Mecum Auctions, NRG Center, Houston, April 5-7, 2018

Mecum Auctions has found a serendipitous environment in Houston near the vernal equinox, bringing truckloads of cars, and selling truckloads of them, too.

This isn’t Monterey, or even Indianapolis. It’s Houston with a median transaction in the high $20,000s and an average in mid- to high-$30,000s. It’s mainstream American car collecting.

Even the high transactions are mainstream American with a top sale in 2018 of $268,500 for a 2005 Ford GT.

There is, however, a persistence in Mecum’s offerings, as several cars described below demonstrate. 274 of the 868 cars offered here, 31.6% of the cars that crossed the block, had prior auction history.

Anyone going to Mecum Houston expecting to see 868 cars will find that nearly one out of three of them are cars that have auction history, with many of their prior transactions being in 2018.

If Mecum Transport or Reliable could squeeze a dozen cars on a hauler those 274 cars with prior auction history are 23 loads trundling around from Kissimmee to Pomona to Amelia to Houston with old friends the driving teams have come to know well.

Here are the numbers:

Year Cars Sold/ Offered Sale % Average Sale Median Sale Total $
2018 604/868 69.6% $34,972 $27,500

[78.6%]

$21,123,135
2017 551/790 69.8% $38,034 $27,500

72.3%]

$20,956,976
2016 542/851 63.7% $37,007 $24,750

[66.9%]

$20,057,785
2015 647/932 69.4% $39,211 $37,000

[94.4%]

$25,369,779

The Mecum Houston cars were observed by Andrew Newton; but the final observations, edits and comments are my responsibility.

Lot # F076.1 2003 Aston Martin DB7 Vantage Volante Convertible; S/N SCFAB42363K403634; Green/Tan leather; Unrestored original, 3 condition; Hammered Sold at $29,000 plus commission of 10.00%; Final Price $31,900. No Reserve. – Automatic, dash clock, Pioneer stereo. – Represented with 21,000 miles. Cloudy headlight lenses. A few chips in the nose, grille and hood. The interior is pretty rough. The boot cover looks like it was kept folded up for a while. The seats are quite wrinkled and aged. The console is worn and the door panels are a little wavy. No service history represented, and it looks like it spent a lot of time outside. Objectively not a terrible car, but an Aston Martin that’s this new and has so few miles should be a lot better. – An Aston Martin convertible for a little over 30 grand seems like quite the bargain, but there’s likely a reason why this car sold at no reserve and why there are no maintenance records. It’s cheap now, but likely to get expensive very soon.

Lot # S154.1 2004 Aston Martin Vanquish Coupe; S/N SCFAC23324B501500; Silver/Black leather; Unrestored original, 3+ condition; Hammered Sold at $52,000 plus commission of 10.00%; Final Price $57,200. With Reserve. – Automatic, Michelin tires, slotted rotors, dash clock. – Slightly cloudy headlight lenses. A handful of small chips on the nose and front of the hood. Dirty wheels. Scratch on the left A-pillar. Scratches on the steering wheel and light wrinkling to the seats. Represented with 68,000 miles. With mileage that high, it’s bound to be due for a pricey trip to the shop, and there is no service history represented with this car, which has clearly not been babied. It just looks expensive, both in the good way and the bad way. – Sold for $51,700 at Motostalgia Amelia Island a month ago. If the buyer there was the seller here, they just about broke even presumably without any big maintenance bills, and that’s making out OK. It might just be that they took a look at an empty service history file, then took it to an Aston mechanic for an estimate and then said, “Make it go away!”

Lot # F185 1967 Austin-Healey 3000 Mk III Phase 2 Convertible; S/N HBJ8L38795; Red/Black; Older restoration, 3+ condition; Hammered Sold at $42,000 plus commission of 10.00%; Final Price $46,200. With Reserve. – Chrome centerlock wire wheels, store brand tires, wood shift knob, banjo steering wheel, Pioneer stereo. – The engine bay is a little grimy but not bad. Average quality respray with masking errors around the windshield and light orange peel on the trunk lid. Uneven door gaps. Good lightly aged interior with some cracking in the wood dash. Good chrome. Represented as having been restored recently, but clearly not to anywhere near the professional standards you often see on these final year BJ8s. – This car sold at Mecum’s Chicago sale in 2015 for $28,050, then at Leake Oklahoma City in 2016 for $41,525, then hammered not sold here two years and 41 miles ago at a $35,000 high bid. It did better this time around with no comparable Healeys at the sale, and brought a perfectly appropriate price for its mediocre presentation.

Lot # T093 1970 BMW 2002 2-Dr. Sedan; S/N 1674381; Manila/Black vinyl; Enthusiast restoration, 2- condition; Hammered Sold at $22,000 plus commission of 10.00%; Final Price $24,200. With Reserve. – Wheel covers, Kumho tires, Alpine stereo with speakers in the doors and subwoofer in the rear. – Gorgeous clean and correct engine bay that has been fully redone. Lightly scratched chrome and brightwork. Very good fresh paint. All the rubber and weather stripping has been replaced. Very good fully redone interior apart from the original seat belt buckles. Recently finished enthusiast restoration of a desirable round taillight 2002. A neat car that BMW guys will get excited over, though not a show car. – By virtue of their typically low price and high build quality, lots of 2002s out there haven’t enjoyed much in the way of restoration work, so examples that have tend to sell for fairly strong money like this one.

Lot # S070 1998 BMW M Roadster; S/N WBSCK9333WLC85930; Red/Black, Red leather; Unrestored original, 2- condition; Hammered Sold at $19,000 plus commission of 10.00%; Final Price $20,900. With Reserve. – 5-speed, alloy wheels, Dunlop Direzza tires, heated seats. – Represented with 17,000 believable miles. Florida car. Handful of tiny chips in the nose and a few more at the back of the hood. Light wrinkling to the driver’s seat. A lightly used M Roadster. Not quite as cool as the ‘clown shoe’ M coupe, but still collectible, at least in the near future. – A good buy considering this car’s light age and $43,000 original price. It will still outrun the current crop of lower tier sports cars on the market today while costing less.

Lot # S152 1969 Buick GS 400 Convertible; S/N 446679H316619; Brown/Black vinyl; Black top; Visually maintained, largely original, 2- condition; Hammered Sold at $25,000 plus commission of 10.00%; Final Price $27,500. With Reserve. – 400/340hp, automatic, Rally wheels, narrow whitewalls, Ram Air, power steering, power brakes, tilt steering column, tinted glass, power top, power windows, factory air conditioning, Protect-O-Plate, bench seat, column shift, pushbutton radio. – Represented as matching numbers. Single family ownership. Lightly used partially restored engine bay. Very good paint and chrome. Factory gaps. Good newer seats and carpets. The rest of the interior is original but solid. The fender lips don’t quite fit straight. Light pitting on the rearview mirror. Never fully restored, but this fairly loaded GS has had a lot of serious attention and it’s an attractive if imperfect car. – As loaded as this GS400 convertible is with options it should be particularly fun to own and drive in all seasons, it should have brought a premium but its performance aspect has been subordinated to comfort and convenience and it sold like a more mainstream weekend driver making it a good value at this price.

Lot # F101 1949 Buick Super Convertible Coupe; S/N 15149004; Dark Blue/Red leather; Beige vinyl top; Visually maintained, largely original, 3 condition; Hammered Sold at $39,000 plus commission of 10.00%; Final Price $42,900. With Reserve. – Wheel covers, whitewalls, fender skirts, amber fog lights, pushbutton radio, hood ornament. – Tired old repaint and older chrome. The wheel covers are a little beat up. The top is tired and discolored. Well-kept and dry but mostly unrestored underneath. Tired steering wheel but clear gauges and very good newer seats. Pitted and lightly scratched window frames. Good enough for casual top-down cruising but not a particularly good car. Would be a rewarding, straightforward project that could be enjoyed while improving. – This Buick crossed Mecum’s Kissimmee auction block three months ago to an underwhelming bid of $30,000 and the seller did well by holding out for this rather generous but not unreasonable result.

Lot # S121.1 1957 Chevrolet Bel Air 2-Dr. Hardtop; S/N VC57N177690; Engine # 3731548; Colonial Cream/Yellow vinyl with Black cloth inserts; Older restoration, 2 condition; Hammered Sold at $46,000 plus commission of 10.00%; Final Price $50,600. No Reserve. – 283/270hp dual quads, 3-speed, spinner wheel covers, whitewalls, tinted glass, heater, pushbutton radio, dash clock. – Tidy lightly used engine bay and underbody. High quality older paint and chrome, but neither are fresh. Erratic gaps. Very good fully restored interior. A desirably equipped Bel Air in unusual but good colors. Body-off restored a while ago and only showing light age. – This is a sound value in a 283/270hp solid lifter dual quad Bel Air hardtop with a 3-speed even without any claim that this is how it started its life. A solid performer on the street or on tours, it is full value for the money spent.

Lot # S058 1957 Chevrolet Bel Air Convertible; S/N VC57T190562; Engine # T206FC; Turquoise/Turquoise, White; Older restoration, 2 condition; Hammered Sold at $71,000 plus commission of 10.00%; Final Price $78,100. No Reserve. – 283/220hp, Powerglide, spinner wheel covers, whitewalls, fender skirts, Continental kit, white vinyl boot cover, power steering, power brakes, spotlight, power top, pushbutton radio, dash clock. – From the Rick Smith collection. Tidy but not overly detailed engine bay. Good older paint and chrome. The passenger’s door sticks out a bit. Very good like new interior. Not done yesterday, but still pretty much like new. Well-equipped and handsome. – This is a very good ’57 Bel Air convertible but the quality of its restoration is better than its drivetrain warrants and it is generously priced as a result. It’s not an unreasonable price, but it is generous.

Lot # S173 1998 Chevrolet Camaro SS Convertible; S/N 2G1FP32G4W2143762; White/Gray cloth; Tan top; Unrestored original, 2 condition; Hammered Sold at $9,500 plus commission of 10.00%; Final Price $10,450. No Reserve. – 346/320hp, 6-speed, alloy wheels, aftermarket Kenwood stereo, power windows, air conditioning. – Very good top. Clean recently detailed engine bay. Very good original paint. Like new interior. The 50,000 miles and aftermarket stereo keep this from being a collector-grade car, but it’s an essentially like-new example nonetheless, and these SLP-tuned SSs have been getting increasingly expensive. – This is a heck of a lot of performance for the money and a serious bargain for one of these in such good condition.

Lot # S167 1965 Chevrolet Chevelle Malibu SS 396 2-Dr. Hardtop; S/N 138375K169953; Regal Red/White vinyl; Older restoration, 2 condition; Not sold at Hammer bid of $100,000. With Reserve. – Genuine Z16, 396/375hp, 4-speed, magnesium wheel covers, gold line tires, power steering, power brakes, bucket seats, floor shift, dash-mounted clock, factory radio. – Very good paint and chrome. The trunk doesn’t quite fit flush. Nearly spotless and fully restored underneath. Some discoloration on both seats and a large black scuff on the driver’s side, but all of it might come out with cleaning. The rest of the interior is very good and restored. A real Z16 that has gotten the kind of high quality restoration it deserves. While not done yesterday, it has no real needs other than maybe a good detailing. – Sold at Auburn Fall in 1992 for $52,500 fresh from restoration for $52,500, then sold for $88,000 by RM in San Diego in 2010 with the exact same numbers on the odometer. There is was described as a replacement engine but with no such explanation here and it should have been on its way to a new owner well before reaching the reported high bid.

Lot # S088 1970 Chevrolet Chevelle SS 454 2-Dr. Hardtop; S/N 136370K179675; Classic White, Black stripes/Red vinyl; Recent restoration, 2+ condition; Hammered Sold at $115,000 plus commission of 10.00%; Final Price $126,500. With Reserve. – 454/450hp LS6, automatic, Rally wheels, Polyglas tires, hood pins, F41 suspension, cowl induction hood, power steering, power brakes, horseshoe shifter, console, factory AM radio. – Represented as matching numbers. Spotless fully restored engine bay and underbody, but nothing was overdone. Factory gaps. Very good fully restored interior. Fully redone to like new standards and a genuine LS6. Finished recently enough to have no needs or flaws. – This spotless LS6 could have brought 10-15% more without being overpriced.

Lot # F243 1957 Chevrolet Corvette Convertible; S/N E57S102646; Arctic Blue, Inca Silver coves, Arctic Blue hardtop/Red vinyl; Older restoration, 2 condition; Hammered Sold at $72,000 plus commission of 10.00%; Final Price $79,200. With Reserve. – 283/245hp dual quads, Powerglide, spinner wheel covers, whitewalls, two tops, WonderBar radio, power windows, heater. – NCRS Top Flight, although not represented as matching numbers. Tidy but run engine bay with some heat rash on the exhaust and fuel on the carbs. Otherwise like new on top with very good paint, chrome and interior. – Offered here two years ago when it was reported bid to $95,000. Sold here for a modest price that reflects the lack of documentation on the engine’s originality and the Powerglide, but still a very good Corvette in top notch condition for a realistic price.

Lot # S118 1965 Chevrolet Corvette Convertible; S/N 194675S121305; Glen Green, Glen Green hardtop/Saddle leather; Tan cloth top; Older restoration, 2- condition; Not sold at Hammer bid of $80,000. With Reserve. – 396/425hp L78, 4-speed, side exhaust, centerlock wheels, gold line tires, 4.11 Positraction, hardtop. – Represented as matching numbers. Older but maintained engine bay. Very good older paint and chrome. Lightly scratched rear glass. Lightly wrinkled seats but mostly very good interior. Some scratches on the exhaust surrounds. A high quality body-off full restoration was done at some point and it has been carefully kept since, but it’s no longer a fresh showstopper. – This car sold at Barrett-Jackson’s Petersen Museum sale in 2004 when its restoration was a lot fresher for $75,060. These days, the car is worth quite a bit more even considering the age of the restoration, and it deserves more than the reported high bid. The ’65 396/425hp L78 is a “sleeper” performance Corvette, but not this much of a sleeper.

Lot # S086 1958 Chevrolet Corvette Convertible; S/N J58S100047; Panama Yellow, White coves/Black vinyl; White top; Older restoration, 2- condition; Hammered Sold at $85,000 plus commission of 10.00%; Final Price $93,500. With Reserve. – 283/270hp, dual quads, 4-speed, spinner wheel covers, whitewalls, WonderBar radio, heater, dual quads. – Represented as matching numbers. Tidy but used underneath. Good older paint and chrome. Good interior. Body-off restored 12 years and 1,000 miles ago, and well-kept since. – Not sold at a $72,500 high bid at Kissimmee back in January, closed later for $72,000 hammer, $79,200 all-in. That proved to be an astute acquisition with this Houston result that is appropriate to the age but also the high quality of the restoration, the matching-numbers dual quad drivetrain and the rare (only 455) and attractive Panama Yellow color. It is a rare profitable quick flip.

Lot # S153 1961 Chevrolet Corvette Convertible; S/N 10867S108096; Roman Red, Beige coves, Roman Red hardtop/Red; Recent restoration, 2 condition; Not sold at Hammer bid of $80,000. With Reserve. – 283/230hp, 4-speed, spinner wheel covers, whitewalls, both tops, WonderBar radio. – Represented as matching numbers. Clean like new engine bay. Very good paint, chrome and interior, all new without being overdone. Restoration completed this year and has nothing to knock it for. – A gorgeous restoration of a mundane ’61 Corvette with nothing about it that is special except the restoration’s quality, it brought a realistic bid for an example that has no judging record to boost its credibility. It could have been sold at the reported high bid with only fleeting second thoughts.

Lot # F300 1967 Chevrolet Corvette Convertible; S/N 194677S109918; Engine # T0130JC 7109918; Goodwood Green, White stinger/Green vinyl; White vinyl top; Older restoration, 2- condition; Not sold at Hammer bid of $90,000. With Reserve. – 427/400hp L68 Tri-Power, 4-speed, Rally wheels, red line tires. – Matching numbers. Drivetrain rebuilt 1,000 miles ago. It’s tidy but used under the hood. Older detail scratched but still shiny paint and chrome. Good lightly worn interior. Good equipment, and only lightly aged, but no show car. – Not sold at an $80,000 high bid at Mecum Kansas City in 2013, when it had aftermarket wheels, mixed brand blackwall tires and 90 fewer miles on its odometer as well as other needs. It has gotten some attention since then and has mostly been put right, but nothing close to a full restoration. It could have gone to a new home at the reported high bid.

Lot # S196 1966 Chevrolet Corvette Convertible; S/N 194676S108585; Engine # 6108585 FI204HH; Nassau Blue/Black vinyl; White vinyl top; Older restoration, 3 condition; Hammered Sold at $48,000 plus commission of 10.00%; Final Price $52,800. With Reserve. – 327/300hp, 4-speed, wheel covers, narrow whitewalls, teakwood steering wheel. – Represented as matching numbers. Grimy engine bay and underbody. Good older paint and chrome other than a big chip in the nose. Small rip in the top. Sound older interior. A restored car, but the work was clearly done years and years ago and it’s just a tired driver today. No better than just presentable. – A result that’s slightly favorable to the buyer but still fair to both parties for a fairly ordinary Corvette.

Lot # S065 1969 Chevrolet Corvette Coupe; S/N 194379S704625; Burgundy/Black; Older restoration, 3+ condition; Hammered Sold at $40,000 plus commission of 10.00%; Final Price $44,000. With Reserve. – 427/390hp, 4-speed, Rally wheels, Silvertown red line tires, side exhaust, factory air, Positraction, pushbutton radio. – The engine number is unreadable but is represented as matching. Used engine bay. The paint is a bit dull and has detail scratching. Good, lightly worn interior. A straightforward, lightly aged restoration on a well-equipped L36 coupe. Good for enjoyment rather than show. – Sold for $31,350 at Leake’s Tulsa sale in June 2014, $32,400 at Mecum’s Austin, Texas sale in December 2014 and $34,100 at Mecum Dallas in 2015. It is definitely on the expensive side to the tune of about 10 grand here for an L36 coupe in this condition.

Lot # S090 1967 Chevrolet Corvette Coupe; S/N 194377S109446; Sunfire Yellow, Black stinger/Black leather; Recent restoration, 2- condition; Not sold at Hammer bid of $120,000. With Reserve. – 427/400hp Tri-Power L68, M21 4-speed, red line tires, Rally wheels, 3.08 Positraction. – Clean and correct engine bay with correct factory overspray. Very good paint and chrome. Light wrinkling to the seats. Small crack above the driver’s door and some blisters above the windshield. Two-time NCRS Top Flight after a body-off restoration in 2014, but farther from perfect than that distinction would suggest. – Sold by Mecum at Kansas City in December 2016 for $143,000, this car has been chasing that result ever since with no-sale results of $120,000 at Kissimmee in 2017, $130,000 at Indy in 2017, $125,000 at Louisville in 2017 until selling for $110,000 (in desperation?) at Kissimmee three months ago. The consignor here was less than prudent in turning down this reported high bid and in not encouraging Sam in “The Bid Goes On” to make a deal. This bid is all the money for this Corvette.

Lot # S091 2002 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 Coupe; S/N 1G1YY12S025134330; Yellow/Black; Unrestored original, 2 condition; Hammered Sold at $20,000 plus commission of 10.00%; Final Price $22,000. No Reserve. – 346/405hp Z06, 6-speed, Michelin tires. – Represented with 31,000 miles but pretty much looks like a new car with very well kept paint and a clean wear-free interior. Spared the usual track and/or autocross abuse endured by so many of these C5 Z06s. – The C5 Z06 has been one of the best performance per dollar values out there for several years and they still come at temptingly low prices. This one was a bargain given its condition and desirable color and is especially a good value when you compare it to the Vipers that traded hands at this sale.

Lot # S136 1960 Chrysler 300F Convertible; S/N 8403133898; Rose/Beige leather; White vinyl top; Older restoration, 3+ condition; Not sold at Hammer bid of $80,000. No Reserve. – 413/375hp, automatic, wire wheels, whitewalls, power steering, power brakes, swivel seats, console, power windows, dash clock, pushbutton radio. – Slightly dirty and used but restored engine bay. Very good older chrome and high quality paint. Light wrinkling and discoloration to the top. Light wrinkling to the seats and some scratches on the console, but mostly good interior. Lightly used restored underbody. A standard lightly aged but well done older restoration of a Letter Car convertible in pretty colors. – Not sold at a $120,000 high bid at Mecum Houston last year. This result is meaningless and values this car as a modified New Yorker, which it isn’t.

Lot # F229 1960 DeSoto Fireflite 2-Dr. Hardtop; S/N 7103112917; Red, White roof/Red, White vinyl with pattern cloth inserts; Older restoration, 3 condition; Hammered Sold at $23,000 plus commission of 10.00%; Final Price $25,300. No Reserve. – 361/295hp, automatic, wire wheels, whitewalls, dual mirrors, power steering, power brakes, modern stereo under the dash with the factory radio still in place, power windows, heater, tissue dispenser, factory air conditioning. – Slightly dirty old engine bay. Slightly tired old paint and chrome. Erratic gaps on the trunk. Lots of discoloration on the seat. Otherwise decent interior. Represented as restored, but the job wasn’t top to bottom and it was done a long time ago. – Back in 2008 this Fireflite sold for $16,800 at Mecum’s Indy auction where we called it “Visually maintained, largely original” in very good 3+ condition. Someone has spent a large amount of money on it since then to restore it, with little effect. This is what it’s worth, and it isn’t a lot more than it was worth ten years ago before all that money and effort was squandered upon it.

Lot # T136 1959 DeSoto Firesweep Sportsman 2-Dr. Hardtop; S/N M412104223; Black, White/Blue vinyl with cloth inserts; Older restoration, 3 condition; Hammered Sold at $29,500 plus commission of 10.00%; Final Price $32,450. With Reserve. – 361/290hp, wheel covers, whitewalls, dual mirrors, curb feelers, pushbutton automatic, pushbutton radio, front disc brakes. – Dull and tired but presentable older paint and brightwork. Small dent with chipping paint in the center of the hood. Light crazing on the roof. Good, lightly worn interior with lightly faded gauges and some dullness to the metal parts of the dash. Tidy rubberized chassis. Represented with quite a bit of recent maintenance, but nothing too serious. An inherently handsome car with Forward Look styling, but a driver. – A Mecum auction veteran with a $35,750 sale at Anaheim in 2015, a $36,300 sale at Las Vegas last year and a no-sale at a $30,000 high bid at Kissimmee this year. It’s hard to argue with that kind of consistency, and the car was let go at a reasonable number here in Houston. It is the poster-child for the futility of taking a car from auction-to-auction hoping for lightning to strike.

Lot # F180.1 2004 Dodge Ram SRT-10 Regular Cab Pickup; S/N 3D3HA16H84G174460; Blue, White stripes/Black leather; Unrestored original, 2 condition; Not sold at Hammer bid of $50,000. With Reserve. – 8.3/500hp, 6-speed, alloy wheels, Pirelli tires, rear wing, Hurst shifter, power windows, CD stereo, air conditioning. – Represented with just 6,015 miles and clearly treated as collectible from new. – The Viper is somewhat unfairly referred to as a sports car with a truck engine, while these SRT-10 pickups are actually a truck with a Viper-spec V-10. These have started showing up on the market with greater frequency, and although the reported high bid here is around what it cost new, Mecum sold a similar one in Kissimmee last year for $64,900. It is probably not what is needed for hauling plywood home from Home Depot.

Lot # F179 1997 Dodge Viper GTS Coupe; S/N 1B3ER69E8VV301222; Blue, White stripes/Black leather; Unrestored original, 2 condition; Hammered Sold at $50,000 plus commission of 10.00%; Final Price $55,000. With Reserve. – 488/450hp, 6-speed, power windows, air conditioning, CD stereo. – Showing 4,878 believable miles and shows no sign of age. The front bumper sticks out slightly on the right side, but that could certainly be down to 1990s Chrysler build quality. – Vipers have really caught on in the collector car market over the past year or so, and the Blue/White early GTS coupe is arguably the quintessential Viper, with good examples pretty much guaranteed to be seriously collectible in the future. This one brought a deservedly strong price, though it likely won’t ever be worth any less than this.

Lot # F179.1 1998 Dodge Viper GTS-R Coupe; S/N 1B3ER69E2WV401074; Stone White, Blue stripes/Black, Blue leather; Unrestored original, 2 condition; Hammered Sold at $117,500 plus commission of 10.00%; Final Price $129,250. With Reserve. – 488/450hp, 6-speed, BBS wheels, Pilot Sport tires, side exhaust, rear wing, factory CD stereo, power windows. – Showing 1,208 believable miles, although the bottom of the driver’s seat is flatter and more wrinkled than that mileage might suggest. Still, it’s a barely used GTS-R that looks to have never seen the kind of on-track exploits it was designed for. – Even more collectible than the GTS is the more hardcore GTS-R, which originally had an MSRP of about 85 grand. Dodge built only 100 of them, a fact inherent in this generous price 2.5x the value of a more ordinary GTS.

Lot # F178 1996 Dodge Viper RT/10 Convertible; S/N 1B3BR65EXTV100427; Black, Silver stripes/Black leather; Unrestored original, 2- condition; Hammered Sold at $40,000 plus commission of 10.00%; Final Price $44,000. With Reserve. – 6-speed, Dunlop tires, hardtop, factory CD stereo, two tops, side curtains, air conditioning. – Later RT/10 with more creature comforts and rear exhaust. Small crack and a few scratches on the hardtop. Lightly wrinkled seats. Small chip in the nose. Not as good as the other Vipers out of this collection even though it’s showing 4,242 miles, but still a solid car. – Even though there were plenty of Vipers to go around in Houston this year, this car still brought very strong money with a meaningful premium for originality.

 

Lot # F177 1994 Dodge Viper RT/10 Roadster; S/N 1B3BR65E3RV101007; Red/Gray leather; Unrestored original, 2 condition; Not sold at Hammer bid of $42,500. With Reserve. – Factory cassette stereo, hardtop, side curtains. – Showing 1,937 believable miles and looks like a new car. – How many is too many? There were eight Viper RT/10s in Houston this year, and half of them were red. For an early car in this condition, the reported high bid was appropriate and could have gone to a new home.

Lot # S180.1 1983 Ferrari 308 GTSi QV Spider; S/N ZFFMA13A8D0046045; Rosso Corsa/Black leather; Unrestored original, 3 condition; Not sold at Hammer bid of $50,000. With Reserve. – Fire extinguisher, Sony stereo. – No service represented. Grimy engine bay for a Ferrari. The paint and bumpers are a little dull, and the mirrors are very aged looking. Big chip on the left front fender. Mostly good, lightly worn interior. By Ferrari standards and even for a 308, it’s in disappointing condition, although most people would be happy to be seen in it. Showing 39,978 believable miles. – Sold for $73,150 at Motostalgia Amelia Island last year, then not sold there this year and two miles ago at a $58,000 high bid. The offer back in March was more realistic, and the offer here is light even for a mediocre 308 in today’s market.

Lot # S087 1995 Ferrari 348 GTS Spider; S/N ZFFRG43A9S0098938; Black/Tan leather; Unrestored original, 3+ condition; Hammered Sold at $60,000 plus commission of 10.00%; Final Price $66,000. With Reserve. – Speedline wheels, P Zero tires, boot cover. – Major belt service three years ago. A few small chips on the nose. The windshield is delaminating at a few spots on the bottom. The driver’s seat is a little worn, especially on the left bolster from sliding in and out. Showing 18,087 believable miles, but pretty far from like new. – Even by 348 standards, this isn’t a particularly good car and the price paid could have easily bought a better one.

Lot # S107 2004 Ferrari 360 Challenge Stradale Coupe; S/N ZFFDU57A140139353; Red/Red; Unrestored original, 2 condition; Not sold at Hammer bid of $165,000. With Reserve. – Stripe delete. – Major service at the end of 2017. Blemish-free paint. Like new interior. A track day warrior represented with 7,400 miles but looks to have never been driven in anger. – This was a $200,000 car when new, but Challenge Stradales typically trade for more than that these days so they can already be considered collectible. The reported high bid here was a lowball offer and refusing it was sensible.

Lot # S200.1 2005 Ferrari 360 Spider F1 Convertible; S/N ZFFYT53AX50140321; Red/Tan leather; Unrestored original, 2 condition; Hammered Sold at $120,000 plus commission of 10.00%; Final Price $132,000. With Reserve. – Challenge rear grille, Daytona-style seats, modular wheels, Potenza tires. – Well-kept original paint. Light wrinkling to the driver’s seat but otherwise no age to the interior. Major service at the end of 2016. Represented with 7,384 miles, and there’s no reason to dispute that. A well optioned 360 in classic colors. – Pretty expensive for a paddle shift car that hasn’t been serviced in a year and a half, but it is in very good condition with low miles and that counts for a lot.

Lot # S105 2002 Ferrari 575M Maranello Coupe; S/N ZFFBV55A220126972; Silver/Black leather; Unrestored original, 2 condition; Hammered Sold at $90,000 plus commission of 10.00%; Final Price $99,000. With Reserve. – Paddle shift, Michelin tires, tinted glass, Daytona-style seats. – Excellent paint. Like new interior. Engine out service in 2015. Looks like a new car. Represented with 15,183 believable miles. – It didn’t sell at Kissimmee three months ago for a reported bid of $100,000. At prices like this there is hope for Ferrari wannabes.

Lot # S164 2008 Ferrari 599 GTB Fiorano Berlinetta; S/N ZFFFC60A680162340; Nero Daytona/Black leather; Unrestored original, 2- condition; Not sold at Hammer bid of $140,000. With Reserve. – Paddle shift, modular wheels, red calipers, tinted glass, Bose stereo. – Upgraded to HGTE (Handling Gran Turismo Evoluzione) specs in 2014. Some small chips on the front of the car but otherwise it’s like new with a believable 14,765 miles represented. – This is a bottom-feeder offer for a 599 GTB Fiorano, but then that’s what auctions are for the most part about: bidders looking for bargains. They didn’t get it here, and this car is worth in the retail market a bit more.

Lot # S205 2006 Ferrari 612 Scaglietti F1A Berlinetta; S/N ZFFAB54A060149209; Silver/Black leather with Gray inserts; Unrestored original, 2 condition; Hammered Sold at $82,000 plus commission of 10.00%; Final Price $90,200. With Reserve. – Paddle shift, Daytona-style seats. – Represented with 9,877 miles and it looks like it. Unfortunately, there are a few small chips on the nose but otherwise there is no wear to speak of and it had a full service in 2016. – Wholesale.

Lot # S157 1987 Ferrari Testarossa Coupe; S/N ZFFSG17A5H0073841; Rosso Corsa/Tan leather; Unrestored original, 2 condition; Not sold at Hammer bid of $100,000. With Reserve. – Sumitomo tires, clear bra on the nose and mirrors, Alpine stereo, Ansa exhaust. – Engine out service 2,000 miles ago. Very well kept paint. The seats show absolutely no wear. The switchgear and gauges are clear and bright. Showing 28,181 miles but looks essentially new. A great one, even by Ferrari standards. – There were four Testarossas in Houston this year (three of them red), and not one of them sold. This one deserved another few bids for its condition, service and originality.

Lot # S227 1985 Ferrari Testarossa Monospecchio Coupe; S/N ZFFSA17A8F0059351; White/Beige leather; Unrestored original, 3- condition; Not sold at Hammer bid of $86,000. With Reserve. – Flying mirror, wood shift knob, Momo steering wheel. – Some chips on the nose and the bottom lip is so scraped up it looks like someone drove straight over a curb. The dash top is warped and dull, the seats are significantly worn, the switchgear is dull and the driver’s seat belt buckle is coming apart. Showing 49,798 believable miles. – Lots of miles, rough condition and no service history is not the combination you want when Ferrari shopping. Nevertheless, the Houston bidders put up a fair offer and it should have gladly been taken if there was money close to it.

Lot # F205 1949 Ford F-1 Pickup; S/N 97HC224330; Red/Black; Truck restoration, 3+ condition; Hammered Sold at $27,500 plus commission of 10.00%; Final Price $30,250. With Reserve. – 226/95hp six, 3-speed, hub caps and trim rings, whitewalls, wood bed, chrome grille and bumpers. – Represented as having a cosmetic restoration six years but 75 miles ago. The painted bits behind the front bumper are scratched up. The paint has detail scratches. The original windshield is lightly scratched up and the gasket is cracked. The chassis has been undercoated but isn’t spotless. Touch up behind the passenger’s door. Good mostly restored interior. Handsome from a distance, but the work was done on a budget and it’s easy to see up close. – Reported sold at Barrett-Jackson’s Las Vegas auction in 2012 for $33,000 and at Mecum’s Los Angeles sale in February of this year for $30,250, the same price it brought here. A two-month turn for the same money in a reserve listing is … strange, but no matter the questions the result is real.

Lot # S159 1959 Ford Galaxie Skyliner; S/N H9KW184557; Blue, Light Blue/Blue, White vinyl with Blue cloth inserts; Recent restoration, 2+ condition; Hammered Sold at $50,000 plus commission of 10.00%; Final Price $55,000. With Reserve. – 352/300hp, automatic, wheel covers, whitewalls, dual mirrors, power steering, power brakes, power windows, pushbutton radio, heater, dash clock. – Very good fresh paint and chrome. Spotless engine bay. Freshly painted top frame. Gorgeous interior with everything either replaced or restored. Fully restored to very high standards, and it has just 17 test miles on it. – Worth a bit more, but not a lot, if there was money in the room at this bid the seller should have beseeched “The Bid Goes On” to find the high bidder and make a deal.

Lot # S094 1963 Ford Galaxie 500 XL Sunliner; S/N 3J69R143031; Wimbledon White/Blue; Older restoration, 3+ condition; Not sold at Hammer bid of $85,000. With Reserve. – 427/425hp, dual quads, 4-speed, spinner wheel covers, narrow whitewalls, boot cover, floor shift. – Represented as a true R-Code convertible. Several touched up chips on the nose and some of the body side trim is a pretty badly dinged up. Some light cracks and scratches on the hood. Very clean but not overly detailed engine bay. Tidy restored underbody. Light pitting on the steering wheel. A rare piece of early Ford muscle in just about the most desirable configuration you could think of, but it deserves some cosmetic attention because its presentation is pretty disappointing up close. – Not sold at a $100,000 high bid at Mecum Houston last year then not sold at a $67,500 high bid at Leake Tulsa last year. This is a strange, but very desirable, car looking for an appreciative audience. An R-code convertible is something of a contradiction in terms but it sure would be fun to own and drive. Maybe it will find its target audience at Indianapolis in May.

Lot # S106 2005 Ford GT Coupe; S/N 1FAFP90S75Y400700; Red, White stripes/Black; Unrestored original, 2 condition; Not sold at Hammer bid of $335,000. With Reserve. – All four options. – Like new, just like the rest of them, but represented with 2.6 original miles. – It wouldn’t be a Mecum sale without a like-new GT on offer, although this one stands out with its 2.6 represented miles. That makes the 900-mile ones out there seem like used up hulks even though in reality they all look the same. The mileage is special and it has the desirable options, but the reported high bid was a fair one and should have bought the car. Running it on and off the transporter will double the odometer, which raises the question, “How does someone keep the odometer reading on and off the transporter, through the auction lineup and across the block to 2.6 miles?”

Lot # F202.1 1987 Ford Mustang 5.0 LX Hatchback; S/N 1FABP41EXHF228642; White, Blue graphics/Gray cloth; Modified restoration, 2 condition; Not sold at Hammer bid of $20,000. With Reserve. – Saleen Mustang with Goodyear Eagle F1 tires, alloy wheels, SVO brakes, factory nitrous, 5-speed, Hurst shifter, Racecraft suspension, Kenwood cassette stereo, power windows, air conditioning. – Represented as the Houston Autorama show car when new. Very well kept engine bay, paint and interior. Showing 32,880 believable miles, but not driven hard and put up wet. A neat early Saleen. – Hammered not sold at a $16,500 high bid here three years ago, then at $17,000 two years ago. The higher bid this time around reflects the growth of interest in Fox-bodies generally, and this car’s level of preservation is still just as impressive considering most of its performance counterparts from the late 1980s have been driven into the ground and are no longer with us. Even so, the reported high bid is reasonable.

Lot # S149 1990 Ford Mustang 5.0 LX Hatchback; S/N 1FACP41E7LF143559; White/Red cloth; Unrestored original, 2- condition; Not sold at Hammer bid of $10,000. With Reserve. – 302/225hp, 5-speed, Cobra wheels, cat back exhaust, factory cassette stereo, power windows, air conditioning. – One owner car. Big horizontal scrape across the front of the hood. Otherwise very good original paint. Clean underneath. Very well kept like new interior. Other than that bit on the hood, it’s essentially a babied time warp car that doesn’t look to have anywhere near as many miles as the 67,760 showing on the odometer. – There have been some eye-poppingly high prices paid for Fox-body Mustangs at auction over the course of 2017 and 2018, but those have almost exclusively been showroom fresh cars with barely any miles. This car, while good, received a high bid appropriate for an LX in this condition and with this mileage.

Lot # S042 1970 Ford Mustang Boss 302 SportsRoof; S/N 0F02G146009; Grabber Blue, Black/Black vinyl; Older restoration, 2 condition; Hammered Sold at $78,000 plus commission of 10.00%; Final Price $85,800. No Reserve. – 302/290hp, 4-speed, Magnum 500 wheels, Polyglas GT tires, shaker hood, rear window slats, spoilers, competition suspension, power brakes, Hurst T-handle shifter, Philco radio. – From the Rick Smith collection. Nearly spotless engine bay. Very good paint and chrome. Factory gaps. Excellent interior with fresh gauges and switchgear. Nothing to pick on. Not overdone, but all the details have been attended to and it’s gorgeous. – Although it could have gone for $10,000 more, this is fair money for a well-equipped genuine Boss 302 with no needs.

Lot # S136.1 1969 Ford Mustang Boss 429 Fastback; S/N 9F02Z159782; Royal Maroon/Black vinyl; Recent restoration, 2 condition; Not sold at Hammer bid of $250,000. With Reserve. – 429/375hp, 4-speed, Magnum 500 wheels, Polyglas GT tires, front spoiler, 3.91 Traction-Lok, power steering, power brakes. – Spotless engine bay and underbody, but not overly detailed. Very good paint, chrome and interior. Fully done to like new standards and has nothing to pick on. A genuine Boss 429, which is rarer than you’d think if you go to a lot of Mecum sales, which always seem to have at least one on offer. – There were two of them here in Houston; neither sold. Boss Nine prices have been easing recently in the face of a consistent supply of good examples. [Thirteen have gone to auction since the beginning of this year; only five sold, a 39% sale rate, with one hitting $300K successful hammer bid.] Most completed transactions have been in the mid-$200K range with occasional outliers hitting $300K. The consignor was optimistic in declining this bid if there was money behind it. Mecum will likely gladly promote it at their next venue but the seller should be prepared to adjust price expectations before it goes to auction again.

Lot # S195 2004 Ford Mustang Cobra SVT Convertible; S/N 1FAFP49Y34F169962; Mystichrome/Black leather; Black cloth top; Unrestored original, 2 condition; Not sold at Hammer bid of $29,000. With Reserve. – 281/390hp, 6-speed, SVT wheels, Eagle F1 tires, Mystichrome paint, power windows, air conditioning, factory CD stereo. – Represented with 5,780 believable miles. Clean engine bay. Small paint crack in the nose as well as a handful of tiny chips but the paint is mostly good, which is important since the optional Mystichrome paint is very expensive to replicate. Perfect clean top. Very light wrinkling to the driver’s seat but mostly excellent interior. One of the cooler and more attention grabbing variants of the fourth gen Mustang, and SVT models in general are inherently collectible. – This is a strong but fair price for a car that cost about 40 grand when it was new not all that long ago and which was bid to $30,000 here a year ago.

Lot # S047 1969 Ford Mustang Mach 1 SportsRoof; S/N 9R02H123486; Acapulco Blue, Black hood, Gold side stripe/Black vinyl; Cosmetic restoration, 2- condition; Hammered Sold at $40,000 plus commission of 10.00%; Final Price $44,000. No Reserve. – 351/250hp, 2-barrel, automatic, Radial T/A tires, hood scoop, rear window slats, rear spoiler, hood pins, power steering, power brakes, competition suspension, console, dash clock, Kenwood cassette stereo. – From the Rick Smith collection. Lightly run and mostly but not completely restored engine bay. Sound but not fresh older paint and chrome. Swirl marks on the roof. Very good fully redone interior. Not all that impressive in either equipment or condition, but a fundamentally handsome ’69 Mustang that doesn’t need anything if you want to just go out and cruise in it. – The base engine and automatic aren’t all that exciting, but it’s a perfectly attractive cruiser that sold at a perfectly appropriate price for what it is, a dressed up Mustang poseur without performance to back up its appearance.

Lot # T151 1998 Ford Mustang SVT Cobra Coupe; S/N 1FAFP47V9WF190648; White/Black; Unrestored original, 3+ condition; Hammered Sold at $6,000 plus commission of 10.00%; Final Price $6,600. No Reserve. – 281/305hp, 5-speed, alloy wheels, Alpine stereo, power windows, air conditioning. – One of 5,174 built. Showing 207,062 miles but looks a lot better than that. The engine bay is certainly used but reasonably tidy. The headlights are a little dull and the paint is a little tired, but nothing is bad. Likewise, the interior is a little worn with some wrinkling on the seats, but it’s mostly good. The wheels are excellent. Very little to pick on all things considered, even if it isn’t a collector-grade Cobra. – This car sold at no reserve, and the bidders took one look at the odometer and kept on walking. The new owner has plenty of money left over to go into mechanical freshening, but nothing will ever compensate for the excessive mileage.

Lot # S138 1957 Ford Ranchero Pickup; S/N B7RF141162; Coral, Brown/Brown, White; Recent restoration, 2+ condition; Not sold at Hammer bid of $60,000. With Reserve. – 272/190hp, 2-barrel, automatic, wire wheels, whitewalls, dual mirrors, power steering, added air conditioning, pushbutton radio, dash clock. – Spotless show quality engine bay and underbody. Excellent paint, chrome and interior. Straight, dent-free bed. As fresh as can be with four test miles on a thorough and professional body-off restoration. Gorgeous and good colors. – ’57 Rancheros are a world apart from other vehicles, even El Caminos, and bring top dollar prices for exquisitely restored examples. The reported high bid here is a reasonable compromise between the inherent appeal of the car-truck and the puny engine under the hood. The seller has a chance of getting more than this bid, but only if the stars and planets align.

Lot # F198 1971 Ford Ranchero Squire Pickup; S/N 1A49M214608; Orange, Woodgrain/Red vinyl; Enthusiast restoration, 3 condition; Not sold at Hammer bid of $15,000. With Reserve. – 351/285hp, automatic, Magnum 500 wheels, Radial T/A tires, power steering, power brakes, factory air conditioning, column shift, Philco radio. – Slightly dirty engine bay. Average quality respray with some chips around the edges of the doors. Sound but aged mostly original interior. A few dents in the bed. Eye-grabbing colors and reasonably well maintained for the most part, but in driver condition. – This Ranchero sold at Mecum Indy last year for $17,600, then for $18,150 at Mecum’s Pomona auction two months ago. This result (which would have been $16,500 with commission) is reasonably close and the vehicle is in indifferent condition. Waiting for a better offer means incurring more costs for entry fees and transportation while adding uncertainty to the equation. It was expensive at Pomona, something that waiting for the right bidder isn’t going to change.

Lot # S133.1 1957 Ford Thunderbird Convertible; S/N E7FH180425; Gunmetal Grey, Gunmetal Grey hardtop/Red; Black cloth top; Recent restoration, 1- condition; Not sold at Hammer bid of $90,000. With Reserve. – 312/285hp high compression, dual quads, automatic, E-Code, wire wheels, whitewalls, power steering, brakes, windows and seat, air conditioning, Town & Country radio, FM/Bluetooth adapter, engine dressup, porthole hardtop and black cloth soft top. – Freshly restored and showing only 26 test miles. Gorgeous show quality everything from top to bottom, but there are two big chips on the painted air cleaner. – Many collectors prefer brighter Fifties colors for their ’57 T-birds but Gunmetal is one of the most attractive and highlights the lines of the car. This T-bird has everything, even the high compression engine with 15 more horses, and is in exquisite freshly restored condition. The reported high bid here means nothing except that there were no deep pocketed ’57 T-bird collectors in the room and Mecum shooed it off the block when there was no real interest.

Lot # S069 1969 Ford Torino GT SportsRoof; S/N 9A42Q131021; Candy Apple Red, White accent/White vinyl; Older restoration, 2- condition; Hammered Sold at $33,000 plus commission of 10.00%; Final Price $36,300. With Reserve. – 428/335hp Cobra Jet, automatic, hood scoop, power steering, power brakes, aftermarket air conditioning, chrome rally wheels, red line tires. – Represented as matching numbers. Tidy and restored but used engine bay. Very good older paint and chrome. Some discoloration to the older seats (almost inevitable when they’re white) and a tired-looking original steering wheel. A lightly aged older restoration but a handsome car regardless. – This result heavily discounts the well-preserved but older restoration and leaves the new owner with ample headroom to address some of its cosmetic needs. It could have brought another $10,000 without being expensive.

Lot # F094.1 1960 Jaguar Mark 2 3.8 4-Dr. Sedan; S/N P212781DN; Blue/Tan leather; Older restoration, 2- condition; Hammered Sold at $50,000 plus commission of 10.00%; Final Price $55,000. With Reserve. – 3781/220hp, 4-speed, overdrive, centerlock wire wheels, blackwall tires, dual wing mirrors, wood dash and window trim, Radiomobile radio. – Good older high quality paint and chrome aside from two chips on the hood and a scratch below the badge on the trunk lid. Imperfect panel gaps all around. Light pitting on the taillight bezels. Very good fully restored interior with excellent wood and bright gauges, but there is some light wear to the driver’s seat. The car has a lot of eyeball, but it isn’t quite the show car it’s represented as. – Hammered not sold at a $40,000 high bid on the block and later reported sold for a $55,000 final price, which is on the expensive side, even considering the desirable 3.8 litre drivetrain and overdrive 4-speed which makes this a serious sports sedan.

Lot # S195.1 1954 Jaguar XK 120 Drophead Coupe; S/N S678020; Grey/Red leather; Black cloth top; Older restoration, 3 condition; Not sold at Hammer bid of $85,000. With Reserve. – Chrome centerlock wire wheels, Cinturato tires, dual wing mirrors, black cloth boot cover. – Tidy engine bay and underbody. Old paint that’s holding up reasonably well. Uneven gaps. Heavily worn upholstery that might be original, some cracks in the wood, and dull gauges. An old restoration with an original interior, and now basically just a driver quality 120, not that there’s anything wrong with that. – Bid to a clean $100,000 at Mecum Monterey last year and to $107,000 at Motostalgia’s Amelia Island auction last month, either of which should have been gladly taken if there was money close to it, even without this much lower offer as a reference.

Lot # S117 1959 Jaguar XK 150S 3.4 Fixed Head Coupe; S/N T836142DN; BR Green/Saddle leather; Older restoration, 2- condition; Not sold at Hammer bid of $100,000. With Reserve. – Automatic, chrome centerlock wire wheels, whitewalls, hood ornament, Kenwood CD stereo, power steering, aftermarket air conditioning, Lucas headlights, CD stereo – An odd mix of S equipment with an automatic transmission. Sound older paint and chrome. Uneven gaps. Very good interior with no wear to the seats. Very clean engine bay but a fair bit of road wear to the underbody. A handsome but older restoration. – Given a discount for the automatic and age of the restoration, there’s no reason for this car not to have been gladly let go at the reported high bid if there was money anywhere close to it.

Lot # S086.1 1982 Jeep CJ-7 Utility Vehicle 4×4; S/N 1JCCE87E1CT027787; Burgundy, White hardtop/Black vinyl; Cosmetic restoration, 3+ condition; Hammered Sold at $13,000 plus commission of 10.00%; Final Price $14,300. No Reserve. – 258/115hp six, automatic, power steering, factory radio, rear seat, rear-mounted spare, chrome wheels. – The plastic fender flares are pretty dull. Orange peel around the windshield but mostly decent older repaint. Quickly sprayed chassis. Good mostly restored interior. Better than most other CJ-7s out there, but far from perfect. – Not too good to take off-road, which is reflected in the price.

Lot # F251 1983 Land Rover Defender 110 Wagon 4×4; S/N SALLDHMG8AA196003; Green, White roof/Black vinyl; Recent restoration, 2 condition; Hammered Sold at $60,000 plus commission of 10.00%; Final Price $66,000. With Reserve. – Diesel engine, 5-speed, rear-mounted spare, grille guard. – First year for the 110. Very clean restored engine bay and underbody. Very good recent paint. Straight bodywork. Restored interior. Gorgeous and fully restored to like new condition. – Sold here two years and 161 km ago for $41,250, which was a much more realistic result. This is a top notch Defender 110, but this result is definitely on the expensive side for a diesel-powered example.

Lot # F075 1963 Lincoln Continental 4-Dr. Hardtop; S/N 3Y82N426881; White/Burgundy cloth; Visually maintained, largely original, 3- condition; Hammered Sold at $21,000 plus commission of 10.00%; Final Price $23,100. With Reserve. – Cragar wire wheels, narrow whitewalls, Edelbrock intake, aftermarket stereo, power windows, power seat, factory air conditioning. The original gauges have all been replaced with modern AutoMeter units. – Grimy engine bay. Tired older paint and chrome, but there aren’t any blemishes other than a touch up on the right front. Scratched up door handles. A few small chips in the original windshield. The interior is a mix of restored and original, with the rear seats old and cracked. A frankly odd car with some weird choices made over the years. Condition-wise, it’s barely a presentable driver. – It is a stretch to imagine liking this Continental enough to pay this much for it, a curious combination of freshened and original with oddball modifications. It would have been fully priced at $15,000 and the result here is 40% over that, even if it is “only” $6,000.

Lot # F72.1 2002 Lotus Esprit Coupe; S/N SCCDC08202HA10418; Silver/Black leather; Unrestored original, 2- condition; Not sold at Hammer bid of $45,000. With Reserve. – 3506/350hp twin turbo, 5-speed, alloy wheels, aluminum shift knob, Alpine CD stereo. – Anniversary model. Timing belt service done 10 years ago. A handful of small chips on the nose but mostly well-kept paint. The interior is very well kept (they hold up better in the later Esprits). These cars are still a pretty good value when you compare them to 911s and NSXs, and this is a pretty good one. There is no representation of mileage, although it had 21,000 miles on it 10 years ago and was represented with 26,000 when it was asking 45 grand in August of last year in a Craigslist ad. – There are twin-turbo Esprits out there trading for more than the reported high bid, but there are also plenty with lower mileage than this. It was a low-is number but not unreasonable.

Lot # S127 1962 Mercedes-Benz 190SL Convertible; S/N A1210401001176; Blue, Blue hardtop/Red; Black cloth top; Cosmetic restoration, 3 condition; Hammered Sold at $80,000 plus commission of 10.00%; Final Price $88,000. With Reserve. – Hub caps and trim rings, narrow whitewalls, hardtop and soft top, radio, dash clock. – Slightly tired older paint with a few touch ups around the hood. Heavily cracked steering wheel rim. Lightly worn seats. The windshield is delaminating a bit. Unrestored but maintained underneath. Lightly pitted brightwork. A pretty mediocre cosmetic restoration, but at least the colors are attractive. – A perfectly appropriate price for a driver quality 190, and one that would make a sound candidate for a more thorough restoration should the new owner want to take it to the next level. It was sold for $63,600 at Mecum’s 2011 Monterey auction and bid to $72,000 at Kissimmee three months ago.

Lot # T83 1950 Mercury 0CM 2-Dr. Sedan; S/N 50SL88480M; Dune Beige/Brown, Tan cloth; Older restoration, 2- condition; Hammered Sold at $22,000 plus commission of 10.00%; Final Price $24,200. No Reserve. – 255/110hp Flathead, 3-speed, wheel covers, Firestone wide whitewalls, fender skirts, windshield sun visor, dual outside mirrors, bumper overriders, hood ornament, pushbutton radio. – Small chip in on the left front fender and some small dents in the body side trim but mostly good exterior. Imperfect gaps. Old wheels and tires. Very good interior other than the original steering wheel. Restored and lightly used underneath. It’s nice to see one of these that is well equipped but with all the right stuff and never having been hot-rodded. It’s a little aged and not perfect, but good enough to be proud of. – Prized by collectors for their iconic design and style as well as the flathead V8 under the hood, this is a good value at this price in condition better than the reported result give is credit for.

Lot # F171 1971 Mercury Cougar XR-7 Convertible; S/N 1F94M516391; Light Pewter Metallic/White leather; White vinyl top; Recent restoration, 2 condition; Hammered Sold at $42,000 plus commission of 10.00%; Final Price $46,200. With Reserve. – 351/285hp, automatic, hub caps and trim rings, boot cover, 3.00 Traction-Lok, 8-track stereo, power windows. – Nearly spotless fully redone engine bay. Very good high quality paint and chrome. Factory gaps. Light fading and discoloration to the seats, but they are original and the interior is otherwise very good for original. A fresh body-off restoration documented with lots of photos. – This XR-7 needs nothing and that is its principal appeal, helped along by the unusual color. That seems to have exerted an unusual appeal for the bidders in Houston who rewarded the owner for exceptional presentation with an exceptional price based more on the caliber of the restoration than anything else.

Lot # F104 1948 Packard Eight 22nd Series Station Sedan; S/N 22932008; Green, Wood/Tan vinyl with plaid cloth inserts; Recent restoration, 2+ condition; Not sold at Hammer bid of $45,000. With Reserve. – Hub caps and trim rings, pushbutton radio, dash clock. – Gorgeous, shiny wood. Very good lightly used engine bay. Very good paint, chrome and interior. These Station Sedan woodies are rare, and this one’s recent class win at Hilton Head speaks for itself. It was restored in 2016 and looks great. – This car hammered sold for $40,700 at Kissimmee back in January, a Station Sedan this good deserves to be on the other side of 50 grand. The consignor is in it for a very reasonable price and can afford to wait to find a little bit more than this.

Lot # S100 1937 Packard Twelve-Series 1508 Convertible Sedan; S/N 1073232; Buckingham Gray/Red leather; Beige cloth top; Older restoration, 1- condition; Not sold at Hammer bid of $205,000. With Reserve. – Hub caps and trim rings, wide whitewalls, fog lights, Cormorant mascot, dual enclosed sidemount spares with mirrors, luggage trunk, robe rail, heater, clock, banjo steering wheel, driving lights, separate luggage trunk. – Very light discoloration to the top. The paint is high quality and shines bright, but there are numerous cracks near the tops of the doors that are impossible to ignore. Imperfect gaps. Excellent interior for the most part with gorgeous wood, but there is some wear to the driver’s seat. Has a CCCA first prize badge, but no telling when it’s from. Ordinarily a natural concours car, but not in this condition. It needs a little cosmetic freshening but arguably not a complete going over. – Sold by RM at Hershey in 2016 for $275,000, no-saled at Kissimmee three months ago on a $190,000 reported high bid. An attractive and very practical car for tours but one that is worth a little more than the reported high bid here even though it’s $15K more than Kissimmee.

Lot # S90.1 1969 Plymouth Road Runner 2-Dr. Hardtop; S/N RM23M9A257120; Rallye Green, Black hood and vinyl roof/Black vinyl; Older restoration, 2 condition; Hammered Sold at $72,000 plus commission of 10.00%; Final Price $79,200. With Reserve. – 440/390hp, Six Barrel, 4-speed, steel wheels, Firestone red line tires, hood pins, hood scoop, police handling package, power brakes, bench seat, floor shift, woodrim steering wheel, factory AM radio. – Very tidy cleaned up engine bay and underbody. Very good paint other than a tiny chip at the back of the driver’s door. Very good chrome. Soft, straight roof vinyl. Very good restored interior. Represented as restored seven years ago, but clearly used very little since and stored carefully. A handsome car with good equipment and attractive colors, and needs nothing, although the engine isn’t represented as original. – Hammered not sold at a $65,000 high bid on the block then reported sold for $79,200. After a $72,500 high bid at Mecum Indy last year and a $70,000 high bid at Kissimmee back in January, the deal finally got done at a reasonable number.

Lot # S112 1970 Plymouth Road Runner Superbird 2-Dr. Hardtop; S/N RM23V0A166167; Blue, Black vinyl roof/White vinyl; Older restoration, 3+ condition; Hammered Sold at $165,000 plus commission of 10.00%; Final Price $181,500. With Reserve. – 440/390hp Six Barrel, 4-speed, Polyglas GT tires, Dana 3.54 rear, hood pins, Hurst pistol grip shifter, power steering, power brakes, factory radio, Tic-Toc-Tach. – Represented to have a “Period correct” engine. Lightly used but tidy engine bay. Small scratch on the nose and some paint prep issues on the hood. Scratched up window frames and door handles. Pitting around the console but mostly very good interior. Superbirds are rare, but you wouldn’t have to look very far to find one better than this. – The bidders here in Houston paid for a better car than the one they got here, but not by enough to make the result worse than full retail. Superbirds have become commonplace at auctions and it is surprising that the bidder bought into this one at this price. There’s no reason not to wait until a good one at a better price shows up.

Lot # F133 1959 Pontiac Bonneville Convertible; S/N 859P16978; White/Blue, White, Dark Blue; White vinyl top; Older restoration, 3+ condition; Not sold at Hammer bid of $37,000. With Reserve. – 389/300hp, automatic, wheel covers, whitewalls, power steering, power brakes, power windows, power top, boot cover, pushbutton radio. – The engine has been run plenty but it’s fully restored and tidy under there. Lightly scratched and pitted bumpers. A lot of the other brightwork is also either lightly scratched or lightly pitted. Sound older paint. Good seats, but there are some scratches on the door panels and light pitting on the steering wheel. Fully restored and it has a ton of eyeball, but it reveals a lot of shortcomings up close. – Sold for $45,100 at Mecum Houston two years and 247 miles ago. Values for these cars haven’t done anything since, so the reported high bid this time around (it would have been $40,700 with commission) is light but reasonably fair.

Lot # F156.1 1950 Pontiac Chieftain Deluxe 2-Dr. Hardtop Catalina; S/N W8TH12915; Ivory, Grey roof/Red vinyl, Tan cloth; Visually maintained, largely original, 2 condition; Hammered Sold at $25,000 plus commission of 10.00%; Final Price $27,500. With Reserve. – Automatic, wheel covers, Firestone wide whitewalls, fender skirts, lighted Chief hood ornament, column shift, pushbutton radio, dash clock, grille guard. – All original other than one repaint. Light pitting around the grille. Very tidy underneath. Good older paint. The brightwork is a little dull bit mostly very good. The original interior is a little aged but it looks 10 years old rather than nearly 70. A handsome early Catalina that was never fully restored because it never really needed to be. – For a car this old the preservation is remarkable and the price is a credit to its condition with a small and reasonable premium for originality. It deserves to be preserved and driven carefully.

Lot # F070.1 1994 Pontiac Firebird SLP Firehawk Coupe; S/N 2G2FV22P4R2239018; Blue/Gray cloth; Unrestored original, 3 condition; Hammered Sold at $6,500 plus commission of 10.00%; Final Price $7,150. With Reserve. – 350/330hp LT1 engine, 6-speed, chromed wheels, Sumitomo tires on the front and Mickey Thompson Street Radials on the back, Bilstein suspension. – Decent but aged original paint with a crack on the left headlight door and detail scratches. Light road wear under the body and a fairly dirty engine bay. The trim around the console and shifter is missing, but the interior is otherwise good considering the 73,477 miles showing. A rare genuine 330-horse LT1 Firehawk, represented as one of three with the 1SA package (aka base equipment), but no better than most other used fourth gen Firebirds out there and therefore not a collector-grade car. – This car sold for $9,350 at Mecum Houston in 2016, and while interest and prices in Firehawk has been on the rise since then, its mediocre condition and the mismatched tires that strongly suggest a drag racing history has apparently trumped its rarity in the minds of buyers willing to wait and pay for better cars.

Lot # F125.1 1973 Pontiac Grand Prix 2-Dr. Hardtop; S/N 2K57Y3A205265; White, White vinyl roof/White vinyl; Unrestored original, 2+ condition; Hammered Sold at $17,500 plus commission of 10.00%; Final Price $19,250. With Reserve. – 455/250hp, automatic, narrow whitewalls, power steering, power brakes, floor shift, dash clock, power windows, air conditioning, woodgrain dash. – Comes with documentation. Unrestored and lightly aged but tidy engine bay. Very well maintained original paint, chrome and roof vinyl. Excellent original interior. The 19,232 miles showing are represented as actual, and there’s no reason to doubt it. In fact, it looks like a car with fewer. Probably the best ’73 Grand Prix you’ll find anywhere. – It doesn’t matter if it’s as forgettable a car as a ’73 Grand Prix, people are willing to shell out more than top dollar for the best example of something, as this transaction for an immaculate example in good colors shows. It must have made an even better impression at Auburn Fall in 2015 because it sold there for a quite astounding $25,850.

Lot # S39 1967 Pontiac GTO Convertible; S/N 242677P159313; Red/Red vinyl; Older restoration, 2- condition; Hammered Sold at $50,000 plus commission of 10.00%; Final Price $55,000. No Reserve. – 400/335hp, 4-speed, Rally wheels, red line tires, boot cover, power steering, power brakes, Hurst shifter, bucket seats, cassette stereo. – From the Rick Smith collection. Very clean engine bay. Good but older paint and chrome. Very good restored interior, but the gauges are original and faded. A solid restored car, but not done yesterday and if the gauges were overlooked, what else was shortchanged that is harder to see? – The Houston bidders were similarly skeptical and left lots of headroom at this price for even serious remediation of things left undone in the restoration. This is a very safe price for a well-equipped ’67 GTO convertible.

Lot # S79 1990 Porsche 911 Carrera 4 Cabriolet; S/N WP0CB296XLS471916; Engine # 62L14595; Guards Red/Tan leather; Unrestored original, 2- condition; Hammered Sold at $48,500 plus commission of 10.00%; Final Price $53,350. With Reserve. – Snorkely brake light, black cloth boot cover, Eclipse CD stereo. – A few light scuffs on the wheels. The hood looks to have been repainted and is a shade off from the rest of the car. Very good interior with only light wear to the seats. Used but maintained engine bay. Showing 48,394 believable miles. A lightly used early Carrera 4 that doesn’t have much to pick on but isn’t perfect. – Bought expensively for the miles and handful of flaws. This price should have bought a like-new example.

Lot # T68 1965 Rambler Marlin Fastback; S/N 2101931; Red, White/Black vinyl piped in Red; Visually maintained, largely original, 3 condition; Hammered Sold at $10,500 plus commission of 10.00%; Final Price $11,550. With Reserve. – 232/145hp six, 3-speed, US Mag wheels, Pirelli tires, column shift, factory radio, dash clock, aftermarket air conditioning. – Tidy, partially restored engine bay. Dull original chrome and older quick respray. Good newer upholstery, but the rest of the interior is original and a little tired. The knob for the end of the shifter is missing. Dirty but dry, mostly original underbody. The rear window is heavily scratched. The original spare is in the trunk. The wheel and tire choice is odd for a car that is otherwise period correct. This Marlin gets credit just for existing, because when was the last time you even saw one? It’s a driver, but it’s cool to see in person and nobody shopping for one of these things can afford to be too picky. – The Houston bidders weren’t picky about the price, either, paying a retail but not generous amount for a rarely seen car. The Marlin is a Rambler Classic with a fastback roof conceived in a rather desperate attempt to respond to the Mustang’s explosive popularity and it worked, with 10,300 built of which just 2,000 had the six-cylinder engine like this. The wheels and tires? If it isn’t fast (and it isn’t) at least it can look good.

Lot # S145 1969 Shelby GT500 SportsRoof; S/N 9F02R480603; Black Jade/Black vinyl; Older restoration, 2- condition; Not sold at Hammer bid of $78,000. With Reserve. – Shelby wheels, Radial T/A tires, factory air conditioning, tilt steering column. – Sold new in Houston. Lightly run but fully restored engine bay. Good older paint and chrome with some chips at the front of the passenger’s door. Very good interior. Body-off restored a while ago and only lightly enjoyed since. Not a show car, but it needs nothing. – The reported high bid was well short of what this car deserves.

Lot # S132 1969 Shelby Mustang GT350 Fastback; S/N 9F02M480544; Candy Apple Red, Gold side stripe/Black vinyl; Older restoration, 2- condition; Hammered Sold at $82,000 plus commission of 10.00%; Final Price $90,200. With Reserve. – 351/290hp, 4-speed, Shelby alloy wheels, Wide Tread GT tires, factory air conditioning, Philco radio, dash clock, deluxe seat belts. – Deluxe Marti Report documented and represented as matching numbers. Lightly used but clean and fully restored engine bay and underbody. High quality but older paint and chrome. Very good fully redone interior. Well and correctly restored, but not done yesterday. – Sold by Russo and Steele in Arizona in 2007 for $107,800, then at their Monterey auction in 2015 for $79,200 with 64 more miles on the odometer today than it had in 2015 which amounts to about two trips to DQ for ice cream in three years. This result is a lot to pay for a dressed-up Mustang, even with Shelby identification on it. The price should have bought a freshly restored example.

Lot # F228 1958 Studebaker Golden Hawk 2-Dr. Hardtop; S/N 6104529; Gold, White/Beige vinyl with cloth inserts; Older restoration, 3+ condition; Hammered Sold at $38,000 plus commission of 10.00%; Final Price $41,800. With Reserve. – 289/275hp supercharged, automatic, wheel covers, whitewalls, column shift, tissue dispenser, pushbutton radio, dash clock, Stewart Warner gauges. – Sound paint and chrome, but they are starting to show their age and there is a blister on the right front. The engine bay is a bit on the dirty side. Very good interior, and the clock works. An inherently desirable supercharged Golden Hawk, but a fairly worn driver-quality example. – The seller’s toe went in to test the water here a year ago but got the shivers and backed out with a reported high bid of $50,000 which would have been a home run. A year later and this bid was accepted, which is well on the favorable to the buyer side. It seems like it was time to take the money and move on.

Lot # T215 1969 Toyota FJ40 Land Cruiser Soft Top 4×4; S/N FJ4063667; Red, White roof/Gray vinyl; Truck restoration, 2- condition; Hammered Sold at $29,500 plus commission of 10.00%; Final Price $32,450. With Reserve. – 3878/145hp six, 4-speed, wheel covers, aftermarket stereo, aluminum radiator. – Very clean like new engine bay. Fully restored underneath with a little bit of dirt. New shocks. Truck quality paint with orange peel on the roof. Brand new seats. Tired original steering wheel. Fresh gauges. New window gaskets, but light scratches on some of the windows. No history or point of origin represented, but a reasonably well and freshly done foreign market example with a restoration that is about middle of the road as far as the quality of FJ restorations go. – One of many Land Cruisers showing up these days with metric gauges probably sourced from Central or South America and given a quick truck-quality restoration. Sold on the light side for an example this fresh, but it’s still a number that the seller can be satisfied with and lot less than the diesel Land Rover Discovery (in somewhat better condition) also sold this weekend.

Lot # S201 1977 Toyota HJ45 Land Cruiser Pickup; S/N HJ45008927; Beige, White roof/Black vinyl; Truck restoration, 3 condition; Not sold at Hammer bid of $22,000. With Reserve. – 3.2 litre/93hp 2B diesel, 4-speed, All-Terrain T/A tires, dual mirrors, diesel engine, custom built pickup bed. – Body-off restored, but the chassis was quickly cleaned up and sprayed. Some chips on the front bumper. Truck quality paint. The shift instructions on the dash are scratched up and the gauges are faded. Uneven gaps. A neat and imposing classic Cruiser with a desirable body style and engine combo, but finished to disappointing standards. – Even a flawed HJ like this deserves more than the reported high bid, so holding out for more was understandable. The rarer Land Cruiser body styles tend to command quite a bit more money than a run of the mill FJ40, making this a lowball offer even with the diesel engine.

Lot # S102.1 1994 Toyota Supra Mk IV Turbo Sport Roof; S/N JT2JA82J1R0022181; Black/Black leather; Unrestored original, 2- condition; Not sold at Hammer bid of $50,000. With Reserve. – 2997/320hp twin turbocharged six, Eagle F1 tires, automatic, Pioneer CD stereo, traction control, aftermarket exhaust. – Represented with a recent service and 73,640 miles. Good original paint other than a few tiny chips on the nose. Clean, maintained engine bay. The interior is excellent considering the age and 73,640 miles with nearly no wear. The miles and the automatic are points against it, but any relatively unmolested turbo Supra is fairly special, and this one has been well maintained. – Not special enough to justify refusing the reported high bid, though. The automatic imposes a considerable discount for the people who are after these cars. There is no reason to decline this bid, except that there was no money there.

Lot # F230 1971 Volvo 1800E Coupe; S/N 18435332962; Red/Tan vinyl; Enthusiast restoration, 3 condition; Hammered Sold at $15,000 plus commission of 10.00%; Final Price $16,500. No Reserve. – Alloy wheels, dual Webers, 4-speed, dash clock, Pioneer stereo, aftermarket air conditioning. – As an 1800E, this car left the factory with Bosch mechanical injection, but the owner has swapped it out for Webers. The car also left the factory with chrome trim around the grille, and that has also been ditched. Otherwise, it’s mostly correct. The engine bay is a little dirty but not bad. Budget paint job with some orange peel throughout and some cracks on the roof. Small chip in the rear window. Volvo 1800s are very well built and gorgeous cars, but nobody would call this a particularly good one. – The Houston bidders were won over by the handsome lines and afforded it a strong price that the seller should be quite happy with. 1800 prices have been on the way up over the past few years as more and more people realize what a good value they are, but this result was ahead of the curve.

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