Report and photos by Rick Carey, Auction Editor
Worldwide pulled out all the stops for the second iteration of their Houston Classic auction May 4, 2013 at the La Torretta Lake Resort & Spa in Montgomery, Texas, assembling an exceptional collection of cars.
Over half, 67 of 113, were offered without reserve including three that hammered sold at six figure bids.
There were several stars and, depending upon your definition of ‘star’, four out of five went home with new owners including the first production Nash-Healey, Shelby Cobra 427, Pierce-Arrow coupe and a marvelous Austro-Daimler from the LeMay collection. Only ‘Goldie’, the Austin-Healey 100/6 gold plated show car, failed to find a new owner.
The auction was enlivened by the participation of the “Fast ‘n’ Loud” crowd including their ubiquitous Discovery Channel camera crews. It’s been enlightening to see the evolution of “Fast ‘n’ Loud” as their cars have progressed from quickie fluff jobs (with paint that still smells) to first class restorations and quality collector cars. The Houston Classic weekend saw the first appearance during Friday’s tour of their rescued-from-a-crumpled-pile-of-fiberglass-shards-and-twisted-metal Ferrari F40, an amazing resurrection that ran, drove, sounded great and completed the Tour.
Festivities continued on Sunday with the Concours d’Elegance of Texas on the La Torretta golf course, an event that like Saturday’s auction is getting better, bigger and more diverse.
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Throughout the day the auction room was full and bidding rarely slackened.
Sunday was Cinco de Mayo and fortuitously there’s probably no better place to celebrate Mexican history and tradition than in the Houston area. 7 Leguas (named for Pancho Villa’s horse) restaurant out on Highway 105 beckoned after the Concours and it turned out to be exactly what the dining doctor ordered. Nothing fancy (except the strolling mariachi band in honor of the day), just good food and plenty of it.
It was an upbeat weekend with the casual, friendly atmosphere of a group of similarly-minded enthusiasts gathered to enjoy their passion, trade a few cars and admire those they couldn’t own. When the hype ends and the fever recedes, that is all anyone – consignor, bidder, buyer or onlooker – can ask.
Worldwide Houston Classic 2013 – Auction Report
Lot # 2 1955 Chevrolet 3100 Pickup; S/N 0056143F55X; Teal Green, White roof/Green, White leatherette; Estimate $20,000 – $30,000; Truck restoration, 2+ condition; Hammered Sold at $32,000 plus commission of 10.00%; Final Price $35,200. No Reserve – Powerglide, turn signals, radio, oak bed floor, stainless strips, oak sideboards, single bed-side spare, hubcaps, trim rings, whitewalls, chrome bumpers, 5-window cab — A high quality restoration to nearly like new condition. Excellent paint, chrome and interior. — A first series 1955 Chevy restored to unusually good standards for a truck, the lack of a V-8 doesn’t handicap this truck much if at all and is insignificant to its value when compared with the very nice restoration and the 5-window cab. This result is fair to both the buyer and the seller.
Lot # 3 1960 Chrysler 300F Convertible Conversion; S/N 8403155523; Strawberry metallic/Beige leather; White vinyl top; Estimate $80,000 – $110,000; Older restoration, 2+ condition; Hammered Sold at $65,000 plus commission of 10.00%; Final Price $71,500. No Reserve – 413/375hp, automatic and everything else except A/C. — A handsome older show quality restoration and conversion from hardtop to convertible that shows some age and use on the interior but has been extensively detailed under its hood. — This is one heck of a handsome color combination and the long ram intake under the hood is always marvelous to behold, even if the hardtop got lost along the way and replaced with folding vinyl. It sold at Auburn Fall in 1998 fresh from the restoration/conversion for $63,000 and shows some of its age but it still entirely reasonably priced at this result although the estimate range is a pipe dream.
Lot # 4 1968 Shelby Mustang GT500KR Convertible; S/N 8T03R215916-04146; Wimbledon White/Black vinyl; Black vinyl top; Estimate $150,000 – $200,000; Older restoration, 2- condition; Hammered Sold at $122,500 plus commission of 10.00%; Final Price $134,750. No Reserve – 428/335hp, 4-speed, 3.50 Traction-Lock, cassette stereo, 10-spoke alloy wheels, Goodyear Speedway tires, P/S, P/B — Restored like new a while ago, well-maintained and orderly but no longer fresh. Represented as numbers matching and documented with a Marti Report and the original build sheet — This KR has a good combination of options, particularly the 4-speed which so many KRs lack. Let’s say the restoration has ‘mellowed’ since it was completed a while ago and someone has gotten some value out of the KR’s performance. This is a very reasonable price for a KR convertible with this equipment and in this condition.
Lot # 6 1970 Shelby Mustang GT500 Fastback; S/N 0F02R482429; Pastel Grey, Blue side stripes, Black hood stripes/Black vinyl; Estimate $140,000 – $170,000; Unrestored original, 2- condition; Hammered Sold at $102,500 plus commission of 10.00%; Final Price $112,750. No Reserve – 428/335hp, 4-speed, Hurst shifter, Drag Pack 3.91 Traction Lock, pushbutton radio, console gauges, sport minors, 5-spoke alloy center chrome rim wheels, Polyglas GT tires, P/S, P/B, underbumper fog lights — Partially repainted but otherwise original with 7,843 miles. Highly detailed underhood, very clean and nearly like new. — A rare car, one of 104 SCJ Drag Pack GT500s built — a sleeper KR — this one is beautifully maintained and original, with an impressive detailing job done to return it to nearly showroom condition. The new owner got a great value for the money, a GT500 to be proud of while being secure in the knowledge it is a sound investment.
Lot # 14 1961 Chevrolet Corvette Convertible; S/N 10867S105928; Red, White coves/Red; White vinyl top; Estimate $50,000 – $60,000; Older restoration, 3 condition; Hammered Sold at $45,000 plus commission of 10.00%; Final Price $49,500. No Reserve – 283/245hp, 4-speed, WonderBar radio, spinner wheel covers, whitewall radials — Good paint, chrome, interior and top. A sound, presentable old restoration that has been well cared for. — Sold at Barrett-Jackson Scottsdale in 2003 in comparable condition while showing 43 fewer miles on the odometer for $43,200, this mediocre Corvette brought an appropriate price today for what it is.
Lot # 15 1969 Mercury Cougar Eliminator Coupe; S/N 9F91R563012; Competition Orange/Black vinyl; Estimate $65,000 – $75,000; Older restoration, 2- condition; Post-block sale at $44,545 plus commission of 10.00%; Final Price $49,000. – 428/335hp, Ram Air hood and air cleaner, automatic, P/S, P/B, A/C, P/W, rally wheels with trim rings, Polyglas tires — A quality older restoration with good cosmetics. Now looks like a good old used car, and a very fast one at that. Documented with Marti Report, original build sheet, window sticker and owner history from new, represented as numbers-matching. One of 304 built with this engine/transmission combination out of a total of only 2,250 Cougar Eliminators built. — Cougar Eliminators are very rare. This was an excellent opportunity to add a rarely seen marque and model to a Pony Car collection, and at this price it is a very good value.
Lot # 21 1966 Porsche 911S Coupe; S/N 307637S; Red, Yellow stripe/Black Alcantara, vinyl; Estimate $90,000 – $120,000; Modified for competition during restoration 3- condition; Hammered Sold at $54,000 plus commission of 10.00%; Final Price $59,400. – Black Fuchs wheels, Hoosier DOT slicks, Terratrip computer, two seats, full roll cage and race prepared — Aged and used but orderly. Built for the 2003 La Carrera Panamericana, class winner, 9th overall. Includes original engine (in pieces). Subsequently vintage raced, but not recently as the adventuresome driver became preoccupied with television stardom. — While this 1966 911S is reasonably priced it has many needs no matter if it’s continued in vintage racing after a considerable period of dormancy or reverts to restored original condition. Those needs are reflected in the price it brought, not in the auction’s pre-sale estimate.
Lot # 24 1966 Jaguar XKE SI 4.2 Roadster; S/N 1E12049; Red/Black leather; Black vinyl top; Estimate $110,000 – $130,000; Cosmetic restoration, 3- condition; Hammered Sold at $77,500 plus commission of 10.00%; Final Price $85,250. – Chrome wire wheels, Dunlop radial tires, Craig AM-FM — Cosmetically restored to presentable driver condition. Decent paint, some weak chrome trim, good interior shows some wear and use. A Jag the new owner can enjoy and improve. — This Jag was reported sold at Auctions America’s Ft. Lauderdale auction fourteen months ago for $51,700 in essentially the same condition as it was offered here and with 12 fewer miles on the odometer. That’s a $20,000 bump in 14 months with zero expenditures apparent on the car. The new owner here paid full retail for the car and the seller showed the validity of the observation, ‘You make your money when you buy the car.’
Worldwide Houston Classic 2013 – Auction Report Page Two
Lot # 25 1960 Mercedes-Benz 220S 4-Dr. Sedan; S/N 11101210006769; Black/Red leather; Estimate $40,000 – $60,000; Visually maintained, largely original, 3+ condition; Hammered Sold at $26,000 plus commission of 10.00%; Final Price $28,600. No Reserve – 4-speed, Blaupunkt dual band radio, hubcaps, trim rings, whitewalls — Good older repaint, bright chrome, excellent original interior. Rebuilt Solex carbs. 5,619 miles from new, supplied with seller’s statement of mileage, and super impressive. A gorgeous finback M-B. — This price reflects no premium at all for the low miles and originality of this M-B. It is a perfectly ordinary, mundane car rendered marvelous by its survival and very good condition. It was built as transportation and most if not all its contemporaries were driven into submission, if not turned into taxicabs. This is a wonderful find that will be admired at any M-B event bought at a very reasonable price. The originality and low miles are free.
Lot # 26 1935 Pierce-Arrow 845 3-Window Coupe; S/N 2090150; Dark Green, Copper accent/Tan leather; Estimate $200,000 – $250,000; Concours restoration, 1 condition; Hammered Sold at $250,000 plus commission of 10.00%; Final Price $275,000. – Copper painted wire wheels, wide whitewalls, dual enclosed sidemounts, rumble seat — CCCA Senior (#2973), Pebble Beach restoration to better than showroom condition. Impeccable except for a little orange peel in the paint. Shown at Pebble Beach in 2011. It is the only known surviving example in this body style, a stately and elegant statement of luxury and exclusivity. — Sold by RM at Meadow Brook in 2006 in older cosmetically restored condition for $86,900 then given this concours restoration which had to have cost as much as the car brought today. It is tasteful and striking and will continue to bring admiring comments on tours and events. It is unreasonable to argue with the price it brought.
Lot # 42 1950 Nash-Healey Roadster, Body by Panelcraft; S/N N2001; Engine # NHA1001; Sunset Maroon/Biscuit leather, Maroon piping; Beige cloth top; Recent restoration, 2+ condition; Post-block sale at $454,545 plus commission of 10.00%; Final Price $500,000. – Overdrive, wheel covers, wide whitewall bias ply tires — This is the 1951 Miami Auto Show display car, then driven up the US East Coast by Donald Healey (registered in his name) to show to prospective dealers. Aluminum body by Panelcraft. The first production Nash-Healey, with its original engine and documented history from new. Excellent paint, chrome and interior. Restored like new. — A significant piece of Anglo-American auto history, especially with its early Panelcraft body and ex-Donald Healey history, that should be eligible for all sorts of events. The restoration is meticulous and complete without being overdone. It is a difficult car to evaluate, being the first of its kind, but this result would seem to be reasonable despite the consignors’ hopes that it would bring more.
Lot # 43 1958 Messerschmitt KR 200 Cabriolet; S/N 57012; White, Red, Blue/Red, White vinyl; Blue top; Estimate $40,000 – $60,000; Unrestored original, 3 condition; Hammered Sold at $32,000 plus commission of 10.00%; Final Price $35,200. No Reserve – Wheel covers, blackwall tires — Ex-Evel Knievel. Owned many years by one of his doctors, Lonnie Hammargren. Essentially original with an old red, white, blue paint job and button tufted upholstery. Sound, usable as is and runs, but visibly aged and tired. — Microcars are among the hottest collectibles, comparable with but at the opposite end of the scale from early Ferraris in their popularity. Evel Knievel’s ownership of this KR200 cabriolet should have more than offset its somewhat tired condition but it didn’t and this represents very good value for money.
Lot # 51 1965 Pontiac LeMans GTO Convertible; S/N 237658111380; Engine # 338968 YL; Red/Black vinyl; Black vinyl top; Estimate $50,000 – $60,000; Recent restoration, 3 condition; Hammered Sold at $48,000 plus commission of 10.00%; Final Price $52,800. No Reserve – 389/335hp, Tri-Power added, 4-speed, Hurst shifter, buckets and console, P/S, P/B, Rally wheels with trim rings, redline tires — Good paint and major chrome, weak trim chrome, ugly steering wheel, good dash and gauges. Bad trunk fit, rattly doors. An erratic and superficial restoration. YL engine code is for a ’66 Catalina 389/325hp, automatic transmission. — Not only is this a 4-speed conversion, it’s not a Le Mans GTO engine. Combine that with the mediocre restoration and this is a generous price for a car with any number of deficiencies.
Lot # 60 1955 Chevrolet Bel Air 2-Dr. Hardtop; S/N VC55K070382; Engine # F55FB; Gypsy Red, Shoreline Beige/Red, Beige vinyl; Estimate $40,000 – $50,000; Older restoration, 2- condition; Hammered Sold at $44,000 plus commission of 10.00%; Final Price $48,400. No Reserve – 265/180hp 4-barrel, Powerglide, P/S, P/B, oil filter, windshield washer, wheel covers, wide whitewalls, skirts, pushbutton radio, sill chrome trim, continental kit, dual exhausts, grille guard — Excellent paint, chums and interior. Restored like new. Engine and chassis shows use and is lightly oiled. 1995 AACA National First Place at Hershey, 1996 AACA Senior, 1997, 1998 and 1999 AACA Hershey awards followed. — While this ’55 Bel Air is no longer fresh it has been restored to such high standards and so well preserved since restoration it is still nearly like new. In some respects it is better. The price it brought is a good value while also being fair to the seller.
Lot # 62 1932 Auburn 8-100A Custom Boattail Speedster; S/N 8761; Black/Black leather; Black cloth top; Estimate $260,000 – $310,000; Concours restoration, 1 condition; Hammered Sold at $220,000 plus commission of 10.00%; Final Price $242,000. – 2-speed rear axle, dual sidemounts with strap on mirrors, small Pilot-Ray, black wire wheels, blackwall tires — Beautifully restored and in show quality condition. Exceptionally attractive and menacing in all-black. A bold, audacious Auburn that has never been shown. — The color palette chosen for this Auburn — if Black can properly be called a color — complements the boattail body’s lines and makes a sharp visual impression. Considering the effect this car has, and the restoration’s quality and thoroughness, this is a good value for the money, as it would have been even within the estimate range.
Lot # 63 1982 Ferrari 400iA 2-Dr. Sedan; S/N ZFFEB06B000041533; Silver/Black leather; Estimate $40,000 – $60,000; Visually maintained, largely original, 3 condition; Hammered Sold at $22,000 plus commission of 10.00%; Final Price $24,200. No Reserve – Automatic, Alpine CD stereo, 5-spoke alloy wheels, Michelin TRX tires, A/C — Fair old repaint, decent chrome and surface cracked original upholstery. Good tires. A sound but aged driver quality Ferrari showing just under 100K believable miles on its odometer. Grey market tagged by P.A. Freymeyer. — With 330 GTCs heading for a million dollars, and 250 GTEs well over a hundred thousand what’s a guy to do when smitten by the sirens’ song of a V-12? A 400 (in its three — carbureted, injected, automatic — forms) is not only an answer but one that has room in the back for the kids and grandkids. This is an appropriate price for a 400iA in this condition and might even let the new owner give it some needed maintenance without submerging in it.
Lot # 64 1973 Maserati Bora SS; S/N AM11749564; Red, Brushed stainless roof/Black leather; Estimate $90,000 – $110,000; Visually maintained, largely original, 3 condition; Hammered Sold at $70,000 plus commission of 10.00%; Final Price $77,000. – Blaupunkt CD stereo, Pirelli P4000 tires, Euro bumpers — Fair repaint with masking holidays, engine compartment detailed with a rattle can. Seats and dash the redone but seatbelts are old and worn. Comes with service records and owner’s, service and maintenance manuals. A used but sound Bora. — The forgotten supercar of the Seventies, overlooked (and neglected) while Miuras and Boxers bring big bucks, the Bora offers stellar mid-engine performance and Giugiaro styling at a bargain price. This is a sound value taking into account the marginal paint job and morbidly matte black painted engine compartment but offers significant upside for a buyer willing to invest time and a little money in making the car better.
Worldwide Houston Classic 2013 – Auction Report Page Three
Lot # 66 1954 Jaguar XK 120 Roadster; S/N S675843; Primrose Yellow/Burgundy vinyl; Bleached cloth top; Estimate $75,000 – $85,000; Visually maintained, largely original, 4+ condition; Hammered Sold at $47,500 plus commission of 10.00%; Final Price $52,250. – Silver wire wheels, blackwall radial tires, fender mirrors — Poor, cracking old repaint over old paint, dented bumpers, cracked windshield. Orderly but aged underhood. Faded original top and side curtains. Stored since 1998 and recently serviced and fired up. Tired but sound and a good basis for a restoration. — The originality of this XK 120 is over-matched by its age and failings. It’s too far gone to be a Preservation car, a recognition which this price reflects, leaving the new owner room to do any number of restorative procedures with a clear (financial) conscience. This is the right price for its condition.
Lot # 67 1970 Ford Mustang Boss 302 Sportsroof; S/N 0F02G112887; Grabber Blue, Matte Black stripes/Black vinyl; Estimate $40,000 – $50,000; Older restoration, 3+ condition; Hammered Sold at $44,000 plus commission of 10.00%; Final Price $48,400. No Reserve – 302/290hp, 4-speed, Hurst shifter, P/S, P/B, AM-FM, rim blow steering wheel, Magnum wheels, rear window slats, wing, nose spoiler, Radial T/A tires — 45,738 miles. Good older paint, chrome and interior but showing age and use. Underhood K-braces and strut tower braces are chromed. A very good driver quality Boss 302. — Better than just a driver, but no longer show quality, and reasonably valued at this result.
Lot # 70 1966 Shelby Cobra 427 Roadster; S/N CSX 3264; Red, White stripes/Black leather; Estimate $1,000,000 – $1,300,000; Recent restoration, 2+ condition; Post-block sale at $954,545 plus commission of 10.00%; Final Price $1,050,000. – 427 side oiler, 425hp, dual quads, aluminized side exhausts, 6-spoke centerlock alloy wheels, wind wings, chrome braced driver’s rollbar, grille and trunk guards — Once owned by Rod Stewart, later maybe by Jan & Dean. Passed through many hands, eventually getting an appropriately date-coded 427 side oiler with dual quads installed in place of the original 428. Restored like new with excellent paint, chrome and interior. Driver’s seat is lightly scuffed and stretched. — While this 427 Cobra was described as ‘the mist flawless Cobra known’ it’s been through the usual tribulations, taken apart, painted, re-painted, restored and engine swapped before arriving here and this result is appropriate to its exquisite condition.
Lot # 75 1958 Porsche 356A Speedster, Body by Reutter; S/N 84518; Engine # P67996; Silver (R608)/Black leatherette; Estimate $225,000 – $275,000; Recent restoration, 2+ condition; Hammered Sold at $210,000 plus commission of 10.00%; Final Price $231,000. – 356C disc brakes and wheels, Nardi woodrim steering wheel, chrome wheels, blackwall radial tires — Beautifully and freshly restored, meticulously detailed, clean and crisp. Restored to match its Kardex except for the disc brakes, and the owner says the original brakes and wheels are included. People’s Choice winner at Hilton Head and PCNA class winner. Comes with Porsche Certificate, books and owner history since the late 60’s. — Although its condition is almost too good to be exposed to the vicissitudes of the road, the combination of 356A Speedster handling and the later disc brakes make it almost impossible not to take out and enjoy. The odometer shows 1,096 miles, indicating that the seller probably did just that and at this price the new owner can do the same. It represents a good value both for the quality of the restoration and for the potential driving pleasure.
Lot # 76 1972 BMW 3.0 CS Coupe; S/N 2240110; Agave Green/Beige leather; Estimate $25,000 – $35,000; Cosmetic restoration, 3+ condition; Hammered Sold at $41,000 plus commission of 10.00%; Final Price $45,100. No Reserve – 5-speed, P/W, Becker Grand Prix AM-FM, alloy wheels, Michelin Pilot tires, headrests, dual carbs, P/W, A/C — Thoroughly cosmetically restored with good paint, interior and major chrome. Weak trim chrome and repainted old undercoat. Scratched lock strips on the windshield and rear window. Dressed up underhood. A showy driver quality BMW. — This is a healthy price for a pretty but ultimately driver quality 3.0CS. The colors and very nice new leather upholstery may have elevated its eye appeal but the buyer should have looked more closely.
Lot # 78 1922 Austro-Daimler AD 617 Touring; S/N 16692; Ivory, Black fenders/Red leather; Beige cloth top; Estimate $75,000 – $100,000; Older restoration, 3- condition; Hammered Sold at $160,000 plus commission of 10.00%; Final Price $176,000. No Reserve – Aluminum block overhead cam 4,426cc (270 cubic inch) inline six-cylinder with 60+ brake horsepower, 4-speed, RHD, orange wire wheels, whitewall tires, dual sidemounts with strap-on mirrors, jump seats, driving light, full weather equipment, opening driver’s side windshield, luggage trunk – Designed by Dr. Ferdinand Porsche. Sound but aged restoration with good cosmetics. Body appears to be fabric, at least covering the doors. Unused since at least 1997 in the LeMay collection and in need of comprehensive attention but good enough that it can be made to run and drive well before turning attention to updating the cosmetics. Comes with tools, spare light bulb set and the original carburetor. Proceeds to The LeMay-America’s Car Museum. – This is a choice automobile, rarely seen and technically advanced for its day. It will amaze onlookers and participants in tours, especially when the hood is opened to show the alloy block overhead cam engine. The bidders recognized its value and significance and accorded it a strong, but entirely deserved, price. It is a real prize.
Lot # 87 1968 Shelby Mustang GT500 Fastback; S/N 8T02S129513-00457; Highland Green, White stripes/Black vinyl; Estimate $90,000 – $110,000; Cosmetic restoration, 3+ condition; Hammered Sold at $80,000 plus commission of 10.00%; Final Price $88,000. – 428/360hp dual quads, 4-speed, aftermarket AM-FM, remote driver’s mirror, 10-spoke alloy wheels, Radial T/A tires, P/S, P/B, grille-mounted fog lights — Old undercoat, good clearcoat paint, major chrome and interior. Weak trim chrome. Uneven door gaps, badly warped hood. Sharp, fresh engine compartment. A sound and presentable driver with copies of old titles, restoration photos and a Marti Report. — Someone noted, ‘This is the car Steve McQueen should have driven in ‘Bullitt” and they were right. The restoration shows its age, use and a few notable weaknesses like the marginal trim chrome and uneven door gaps that detract from the car’s overall appeal but have little or no effect on its enjoyment and it brought an appropriate price for what it is.
Lot # 91 1968 Mercury Cougar 427 GT-E Notchback; S/N 8F93W537798; Wimbledon White/Black vinyl; Estimate $90,000 – $110,000; Older restoration, 2- condition; Hammered Sold at $67,500 plus commission of 10.00%; Final Price $74,250. – 427/390hp, automatic, P/S, P/B, tilt steering column, styled steel wheels with Radial T/A tires, radio, console, tinted glass, headrest seats — A good older restoration to showroom condition showing some age but no appreciable use. Good paint, chrome and interior, orderly if aged underhood. — One of just 602 built with this odd combination of the 427 side oiler block with heads off the 390 and C-6 automatic transmission. What in the world was the idea? It is one of the most obscure packages in Pony Car history, valuable not least for winning bets and starting discussions. This is real money for it, both for what it is, and for what some 427 Cobra owner might pay for a properly date-coded 427 side oiler block. Buy it for fun and keep it alongside a 427 Cobra as insurance.
[Source: Rick Carey]