Auburn, Indiana is Worldwide Auctioneers’ home turf and after building a successful series of sales under tents in a field and at the NATMUS Cord Front-Drive (“L-29”) Assembly Building they last year moved into the former Dean Kruse WWII Museum complex across I-69 from the Auburn Auction Park while maintaining their momentum.
Worldwide’s Auburn auction was live, with cars driven onto the block and what appeared to be, at least from the live internet video feed, reasonably socially-distanced but largely unmasked bidders. If there was an internet or phone component it was not apparent. Coronavirus concerns didn’t seem to detract from the bidders’ participation.
This year’s sale offered 49 of its 64 lots [counting the three cars in the Stainless Steel collection as one lot] without reserve so the sale’s 87.5% sell-through shouldn’t be surprising. The sale rate on the 15 lots with reserves was a modest 53.3%. The surprising aspect was that top-selling lots like the Stainless Steels were on the block without reserve and selling to the highest bidder. That’s a magnet attracting bidders looking for honest value and it worked. The no reserve cars brought realistic prices and encouraged interest in, and bidding for, the rest.
The 87.5% sale rate ranks Worldwide’s Auburn auction as one of the more successful sales during the Coronavirus year and while $6.9 million isn’t a benchmark it resulted in strong median and average transaction values.
Here are the numbers:
|Year||Cars Sold/ Offered||Sale %||Average Sale||Median Sale||Total $|
On-site observations and photos are by Megan Boyd.
Lot # 6 1970 Dodge Coronet Super Bee 2-Dr. Hardtop; S/N WM23V0G155059; Sublime, Black tail stripe/White vinyl; Cosmetic restoration 3+ condition; No Reserve; Hammered Sold at $77,500 plus commission of 10.00%; Final Price $85,250 – 440/390hp Six Pack, 4-speed, Polyglas GT tires, Track Pak, 3.54 Sure Grip, bucket seats, Hurst pistol grip shifter, factory radio. – Represented as a three-time Mopar Nationals Best in Show winner. Restored in 2000. Date coded block. The paint is in good condition other than a crack in the right rear quarter near the back window. The trunk fits poorly with major body gap differences. The interior is good with minor wear on both front seats. There is slight pitting on the rear bumper. All glass is good condition as are the wheels and tires. Clean, detailed engine bay but there is oxidation on the exhaust manifolds. A mostly very good piece of Mopar muscle in high impact paint, only showing light general age since a quality restoration. – Sold at Mecum Dallas in 2015 for $70,400 and sold there again three years later for $87,400. It shows only 5 more miles since then, so this similar (and similarly appropriate) price makes sense.
Lot # 10 1927 Rolls-Royce Phantom I Regent Convertible Coupe, Body by Brewster; S/N S284RM; Black/Brown leather; Older restoration 3 condition; With Reserve; Not sold at Hammer bid of $210,000 – 7,668/100hp inline-6, 3-speed, rumble seat with side entry door, overdrive, chrome wire wheels, luggage rack, trunk with cover, dual sidemount spares with mirrors. – The paint is older but in very presentable condition with some bubbling near the body line and a few scratches on the passenger’s front fender and cowl. The interior is in good condition with the seat slightly worn and some wear on the wood dash. The top is in great condition but is very wrinkled. The chrome is good throughout but in need of a good polishing. The engine bay is driver quality but tidy, and the car reportedly received recent mechanical sorting and servicing. The tires are slightly discolored from age. A great Rolls to tour with, but not to show. – Brewster’s Regent convertible coupe is an attractive, sporting design, one of the prettiest Rolls-Royces of the era with a distinctive low top and sloping rear deck. Most, if not all, of the Regents were rebodied by Brewster in the 30’s replacing the original usually formal coachwork; to have had an automobile of such distinction, style and quality in the 30’s was to be in high cotton and they are still desired by collectors who appreciate their style, comfort and reliability on tours and events. The reported high bid on this example, however, is appropriate to all these attributes as well as to the age and condition of the restoration.
Lot # 17 1963 Chevrolet Corvette Coupe; S/N 30837S100609; Riverside Red/Red vinyl; Cosmetic restoration 2- condition; No Reserve; Hammered Sold at $142,500 plus commission of 10.00%; Final Price $156,750 – 327/340hp L76, 4-speed, centerlock wheels, narrow whitewalls, Soft-Ray tinted glass, heater delete. – Sold new in Hawaii, hence the heater delete. Represented as a numbers matching professional restoration. Good paint with only minor surface scratching from cleaning. The interior is in excellent condition as is the glass, chrome and brightwork. The tires are good as well. The engine was thoroughly detailed at the time of restoration and only shows minor signs of use. An attractive, honest and well equipped Split Window. – A strong and even slightly expensive price for an L76 Split Window. It could have probably bought a fresher car, but this one has no serious needs. The 340hp L76 concedes only 20hp to the much more expensive and complex L84 Fuelie, a sound value at this price.
Lot # 19 1965 Chevrolet Corvette Convertible; S/N 194675S122212; Rally Red/White; White top; Older restoration 2- condition; No Reserve; Hammered Sold at $103,000 plus commission of 10.00%; Final Price $113,300 – 396/425hp L78, 4-speed, side exhaust, centerlock wheels, gold line tires. – Very good paint with only minor surface scratches from cleaning. The interior is good with some dirt on the seat stitching and minor marks on the driver’s seat. The chrome is good with early signs of pitting beginning on the door handle and rear bumper. The glass is good as are the tires. A desirable first-year big-block car that could be slightly refreshed and shown. – Way back in 2009, this car sold for a nearly identical $114,400 at Russo and Steele’s Scottsdale auction. C2 values are up a fair bit over the past 11 years, but the car also has a decade’s worth of age and mileage on it, so the price here makes sense.
Lot # 22 1998 Dodge Viper GTS-R Coupe; S/N 1B3ER69EXWV401002; White, Blue stripes/Black, Blue leather; Unrestored original 2- condition; With Reserve; Post-block sale at $113,636 plus commission of 10.00%; Final Price $125,000 – 488/450hp, 6-speed, BBS wheels, side exhaust, rear wing. – Good paint with only minor chips on the front from use. The interior is in good condition but shows wear on the driver’s seat. The headlights are slightly hazy from age. All the glass is good as are the tires. The wheels have some light scuffs especially the driver’s rear. The engine compartment is factory with little to no signs of use. Showing slightly more age and wear than the 7,182 miles on the odometer would suggest, but all the flaws are easy to live with. – Technically called the GT2 Commemorative Edition but commonly referred to as the GTS-R, this is the most desirable of the early Vipers. They have the right mix of limited production (100 built) and track-ready performance, so they can easily command over twice the price of a more ordinary GTS. This one got bid to $105,000 but Worldwide reported it sold post-block all-in for $125,000, a realistic number for its condition, mileage and rarity.
Lot # 30 1971 Maserati Ghibli SS Coupe; S/N AM115492278; Red/Beige leather; Older restoration 3+ condition; With Reserve; Not sold at Hammer bid of $160,000 – 4,930/335hp, 5-speed, power windows, factory air conditioning, Campagnolo wheels, AM/FM radio, woodrim steering wheel. – One of 425 built with SS equipment. Professionally restored. A nicely finished Ghibli with good overall paint. Some surface scratches and a crack near the passenger’s side headlight. There is also a blemish near the windshield on the passenger’s side. The interior is in excellent condition and appears to be new, which isn’t easy to keep with a color like light beige. The glass is in fair condition with scratches on rear window. The brightwork is fair as well with the window trim marred, but the bumpers look good. The wheels and tires are good other than the center caps, which are peeling. The engine was detailed at the time of the restoration. An attractive Ghibli with desirable equipment, let down by mostly superficial and forgivable flaws. – Compared to their peers from Ferrari and Lamborghini these Ghiblis, even in SS form, look like bargain Italian thoroughbreds. But not this much of a bargain, and the owner would be reasonable to expect a lot closer to $200,000. It also hammered not sold at a $175,000 high bid at Mecum Monterey last year, so it’s only an auction trip or two away from becoming shopworn and if there was money at this bid it’s surprising that Worldwide couldn’t negotiate a compromise that would see it move on before that happens.
Lot # 34 1971 Oldsmobile 4-4-2 W-30 Convertible; S/N 344671M203806; Matador Red, White stripes/White vinyl; White top; Older restoration 3 condition; No Reserve; Hammered Sold at $75,000 plus commission of 10.00%; Final Price $82,500 – 455/350hp, 4-speed, Polyglas tires, console, pushbutton radio, power windows. – The paint is in fair condition with some surface scratches as well as fisheyes on the doors. The mirrors are also chipped. The interior is grungy, and the plastic on the seatbacks is discolored and scratched. The top boot is dirty and the rear view mirror is hazy. The glass is in good condition. The chrome is in fair condition. The bumpers appear poorly prepped and there is some pitting on the front bumper. The stainless on the car overall is just fair as well with some dings and scratches. The wheels and tires are in good condition as is the accurately detailed engine bay. Inconsistent and imperfect presentation, but a rare, well-equipped car good enough for top down cruising and local shows. – 4-4-2s went through a highlight period a few years ago, bringing stupendous prices when freshly restored by 4-4-2 specialists. That has waned recently, but not to the extent embodied by this result. It is a well-equipped car in appealing colors and even though the freshness of the restoration is wearing off the car is still highly desirable and a sound value at this result.
Lot # 37 1970 Chevrolet El Camino SS 454 Pickup; S/N 136800B177147; Cortez Silver, Black stripes/Black vinyl; Recent restoration 2+ condition; No Reserve; Hammered Sold at $96,000 plus commission of 10.00%; Final Price $105,600 – 454/450hp LS6 engine, 4-speed, Polyglas tires, hood pins, 12-bolt rear end with 3.31 gears, power brakes, power steering, radio delete. – Everything on this car is in excellent condition from the paint to the new in appearance interior to the glass the period correct Polyglas tires. The engine compartment has been detailed to better than new. Restored to slightly better than showroom fresh. It is a true showstopper and one of the cleanest and best presented vehicles at this auction. – This is a massive price for an El Camino and not all that far from LS6 Chevelle money. But good luck finding another genuine LS6 El Camino anywhere near as gorgeous as this. Given how unusual a buying opportunity this was, it could have sold for more. In fact it did, bringing $134,750 at Mecum Harrisburg three years ago.
Lot # 38 1935 Packard Eight 1201 Dual Cowl Phaeton; S/N 1201206; Silver French Gray, Black/Red leather; Black cloth top; Cosmetic restoration 2- condition; With Reserve; Hammered Sold at $160,000 plus commission of 10.00%; Final Price $176,000 – Red wire wheels, hub caps and trim rings, goddess of speed radiator mascot, dual enclosed sidemount spares with mirrors, wind wings, button tufted seats, spotlight. – The paint is in good condition having had a recent repaint in the Silver French Gray, a departure from the cream it had last and the original green before that. The interior is in excellent condition. The top is good but slightly wrinkled and the rear glass window is broken. The tires are somewhat discolored from age. The chrome is fair with some pitting on door handles as well as top bows and windshield frame. A unique car with noted history of ownership ready to tour or take to the next Packard meet. – RM offered this beautiful Packard at Hershey a year ago (which in COVID-time seems like ancient history) where it attracted a reported high bid of $170,000 but didn’t sell. The dual cowl Phaeton coachwork was not offered in the Standard Eight catalog but looks good on the shorter 1201 wheelbase chassis and style, rarity and quality make it a sound value at this price.
Lot # 42 1935 Auburn 851 Supercharged Boattail Speedster; S/N 32573E; Engine # GH3669; Cigarette Cream/Burgundy leather; Tan cloth top; Older restoration 2- condition; With Reserve; Hammered Sold at $975,000 plus commission of 10.00%; Final Price $1,072,500 – 280/150hp supercharged inline-8, body color wire wheels, wide whitewalls, driving lights. – A-C-D Category 1 certified, CCCA Senior decades ago. The paint is in good condition especially considering the restoration is 20 years old. The bumper pads are pulling in the rear and causing paint damage. The interior is in excellent condition with only minor wear on the driver’s seat and a few small spots on the top of the passenger’s seat. The chrome is mostly in good condition with only minor pitting on the wing nuts on the windshield and the radiator mascot. The glass is in good shape, as is the engine bay. The whitewalls are yellowed with age. Despite being an older restoration this Auburn still presents quite well and would be a hit on any tour or casual show. – There are many faux 851 Supercharged Boattail Speedsters out there and it is rare indeed to find one with not one but two A-C-D Category 1 certifications and a CCCA Senior award history but this is a world record auction price even for such a highly regarded example, a price that looks past its older restoration’s condition to find value in the underlying Speedster. It is more than good enough to be enjoyed on the road, but is expensive for its condition in this transaction.
Lot # 49 1952 MG TD Mk II Competition Roadster; S/N XPAGTD213826; Beige/Beige; Tan cloth top; Older restoration 3 condition; No Reserve; Hammered Sold at $16,000 plus commission of 10.00%; Final Price $17,600 – Hub caps and trim rings, Nanking tires, dual wing mirrors, Boyce Motometer, badge bar, single Lucas driving light, wind wings, banjo steering wheel, luggage rack, rear-mounted spare. – One of 1,710 Competition versions of the TD, which featured a bit more power thanks to higher compression. Restored decades ago but has since been maintained. Fair paint considering it dates from 1969. There is some cracking on the hood as well as blemishes throughout and a stain near the fuel filler. The paint is also cracked on the gas tank on the passenger’s side. The chrome, brightwork and glass are in great condition considering the age of the restoration. The interior, although worn, looks like it fits like an old glove and is very usable as is. The top shows stains but fits well. Good tires. The engine has not been detailed recently and is driver quality. A good car to enjoy on Sunday drives and slowly restore to its full glory. – This car was a no-sale at Leake OKC in 2017 at a $20,000 high bid and then sold a few months later at Worldwide Dallas for $23,100, reflecting a healthy premium for the competition equipment. TD prices have sagged in the three years since and this car’s condition hasn’t gotten any better (even though its odometer shows only 3 more miles), but this price still reflects a decent value in terms of fun and style per dollar.