Arizona Auctions Set to Wow

Ron Kowalke Old Cars Report Price Guide Editor |

[Editor's Note: The latest issue of Old Cars Report Price Guide has arrived with a new name (it was formerly called the Old Cars Price Guide), a new look, bigger type, and more background information, including a Market Watch. Following is the first Market Watch, with a look ahead to the much anticipated Scottsdale auctions held annually in January.]

Rare ‘Cuda one of the headliners at Russo and Steele Scottsdale

Russo and Steele Collector Automobile Auctions, specializing in European sports cars, American muscle cars, hot rods and customs, will be celebrating its 10th anniversary this Jan. 20-24, 2010. It held its first auction event in January 2001 with just 45 automobiles; today, it offers over 600 automobiles in Scottsdale over a five-day span.

This 1971 Plymouth ‘Cuda convertible was 1 of only 17 440-cid,
Six-Pack ‘Cuda convertibles built that year, and the only one
finished in Tawny gold. -Russo and Steele photo

One of the noteworthy cars among the several hundred that will cross the Russo and Steele auction block will be a 1971 Plymouth ‘Cuda convertible, 1 of only 17 440-cid, Six-Pack ‘Cuda convertibles built that year, and the only one finished in Tawny gold. It is also the highest-optioned Six Pack ‘Cuda convertible known to exist and one of only two that came from the factory with the desirable Shaker hood and bill-board stripes.

This ’71 ‘Cuda underwent a nut and bolt, rotisserie restoration to factory specs and retains all of its rare, correct parts. The original, matching-numbers engine, transmission and Dana rear-end were professionally rebuilt to factory specs. Since its creation, this automobile has always been totally rust-free and, to this day, still has all of its original body panels, floor, trunk, doors and sheet metal. In fact, it still wears its original convertible top and rear glass.

Aside from the history and provenance on this car, it is further distinguished by the preserved original paperwork that fully documents how this automobile was delivered from the factory. A part of this documentation is the original build sheet, the original window sticker, original fender tags and the original invoice from the dealership that sold the car new. To further add value to this particular automobile, consider that it has gone through a complete bumper-to-bumper inspection and authenticated by Mopar expert Galen Govier.

The 10th anniversary auction will be held at Russo and Steele’s traditional auction site located at the intersection of the North Loop 101 freeway and North Scottsdale Road.

For more information go to www.russoandsteele.com.

RM expands 2010 Arizona sale
RM Auctions recently announced the addition  of an evening auction to its 2010 Arizona program, Jan. 21-22, 2010. Billed as "The British Are Coming," the exclusive evening sale will showcase a host of British marques. 

Returning to the Arizona Biltmore Resort & Spa in Phoenix, the additional sale date will see RM kick off its 2010 auction calendar on the evening of Jan. 21, followed by its traditional Arizona auction on Jan. 22.

RM will feature this rare, left-hand-drive 1963 Aston Martin
DB4 GT in their "The British are Coming" event.

The inaugural evening auction will offer a host of British marques, many of which will be offered without reserve. Headlining the list of early consignments for "The British are Coming" event is a rare, left-hand-drive 1963 Aston Martin DB4 GT, chassis number 0175/L. Well-known in Aston Martin circles, 0175/L was the last GT to be built and sold by Aston Martin’s Newport Pagnell Factory, and is one of only six GTs known to have full Factory Lightweight construction details. Delivered new to Switzerland, 0175/L went on to spend time in both Lebanon and Holland early in life before eventually making its way to the United States in 1976. It was actively campaigned at numerous historic events in the 1980s, before undergoing a full restoration in the mid 1990s.

Other notable entries for "The British are Coming" include a restored Aston Martin DB5 and a matched pair of Aston Martin DBMKIIIs, one saloon and one drophead coupe. Also on offer, a set of three AC sports cars, including an AC Bristol roadster, an AC Ace roadster and an AC Aceca Bristol.

RM also offers concept cars
RM Auctions will shine the spotlight on a historic range of 1950s concept cars when its "Automobiles of Arizona"  event returns to Phoenix, Jan. 21-22, 2010.
Five unique and exciting cars created by Detroit’s automakers are set to cross the auction block, including the 1954 Mercury XM-800 dream car, the 1956 Cadillac Maharani Motorama show car, a 1958 Cadillac Eldorado "Raindrop" dream car, an all-original 1956 Chrysler Plainsman concept car by Ghia, presented in "as found" condition, and the Lincoln Sentinel "styling buck."

Introduced at the 1954 Detroit Auto Show, the XM-800 was designed by the Mercury pre-production studio to promote a second Mercury car line that could compete with Buick, Pontiac and Oldsmobile. Though it was never put into production, it became one of the most popular concept cars of the time. Dramatic and futuristic, it is a bold one-off design statement that has since been fully restored.

The factory-modified, specially appointed 1956 Cadillac Maharani was one of four Cadillac dream cars shown during the 1956 Motorama circuit.

Affectionately dubbed the "Kitchen Sink Cadillac" — a moniker received based on its special interior fixtures —the car is equipped with a unique interior featuring a kitchen sink with running water, refrigerator, hot plate, pop-out table and storage for silverware and china. Formerly part of the Gene Zimmerman Collection, the car was restored in 1990.

The 1958 Cadillac Eldorado convertible "Raindrop" dream car is another great example from Cadillac’s dream cars series. In total, five Cadillac Eldorado convertibles were pulled off the assembly line and specially modified under the forward-thinking direction of Harley Earl. The car received its name from its rain-activated convertible top that was programmed by special electronic sensors to snap into action the moment a drop of rain was detected, automatically lifting the three-piece boot cover and raising the roof to its full, snug-fitting “up” position. It is equipped with special bucket seats, console and many other modifications. It also comes with the original General Motors build sheet. Four examples — including the one set for RM’s upcoming Arizona event — went on to tour the show circuit on a limited basis.

The experimental 1956 Chrysler Plainsman concept car, styled by Virgil Exner and built by Ghia, was an "idea station wagon" unveiled at the 1956 Chicago Auto Show. It has made an exciting journey around the globe, starting life in Italy, exported to the United States, sent offshore to Cuba where it facilitated a dramatic escape and later accompanied its owner to Australia before eventually making its way back to North America. It remains in original condition.

The Lincoln Sentinel, unveiled at the 1996 North American International Auto Show, is a four-door sedan design exercise executed by a group of automotive stylists gathered from Ford’s various design centers and inspired by Classic Lincoln models; specifically the 1961 Continental and the Facel Vega Excellence. This "styling buck" example is not equipped with an engine or drivetrain.

A preview of the 2010 lineup will be held Jan. 21 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., followed by the British-themed Thursday night auction, starting at 6 pm. The auction action continues on Friday, Jan. 22 at 11 a.m. Admission is by catalog purchase only, which admits two.

For more information, visit www.rmauctions.com or call 519-352-4575.

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