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Worldwide Houston 2014 – Auction Report

Worldwide Auctions, Concours d’Elegance of Texas, Montgomery, Texas, May 3,2014

Worldwide Auctions returned to the La Torretta Resort in Montgomery, Texas for its third auction in conjunction with the Concours d’Elegance of Texas, bringing an intriguing variety of cars and a big crowd.

Competing for the first time with Antonio Brunet’s Motostalgia Auction at the Keels & Wheels Concours, Worldwide’s former site at the Lakewood Yacht Club in Seabrook, the good results posted by both auctions, and particularly Worldwide’s $6.7 million total, 80.4% sell-through, highlights the strength of the Texas collector car market.

These two auctions on the same weekend on opposite sides of the Houston metropolitan area also put in context other Texas auctions. These include Mecum’s $33.1 million Houston sale just two weeks before, Leake’s Dallas, Oklahoma City and Tulsa sales and the sales of Dan Kruse and Pete Vicari in Texas and nearby states to establish Texas as an important subset of the US collector car auction market.

Texas has always been significant when it comes to collections, and the collector activity seems to be following the cars and racking up some big numbers.

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While the number of cars offered was down 19% the offering was much more appropriate to the venue, with more opportunity to preview the cars before the auction and a presentation that moved quickly to an expeditious conclusion. Also worth noting is the substantial jump in the average transaction value, up nearly 20% even as the median transaction dropped 12.5%. This reflects a very good selection of quality cars, including twenty sold on hammer bid of six-figures.

It is unfortunate to see events squabbling with each other on the same weekend in the same MSA, even when it’s Greater Houston, the fifth largest and fastest growing MSA in the country with an area nearly as large as Massachusetts. Yet, with auctions crowding the calendar it is impossible to eliminate overlapping dates and, as has been so conclusively shown in Monterey and Phoenix, sometimes adding a second (or third, or fourth) auction to an existing successful venue generates synergies and reaches critical mass.

Worldwide Houston 2014 – Auction Report

1955 Beck-Porsche 550 RS Replica Spyder
Lot # 004 1955 Beck-Porsche 550 RS Replica Spyder; S/N 55000975; Silver-Grey/Black leather; No top; Estimate $40,000 – $60,000; Rebodied or re-created, 2 condition; Hammered Sold at $47,000 plus commission of 10.00%; Final Price $51,700. No Reserve – Full width Plexiglas windshield, driver’s head fairing, banjo spoke steering wheel. – Freshly done and very good. – Fun? Oh, yeah! And it’s impossible to argue with the price it brought just on the basis of the endorphin-release potential.
1919 Chevrolet 490 Touring
Lot # 005 1919 Chevrolet 490 Touring; S/N 337795; Burgundy, Black fenders/Black vinyl; Black cloth top; Estimate $20,000 – $30,000; Older restoration, 3+ condition; Hammered Sold at $12,000 plus commission of 10.00%; Final Price $13,200. No Reserve – Spotlight, Stewart speedometer, varnished wood spoke wheels, blackwall tires, rear-mounted spare, running board luggage fence. – Very good paint, good upholstery and top. Chassis is oily and grimy from road use. A sound and unusual touring car. – This is less than Model T money, for a 26hp overhead valve Chevrolet with a real 3-speed sliding gear transmission. No wonder Chevrolet put Billy Durant back into the automobile business.
1964 Porsche 356 SC Cabriolet
Lot # 017 1964 Porsche 356 SC Cabriolet, Body by Reutter; S/N 159720; Engine # P810007; White/Red leather; Black cloth top; Estimate $175,000 – $225,000; Unrestored original, 2- condition; Hammered Sold at $310,000 plus commission of 10.00%; Final Price $341,000 – Chrome wheels, Michelin MX blackwall tires, Nardi woodrim steering wheel, radio delete, Weber carbs, K&N air filters. – Represented as an all original, two-owner 3,753 mile car. Aside from a few nit picks (small paint chips where the top latches to the windshield header, some maintenance details in the engine compartment, dead sun visors) this is a delightful, original, meticulously maintained and preserved original Porsche. – The 356 SC is the ultimate evolution of the production Porsche before it was superseded by the 901 (911 thanks to Peugeot’s trademark.) The originality of this 356 SC is exceptional, and it induced the Houston bidders to pay more, and more, and even more than that, nearly 50% more than a meticulously restored example. But, as is observed time and again with crisp, well-maintained original cars, where will another so good show up? This is a magnanimous premium for originality, not to be confused with cars actually driven for the last half century.
1929 Riley 9 Brooklands
Lot # 020 1929 Riley 9 Brooklands; S/N 8046; Black/Dark Red leather; No top; Estimate $250,000 – $350,000; Recent restoration, 2 condition; Hammered Sold at $185,000 plus commission of 10.00%; Final Price $203,500. No Reserve – RHD. Silver painted wire wheels, Dunlop 4.50-19 tires, cycle fenders, dual aeroscreens, later Smiths water temperature and oil pressure gauge, cycle fenders. – Restored to very good standards with very good paint and upholstery. Chassis done like new and showing very little use. A rare, quality, fast little car. Reportedly originally owned and raced by Whitney Straight in the UK with some success. Later owned by motoring journalist Denis Jenkinson. Replacement engine. – This Riley 9 Brooklands has two things going for it. First and foremost it’s a Riley 9 Brooklands, a low slung, lightweight elemental British sports car. Beyond that it has, according to the description, two notable owners, Whitney Straight and Denis Jenkinson, provenance that materially enhances its significance and value. On both accounts it seems to have missed its mark here in Houston but sold to an astute buyer who recognized its history and value at a price that is something of a bargain. It will be hard for the Mille Miglia acceptance committee to decline its application for entry.
1941 Cadillac Series 62 Convertible
Lot # 021 1941 Cadillac Series 62 Convertible; S/N 8355074; Grey metallic/Red leather; Black cloth top; Estimate $140,000 – $180,000; Recent restoration, 2+ condition; Hammered Sold at $167,500 plus commission of 10.00%; Final Price $184,250 – Grille guard, large hubcaps, Red wheels, wide whitewalls, pushbutton radio, skirts, power top, turn signals. – Concours restored in very attractive colors, now showing a little age and limited use but still a stunning car. The side trim rechromed over small edge pits hardly deserves comment in a Cadillac that exudes quality and presence. – The presentation of this Cadillac in rich metallic grey was arresting, highlighting the car’s lines and the limited application of bright trim, rear fender skirts and the black top over red leather upholstery. It was stunning, and grabbed onlookers’ attention among all the other fine offerings at Worldwide’s Houston auction. It was worth every nickel of its price and will be a wonderful car for tours, shows or just showing off on weekends.
1967 Porsche 911S Coupe
Lot # 032 1967 Porsche 911S Coupe; S/N 306058S; Engine # 960378; Irish Green/Brown vinyl, cloth; Estimate $175,000 – $225,000; Cosmetic restoration, 3+ condition; Hammered Sold at $160,000 plus commission of 10.00%; Final Price $176,000 – Chrome spoke Fuchs wheels, Yokohama blackwall tires, sliding sunroof, folding back seats. – Good paint and interior. Thin, scuffed trim chrome. Clean, orderly engine compartment. Underbody freshly coated with black over everything. Good driver quality presentation that can be shown with confidence at the end of a fast drive. First owned by Wilhelm Sebastian, who had been Rudolf Caracciola’s riding mechanic for Mercedes-Benz in the Thirties. Represented as matching numbers, original engine, documented with Porsche CofA and Kardex. – There is a lot to like about this early 2-liter 911S, and a lot to fear from its 180hp and short wheelbase handling. Coveted by Porsche collectors today, this 911S has wonderful attributes, select provenance and is thoughtfully presented in very good condition without having needed restoration. The catalog says it ‘ticks all the boxes’ and that is true, especially at this reasonable price.

Worldwide Houston 2014 – Auction Report Page Two

1955 DeSoto Firedome 2-Dr. Hardtop Sportsman
Lot # 033 1955 DeSoto Firedome 2-Dr. Hardtop Sportsman; S/N 64026815; White, Black roof and accent/Black, White vinyl; Estimate $25,000 – $35,000; Unrestored original, 3+ condition; Hammered Sold at $23,000 plus commission of 10.00%; Final Price $25,300. No Reserve – 291/185hp, dashboard shift automatic, pushbutton radio, rear speaker, chrome wire wheels, whitewalls. – Mostly original with very good paint and interior. Flawed but largely sound chrome. Clean, dry original underbody. New chrome wire wheels. 85,543 miles on the odometer are believable. – Less extravagant that later Mopars, this ’55 Firedome Sportsman is a beautiful survivor. Bought for much less than a comparable Chevy or Mercury, it is Fifties’ design and appointments at its best and is a sound value for its new owner.
1971 Plymouth 'Cuda Hemi 2-Dr. Hardtop
Lot # 043 1971 Plymouth ‘Cuda Hemi 2-Dr. Hardtop; S/N BS23R1B204543; Curious Yellow, Black billboards/Black vinyl; Estimate $550,000 – $700,000; Older restoration, 2+ condition; Hammered Sold at $445,000 plus commission of 10.00%; Final Price $489,500 – 426/425hp, dual quads, automatic, Black shaker hood, P/B, no P/S, Super Track Pack, 4.1 Sure Grip, console, rally style wheels, F60-15 Polyglas GT tires. – Excellent paint, chrome and interior. Restored like new ten years ago, maintained that way and freshly painted and detailed. Documented with three build sheets, represented as original sheet metal and matching numbers. – This is the way a ‘Cuda Hemi should be: largely original, limited use (a quarter-mile at a time?) and fastidiously restored retaining as much as possible of its original features and parts. It should be considered something of a bargain at this price.
1969 Ferrari 365 GT 2+2
Lot # 046 1969 Ferrari 365 GT 2+2, Body by Pininfarina; S/N 12451; Engine # 12451GT; Yellow/Black leather; Estimate $225,000 – $275,000; Visually maintained, largely original, 3- condition; Hammered Sold at $220,000 plus commission of 10.00%; Final Price $242,000 – Chrome spoke Borrani wire wheels, Michelin blackwalls, sliding sunroof, P/W, P/S, P/B, A/C, Blaupunkt AM-FM-MW radio. – Very good recent paint in the original color, good new front seat upholstery but badly cracked original rear seat. Ugly original underbody; engine is not much better. Never restored, but with continuing attention to cosmetic and mechanical needs through several owners. Known history from new, Ferrari Heritage Certificate authenticated in its original configuration. – Many, many 365 GT 2+2s don’t get this kind of caring, continuing attention which makes this a standout among its model. The bidders recognized its attractions and accorded it a generous price even though it is under the magnanimous pre-sale estimate.
1934 Auburn Twelve Salon Convertible
Lot # 047 1934 Auburn Twelve Salon Convertible; S/N 1187F; Engine # BB2063; Grey, Black fenders and accent/Black leather; Black cloth top; Estimate $350,000 – $450,000; Older restoration, 2- condition; Hammered Sold at $290,000 plus commission of 10.00%; Final Price $319,000. No Reserve – Chrome wire wheels, wide whitewalls, enclosed rear spare, rumble seat, Stabilite headlights, 2-speed axle. – CCCA National First Prize #1277. ACD Category One certified. Chassis and particularly the engine show use. Carbs have no air filters. Paint, chrome, top and interior are very good and nearly unblemished. Identified by its association with James Cagney in the movie ‘The Mayor of Hell’. – Offered by Worldwide at Auburn in 2008, then sold by Barrett-Jackson at Palm Beach in 2009 for $253,000, this is an exceptionally attractive automobile that exemplifies the value and performance image of Auburn. Whether on tour or on the show field it will bring the same admiring attention it brought here and is a great car for a reasonable price.
1955 Porsche 356 "Pre-A" 1500 Super Speedster
Lot # 055 1955 Porsche 356 “Pre-A” 1500 Super Speedster, Body by Reutter; S/N 80895; Engine # P41412; Red/Tan vinyl, Red piping; Tan cloth top; Estimate $350,000 – $450,000; Recent restoration, 2+ condition; Hammered Sold at $350,000 plus commission of 10.00%; Final Price $385,000 – Silver steel wheels, hubcaps, blackwall tires. – Excellent paint, chrome and interior, Freshly restored better than new. Represented as matching numbers, documented with Porsche CofA and Kardex with two owners from new. Freshly restored and impeccably presented. – A third of a million dollars for a 70hp (DIN) car with notorious handling. It’s what the market will bear – and in this case may even be, in market terms for a meticulously restored two-owner example, something of a good value. It’s still $5,500/hp (DIN).
1934 Winfield Special Sprint
Lot # 056 1934 Winfield Special Sprint; S/N None; Cream, Maroon frame/Black vinyl; Estimate $35,000 – $50,000; Competition restoration, 3+ condition; Hammered Sold at $30,000 plus commission of 10.00%; Final Price $33,000. No Reserve – Model B 4-cylinder, Riley overhead valve head, two Winfield SR carbs on log intake, Vertex magneto, 3-speed, four wheel hydraulic brakes, chrome roll bar, 4-spoke steering wheel, electric full pump. – Very good older paint, chrome and interior. Handbrake disconnected. Orderly engine and chassis. A workmanlike older restoration of a working man’s race car with a few cracks and chips from use. – No known racing history, although its preparation and specification could only have been perpetrated on a real racing car. The equipment is exceptional, the 3-speed gearbox and 4-wheel brakes make it suitable for both oval and road circuit racing. It couldn’t be built for anything close to the price it brought here.
1971 Dodge Challenger R/T 2-Dr. Hardtop
Lot # 057 1971 Dodge Challenger R/T 2-Dr. Hardtop; S/N JH23H1B304695; Green Go, Black vinyl roof, Matte Black hood/Black vinyl; Estimate $35,000 – $50,000; Enthusiast restoration, 3 condition; Hammered Sold at $42,000 plus commission of 10.00%; Final Price $46,200 – 340/275hp, 4-speed, JVC CD stereo, console, pistol grip shifter, A/C, wing, rally style wheels with trim rings, Wingfoot HP tires. – Good paint, scuffed stainless trim, sound interior. Door windows rattle. Chassis painted assembled with gloss black. An intriguing but not reassuring car. – Manhandled during the preview by Richard Rawlings of Gas Monkey Garage, this Challenger is a lot better car than most of the things that encounter the Gas Monkey’s mandible. Honestly presented, it is a reasonable value at this price (and a lot better value than a nose-heavy Challenger Hemi at ten times this price; 275hp is more than enough to vaporize a set of Wingfoots.)

Worldwide Houston 2014 – Auction Report Page Three

1958 Jaguar XK 150SE Roadster
Lot # 060 1958 Jaguar XK 150SE Roadster; S/N S831054DN; Engine # V4917-8; Sherwood Green/Black leather; Black cloth top; Estimate $140,000 – $180,000; Recent restoration, 2- condition; Hammered Sold at $125,000 plus commission of 10.00%; Final Price $137,500 – Chrome wire wheels, blackwall 215/70R16 Avon tires, overdrive. – Head and block numbers match the ID tag. Very good paint, chrome, interior and top. Lifting filler on a right front fender dent repair and paint lifting in the creases on each side of the hood ridge. Clean and orderly engine compartment done like new. A superior car done to high standards with a few flaws that should be addressed at reasonable cost. – Appropriately discounted for its defects at this price, a desirable Jaguar at a price that’s fair to both the buyer and the seller and has headroom to correct its shortcomings.
1962 Porsche 356B 1600 Super 90 Coupe
Lot # 063 1962 Porsche 356B 1600 Super 90 Coupe, Body by Karmann; S/N 210509; Engine # P805297; Bali Blue/Beige leather; Black cloth top; Estimate $80,000 – $100,000; Cosmetic restoration, 3+ condition; Hammered Sold at $67,500 plus commission of 10.00%; Final Price $74,250 – Nardi woodrim steering wheel, clock, no radio, seat belts, luggage straps, chrome wheels, Michelin XAS tires, Weber carbs. Twin grille, outside fuel door. Engine number matches Porsche CofA. – Good paint, interior and chrome. Filled lower right body. Old undercoat on underbody, weak trim chrome. Orderly engine compartment. Documented with Porsche CofA and Kardex copy with matching numbers engine. – Sold by Barrett-Jackson at Palm Beach in 2006 for $55,620 in essentially the same condition as it was presented here, the modest increment in price over the intervening 8 years confirms its value and good condition.
1970 Pontiac GTO Judge Convertible
Lot # 070 1970 Pontiac GTO Judge Convertible; S/N 242670P144557; Verdero Green/Sandalwood vinyl; Sandalwood vinyl top; Estimate $210,000 – $240,000; Recent restoration, 2- condition; Hammered Sold at $155,000 plus commission of 10.00%; Final Price $170,500 – 400/366hp Ram Air III, 4-speed, Hurst pistol grip shifter, Ram Air hood, P/S, P/B, power top, styled steel wheels, Wide Oval tires, GM Canada and PHS documented. – Good paint, chrome and interior. Well documented and equipped. Not like new, but close enough to be driven proudly. Represented as numbers-matching engine. – This GTO Judge convertible is about as attractive in its Verdero Green and Sandalwood colors as a GTO can be, and is impressively presented as well as definitively documented by both GM Canada and PHS. A fresh, pristine restored example would cost more (much more) but this car is both handsome and drivable without worrying about every bug splat and bird dropping. The price is modest for its specification, documentation and equipment.
1958 Cadillac Eldorado Convertible
Lot # 085 1958 Cadillac Eldorado Convertible; S/N 58E026024; Argyle Blue/Black leather; Navy Blue top; Estimate $125,000 – $150,000; Visually maintained, largely original, 3+ condition; Hammered Sold at $105,000 plus commission of 10.00%; Final Price $115,500 – Parade boot, Autronic Eye, chromed Sabre wheels, whitewall tires. – Looks good from ten feet, but not up close. Door and fender cavities coated with body shop crud, paint flaws, undercoated body. – Eldos like this are breathtakingly expensive to restore right and this car is the poster child for the problem. It would be wrong to call this Eldo ‘nasty’, but it’s not good, either, a compromised, done-to-a-price restoration that has no good surprises for its new owner. It was offered at Mecum’s Monterey auction in 2011 with a reported high bid exactly the same as it brought here. But, oh my, is it gorgeous from ten feet.
1953 MG TD Mark II Roadster
Lot # 091 1953 MG TD Mark II Roadster; S/N TDC21415; Engine # XPAGTD32180F; Black/Red leatherette; Black cloth top; Estimate $35,000 – $45,000; Older restoration, 3+ condition; Hammered Sold at $30,000 plus commission of 10.00%; Final Price $33,000. No Reserve – Silver steel wheels, Nankang radial blackwalls, wind wings, fat woodrim steering wheel with wood horn button, wood dashboard, GE fog lights, dual fuel pumps. – Sound paint, chrome and interior. Orderly engine compartment, clean chassis and underbody. Cracked dashboard varnish. The steering wheel is ugly, but probably more comfortable than the original. Door hinges are brushed brass, not chrome, an indication of the standards of the owner who restored it. – This TD would have been a better buy a few thousand dollars less than the successful bid, but that’s hardly enough to call it expensive. Soundly restored and in good driving condition, it represents sound value for the money, even with the strange steering wheel rim.
1955 Ford Country Squire Station Wagon
Lot # 092 1955 Ford Country Squire Station Wagon; S/N U5UY14985; Torch Red, Woodgrain/Red, White vinyl; Estimate $70,000 – $90,000; Enthusiast restoration, 3+ condition; Hammered Sold at $71,000 plus commission of 10.00%; Final Price $78,100 – 272/162hp, automatic, P/S, wheel covers, whitewalls, roof rack, a Fifties equipe comprising the Ford Country Squire, an unrestored J.C.Higgins bicycle, restored 1955 Lyman boat powered by an unrestored ’55 Johnson Sea Horse 25hp outboard and a 1977 Teenee Tilt boat trailer. – Good paint, poor woodgrain paint on framing, good chrome, superficially done underbody but good engine compartment. The Lyman boat is freshly restored and pristine. The Johnson outboard reminds those old enough that you could drain several batteries trying to get it started. The bicycle is fabulously over-equipped. It’s not the greatest presentation, but is generously over-endowed with character. – Contest: The first person to comment with the identification of where you bought J.C.Higgins products in the Fifties wins two passes to the July 27, 2014 Concours d’Elegance of America at St. John’s. This equipe is way cool, a collecting passion realized in excess that puts even luggage collector Scott Boses in the shade. Worth it? Well, it may be a little cumbersome to get onto a show field, but when it’s situated it will have fans fawning over it for days. I’ve never seen anything even close to it, and I’ve seen a lot.

[Source: Rick Carey]