind wings, polished aluminum valve cover – Sound paint, chrome and interior. Poor driver’s door fit. Recently steam cleaned underhood and under the car. No top but comes with frame and side curtains. A sound and usable but neglected driver. – Consignment #4351. Re-run as S611 with this result. It could have been sold without regret at the reported high bid, or in fact anything over $16,000. It’s just not an attractive car, its neglect shows, and it should have gone away to someone who will give it the attention it needs.
Lot # F412 1968 American Motors AMX Coupe; S/N A8C397T264938; Orange, White stripes/Black vinyl, houndstooth cloth; Visually maintained, largely original, 3- condition; Not sold at Hammer bid of $12,500 – 343 V-8 with Edelbrock 4-barrel, automatic, P/S, P/B, Magnum wheels with trim rings and red line tires, buckets and console, aftermarket woodrim steering wheel, pushbutton radio – Tired old repaint never was very good, thin trim chrome. Orderly but aged and used underhood. Right door bottom filled. Sound but not attractive. – Consignment #4041. Reported sold at Mecum’s Anaheim auction last November for $13,250, a hammer bid of $12,500 exactly what it brought here. A tired and not particularly well maintained example that should have flipped at the reported high bid.
Lot # F422 1975 Pontiac Firebird Coupe; S/N 2W87S5N557863; Engine # 0320970 YS; Red/White; Visually maintained, largely original, 3 condition; Hammered Sold at $11,250 plus commission of 10.00%; Final Price $12,375 – 400/185hp, automatic, P/S, P/B, shaker hood, tilt steering column, Pioneer satellite radio, leather rim steering wheel, honeycomb wheels, Radial TA tires – Good fresh repaint, sound interior. Steering wheel spokes crudely repainted. Engine steam cleaned and quickly dressed up, otherwise original and dirty. A reasonable but unimpressive driver. – Consignment #4224. Superficially cosmetically redone by someone who thinks a thorough soaking of the engine at the self-serve car wash is the functional equivalent of ‘restoration’. It brought an appropriate price for what it is.
Lot # F435 1970 Pontiac Firebird Formula 400 Coupe; S/N 226870L106193; Engine # 7S; Light Olive Green/Black vinyl; Visually maintained, largely original, 3- condition; Hammered Sold at $11,000 plus commission of 10.00%; Final Price $12,100 No Reserve – 400/330hp, automatic, P/S. P/B, Pioneer stereo, polished Torque Thrust 17 inch wheels, modified engine – A/C equipped but compressor removed. Edelbrock 4-barrel on Performer intake. Quick, poorly masked repaint, sound interior. Dirty dashboard with fogged instrument lenses. Dirty and aged underhood. – Consignment #4125. This car was reported bid to $15,000 at Mecum’s Anaheim auction last November. Someone spent close to the price it brought here on the engine but looking at the neglected condition of the rest of the car the quality of the engine work is suspect and the price is all the seller could expect.
Lot # F436 1954 Ford Crestliner Convertible; S/N U4KC114819; Red/Red, White vinyl; Black cloth top; Older restoration, 2- condition; Post-block sale at $27,727 plus commission of 10.00%; Final Price $30,500 – Automatic, pushbutton radio, P/W, power seat, P/S, P/B, skirts, continental kit, dual remote spotlights, wheel covers, wide whitewalls, – Impressive looking paint and chrome. Good panel gaps and brightly polished stainless and chrome. Interior is correct and nicely redone. Underbody is restored like new and only a little dusty. April 2006 Collectible Automobile cover car, freshened since last seen two years ago. – Consignment #4114. Sold at Gooding’s Pebble Beach auction in 2007 for $59,400, then at Barrett-Jackson Scottsdale in 2011 for $55,000 and closed here post-block with this result. An unusually comprehensively equipped Ford, and the last year for the flathead V-8 which to some makes it particularly significant. Even without the record of prior sales, this is a modest result for an inherently sound and well-restored Crestliner convertible. The new owner got a solid car for an advantageous price.
Lot # F437 1972 Buick Skylark Sun Coupe 2-Dr. Hardtop; S/N 4D37J2H158546; Green, White vinyl roof/White vinyl; Visually maintained, largely original, 3- condition; Hammered Sold at $13,250 plus commission of 10.00%; Final Price $14,575 – 350/175hp, 4-barrel, P/S, P/B, A/C, automatic, folding sunroof, aftermarket cassette stereo, tilt steering column, buckets and console, chrome rim Magnum wheels, narrow whitewalls – Sub-mediocre clear coat repaint, good interior and roof, shiny chrome and stainless. Orderly but aged underhood. Underbody painted gloss black over old undercoat. An interesting car with a casual cosmetic redo. – Consignment #4052. An intriguing, little-known, options package of curious value since Buick also offered a more conventional sliding sunroof. The condition of this Sun Coupe is mediocre at best, but the price takes that into account and the car will be a good conversation-starter at a reasonable price.
Lot # F438 1971 Buick GS Stage 1 2-Dr. Hardtop; S/N 434371Z114593; Yellow, Black stripes/Black vinyl; Modified restoration, 2- condition; Not sold at Hammer bid of $27,500 – 455/350hp with Stage 1 equipment, 4-speed, Autogage shift set tach, worn lace-on steering wheel wrap, chrome rim Magnum wheels, P/S, P/B, ram air hood and air cleaner, electronic ignition – Good clearcoat repaint, interior and major chrome. Pitted, rusty window trim. Underbody restored nearly like new. Somewhat aged and not the Stage 1 car it wants to be, but a good weekend cruiser. – Consignment #4016. This car was sold for $29,150 at Mecum’s Indianapolis auction a year ago, then for $24,750 at Barrett-Jackson’s Orange County auction a month later. Why it didn’t sell at the reported high bid here is a question for the owner, who must see some shimmering value in its altered state.
Lot # F440 1968 Ford Mustang GT/CS Fastback; S/N 8R01T156198; White/Burgundy vinyl; Visually maintained, largely original, 3+ condition; Not sold at Hammer bid of $21,000 – 200/115hp six, automatic, P/S, A/C, pushbutton radio, buckets, no console, fog lights, wheel covers, narrow whitewalls, hood pins – Cracked steering wheel rim, sun burned dashtop. Sound old repaint, aged interior, good chrome. Clean and orderly underhood. – Consignment #4121. A six-cylinder California Special is no doubt rare. It also is no doubt uninteresting and especially in this erratic condition could have been loose and selling long before reaching this bid.
Lot # F441 1960 Edsel Ranger 2-Dr. Sedan; S/N 0U11Y702105; Red, Black roof/Red vinyl, Black cloth; Visually maintained, largely original, 3- condition; Hammered Sold at $8,750 plus commission of 10.00%; Final Price $9,625 – 352/300hp, 4-barrel, automatic, no P/S or P/B, wheel covers, whitewalls, dual outside mirrors, heater, pushbutton radio – Poor old repaint, oversprayed everywhere. Dirty engine. Sound interior. A tired and unloved old car said to have 80,196 miles from new, very hard miles. – Consignment #4132. By 1960 the Edsel didn’t even have its crazy horse-collar grille left, being no more than a Ford with some emblems. This despicable example sold for $6,148 at the Kruse auction in Santa Clara in October 2001, then for $5,724 at Fall Auburn in 2005. It is a miracle that it brought this much here.
Russo and Steele Newport Beach 2013 – Auction Report Page Two
Lot # F444 1947 Willys Jeep Utility; S/N 85131; Olive Green/Olive cloth; Olive cloth top; Facsimile restoration, 3 condition; Hammered Sold at $10,500 plus commission of 10.00%; Final Price $11,550 No Reserve – 12 volt, overdrive – Civilian Jeep dressed up in military configuration with fake machine gun and M100 trailer. Painted Olive Drab all over. Warn hubs. – Consignment #4234. This is not a military Jeep, it’s a CJ-2 with military equipment, most of it dummy and paint. That said, it is a sound value at this price.
Lot # F446 1968 AMC AMX Coupe; S/N A8M397X219072; Frost White, Black stripes/Black vinyl; Visually maintained, largely original, 3 condition; Not sold at Hammer bid of $20,000 – 390/325hp, 4-speed, P/S, P/B, pushbutton radio, Magnum wheels, red line tires – Sound older repaint, good interior. Orderly and cleaned up underhood. Scuffed window trim. Underbody and chassis repainted assembled. An orderly and well equipped AMX. – Consignment #4090. Even in this mediocre condition this 390, 4-speed AMX is worth $5,000 more than the reported high bid.
Lot # F447 1986 Porsche 944 Turbo Race car; S/N BOS; White; Modified for competition during restoration 3- condition; Not sold at Hammer bid of $42,000 – 3-liter 968 engine, 552hp, 6-speed, fully race prepared – Aged, dirty complicated race car. Looks like it hasn’t been used in a long time. – Consignment #4300. It will take a major effort, and a deep checkbook, for the next owner of the Porsche to figure out what it is, make it all work together, safely, and realize its potential. It’s too much effort for the car be worth much, no matter how much was spent on it, and the reported high bid seems like a reasonable offer for it. In fact, it seems generous.
Lot # F468 1966 Toyota FJ45 Land Cruiser Pickup; S/N FJ4526410; Coronado Beige/Grey leatherette; Visually maintained, largely original, 4+ condition; Not sold at Hammer bid of $24,500 – Warn front hubs, dual outside mirrors – Given a quick repaint including the painter’s fingerprint on the right door. Rust starting to bleed through at joints. Chassis is grimy. A superficial cosmetic redo. Engine Smokes. Solid and sound but disappointing. – Consignment #4353. FJ40’s are one of the hot topics in collecting these days but this one seems to have received a quick redo with little attention to detail or to quality. With some gorgeous, freshly restored FJ40s coming to auction recently, and the prospect of more in the future, there is no incentive to chase after one like this with ample and visible deficiencies. The reported high bid is a reasonable one but compared with the $33,000 paid for a similar condition FJ40 on Saturday is negligible, even with the exhaust effluvia.
Lot # F469 1971 Mercedes-Benz 280SE 3.5 Coupe; S/N 11102612000305; Midnight Blue/Beige leather; Cosmetic restoration, 3+ condition; Hammered Sold at $42,000 plus commission of 10.00%; Final Price $46,200 – Automatic, P/S, P/B, P/W, wheel covers, narrow whitewalls, sliding sunroof, fog lights, Becker Europa AM-FM – Good paint, chrome and interior wood. Original upholstery is lightly creased but otherwise little worn. Underbody is clean and nearly like new. A good driver with flat panels and even gaps. Described as a California desert car from new. – Consignment #4232. Among the many appealing aspects of this 280SE 3.5 the sunroof is important but it’s the overall originality and continuing care it has received that stands out. The bidders accurately balanced its attributes with the price they were willing to pay.
Lot # F478 1967 Chevrolet Chevelle Malibu 2-Dr. Hardtop; S/N 136177K100294; Engine # F0701EA; Madeira Maroon/Black vinyl; Cosmetic restoration, 3+ condition; Not sold at Hammer bid of $23,500 – 327/275hp, 4-speed, P/B, P/S, pushbutton radio, steel wheels, hubcaps, blackwall tires, bench seat – Fair repaint, good interior and chrome. Underhood and engine done nearly like new. Painted assembled and not well masked. Underbody repainted assembled. Documented with the orignal owner’s manual and Protect-o-Plate. An unusual car done about as well as can be expected. – Consignment #4290. This car was reported bid to $29,000 at Mecum’s Anaheim auction last November, a reasonable offer for its desirable driveline but mediocre cosmetic re-do. Bid to 20% less here, the consignor better hope the trend doesn’t continue the next time it crosses the block. It won’t be a surprise to see it in Auctions America’s Burbank sale in August, but the consignor better reset his expectations.
Lot # F480 1986 Ferrari 412 2-Dr. Sedan; S/N ZFFYD24B000063601; Black/Cream leather; Visually maintained, largely original, 3+ condition; Not sold at Hammer bid of $33,000 – Automatic, alloy wheels, Alpine cassette stereo, A/C, P/W – Good repaint and original interior. Good chrome. clean underbody. Chip guarded nose and sills. A clean, well maintained Ferrari. – Consignment #4197. Sold at Russo and Steele’s Monterey auction last August for $39,600, then at Barrett-Jackson WestWorld in January for $29,700. The reported high bid here should have been more than enough to buy it.
Lot # F482 1971 Steyr-Daimler-Puch 712M Pinzgaur 6-wheel truck; S/N 4753896; Light Green/Black cloth; Green rubberized canvas top; Visually maintained, largely original, 3+ condition; Not sold at Hammer bid of $24,000 – All wheel drive, 2-speed transfer case, center facing rear bench seats, aftermarket front bucket seats – Quickly repainted, otherwise original and as expected for the 33,476 km on the odometer. – Consignment #4346. Reported sold for $31,350 at Russo and Steele’s Scottsdale auction in January. It’s not surprising, then, that it didn’t sell here at the reported high bid.
Lot # F491 1940 Ford 11A Super Deluxe Convertible Coupe; S/N 185646174; Metallic Blue/White, Blue vinyl; White vinyl top; Customized restoration, 3+ condition; Not sold at Hammer bid of $45,000 – Skirts, whitewalls, red steel wheels, hubcaps, trim rings, aluminum heads, dual carb intake, beehive oil filter, fuel pressure gauge, tube shocks, aftermarket bumpers, Mooneyes tach, engine gauges, hand painted eyeball column shift knob, dummy spots, gorgeous pinstriping signed by the artist, Ed Foody (?) and dated ’94. – Still a very nice car but showing its age and use with a few paint chips, a pulled boot cover snap and some peeling, weak chrome. – Consignment #4115. Sold at Bonhams Quail Lodge auction from Mike Amalfitano’s collection in 2010 for $43,290 in somewhat better condition that it is today, then offered at the Worldwide auction in Houston in April 2010 with a reported high bid of $45,500. This is a neat old mild custom with some delicious period features but it isn’t getting better with age and it’s time for the current owner to move it on to someone who will give it better care and attention.
Lot # F494 1963 Ford Galaxie 500 2-Dr. Hardtop; S/N 3P63G127443; Black/Black; Older restoration, 3+ condition; Hammered Sold at $46,000 plus commission of 10.00%; Final Price $50,600 – 406/405hp, 4-speed, Hurst shifter, 3.50 Traction-Lok, AutoMeter underdash gauges and 270 degree tach, heater, pushbutton radio, aftermarket master cylinder and electric booster, chrome Torque Thrust wheels, blackwall tires, chromed cast iron headers – Fair old repaint, weak and erratic trim rechrome, scuffed trim, dented trunk trim. Believed to have been built as a Ford executive car (no DSO code), then stored for 30 years. An interesting car that could have received better treatment. – Consignment #4239. One of 500 built to qualify the engine for NASCAR, an intriguing piece with some worthwhile modifications to the braking system to make it safer to use all that power and torque. It is impossible to argue with the bidders’ determination of its value.
Russo and Steele Newport Beach 2013 – Auction Report Page Three
Lot # F547 1967 Ford Mustang Fastback Shelby GT500 Recreation; S/N 7R02C128177; Candy Apple Red, White stripes/Black leather; Facsimile restoration, 2+ condition; Not sold at Hammer bid of $110,000 – 427/580 hp aluminum block, 3.50 limited slip, P/S, P/B, center-mounted high beams, 5-spoke 17 inch alloy wheels, 4-speed, 4-wheel disc brakes, upgraded suspension, woodrim steering wheel – Excellent paint, chrome and interior. Better than new, in more ways than one. – Consignment #4102. Not close to real, but should be more fun than a barrel of monkeys to drive. Even at that, though, the reported high bid seems like it should have been more than enough to see it change hands.
Lot # F548 1968 Aston Martin DB6 Coupe; S/N 3365/L; Black/Black leather; Cosmetic restoration, 2- condition; Hammered Sold at $415,000 plus commission of 10.00%; Final Price $456,500 – Chrome wire wheels, Pirelli P4000 tires, P/W – Excellent new paint and interior. Trim rechromed over erratic preparation. Underbody repainted assembled and over old undercoat. Excellent dash and instruments. Very pretty cosmetically striking DB6. – Consignment #4012. Sold for $330,000 at Russo and Steele’s Monterey auction in 2010 and a very healthy price for its condition at this turn. This is a curve-setting price for a non-Vantage DB6, or an outlier that begs understanding.
Lot # F564 1965 Fiat 500L 2-Dr. Sedan; S/N 2796953; White/Black; Visually maintained, largely original, 3+ condition; Hammered Sold at $13,000 plus commission of 10.00%; Final Price $14,300 – Hubcaps, blackwall tires, black vinyl folding sunroof – Sound fresh repaint, good upholstery. Engine compartment is orderly but a little oily and used. Underbody repainted, suspension is clean but not redone. Pitted, rusty vent window frames. Old, frayed window seals. A cute but marginal driver. – Consignment #4253. Reported bid to $14,000 at Russo and Steele’s Scottsdale auction in January, this Fiat 500L is good value for the money even in its present somewhat used and aged condition, especially in view of the recent strength of microcars.
Lot # F572 1972 Chevrolet Chevelle Malibu 2-Dr. Hardtop; S/N 1D37U2R564884; Cranberry Red, White stripes, White vinyl roof/White vinyl; Cosmetic restoration, 3 condition; Hammered Sold at $19,500 plus commission of 10.00%; Final Price $21,450 – 402/240hp, automatic, P/S, P/B, A/C, grey painted Rally wheels, Eagle ST tires, cowl induction hood, hood pins, buckets and console, stereo radio – Nothing special, but nicely equipped for touring and given an unusually good cosmetic restoration for what it is. Painted assembled and erratically masked. – Consignment #4212. It’s odd to see this engine not in an SS, but this isn’t, despite the bucket seats, an SS. Given its unusual configuration and comprehensive list of options including air conditioning, it’s a good buy at this price.
Lot # S600 1986 Ford Mustang Convertible; S/N 1FABP27M2GF323455; Red/White; White vinyl top; Unrestored original, 3+ condition; Not sold at Hammer bid of $7,000 – 302HO, automatic, P/S, P/B, A/C, cassette stereo, P/W, cruise control, alloy wheels, blackwall tires, luggage rack – 4-wheel disc brakes added. Otherwise original, clean and well maintained with 45,460 miles from new. – Consignment #4328. The bidders, not surprisingly, found it hard to get excited about this clean, low miles ’86 Mustang.
Lot # S601 1963 Ford Falcon 2-Dr. Sedan; S/N 3J01U104621; White/Red vinyl; Modified restoration, 3 condition; Not sold at Hammer bid of $12,000 – V-8, automatic – Modified with a V-8 replacing the original 170/101hp ‘high performance’ inline six. Suspension done as well. Sound paint, chrome and interior. Old undercoat on underbody. An unusual and presentable driver. – Consignment #4324. There are many ways to spend $12,000 on a good old car, why take a chance on one that’s been modified? Even one done reasonably well and presented in orderly condition under the hood like this is still something of a risk. If there was money anywhere close to the reported bid the seller should have grabbed it with both hands.
Lot # S608 1961 Cadillac Series 62 Convertible; S/N 61F128891; White/Blue-Grey vinyl; Blue vinyl top; Cosmetic restoration, 3+ condition; Hammered Sold at $26,250 plus commission of 10.00%; Final Price $28,875 – Wheel covers, narrow whitewalls, Autronic eye, P/W, bench seat, skirts – Decent paint, thin chrome, good interior. Underbody repainted assembled. A big, presentable cruiser. – Consignment #4327. In dollars per pound, or per inch of length, this is one of the best buys in the Newport Beach auction. It was reported bid to $30,000 at Mecum’s Anaheim auction last November and brought a realistic price here. It has real eye appeal and even around Newport Beach will stand out among the later model Porsches, Astons and Ferraris. A good value.
Lot # S609 1970 Fiat Abarth 595 2-Dr. Sedan; S/N 110F24678232512; Engine # FIAT11000096001ABA205; White/Red, White vinyl; Recent restoration, 2- condition; Hammered Sold at $30,000 plus commission of 10.00%; Final Price $33,000 – Black vinyl folding sunroof, alloy wheels, Falken tires, Luisi leather rim steering wheel, Weber single throat downdraft carburetor – Vinyl Abarth graphics. Good cosmetics, clean engine compartment showing little use and only a little age. Very cute little thing. – Consignment #4073. The essential question with Abarth-modified Fiats always is the same: ‘Is it real or is it Memorex?’ They are so easy to fake, parts to do so are readily available and there is, as this price indicates, an economic inducement for doing so. Caution flags include the Weber carb (should be a Solex), the Fiat chassis number (not its Abarth number) and the long period out of sight in Italy until it was, miraculously, discovered and restored (or built to fit a set of documents from a destroyed car.) At this price let’s hope the new owner took the time to pore over the documents and will be satisfied with driving a car with 30hp (not even the 38hp described on the car card, that’s the SS version, which this isn’t.) A risky acquisition.
Lot # S617 1958 Ford Galaxie Skyliner; S/N H8RW144900; Red, White/White vinyl, Red cloth; Older restoration, 3+ condition; Not sold at Hammer bid of $42,000 – 352/300hp, automatic, P/S, P/B, Ford underdash A/C, dual remote spotlight mirrors, Town & Country radio, chrome wire wheels, whitewalls, continental kit – Good older paint, chrome and interior. Roof controls on an accessory switch box with multiple functions meaning the original complex electrical setup isn’t functional. Details show age, use and insufficient detailing. Trunk area is a little grubby as is the underbody. – Consignment #4265. Most Skyliner owners spend incalculable hours making the multiple switches, motors, pumps, cylinders and solenoids work properly, with little time or attention left to spend on the rest of the car. This owner seems to have taken the opposite approach, with decent cosmetics and a shortcut wiring system that substitutes the human brain and eyes for the Skyliner’s interlocks and sensors. Taking that into consideration it would seem like it should have sold at the reported high bid.
Lot # S621 1972 Datsun 240Z Coupe; S/N HLS3095946; Red, White ‘BRE’/Black leatherette; Customized restoration, 3+ condition; Not sold at Hammer bid of $25,000 – 8-spoke alloy wheels, blackmail tires, air dam, rear deck spoiler, Dino leather rim steering wheel, Sansui cassette stereo – Excellent paint and chrome, good interior, sharp gauges. Very clean unrestored underbody. A showy BRE liveried street car. – Consignment #4089. This car in its present BRE livery sold for $18,460 at Barrett-Jackson WestWorld in 2012. It should have been loose and selling at no more than $20,000 today and is a squandered opportunity for the seller.
Russo and Steele Newport Beach 2013 – Auction Report Page Four
Lot # S622 1967 Austin-Healey 3000 Mk III Phase 2 Convertible; S/N HBJ8L39220; Ice Blue, OEWhite/Black leatherette; Blue leatherette top; Older restoration, 3 condition; Not sold at Hammer bid of $45,000 – Chrome wire wheels, Michelin X blackwalls, lace-on steering wheel cover, overdrive – Decent repaint, major chrome and upholstery. Weak trim chrome. Poor door fits. A presentable driver quality restoration with age and miles. – Consignment #4359. A sound driver-quality BJ8 is worth this much all day, and probably a little more. This one has some shortcomings in its restoration that do not reassure bidders, however, and it isn’t a surprise that it didn’t sell.
Lot # S624 1964 Alfa Romeo Giulietta Sprint; S/N AR385765; Blue/Black vinyl; Modified for competition during restoration 2- condition; Not sold at Hammer bid of $34,000 – 1.6 liter, 8-spoke Performance alloy wheels, Yokohama blackwall tires, braced rollbar, 4-point belts, two Corbeau bucket seats, 5-speed, fuel cell, trunk-mounted battery, single downdraft Solex carburetor, front disc brakes, 4.56 open diff installed, 5.12 limited slip included, alternator – Tidy, clean, orderly and fresh. Good cosmetics with a few small edge chips. Appears to be track ready, just. Described as an eight-year restoration, never a good sign, although the result as presented here is clean, thorough, fresh and neat. – Consignment #4278. This Alfa has good stuff and is done to high standards throughout. It would be a bargain at the reported high bid, but little interest was seen in the auction arena.
Lot # S634 1965 Chevrolet Corvette Roadster; S/N 194675S107056; Engine # 5107056 F01-5HH; Black/Red vinyl; Black cloth top; Recent restoration, 2+ condition; Hammered Sold at $68,000 plus commission of 10.00%; Final Price $74,800 – 327/365hp, 4-speed, AM-FM, centerlock alloy wheels, gold line tires – Restored like new and represented as numbers matching. Very good paint, chrome, interior, top and engine compartment. A very good Corvette that stands up to close inspection. – Consignment #4349. With big block Corvettes still routinely bringing seven figure prices it’s good to see high performance small blocks being recognized as the great cars they are. This 327/365hp 4-speed roadster was sold at Barrett-Jackson WestWorld in 2011 for $71,500 and is a good value at the price it brought today.
Lot # S636 1959 Oldsmobile 98 Convertible; S/N 599K04120; Cardinal Red, Polaris White/Red, White leather; White vinyl top; Recent restoration, 2+ condition; Not sold at Hammer bid of $46,000 – 394/315hp Rocket V8, automatic, wide white wall tires, Autronic eye, boot cover, P/W, power antenna, spinner wheel covers – Impeccable two tone paint over perfect bodywork, fantastic chrome. Engine compartment appears as new with factory decals and replica in-period Delco battery. – Consignment #4111. This Olds has eyeball appeal, big-time eyeball appeal. The restoration is impossible to fault but the bidders must hae been asleep when it crossed the block. It sold for $70,200 at Bonhams Scottsdale auction in 2012 and was not over-priced in that transaction and why it failed to bring more here in Newport Beach can only be attributed to the bidders’ lack of attention.
Lot # S637 1968 Chrysler Town and Country Station Wagon; S/N CE46K8C224196; Black/Blue leatherette; Visually maintained, largely original, 3+ condition; Not sold at Hammer bid of $44,000 – 440/350hp, automatic, P/S, P/B, A/C AM-FM, chrome Magnum wheels, 3-row seating – Represented as mostly original paint, in fact it’s been repainted and not masked very well at that. Woodgrain appliqué is replaced also. Chrome and stainless are very good, as is the interior, dash and gauges. Underbody is clean and unrestored. Looks good and has enough power to pull a big boat. – Consignment #4046. It’s big and it’s powerful. It’s also a late-Sixties Chrysler, an ark of considerable bulk and little aesthetic appeal. Its originality is over-rated in its description and it is not worth even close to this much.
Lot # S650 1958 Chevrolet 3100 Cameo NAPCO 4×4 Pickup; S/N V3A58K108689; Red, White /; Recent restoration, 2+ condition; Hammered Sold at $61,000 plus commission of 10.00%; Final Price $67,100 – 283/160hp, 4-speed, hubcaps, trim rings, wood bed floor, NAPCO 4X4 – Freshly restored with excellent paint, chrome, interior and attention to details. A really good, rare truck done to better than showroom condition and represented as known history from new.. – Consignment #4202. A superb restoration done to better than showroom condition with excellent cosmetics and close attention to detail. Car card describes it as ‘First time offered for public sale at Auction’ but it was in the Barrett-Jackson WestWorld expo display earlier this year although it did not cross the block. An extraordinary, rare piece bought for an entirely reasonable price that is a good value.
Lot # S651 1970 Porsche 914/6 Targa; S/N 9140431057; Orange/Black vinyl, cloth; Black top; Visually maintained, largely original, 3 condition; Hammered Sold at $52,500 plus commission of 10.00%; Final Price $57,750 – Polished spoke Fuchs wheels, Blaupunkt cassette, Momo suede rim steering wheel (original wheel included), tools – Good paint and interior. Underbody is dry but not restored. Roof panel paint is scraped through on one corner. Replacement engine. A sound and very attractive older cosmetic restoration. – Consignment #4088. Most 914/6s have been hammered, modified and neglected, not to mention falling victim to the iron worms. This one is clean, orderly and in reassuring condition. The replacement engine is an issue, but not nearly as significant with this car as with a 911. It brought a healthy price more appropriate to a fully restored, original engined car with some miles, however.
Lot # S661 1953 Packard Clipper Deluxe Station Wagon, Body by Juan Feyth.; S/N 26625676; Black/Red vinyl; Visually maintained, largely original, 3- condition; Not sold at Hammer bid of $50,000 – 327/160hp inline eight, 3-speed, pushbutton radio, heater, large hubcaps, trim rings, wide whitewalls, roof rack – Fair old paint, thin chrome. Sound interior. Costa Rican coachbuilder badge (Juan Feyth. Ltda., Av. 10 Y Calle 14, San Jose) on the door hinge post and inside the right fender accessory compartment. Dry old wood with spreading joints filled with Plastic Wood, peeling varnish. Sound body but superficially redone and with many needs. – Consignment #4189. This is a 1953 Clipper Deluxe Touring Sedan body number apparently rebodied in Costa Rica that has not had particularly good care since. There are similar Costa Rican bodied Packard station wagons around like 2452-2401 (a rebodied ’51 Patrician 400) sold for $31,900 at Worldwide’s Hilton Head auction in 2006. The quality of the workmanship and design of all is suspect, but they’re unusual and will command a prominent place at Packard meets. Based on prior sales of similar Costa Rican Packard wagons this needy ’53 should have found a new home well before reaching the reported bid.
Lot # S665 1959 Devin 195 Roadster Vintage Race Car; S/N 311479; Green, Black/Black; Competition car, original as-raced, 3- condition; Not sold at Hammer bid of $40,000 – ’40 Ford frame, boxed and stiffened, live axles with 4-link location, coil-overs, 9-inch Ford rear axle, 297 cubic inch Chevy, Crower rods, Howard roller cam, ported heads, Hillborn fuel injection, Scintilla-Vertex magneto, 525hp, Super T-10 4-speed, fuel cell, Halon fire system, aluminum radiator, oil cooler, Stanguellini bucket seats, S-W gauges, Moto-Lita steering wheel – Aged, used and tired, but honorably with multiple vintage road race and even drag appearances. California titled for those daring enough to drive it on the street. Built, according to the car card, in 1959 as a Devin body kit would have been and owning no small honor to the live axle sports-racing specials of the day. It’s not pretty, but it has charisma. – Consignment #4074. The driver of the Devin was even older than his car, as it should be for such a delightful old piece. This old guy thinks the ‘195’ in the model refers to the wheelbase in cm, 76 3/4 in inches, which is pretty exciting with 525hp from a constant flow fuel injection engine (the owner says it throttles well, but it surely needs no more than four gears, and big attachments, to be driven fast.) The bid it brought is vacuous, although it really needs to have its history filled in and substantiated to get bidders excited. With more history it could be easily worth double the reported bid here.
Lot # S667 1989 Porsche 944 GTR Coupe Race car; S/N WP0AA295XKN151302; Orange/Black cloth; Modified for competition during restoration 3 condition; Not sold at Hammer bid of $18,000 – 330hp, wide body, rollbar, Weltmeister sway bars, uprated suspension, polyurethane bushings, Porterfield brake pads, 18 inch wheels. – Orderly but aged and used. 1:28 at Willow Springs. – Consignment #4303. It is doubtful anyone cared.
Russo and Steele Newport Beach 2013 – Auction Report Page Five
Lot # S673 1970 Ford Mustang Boss 302 Fastback; S/N 0T02G109263; Yellow, Black stripes/Black vinyl; Older restoration, 2- condition; Hammered Sold at $50,000 plus commission of 10.00%; Final Price $55,000 No Reserve – 302/290hp, 4-speed, Hurst pistol grip shifter, rally wheels with big hubcaps, trim rings and Wide Oval tires, 3.50 Traction-Lok, rear window slats, wing, cassette stereo, P/B – Good paint, chrome and interior. Represented as numbers-matching drivetrain. Like new under the hood and under the car. 92,803 miles from new. Documented with Marti Report. Hood stripe spotted and discolored. Other than that, a very good, orderly Boss 302 with a few miles on a good restoration. – Consignment #4226. One of the best Mustangs ever built. Offered at Mecum’s Indianapolis auction last month with a reported high bid of $42,000 this is a carefully restored, electrifying colors, Boss 302 bargain.
Lot # S686 1967 Chevrolet Camaro 2-Dr. Hardtop Vintage Race Car; S/N 7L104823; Yellow/Black cloth, vinyl; Modified for competition during restoration 2+ condition; Hammered Sold at $55,000 plus commission of 10.00%; Final Price $60,500 – 400/472hp, Donovan aluminum block, Edelbrock 18 degree heads, roller cam, Carrillo rods, Ross pistons, Edelbrock single-plane intake, Holley HP carb, Avaid dry-sump, DAH headers, 3-inch exhaust, Richmond 4-speed, 3.75:1 Tru-Trac Ford 9-inch axle, 22 gallon fuel cell, and on and on – Clean, fresh and done right. Unblemished paint and painted interior. Victory Lane September 2010 cover car. Built to high standards and proven in vintage racing with a plethora of the right stuff. – Consignment #4019. ‘Fast’ hardly begins to describe this Camaro. It may not be any individual’s inventory of go-fast dreams but it’s enough of them, or close enough, not to make any difference. It couldn’t be duplicated for twice the price it brought here and is as clean, sharp and crisp as any fastidious racer concerned about safety as much as speed could ask. It’s a bargain at this price.
Lot # S699 1958 Volkswagen Type 2 Deluxe Microbus 23-Window; S/N 324116; Sealing Wax Red, Chocolate Brown/Beige vinyl; Recent restoration, 2- condition; Hammered Sold at $68,000 plus commission of 10.00%; Final Price $74,800 – Blaupunkt AM-FM, 3-row seating, folding black cloth sunroof, roof rack, hubcaps, trim rings, blackwall Pirelli Cinturato radial tires, Safari windshield – Freshly restored to a good standard but let down by details like weak aluminum side trim and window trim painted black over old pits. Good interior and sunroof. Underbody and suspension are done and like new. An attractive beach wagon. – Consignment #4058. People love 23-window Microbusses, not least in southern California. This is a sound and usable example, but with several shortcuts and the new engine not to show quality presentation. It brought a reasonable price for what it is.
Lot # S714 1971 Mercedes-Benz 280SE 3.5 Convertible Conversion; S/N 11102612002726; Black/Tan leather; Black cloth top; Modified restoration, 3- condition; Not sold at Hammer bid of $58,000 – Automatic, Behr A/C, Becker Europa AM-FM, wheelcovers, P/W, P/S, P/B – A remarkably unattractive cut car. Thick repaint, scuffed stainless, surface cracked upholstery. Dirty edges and corners, dirty engine. – Consignment #4354. It’s rare that the term ‘despicable’ creeps into these reports, but it does here. This is a despicable, dirty, used, neglected, cut 280SE 3.5 that would be no bargain even at half this price. It sold at Branson Fall in 2010 for $18,360, a price much more appropriate to its history and condition but then brought $50,600 at Russo and Steele in Monterey in 2011. It is hopelessly underwater and should have been on its way to a new home at $20,000.
Lot # S723 1957 Mercedes-Benz 190SL Roadster; S/N 1210407502005; Black/Camel leather; Beige cloth top; Concours restoration, 1 condition; Reported sold but not confirmed – Becker Mexico AM-FM, fitted luggage behind the seats and in the trunk, hubcaps, trim rings, whitewalls – Freshly and elaborately restored with flat panels, flush fits, even gaps, excellent paint, sumptuous new interior, sharp gauges and brilliant chrome. A show car, beyond perfect. – Consignment #4013. Sold by Worldwide at Houston in 2006 for $67,100, it has been improved by, among other things, the elaborate set of fitted luggage and lavish attention to details. My recollection is that it did not sell on the block, and Russo and Steele declined to provide a result.
Lot # S727 1952 Jaguar XK 120 Roadster; S/N 672509; Engine # W5374-8; White/Dark Red leather; No top; Older restoration, 3- condition; Not sold at Hammer bid of $95,000 – White painted wire wheels, blackwall tires, luggage rack, fender mirrors, partial skirts around the rear wheelwells. Bluemels 4-spoke woodrim steering wheel – Unfilled holes for tonneau snaps and left side mirror. No top or frame. Good recent paint, chrome and interior, sharp gauges. Represented as 92,931 original miles and one owner. Lovely steering wheel with original but crazed Jaguar center. Orderly but older underbody. Poor deck lid fit. No clip for hood prop, missing coolant overflow tank cap (not that XK 120s had a coolant overflow tank.) Wheel nuts painted white. Head and block numbers are the same. Hood shows backfire smudges. Curiously incomplete and erratic. – Consignment #4267. If this is the ‘expensive, body-off-frame professional restoration’ it claimed the restorer must have specialized in violins or maybe been a professional plumber. It has so many flaws, shortcomings and defects it would be only barely acceptable as a restoration project. It’s a $40,000 car, and the reported high bid is meaningless.
Lot # S731 1971 Chevrolet Corvette LS6 Convertible; S/N 194671S111905; White/Black leather; White vinyl top; Visually maintained, largely original, 3+ condition; Not sold at Hammer bid of $175,000 – 454/425hp LS6, 4-speed, P/B, Rally wheels with trim rings, Wide Oval tires, AM-FM – Represented as numbers-matching. Delivered new to Chevrolet Engineering. Good paint, chrome, interior and top. Not restored but well maintained. – Consignment #4298. It’s the Chevy Engineering history that makes this Corvette interesting. This interesting? Probably not.
Lot # S732 1966 Shelby Mustang GT350 Fastback; S/N SFM6S1747; Sapphire Blue, White stripes/Black; Older restoration, 2 condition; Hammered Sold at $152,000 plus commission of 10.00%; Final Price $167,200 – 302 (or maybe 289)/306hp, 4-speed, 5-spoke Shelby wheels, Pirelli P4000 tires, woodrim steering wheel, Sport Deck rear seat – Very good older restoration with good paint, chrome, interior and glass. Good panel fits and gaps. Orderly, like new underhood. K-code block not original to the car along with lots of other ‘date-coded’ parts that smack of a derelict carcass resurrected from nearly nothing. – Consignment #4011. When is a Shelby not a Shelby? When it’s filled with ‘date-coded’ parts. The Shelby Registry record on 6S1747 in not encouraging. This one is discounted a little, but not enough, for its elaborate reconstruction and is not a good value.
Lot # S734 1957 Chevrolet Corvette FI Convertible; S/N E57S101885; Engine # F1221EL; Venetian Red, Ivory coves/Red vinyl; White vinyl top; Recent restoration, 2+ condition; Not sold at Hammer bid of $90,000 – 283/283hp, 4-speed, WonderBar radio, spinner wheel covers, whitewalls – Sharp, thorough restoration with excellent paint, chrome, top, glass and interior. Better than new underhood. As good as it gets except for the big ugly chip on the back of the driver’s door. – Consignment #4023. This Corvette was reported sold for $193,600 at Barrett-Jackson Scottsdale in January. That price was about as out-of-bounds high as the reported bid here was low. But, please, before it crosses the block again, fix the door chip and better align the door. Thank you.
Lot # S736 1967 Chevrolet Corvette Roadster; S/N 194677S100335; Engine # T ??C 7100335; White, Black stinger/Black; Black vinyl top; Recent restoration, 2 condition; Not sold at Hammer bid of $130,000 – 427/400hp, 4-speed, AM-FM, Rally wheels, trim rings, red line tires, side exhausts, transistor ignition, tinted glass – Restored like new, Bloomington Gold certified. Represented as matching numbers although the Tonawanda engine number is illegible. Documented with its tank sticker. Very good paint, chrome, top and engine compartment. Sharp and clean. – Consignment #4096. A really sharp, clean Corvette with desirable 3×2 hydraulic lifter engine, but one that could have been sold gladly for the reported high bid.
Russo and Steele Newport Beach 2013 – Auction Report Page Six
Lot # S739 1952 Tojeiro-MG Barchetta Sports Racer; S/N RMS1; Silver/Tan leatherette; Competition restoration, 3+ condition; Hammered Sold at $145,000 plus commission of 10.00%; Final Price $159,500 – RHD, drum brakes with wide-5 wheels, leather hood and trunk tie downs, wood rim steering wheel, engine turned dash, flip up fuel filler. – Clean and orderly underhood. Chassis sprayed all over with chassis black. – Consignment #4127. An important car in the lineage of the AC Ace, Aceca and Bristols leading to the Cobra. Sold by RM in Arizona in 2011 for $143,000, then by RM in Monterey last August for $154,000. This result is consistent with the earlier sales, but begs the question why it has been an unsatisfying ownership experience twice in the last two years? The answer is probably in the 1,467cc MG powerplant’s diminutive power, a handicap that keeps it from keeping up even on the many events for which it is eligible. It looks so cool, but it isn’t fast. Experience demonstrates that this is what it’s worth.
Lot # S741 1969 Ford Mustang Boss 429 Fastback; S/N 9F02Z173010; White/Black vinyl; Cosmetic restoration, 3+ condition; Not sold at Hammer bid of $165,000 – 429/370hp, 4-speed, pushbutton radio, 3.91 Traction-Lok, P/S, P/B – KK#1520. Good paint, chrome and interior. Underbody repainted over old undercoat. – Consignment #4261. Passed at a reported bid of $175,000 at Mecum Monterey last year, then sold at Mecum Anaheim in November for $185,500. The Boss-Nine is a fading fascination these days, as this bid indicates.
Lot # S743 1970 Dodge Challenger R/T Hemi 2-Dr. Hardtop; S/N JS23R0B224047; Blue/Black vinyl; Older restoration, 2- condition; Not sold at Hammer bid of $155,000 – 426/425hp, single 4-barrel, 4-speed, Hurst pistol grip shifter, black shaker hood, woodgrain steering wheel, pushbutton radio, silver Rally wheels with trim rings and Radial T/A tires, Sure Grip – Represented as numbers-matching. Restored like new a long time ago and still nearly pristine. – Consignment #4112. Reported sold from the Barrett-Jackson Scottsdale Showroom (didn’t cross the block) in 2008 for $182,000, then at B-J in Orange County in 2011 for $215,600, this nearly pristine Hemi Challenger illustrates the rise and fall of the Hemi in recent years. It wasn’t ignored here, just bid to a reasonable price in a market that has passed the Hemi by.
Lot # S744 2004 Porsche Carrera GT; S/N WP0CA29834L001064; Silver/Dark Grey; Unrestored original, 2- condition; Hammered Sold at $270,000 plus commission of 10.00%; Final Price $297,000 – A/C, Alpine stereo, fitted luggage, Yellow calipers, carbon discs, centerlock alloy wheels – Lightly used and nearly as-delivered. Production #124, US-spec from new. – Consignment #4248. While walking around Newport Beach someone asked me about the late model cars in the auction. I couldn’t remember what Porsche called this one, a magnificent supercar with Porsche levels of fit, finish, function and blistering performance. It is a triumph of [dated] technology. Their value peaked when they were nearly new and now have fallen off to this level as well as being un-memorable. A lot of automobile for a quarter-million dollars, but not destined to be worth more.
Lot # S745 1973 Ferrari Dino 246 GTS; S/N 05720; Yellow/Black leather; Recent restoration, 2- condition; Not sold at Hammer bid of $360,000 – Chairs and Flairs, Becker Mexico cassette, Campagnolo alloy wheels, Michelin X tires, A/C – Very good paint, chrome and interior. A few waves in the right door but flush panel fits and even gaps. Bright shiny engine. Window felts not replaced. Dirt and dust in black roof panel paint. Fresh, clean and a real eye-catcher albeit with some faults that call its presentation into question. – Consignment #4049. Sold by RM in a post-block transaction in Arizona in January for $400,000. Realists ask if Dinos can continue to maintain their margin over (or at least parity with) contemporary V-12 Ferraris like Daytonas. This transaction may hint at the answer. An informed observer related his (admittedly unique) experience of being sucked into the vortex of a Lexus SUV driven by a Newport Beach soccer mom while showing off a Dino. It’s time to re-balance the scales.
Lot # S747 1967 Ferrari 330 GTC; S/N 9159; Silver/Black leather; Older restoration, 2- condition; Not sold at Hammer bid of $505,000 – Centerlock alloy wheels, A/C, Michelin X blackwall tires, no radio – Very good paint, chrome and interior. Chip behind driver’s door, coachline paint worn. Good instruments and dash. Underbody painted assembled and over old undercoat. Door edge seals missing. Very clean and orderly underhood. An attractive and well maintained older European restoration. – Consignment #4034. This is just a good, sound, honest GTC and it brought a good, sound bid. Recent results for similar cars have exalted owners’ expectations and this result may signal a welcome reset for a car built in some 900 units.
Lot # S748 2008 Bugatti Veyron; S/N VF9SA25C08M795197; Red/Beluga Black; Unrestored original, 2 condition; Hammered Sold at $980,000 plus commission of 10.00%; Final Price $1,078,000 – Polished alloy wheels, nav system, Burmeister audio, Red seat stitching – Chip guarded all over (!). Like new. – Consignment #4285. Someone who shall remain nameless commented, ‘The Veyron drives like a regular car, with bad visibility, until you tip too far into the throttle and the turbos kick in. Then it will kill the unsuspecting or unskilled.’ In arrest-me red that’s not a good combination.
Lot # S749 1953 Chevrolet Corvette Roadster; S/N E53F001083; White/Red; Visually maintained, largely original, 3+ condition; Not sold at Hammer bid of $220,000 – Wheel covers, Powerglide, heater, wide whitewall tires, WonderBar radio – Good old repaint with chips and scratches. Good interior. Dash top cracked. Good chrome. A strong, consistent cosmetically restored and maintained Corvette. – Consignment #4018. The ’53 Corvette is an essential element of collections of American cars, and even more for Corvette collectors. Bid to $200,000 at Mecum’s Bloomington Gold auction last June, this Corvette doesn’t have some significant endorsements, like Bloomington Gold or NCRS, and spends no small amount of its description talking about casting numbers and dates. The bidders cast their vote here and at Bloomington and the consignor should take note of the message.
Lot # S753 1963 Porsche 356B Super Cabriolet, Body by Reutter; S/N 158169; Engine # P705706; Red/Black leather; Black cloth top; Modified restoration, 3+ condition; Hammered Sold at $115,000 plus commission of 10.00%; Final Price $126,500 – Chrome wheels, Dunlop blackwalls, Blaupunkt multiband radio, woodrim Porsche steering wheel, 12 volt electrics – Good paint, chrome, interior and top. Original engine upgraded with Weber carbs,1,750cc barrels and ported and polished heads during restoration. Shows a little use and age but still a clean and orderly driver. – Consignment #4269. A choice Porsche with enhanced power that makes it even more fun (or diabolical) to drive fast. It was sold at RM Monterey in 2006 for $88,000 before its responsible modifications and brought a reasonable price here after much negotiation.
Lot # S766 1979 Toyota FJ40 Land Cruiser Sport Utility; S/N FJ40299273; Blue, White roof/Dark Grey; Cosmetic restoration, 2 condition; Hammered Sold at $30,000 plus commission of 10.00%; Final Price $33,000. No Reserve – White wheels, BFG Mud-Terrain T/A tires, roll bar, rear mounted spare, fog lights, CD stereo, original tool kit, owner’s manual and floor mats – Represented as 75,788 miles from new. Very good paint, good interior. Chassis restored to showroom condition. Exterior painted over old paint. Done nearly like new to standards appropriate for an FJ40. – Consignment #4008. Flavor of the day with a sound and well preserved 2005 restoration that brought a modest price in light of recent FJ40 transactions for freshly and meticulously restored examples (which this isn’t). The Newport Beach bidders put a realistic value on this FJ40.
[Source: Rick Carey]
Very well done. Although our car was sold at the auction and not listed by Rick in the description of cars, I could not have read a better perspective on the auction and the cars. Since our car was in the family for 35 years and this will be our one and only auction I am not sure my skin is thick enough for his very candid perspective. Thanks for the article. Lee
Russo & Steele is quickly becoming known as Rustle & Steal by those misfortunate to have done business with them!
That was not my experience as a first time seller, non dealer or flipper.
Reporting high bids on unsold lots does a disservice to your readers – there is no way to ever determine if an alleged high bid is real, a shill or a ‘chandelier bid.’
I agree that reporting high bids on no-sales is fraught, but:
a) I spend a lot of time writing up cars before they cross the block, some of them interesting both to me and to readers. Without a transaction value to report, especially in sales without published pre-sale estimates, there’s nothing to hang the ultimate report on.
b) Declining a reported high bid is, in itself, an event of note, particularly when the reported high bid is reasonable.
c) In olden times (back in the Sixties and Seventies) auction companies regularly reported the high bid without distinguishing whether the lot actually changed hands or not. I’m not saying that’s right, but that’s how they did it. Some auctioneers (Malcolm Barber comes to mind) routinely close bidding on unsold lots with ambiguous statements that are, unless the onlooker is skilled in interpreting that particular ambiguity, sometimes misinterpreted as sold.
I feel there is some information value in the reported high bid. The reader may evaluate that reported high bid, in light of the ambiguity, and has the choice of deriving some information value from it, or disregarding it.
I make the information available. Use it as you will, but you are in the end wiser and better informed from having it even if you make the choice to disregard it.
Great candid analysis. Amazes and saddens me how many of these cars continue to get flipped.
I have an ’82 Renault R5 Le Car… perfect…. been on blocks… white and all orig.
What would it bring in $?
….oh yeah, the Le Car has sunroof as well.
I still find them interesting, but agree that it might be appropriate to provide a reminder to readers.
Reminder of what?
Hi Rick, do you have a contact email?. I have a question for you regarding your old website and some information that you might have. I am a Auction information geek….. Cheers Timothy Russell.
Sorry, my response was to the brakeservo comment regarding real bids – – that it would help to remind folks about some of the dynamics of what happens at these auctions. You have since responded directly in a candid/honest way, which is appreciated.