Category archives: Auctions

Back-to-original restoration boosts Cobra’s price by nearly $300,000 at Auctions America sale

Shelby 298 Cobra bought last year sells for more this time around | Auctions America photo
Shelby 298 Cobra bought last year sells for more this time around | Auctions America photos

Auctions America Fort Lauderdale 2014 at a glance

Total sales$21 million
Catalog647 automobiles
Sell-through76 percent
High sale$825,000
1963 Shelby 289 Cobra
Next 9 price range$211,200 to $605,000
Next auctionMay 8-10 at Auburn, Ind.

Auctions America’s 12th annual Fort Lauderdale auction produced more than $21 million in sales and a very significant 76-percent sell-through rate.

“The Fort Lauderdale sale gets better and better every year,” Donnie Gould, president of the RM-owned auction house, said in a news release wrapping up the event.

“This year, Auctions America had record high sales and over 30-percent new clientele — demonstrating that our reach is continuing to expand thanks to our promotional efforts and the dedication of our expert team of car specialists who work tirelessly to secure exciting and significant vehicles for the sale,” he said. “This weekend’s event was a fantastic success, the excitement on the auction block was electric and we’re looking forward to continuing that energy throughout 2014.”

Auctions America said the more than $21 million in sales represented nearly a 20-percent increase compared with the same sale in 2013. It also reported bidders from 44 states and 13 nations, including those in Asia, South America and Australia.

The high-dollar sale was $825,000 for a 1963 Shelby 289 Cobra. The car was the 23rd such car built by Shelby American and its sale had been anticipated strongly because the same car, though modified from its original color and condition, had been purchased at the Fort Lauderdale auction in 2013.

Since that sale, the car has been restored to original condition. The result of that effort: A car purchased for $533,500 sold a year later for nearly $300,000 more.

There also had been considerable pre-auction interest in the potential sales price for a 2006 Ford GT Heritage Edition with only 80 miles on its odometer. That car went for $412,500, a record for Fort GTs in the famed Gulf racing-team blue-and-orange color scheme.

Among the most robust bidding was that between someone in the room and someone on the telephone, both of whom sought a 1970 Plymouth Hemi Superbird. The car eventually sold for $319,000.

Among other sales of note, a fuel-injected 1963 Chevrolet Corvette split-window coupe nearly doubled its pre-auction estimate in selling for $189,200, a 1961 Jaguar E-type Series I 3.8-liter roadster brought $149,600, a 1969 Pontiac Firebird Trans Am Ram Air II brought $140,250 and a 1947 Cadillac Series 62 convertible sold for $93,500.

Top 10 sales: Auctions American at Fort Lauderdale

  • 1963 Shelby 289 Cobra, $825,000
  • 1973 Ferrari 365 GTB/4, $605,000
  • 2006 Ford GT Heritage Editon, $412,500
  • 1934 Packard Twelve, $390,500
  • 1970 Plymouth Hemi Superbird, $319,000
  • 2005 Ford GT, $259,600
  • 1959 Cadillac Eldorado Biarritz, $255,750
  • 1967 Chevrolet Corvette 427/435, $250,250
  • 1965 Shelby GT350, $214,500
  • 1947 Chrysler Town & Country, $211,200

All sales results include buyer’s fees. 

Auctions America’s next sale will be its annual Auburn Spring auction, May 8-10 in northeastern Indiana. The sale will include more than 900 cars, with around 450 of them coming from the John Scotti Collection.


The Persuaders! Aston Martin headed for auction

The Persuaders! Aston Martin is going to auction | Stephan Lindloff photo for Bonhams
Aston Martin DBS headed for 15th annual Aston Martin Works Sale | Stephan Lindloff photo for Bonhams

Before he was “Bond, James Bond” in seven of 007 movies, Roger Moore was Sir Brett Sinclair, who along with Tony Curtis as Danny Wilde starred in television series, The Persuaders! Well, actually, Moore and Curtis co-starred with their cars — Wilde driving a Ferrari Dino 248 GT and Sinclair a Bahama Yellow Aston Marti DBS.

And now, for the first time, that 1970 Aston Martin DBS from the television series will be offered for auction at Bonhams’ 15th annual Aston Martin Works Sale, to be held May 17 at the Aston Martin factory at Newport Pagnell, England.

Both Moore and Curtis autographed the car, which has a pre-auction estimated value of between $415,000 and $915,000, according to Bonhams.

When filming for the television series began, Aston Martin was just introducing the V8 version of its new DBS model. However, productions was just beginning and a V8-powered car was not available, so the car provided for the television series had the look of the V8 car — the badging and special wheels — but the standard DBS six-cylinder engine.

For the television show, the car also wore special “BS 1” license plates reflecting Brett Sinclair’s initials. Well, it wore those plates except in one episode when the production team forgot to switch the plates and the car was filmed with the “PPP 6H” license it wore for its real-life registration.

Filming the 24 episodes for The Persuaders! ended when Moore accepted the movie role as James Bond. By then, the DBS had traveled some 5,000 miles and, as Bonhams expressed it in its news release, had “taken a fair amount of punishment.”

Aston Martin took the car back, repaired the punishments and sold the car to what would be the first of its five owners. Each of the car’s sales was a private transaction with advertising or dealer or auction house involvement, Bonhams notes.

In the mid 1990s, owner No. 4 acquired the car and commissioned Aston Martin to do a complete restoration, returning the car to the precise specification it had when filming of the TV series began. Original components — including the leather interior — were retained.

Since then, the car has been maintained in that condition and has been serviced on an annual basis by engineers at Aston Martin Works.

The car had its first public showing since its television days in 2011 at the Aston Martin Owners’ Club spring concours. Since then it has been shown at the Salon Prive in London, at Aston Martin centennial events, and last year was one of only 49 cars on the shores of Italy’s Lake Como for the Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este.


Coys keeping two auction-record prices secret until TV show this summer

The scene at Coys Spring Classics auction | Coys
The scene at Coys Spring Classics auction | Coys

Coys’ Spring Classics auction, which featured six cars from the upcoming British television series Cars, claimed three record prices, including $296,000 for a 1972 Maserati Ghibli SS. The other two record prices were for a 1981 Delorean DMC-12 and a 1950 Series I Land Rover 80, but because both are part of the new television series, their sales prices are being kept secret until a telecast sometime this summer.

The new television show stars British actor Philip Glenister (Life on Mars and Ashes to Ashes) and automotive restoration specialist Ant Anstead.

(We) gave collectors the opportunity to purchase genuine celebrity television-featured cars that have been restored effectively regardless of cost.”

— Chris Routledge


“It was an exceptional event, a buzzing evening with celebrities and a great crowd,” Coys managing partner Chris Routledge said of the auction. “The six Channel 4 cars sold really well, including two world records, but you will have to watch it on TV this summer to know how much they went for.

“It was the first time for an auction company in Europe to do something like this.,” he added. “The experience was excellent, clients really enjoyed it and we were delighted to be associated with the production, which gave collectors the opportunity to purchase genuine celebrity television-featured cars that have been restored effectively regardless of cost.”

1972 Maserati Ghibli SS sells for $296,000
1972 Maserati Ghibli SS sells for $296,000

Other important cars that went under the hammer included the former Beatles manager Brian Epstein’s 1964 Bentley S3, which sold for $51,600, a 1964 Aston Martin DB5 that sold for $599,180, and a 1926 Rolls Royce 20HP Barrel sided Tourer that sold for $171,000.

Coys next sale is March 29 at Techno Classica in Essen

Silver returns to Arizona for second sale of the season

1957 Corvette draws attention at Silver sale in January |Larry Edsall photos
1957 Corvette draws attention at Silver sale in January |Larry Edsall photos

Back in January, classic car collectors spent nearly $250 million at auctions in Arizona. Silver Auctions’ piece of that pie was a mere sliver — at $3.1 million it was less than 2 percent — and yet Mitch Silver was thrilled.

“We were very, very happy with it,” the founder of Silver Auctions said as he arrived back in Arizona for yet another sale at the Fort McDowell resort and casino in Fountain Hills, just east of Scottsdale.

Silver, it seems, wasn’t the only one who was happy with his sale in January. Consignors filled every available slot for the two-day event, so Silver has decided to expand his sale next January to three days, starting on Thursday evening and then going all day Friday and Saturday.

But that’s next year. This weekend, Silver Auctions will offer some 200 cars for bidding, starting around 4 p.m. Friday and resuming at 10 a.m. Saturday, the first hour or so of each round devoted to automobilia.

1957 Mercury at Silver sale in January at Fort McDowell
1957 Mercury at Silver sale in January at Fort McDowell

Speaking of automobilia, Silver notes that such sales at his auction in January exceeded $70,000.

But the emphasis is on cars, and he noted that he’ll offer everything from an outstanding 1967 Volkswagen “bug” that should sell for less than $10,000 to a 1940 Ford convertible street rod that figures to draw bids of $70,000 or more.

He’s also excited about a just-consigned and brand-new to the market 1967 Chevrolet Impala SS convertible, with a 396-cubic-inch V8 and automatic transmission.

“It’s date-coded properly but it’s not matching numbers,” he said. “That takes it off the stratosphere, but you can drive it and enjoy it every day.

“It’s from a restorer we’ve worked with for many years. We’re expecting mid-20s and it’s a lot of car for that.”

Not being “numbers matching” makes the Impala much more affordable, but doesn’t detract from the fun of driving the car.

Nobody ever asks that about (numbers matching on) Fords or GTOs.”

— Mitch Silver


“Nobody ever asks that about Fords or GTOs,” Silver said. “They just want to know if it’s a proper engine. But Chevy just happened to put numbers on there so you can check it easily.

“My personal response is that for most collectors, you can take a car and you can change every piece of sheet metal and chrome and every piece of the interior and the glass and rebuild it and the question of numbers matching never comes up. But that big chunk of iron under the hood that actually can wear out and it’s the one thing you’re not supposed to change!

“That’s not to discount the fact that when you find a pristine car that has not been altered, it is a blueprint for how to restore the car properly, and those cars should be preserved,” Silver added.

“But I think there are a lot of people who don’t know why it (numbers matching) makes a difference (he added that it does make a difference with “big block” Chevys and Corvettes). But they still ask, ‘is it numbers matching?’ “

Take, for example, Silver said, a 1980s-era Corvette that’s been “painted a couple of times and has 150,000 miles and 350cid. Numbers matching is not an important question. The car already has been gone through too many times. Just keep it on the road and let somebody enjoy it and learn about the hobby.”

Spoken like a true educator (which is what Mitch Silver was, a car-collecting college professor, in his previous life).



Variety of makes, models, ages — and prices — at Auction America’s Fort Lauderdale sale

1947 Chrysler Town & Country convertible | Auctions America
1947 Chrysler Town & Country convertible | Auctions America photos

OK, classic car hobbyists, now that we’ve seen what those who play in the deep end of the market are doing, it’s time for the rest of us to plunge into the auction pool.

“We’ve had the opening auctions at Arizona and Amelia Island with the high-dollar stuff, and now we’re starting the ‘average’ collector and hobbyist season with the advent of spring and summer,” said Megan Boyd, a car specialist for Auctions America, which stages its first classic car vehicle auction of the year March 14-16 at Fort Lauderdale, Fla.

This will be the 12th year for the sale, which was launched by RM Auctions and then became an Auctions America sale when RM started its more grassroots sales arm.

“We pride ourselves on offering a variety of cars, not only in makes and models and ages, but in prices as well,” Boyd said, adding that there will be around 500 cars crossing the block at the Broward County Convention Center.

While this is Auctions America’s first classic car vehicle sale of the year, it is not the company’s first auction of the year. In January, it sold more than a quarter-of-a-million dollars’ worth of automobilia in a special on-line auction.

But the focus at Fort Lauderdale is on cars, not the memorabilia that decorates garages.

Auctions America has published a 176-page catalog for the auction. Flipping through the pages you’ll find no seven-figure pre-auction estimates, and some of the five-figure cars start with the numbers 2 or 3.

Eighteen Shelby’s in the sale, and six without reserve.”

— Megan Boyd


“The feature lots definitely represent a wide range of cars and prices,” Boyd said, sharing some of her favorites:

  • A 2006 Ford GT in Gulf livery heritage colors — and with only 80 miles on its odometer. “It’s pretty much a brand-new car,” she said. “It’s from a big Ford collector who recognized something special and wanted to keep it special.”
  • A 1963 Shelby 289 Cobra that sold at this same auction a year ago, but since then has been restored to its original color and condition. “It’s neat to offer it again this year, but with a completely new personality,” is how Boyd put it.
  • A 1947 Chrysler Town & Country convertible with mahogany-wood paneling over cream-colored paint. “Spectacular,” Boyd said.
  • A “great collection of Shelbys, something the Fort Lauderdale auction has been known for,” she added as she started counting. “Eighteen Shelby’s in the sale, and six without reserve.”

Oh, and one more time, Boyd patiently answered the question, “What’s nice girl like you doing in a place like….?“

“I grew up with a car Dad who didn’t have any sons. I was all he had to work with,” Boyd said of her father, who restored cars at night after work and on weekends, but he wouldn’t go into the business full-time because he worried it would ruin his hobby.

Boyd grew up in the Akron-Canton area of central Ohio, where the local drag strip closed in 1977. But the facility re-opened when she was a teenager, and she not only worked there, she raced there, and her father insisted that for her own safety, she know everything there was to know about her car.

She’s worked at Auctions America for the past three years and, unlike her father’s fears, she’s thrilled that working full-time with classic cars has not ruined her hobby; Last year, she drove her 1946 Ford Woody on the Lincoln Highway Centennial Tour, starting from San Francisco and meeting up in the middle of Nebraska with the eastern contingent that had started from New York City.

Why did she pick the western section of the route? Easy, she said. She’d already driven the eastern half of the historic roadway.


Auctions America to sell Littlefield Collection of historic military vehicles

1952 British Conqueror tank with 120mm cannon | Auctions America
1952 British Conqueror tank with 120mm cannon | Auctions America

In what figures to be the largest sale of historic military vehicles since 2012, Auctions America will sell at no reserve more than 100 World War I through Afghanistan-era vehicles from the Littlefield Collection. Also to be offered at the auction July 11-12 will be various parts and accessories collected by the late Jacques Littlefield.

During the course of more than three decades, Littlefield built his collection and founded the military Vehicle Technology Foundation and museum in Portola Valley, Calif. After his death, the collection was acquired by the Collings Foundation, which will integrate around 80 of the Littlefield vehicles and aircraft into a new 64,000-square-foot facility in Stow, Mass.

1942 Australian 2 pounder Anti-tank Gun Carrier | Auctions America
1942 Australian 2 pounder Anti-tank Gun Carrier | Auctions America

The Auctions America sale includes vehicles and material not making the move to the East Coast, where the new facility should be open in late 2015.

All hammer prices will go to The Collings Foundation. Auctions America will collect its usual buyer premium.

“The Littlefield Collection boasts an impressive range of vehicles and represents points in history that appeal to a global audience beyond traditional military collectors,” Ian Kelleher, a specialist for Auctions American and RM Auctions said in a statement. “The majority of the collection remains drivable and usable and can be easily repurposed for private use.”

“There is no question that Jacques Littlefield created the world’s leading private collection of military technology,” said Rob Collings, executive director of The Collings Foundation.

“A truly unprecedented event, the upcoming sale offers a very special opportunity for collectors from around the world to sustain Jacques’ legacy and help preserve, protect and present these vehicles that defined the world we live in.”

The majority of the collection remains drivable and usable and can be easily repurposed for private use.”

— Ian Kelleher

The Collings Foundation is a non-profit educational institution founded in 1979 to organize and support “living history” events to share the American heritage. The foundation has more than 27 historical aircraft and more than 100 vehicles, machines and major artifacts. Since 1989, its focus has been on a national “Wings of Freedom Tour” showcasing two WWII bombers and a fighter aircraft. The foundation also has a racing car collection.

Auctions America also handled the 2012 sale of some 80 vehicles and assorted memorabilia including many uniforms from the National Military History Center in Auburn, Ind. That sale raised around $2.97 million for the facility, which faced its note coming due on a $2.9 million mortgage loan.

Among the top sales at that auction were a Daimler-Benz DB10 half-track troop carrier that brought $200,000, a Haromag armored 3/4-track that went for $160,000, a Horch 4×4 cross-country personnel car that brought $150,000 and a Borgward half-track that sold for $145,000.

Many of the buyers were people involved in various World War re-enactment groups. Some said they liked to use such vehicles on their ranches, farms or other extensive land holdings. Some said they like to show such vehicles are local parades.

Being offered from the Littlefield Collection at the upcoming auction is equipment from WWI, WWII, Korean, Vietnam, Desert Storm, Iraq and Afghanistan, and from as many as 15 nations, including:

  • A restored and drivable 1945 M37 105-mm Howitzer Motor Carriage (USA),
  • A 1956 42-ton SCUD A Middle Launcher (USSR),
  • A WWII-era DUKW Amphibious Personnel Carrier (USA)


Pray Collection + cars with Hollywood history = record $35.9 million for RM’s Amelia Island auction

Malcolm Pray owned this Delahaye for more than 50 years | RM photo by Darin Schnabel
Malcolm Pray owned this Delahaye for more than 50 years | RM photo by Darin Schnabel

RM Amelia Island 2014 at a glance

Total sales$35.9 million
Catalog91 automobiles
Sell-through97 percent
High sale$6.6 million
1937 Delahaye 135 Competition Court Torpedo Roadster
Next 9 price range$840,000 to $2.42 million
Next auctionMay 10 at Monaco

RM Auctions has compiled the official results for its 16th annual Amelia Island sale, reporting transactions of $35,947,500, a record for the event, representing a 34-percent increase in sales, as compared to the same event in 2013.

A major reason for that increase was the availability of 16 cars from the collection of the late Malcolm Pray. Three of those vehicles were among the four highest-dollar sales of the auction: $6.6 million for a 1937 Delahaye 135 Competition Court Torpedo roadster, $2.42 million for a 1958 BMW 507 Series II roadster, and $1.76 million for a 1961 Ferrari 250 GT Series II cabriolet.  All auction results include buyer fees.

The only non-Pray vehicles among the top five selling at the auction were a 1957 Mercedes-Benz 300SL roadster originally owned by actress Natalie Wood ($1,842,500) and a 1934 Duesenberg Model SJ convertible sedan which also had Hollywood history, being part of the cast for the final movie featuring Mickey Rooney as a teenager Andy Hardy ($1,567,500).

“The Pray family is thrilled with RM’s sale of Malcolm’s collection,” Philip Richter, trustee for the Pray Collection, said in a post-auction news release.

The Pray Collection certainly achieved the value it deserves.”

— Gord Duff


“The tireless efforts of the entire team enabled a result that greatly exceeded all expectations.”

“The Pray Collection certainly achieved the value it deserves, and we’re truly honored to have offered such an incredible group of cars for a family who have been friends of RM for decades,” said RM car specialist Gord Duff.

Malcolm Pray, a long-time supporter of the Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance, was among the early Volkswagen and Porsche dealers in the United States and at one time had the largest Audi and Saab dealerships in the country. He also was active in charities to support such causes as Scouting and the Pray Achievement Center, where more than 8,000 young men and women received mentoring and motivational help.

Pray Collection's BMW 507 | RM photo by Darin Schnabel
Pray Collection’s BMW 507 | RM photo by Darin Schnabel

In addition to his Delahaye, 507 and 250 GT, other cars sold at RM’s Amelia Island auction from the Pray Collection were:

  • 1937 Bugatti Type 57C (Figoni et Falaschi-style) roadster ($902,000)
  • 1970 Maserati Ghibli Spyder ($605,000)
  • 1935 Amilicar Type G36 Pegase (Figoni et Falaschi-style) boattail roadster ($467,500)
  • 1938 SS 100 Jaguar 3 1/2-litre roadster ($451,000)
  • 1941 Packard Super Eight 180 convertible Victoria by Darrin ($266,000)
  • 1934 Auburn Twelve salon speedster ($286,000)
  • 1937 Cord 812 supercharged cabriolet ($220,000)
  • 1960 Rolls-Royce Phantom V limousine by Park Ward ($99,000)
  • 1947 Cadillac Series 62 convertible ($96,250)
  • 1941 Ford Super DeLuxe woodie station wagon ($82,500)
  • 1983 Rolls-Royce Corniche drophead coupe by Mulliner Park Ward ($71,500)
  • 1948 Lincoln Continental cabriolet ($66,000)
  • 1958 Rolls-Royce Silver Cloud I saloon ($60,500)

All of the Pray Collection cars sold. In fact, the entire auction had a 97 percent sell-through rate.

“We could not be happier with the results of our 2014 Amelia Island sale,” Duff added. “Despite the weather, our fantastic selection of cars and stylish presentation were showered with rave review from our international clientele.”

Bidders represented 18 nations. RM reported that 20 percent of those bidding were new customers.

The sale of the Delahaye set a record for any classic car auction sale at Amelia Island

Sales figures were strong throughout the catalog. For example, the Charlie Kemp 1965 Shelby GT350 R went for $984,500; a 1972 Ferrari 365 GTB/4 Daytona berlinetta brought $781,000; a 1939 Aston Martin 15/98 sport-chassis open sports car went for $616,000; a 1974 Iso Grifo 7-liter sold for $440,000; a 1972 Ferrari 365 GTC/4 brought $335,500, a 1955 Volkswagen Beetle went for $82,500; and a 1971 Mini Moke garnered $49,500.

RM’s next auction is May 10 in Monaco as part of the Grand Prix de Monaco Historique weekend.

RM’s Auctions America holds a sale March 14-15 at Fort Lauderdale. RM’s next auction is North America is July 26 in conjunction with the Concours d’Elegance of America at St. John’s in Plymouth, Mich.


Preliminary report: Pray Delahaye boosts RM’s Amelia Auction to $35.1 million

1937 Delahaye 135 Competition Court |RM photo by Darin Schnabel
1937 Delahaye 135 Competition Court |RM photo by Darin Schnabel

A preliminary report provided to by Hagerty Insurance has RM Auctions sale Saturday at Amelia Island doing $35.1 million in business with a 97 percent sell-through rate.

The overwhelming high-dollar individual sale was $6.6 million for a 1937 Delahaye 135 Competition Torpedo Roadster from the estate of Malcolm Pray, who owned the Figoni et Falaschi-bodied car, one of two that exist, for more than 50 years.

A 1958 BMW 507 Series II roadster, also from the Pray Collection, was the second-highest sale at $2.42 million.

A 1957 Mercedes-Benz 300SL roadster original owned by actress Natalie Wood sold for more than $1.8 million. Also going for seven figures were a 1961 Ferrari 250 GT Series II Pinin Farina cabriolet ($1.76 million) and a LeBaron-bodied 1934 Duesenberg Model SJ convertible sedan (more than $1.5 million).

The average sales price at the auction was $398,688.

We’ll have a complete wrap-up on the sale after RM reports its official tally.

Results (preliminary) for RM sale at Amelia Island

Overall Total: $35.1 million

88/91 lots sold: 97% sell-through rate

Average Sale Price: $398,688

Overall Top 10 Sales:

  1. 1937 Delahaye 135 Competition Torpedo Roadster sold for $6,600,000
  2. 1958 BMW 507 Roadster sold for $2,420,000
  3. 1957 Mercedes-Benz 300SL Roadster sold for $1,842,500
  4. 1961 Ferrari 250 GT SII PF Cabriolet sold for $1,760,000
  5. 1934 Duesenberg Model SJ Convertible Sedan sold for $1,567,500
  6. 1965 Shelby Cobra Roadster sold for $990,000
  7. 1965 Shelby GT350R Coupe sold for $984,500
  8. 1928 Bugatti Type 37A Grand Prix Roadster sold for $962,500
  9. 1937 Bugatti Type 57C Roadster sold for $902,000
  10. 1972 Ferrari 365 GTB/4 Daytona Coupe sold for $781,000

2013 Overall Results

Total: $26.9 million

81/88 sold: 92% sell-through rate

Average Sale Price: $331,538


McCormick’s, Leake open with strong sell-through rates

McCormick's sets sell-thru record at Palm Springs | Photo courtesy McCormick's
McCormick sets sell-through record at Palm Springs | Photo courtesy McCormick’s

Between them, they did $13.8 million in business, but the big news at McCormick’s annual spring auction at Palm Springs, Calif., and Leake’s annual season-opener at Oklahoma City was the sell-through rate. McCormick’s nearly 80 percent sell-thru was a company record. Leake also set a record — with total sales of $6.4 million — but its 74 percent sell-through was perhaps more impressive as an indicator of the strength of the classic car marketplace.

More than 540 vehicles crossed the block at the McCormick’s auction. There were more than 400 at Leake’s sale, which added a second lane on Friday so it could keep up with the demand.

The classic car market is on fire.”

— Jason McCormick

McCormick’s sales totaled $7.4 million, led by a 1960 Chrysler 300F that sold for $105,000.

“The classic car market is on fire as the baby boomers want to relive their youth and own the cars they used to own when they were young,” McCormick’s manager Jason McCormick told “It’s also an investment that out-performs the stock market, and you can have fun with it, too.”

The average sales price at the McCormick’s auction was $25,000. For that amount, you could have taken home a 1965 Ford Mustang convertible ($25,725), either a 1966 Ford Fairlane GTA or a 1932 Ford hot-rod ($25,200 each), or a 1959 Chevrolet Apache pickup truck ($24,150).

Notable sales at McCormick’s were a 1958 Mercedes 190 SL that sold for $58,800, a stunning 1957 Buick Century Convertible that brought $94,500, and a bubble-top 1961 Chevrolet Impala 409 that got $78,750.

Entertainer Carol Channing was sitting in her 1970 Buick Electra convertible when it crossed the block and sold for $19,600.

Another “star” car, a 1965 Mercedes 250 SE convertible, was bid to $58,000, well less than its $85,000 reserve price, and did not sell. The car was driven by Bradley Cooper in the movie Hangover  (and it wasn’t the one that was shown crashing in the film).

The McCormick’s auction will be featured in two upcoming episodes of the Turn & Burn television reality series on the History channel.

On the block at Leake's Oklahoma City auction | Photo courtesy Leake Auctions
On the block at Leake’s Oklahoma City auction | Photo courtesy Leake Auctions

Meanwhile, the top-dollar sale at the Leake auction in Oklahoma City was a 1968 Shelby GT500 that brought $128,700.

“The collector car market in Oklahoma City has exploded,” Leake president Richard Sevenoaks said in a statement after the auction. “As a result, we added a second auction lane on Friday which added 100 cars to the auction and generated more revenue. We work hard to provide a product like no one else in the area.

“We are coming off of two very successful sales — our Dallas sale in November and the Oklahoma City,” Sevenoaks told “Our high sell-through rates at each auction prove that the collector car market in Texas and Oklahoma is on fire. We just added a spring sale in Dallas and are currently accepting consignments for it.”

Other high-dollar sales were $101,200 for a 1970 Dodge Challenger, $95,700 for a 2002 Monaco Executive motorhome, $79,750 for a Murray-bodied 1932 Lincoln KA 507A , and $74,800 for a 2006 Bentley Continental Flying Spur.

1964 Thunderbird goes for $19,000 average | Photo courtesy Leak
Photo courtesy Leake Auctions

The average sales price at Leake was $19,500. A 1964 Ford Thunderbird (right) sold for precisely that much while a 2005 Dodge Ram went for $19,100 and a 1972 Chevrolet C-10 pickup brought $19,000.

Leake’s next auction is April 24-25 at Dallas. McCormick’s is Nov. 22-23 at Palm Springs.


Elliott Museum sending five vehicles to Auctions America’s Fort Lauderdale sale

Quad and bicycle by Sterling Elliott | Photo courtesy Elliott Museum
Quadricycle and woman’s bicycle by Sterling Elliott | Photo courtesy Elliott Museum

In 1890, Sterling Elliott received a U.S. patent for his Quadricycle, a four-wheeled bicycle that featured yet another of his inventions, a steering knuckle system that allowed the front wheels to turn smoothly because his design enabled the outside wheel to rotate more quickly than the inside wheel as the vehicle negotiated a turn.

Elliott’s invention was the forerunner of rack-and-pinion steering and would have a major impact not only on horse-drawn buggies, which had been using rigid axle systems, but on the automobile that would be coming down the road.

Oh, and those roads would be much smoother because of Elliott as well.

Elliott was born in Michigan but moved to Massachusetts, which in the late 1800s was sort of the Silicon Valley of American manufacturing. He built bicycles and was publisher of Bicycling World magazine. His and other magazines benefited from another of his inventions — a knot-tying machine to make magazine and book binding easier. He also created an addressing machine to ease the distribution of his and other magazines.

While serving as president of the League of American Wheelmen, Elliott lobbied for better road surfaces. He also created a bicycle to make riding easier for women and supported a black racer when the League barred African Americans. That racer, Marshall Taylor, would become a world champion.

To focus on his growing business-machine company, Elliott in 1886 sold his bicycle factory to his friends, the twins Francis and Freeland Stanley, who used Elliott’s quadricycle as the basis for their steam-powered automobile after they sold their photographic plate business to Eastman Kodak.

Elliott had many other inventions, and he assembled a considerable car collection. In 1961, his son, Harmon, a winter-time Florida resident, established the Elliott Museum of Vehicular Innovation to preserve his father’s achievements. The museum was founded in Stuart, Fla., and eventually joined with the local historical society to showcase not only Elliott’s accomplishments but the history of Martin County and its historic Gilbert’s Bar House of Refuge, one of 10 havens for shipwrecked sailors and passengers built by the U.S. Lifesaving Service along Florida’s Atlantic coast.

At visitor's request, this 1927 Model T is delivered for viewing by robotic parking system | Photo courtesy Elliott Museum
At visitor’s request, this 1927 Model T is delivered for viewing by robotic parking system | Photo courtesy Elliott Museum

In 2012, the original museum was replaced by a new $20-million structure that, among other things, features yet another of Elliott’s inventions, a three-story, 55-vehicle robotic car parking structure (see photo above) that allows visitors to select the car they want to examine and — voila! — the car of their choice is delivered right to them.

The museum owns nearly 90 vehicles. Some were donated so the museum could sell them to generate additional funding. Others, which are either duplicates or not part of future exhibition plans also will be sold at Auctions America’s Fort Lauderdale sale. The museum notes it has selected for sale only cars which were  purchased by the museum or given without conditions.

The five cars that will cross the block in the Broward County Convention Center are a 1914 Roamer Speedster, a 1922 Fort Model T pickup truck, a 1972 Squire SS 100, a 1955 Ford Thunderbird and a 1968 Chevrolet Corvette convertible.

1972 Squire SS100
1972 Squire SS100 | Photo courtesy Auctions America

Inspired by the pre-war Jaguar SS 100, the Squire was made from 1970-75 by Intermeccania of Italy for Auto Sport Importers of Philadelphia. Some 50 vehicles were produced with left-hand steering, fiberglass bodies and Ford six-cylinder powertrains.

1914 Roamer Speedster | Photo courtesy Auctions America
1914 Roamer Speedster | Photo courtesy Auctions America

The Roamer Speedster was designed by Karl Martin, a custom car builder from New York City, and was produced in Illinois (and later Michigan) with either a six-cylinder Rutenberg engine or a more powerful and more expensive Rochester-Duesenberg four. The museum’s car has the Duesenberg engine.