The new year is just a few days away, and 2016’s Scottsdale auctions aren’t far behind. But before we move into reporting on the new year’s market, it’s time to take a look at some of what I think were the best buys at auction in 2015.

ACC includes a list of our five Best Buy picks in every issue — these are the cars our staffers think were by far the best deals at the auctions we covered. From those lists of Best Buys in all six of ACC’s 2015 issues, here are the five cars I would have taken home this past year, and why:

5. 1969 Oldsmobile 442 2-dr hard top. Lot 2442, Leake Auctions, Tulsa, OK, 6/2015. SOLD at $25,300. VIN: 344879Z121031

1969 Olds 5

455-ci V8, 4-bbl, auto. Mostly original. The paint is very good with small scratches. The interior is excellent for its age. The engine bay and underside are clean and like new. The rear glass is scratched. Comes with its original build sheet. Cond: 2

Auction Analyst Andy Staugaard said:

Nice, clean example of a mostly original Olds 442. According to the auction listing, it was owned by the same family for 40 years, and it has obviously been well taken care of. It sold just about in the middle of its market range. I was surprised that it did not go for more, and wish I’d had a bidder’s pass. Well bought.

Jim says:

Mostly original muscle like this is getting harder to find, and this one had a great look for just $25k. Good deal.

4. 1969 Plymouth Hemi Road Runner 2-dr hard top. Lot F268, Mecum Auctions, Kissimmee, FL, 1/2015. SOLD at $145,800. VIN: RM23J9A145372

1969 Hemi Road Runner 4

426-ci V8, 2×4-bbl, 4-sp. Grille is a bit weathered. Near-perfect paint is just about flawless. Some pitting in the taillight assembly. Interior is clean and sharp. Engine bay is perfect. Believed to be original miles. Reported to be the only example as built and optioned. Cond: 1-

Auction Analyst Dale Novak said:

Striking black-over-white Hemi-powered Road Runner stood tall and presented in better-than-new condition with nearly zero flaws. Superb paint applied in black, which is entirely unforgiving. Well documented and claimed to be a numbers-matching example of an original Road Runner with less than 11,600 miles. Very well bought and one of the best out there.

Jim says: 

Say what you will about where Hemi values might go, but the Road Runner is an icon, and this one had the right condition and the right engine under the hood. Plus, there’s just something sinister about a black sleeper with a 4-speed. Great buy.

3. 2002 Chevrolet Corvette convertible. Lot 65, Lucky Collector Car Auctions, Snoqualmie, WA, 4/2015. SOLD at $14,690. VIN: 1G1YY32GX25119311

2002 Corvette 3

5.7-L 350-hp fuel-injected V8, auto. Original triple-black configuration has unblemished paint, ragtop looks fresh and unwrinkled. Minimal brightwork excellent. Factory polished mags hold Hankook tires installed 6k miles ago. Interior presents as new, as does clean and stock engine compartment. A drop-top C5 with well-loved vibe and condition that contradicts mileage shown. Cold: 2-

Auction Analyst Jack Tockston said:

As the owner of an ’02 C5 with one-third the miles, I found the condition of this one most impressive. With no evidence of a respray, I wondered how almost 87k miles were traveled with no road rash or Scotch protection (as found on mine). Entering the Corvette world in this example would be rewarding and cost-effective. Sales price was $10k under low estimate, making this a top steal of the day. Well bought indeed.

Jim says:

I don’t think these cars will move up in value in the near future, but this one was priced lower than the current market rate considering its condition. With that, call this a fantastic driver at way under the money.

2. 1971 Chevrolet Corvette coupe. Lot S615, Russo and Steele, Scottsdale, AZ, 1/2015. SOLD at $28,600. VIN: 194371S117052

1971 Corvette 2

454-ci 365-hp V8, 4-bbl, 4-sp. Nice paint and bodywork from 2012 restoration. Nice panel fit, especially around headlights. Interior presents as nearly new. A well-equipped car with AM/FM and a/c, converted to eco-friendly R134a. Underhood has been detailed to NCRS standards with correct hoses, clamps and belts. Other items show some age, since they’re originals. Car has less than 150 miles since restoration. Cond: 2

Auction Analyst John Boyle said:

A six-owner car with known history from new. One Oregon owner for more then 20 years. Comes with documents, restoration photo book and Protect-O-Plate. Seller says it’s a couple of weekends worth of detailing away from being ready for NCRS judging, and I can believe it. This looked like a great car, but bidding came up short. Either the bidders know something I don’t, or someone got a very good deal. Sold here at R&S Scottsdale 2012 with fresh restoration for $41k (ACC# 191627).

Jim says: 

I’m a sucker for a 454 Corvette with a 4-speed, and this one was in great shape for the price paid.

1. 1968 Mercury Colony Park wagon. Lot 350, Barrett-Jackson, Las Vegas, NV, 9/2015. SOLD at $21,450. VIN: 8Z76Y602415

1968 Mercury 1 

390-ci V8, 2-bbl, auto. This very low-mileage wagon is strikingly original. Original paint is relatively untouched. Body fit and condition is as assembled, with the exception of what appears to be some repair work at the bottom of the rear fenders. Inside, the interior is time-capsule original with center-facing third-row seats. The woodgrain panels are in good condition. Appears to be the same ’68 Mercury with 20k miles on it that ACC/SCM bought and sold a few years ago.

Auction Analyst Travis Shetler said:

Well bought at a price that seems a bit low for the originality and low mileage, and I’d like to think ACC celebrity status adds to the value. Long-roof vehicles always garner special interest from car aficionados. Highly original cars from less-desirable eras are bringing this much or more.

Jim says:

I got to know this car well when the magazine owned it, and it was every bit as original as this listing makes it sound. I still don’t know why someone saved it, but I’m glad they did. Very cool, and a no-brainer at this price. 

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