All posts by Bob Golfen

Bob Golfen is a longtime automotive writer and editor, focusing on new vehicles, collector cars, car culture and the automotive lifestyle.He is the former automotive writer and editor for The Arizona Republic and SPEED.com, the website for the SPEED motorsports channel. He has written free-lance articles for a number of publications, including Autoweek, The New York Times and Barrett-Jackson auction catalogs.A collector car enthusiast with a wide range of knowledge about the old cars that we all love and desire, Bob enjoys tinkering with archaic machinery. His current obsession is a 1962 Porsche 356 Super coupe.

Rare muscle cars rule at Mecum’s Indy auction

The restored 1968 Yenko Camaro SS was driven just over 1,300 miles | Mecum Auctions
The restored 1968 Yenko Camaro SS was driven just over 1,300 miles | Mecum Auctions

Some major muscle will lift Dana Mecum’s 27th Original Spring Classic collector-car auction May 13-18 at the Indiana State Fairgrounds in Indianapolis, with a number of rare American performance icons rumbling across the block.

This is Mecum’s big-dog auction, with nearly 2,000 classic and collector cars lined up for six days of bidding in the recently renovated Fairgrounds Coliseum. Portions of the auction will be broadcast live on NBC Sports and Esquire networks, with live streaming available on Mecum.com.

Among the heavy hitters of American muscle are:

1968 Chevrolet Yenko Camaro SS (Lot S152) – A very-low-mileage example of the 64 Camaros that were performance modified by Don Yenko in 1968, now fully restored with its original 427 V8 and Muncie four-speed transmission. Most of its 1,304 original miles were accumulated when the car was drag raced during the 1970s using a different competition engine. The factory engine was reinstalled during restoration.

One of the first Cobras with rack-and-pinion steering | Mecum Auctions
An early Cobra with rack-and-pinion steering | Mecum Auctions

1963 Shelby 289 Cobra  (Lot S134) – One of the first Cobras with rack-and-pinion steering, this beautiful roadster (serial number CSX2135) was originally used as a demonstrator to promote the new steering system before it was sold to its first owner. The special Shelby is described as being in pristine condition.

1969 Chevrolet Camaro Z28 (Lot F229) – Aside from a single repaint in its GM factory color of Light Blue – also known as Carolina Blue – this highly optioned special-order Z28 is original and unrestored, having traveled just 46,432 miles. The one-of-a-kind Z28 with Cross Ram induction is fully documented and described as the best-preserved example in the world.

1966 Shelby Mustang GT350  (Lot S161) – The GT350 is a European export model that was owned and raced by Swiss driving ace Herbert Müller from 1966 through the early 1970s. Fully equipped with R-Model racing equipment and in its original configuration, the well-documented Shelby was consigned for sale at Mecum by Müller’s estate.

 The Hemi Cuda is fitted with 4-speed stickshift | Mecum Auctions
The Cuda is fitted with a 4-speed | Mecum Auctions

1971 Plymouth Hemi Cuda (Lot S185) – The final year for the Hemi-V8 Plymouth pony car, and one of just 59 Hemi 4-speed coupes produced in 1971. The factory R-code Hemi Cuda incorporates an unstamped warranty engine block fitted with correct heads, intake and 1971 Carter four-barrel carburetors. The Cuda received a rotisserie restoration in 2006.

1963 Pontiac Catalina “Swiss Cheese” (Lot S158) – Perhaps the most famous of the 14 lightweight Catalina racers that were built before General Motors’ racing ban. Sponsored by Packer Pontiac of Detroit, it was driven in 1963 by Packer employee Howard Maselles, who set the NHRA C/Stock class record with a 12.27 ET at 114.64 mph. The car was rediscovered in the late 1970s by famed Pontiac collector and historian Randy Williams, with restoration completed in 2000. Authentically detailed and fully documented.

For information about the auction and times for live telecasts and streaming, see www.Mecum.com.

Steve McQueen-owned Ferrari GTB/4 at RM auction

Steve McQueen had the Ferrari repainted Chianti Red shortly after purchasing it new | Classic & Sports Car
Steve McQueen had the Ferrari repainted Chianti Red shortly after purchasing it new | Classic & Sports Car

‘When it comes to cars with celebrity provenance, it doesn’t get any better than a Ferrari owned by Steve McQueen.”

So says Max Girardo, managing director of RM Auctions, Europe, in announcing that a coveted 1967 Ferrari 275 GTB/4 originally owned by the “King of Cool” actor and car enthusiast would be offered at RM’s Monterey, California, auction in August.

The McQueen magic is expected to significantly boost the sale of the already-pricey vintage Ferrari, a four-cam V12 sports coupe currently valued between $1 million and $2 million, according to the latest price guides.

The auction result could double and even triple the car’s final bid just because McQueen owned and drove it for five years.

The GTB/4 is known for exceptional performance | Classic & Sports Car
The GTB/4 is known for exceptional performance | Classic & Sports Car

The last time a Ferrari formerly owned by the late actor was auctioned off – a 1963 Ferrari 250 GT Lusso sold by Christies in 2011 – it’s presale estimated value more than quadrupled with a result of $2.3 million.

One of the most famous sales of a McQueen car was that of the 1970 Porsche 911S that he owned and drove in the opening sequences of the movie Le Mans. That sale stunned everyone when the bidding soared to a final $1.375 million at RM’s Monterey auction in August 2011. Ordinarily, a similar Porsche in pristine condition would be worth a fraction of that.

Another record-shattering sale of a McQueen item was that of the driving suit he wore in Le Mans for his role as the fictional driver Michael Delaney. That went for nearly $1 million. Who knows what the McQueen value multiplier was for that sale.

Recent auctions of various motorcycles once owned by the actor also have spiked bidding.

McQueen added custom seat trim | Classic & Sports Car
McQueen added custom seat trim | Classic & Sports Car

McQueen, best known for his signature roles in Bullitt, Le Mans and The Thomas Crown Affair, ordered the GTB/4 coupe (chassis 10621) new in Hollywood in 1967 and immediately had it repainted its current Chianti Red.

He had it fitted with the Borrani wire wheels from his Ferrari 275 GTB N.A.R.T. Spider that was wrecked in a crash, plus equipped it with a custom-designed driver’s side rear view mirror, a retractable radio antenna and custom seat trim.

McQueen sold the car about five years later. After a number of owners enjoyed the Ferrari (including fellow actor Guy Williams), it was purchased by the current owner, who commissioned Ferrari Classiche to complete a full restoration to McQueen’s personal specification. The car was shown in 2013 as part of Museo Ferrari’s exhibit, “From Cinecittà to Hollywood, all Ferraris in the Cinema” exhibition, and proved so popular with visitors that it has remained a featured attraction at the Maranello museum.

RM will have the McQueen Ferrari on display during its Monaco sale on Saturday prior to its offering at the Monterey auction, which is part of the renowned Pebble Beach classic car week. An auction estimate for the car’s value has not been made public.

“The vehicle we have on offer ticks all the boxes when it comes to collectability: it is one of the ultimate Ferraris ever built, it was recently restored by Ferrari themselves, and it was delivered new to none other than the ‘King of Cool,’” Girardo said.

Terminally rusted ‘barn find’ Ferrari Dino at auction

Nearly four decades under a leaky garage roof decimated this low-mileage Ferrari Dino | Silverstone Auctions
Nearly four decades under a leaky garage roof decimated this low-mileage Ferrari Dino | Silverstone Auctions

“Barn finds” are all the rage at collector-car auctions. Dirty relics pulled from long-term storage have become an auction staple, with sought-after classic cars earning top dollar despite their derelict conditions.

Ferrari Dinos are also hot. The V6-powered, mid-engine sports coupes have soared in value after spending years in the bargain basement. Today, they’re featured classics, such as the Keith Richards’ Dino at auction this week.

So, who wouldn’t get excited over the prospect of an ultra-low-mileage Dino barn-find car coming to auction? Well, except that this one comes with an asterisk.

The 1973 Ferrari Dino 242GT is far, far away from being an aesthetically patinated piece of vintage charm. Just look at the photos. It’s a scary rusted wreck, probably good only for its low-mileage parts. If that.

The Dino was driven less than 14,000 miles | Silverstone Auctions
The Dino was driven less than 14,000 miles | Silverstone Auctions

The Dino is being offered by Silverstone Auctions at its May 24 sale at the Silverstone Circuit, in Towcester, England.

The rust-bucket Dino has only 13,942 miles on its odometer, and it does come with a colorful back story, according to the auction house.

It seems the late owner was a motorcycle racer with a penchant for blasting around quiet British streets in his cool Ferrari. One day, he got the attention of the local police who were not impressed by his high-speed exploits.

Rather than pull over, he took off and outran the police. He arrived home and stashed the car in the garage, afraid to drive it again for fear of getting caught. And there it sat untouched for the next four decades, under a leaky roof that obviously took its toll.

Silverstone describes the car in typical British understatement.

“As you have probably expected, the idea of finding a low-owner, low-mileage rare-optioned Ferrari Dino with an interesting story of being untouched for the last 39 years is, unfortunately, too good to be true,” the auction company writes in its Dino description.

“A leaky garage roof has meant the car has suffered from a severe case of what some may call water staining whilst others would say it’s simply rotten as a pear.”

Reborn Carlisle Auctions scores $3.2 million sale

 The Car Corral included hundreds of vehicles for sale spread across the 150-acre Carlisle Fairgrounds | Carlisle Events
The Car Corral included hundreds of vehicles spread across the 150-acre Carlisle Fairgrounds | Carlisle Events

The return of Carlisle Auctions to the Spring Carlisle Swap Meet and Car Corral reached a $3.2 million result for its April 24-25 collector-car auction, with 72.5 percent of the 300 cars sold on the block.

Held during a sparkling spring weekend that provided a welcomed break after an unusually hard Pennsylvania winter, the Carlisle Auctions sale was an active addition to the automotive country fair held every spring at the Carlisle Fairgrounds since 1977. The Fall Carlisle swap meet and car corral celebrates its 40th anniversary in October.

More than 100,000 people turned out for Spring Carlisle, a four-day spectacular that started up April 22. The 150-acre fairground was filled to capacity with a busy automotive swap meet of parts, collector’s items and memorabilia (the 8,100 vendors spaces were sold out), and a sweeping car corral filled with hundreds of vehicles for sale ranging from antiques and classics to street rods and exotics.

A Chevy resto-rod sedan crosses the block | Carlisle Events
A Chevy resto-rod sedan crosses the block | Carlisle Events

The Carlisle Auctions sale was the third held since the auction was reorganized in November 2013, with two held earlier in Zephyrhills, Florida. The home-grown collector-car auction company had conducted sales during Carlisle events until 2010, after which Auctions America by RM held sales for three years. Carlisle Auctions plans four annual sales, in spring and fall at Carlisle and two  in Florida.

A special selling-friendly feature of Carlisle Auction is a “Free Unless Sold” policy that takes some of the pressure off consigners whose vehicle don’t meet reserve prices.

“We’re not just bringing back the logo and the brand, we’re introducing some cool new features, such as Free Until Sold,” said Michael Garland, a spokesman for Carlisle Events.

The Spring Carlisle auction was a low-key affair with quite a few of the cars selling in the four-figure and low five-figure range. Corvettes were top sellers, with a ’65 convertible gaining the highest sale of the auction at $77,000 (plus buyer’s fee). A 1962 Pontiac Catalina went for $71,000, a 1965 Ford Mustang sold at $60,000 and a pair of ’57 Chevy Bel Airs hit $61,000 and $60,000.

The 40th annual Fall Carlisle swap meet, car corral and Carlisle Auctions sale happens October 1-5.

Keith Richards’ Ferrari Dino goes to auction

Keith Richards of the Rolling Stones owned this Ferrari Dino for 14 years | Coys
Keith Richards of the Rolling Stones owned this Ferrari Dino for 14 years | Coys

The stars are aligned for the no-reserve sale of a low-mileage 1972 Ferrari Dino 246GT at Coys’ May 9 auction in Monaco because the sports coupe comes with the highest order of rock ‘n roll celebrity provenance.

This Dino was originally owned by none other than Keith Richards, legendary guitarist for the Rolling Stones, who bought it new, kept it for 14 years and drove it about 25,000 miles. Now with just 28,000 on its odometer, the mid-engine Ferrari is in pristine condition after an extended time in a prestigious Japanese collection, according to the British auction company.

Accompanying the car is a letter of authenticity from Rolling Stones’ manager Alan Dunn confirming Richards’ ownership and mileage up until April 1986.

Values for the V6-powered Dinos have climbed in recent years, along with the values of all classic Ferraris, as collectors re-discovered the car’s exceptional drivability and attractive styling. Dinos now range in value from around $250,000 to $400,000, depending on condition, according to the latest price guides, although the Keith Richards connection has the potential of blowing it through the roof.

“A Dino offered at no reserve is rare enough in itself and would make this is a highly desirable and collectible item in its own right,” said Chris Routledge, managing partner at Coys. “But when one adds to this proven long-term ownership by rock and roll aristocracy, the Keith Richards’s car has to be the ultimate Dino and will surely give any car collector and rock enthusiast a great ‘Satisfaction’.”

Auctions America scales up Auburn Spring auction

A rare 1960 Chrysler 300F convertible, part of the Rigoli collection | Auctions America
A rare 1960 Chrysler 300F convertible, part of the Rigoli collection | Auctions America

Auctions America holds what figures to be its largest Auburn Spring event May 8-10 with around 900 collector cars crossing the block, including the highly anticipated sale of the John Scotti Collection of more than 400 choice vehicles. All of the Scotti cars are offered at no-reserve.

Other highlights of the sweeping Auburn, Indiana, auction include a highly original classic 1939 Packard Twelve Touring cabriolet with coachwork by Brunn; a rare, restored 1934 Chrysler Custom Imperial Airflow limousine from the Scotti collection; a 1962 Chevrolet Impala SS 409 Lightweight Sport Coupe that has been largely untouched since it raced at the Indy Nationals in 1962; an as-found 1954 Jaguar XK 120SE drop head coupe (British for convertible) rescued from a Georgia barn; a 1925 Ahrens-Fox NS4 fire truck; and a unique 1941 Allan Herschell carousel converted to run on solar power by General Electric.

1939 Packard Twelve Touring Cabriolet | Auctions America
1939 Packard Twelve Touring Cabriolet | Auctions America

The Auburn Spring auction is one of two home-court events held by Auctions America at the historic Auburn Auction Park. The other is the Auburn Fall sale scheduled for August 27-31. The spring event starts up with a preview day on May 7 prior to three days of bidding.

For the first time, the Spring auction will be covered live by the NBC Sports Network, which is delivered to more than 80 million homes in the U.S., according to Auctions America. The auction also features live streaming on the auctionsamerica.com website.

An added attraction for the Auburn auction is the Special National Spring Meet of the Antique Automobile Club of America, which will bring sterling examples of early motoring to the auction complex for public display.

1962 Chevy Impala SS 409 Lightweight | Auctions America
1962 Chevy Impala SS 409 Lightweight | Auctions America

Auctions America is the “mainstream auction” subsidiary of RM Auctions, according to Keith Koscak, Auctions America car specialist, with a range of classic vehicles for everyone from hands-on hobbyists to high-end collectors.

“You have RM and Gooding (Gooding & Company) catalog-style of auctions, the extremely high-end blue-chip collector cars, and then Auctions America would be a mainstream auction; we kind of look after everything else,” Koscak said. “Really, we range from $5,000 to a million and a half. We sold a Duesenberg at Auburn here last fall for a million five. And we cover everything in between.”

The no-reserve Scotti collection has stirred a lot of attention for Auburn Spring, Koscak said. John Scotti is a Montreal new-car dealer with a passion for buying and selling a wide variety of interesting cars, from vintage American cruisers, classics and muscle cars to modern European exotics.

1925 Ahrens-Fox NS4 Firetruck | Auctions America
1925 Ahrens-Fox NS4 Firetruck | Auctions America

“Right now, our registered bidders are 3 or 4 times what they would normally be at this point, and I think the Scotti collection is going to bring in a lot of new bidders and buyers,” Koscak said.

Two smaller but no-less-special classic-car collections also have piqued interest: Seven authentic Chrysler 300 Letter Cars, both survivor and restored, from the Richard C. Rigoli Collection, including a 1955 C-300 hardtop and a 1960 300F convertible; and 18 mainly ’50s and ’60s General Motors cars from the Duffy Grove Collection, featuring a1963 Chevrolet Corvette fuel-injected roadster and a gorgeously restored 1957 Oldsmobile 98 J-2 convertible.

The barn-find 1954 Jaguar XK120SE has taken on a life of its own, Koscak added, gaining from a renewed interest among collectors for great cars that still have their dusty, musty patina from years of neglectful storage.

“It seems like today, barn-find cars like this are just as popular as fully restored cars to collectors,” he said. “You don’t see that many true barn-find cars these days. I think a lot of people refer to something they find in long-term ownership and in a garage somewhere as a barn find, but this literally came out of a barn.”

Barn-fresh 1954 Jaguar XK 120SE | Auctions America
Barn-fresh 1954 Jaguar XK 120SE | Auctions America

The sports car was stored away in the Georgia barn by the widow of the late owner, Koscak said. It sat unprotected for more than 40 years.

“One of my clients found out about it through the local Jaguar club,” he said. “He eventually ended up purchasing it (from the widow) and pulled it out of the barn. You can tell from the photos it’s the epitome of a true barn find. There’s like an inch of dirt on the thing, but that to me is what makes it really cool.”

Fortunately, the new owner appreciated the car in its raw condition and did not attempt to clean it up, Koscak said. He did get it running and driving, however. And quite possibly, the derelict Jaguar will be driven over the block in Auburn just like the restored cars, although the auction people will have to inspect it to make sure it’s safe to drive.

There are also two other possible issues, Koscak added.

“If it happens to be a rainy day, it probably won’t (be driven) because we don’t want to wash off the history,” he said. “Also, whether you can see through the windshield.”

Meyers Manx marks 50th birthday with honors

The 1964 Meyers Manx named Old Red in its natural surroundings, a California beach | Historic Vehicle Association
The 1964 Meyers Manx named Old Red in its natural surroundings | Historic Vehicle Association

A 50th anniversary party for the original dune buggy, the 1964 Meyers Manx, highlights the Historic Vehicle Association’s inaugural Cars at the Capitol automotive heritage celebration this weekend at the National Mall in Washington, D.C.

The first Manx, known as “Old Red,” was hand-built by Bruce Meyers in his Newport Beach, California, garage and will be present Saturday morning during the opening remarks at the National Mall. Meyers, an active 88 year old, also is expected to attend.

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Famous Jaguar sports cars, racers entered in Mille Miglia

Jaguar C-types, D-types and XKs will run in Italy's famed Mille Miglia | Jaguar Heritage Racing
Jaguar C-types, D-types and XKs will run in Italy’s famed Mille Miglia | Jaguar Heritage Racing

Jaguar Heritage Racing will field 10 of its most-celebrated race and sports cars of the 1950s for the Mille Miglia classic car rally May 15-18 through the heart of Italy.

Driving the historic collection of XKs, C-types and D-types will be famous stars of stage, screen, music and motorsports, who will pair up as pilots and navigators for the driving event that reenacts the former Mille Miglia road race, which ran from 1927 through 1958.

The Jaguar Heritage Racing entries and famous occupants include:

* The 1951 Jaguar XK 120 roadster that raced as part of the Ecurie Ecosse team, driven by retired Tonight Show host Jay Leno;

* The ex-Jim Swift racing XK120 roadster driven by award-winning British actor Jeremy Irons;

* An XK140 once owned by successful British racing driver David Hobbs and to be driven by Scottish singer/songwriter Amy Macdonald.

* Three famous C-type racing cars, to be driven by AC/DC lead singer Brian Johnson, Belgian singer-songwriter Milow (Jonathan Vandenbroeck) and ex-Jaguar Le Mans 24 Hours race winner Andy Wallace, who will drive the Jaguar C-type that won the 1952 Reims Grand Prix with Formula 1 legend Stirling Moss at the wheel.

* The penultimate “Long Nose” Jaguar D-type, which celebrates its 60th anniversary in 2014, driven by the team of ex-Jaguar Le Mans and World Sports Prototype Championship winner, Formula 1 driver and TV pundit Martin Brundle and ex-Formula 1 racer Bruno Senna.

* Other beautiful XK 120s will be occupied by British music star Elliot Greave and his wife, Erin Greave, TV personality and former Miss Australia; author David Blakeley with TV personality Jodie Kidd; and Jaguar Vehicle Integrity Chief Engineer Mike Cross in the ex-Stirling Moss Monthlery record-breaking coupe.

One of the world’s most popular classic car events, the 2014 edition of the Mille Miglia hosts a total of 430 cars, “all of them cars of great historical and sporting prestige,” according to the event organizers.

For more about the Mille Miglia, see http://www.1000miglia.eu/

1958 Dodge sways to top in British hill climb

John Harrison careens around a curve in his 1958 Dodge Coronet | Shelsley Walsh Hill Climb
John Harrison careens around a curve in his 1958 Dodge Coronet | Shelsley Walsh Hill Climb

Ordinarily, we would pass on publicizing the upcoming Shelsley Walsh Hill Climb, a competitive event May 4 in Worcester, England. But this photo, and the story behind it, is too good to ignore.

Among the vintage sports and race cars that will run up the historic hill course – along with up-to-date racers competing in the Midland Hill Climb Championship – we have John Harrison of Wareham, Dorset, who again will entertain the crowd by roaring to the top in his 1958 Dodge Coronet sedan.

With its mammoth weight, towering tailfins, pronounced body sway and two-speed automatic transmission, the Coronet most certainly is the least nimble entry. But according to Harrison, that’s the whole point.

“The challenge of hill climbing such a totally unsuitable but exciting car is what appeals to me,” Harrison said in a news release from the hill-climb organizers. “The car is completely unrestored and retains its original paint, interior and drive train, with no power steering or assisted brakes and is running on authentic cross-ply whitewall tires to provide a true 1950s driving experience.

“It will reach 60 mph in first,” Harrison said, “so I just keep it in that gear and hang on for dear life as it wallows along and smokes its tires around the corners.”

Mecum launches ‘super yacht’ auction in Florida

The beautiful 86-foot Permare Amer will be among the super yachts offered by Mecum | Mecum Auctions
The beautiful 86-foot Permare Amer will be among the super yachts offered by Mecum | Mecum Auctions

After more-than a quarter century of classic car sales, Mecum Auctions takes the plunge this week with what it is calling the world’s first Super Yacht Auction.

Super yachts – the massively opulent luxury vessels that can sail the Seven Seas and cost multi-millions of dollars – will be featured May 2-3 in the South Beach, Florida, auction of 25 high-end yachts, off-shore speedboats and other pricey vessels designed to appeal to the world’s wealthiest bidders.

Of the ocean-going craft, about 12 of them are officially classified as “super yachts” because they run more than 75 feet from stem to stern, according to Mecum’s yacht specialist, Jerry Burton. But like Mecum’s classic car auctions, the yacht sale will have enough variety of scale and price to make it interesting, and help separate the real billionaires from the mere millionaires.

The Hatteras 130 is the biggest boat at auction | Mecum Auctions
The Hatteras 130 is the biggest boat at auction | Mecum Auctions

“They are the same class of people who have polo ponies,” Burton said. “These boats are expensive, and owning a boat is an expensive proposition.”

About $30 million would be generated if all the boats are sold, Burton said.

Burton said it was his longtime expertise with yacht sales that convinced Dana Mecum, founder and head of the auction company, to create the seaside auction.

“It’s a new venture for him,” Burton said of Mecum. “He’s not a boat person. I’m as experienced in boats as he is in cars. I know everybody in the boat business as he knows everyone in the car business.”

The largest vessel in the auction is the 130-foot Hatteras Tri-Deck Motor Yacht, which boasts the spaciousness and luxury fittings of a mansion in Beverly Hills. Built in 1995 by Hatteras of North Carolina, the yacht has 5 cabins for 10 guests (including the master suite) and accommodations for 7 crew members.

Mecum includes no value estimates for the auction boats, but a similar Hatteras spotted for sale on an Internet site was priced at $9.4 million.

The Italian-American Magnum 44 | Mecum Auctions
The Italian-American Magnum 44 | Mecum Auctions

Although it’s the biggest, it might not be the most-expensive boat on board, Burton said, with such custom beauties as the 124-foot craft from Delta Marine, which “has a relaxed, beach house ambiance, filled with warm, light woods and fine stonework,” the auction catalog says.

“A lot of these boats have gone to Europe,” Burton said. “You could live on these boats, and live like a king.”

There is a selection of smaller boats for island hopping and exploring the coastline, all of the craft exotic and very expensive.

Even the smallest boat offered, a 16-foot open fishing vessel called the Bimini Bonefisher, is “a work of art,” Burton said. It comes from a small Bahamas company that builds one boat per year with the finest craftsmanship and materials. “It’s gorgeous.”

The idea for the yacht auction came after the successful sale several years ago of a single luxury yacht during a Mecum auction in Florida, Burton added.

“We sold a boat at the Kissimmee auction that one of my wealthy clients brought to Italy,” he said. “It was terrific, and ever since, I’ve been thinking about that and talking with Dana.

“I worked on him for a long time, and finally he said, ‘OK, let’s give it a shot.’”