Report and photos by Rick Carey, Auction Editor
Worldwide Auctioneers held the Classics at the Taj Mahal auction on Friday, February 18th, 2011, at the Trump Taj Mahal Hotel Casino in Atlantic City, New Jersey, running in conjunction with G. Potter King’s Atlantic City Auction & Show.
The “G. Potter King” February Atlantic City event has been an East Coast destination for approaching a generation.
A vast swap meet and vendor event, Atlantic City is, with apologies to Craig Jackson’s vision for Barrett-Jackson, the prototype for a collector car event built around an auction.
A few years ago, 2004 to be exact, “G. Potter King” held its first premium sale at the newly opened Borgata Hotel and Casino. Two years later the premium sale moved to the Trump Taj Mahal.
The venue was little help.
Trotting some select cars across the auction block doesn’t bring bidders, a concept that was lost on “G. Potter King’s” team. The sales were, in a word, disappointing. “Frustrating” might be better.
2011, however, brought Rod Egan’s and John Kruse’s Worldwide team to the Taj to do the premium sale.
It was a different story.
There was a catalog and the consigned cars were committed and promoted in advance so bidders could make plans to attend – and there are plenty of bidders in the Northeast for whom Atlantic City is an established event – and know what to expect. Quality was emphasized.
With a 51.7% sell-through and $2,823,700 in total sales Worldwide’s first Atlantic City “Classics at the Trump Taj Mahal” didn’t establish a benchmark among recent catalog sales. It did, however, establish a benchmark in Atlantic City, proving that a competent, dedicated team could turn dross into precious metal.
Will The Taj 2012 be better?
Bet on it.
(See Reference – Auctions Explained, A Note on Conditions and Character).
Worldwide Auctioneers Atlantic City Auction 2011 – Report
Lot # 01 1949 MG TC Roadster; S/N TC/EXU7617; Engine # XPAG8269; Light Blue/Beige leather; Beige cloth top; Estimate $25,000 - $35,000; Older restoration, 3+ condition; Hammered Sold at $24,000 plus commission of 10.00%; Final Price $26,400 -- RHD. Silver painted wire wheels, blackwall tires, fog light, badge bar, woodrim Moto-Lita steering wheel. U.S. export model. Presentable and sound older paint, chrome, interior and top. An attractive driver. Two owners the last 50 years, engine rebuilt in 2009. No Reserve. This is a reasonable car, and this is a reasonable price for it.
Lot # 12 1947 Cadillac Series 62 Convertible Coupe; S/N 8442708; Belden Blue/Blue leather; Blue cloth top; Estimate $75,000 - $100,000; Older restoration, 1 condition; Hammered Sold at $65,000 plus commission of 10.00%; Final Price $71,500 -- Hydra-Matic, P/W, P/seat, P/top, sombrero wheel covers, wide whitewalls, pushbutton radio. Excellent paint, chrome, interior and top. Show quality restoration a decade ago that is still bright and fresh. This is an extraordinary car, and maybe an even more extraordinary restoration to have held up so well with so little evidence of wear or age. The price reflects the quality of the car and is fair to both the buyer and the seller.
Lot # 15 1970 Plymouth 'Cuda Convertible; S/N BS27V0B242372; Tor-Red/Black vinyl; Black top; Estimate $225,000 - $325,000; Older restoration, 2- condition; Not sold at Hammer bid of $125,000 -- 440/390hp, Slap Stick automatic, P/S, P/B, pushbutton radio, woodgrain steering wheel, rally wheels. Represented as matching numbers. While represented as a freshly completed long-term restoration it has the appearance of a very nice older restoration to like new condition. The presentation isn't fresh, and needs detailing. The bidders didn't particularly take to this 'Cuda, understandable in light of its confused presentation. While desirable, the V-code 440 Six Pack doesn't double the value of its 4-barrel counterparts and while this bid was light it wasn't nearly as light as the estimate range indicates.
Lot # 16 1948 Chevrolet Fleetmaster Station Wagon; S/N FAA305017; Oxford Maroon/Brown leatherette; Estimate $50,000 - $65,000; Visually maintained, largely original, 3- condition; Hammered Sold at $35,500 plus commission of 10.00%; Final Price $39,050 -- 3-speed, pushbutton radio, 3-row seating, hubcaps, whitewalls, rear-mounted spare, heater, clock. Failing old repaint. Sound original interior except pulled driver's seat seam. Grubby old carpets under rubber mats. Good refinished wood. Passenger's outside door handle doesn't work and no lock cylinder on driver's door. Real shabby chic. No Reserve. This is a vacation home workhorse, a delightful and sound old Chevy wagon that needs nothing beyond continuing care and attention and an occasional sanding and revarnish of the largely original wood body. It was bought right here and has real profit potential if parked on Nantucket or Block Island or in Easthampton with a ‘For Sale’ sign in the window.
Lot # 18 1936 Cord 810 Convertible Coupe 'Sportsman'; S/N 2492F; Engine # FB2540; Black/Brown leather; Estimate $200,000 - $220,000; Older restoration, 2- condition; Hammered Sold at $180,000 plus commission of 10.00%; Final Price $198,000 -- Excellent paint, chrome, glass and interior. A quality older restoration to like new. Even done inside the doors. Chassis starting to show some age and use but otherwise hard to fault. ACD certified, AACA Grand National winner in 1987. Sold by RM in Arizona in 2009 for $181,500, this car has changed little (including the odometer which still shows the same mileage it did in 2009) in either condition or value. This is a modest premium over a Phaeton in comparable condition, yet a much more rare body style, one of only 194 built. A sound value in a rare Cord.
Lot # 19 1969 Chevrolet Camaro Berger COPO 2-Dr. Hardtop; S/N 124379N647855; Red, Black vinyl roof/Black vinyl; Estimate $150,000 - $200,000; Older restoration, 2 condition; Hammered Sold at $96,000 plus commission of 10.00%; Final Price $105,600 -- 427/425hp, 4-speed, Rally wheels, P/B, cowl induction, radio delete, chrome front bumper, heater, front spoiler, rear wing. Double COPO with L72 engine and Sports Car Conversion delivered through Berger Chevrolet in Grand Rapids, Michigan. COPO Connection documented. Excellent restoration to like new. Great cosmetics. No longer fresh, but very close. For a double COPO 4-speed restored to showroom quality this price is nothing if not modest. Maybe it was the black vinyl covered roof? Whatever it was, the buyer got a great car at a modest price.
Lot # 20 1965 Shelby Mustang GT350 Fastback; S/N SFM5S110; White, Blue stripes/Black vinyl; Estimate $175,000 - $225,000; Recent restoration, 2+ condition; Hammered Sold at $157,500 plus commission of 10.00%; Final Price $173,250 -- 4-speed, dash top tach and oil pressure gauge pod, Cragar alloy center wheels, 7.75-15 Goodyear Blue Dot tires. Ford VIN 5R09K165880 verified by SAAC. Engine replaced many years ago during an active drag racing career. Restored better than new with many accurate period features like the seatbelts and Cragar wheels. No Reserve. The replacement engine is a problem for this car's value but the rest of the presentation and the caliber of the restoration go a long way to making up for it. The result here represents a healthy discount for the engine, and a good value for the buyer. It would not have been expensive if it had hammered sold at the low estimate.
Lot # 21 1932 Auburn 12-160A Boattail Speedster; S/N 2793E; Black, Pumpkin accent/Black leather; Black cloth top; Estimate $350,000 - $450,000; Concours restoration, 1- condition; Hammered Sold at $255,000 plus commission of 10.00%; Final Price $280,500 -- Free-wheeling, Bijur chassis lubrication, Dual Ratio, ride control, Startix, Woodlite headlights, dual sidemounts with mirrors. A magnificent older restoration with an original Auburn boattail body from an eight on an ACD certified 12-160 chassis and engine. CCCA Senior #2450. Displayed at the ACD Museum. Great colors, too. Needs absolutely nothing. Sold by RM in Novi, Michigan in 2002 for $159,000 when freshly restored, then reported sold by Kruse in Boca Raton, Florida in 2009 for $594,000. The result here is more appropriately related to the car's value, but it could have brought more without being unreasonable. It is a good value at the price it brought today.
Lot # 23 1953 Chevrolet Corvette Roadster; S/N E53R001273; Polo White/Red; Black cloth top; Estimate $260,000 - $290,000; Older restoration, 2- condition; Not sold at Hammer bid of $175,000 -- An older restoration to like new with careful attention to cosmetics and finishes. Shows age and some dribbles under the hood but still very nice. California Black Plate. Careful attention to details and cleanup of the dust and dribbles would result in a show quality Corvette. The seller's reluctance to accept the reported high bid is understandable.
Lot # 24 1954 Chevrolet Corvette Roadster; S/N E54S003639; Polo White/Red; Beige cloth top; Estimate $85,000 - $95,000; Visually maintained, largely original, 3+ condition; Not sold at Hammer bid of $67,000 -- Powerglide, factory hardtop. Good repaint, otherwise original and very impressive. Dusty and dirty underhood and chassis but the original patina is priceless. Sold by Worldwide in Seabrook, Texas last May for $77,000, so it's not surprising the owner was unwilling to accept the bid here. It might be difficult to find a buyer willing to pay a premium price for this 54's originality, compromised as it is by age and a repaint.
Lot # 25 1955 Chevrolet Corvette Roadster; S/N VE55S001139; Engine # 1391F55FG; Red/White; Estimate $135,000 - $155,000; Recent restoration, 2- condition; Not sold at Hammer bid of $90,000 -- 265/195hp, Powerglide, wheel covers, WonderBar radio, electric wipers, whitewalls. Restored to like new with better cosmetics. Excellent paint, chrome and glass. Chassis and underbody are not as good and show road use without being cleaned up afterward. This is a nice Corvette, and one well worth a six-figure price.
Lot # 26 1932 Cadillac 452-B V-16 All-Weather Phaeton; S/N 1400208; Maroon, Black fenders/Grey leather; Beige cloth top; Estimate $300,000 - $375,000; Older restoration, 2- condition; Not sold at Hammer bid of $240,000 -- Pilot-Rays, dual enclosed sidemounts with mirrors, spotlight, wire wheel trim rings, rollup rear windshield. Known history from new. Quality older restoration to concours quality except for paint which is thick and lacks definition, however the 1980's restoration is holding up extremely well and the car is both well equipped and rare. One of 13 built and 3 known authentic survivors in this body style. Sold for $270,000 at Barrett-Jackson Scottsdale in 2004 but only $135,000 at the same sale a year later, then reportedly brought $302,400 at Auburn Fall in 2005 and $231,000 at the Gooding Scottsdale sale in 2009. In each case it's been preserved and presented in similar condition to the way it appeared here. The seller sensibly decided to hold out for a little more, and a little more would still be good value to a new owner.
Lot # 27 1954 Oldsmobile Ninety-Eight Starfire Convertible; S/N 549C4689; Capri Blue, Baltic Blue/Two tone Dark Blue; Blue vinyl top; Estimate $65,000 - $85,000; Cosmetic restoration, 2- condition; Hammered Sold at $54,000 plus commission of 10.00%; Final Price $59,400 -- 324/185hp Rocket V-8, Hydra-Matic, P/S, P/B, WonderBar radio, spinner wheelcovers, P/W, padded dash. Ex-Charlie Cawley. Flawed repaint on rear deck, some dull stainless. Good interior. Clean but aged and used underhood. Chassis undercoated like new. It's easy to overlook this Oldsmobile's flaws under the spell of its obvious eye-appeal and quality. Sold for $45,650 at RM's Meadow Brook auction in 2009 and still a good value at this price, Chevy money for a V-8 Oldsmobile.
Lot # 28 1959 Chevrolet Impala Convertible; S/N F59L128681; Garnet Red/Red vinyl; White vinyl top; Estimate $60,000 - $75,000; Cosmetic restoration, 4+ condition; Not sold at Hammer bid of $42,000 -- 348/280hp Tri-Power V-8, automatic transmission, P/B, P/S, continental kit, rear antenna, spotlight-mirror. Quick old repaint and interior kit now showing age and use. Old, dirty undercoat on chassis. Thin, dull, peeling brightwork. A superficial cosmetic restoration that is rapidly coming apart. The seller would have been wise to accept this bid if it represented real money. The configuration and car are worth more, but the presentation is severely lacking, something the reported high bid reflects.
Lot # 30 1957 Lincoln Premier Convertible; S/N 57WA29002L; Bermuda Coral/Coral, Black, White leather; Black cloth top; Estimate $110,000 - $130,000; Recent restoration, 1 condition; Hammered Sold at $100,000 plus commission of 10.00%; Final Price $110,000 -- Town & Country radio, padded dash, P/S, P/B, P/seat, P/antenna. AACA Senior National award winner, Lincoln Continental Owner's Club Best of Show winner plus many others. Excellent paint, chrome, interior, top and glass let down only by lower windshield trim rechromed over pits. No Reserve. This is a superb car in dramatic colors that is worth every penny of the premium price it brought. A lovely car that the new owner will be proud to own and drive (carefully.)
Lot # 31 1962 Chevrolet Corvette FI Roadster Competition; S/N 20867S104942; Engine # 2104942 F 1214RF; Red, Black accent/Black vinyl; Estimate $275,000 - $325,000; Competition restoration, 2- condition; Not sold at Hammer bid of $235,000 -- 327/360hp fuel injection, 4-speed, RPO 687 big brake, big tank, radio delete, chrome rollbar, hubcaps, blackwall 6.70-15 bias ply tires, hardtop, quick release fuel filler. Unusual but attractive paint treatment with black off-center stripe and accent outline around body features. Good older restoration largely to like new, as-originally raced configuration. Good paint and upholstery. Scuffed stainless trim, good hardtop windows. Clean and orderly underhood. Represented as a race car from new, there was scant documentation of its racing history, an oversight which makes the reported high bid, or anything even close to it, sufficient to earn a new home. It could have been sold without significant regret if there was money anywhere close to the high bid.
Lot # 33 1957 Ford Thunderbird Convertible; S/N F7FH340042; Black; Black hardtop/Red; Estimate $200,000 - $230,000; Older restoration, 2- condition; Not sold at Hammer bid of $150,000 -- 312/300hp supercharged, 3-speed with overdrive, Town & Country radio, heater, hubcaps, whitewalls, porthole hardtop only. A quality older restoration to like new condition but now aged and dirty underhood. Good paint, chrome and interior. This car should have been loose and selling at the reported high bid, even with the rare overdrive 3-speed.
Lot # 34 1934 Packard 1101 Eight Coupe; S/N 71831; Red, Burgundy roof and accent/Black leather; Estimate $110,000 - $130,000; Cosmetic restoration, 3+ condition; Hammered Sold at $84,000 plus commission of 10.00%; Final Price $92,400 -- Dual enclosed sidemounts with mirrors, red wire wheels, wide whitewalls, rumble seat, clock, radio, luggage trunk, Trippe lights. 49,724 miles. Fair fresh repaint with incompletely wet sanded orange peel and dust. Good interior and chrome. A usable and showy but unimpressive cosmetic redo. As nice as it is, it's only (sic) an Eight and it's a coupe. It was reported sold in Hershey in 2003 for $58,575 with subsequent indifferent attention to its cosmetic presentation. Its price here is appropriate to its specifications and the mediocrity of its paint job.
Lot # 36 1936 Auburn 852 Supercharged Phaeton Sedan; S/N 35708H; Black/Maroon leather; Black cloth top; Estimate $175,000 - $250,000; Concours restoration, 1 condition; Hammered Sold at $170,000 plus commission of 10.00%; Final Price $187,000 -- Wide trim rings, hubcaps, blackwall tires, subtle chrome and outside exhaust head pipes, dual ratio axle. 2001 AACA National First Prize #W14572. ACD National Best of Show, multiple 100 point judging, CCCA Senior. A beautiful, aggressive-looking handsome automobile that heaps credit on Auburn's reputation for stylish performance. A gorgeous car. This car brought just $38,900 at Mecum's Arlington, Illinois auction in 1998. It's gotten the treatment since then, including doing away with the Black Cherry paint job and the accessory trumpet horns on the left front fender. The result is record money for an 852 Phaeton Sedan, and it deserves every penny it brought.
Lot # 37 1960 Morris Minor 1000 Estate Wagon; S/N MAW3L729733; Green/Dark Red vinyl; Estimate $20,000 - $30,000; Visually maintained, largely original, 3- condition; Hammered Sold at $11,000 plus commission of 10.00%; Final Price $12,100 -- Superficial old repaint over minimal prep, wood sloppily revarnished over some poor joint and rot repairs. Good upholstery. Chassis, underbody and engine are original. Body and most of the wood are sound and only need competent attention. No Reserve. This is a project car, or at best a workhorse weekend runabout, and it brought a fair price for what it is. It will take effort and money to realize its potential, enough effort and money that it's probably better left alone, used, enjoyed and treated to some occasional attention to keep it presentable. As it is this is an appealing little driver that has no severe flaws and will reward its new owner with envious looks from both casual and informed onlookers. Mention the price and buyers will appear unbidden.
Lot # 39 1967 Jaguar XKE SI 4.2 Roadster; S/N 1E15633; Maroon/Black leather; Black leatherette top; Estimate $100,000 - $120,000; Unrestored original, 3+ condition; Hammered Sold at $76,000 plus commission of 10.00%; Final Price $83,600 -- 4-speed, no radio, chrome wire wheels, blackwall tires, trunk guard. Open headlight Series 1 1/2. Windshield delaminating. Good original paint, top and chrome. Stretched but sound upholstery. Dirty underbody. 9,710 miles and effectively two owners from new. Even the tires are original. Sold by Worldwide in Seabrook, Texas in 2008 for $90,000 with 9,648 miles on the odometer, just 62 less than it has today. A Jaguar time capsule that deserves a Survivor award from someone. Perhaps best bought by a Jaguar XKE restoration specialist as an example of how these cars were built in Coventry. The price makes sense, and includes a healthy premium of $20-30,000 for originality.
Lot # 40 1957 Cadillac Eldorado Biarritz Convertible; S/N 5762095559; Elysian Green/Elysian Green leather; Elysian Green top; Estimate $250,000 - $350,000; Concours restoration, 1 condition; Hammered Sold at $225,000 plus commission of 10.00%; Final Price $247,500 -- Dual 4-barrels, batwing air cleaner, full complement of options including cold, functional factory A/C. Restored to beyond perfection with flawless paint, chrome, glass, top and everything else. A drop dead gorgeous Cadillac that will stop traffic anywhere it appears. AACA Senior, Cadillac LaSalle Grand National and Amelia Island Class winner. No Reserve. Stunning, not only in the caliber of its restoration but also in the attractive and unusual colors. The restoration shows no evidence of age or use. A superb, eye-catching automobile that brought an appropriate premium price. It gets no better than this.
Lot # 45 1904 Thomas Model K 60hp Flyer Racer; S/N 2735; Yellow/Black; Estimate $350,000 - $500,000; Rebodied or re-created, 1- condition; Hammered Sold at $275,000 plus commission of 10.00%; Final Price $302,500 -- RHD. Six cylinder 750 cubic inch engine, double chain drive, white tires, oval bolster tank, dual rear-mounted spares, no windshield or weather equipment. Excellent paint. Made up from a few old parts and factory drawings to reproduce a long-lost relic of early American racing history, built for the Vanderbilt Cup race. The experience of driving this Thomas will be life-altering and it may have some potential as a vintage race and tour car. Dating authentication will be difficult to attain, but if it can be acquired there's a place for it in the London to Brighton Veteran Car Run where it’s dating will be a late starter, but its performance will be an early finisher. The seller should be grateful to get this much for it even though the cost of creating it may be much more that what was realized. A few details (like step plates to get in and out) will be appreciated.
Lot # 46 1956 Chevrolet Corvette Roadster; S/N E56S001931; Arctic Blue, Silver coves/Beige vinyl; Estimate $70,000 - $90,000; Older restoration, 2- condition; Hammered Sold at $60,000 plus commission of 10.00%; Final Price $66,000 -- 265/225hp, dual 4-barrel carbs, 3-speed, spinner wheel covers, whitewalls, WonderBar radio. Good older restoration showing age on the underbody, chassis and in the depths of the engine compartment. Excellent paint and chrome. Good interior. No number on engine block. An attractive older restoration with desirable engine and transmission combination, this result is a good value in a rare Corvette.
Lot # 47 1960 Chrysler 300F 2-Dr. Hardtop Flying Mile Special; S/N 8403110398; /; Estimate $350,000 - $500,000; Visually maintained, largely original, 3+ condition; Not sold at Hammer bid of $240,000 -- 413/400hp, cross ram dual quad, 4-speed, P/W. NASCAR flying mile record holder at 144.978 mph driven by Greg Ziegler. Mostly original, with some paintwork. 11,284 miles. Good chrome and interior. Comes with its original wheels and special Goodyear record tires as well as a bundle of historic materials, Chrysler correspondence and even the original Rupert Parachute seat belt. A particularly neat, historic and rare car. Mecum Auctions tried to sell this car at Monterey last August, reporting a high bid of $275,000 for it. With this result in Atlantic City the seller should perhaps get the hint that the estimate range is a pipe dream. It is a wonderful car, but it has to be placed in the context of others.
Lot # 48 1969 Chevrolet Camaro Z/28 2-Dr. Hardtop; S/N 124379N589137; Azure Turquoise, White stripes/White vinyl; Estimate $125,000 - $150,000; Recent restoration, 2+ condition; Not sold at Hammer bid of $85,000 -- 302, repro cross ram dual quad, JL8 4-wheel disc brakes, 4-speed, pushbutton radio, Rally wheels with trim rings, Wide Tread GT E70-15 tires, P/S, P/B, front and rear spoilers, tinted windshield, cowl induction. Restored better than new. Excellent paint, chrome, interior and glare. Flat panels, even gaps. Documented numbers-matching with Protect-o-Plate. Extremely rare and appropriately restored and maintained, a choice Camaro. This is a better car than the amount offered for it here. Even discounting the reproduction cross-ram, it is worth more than the reported high bid.
Lot # 52 1956 Dodge Custom 500 Super Tri-Power Royal Lancer; S/N 34974241; White, Black/White, Black vinyl; Estimate $55,000 - $65,000; Unrestored original, 3+ condition; Not sold at Hammer bid of $37,500 -- Super Red Ram 230 V8 with dealer added triple carburetors on an Offenhauser manifold, automatic, RCA Victor record player, P/S, Miles Instrument Company electronic miles/gallon gauge, spinner wheel covers, pushbutton radio, dual rear antennas, dual outside mirrors. One owner the last 50 years, all original including paint, 43,584 miles from new and looks the part with paint and chrome issues but too good to restore. Original upholstery preserved under old clear plastic covers. Abundant original documentation and even the original tires, car cover and manuals. Hard to value because it is so rare, not only in its configuration and drivetrain but also in its amazing originality, the bidders stayed well inside any safe range with this offer, something the owners reasonably declined. It wouldn't be expensive at $50,000 or a little more.
Lot # 53 1925 Lancia Lambda 4th Series Tourer; S/N 13023; Engine # 3069; Red/Black leather; Estimate $175,000 - $225,000; Cosmetic restoration, 3+ condition; Not sold at Hammer bid of $140,000 -- RHD. Jaeger 8-day clock, dual rear spares, black wire wheels, blackwall tires. Paint and upholstery are new, as is the chrome, and very shiny. Engine and chassis are older and show use but also good care. There was no, bupkus, zip history, however, a deficiency that is serious in a car like this. Pre-war Lancias like this are a hard sell if they're well documented. While they're wonderful technical exercises and great to drive they're vastly -- and somewhat unreasonably -- overshadowed by Alfas. In the absence of more background on this car it's going to be hard, if not impossible, to get even this much for it.
Lot # 56 1957 Ford Custom 300 Ranchero; S/N C7FK174433; Red, White/Red, White vinyl; Estimate $60,000 - $70,000; Recent restoration, 2+ condition; Hammered Sold at $55,000 plus commission of 10.00%; Final Price $60,500 -- 292/212hp, automatic, factory A/C, reclining seat, P/S, P/B, chrome Kelsey-Hayes wire wheels, whitewalls, P/W, grille guard, sill trim, padded dash, dual fender mirrors, skirts. Excellent paint, chrome and interior. Very thoroughly equipped and even more thoroughly restored, this Ranchero is too good for its more utilitarian duties, but beautiful to behold and will be a pleasure to drive. This is a premium price, but one more than deserved by the Ranchero and its restoration.
[Source: Rick Carey]
Outstanding report, as always, Rick. You hit many of the cars there about which I was interested in hearing.
This is awesome site. Excellent information once again! Thanks