Classic Cars

Our Six Favorite Cars from the Inaugural “The Finest” Auction in Snowmass, CO

An eclectic catalogue of cars

New auction houses don’t pop up very often, so when we heard about The Finest’s inaugural sale on September 17, 2016 in Snowmass, CO, we couldn’t help but take a peek at the sale roster. Here are some of our picks from the Snowmass catalogue.

1932 Bugatti Type 49 Roadster

Sure, this might not be one of the big, bad Bugs that won countless races, championships, and hillclimbs, but it’s a great example of Ettore Bugatti’s engineering genius. Most vintage Bugattis rarely see road time thanks in part to their stratospheric value, complexity, and concours condition. If you’re the lucky buyer who places the winning bid on this 1932 Bugatti Type 49 Roadster, however, you don’t have much of an excuse. This ’32 doesn’t carry the original engine or the original body, so you almost get a free pass to enjoy the car as much as you want. Still, it might be wise to exercise a little restraint as both the engine and the body are period-correct and hold tremendous value. This Gatsby-ready roadster is estimated to take home $550,000 – $700,000. (Pictured above)

2009 Mercedes Benz SL65 AMG Black Series front three quarter

2009 Mercedes-Benz SL65 AMG Black Series

On the opposite end of the automotive spectrum, this aggressive 2009 Mercedes-Benz SL65 Black Series is one of just 175 U.S.-spec examples ever made. Like all Black Series Benz’, the SL65 Black was purpose-built to crease the tarmac on any and all race circuits. In this pursuit, it’s the first and (as far as we can tell) only fixed-roof SL model ever offered. Under the hood is the tried-and-true 6.0-liter, twin-turbocharged V-12, massaged over the “regular” SL65 to produce a staggering 661 hp and 740 lb-ft of torque. All this comes wrapped in a wider, longer, lower SL body with a healthy dollop of fixed aerodynamic components. The best part? Unlike the droves of special-edition Ferraris and Lamborghinis, this Merc is expected to sell for less than it was purchased for, with a pre-sale estimate of $235,000 – $265,000.

1935 DeSoto Airflow front three quarter

1935 DeSoto Airflow

It might not look like it at first glance, but the DeSoto and more recognized Chrysler Airflow cars were revolutionary for their time. The Airflow was designed as the first mass-produced car with aerodynamics and wind resistance in mind, eschewing the use of common “air catching” features of contemporary cars. Unfortunately, like so many other innovative cars, the Airflow was a commercial failure. Now, they stand as landmark designs, and would fit comfortably in nearly every automotive collection. The Finest estimates this car will sell for $45,000 – $60,000.

1924 Amilcar CGS3 front view

1924 Amilcar CGS3

If you’re sick of the endless deluge of pre-war Healeys, MGs, and Jaguars, consider this 1924 Amilcar. Known as a “Voiturette,” this light and athletic roadster was the most popular form of sports car before the second World War. This little CGS3 packs a tiny engine—a one-liter four-cylinder pushing out 30 hp—and carries a pre-sale estimate of $110,000 – $125,000.

1985 Land Rover Defender 110 front three quarter

1985 Land Rover Defender 110

This is a no-brainer. Despite the U.S.’ overwhelming fanaticism for all things off-road, rugged, and boxy, the Land Rover Defender never really made it over here in full-form. Sure, we were privy to the V-8-powered Defender 90 from the early 1990s, but that was just one of the many, many forms the Defender has taken over the years. This is a Defender 110, a four-door hardtop SUV that is renowned for its uncanny ability to scale any terrain in any condition. Under the slab-like hood beats a recently rebuilt and cleaned Rover 3.5-liter V-8. In fact, the entire truck is fresh off a ground-up restoration. This Defender will likely take home $95,000 to $115,000 when the hammer falls.

1969 Mercedes Benz 280SL front three quarters

1969 Mercedes-Benz 280SL

Yes, this is the second Mercedes on this list, but W113 “Pagoda” SLs are simply irresistible. The clean-cut, pitch-perfect lines are close to flawless, with an elegant and understated evolution of the beautiful 300SL Roadster. It’s not a performance powerhouse, but it has class aplenty and oozes cool. Because of this, expect to dish out $140,000 – $165,000 for this recently restored 30,000-mile example.

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