Category archives: Auctions

Russo and Steele eager for its hometown auction


Photo by Larry Edsall
Photo by Larry Edsall

Another in a series of previews of classic car auctions in January

After back-to-back auctions at Monterey and Las Vegas, Drew Alcazar says his Phoenix-based team at Russo and Steele may have been tired, but “the great thing was to see how excited everyone was to come home and work on Scottsdale.”

And it’s not just his own team he finds excited about his company’s January 15-19 auction of European sports, American muscle, hot rods and customs.

“We may eclipse 750 cars,” Alcazar said, adding that consignments still are flowing in, to the point that he and his crew are busy trying to figure out how to make room for them all.

But even before the influx of cars, “We brought in some new people, people who have the capability of taking us to the next level,” Alcazar said. “It’s another testament of our success, bringing on a lot more resources, doing better customer service. That’s exciting for me.”

Russo and Steele needed additional staff because Alcazar doubled up on the auction schedule last year, adding events in Orange County, Calif., and Las Vegas to the usual lineup of Scottsdale and Monterey.

“It was quite an adventure for the gang, and a big learning curve, but they did a great job, particularly with Las Vegas just 30 days after Monterey,” Alcazar said.

The company’s 2014 auction schedule again is for four events, including Newport Beach in June, Monterey in August and Las Vegas in September. First, however, comes Russo and Steele’s 14th Scottsdale auction.

“We have the best collection of cars that we have had since the 2010 anniversary year,” Alcazar said.  “Not that I want to dredge that horse out of the grave again. That year was our coming out year. It was our 10th anniversary. The cars were impressive. Russo and Steele had arrived. To have it in a wad and a mud puddle was devastating [a tornado-like storm felled tents and battered many cars], but at least everyone got out alive.

“Now we’re not just back, but we’re going forward,” he added. “It started last year with the two new events. Now the inventory we have at Scottsdale is probably the best evidence.”

The increase in staff strength is additional evidence, he said, and will free Alcazar to do strategic planning and to focus on clients.

“I’m just another car guy,” Alcazar said. “To me it is a hobby. But there’s a time to look at the business model, to bring in more business acumen.”

Alcazar knows where Russo and Steele fits within the classic car auction industry.  Yes, he likes having a car or two sell for seven figures, but he knows people come to his auctions for what he calls the “$50,000 to $500,000 sweet spot” of the market, and especially for European sports cars in that price range.

Yet it is two cars that could exceed that range that may provide the highlights of Russo and Steele’s Scottsdale auction.

Lamborghini 350GT | Courtesy Russo and Steele
Lamborghini 350GT | Courtesy Russo and Steele

“Our most exciting European sports car is the [1966 Lamborghini] 350GT, especially on the heels of how well Rob [Myers of RM Auctions] did with one and how we did with the DB6 at Newport Beach.”

RM Auctions sold a 1965 350 GT coupe with Touring Superleggera bodywork for $550,000 last April. A 1968 Aston Martin DB6 brought a record $456,500 at Russo and Steele’s inaugural Orange County sale.

The 350GT up for bidding at Scottsdale is an early production model with Touring coachwork and an engine-turned machined steering wheel and dash surround.

“The Birdcage Maserati is a bit of a calculated risk,” Alcazar said, explaining that the 1959 Maserati Tipo 61 “bird cage” being offered at Scottsdale is the serial number 2459 car built for Briggs Cunningham’s racing team and driven to three victories in 1960 by Walt Hansgen. But it also was the car that crashed heavily in 1962 at Daytona.

Years later, the car was reconstructed by an Italian collector and in 2010 was granted its FIA Historical Technical Passport, making it eligible for international vintage racing events. Last year the car won its class at the Keels & Wheels concours in Texas and has been invited to Amelia Island in 2014.

“It has a new skin, new chassis, new drivetrain,” Alcazar said. “You’re not going to put a 100-percent original Birdcage on the track, but this car may be even more enticing if you want to go vintage racing.”

Photo gallery images courtesy Russo and Steele

Other headline vehicles for the Russo and Steele auction include:

  • * a 1969 Yenko Chevrolet Camaro:
  • * a 1971 Chevrolet Corvette LS6 convertible;
  • * the Hemi-powered 1965 McKee sports racer built for Richard Petty to drive in the Can-Am series (he ended up drag racing instead);
  • * a 1972 Ford Torino raced by Bud Moore’s NASCAR team;
  • * a 1969 Shelby GT350 SCCA B-Production racer.

But Alcazar — after all, he’s just a car guy — gets just as excited when he talks about car such as a 1973 Porsche 911S owned by the same family since new, a Targa-topped 1980 Toyota Celica Sunchaser, and a 1968 Saab 96.

“It will be fun to be on the block with these cars,” he said.

Bonhams ready for annual Las Vegas motorcycle auction

We’ve already shared some information on the MidAmerica/Mecum motorcycle auction taking place January 9-11 at south end of The Strip in Las Vegas, but that sale has a competitor on its opening day, Bonhams’ annual classic motorcycle sale at Bally’s Hotel & Casino.

Bonhams’ sale will include an Isle of Man winner and a BMW factory racer credited with changing American minds about Bimmer bikes.

The 1947 Vincent HRD Series B Rapide that won the 1950 Isle of Man Clubman TT beneath Alex Phillip will be up for bidding. Estimated to be worth as much as $150,000, after its big victory, the bike was uprated to full Black Lightning specifications — Phillip called it a “rocketship” — an was sold to British commando and war hero Lt. Colonel “Mad Jack” Churchill.

The 1972 Butler & Smith BMW F750 is one of two purpose-built, factory-supplied racing bikes sent to tuner Udo Geitl of Butler & Smith, the BMW motorcycle importers for the United States. Geitl’s tweaks produced stunningly faster bikes that raced in the 1973 Daytona 200 and helped to change the image of BMW motorcycles in the U.S. from “stuffy tourer” to sporting machine.

The F750s also were predecessors to the Butler & Smith BMW R90S model that Geitl readied and that Reg Pridmore rode to the first world Superbike championship.

The F750 up for bidding was ridden at Daytona by Kurt Leibmann while Pridmore rode its twin. Pre-auction estimated value is as much as $75,000.

“We are very pleased to have been selected to represent these historic motorcycles at auction,” said Nick Smith, motorcycle manager for Bonhams U.S. Motoring Division. “Both machines are quite significant for different reasons and both represent the ultimate in motorcycling: racing at its highest level.”

Also in the catalog for the sale are the Silverman Museum Racing Collection of Ducatis and the Pierce Family Museum Collection of Harley-Davidsons.


Bonhams determined to make third time the charm for its Arizona auction

Another in a series of previews of classic car auctions in January.

Bonhams is doing everything it can to make the third time the charm in selling classic cars at auction in Arizona.

“When people get our catalog they will see a quite severe upgrade in the quality of the cars we’re offering,” promised Jakob Greisen, motorcar specialist and head of business development for Bonhams motoring department.

Greisen said Bonhams set out on the new path last summer with its classic car auction at the Quail Lodge in Monterey, Calif.

“Our Quail auction went from $12 million in 2012 to just over $30 million in 2013, and with less cars,” said Greisen, who joined Bonhams last year from Gooding & Co.

The idea, he added, is “less but more,” as in fewer offerings, but offerings of high quality.

Bonhams, established in England in 1793, certainly is known for the quality of its auction offerings in Europe, where it recently handled the sale of the famed Ecurie Ecosse racing team collection and where, last summer, it sold the 1954 Mercedes-Benz W196R Grand Prix car for a world-record auction price of $29.65 million.

Not only will the quality of the cars be upgraded, Greisen said, but so will their presentation January 16 at the Westin Kierland resort in Scottsdale.

“We sat down and said, ‘you know what? It’s a very big marketplace and our share is not where it should be, and when it comes to the  handful of auction houses that can handle an important car, we’re not handling as many as we should be. We rethought our strategy and our business plan. We’ve been outgoing more and have reached out more to our clients. Especially in Scottsdale.

“It’s about offering the client something unusual, something they have to buy at auction, that they cannot find on eBay or Hemmings, something that [they realize presents] an opportunity.”

For example? Griesen offers two of them , one a pre-war car, one from the post-war period.

The pre-war car is a 1931 Alfa Romeo 6C 1750 supercharged gran sport spider with bodywork by Zagato.

“The car has a fabulous history,” Griesen said. “It was bought new by a baron in France, a young playboy who raced at Le Mans and had airplanes and he had this great car.”

The young baron co-drove an Alfa 8C with Luigi Chinetti at Le Mans in 1933 and they finished second, trailing only another 8C co-driven by the legendary Tazio Nuvolari and Frenchman Raymond Sommer. In the 1930s, the baron sent his wife and son to Switzerland but he remained in France and joined the resistance movement.

He sold the Alfa 6C in 1935. Through several owners, the car remained in France in original condition until it was sold in 2007 at Monterey. The American collector who bought it there had it restored. He sold it three years later. The consignor for the Scottsdale auction also had it restored, by Steve Babinsky of American Restorations.

Since then, still with its original engine and bodywork, it has been shown at the Pebble Beach and Amelia Island concours. In 2013, the car participated in the Mille Miglia and then took part in the Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este.

The car’s pre-auction estimate is $2.4 million to $2.7 million.

Griesen’s post-war example of Bonhams boost in quality is “the tailor’s car,” a 1951 Ferrari 212 Export Berlinetta with bodywork by Touring.

“The car has had the same ownership since 1969 and is one of four export 212s that had Touring superleggera coachwork,” Griesen said

The car, he added, was one of the first Ferraris produced, purchased new by Augusto Caraceni, a racing driver and professional tailor with clients that included Enzo Ferrari, Gianni Agnelli, Aristotle Onasissis, Humphrey Bogart and Cary Grant.

The car came to the United States in the early 1960s and the consignor has owned it since 1969. Its restoration, by several Ferrari experts, began in 2008.

Since it’s restoration, Griesen said, “it has never been shown, but it is a car you could take to Pebble Beach or Cavallino Classic and the Mille Miglia.”

The pre-auction estimate is $3-$4 million.

While the Alfa and Ferrari may be two of the most outstanding examples of Bonhams’ new push, Griesen noted that the catalog ranges from a 1910 Simplex 50HP Toy Tonneau to a 2010 Ferrari 599XX. In between those dates and cars are many others, including two Mercedes-Benz 300SLs, a gulling and a roadster; a 1936 Mercedes-Benz 500K sports phaeton; a 1966 Ferrari 275 GTB/6C; a 1954 Bentley R-type Continental fastback; and a 1950 Delahaye originally displayed at the Paris auto salon.

And it’s not just the quality of the cars offered that has been upgraded, Griesen said. So has the quality of the automobila offerings, which include such unique items as the tweed jacket worn by Steve McQueen in the movie Bullitt.

Photos courtesy of Bonhams

Matching numbers: They’re certainly adding up nicely for Gooding & Co. as it prepares for its Arizona auction

1955 Ferrari 410 Superamerica photo by Brian Henniker | Courtesy Gooding & Co.
1955 Ferrari 410 Superamerica photo by Brian Henniker | Courtesy Gooding & Co.

Another in a series of previews of classic car auctions in January.

Let’s have some fun with numbers (Gooding & Co. certainly did in 2013):

  • 10
  • 192,600,000
  • 286
  • 50
  • 673,68
  • 95

Now for the fun…

The 10 is here because 2013 marked a decade in business for the classic car auction company started by David Gooding, who grew up in one of the country’s best collections — his father was the curator at the National Automobile Museum (nee Harrah’s) — and David took his lifelong knowledge of classic cars with him to Christie’s and RM before launching on his own.

That 192.6 million is the dollar value of the 286 classic vehicles sold in 2013 at Gooding & Co.’s three auctions. Fifty of those vehicles sold for $1 million or more.

Yes, the fact that the average sale at a Gooding & Co. auction was $673,686 is quite impressive. But even more impressive to my way of thinking is the fact that 95 percent of all vehicles offered at those sales actually were sold.

“We love that number,” said Garth Hammers, one of the car specialists at Gooding. “We put a lot of work into that. We accept cars very carefully. It has to be the right car, the finest example we can find. It has to be priced competitively, and it has to be something people are looking for.”

Consider that the vast majority of vehicles sold at Gooding & Co. auctions carry significant reserve prices. Auction houses work with consignors to set those reserves. Set them too low and consignors go home discouraged they didn’t get what their cars were really worth. Set them too high and both bidders and consignors are discouraged, bidders because they couldn’t buy the car and consignors because the car didn’t sell.

But consign the right cars and know your customers — both sellers and buyers — and cars sell for the right price and everyone goes home happy.

Note that while other auction houses are adding events, Gooding has kept its calendar to three sales — Arizona, Amelia Island and Pebble Beach.

“The sales roster that we have allows us to focus on customer service and being able to hand choose every car that goes into each of the sales,” Hammers said.

The limited schedule allows Gooding & Co. specialists and other staffers to spend time searching for those best-example cars and to work on important but less publicized parts of the business — brokering private (non-auction) sales and helping car-collecting clients with estate planning.

Gooding opens its second decade with its annual January sale in Arizona, where it sets up shop in a couple of big tents next in the parking lot next to the Dillard’s department store at the high-end Scottsdale Fashion Square shopping mall.

The catalog for the auction includes 118 lots, and 20 of them are vehicles wearing the three-pointed star of Mercedes-Benz.

“Once we saw it coming together and that we were moving in that direction, we thought it would be interesting to pull in a lot of different models from Mercedes-Benz,” Hammers said. “Historically, they sell very well. Mercedes has had so many timely designs and their engineering is beyond reproach.”

He added that classic Mercedes, even those just being “awakened from a sometimes long slumber” are capable and reliable drivers, whether on classic tours or in everyday traffic.

One reason for that, he said, was the Mercedes-Benz Classic Center, a Mercedes-owned parts and restoration shop in Irvine, Calif., that has become something of a one-stop shop for keeping vintage Mercedes on the road and running and looking good.

Among the Mercedes being offered at Gooding’s Arizona sale are a pair of 1956 300SL gullwings that may share their red interior and black body colors, histories of nearly 50 years of single-family ownership, and even their estimated values, but otherwise are very different.

1956 Mercedes-Benz 300SL photo by Mathieu Heurtault
1956 Mercedes-Benz 300SL photo by Mathieu Heurtault

One, valued at $1.35-$1.7 million, was owned by a single family for nearly 50 years, but sold in 2006 and a year later underwent a concours-quality restoration at RM Auto Restorations. The car was sold again in 2011 and won best-in-class honors at the San Marino, Calif., concours.

The other, with an estimated value of $1.1-$1.4 million, is offered in original condition. The car was put into storage in the 1970s and only recently has been rediscovered.

“They are priced somewhat similarly but are probably for vastly different customers,” Hammers said. “One car has been off the road for decades. It has its original interior, but the leather has splits in it. The headliner is threadbare. But it’s wonderfully original.

“The other has been restored to an extremely high standard and is as comfortable on the road as it is on the show field.”

But the Arizona auction isn’t just a Mercedes-Benz showcase, Hammers said, pointing out cars such:

  • the 1929 Duesenberg Model J dual-cowl phaeton originally owned by one of the Dodge brothers and the 2010 best-in-show winner at the Meadow Brook concours;
  • the 1997 McLaren F1 GTR “longtail” FIA GT racer (see photo below);
  • a 1956 Ferrari 410 Superamerica, one of 16 and “likely the last one that’s unrestored”;
  • a 1986 Ferrari 280 GTO that not only has been “federalized,” but is “California-legal”;
  • a 1958 Ferrari 250 GT Series 1 cabriolet.

And while those are expected to be seven-figure vehicles, the catalog includes several other less-expensive gems, Hammer said, including a pair of 1956 Austin-Healey 100Ms, a 1971 Alfa Romeo Montreal and for the first time ever at a Gooding auction, a 1954 Hudson Italia.

Photo by Mathieu Heurtault | Courltesy Gooding & Co.
Photo by Mathieu Heurtault | Courltesy Gooding & Co.

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For RM, Manhattan momentum means heightened anticipation for Arizona auction

Photo by Patrick Emzen  | Provided by RM Auctions
1958 Ferrari California Spider photo by Patrick Emzen | Provided by RM Auctions

Another in a series of previews of classic car auctions in January.

As if it wasn’t enough to do nearly $63 million in business in little more than two hours, it turns out there was a bonus dividend for RM Auctions in the aftermath of its Art of the Automobile auction in conjunction with Sotheby’s in November in New York City.

“It used to be harder to sell the client on ‘let me sell your car at Arizona or Amelia Island’,” said Ian Kelleher, a veteran car specialist at RM.

It seems most everyone wanted their cars included in RM’s big summer auction at Pebble Beach. But then along came the new New York auction, which drew a lot of attention — from consignors, from the media, and from people, especially younger people, who previously may not have considered classic cars as art to be purchased and even cherished.

And because the New York auction was taking place in a limited space, there was room for only 31 vehicles. However, RM could offer those that didn’t fit in Manhattan a slot at upcoming auctions in Arizona and Florida.

Kelleher also said the New York auction introduced young art collectors to the joy of classic cars.

“It’s become something people want to get involved in, even if it is just for one of two cars,” he said, adding that such newcomers “see something and love it and that’s what they want.

“They want to be able to enjoy their car,” he added, explaining that such newcomers are very good news, especially for people selling cars for less than a quarter of a million dollars.

“They see a Porsche GS GT Speedster and the see a standard-engine 1600,” Kelleher said. “To them, it doesn’t really matter if they have the four-cam variant as it does to have the same style. People are buying style and design. This is a very visual world and a very visual hobby.”

Such cars, he added, “represent accessibility to a world that is difficult to jump right in. People are driven to things that will allow them inclusion in collector car respectability” without having to spend seven figures until they have enough experience that their tastes mature and they realize the importance of that four-cam car.

1930 Duesenberg 'Disappearing Top' photo by Dari Schnabel | Courtesy RM Auctions
1930 Duesenberg ‘Disappearing Top’ photo by Dari Schnabel | Courtesy RM Auctions

RM returns to a two-day format — Thursday the 16th and Friday the 17th — for its Arizona auction, which again will be held at the Arizona Biltmore Resort in Phoenix.

The Arizona auction begins a new year for RM, which enjoyed a phenomenal 2013 during which the RM group, which includes RM Auctions, RM Restoration and Auctions America, did $442 million in sales and had a car emerge from its restoration shop to win best-in-show at Pebble B each for an unprecedented fifth time. Total sales marked a 20-percent boost over 2012 figures.

To start 2014, the catalog for RM’s 15th Arizona auction includes more than 120 vehicles. Among them:

  • a 1958 Ferrari 250 GT LWB California Spider (one of 50 built);
  • a 1930 Duesenberg Model J “Disappearing Top” convertible coupe known as Melvin’s Murphy in honor of Walter P. Murphy Coachbuilders, the Pasadena company that created the bodywork, and Melvin Clemans, who owned the car for more than 50 years;
  • a 1929 Bentley 4 1/2-liter tourer;
  • the 1953 Siata 208S Spyder known as the Siata-Ford;
  • the 1935 Hispano-Suiza J12 Cabriolet de Ville with bodywork by the Rippon brothers;
  • a 1956 Mercedes-Benz 300 SL gullwing coupe;
  • a 1964 Ferrari 250 GT/L Lusso;
  • the 1937 Bugatti Type 57C Ventoux that won Elegance in Motion honors at Pebble Beach in 1998;
  • one of two 1961 Chaparral 1 race cars, this one formerly owned by Skip Barber

Kelleher said the catalog also includes a variety of “entry-level collector cars people can get in and drive and enjoy very easily.”

1961 Chaparral 1 photo courtesy RM Auctions
1961 Chaparral 1 photo courtesy RM Auctions

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Barrett-Jackson has a new ring for its 43rd annual Scottsdale classic car circus

Artist's rendering of the revised WestWorld site for the Barrett-Jackson auction.
Artist’s rendering of the revised WestWorld site for the Barrett-Jackson auction.

This is the first in a series of previews of classic car auctions in January

“Welcome, ladies and gentlemen, to the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & … ” Oops, of course we mean Barrett & Jackson, not Barnum & Bailey. But while one is “The Greatest Show on Earth” and the other merely stages “The World’s Greatest Collector Car Auctions,” both provide multi-ring, circus-style entertainment for children  — and car collectors — of all ages.

Sure, next month Barrett-Jackson moves its auction block from a big old tent-style structure into a dazzling new 130,000-square-foot arena that was part of a $52 million upgrade to the WestWorld facilities by the City of Scottsdale, Arizona. Fear not, however, the circus continues. This year, the 43rd for Barrett-Jackson, there even will be a carousel, which you’ll be able to ride — provided, of course, that you are the high bidder — and there also will be bull-riding cowboys providing late-night entertainment over in the newly completed Equidome.

You’ll notice the changes as soon as you arrive at WestWorld, where the activities begin Sunday, January 12, with the annual Family Value Day from 8 a.m. until 5 p.m.

Monday, Bret Michaels will provide the entertainment at the auction gala. Bidding on some 1,400 vehicles begins at 2 p.m. Tuesday and runs to the late afternoon on Sunday. Over the course of the week, some 250,000 people are expected to attend the circus — err, auction.

Instead of the old and relatively narrow entry way, you’ll be greeted by a set of structures that stretch eight-tenths of a mile.

“We’re in the new building but we still have the old tent,” said Barrett-Jackson chairman Craig Jackson, who said there will be structures stretching from the old building to the new one, and from there some 600 feet out into what used to be a parking lot.

“That’s eight-tenths of a mile all indoors,” he said.

Because of the new buildings, the ride-and-drive area has been moved from the upper lot to the lower pavement.

Jackson also said that the “portapotties are gone,” with the exception of a few down on the lower field. The new buildings include real restrooms.

Also gone, he said, are all those noisy electrical generators, except for the few that provide backup power for the equipment used to televise the auction.

And even the television package has changed. Gone (at least in the United States) is the Speed Channel. Instead, the Scottsdale auction will be televised by various other Fox channels, including Fox Business, the National Geographic Channel and even the primary and over-the-air Fox broadcast channel that shows everything from NFL games to American Idol.

Speaking of American idols, some of the most iconic American cars will be featured during Fox Broadcast’s live coverage on Saturday.

Barrett-Jackson’s star cars, the Salon Collection, will be split into two groups with American cars up for bidding during the Fox Broadcast in the afternoon and European classics and sports cars during the usual prime-time Saturday night extravaganza, which will be televised by National Geographic.

“We’ve supersized Saturday,” Jackson said.

Photos courtesy Barrett-Jackson

The Salon Collection gets its own 216-page catalog. That’s in addition to the 600-plus page catalog that covers the rest of the auction docket.

Those Salon cars range from a 1929 Duesenberg to a gull-wing Mercedes-Benz 300SL and from a Shelby King Cobra to the Snake and Mongoose Hot Wheels funny cars and their transporters.

“We’ve had an incredible journey this past year with the Snake and Mongoose,” Jackson said. “The first premiere of the movie was at Hot August Nights [where Barrett-Jackson staged its newest auction during the popular and annual hot-rod festival].

“Then we took both cars and car haulers and drove them down the drag strip at Indy where all the [famed] grudge matches started in the U.S. Nationals. There was another movie premiere night at Indianapolis and all the modern and legendary drag racers came. That was truly incredible.

“Snake [Don Prudhomme] and Mongoose [Tom McEwen] changed drag racing by bringing non-automotive sponsorship — and showmanship — into it.

“I don’t know what the cars and transporters will bring,” Jackson added. “I put them into the wild-card category, but they’re truly a piece of American history.”


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Mecum buying MidAmerica, will present 23rd annual January sale in Las Vegas

Dana Mecum has tried more than once to become a significant player in the sales of classic motorcycles. For example, twice in the last three years his Monterey auction has included collections of 70 or more motorcycles.

That was then. This is now: Mecum is buying MidAmerica Auctions, a motorcycle specialist with some 30 years in business. Mecum begins making his mark by presenting Mid-America’s 23rd annual Las Vegas motorcycle auction January 9-11 at the South Point Hotel.

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First new Mustang will be sold at Barrett-Jackson’s Scottsdale auction


The first retail sale of the new 2015 Ford Mustang GT will occur during Barrett-Jackson’s 2014 Scottsdale auction. All proceeds from the sale will go to JDRF, the former Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation for its work on type 1 diabetes research.

“We’re kicking off the next 50 years of Mustang in style with a 2015 model featuring a sleek all-new design, world-class performance and innovative technologies,” Steve Ling, North America car marketing manager for Ford, was quoted in a press release announcing the first retail sale of the new pony car.

“We’re thrilled to be able to take advantage of Mustang’s popularity to help achieve the dream of ending juvenile diabetes,” he added.

It was just a couple of weeks ago that Ford unveiled its new Mustang, which won’t be available at Ford dealerships  until the third quarter of 2014.

The person posting the highest bid at Barrett-Jackson will have to wait to take delivery, but will get the first retail sales unit and will be able to specify transmission, color and other options. The car also will be autographed by members of the Mustang design and engineering development teams.

The 2015 Ford Mustang GT will be powered by a V8 engine producing more than 420 horsepower.

JDRF has been a frequent beneficiary of special Ford sales through Barrett-Jackson.

“Ford’s charitable vehicle sales at Barrett-Jackson have raised more than $3 million for JDRF through the years,” said Jeffrey Brewer, president and CEO of JDRF, “and these funds are helping us make tremendous progress towards therapies and treatments that will make life better for people with type 1 diabetes today as we work to find a cure for this terrible disease.”

Ford has supported the JDRF effort since 1983.

April 17, 2014 will mark the Mustang’s 50th anniversary.  Each 2015 model Mustang will celebrate that milestone with a badge showing the galloping pony logo and the words, “Mustang – Since 1964.”3

In addition to the special Mustang auction, Ford will stage a hot-lap riding experience at WestWorld during the auction featuring the Shelby GT500, Focus ST and Fiesta ST. The Mustang created for the Need for Speed movie (see photo) also will be on display. That car features a custom wide body, unique 22-inch wheels and larger air intakes for its supercharged V8 engine. The movie debuts March 14, 2014.

MUSTANG VS. CAMARO: At Barrett-Jackson’s Scottsdale auction in 2009, the first retail sale of the then-new Chevrolet Camaro brought $350,000. Use the “Share your thoughts!” box below to guess what the new Mustang will bring at Barrett-Jackson in 2014.

Mecum, NBC team on auction coverage for three years

Photo by Larry Edsall
Photo by Larry Edsall

Mecum Auctions and NBC Sports Group have announced a three-year contract that will provide more than 425 hours of classic car auction coverage, including 125 hours of programming in 2014.

This is the second such major deal for a classic car auction house announced this week. Earlier, Barrett-Jackson and the Fox family of networks released news of their new deal.

NBC’s coverage of Mecum Auctions begins with Mecum’s 10-day January auction at Kissimmee, Florida, where the auction house plans to offer some 3,000 vehicles for bidding.

Kissimmee coverage begins at 1 p.m. (Eastern time) on the Esquire Network. Coverage on Esquire continues until January 24, which NBCSN joins the effort.

Finally, at 3 p.m. January 26, NBC will show a one-hour special featuring the highlights of the Kissimmee event.

Esquire Network, NBCSN and NBC are part of the NBCUniversal family of networks.

The NBCSN and NBC coverage will be streamed online via NBC Sports Life Extra. Coverage can be seen on desktop computers through There are apps for watching the online coverage on iPhone, iPad, IPod touch (at the App Store) and on Android handset and tablet devices (at Google Play).

After Kissimmee, the Mecum/NBC contract will show coverage of 2014 auctions at Houston, Kansas City (both the April and December sales), Indianapolis, Seattle, Harrisburg, Monterey, Dallas, Chicago, Anaheim and Austin.


Top 10 classic car auction highlights of 2013

Photo courtesy Mecum Auctions

Soon, we’ll start previewing the upcoming Arizona Auction Week events and the highlights of consignments at the various venues. But before we look ahead to 2014, we need to check the rearview mirrors and do a little review of the classic car auction year 2013.

We’re limiting this top-10 list to auctions held in North America, so don’t expect to read about the all-time at-auction sales record for a single classic vehicle — the $29.65 million and change someone spent at a Bonhams auction in England this year to buy one of the 1954 Mercedes-Benz W196Rs that Juan Manuel Fangio drove to his second World Driving Championship.

Actually, I guess you just read about it. Oh well, on with our top-10 auction highlights for 2013:

10. RM does a one-day sale of much of the collection of Texas auto dealer Dan Davis. The sale realizes $21.2 million, including a record $1 million for a Japanese car, albeit a true classic Japanese sports car, one from the few dozen 1967 Toyota 2000GTs exported to the U.S. market.

9. One of 20 1967 Chevrolet Corvette L88 convertibles sells for $3.2 million at Dana Mecum’s auction in Dallas. Provenance matters, the Corvette came with the time slip from its sprint to the NHRA A/Sports national championship.

8. There were new players in the auction scene and some familiar faces were playing in new places. Consider: RK Motors staged its first two auctions, including one with a remote bidding parlor in Abu Dhabi; Motostalgia did its first auction; Barrett-Jackson added Hot August Nights in Reno; Russo and Steele added Newport Beach and Las Vegas to its travel itinerary; the tiny town of Nocoma, Texas, rekindled its automotive history with a Vicari auction and big cruise-in; and Auctions America visited California (more on that in a moment).

7. An amazing amount of money was left on the table as consignors refused to relent on their reserve prices, even in the face of million-plus bids. For example, at Amelia Island, consignors convinced their cars were worth even more declined bids totaling some $6.5 million. It also happened in Arizona and elsewhere and shows just how strong the classic car marketplace was this year.

6. The famed Petersen Automotive Museum in Los Angeles sold off several dozen cars at auctions in 2013 (including the Auctions America event at nearby Burbank) and some people were in an uproar because they didn’t understand that museums sell parts of their collections from time to time and that most of what the Petersen sold wasn’t really part of its “collection” but just cars that had been donated to the museum, were taking up space in its parking garage, and in many cases weren’t worth the cost of restoration.

5. The auction year opened in Arizona, where sales exceeded $200 million for the first time where two Ferraris sold for more than $8 million each (at Gooding and RM) and where the original Batmobile brought a lot of excitement and $4.62 million at Barrett-Jackson.

4. Monterey saw Arizona’s $230 million and raised to more than $300 million during its auction week, which included a North American auction-record $27.5 million price for one of the 10 1967 Ferrari 275 GTB/4*S N.A.R.T. Spyders at RM’s sale.

3. RM and Sotheby’s set out to convince New York City fine art collectors that classic cars were, indeed, fine art. The result: some $63 million in sales during a two-hour auction.

2. This one may surprise you, because we rank the highly publicized and nationally televised VanDerBrink auction out in a farmer’s field in Nebraska of leftovers from the Lambrecht Chevrolet dealership No. 2 on our top-10 list.  So what’s No. 1?

Photo © Darin Schnabel / Courtesy of RM Auctions
Photo © Darin Schnabel / Courtesy of RM Auctions

1. The Lambrecht sale may have been a big deal with the general public, but within the classic car community, tiny cars were the big thing back in February when the Bruce Weiner Microcar Museum in Georgia sold off its collection at an RM event and proved that big fun does come in small packages.