Let Your Imagination Run Wild At Auctions America
For the second year in a row, I grabbed my camera and made the arduous five minute trek to Barker Hanger for a two days of indulging my wild automotive fantasies at Auctions America. This year's event included some really stunning vehicles, most of which I had hung on my bedroom wall at one point or another. A Ferrari F50, Porsche 959 "Komfort," Jaguar XJ-220, and Lamborghini Countach, just to name a few. The focal point was the Boss 429 Mustang that I had written about previously—as well as a 1970 Ferrari 365 GTB/4 Daytona "Euro" that sparked my interest as soon as I laid eyes on it. But as lovely as all those vehicles may be—and they are, indeed, lovely—the most interesting part of the whole event was in the random, under-the-radar cars, usually with no reserve. The cars that, for one reason or another, have gone unnoticed by the 'true collectors.' RELATED: See More of the 1995 Ferrari F50 Supercar
Even with huge crowds both days, I managed to get some 'moments' with a number of interesting cars. A very tidy 1967 Mercedes-Benz 250SE coupe, a restored 1968 Cadillac Sedan DeVille, and an original 1972 Ford LTD convertible were just a few that caught my eye.
But of the 281 vehicles up for grabs over the weekend, the one that captured my imagination most was a 1961 Oldsmobile Starfire convertible in need of restoration. When it debuted in '61 it was the most expensive Oldsmobile ever offered, and featured cutting-edge design, and the very potent "Skyrocket" V8. Today, it looks rather unassuming from the outside. But once you have peek inside, it's all retro-futuristic styling that conjures up images of the Jetsons.
Having a vehicle take over your brain for a moment, that's the fun, and the danger, of going to an auto-auction. Though it had some duct tape present on the body, the Starfire ended up going for $11,550, a testament to just how much potential there is for the car once restored.
RELATED: See More of the 1969 Ford Mustang Boss 429
In total, sales for the weekend came to $14.2 million, with the Ferrari F50 contributing $1,952,000 to the pot, thus taking the top sales spot. A 1988 Porsche 959 "Komfort" with very low miles contributed another $1.25 million as it changed hands for just the 3rd time, and snagged the second highest sale spot. A 1970 Ferrari 365 GTB/4 Daytona "Euro," 1940 Packard Royal Streamliner Roadster, and 2005 Ferrari 575M Superamerica round out the top five sales with selling prices of $600,000, $412,500, and $385,000 respectively.
Apart from the sale of the F50, the most entertaining bidding battle was fought over a 2008 Alfa Romeo 8c Competizione, which ended up exceeding its estimated sale price and going for $319,000. Whether it was the fact that there are only 35 in the United States, or Paul Walker brought down an airplane while driving one, the desire for the 8C was clearly quite high.
An auto auction might not seem like a good time if you have no intention of bidding, but with such a wide variety of people and vehicles, it's nearly impossible not to be entertained. The next Auctions America will be held in Auburn, Indiana, over Labor Day weekend, and if you're nearby, I highly recommend checking it out. You might come across something that you didn't even know you liked, or maybe your longtime affection for a car will be reaffirmed when you see it in person for the first time.
Unlike so many car shows, you can actually get up close and personal with the vehicles headed for the block, and that's worth the price of admission alone. Now if you'll excuse me, I have some further research to do on the Starfire and the clock is ticking.
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Photos: Visual Vocab for BoldRide