Spring Carlisle Auction Report, April 2019

Richard’s Car Blog continues to provide the only online auction reports with:
  • Multiple pictures of each car;
  • Results in sale price order; and
  • Timely posts within days of auction end.

Carlisle Auctions held its spring 2019 event on Thursday and Friday, April 25 and 26, 2019. As a sign of its increasing success, auction start times were moved up to 12 noon on both days, compared to 2pm in previous years.

Each day’s run sheets had about 225 vehicles on them, and the necessity of staging 450 cars and trucks had the Carlisle staff again extend their parking arrangement into the Tree of Life church lot across the street. The weather held up, with only intermittent sprinkles and the briefest of downpours, and the crowds were of decent size both days.

 

On both Thursday and Friday, I observed the first 40 or so cars to cross the block, and things started slowly, as the sell-through rate was a none-too-impressive 46% (17 out of 37 on Thursday, and 19 out of 41 on Friday). Things picked up later, helped in part by “no reserve hour” on Thursday, which guaranteed a 100% sell-through. Like any auction, some reserves were unreasonable, some cars sold for fair money, and there were some deals to be had.

 

Some cars need a pull across the block

Interestingly, on Friday before the auction start, Bill Miller (who founded Carlisle Events) announced that they had “done about $2 million yesterday, and we’re hoping for 3.5 [million] today”. Around $5.5 million dollars in sales doesn’t sound too shabby for this independent auction house that has grown larger and more organized year after year (check out my 2015 and 2016 auction reports to see how far they’ve come).

A footrest for tired toes

Twenty-seven cars which struck my fancy are featured below, arranged in sold price from $2,000 to $24,000. For those who continue to insist that “the hobby is too expensive, and I can’t afford to get into it anymore”, note that I’ve included FIVE running vehicles which hammered below five thousand dollars.

 

 

UNDER $5,000 (5 CARS)

T161 NO RESERVE 1990 Mazda MX-5 Miata, blue, black convertible top, black leather aftermarket kit looks good enough to be mistaken for factory upholstery.  158,000 miles on odometer.  Paint looks very good for age and mileage. Entire car let down by gaudy chrome wheels which are about 6” larger than factory.  Underhood looks decent, shocked to see that brake fluid appears to have been recently serviced. Ugly wheels are an easy fix.

SOLD FOR $2,000– Based on my observations of the first-gen (NA) used Miata market (I own a ’93), one could do a lot worse than spend 2 grand on this car. The mileage didn’t scare me as the car looked maintained. The lack of typical rust was a major positive. Spend $500 on OE wheels and enjoy it.

 

 

T163 NO RESERVE 1977 MGB roadster, burgundy, black convertible top, black leather interior, new battery, wood steering wheel is nice touch. MG alloy wheels with black wall tires. 71,341 miles on odometer is believable, no obvious rust. Engine compartment shows some tasteful mods: finned valve cover, Weber carb, header, Ansa exhaust. Fun starter car, as the rubber bumper cars gather interest with the chrome bumper cars moving up in price.

SOLD FOR $3,000- I looked at this car before it crossed the block, and knew it would sell cheaply, but this price floored me. Carlisle is not the place to sell imports. Someone got a fun British roadster at half off.

T115 1965 Chevy Corvair  4-door hardtop, gold and gold, 110 hp, Powerglide, mileage is 51,554, sign on car alleges original mileage. Fake wire wheels, ugly black rub strip down sides, rear luggage rack can double as pizza warmer. Bucket seats. Alternator drive belt off its pulleys (a common Corvair conundrum). Car shows no signs of maintenance or care. Entire car is dirty, rust in rear quarter panels.

SOLD FOR $3,200- The 2nd gen Corvairs (1965-1969) are beautiful, and have collector interest, but primarily the 2-door coupes and convertibles. Even at this price, I see no upside here. 

 

T192 1987 Alfa Romeo Spider Veloce, triple black, Alfa Romeo alloys, blackwall tires. Odometer is 77,000. Paint shows well, rear rubber duck tail blends well with paint. Some spotting in paint near fuel filler. Underhood could use a detailing, but no obvious defects.

SOLD FOR $4,000- Like Lot T163, the MGB, this result is a shock. While these Alfas are known to rust, this one looked clean and straight (full disclosure: I did not get on my knees and peek under it). The deal-breaker for me was the black paint/black top/black interior (WHO orders a convertible like that??) Even so, this was a dirt-cheap entry fee into the Alfa club.

F407 1984 Old Cutlass Supreme Brougham 2-door formal coupe. Light cream paint, dark red half-vinyl roof, red velour “loose pillow” interior. V8, automatic. Olds alloy wheels and trim rings, Mastercraft tires. One of the last RWD Cutlasses. Funny lights added to grille; rear spoiler detracts from formal look. Odometer reads 55,892 which looks accurate. Outside is OK, no obvious defects. Olds Club of America decal! A little dirty inside. Both doors along bottom inside edges show filler and paint as if to head off some early rust, not showing through outside. Yet.

NO SALE AT HGH BID OF $3,700- auctioneer announced that reserve is $5,000. Website says car sold for $4,000. Seller obviously came to his senses and sold the car $1,000 below his reserve. Even with the door rust, which might lie dormant,  buyer got a reliable, good-looking and good-sized American car that has another 100,000+ miles remaining in it before any serious work is needed.  

 

$5,000 TO $9,000 (8 CARS)

 

T117 1965 Ford T-Bird 2-door hardtop, dark green, black vinyl roof, landau bars, full wheel covers, whitewall tires. Mileage is 21,966, best guess is to add a “1” to the front of that. Car is dirty on outside, hard to determine paint condition. Underhood is a complete disaster. Interior is light gold or green, hard to tell as interior has faded to various autumnal shades. Factory A/C, driver’s door panel torn and taped, carpet worn, chrome pitted, entire interior needs a deep cleaning. There may be a decent car hiding under the mess.

SOLD FOR $5,700- I shouldn’t be shocked, but I am, at the overall condition of many of these auction cars. This T-Bird in particular rates a condition ‘4’ on the traditional 1-to-5 scale. But a weekend spent cleaning and detailing it could have brought it up to a solid #3 or even a 2-, which would have brought another $2,000-3,000 on the block. If a flipper bought it, that is exactly what he is going to do.

 

F532 1999 Jaguar XK8, silver, black convertible top, black leather interior. Jag alloy wheels, blackwall tires. Top looks spotless. 45,208 original miles. Some signs of wiring repairs underhood. Interior shows more wear than expected for mileage, especially driver’s seat bottom. Bland color combo, looks like nothing more than another used car.

SOLD FOR $5,900- These first generation XK8 convertibles are an auction mainstay. Most of the ones I’ve seen have higher mileage, and have been bringing around $7,000-9,000. This one had lower miles and brought less money, which is great news for the buyer and not-great news for the seller.

 

F421 1982 Mazda RX-7 GSL, 82040 miles, factory alloy wheels, sunroof. Metallic red, red cloth interior. Rotary engine, 5-speed transmission. Paint OK, but black on exterior glass trim has worn away in spots. Both underhood and interior are dirty. Floor mats worn out, driver’s seat bolster worn.

SOLD FOR $6,200- First-gen RX-7s have a cult following, but they have yet to bring the bucks. This one, like so many other cars here, was dirty and looked unloved. The good news is that it had not been messed with, as it retained all its factory equipment. Sale price was fair to both buyer and seller.

T105 1964 Ford T-Bird hardtop, 390/automatic, aqua, white vinyl top with landau bars, aqua interior. Odometer reads 99,556. Paint looks old, and is faded and blotchy all over. By contrast, interior is very clean except for cracks in steering wheel. Upholstery is so nice it’s likely been redone. Underhood surprisingly clean. A car to drive, or paint it to bring it up a notch.

SOLD FOR $6,300- The ’61-’66 T-Birds are favorites of mine. I prefer the ’61-63 Bullet Birds, but I wouldn’t turn down a ’64 like this one. These are large cars which float down the road. There’s nothing sporty about the driving experience, but it is luxurious. This was a fair price for a car in a nice color combo that needs paint.

 

T260 1954 Packard Patrician, 4-door sedan, straight 8, automatic. Green inside and out. Might be factory paint, with some blended-in repainted areas which don’t match. Full factory wheel covers, white wall tires look like bias-ply. Mileage is 45,000, sign claims that is original. Sign also claims long-term one-family ownership. Interior completely original and looks well cared for, if a bit worn and faded in places. Painted metal dash in great shape.  Rear seat footrests still in place. Car oozes charm and patina. A true survivor which will be held back by its sedan body style.

SOLD FOR $7,500- I spent about 20 minutes checking out this car, and sat in both front and rear seats. While the $3,000 MGB or the $4,000 Alfa Spider are more to my taste, I’ve been smitten lately with Packards. As one friend joked, at this price, this is about a dollar a pound (a slight exaggeration). I hope this car is not restored, but is preserved. It’s a piece of rolling history.

 

 

T176 NO RESERVE 1994 Ford Mustang LX convertible, 68,077 miles.  5.0 V8, 5-speed manual, white, white top, red cloth interior, blac wall tires, luggage rack on deck. Paint could be original. Factory alloy wheels, no curb rash. One headlight is opaque. A 25-year-old survivor.

SOLD FOR $8,500- Lots of fun in a Fox-body V8 drop-top. A fair price in a quick and reliable car, AND it’s now AACA-eligible!

F471 1974 MGB-GT, 1.8L 4 cylinder, 4-speed manual. Odometer reads 46,143. Citron Green paint, black interior, seats have seat covers on them. Painted wire wheels, black wall tires. Rubber bumper car. Clean underhood. Outside relatively unmarked.  Both door panels are wrinkled as if they had gotten wet. Car not modified, looks like it’s all there. Drilled holes and plugs in jambs from rustproofing treatment, “Rusty Jones” sticker verifies it.

SOLD FOR $8,500- Unusual color not to everyone’s taste, but a GT can swallow a weekend’s worth of luggage if you’re willing to give up top-down motoring. Some (including me) even prefer the looks of this over the roadster. This was no bargain, but the buyer didn’t overpay either. He got a good car that you can’t lose in a parking lot.

 

T116 1965 Chevy Corvair convertible, aqua, white top, black vinyl interior, odometer reads 55,260, sign on car claims that is original mileage. Fake wire wheel covers, whitewall tires. Driver’s door sagging and hitting jamb. Buckets, 4-speed manual, 110-hp engine. Fan belt sits correctly on this one.

SOLD FOR $9,000- Hopefully the door fit issue is an adjustment and not the beginning of a sagging body. Folding top and 4-speed make up for low output motor in a nice looking Corvair.

 

$10,500 TO $11,500 (6 CARS)

F418 1965 Ford Mustang, 2 door hardtop, white with white interior. Odo reads 03088, but windshield decal claims 24k original miles. 200 c.i. 6, 3-speed on floor, center console. Black rocker stripe not factory. Mediocre repaint, poor sealant job along windshield. White-on-white looks unusual. Driver’s seat worn, interior dirty, can of starting fluid on front floor not reassuring. Sign claims history as Southwest car, but other signs point to need to inspect undercarriage carefully.

SOLD FOR $10,500- While on the block, the auctioneer repeatedly referred to this as an “original 24,000 mile car”, yet I saw the odometer with my own eyes. I am beyond being able to rationalize the discrepancy. This actually happened once before at a Carlisle auction, when the screen’s mileage and the car’s mileage were wildly divergent. The auctioneer stopped the auction, wound it back to the top, and restarted. I hope whoever paid $10,500 for this car has a better understanding of the mileage situation than I do. NOTE: I now observe that this car is NOT on the results page of Carlisle Auction’s website. Was the deal voided?

 

T185 1994 Jaguar XJ-S convertible, 4.0L inline 6, automatic transmission. Dark red paint, tan top, tan leather interior, alloys, blackwall tires. Odometer is 35,000, sign claims original miles. Interior is so worn that it makes mileage claim hard to believe. Driver’s seat and door panel very worn. Another convertible parked with the top always down?

SOLD FOR $10,500- The restyled XJ-S cars like this one are an improvement over the originals, with their smoothed rear quarters and more legible instrument clusters. Like the later XK8s, these have been auction regulars too. The 6-cylinder engine has its fans among those who are put off by the complexities of 12 cylinders. The interior on this car was bothersome, but I guess it didn’t bother someone willing to spend $10,500 plus commission. I’ve seen nicer ones sell for less, but that was a few years ago.

 

T195 1980 Fiat Spider 2000. 2.0L inline 4, fuel injected, 5-speed manual. Red, tan top, tan vinyl interior (sign incorrectly claims it’s leather). I spoke with the seller, who recently bought the car from its original owner. Car has 20,000 original miles, and looks like a 3-year-old used car. Some swirl marks in the horizontal paint surfaces. Trunk lid got minor dent when it was shut onto something oversize. Overall, car is immaculate for a 1980 anything, much less a Fiat.

SOLD FOR $10,700- The seller, a flipper, must have stolen this from the original owner. Fiat Spiders aren’t overly valuable, but prices have crept up ever so slightly in recent years. I (wrongly) guessed there would be a reserve of around $12,000. Someone got a clean and desirable spider at a 20% discount.

 

T168 NO RESERVE 1972 Porsche 914, white, black targa top, black interior, repaint shows overspray in various spots. Interior is straight but spartan as all 914 interiors are. Engine is 1.7L as per online listing.

SOLD FOR $10,800- All Porsches are collectible; some are just more collectible than others. With 911s selling for $100,000+, and 356s (the more covered in dirt the better ) selling for $250,000+, what’s a poor person to do? Buy a 914, that’s what. Personally they’re nothing to look at (and white over black is as bland as it gets), but I’m told it’s like driving a go-kart on the street. Let’s hope this one gets driven.

 

T219 1973 Pontiac Firebird Formula 350, automatic. Odometer reads 78,614. Dark silver metallic, black interior. Outside is OK. Underhood is unkempt. Heater hoses look so old they may have been transplanted from a 1953 Star Chief. Buckets, aftermarket gauges. CB radio in center console has been there almost as long as the heater hoses.

SOLD FOR $11,250- I looked at this car because a) it wasn’t a Camaro, and b) it’s the last year of the original nose introduced in 1970, and I like that look. Most of these cars have not survived. The car had a nasty rumble to it while underway, which had me suspect undisclosed engine or exhaust mods. A similar Camaro might have sold for twice this, so the buyer did well.

 

T223 1986 Pontiac Fiero GT, V6, automatic, red, grey velour interior, sunroof. 10,000 original miles, and it basically looks it. Factory alloys, Goodyear blackwall tires. Some driver’s seat wear. Car’s main claim to fame is low mileage.

SOLD FOR $11,500- Fieros are starting to gain some collector interest, but even with the ultra-low miles, this result surprised me for a car with an automatic. I had it pinned to sell for half this (shows you what I know).

 

$13,500 TO $15,500 (4 CARS)

 

F438 2006 Jaguar XKR supercharged coupe. V8, automatic. Light blue metallic, light cream interior. Jaguar alloy wheels, blackwall tires. Odometer reads 35k and the car looks it. Overall clean and straight. Headliner is not falling down, a known issue on these coupes. Cassette player in dash – who besides me still has cassettes?

SOLD FOR $13,500- The XK8 convertible-to-coupe sales ratio was about 10-to-1, so it’s rare to see any coupe, much less a supercharged one. I’m not a fan of this shade of blue, but the immaculate state of the interior absolved any other sins. This was a great price on a car that can serve as an alternative to domestic air travel. I can loan you the cassettes.

 

T171 2002 NO RESERVE  Porsche Boxster, grey, black convertible top, black leather interior. Porsche alloys, blackwall tires. H6, five speed manual. First gen Boxster with “broken egg” headlights. Sign claims 33,000 original miles. Clean inside and out.

SOLD FOR $13,500- Sold during “No Reserve” hour, this price was slightly higher than I’ve seen other Boxsters sell for recently. In its favor, it was spotless and the mileage was unusually low. But was the IMS bearing done? 😉

 

F442 NO RESERVE 1956 VW Beetle, green, black interior. Odometer reads 72,452. 4-cyl, 4-speed. Mix of original and custom. Black fabric sunroof, roof-mounted luggage rack looks aftermarket but period-correct.  Cheap looking alloys, blackwall tires. Oval rear window and small taillights which Beetle collectors love. Front and rear bumpers without traditional over-riders.  Dashboard is non-original, with additional gauges on left and “1956 Oval” sign in center. Upholstery is decent.

SOLD FOR $14,500- Did they devalue the car with customized touches? It’s hard to say, as I’m not sure of the oval window market. On one hand, this seems like a lot of money for a Beetle, but on the other hand, the car was in great shape overall, and the worst of the custom touches (wheels, luggage rack) are easily reversed. Sold at no reserve, so the market decided.

 

 

T109 1963 MGB roadster, red, red convertible top, black upholstery with red piping. Painted wire wheels, knockoffs, blackwall tires. Chrome bumpers. Underhood is clean as is interior. “Bent” shifter as early MGB’s have. Sign claims original top- were they red in ’63?

SOLD FOR $15,500- This is an early “B” (first model year was 1962) and few have survived. Car was a very nice example overall, but I question the claim that the red top is original. I can’t recall ever seeing a factory red top on any B, and besides, it looked too good to be 56 years old. Despite the top controversy, this was a fair price for a well-preserved early B.

 

$20,000 TO $24,000 (4 CARS)

 

F503 1964 Chevy Corvair Monza Spider convertible, red, tan convertible top, tan interior. Turbocharged, 150 hp. 4-speed manual, power top, bucket seats, color coordinated interior. Whitewall tires, full wheel covers. Paint looks decent, obviously repainted. AM radio plus tissue dispenser. Odometer reads 04,339, so car has over 100k. Turbo proudly sits on top of H6.

SOLD FOR $20,500- While I much prefer the 2nd gen Corvair styling, this was a very attractive car. The red against the tan really popped. I can’t recall ever seeing a tan dash in this generation Corvair, but I’ll take the owner’s word for it that it’s factory. Let the haters hate, but I’ll state that you could spend $100,000 on “that” brand’s H6 turbo, or, get this H6 turbo for 1/5 the price. I know which I’d choose.

T202 1962 MGA roadster, red, tan top, tan interior, painted wire wheels. Odometer is 02,662, so presumption is that car has over 100,000 miles. Mark II model with revised tail light location. Sign states last year of MGA. Overall, a presentable and attractive car, albeit in an older restoration.

SOLD FOR $22,500- Perhaps MGA prices are down a bit, as I thought this car would bring closer to high 20’s or even $30k. A bit of a steal. Or this audience doesn’t care about MGs.

 

F544 1962 Ford T-Bird, convertible, red, black top, black vinyl interior. Wire wheels, whitewall tires, “roadster” tonneau cover. Chrome around side windows pitted. 390/auto. Odo reads 59,969 miles. Interior slightly tarnished and worn, but front seats look nicer than rest of interior, possible they were reupholstered. Aftermarket speakers added. Underhood is decent; silver painted valve covers.

SOLD FOR $23,250- It’s well-known among collectors that many of these T-Bird roadsters are fakes, which is to say, the car didn’t leave the factory with the tonneau cover. Real deals command a price premium of close to double the price of an ordinary T-Bird convertible. This car was nice, but was not a factory roadster. It sold for close to average retail for the model. A “real’ roadster might have brought $50,000.

 

T208 1967 Ford Mustang convertible, red, white top, black interior. 289 V8, C4 automatic. Wire wheel covers with white wall tires. Wheels painted red, which is odd touch. Restored  to a visibly high standard. Not a deluxe Mustang interior, but what is there is clean and straight.  Gauge cluster looks especially good. 91,342 miles on odometer.

SOLD FOR $24,000- Charming color combo, on what appears to be a recent restoration. 1967 is my favorite Mustang year, and I especially like the interiors. This one didn’t have the deluxe interior stuff (center console, fancy door panels, chrome-trimmed seats) but was clean and presented well. The price was not unexpected for such a nice car.

 

 

All photographs copyright © 2019 Richard A. Reina. Photos may not be copied or reproduced without express written permission.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Carlisle Auctions, Spring 2018

2018 marks the 4th consecutive year that I’m bringing you a Spring Carlisle Auction Report. You can read about the 2015, 2016, and 2017 auctions by clicking on the links, or, you can just skip it if you don’t feel like doing that.

It IS interesting, though, to glance at the 2015 summary from three years ago and see what has changed and what has not. At that time, I described the Carlisle Auction as a “mom and pop” kind of event, and while vast improvements have been made in the ensuing years, it still has a certain aw-shucks quality.

The Expo Center is a well-lit, comfortable building

One of the bigger changes is the move from a 2-day to a 3-day auction. Of course, this means substantially more cars are on the ground. Space is at such a premium within the grounds of the Carlisle Expo Center that the Tree Of Life Church next door had its parking lot absconded in order to help contain the approximately 600 vehicles dragged across the block.

Thursday and Friday auctions started at 2pm, and the newly-added Saturday bonanza started at 10am. Part of the plan is to lure attendees at the Spring Carlisle swap meet to walk an extra three blocks and perhaps buy an auction car.

The Expo Center was well-attended during my time there on Thursday and Friday, but I wouldn’t call it jammed. Like other auctions, the crowd is thinner during the early and late hours, which can be a good time to snag a deal. As always, especially compared to Mecum, Carlisle appears to be primarily populated by dealers who are both buyers and sellers. You might get the car of your dreams for something less than retail. Caveat Emptor (I’ve been dying to slip some Latin into a blog post).

Below are descriptions of cars that I found interesting, and which I personally inspected and observed cross the block. Richard’s Car Blog continues to bring you auction reports with A) multiple photos of each featured car, and B) sold vehicles arranged in sale price order. At the end are a few notable no-sales.

I invite your comments about which of these cars you’d like to own, and whether you found the sale prices to be favorable or not. Enjoy the report!

 

$7,500 and under:

Lot T115, 1981 Mercedes-Benz 380 SL roadster, metallic grey, grey hardtop, black interior. No indication if soft top is included. Miles not recorded. Paint looks unmarked, chrome is decent. Factory alloys on black wall tires. Interior looks like a 20 year old used car: it’s dirty and worn in spots, but not a project. Just another used 107.

SOLD FOR $2,500; CPI #3: $16,000. I inspected this car after the sale, so I really wasn’t supposed to touch it, but I did open the door. As the kids would say, WTH? Unless there is a salvage title, or the motor knocks, this was one of the steals of the auction. Happens with cars that run very early or very late in the day, before the crowds filter in.

 

Lot T166, 2002 Mazda Miata, dark blue metallic, black vinyl convertible top, black leather interior. Four-cylinder, 5-speed manual. Sign on windshield says 69k original miles. Mazda alloys show well, Hankook tires all around. Paint looks good, no chips in front. Some wear on driver’s seat side. Interior otherwise OK. This is the first time I can recall seeing a Miata at a Carlisle auction.

SOLD FOR $5,000; CPI #3: $6,850.  Just a used car; sold for wholesale, but notable as identifying a Miata as a (future) collectible.  

 

Lot T156, 1964 Chevy Corvair Monza 900 convertible, red, white vinyl convertible top, white vinyl interior. Five-digit odometer shows 62,191. 95 HP 2-bbl H6, 2-speed Powerglide automatic transmission. Sign claims car is all original. Full factory wheel covers, black wall tires. Paint looks tired, no signs of rust. Interior shows multiple shades of white, especially on door panels. Sign on dash: “Jiggle shifter in neutral to start”.

SOLD FOR $5,800; CPI #3: $7,150. Many, myself included, prefer the styling of the 2nd generation ‘vairs. If the 1st gen cars are your preference, this looked like an honest one for the money. Improve it while enjoying it.

 

Lot F321, 1989 Nissan 300ZX, metallic white, t tops, 2 tone brown cloth interior. Six-digit odometer reads 056,538. White factory alloys , black wall tires. Rear window louvers are behind seats. Very nice last year model of this generation, but car has automatic transmission. Paint is clean, no chips in nose. Wheels are a bit scuffed. Interior is very clean, with some minor wear on driver’s seat bottom. Some black peeling off outside trim.

SOLD FOR $6,400; CPI #3-#2 RANGE: $4,000-$8,475. Fair price for a clean low-mileage car, provided you are OK with the automatic (which I would not be on a Z car).

 

Lot T145, 1978 VW Beetle convertible, red, black vinyl convertible top, black vinyl interior. 80,323 miles on 5-digit odometer. Aftermarket black alloy wheels. No rust showing, one tail light broken, looks like it was repainted once, top is decent shape, interior is original and is all there.

SOLD FOR $7,500; CPI #3: $12,300. Red is not the best color for a Beetle, but after a good detailing, car will be ready for cruising and touring. Wheels are a cheap fix if originality is your thing. Price was a bit advantageous to buyer.

 

$10,000 to $20,000:

Lot F313, 1987 Mercedes-Benz 560 SL, red, black cloth convertible top, black interior. No indication if hardtop is included. 107,322 showing no 6-digit odometer. Inspection sticker on windshield is from MA, expires in 2018. Chrome Benz alloys look blingy, black wall tires. Interior upholstery and wood are worn. Tear in soft top on left side.

SOLD FOR $10,250; CPI #4-#3 RANGE $17,000-31,000. This was one of several of this generation SLs (the 107 platform) at this auction. Condition-wise, this one was average. Sale price was a bit of a bargain, as the big-engine 560SLs are hot in the market right now. Admittedly better condition ones on Bring A Trailer are fetching twice this amount.

 

Lot F456, 1965 Chevy Corvair Corsa convertible. Dark green metallic, black vinyl convertible top, black vinyl interior. 58,614 on 5-digit odometer. Full wheel coves, narrow white walls. Passenger door fit off, rubbing at back edge. Looks like a repaint. 4-speed manual floor shift, tachometer on dash. Sign on car claims long-term ownership from within family that owned Chevy dealership where this car originated. Stiff shifter almost impossible to move from gear to gear, true for all 4 forward gears.

SOLD FOR $10,600; CPI #3: $11,100  Fair price, if a bit close to retail, and that’s if shifter is easy fix. Still, nice cruiser, and way less money than that other brand which features air-cooled rear-mounted flat-6 engines….

 

Lot T237, 1968 Oldsmobile Toronado, white, black vinyl roof, black cloth/vinyl interior. 46,663 on 5-digit odometer. Full wheel covers, white wall tires. Sign on car says original 46k car. Car is dirty, sheet metal looks straight. Massive front bumper, hideaway headlights. V8 and automatic. Driver’s seat cloth is worn through and showing foam at leading edge of seat.

SOLD FOR $16,250; CPI #3-#2 RANGE $8,800-18,000. This was a #3 car which sold for #2 money. Colors were bland, and car was just OK. I would have held out for the better-looking ’66-’67 model.

 

Lot F393, 1963 Ford Thunderbird  convertible, bronze metallic, white vinyl convertible top, bronze vinyl  interior. 77,328 on 5-digit odometer. Narrow white walls, full wheel covers. Left front fender trim and bumper do not line up. Top and chrome look OK. Some swirls in paint. Interior is very nice, has factory AM radio. Car has optional “roadster” tonneau cover over rear seats.

SOLD FOR $17,800; CPI #4-#3 RANGE $14,000-25,000. Based on sale price, I’m presuming that this is not a factory “sports roadster”, which doubles its book value. The car was impressive overall.  As bullet Birds go, colors were right, the top dropped, and it was within book retail. Fair deal all around.

 

Lot F434, 1957 Ford Skyliner retractable hardtop/convertible. . Green and white two-tone paint, green interior. V8, automatic. Full wheel covers, white walls. Painted wheels not in good shape. Sign says that car was restored in the 1980s. Chrome is just OK. Trunk lid fit is off. Dash looks unrestored, gauges look aged. Aftermarket A/C unit hanging below dash looks very out of place. Not great, but not a project car. Ben J. Smith, the father of the retractable, autographed the glove box.

SOLD FOR $18,000; CPI #4-#3 RANGE $35,000-62,000.  Fifties cars, in general, seem to be out of favor right now. The generation that collected them is dying, and the younger collectors have yet to discover them (but they will). This was an older restoration which lacked eyeball. I think that the book value is high, but still, if car drove and top worked, someone got a bargain.

 

$20,000 to $30,000:

Lot F439, 1956 Ford Thunderbird, 2 seat convertible. V8, automatic. 5-digit odometer shows 30,798. White with white porthole hardtop. Soft top is included according to sign, but it was not inspected. Windshield has RI inspection sticker from 2000. Full T-Bird wheel covers. Black and white vinyl interior. Factory Continental kit has been removed from rear, looks strange without it. Black windlace trim out of place along fender skirts. Hardtop is not in good shape: rubber AND chrome are shot. PW, PS, factory radio in dash, aftermarket radio below dash. Middling T Bird.

SOLD FOR $23,500; CPI #4: $25,375.  Sold on the money for #4 condition car, which this was. Two-seat T-Bird prices have been stagnant, maybe slipping a bit, for the last 20 years.

 

Lot F414, 1958 Edsel Pacer convertible. Coral and white two-tone inside and out. 95,340 on 5-digit odometer. V8, automatic. Power white vinyl convertible top. Wide white walls, full Edsel wheel covers, dual outside mirrors. Hard to fault on outside, except some fender and door gaps less than ideal. Car was restored to original appearance. Interior well–restored, only nit to pick was crack in trim at bottom of seat.  A rare car. Styling took only 60 years to mellow out in most people’s minds.

SOLD FOR $28,250; CPI #4-#3 RANGE $18,750-33,500.  A nice Edsel, a #2 car for #3 money; well-bought.

 

Lot T140.4, 1966 Chevrolet Corvette convertible, blue, white vinyl-covered hardtop, no sign of soft top, white interior. Mileage not recorded. Base V8, automatic. Full wheel covers, white wall tires. Side pipes. Paint, possibly original, is worn down to nothing all along sharp body edges. Paint is also blotchy on hood. But no visible fiberglass damage. Interior worn but not trashed.

SOLD FOR $29,000; CPI #4-#3 RANGE $21,000-38,000  This was potentially an all-original ‘vette. If it were mine, I wouldn’t paint it, I’d drive it and call the paint job “patina”. A fair price, maybe a little bit of a steal.

 

INTERESTING NO-SALES:

Lot T149, 1986 Jaguar XJ6, 4 door sedan, 6-cylinder, automatic, blue green metallic, black wall tires, factory alloy wheels, beige leather interior. 6-digit odometer shows 061,146. Paint very tired, all horizontal surfaces are dull. Might be original paint, might buff back. No body damage. Wheels are dirty and peeling. Compared to paint, interior is surprisingly good except for center console wood which is cracked and delaminated. Driver’s seat rather unmarked.

NO SALE, NO BIDS! CPI #4: $2,275.   In all my years of attending auctions, never before have I witnessed a car fail to garner a single bid. Auctioneer was disgusted, spent about 30 seconds on it, then exclaimed “get it out of here”. If it ran, car is at least worth $2,500-3,000.

 

Lot F376, 1955 Imperial Newport 2-door hardtop (not Chrysler). Jade green metallic paint with white painted roof. Interior gold cloth and white leather. 27,620 on 5-digit odometer. 331 cubic inch Hemi V8, two-speed automatic. Last year that Chrysler used 6-volt positive ground electrical system. Full wheel covers, wide white wall tires. Factory air conditioning. Some waviness in front fenders, tail light chrome is pitted, bumpers look OK, no obvious signs of rust. Engine compartment dirty and unkempt. Driver’s seat bottom upholstery is shot. Immense dashboard with tranny shifter in dash. Each outboard seating position has its own ash tray and lighter (back when everyone smoked, even your grandmother).

NO SALE, BID TO $12,500; CPI #4: $13,225.  At every auction, there’s one car that I become smitten with, and at Spring Carlisle 2018, this was that car. What a magnificent beast. It was loaded (FACTORY AIR), and it had a Hemi. I heard it start and run coming off the block: smooth, quiet, and powerful. I want to drive a rally in it and show up the F-car owners. Still, it was rough around the edges and perhaps should have sold for high bid. Why didn’t I bid? It doesn’t fit in my garage, but I’m considering knocking down a wall….

 

Lot F336, 1941 DeSoto Custom S8C, 2-door convertible, blue, white vinyl convertible top, blue vinyl interior. 71,934 on 5-digit odometer. 228 c.i. flat head 6, fluid drive with shifter on column. Dog dish caps, black wall tires. Restored to decent driver-level condition. Top has some marks from folding. Interior looks like non-original pattern. Steering wheel and pedals let down the interior: wheel is brown, looks unrestored, and matches nothing else on car; and pedals show significant wear.

NO SALE, BID TO $21,250; CPI #3 (for 1946 convertible): $23,200. Bid was fair, maybe a bit generous. There cannot be a big demand for ’41 DeSotos.

 

Lot T231, 1956 BMW Isetta, bubble window coupe, red and white, white sunroof, white interior. Door is locked, unable to inspect interior. Car has rare “Z stripe” molding. Car is restored, for the most part to original standards, but engine door uses wing screw. Car looks like it was painted with glass in. Black wall tires, BMW hub caps and trim rings. Non-original exhaust, correct accessory exterior luggage rack.

NOT SOLD, BID TO $22,000; CPI #3: $30,000.  Bid was light, especially for “rare” bubble window coupe. Carlisle may not have been the best audience.

 

Lot F371 1994 Ferrari 348 USA spider (convertible). Windshield sign states “PINNIFINARI Special Edition”. Sign also claims 29k original miles. Black paint, black cloth convertible top, tan leather interior.  Black and silver aftermarket wheels, Hankook black wall tires. Car is not clean, swirls in paint. Top has 4 patches sewn in place, one patch does not even cover hole in top. Dog leg gated shifter. Driver’s seat looks ok, but sitting in car, seat is completely loose, and rocks in place as you apply pressure to clutch. No seat belt visible at driver’s seat.

NO SALE, BID TO $39,000; CPI #3: $42,225. I was wondering if Pinnifinari is a special Italian sandwich served on panini bread. This one is simple: other than the fact that the car is badged a “Ferrari”, it had nothing going for it. If that bid were real money, seller should have taken it and run. This car is the poster child for the cliché “There’s nothing more expensive than a cheap Ferrari”.

 

Lot F407, 1970 Mercedes-Benz 280 SL convertible. White, brown soft top, brown vinyl interior. Sign says hardtop is included. Inline-6, automatic transmission. 5-digit odometer reads 36,037. Factory hub caps, black wall tires. Outside is cosmetically very nice, paint cannot be faulted. Windshield shows PA inspection sticker from 2014. Spare tire missing from trunk. Interior is a mess: driver door pocket ripped, loose handle in pocket. Both seats have cracked vinyl. Driver’s seat uncomfortable, foam is hard and flat. Brown carpet has faded to a green. Big gap in soft top above passenger door.

NO SALE, BID TO $67,000; CPI #4-#3 RANGE $85,000—125,000   House announced that “it’s going to take $75,000”. Something between high bid and reserve is probably a fair price, but that interior is going to cost money to make right.

All photographs copyright © 2018 Richard A. Reina. Photos may not be copied or reproduced without express written permission.

 

 

The Spring ’18 Car Show Calendar is Filling Up Quickly!

With spring just around the corner (the calendar says next Tuesday, even if I spent part of this morning clearing some residual snow from last week’s double-whammy storms), I realized that I had been remiss in updating my own “Calendar of Events”.

Covers coming off soon!

We car guys and gals patiently wait for those final traces of salt to be washed away so we can unhook the Battery Tenders, check fluid levels and tire pressures, and ease our old iron out into the early spring sunshine. It’s nice to be reminded that there will be plenty to do; here’s what’s on my calendar so far (and this is just the first two months of the season):

Be sure to check this page frequently. Once show season starts, I’ll do my best to maintain this page and let you know what’s happening in the area.

All photographs copyright © 2018 Richard A. Reina. Photos may not be copied or reproduced without express written permission.

Auction Report: 2017 Spring Carlisle

Carlisle Events held its Spring 2017 Auction at the Carlisle PA Expo Center on April 20, 21, and 22, as always, running concurrently with the Spring Carlisle show. A few years ago, they teamed up with Auctions America, but that marriage broke up, and they are back to being on their own.

For the auction organizers, it’s getting better all the time (to quote Lennon & McCartney). The biggest change for 2017 was moving from a 2-day to a 3-day event; however, that created the problem of lack of parking for the extra cars. The church lot next door was utilized for the overflow. For attendees, it was a challenge at times to find the cars they were seeking out.

Another improvement: run sheets were actually available sooner than one hour before show time. Thursday’s run sheet was posted on their website the evening before! Carlisle has made and continues to make great strides in elevating the auction experience for buyers and sellers alike.

Below are some highlights of cars which sold. We’ll say it yet again: if you want to get into the hobby on a budget and you’re open-minded, there are choices.

Your scribe wishes to point out that this auction report, unlike any other printed or online report, provides both multiple photos of every car, and, arranges the ‘sold’ units in price groups, so that you, dear reader, can get a better sense of what your $6,000, or $10,000, or $20,000 will buy these days. Click on the thumbnails to enlarge the photos, and enjoy the read.

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UNDER $5,000:

Lot F360, 1965 Austin Healey Sprite, 4 cylinder, stick, white, red interior, looks good from 20 ft., still looks OK up close. Possible quickie re-do of paint and upholstery. British Heritage Trust Certificate included. SOLD FOR $3,400. Could be fun provided you fit in.

Lot T109, 1988 Nissan 300ZX, bland in gold metallic, t-tops, beige velour cloth, V6 non-turbo, 5 speed, 88k miles, interior shows some marks on wheel and driver’s door panel, seats are ok, interior is otherwise clean. SOLD FOR $4,600. Possibly the daily-driver deal of the auction.

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$5,500 TO $6,100:

Lot T148, 1980 Mercedes-Benz 450SL, gold, gold hardtop, black interior, V8, automatic. 129k on odometer, doesn’t look it, very clean and straight. SOLD FOR $5,500.  High miles, good price if maintenance is up-to-date, bad price if it’s not.

Lot F317, 1987 Nissan 300ZX, red metallic, beige cloth , V6 non-turbo, automatic, 59k miles, t-tops, clean overall, some wear on center armrest, driver seat adjuster arm missing, engine compartment dirty. SOLD FOR $6,000. Lower miles than Lot T109, but automatic vs manual may make the difference.

Lot F302, 1995 Mercedes-Benz SL500, V8, automatic, black, black hardtop, light beige interior, odometer unknown. Sign on car claims much service work done. Interior shows a lot of wear, driver’s seat foam showing, cracks in a lot of interior plastic. SOLD FOR $6,000. Mileage is likely high, making this no bargain. Drive it until it breaks.

Lot S558, 1994 Jaguar XJS convertible, tan metallic, brown soft top, tan interior. 4.0 L inline-6, automatic. 67k original miles. Looks clean and straight. Sign says “here to be sold”, meaning, the owner has had enough (or, the reserve is really low). SOLD FOR $6,100. If you’re not afraid of British cars, this could be fun. Six-cylinder helps a lot.

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$8,000 TO $11,000:

Lot T103, 1994 Chevrolet Corvette, hardtop, automatic, red, smoke roof panel, chrome wheels, black interior, LT1 engine, 55,383 miles. Some light aftermarket mods, such as wheels and tail light grilles. Crossed the block and declared NO SALE at $7,500. Later reported SOLD FOR $8,000. C4 Corvettes are on their way up, but there are better deals (and better-looking C4s) out there.

Lot F429, 1983 Mercedes-Benz 380SL, white, tan interior, 124,444 miles, white hardtop, overall clean and straight, no obvious defects. SOLD FOR $9,250. At this price and mileage, this makes Lot T148 look like a good deal. Besides, 450SLs are worth more than 380SLs.

Lot T106, 2001 Jaguar XK8 convertible, blue, blue soft top, tan interior, automatic, factory wheels, 32k original miles, Wear on driver’s seat looks like from higher mileage car, interior otherwise is OK. SOLD FOR $9,300. Nice if you like blue (which I don’t). Low mileage is key here, placing this in the “well bought” category.

Lot T111, 1966 Ford Mustang convertible, green, black top, beige Pony interior, as ratty as any car ever seen at a Carlisle Auction. Only redeeming factor is “A code” 4-barrel 289 engine. Automatic. Bad green respray, convertible top has tape over holes, rear window opaque. Pony interior is destroyed. Both doors shut poorly; if both doors were opened at the same time, car would fold. A true rat. SOLD FOR $10,750. A shocking price for a car that must be completely restored to be used.

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$18,000 TO $21,000:

Lot F414.1, 1987 Mercedes-Benz 560 SL, red, black interior, both tops, claimed 72k original miles. SOLD FOR $18,750. Resale red (and low miles) wowed the crowd into a sale.

Lot S537, 1964 Ford Thunderbird convertible, white, black soft top, black interior. Wire wheels, white walls. 71k miles, claimed original. Paint and interior good, steering wheel worn, underhood a little sloppy in places. Gold 390 looks good in there. SOLD FOR $19,250. Decent mid ‘60s T-Bird in monochrome colors. Good deal as long as the top works.

Lot F424, 1957 Ford Thunderbird, white, red interior, porthole hardtop, full wheel covers, wide whites, 292 V8, auto, sign says “reconstructed title, reissued VIN”. Paint and interior OK, underhood not detailed. SOLD FOR $20,800. On the low side for a 2-seat T-Bird. May be worth it if you’re going to keep it. The title issue may make it hard to resell.

 

All photographs copyright © 2017 Richard A. Reina. Photos may not be copied or reproduced without express written permission.

The Alfa Returns From Its Stay At the AACA Museum

The AACA (Antique Automobile Club of America) Museum in Hershey PA has both permanent and temporary automotive exhibits. In November of 2016, a 5-month long show was launched there, entitled Amore della Strada (“Love of the Road”), a tribute to Italian machinery of both the 4-wheel and 2-wheel varieties.

I was humbled to have my 1967 Alfa Romeo chosen as one of only about 20 cars for the exhibit. Aside from the honor of having your vehicle on display for the public to admire, there are the logistical challenges of getting the car there, and getting the car home. All transportation arrangements are the sole responsibility of the vehicle owner.

The Alfa poses in front of its temporary home.

Bringing the car to them was easy, because my wife and I decided to spend the weekend in Hershey. The Alfa made the trek without incident (with the driver thankful that there was no early snow). My wife followed in her modern iron, so getting home was simple.

I knew from the start that the museum exhibit was scheduled to end the same April weekend as Spring Carlisle. My good friend Larry and I made plans to attend the Carlisle show together, and he generously offered to pick me up at my house, drive me to Carlisle, then drive me to the Museum. There had been previous email exchanges with museum staff that I would show up sometime on Friday to get the car.

Larry’s such a good friend that he stuck around to make sure my departure was OK.

Upon arrival, there was one hitch: my car’s battery, which the museum had assured me would be charged up, was not. When I sat in the car to crank the engine, the revolutions were so slow that you could count them. A 12V powerpack was brought to the scene, and the Alfa started right up. Any concerns about re-starting were alleviated when I turned off the car, and it immediately cranked back to life.

Day #2 of the Carlisle Auction was in action on Friday, and I wanted to be there. I drove to the showfield, and parked in a private driveway (five bucks, thanks Rita!) arranged by another good friend, Rich S. Then, back to my hotel Friday night, with the Alfa safely tucked behind the building.

Saturday morning, up bright and early, and I was on the road again in the little Alfa. Traffic was surprisingly heavy along Routes 81 and 78, but I’ve learned to stick to the right lane and stay out of the way. At 155 inches and 2,000 pounds, my 1300 Junior would be flicked off the road like a pesky bug should an SUV or 18-wheeler make an errant maneuver.

I-78 eastbound, somewhere in PA. At 70 mph in 5th, engine is turning just under 4k.

The car ran beautifully the entire way home. One hundred and thirty-four miles later, it was back in the garage that the car hadn’t seen since November of last year. Once some basic maintenance is attended to, we can start with the first of a number of events which have been scheduled for the car this year.

Back home, safe and sound

 

All photographs copyright © 2017 Richard A. Reina. Photos may not be copied or reproduced without express written permission.