Porsche’s No-Frills Performance Bargain

There’s nothing more fun than buying, driving and enjoying a bargain sports car. Today, in our red-hot collector car market, most hope — and perhaps pray — that our purchases will continue to appreciate. Yet the prospect of price appreciation someday is different than a bargain today. The 911SC is that rarity which represents a great value in today’s market.

The 911SC saved Porsche from a botched response to U.S. emission controls imposed in 1974. Intended to be the rear-engine Read More

Two BMW 507 Sales at Amelia Island

Mathieu Heurtault, courtesy of Gooding & Company

BMW 507 Chassis 70134 (Gooding & Co.)

Constructed in late 1957, it is believed that this 507 was sold new to the United States through Hoffman Motors of New York. According to the research of marque experts, just 34 examples of BMW’s 507 were officially exported new to the U.S.

Over the years, the 507 was a frequent participant in many BMW Vintage and Classic Car Club of America events, taking part in a variety of shows, tours, and special Read More

Buy, Sell or Bubble?

Drew Shipley ©2014, courtesy of RM Auctions

The collector car market is steamrolling along with the largest price increases we’ve ever seen.

From 2009 to 2013, combined sales of all the auctions in Monterey jumped from $120m to $308m. That $188m increase in four years represents a 157% change, and a return of 26.6% per year.

For Scottsdale, from 2010 to 2014, combined sales went from $126m to $253m. That’s a 101% increase, and an annualized return of 19%.

The Dow Jones Index, which has reached record Read More

1968 Datsun 1600 Roadster

Adam Kurtz, courtesy of Gooding & Company

The Datsun roadster, lovingly dubbed “the Fairlady” in its Japanese home market, was built from 1963 to 1970. Although legend has it that it was designed as a copy of the MGB, in actual fact the Datsun model was launched several months prior to the MGB and therefore, any design resemblance is happenstance. Nevertheless, the car’s main competitors were considered to be the offerings of MG, Triumph and Fiat.

The Datsun roadster was extremely popular, with over 40,000 being built Read More

1966 Lola T70 Mk II Can-Am Spyder

Darin Schnabel ©2013, courtesy of RM Auctions

Lola Cars was founded in 1958 by former Quantity Surveyor Eric Broadley, who was located in Huntingdon, England. His first “production car,” the Lola Mark I, was so superior that it immediately made obsolete Colin Chapman’s previously unbeatable Lotus 11s — as well as all Elvas and Coopers. One of Broadley’s most interesting cars was, of course, the Lola Mk 6 GT, which the Ford Motor Company later successfully raced as their GT40. Lola cars have claimed hundreds of victories Read More

Where’s the Crime?

We thought it was odd that our client’s Mercedes-Benz dealer was threatening to sue him for wrongfully exporting his car in violation of his agreement that he would not do so, exposing him to substantial liquidated damages. As we got into the case, we learned that this was a really big deal across the United States.

Luxury-car manufacturers (Mercedes-Benz, BMW, Land Rover, Porsche and Lexus) are worried about a growing U.S. cottage industry that buys their new cars in the Read More

1955 Ferrari 750 Monza Spyder

Tom Wood ©2013, courtesy of RM Auctions

This car is equipped with a 260-hp, 2,999-cc DOHC inline 4-cylinder engine with two Weber 45 DCO/A3 carburetors, a 5-speed manual transaxle, independent front suspension with transverse leaf springs, De Dion rear axle with parallel trailing arms and semi-elliptic leaf springs, four-wheel drum brakes, and a tubular steel frame.

This car finished 5th overall at the 1955 12 Hours of Sebring. It raced to multiple 1st-place finishes in other races. Phil Hill and Carroll Shelby raced the car. Read More

A Luxury Cat with Claws

While it is common today to think that the introduction of Jaguar’s new “sporting” model in 1975 was greeted with jeers, the truth is rather different.

Certainly the XJ-S (the name carried a hyphen until 1991, when it became the XJS) was a notable departure from the XKE. The nomenclature clearly indicated that it was the top of the XJ sedan line rather than the latest in a line of XK sports cars.

Nevertheless, the XJ-S was very much the Read More

1971 Mercedes-Benz 600 6-door Pullman Landaulet

Tim Scott ©2013, courtesy of RM Auctions

This Mercedes-Benz 600 is powered by the distinctive M100 6,332-cc overhead-valve V8 engine developed specifically for the Grand 600s. The engine produces 245 horsepower. The car is equipped with a 4-speed automatic transmission; double-wishbone air-spring independent front suspension; swing-axle rear suspension with air springs; and four-wheel, power-assisted hydraulic disc brakes. The car is built on the 600 Pullman wheelbase of 3,900 mm (153.5 inches).

The Landaulet Pullmans are considered the “holy grail” for collectors. Making this one even rarer, it Read More

Acceptable Imperfection?

Many years ago, I was considering buying a Mercedes 230SL and called Mercedes guru, SCM contributor and collector Alex Dearborn to ask for his advice. I told him the car was straight enough, a little scruffy in and out, would need a torn swing-axle boot replaced, had a 4-speed and both tops. At that time, the price of $18,000 was about right.

Alex was direct in his response. “How much imperfection can you stand?” he said. “You’ll need to fix Read More

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