Do Your Homework Before Bidding

A recent Federal District Court decision in Illinois should be of serious concern to auction bidders. If it stands, we might all have to take a full coterie of mechanics and consultants with us to each auction.

Our plaintiff, “Ted,” was a successful bidder at a 2011 auction. (“Legal Files” won’t identify the auction company because, as will be explained later, it isn’t particularly unique in this regard.)

Ted purchased a 1967 Corvette 427/435 coupe at a hammer price of Read More

Another Roadside Attraction

It was a weekend to remember.

At 6 a.m. on a Saturday in February this year, my daughter Alexandra joined me on a flight from Portland, OR, to San Jose, CA. We’d bought a 1964 Volvo 1800S last July, and it was time to bring it home.

Mike Dudek of iRoll Motors picked us up at San Jose International Airport, and soon we were at his shop in San Martin, south of San Jose.

The Volvo was better than I Read More

1954 Pontiac Bonneville Special Motorama Concept Car

It’s said that Harley Earl, director of GM styling, got the idea for a GM concept car while watching world speed records being set at the Bonneville Salt Flats in Utah. It would be a sports racer called a Bonneville Special. That was when 1954 models were being readied for production, and no GM car had ever carried the Bonneville name.

Perhaps Harley Earl gave the assignment to Pontiac as the birth of its upcoming performance image. Under the direction Read More

1984 Audi Quattro Sport SWB Coupe

The introduction of Group B into the World Rally Championship in 1982 was an evolution that was dictated by a general industry move from rear- to front-wheel-drive cars, and it proved revolutionary. Contenders now had three classes to choose: Group N (standard production cars), Group A (modified production cars), and the almost immediately notorious and virtually unbridled Group B (modified sports cars).

Most notably, Group B allowed Audi to compete with its still-new Quattro all-wheel-drive system, which was an obvious Read More

1959 Ferrari 250 GT LWB California Spyder

The extraordinary Ferrari presented here, 1425GT, is the 27th of 50 California Spyders built on the long-wheelbase 250 GT chassis. Consistent with its May 1959 build date, this California Spyder benefits from a number of significant evolutionary improvements introduced throughout the model’s two-year production run.

Although more than 55 years have passed since it left the factory, 1425GT has never warranted a full restoration. Simply maintained as required, the Ferrari is largely unchanged since the seller acquired it over 45 Read More

1966 Ferrari 275 GTB Competizione

In July 1966, the Ferrari factory received an order from SAVAF for a 275 GTB Competizione, later specified to be chassis 09079. Late in the specialty model’s limited run, the car was the penultimate example of the thinly aluminum-skinned competition GTB, making it the second-to-last GT car ever produced by Maranello’s factory competition department.

Factory records indicate the Tipo 213 competition engine was completed on September 8, 1966, with dynamometer testing occurring a day later. Trimmed with a light gray Read More

Porsche’s Red-Headed Stepchild

Stop for a moment and consider the plight of the Porsche 924. If ever there was a car that was born on the wrong side of the blanket, the 924 is it.

Coming onto the scene as a 1977 model, the 924 was Porsche’s first attempt at a conventional, water-cooled, inline 4-cylinder car. The 924 was created to replace the 914, which had suffered under the stigma of its Volkswagen heritage — the factory couldn’t even manage to put a Read More

1955 Austin-Healey 100S Sports Racing Two Seater

During the 1950s, the most accessible, most appealing, and in many cases, the most successful club racing car available to any aspiring racing driver was one of the products of the Donald Healey Motor Company’s famous factory at The Cape, Warwick.

This particularly appealing, and in period highly successful, Austin-Healey 100S is a shining example of the type. It has an outstanding record as one of the most successful 100S cars of its period, as it competed in no fewer Read More

The Public Execution of a Mini Cooper

We all know that it’s going to be windy when a low-pressure area bumps up against a high-pressure area. The difference in air pressure sucks air into the low-pressure area until the pressures are equalized.

“Legal Files” recently reported (June 2014, p. 54) how this same principle applies to economic disequilibrium, resulting in an industry that buys new cars in the United States and exports them to countries where the same cars typically sell for much more due to manufacturers’ Read More

Crowdsourcing Our 911 Turbo

This all started innocently enough. A friend gave me a ride to a Porsche event in her black 993. I hadn’t had a sip of that clattering air-cooled elixir for some time, and it was intoxicating.

I immediately emailed my good friend and Porsche guru Jim Schrager, and asked him for the best buy in late-model air-cooled 911s (the 993 models).

His response was immediate and definite. Forget the 993s. A first-gen 996 turbo with a Tiptronic (automatic) was his Read More