The 2014 Auctions at Monterey Part Two

BonhamsphotographerMecum AuctionsphotographerDave KinneywriterRusso & Steelephotographer

Monterey, CaliforniaAugust 14-17, 2014

Part two of our coverage of the auctions during Monterey Car Week, the biggest week in the classic car world. Click here for our earlier coverage.

Russo & Steele

Feature Car: 1971 Ford Bronco 4x4Sold At $20,900

S/N U15GLM06190. Bright blue with white top over blue and white vinyl. 302-cubic-inch V-8, 205 hp, three-speed manual. Very good paint. Good chrome and trim. Excellent interior appears to be all stock. Clean underhood area. Ready for road use or a local show.

Introduced in 1966, the Bronco was one of the first multi-purpose vehicles, a category that morphed into today's SUV. The Bronco originally was available as a sport/utility with a half roof, a roadster without doors, or a wagon with a removable roof. By 1971, just the pickup and the wagon were available (the roadster lasted only through 1968). Although all models of the Bronco are desirable now, the wagon body style is still the most familiar.

The Story Behind the Sale

Trucks have become more collectible in the second decade of the 21st century. Trucks of this era are less expensive to restore than many cars, and they provide extra functionality collectors often appreciate. This Bronco, which recently completed a frame-off restoration, Sold At an attractive price.

1941 Ford pickupSold At $66,000

S/N I86573810. Black with cream pinstripes over green vinyl. 221-cubic-inch flathead V-8, 85 hp, three-speed manual. Exceptional restoration that is said to have taken the previous owner three years to complete. All chrome, trim, glass, and detail work is top-notch. The flawless interior is just as it was when it left the factory.

A pickup with this quality of restoration is rarely seen. The previous owner says that more than $150,000 was spent, and it's believable. An exceptional truck that brought an exceptional price. In this case, it's worth it.

1964 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray coupeSold At $34,650

S/N 40837S118471. Silver-blue metallic over black vinyl. 327-cubic-inch V-8, 300 hp, four-speed manual. Plenty of issues with the older paint, including some chips, scratches, and spots where previous repairs are showing. Fair to good chrome. Underhood area is clean but not show-quality. Engine has non-original numbers. Some tears in the seat seams but otherwise a decent interior.

The seller of this Corvette had the honesty to display the car's flaws, and that's a good thing. At this low price, the buyer likely has plenty of money left over to fix the flaws.

1979 Fiat 124 Spider 2000Sold At $28,600

S/N 124CS20151879. Bronze with a tan top over tan vinyl. 1995cc four-cylinder, 86 hp, four-speed manual. 250 original miles. Excellent paint, as you might expect of a car of such low mileage. The previous owner replaced many of the soft goods, including the top and tires, and he refurbished the brake and gasoline lines.

Hopefully, the previous owner's reconditioning has straightened out whatever drivability issues might have existed after years of sitting. The price paid is no surprise, since it would be hard to find another '79 Fiat with so few miles.

1969 Pontiac GTO Judge Ram Air III coupeSold At $63,525

S/N 242379R146270. Carousel red over black vinyl. 400-cubic-inch V-8, 366 hp, Muncie four-speed manual. Very good to excellent paint, trim, and chrome. Clean and complete throughout.

Said by the seller to be a documented, numbers-matching '69 GTO Judge with Ram Air III, fresh paint, and an engine rebuild. Muscle-cars, hit hard in the recession, are on the rise again and, in some cases, exceed their previous price highs. With its documentation, this GTO was worth quite a bit more than its sold price.

Mecum

Feature Car: 1991 Porsche 928GTSold At $61,560

S/N WPOAA2921MS810443. Slate gray metallic over black leather. 5.0-liter V-8, 326 hp, five-speed manual. Original paint and interior. Only 22,732 miles. Very good paint and trim; this car has obviously been garaged, maintained, and well taken care of all its life. The interior looks like it's from a 3000-mile car, with taut leather, clean carpets, and a near mint dash.

The Story Behind the Sale

Porsche built the 928 in the 1977-95 model years. The final version was called the 928 S4. Although most U.S. cars were just badged 928, a number of variants were made. The GT, discontinued after the 1991 model year, is one of the more sought-after variants. That said, the history of the 928 as a used car is not a particularly happy one. A reputation for expensive parts and frequent service is only partially deserved, but these cars need to be well-maintained. The days of finding a forlorn 928 for less than $2000 are gone, but more important, collectors are snapping up the low-mileage GT and S4 variants. This GT sold for top dollar, but it won't be long before this car seems like a bargain.

1969 Jeep Jeepster CommandoSold At $13,500

S/N 8705F1759038. Bright red over tan vinyl with matching tonneau cover for the cargo area. 225-cubic-inch V-6, 155 hp, three-speed automatic. Excellent paint, very good chrome and trim. Custom-made vinyl half-doors. Underhood area is clean and correct.

Sometimes cars that hit the auction block early go the cheapest. This handsome Jeepster was worth much more, yet it escaped at a bargain basement price. Go surfing or start your own fire department on the cheap.

1980 Renault Series I R5 TurboSold At $140,400

S/N B0000564. French two-tone blue over matching leather and cloth with red carpets. Mid-mounted 1397cc engine, 158 hp, five-speed manual transmission, rear-wheel drive. Very good paint and trim. Some wear visible on the seats, but overall a very handsome presentation.

More than 1800 R5 Turbos were constructed at the Alpine factory, but fewer than 600 were from the first series. The cars were available in only two colors, bright red and French blue. This example, which reportedly has never been raced or rallied, had a claimed one owner from new and was imported into the United States by the seller. This is very good money for an R5, but this is one of the best R5s.

1954 Buick Skylark convertibleSold At $118,800

S/N 7A1064548. Lido green with a white top over two-tone green leather and vinyl. 322-cubic-inch V-8, 135 hp, two-speed automatic. Wire wheels, wide whitewall tires. Excellent paint; very good to excellent chrome. This car falls short in some places: For instance, the hard-to-replace red plastic tops of the taillights show cracks.

Skylark prices have bounced higher and lower than what was achieved here, but this looks like a market-correct price. Lido green might not be everyone's first choice for color, but it's a great look on a beautiful car.

1961 Ferrari 250 Series II CabrioletSold At $2,610,000

S/N 250GTF2441. Rosso red over black leather. 2953cc V-12, 240 hp, four-speed manual. Just above 5200 original kilometers. Has factory hardtop. Described as a barn find, but let's call this "preserved" instead. The exterior and interior are not perfect, but are a good representation of what can happen with preservation and conservation.

This 250 Series II cabriolet is No. 118 of 200 built. Low build numbers were not unusual for Ferraris of the early 1960s. A nicely presented example that is made for those who like their Ferraris mellow and not shiny. Market price.

Gooding

Feature Car: 1964 Ferrari 250 GT Lusso CoupeSold At $2,365,000

S/N 5249 GT. Black over red leather. 2953cc V-12, 240 hp, four-speed manual. Largely displayed in "as found" condition, with one repaint since it was new and with mid-1970s New York state inspection stickers on the windshield. The recorded mileage of just above 20,000 is said to be original.

The Story Behind the Sale

Unless you want to drive it "as is," which more and more owners tend to do, a very expensive restoration is in store for this Ferrari. This example was 185th of just 350 Lussos built, and its black over red color scheme adds immensely to its value and desirability. Lussos are prized not only for their 250GT mechanicals but also for their beauty. Sold At a market-correct price. In 1964, Ferrari was very much a boutique manufacturer. The 250 series engine was used in the spectacular 250 GT SWB and GTO of the time, as well as the more mundane 250 GT 2+2. While the SWB (short-wheelbase GT) and GTO were ready for the race track, the 2+2 was the four-seat family Ferrari. Falling somewhere in the middle, the Lusso had dramatic styling and room for just two, making it the perfect choice for someone looking for a balance of styling and performance.

1920 Mercer Series 5 RaceaboutSold At $308,000

S/N 5111. Yellow over brown leather. 298-cubic-inch four-cylinder, 72 hp, four-speed manual. Owned by the same family for the past 70 years, this Mercer is said to be original except for paint, upholstery, and floorboards. Good condition overall with a nice patina, restored to a level that was acceptable 40 years ago.

Likely the most expensive car wearing an Earl Scheib paint job seen at auction this year. That's right, it was painted in the 1960s for $19.95. If you are looking for the granddaddy of today's sports cars, though, look no further than this Mercer and cars like it. With its good provenance, it might just be considered a bargain.

1958 Dual-GhiaSold At $484,000

S/N 185. Metallic burgundy with burgundy top over magnolia and burgundy leather. 315-cubic-inch Dodge D 500 Hemi V-8, 260 hp, two-speed automatic. Excellent overall condition with very well-done paint, a nicely fitted Haartz canvas top, and bright chrome. The interior is also professionally trimmed. An excellent presentation overall.

About 100 Dual-Ghias were built and, for a brief period, they were the cars of Frank Sinatra's Rat Pack. For a long time, they were as sought-after as yesterday's newspaper, but now they are appreciated for their Italian style and robust Chrysler mechanicals.

1961 Autobianchi Bianchina TrasformabileSold At $104,500

S/N 020270. White with black top over white and red vinyl. 499cc two-cylinder, 17.5 hp, four-speed manual. Sliding canvas roof. An excellent "nut and bolt" restoration on this former winner of multiple shows. This Autobianchi has been restored to a level almost never seen in this style of automobile.

There were plenty of us who thought the $65,000-$85,000 presale estimate was plenty, but the bidders liked it even more. Cute continues to sell well at auctions, and cute is what this car has by the bucketful.

1953 Jaguar XK120 M Fixed Head CoupeSold At $99,000

S/N S681124. Pastel green over green leather. 3442cc six-cylinder, 180 hp, four-speed manual. This car, owned by one family for 58-plus years, has most of its original paint as well as original leather and carpets. The Jaguar XK120 M was the top of the line in the series, and this example was one of 421 M models made for export in 1953.

Sold well under its presale estimate, this Jaguar was a best buy in every way. Although not as flashy as some, the coupes are desired for their stability and road manners. It's the right combination of originality plus recent sorting that will make this car highly collectible for decades to come.

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