Bonhams Greenwich Auction Results

Dave Kinney
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FEATURE CAR

1967 Cadillac Eldorado
SOLD AT
$5830
SN H7140780. Blue with black vinyl top over black leather interior. 340-hp, 429-cubic-inch V-8; automatic transmission. Older repaint with some visible flaws. Good but not great chrome. Interior, which appears all original, has some mold and dirt issues. A solid base that someone can work on while continuing to drive it, but it will take some time and effort to make this Cadillac shine.

THE STORY BEHIND THE SALE
Introduced for the 1967 model year, the all-new Cadillac Eldorado and its sister car, the Oldsmobile Toronado, were hailed as the first front-wheel-drive American production cars since the Cord of the 1930s. Lower and more compact than all the other Cadillacs, the Eldorado was still a six-seater, and there was no hump in the center to accommodate the drivetrain, as in rear-wheel-drive cars. Front disc brakes were optional; the 429-cubic-inch V-8 was standard.

For 1969, Lincoln responded to the Eldorado with the rear-wheel-drive Mark III, and both cars proved successful. The era of the personal luxury car was in full swing.

Everyone knows that the first-year Eldorado is a classic design that will become more collectible as the years pass. Finding an example in a good color and without rust can be a challenge, but when they're finished to an "as new" standard, they fetch as much as $40,000. The new owner of this car has plenty of room financially to make this one nice.

1. 1987 Bentley Eight
SOLD AT
$6600
SN SCBZE02A6HCX21337. Brewster green over tan leather. 220-hp (est.), 6750-cc V-8; automatic. Decent paintwork, very good chrome. Interior shows wear from both age and use.

There's plenty here to impress the neighbors as you pull up the driveway of your stately manor -- just be sure to keep them ten feet away so they can't see the car's flaws. (Even when new, this model -- a less fancy Mulsanne -- was the least expensive and least impressive Bentley.) This Eight sold for very close to crazy cheap, but it's understood that any older Bentley can be expensive to maintain. In truth, these cars are not nearly as costly as their reputation would have you believe. If everything goes bad, this big sedan can be sold as parts and the investment still recovered many times over.

2. 1966 Ford F-250 Good Humor
open-cab ice-cream truck
SOLD AT
$28,600
SN F25AE778660. White over black vinyl. 150-hp, 240-cubic-inch in-line six; automatic. Quite well detailed. Paint looks like it's better than what the folks at the ice-cream company originally had. Great graphics and details. Two seats up front, which is unusual since most of the recently auctioned examples have only a driver's seat. Freezer box is currently unfinished -- other than that, it's ready to vend.

Here's one unconventional way to make money while you enjoy a classic-vehicle purchase: go to a car show and start selling frozen treats. For those too young to remember, the Good Humor truck was a staple of 1960s American landscapes in many cities and towns. The ringing bells could provoke a Pavlovian response from the preteen set.

3. 1955 Ford Thunderbird
SOLD AT
$35,200
SN P5FH104939. Goldenrod yellow with black soft top and yellow hard top over black and yellow vinyl. 193-hp, 292-cubic-inch V-8; three-speed manual. Excellent paint, chrome, and trim in an outstanding color combination. Great glass and gaskets. Very good fit to all body panels. Crisp and clean interior.

Lots of cute for the money. This car has had a frame-off restoration and, although it has aged a bit since then, it sold for a small percentage of what it would cost to restore today. Very well bought.

4. 1967 Lincoln Continental convertible
SOLD AT
$18,700
SN 7Y86G819355. Dark green metallic with tan top over medium saddle leather. 340-hp, 462-cubic-inch V-8; automatic. Fair paint is full of scratches, plus there are some dents and dings. Incorrect-for-the-era wide whitewall tires show age. Interior has custom bits, such as contrasting piping on the seats; loose interior panels are no help. Looks like a used car under the hood, with an air cleaner from the generic aisle in an auto-parts store.

This car drew a healthy price for a Lincoln with plenty of cosmetic needs; it looks like it's ready for a complete rehabilitation. We can only hope that the buyer has the restoration skills it'll take to make this car right, because paying someone else to do the work would cost more than the $50,000 it would take to buy a '67 Continental in good shape.

5. 1955 Austin-Healey 100 BN1
SOLD AT
$38,500
SN 49655404. White with white top over red vinyl. 90-hp, 2660-cc four-cylinder; three-speed manual with overdrive. Some color mismatch in the older paintwork; chrome shows its age. Seats just might be original. Not detailed under the hood. Presented as a good-quality driver, which is how it should be bought.

If the new owner avoids the temptation to do a full restoration and instead just drives this Austin-Healey, then this was the right car for him. He could spend hours picking apart what needs to be done to make it perfect and analyzing what it would cost, but why not just enjoy this Healey for what it is? Correctly priced for a driver-level BN1.

6. 1978 Cadillac Eldorado Biarritz
SOLD AT
$550
SN 6L47S8Q124591. Brown over light beige vinyl and leather. 195-hp, 425-cubic-inch V-8; automatic. Power everything (no word regarding what still actually works, though). Older paint surprisingly has some life left in it. Decent brightwork, although the plastic front bumper extensions are missing. Interior needs something just short of a good hose-down but will clean up. A driver at best.

Worth much, much more in parts than the achieved sale price, this Cadillac was a savvy buy for someone who owns both a restoration shop and a gas station. No one in the audience was much interested in this disco-era Eldorado, but it won't be long before this price seems legendarily cheap.

7. 1923 Rolls-Royce 40/50 HP Silver Ghost Pall Mall tourer
SOLD AT
$233,200
SN 332XH. Light yellow with black fenders and beige top over brown leather. 86-hp (est.), 7428-cc in-line six; four-speed manual. Right-hand drive. Very good paint. Brightwork varies from good to very good, with some age wear. Whitewalls are slightly discolored, and the top could stand a cleaning. Leather is well fitted; dash wood is a bit brighter than expected. A pleasant presentation overall.

This car is probably only a few days of work away from returning to the show circuit. Aside from Rolls-Royce aficionados, few folks remember that Rolls had a factory in Springfield, Massachusetts, that produced cars mainly for the American market. This is a Springfield-built Ghost. Until 1925, they were all right-hand drive.

8. 1971 Toyota FJ40 two-door wagon
SOLD AT
$21,450
SN FJ4098614. Freeborn red with Cygnus white top over black vinyl. 125-hp, 3878-cc in-line six; three-speed manual. Paint is not show quality but plenty good for a driver. Good trim. Interior looks original and has good vinyl that's too nice to replace. Shouldn't be confused with a fully restored example but still very desirable. In the space of perhaps three years, FJ40s have become a staple of the classic-car auction scene. We have seen them sell for three times this amount in restored-to-perfection condition and twice this amount for decent examples. This was very well bought.

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