By Old Cars Weekly staff
Scottsdale will offer up a feast for collector car shoppers starting next week.
Here are a few of our favorites on the menu...
Bonhams will be painting Scottsdale red — Ferrari Red — when it hosts its Jan. 15 auction. In addition to 15 Ferraris, there will be enough Porsches and early-postwar Mercedes cars on offer to crumble the Berlin Wall a second time. However, our favorite of the Bonhams auction is the 1934 Lincoln KB with Brunn convertible victoria coachwork.
This Lincoln has the look and the history. It’s painted black with a black convertible top and blackwalls, all of which make the car’s distinguishing profile also sinister. The Lincoln is sure to please its next buyer, as its second owner kept it for more than 70 years — a testament to the car’s appeal. The car has never received a full restoration, and is said to drive better than most restored KB Lincolns — both solid indications it has always been loved.
The next owner will no doubt love this car too, after plopping down $285,000-$325,000 to become the next caretaker.
For information, visit www.bonhams.com or call 415-861-8951.
Russo and Steele
Drew Alcazar and his staff at Russo and Steele will be serving up a selection that should be rated “E” for everyone. His sales are usually strong on muscle cars and European exotics — and Scottsdale 2015 will provide all of these and more — but it’s the top-flight selection of American ’50s machines at this year’s sale that caught our eye.
This year, the Russo and Steele team will be featuring in its unique “auction in the round” format a 1957 Pontiac Safari, Chevrolet Bel Air convertibles, ’50s pickups and our pick of the sale, a 1957 Oldsmobile Super 88 Holiday coupe.
This Olds is a near-perfect 996-point car finished in glimmering gold with a factory J2 tri-power setup. As a Southgate, Calif.-built car, it carries a “W” on its trim tag for the J2 setup, essentially making it an early Olds W-machine before there was such a thing.
After living most of its life in Hollywood, this car will be a star wherever its next home is located.
For information, visit www.russoandsteele.com.
For its Scottsdale sale, RM Auctions will be delivering an outstanding spread of ultimate automobiles on a silver platter, as always. This year’s selection includes a little muscle, a lot of American Classics and many European exotics; our choice of this sale comes from the latter category.
Mixed among multi-million-dollar Ferraris and choice Mercedes SL models is a stunning 1937 Mercedes-Benz 540 K Sport Cabriolet by Sindelfingen. So select is this particular Mercedes, it was a class winner at the 2014 Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance. This high-caliber car reaches into the stratosphere not only for its show-winner design and quality restoration, but also for its impeccable lineage. The blueblood 540 K has a history that can be traced to the original owner, and comes with documentation showing it was built by Sindelfingen with the Special Roadster-style front styling in which the radiator and engine are set back from the front axle, but with the spaciousness of an elegant cabriolet.
Beauty and elegance come at a price, and this art piece carries a pre-sale estimate commiserate with a car of this quality — the next owner is expected to reach a high bid in the neighborhood of $3.4 to $4 million to become the next owner. With that bid, they will truly be a winner.
For information, visit www.rmauctions.com, or call 519-352-4575.
The Barrett-Jackson auction herds about 1,000 cars over the block in its nine days, but there are two vehicles the world will have its eyes on when bidding opens: the General Motors Futurliner bus No. 11 and the 1954 Bonneville Special Motorama dream car.
These vehicles were purchased by Ron Pratte, their current owner, at earlier Barrett-Jackson sales, so without competition from this winning bidder, it’s difficult to predict how high the dollars will fly. When the Bonneville Special sold in 2006, it went to Pratte for $2.8 million; when the Futurliner sold, it went for $4 million. Will they top those figures again?
True hobbyists will also be paying attention to the next chapter in the priceless history of these General Motors Motorama mementos; that’s why they’re our pick of this sale.
To learn more, visit www.barrett-jackson.com, or call 480-306-8210.
Silver Auctions is great at bringing the hobby back to reality. While the focus at some auctions tends to be on the seven-figure show queens, Silver Auctions focuses on cars that are representative of the hobby at large. There are Mustangs, Impalas, pickups and other hobby favorites, often fitting the budgets of every type of hobbyist. That’s not to say there aren’t some interesting finds.
This year’s Silver Auctions sale in Scottsdale will feature two vehicles we’d have to flip a coin over: a 1968 Ford Bronco and a 1959 Oldsmobile Ninety-Eight Holiday coupe. For its faster-increasing interest, we’ll go with the Bronco.
This example is V-8 powered and has been in the hands of the third owner since the early 1970s. As an Arizona native, it has also avoided the tin worm fate of most other Broncos from this era, and proves it with an original and rust-free undercarriage. After factoring in its freshly painted body and dealer-installed air conditioning, we think this hauler will make a fine cruiser with the added benefit of increased potential at resale time — if the next owner can part with it.
Call 800-255-4485 or visit www.silverauctions.com for more details.
Gooding & Co.
Gooding and Co. will host its annual Scottsdale Auction Friday and Saturday, Jan. 16-17, at the Scottsdale Fashion Square. Bidding on the 115-car lineup will begin both days at 11 a.m.
Preview sessions will begin at 9 a.m. daily Wednesday through Saturday. For information, visit www.goodingco.com or call 310-899-1960.