1978 Toyota Land Cruiser FJ40
SOLD AT $77,000
SN FJ40261406. Red with white hard top over gray vinyl interior. 135-hp, 4.2-liter in-line six; four-speed manual transmission. A full restoration with show-quality paint and great trim. Detailed under the hood and underneath.
THE STORY BEHIND THE SALE
The FJ40 Land Cruiser is the new darling of the auction set. Last year, one or two spectacular examples showed up; this year more than ten appeared at January's Scottsdale and Phoenix auctions alone.
The early Land Cruiser's reputation as a bulletproof companion has served it well. Not all vehicles are endlessly rebuildable, but there's a good chance that one or two Land Cruisers will outlive the final cockroach on planet earth.
Compared with more recent Land Cruisers, this is a bare-bones, stripped-down rock climber. Like the early Ford Bronco, the FJ40's appeal is in its ruggedness and not in its commodious accommodations or luxurious ride. Even at this price, no one got rich, considering the parts cost and the number of hours that must have gone into rebuilding this like-new Toyota.
1. 1966 Citroën DS21 Décapotable
SOLD AT $170,000
SN DS214350118. Vert forêt green with black top over black leather. 109-hp, 2175-cc four-cylinder; automatic. At 24,000 kilometers, this has to be one of the lowest-mile examples left. Very good repaint, good trim. Haartz cloth top is new. Interior has what appears to be original leather.
Said to be one of 136 DS21 cabriolets built in 1965 and one of 483 built in total. The car looks to have been well cared for; it spent the first twenty-four years of its life in the south of France. Sold for well under the $200,000-$250,000 estimate; this might be a small bargain on this coachbuilt convertible.
2. 1992 Jaguar XJ220
SOLD AT $220,000
SN SAJJEAEX8AX220850. Le Mans blue over gray leather. 542-hp, 3.5-liter twin-turbocharged V-6; five-speed manual. Excellent paint is all-original on this under-2000-mile example. Leather interior shows only minor wear spots. Clean under the hood. A very nice example.
The rap against these cars continues to be that they were originally expected to have a V-12 but were actually delivered with a V-6. It's way past time to get over that. The XJ220 is a great British supercar in its own right and will soon appreciate in value. $220,000 for a 2000-mile XJ220 is cheap. Very well bought.
3. 1960 Ferrari 250GT SWB Berlinetta Competizione
SOLD AT $8,140,000
SN 1905GT. Red over black leather. 280-hp, 2953-cc V-12; four-speed manual. Extremely well-executed chrome and paintwork. Very good attention to detail throughout. Interior looks quite nice -- excellent dash and gauges, very good leather seats have an incorrect finish.
It's a very small nitpick, but the leather used in recent restorations has a flat finish; the original leather had a more glossy finish. The 250GT SWB is one of the most celebrated Ferraris of all time; for many, it's second only to the GTO. This aluminum-bodied example probably set the new price standard, so let's call it market correct.
4. 1968 Ferrari 330GTS
SOLD AT $912,500
SN 11021. Red with black top over red and black leather. 300-hp, 3967-cc V-12; five-speed manual. Light scratches on trunk lid, otherwise excellent paint throughout. Great brightwork, good door fit. Incorrect two-tone leather on seats, console, and door panels. Dashboard wood is stained with a dark finish and is highly polished.
Normally, custom touches on a Ferrari hurt the value; they are seen as a cost to bring the car back to original. This car also had a replacement engine from an earlier example. Amazingly, it sold for a price that only six months ago would have been reasonable for a fully sorted car with its correct engine.
5. 1962 Ferrari 250GTE
SOLD AT $170,000
SN 3177. Black over black leather. 240-hp, 2953-cc V-12; four-speed manual. Good older paint and brightwork. Borrani wire wheels are worn, but this is an otherwise nice presentation. Seats -- still in original leather -- are flat with use. Good dash.
There was a lot of money left on the table with this sale. Although 250GTEs are not the most desirable cars in the Ferrari lineup, they share not only the mechanicals but also the history of a number of great Ferraris that carry the 250 designation. Worth more now -- and will be worth quite a bit more later.
6. 1992 Mercedes-Benz 300SL
SOLD AT $7475
SN WDBFA61E7NFO45685. Signal red over saddle leather. 228-hp, 3.0-liter in-line six; automatic. Fewer than 47,000 miles. Excellent paint appears to be all factory applied; trim is top-notch. Driver's-seat leather is lightly stretched, but interior looks new otherwise.
The 300SL was at the bottom rung of the SL ladder; it had a six-cylinder when there was an available V-8 and later even a V-12. But when you stop and think about it, this car does a good percentage of what you'd want in an older SL. With great colors, low miles, and great cosmetics, it's a bargain at the price paid.
GOODING & COMPANY
7. 1903 Oldsmobile Model R Curved Dash runabout
SOLD AT $62,100
SN 18003. Deep teal with black top over black leather. 4½-hp, 95-cubic-inch one-cylinder; two-speed manual. Rear seat. Full metal fenders. Cracked paint, visible wood. Appears to be unrestored. A barn find.
It's tough to tell whether this car was never restored or restored fifty-plus years ago. In either case, it's been a long, long time since any work was done to this 110-year-old relic. As a pre-1905 car, it is eligible for the London to Brighton Veteran Car Run; eligibility for this event makes the car not only more valuable but more desirable as well.
8. 1995 Ferrari F50
SOLD AT $1,375,000
SN ZFFTG46AXS0104192. Red with black top over black and red leather and cloth. 520-hp, 4.7-liter V-12; six-speed manual. Fewer than 700 miles. Carefully maintained for all of its life. Purchased new by Roger Penske, race-team owner, truck leaser, and businessman extraordinaire. Cosmetics are as new throughout, with near flawless paint, interior, and engine compartment. Said to be one of just fifty-six U.S.-spec examples.
An excellent provenance, extremely low miles, and great colors are a few of the things that make cars valuable. This one has all that and quite a bit more. Almost a no-brainer for a long-term, high-end collector. The best cars bring the best money, and this F50 was expensive but certainly not overpriced.
9. 1967 Saab 95
SOLD AT $40,700
SN 46160. Wine metallic over palomino Mercedes-Benz Tex vinyl. 73-hp, 1498-cc four-cylinder; four-speed manual. Ten miles since restoration. Excellent paint and trim. Everything appears either new or freshly restored, even down to details like the seat frames and gauge faces. Not entirely original but entirely well done.
Easily the nicest Saab 95 wagon seen at a collector-car auction, this one sold for a world-record price. The liberties taken with a nonoriginal color, the upgraded Mercedes-Benz vinyl, and the Saab Sonett "soccer ball" wheels appeared not to hurt the value.
10. 1963 Studebaker Avanti R2
SOLD AT $74,800
SN 63R1004. White over tangerine vinyl. 289-hp, 289-cubic-inch supercharged V-8; automatic. The fourth Avanti built. Excellent paint and brightwork. Restoration is about seven years old, but the car was completely cosmetically refreshed before the sale.
Spoiler alert: I was the seller of this car (see below). This is the highest price achieved at auction for an R2 (supercharged) Avanti. This year marks the fiftieth anniversary of the Avanti, whose styling remains a love-it-or-hate-it affair. Both buyer and seller are happy with this price.
11. 1958 Ferrari 250GT LWB California Spider
SOLD AT $8,250,000
SN 1073GT. Bleu Sera Metallizzato with tan top over tan leather. 240-hp, 2953-cc V-12; four-speed manual. A near-pristine presentation. All exterior surfaces are show quality. Interior includes leather said to have been sourced a couple years ago from a collector who had 1950s vintage Connolly hides. Excellent carpets and dashboard. Nardi wood-rimmed steering wheel.
Well-researched and well-presented cars are precisely what the market demands, especially at the top end. This California Spider brought perhaps $1.5 or $2 million more than it might have just one year ago. V-12 Ferraris of nearly every vintage are hot commodities; instead of going from one broker to the next, they are actually finding end users. Market price.
RUSSO AND STEELE
12. 1957 DKW 3-6 two-door sedan
SOLD AT $8800
SN 68572288. Robin's-egg blue with white roof over blue vinyl. 40-hp, 896-cc two-stroke three-cylinder; four-speed manual. Suicide doors. Mediocre paintwork over some bad prep -- the white roof paint looks like it might have been applied with a brush. Lots of dry window seals. Seat vinyl is relatively new and a highlight of the car.
DKW has a rich history, as it was one of the four original companies that are represented by the interlocking rings that make up the Audi symbol -- the other three are Audi, Horch, and Wanderer. Sources state that DKW sold roughly 2000 cars in the United States in 1957; it offered two- and four-door sedans, a coupe, a station wagon, and a convertible. This obscure car appears to have plenty of needs, thus the low price.
13. 1958 Mercedes-Benz 300SL roadster
SOLD AT $727,100
SN 1980428500154. Light blue with white top over white leather. 225-hp, 2996-cc six-cylinder; four-speed manual. Very good paint, good brightwork and shut lines. Off-white leather is well fitted. Alpine stereo with cassette is definitely not original; otherwise the interior appears stock.
Wide whitewalls don't cut it for many contemporary 300SL buyers, but in the late '50s you would have seen them on cars in the U.S. Just a few years ago, 300SL roadsters sold for much less than Gullwing coupes; the roadsters are now catching up. This numbers-matching example sold at a price that is becoming the new normal for earlier, non-disc-brake 300SLs.
14. 1987 Porsche 911 Turbo coupe
SOLD AT $62,700
SN WP0JB093XHS050206. Cassis red metallic over maroon leather. 282-hp, 3.3-liter turbocharged flat-six; four-speed manual. Shows just over 20,000 miles. Sixteen-inch Fuchs wheels. Excellent paintwork, most (if not all) of which appears to be original. Interior and trim are very good to excellent. Clean but not overly detailed under the hood.
The auction write-up noted that this was a one-owner car. It also noted that the color was special ordered and believed to be one of only a few made in this hue. Rare colors are sometimes rare for a reason -- which could be that no one wanted them. No worries here, though, as it looked fantastic. If the new owner can just get the term "grape Slurpee" out of his head, he'll undoubtedly enjoy the car.