2 May 2014

Auction Preview: Worldwide’s 2014 Houston sale

Worldwide Auctioneers’ annual Houston Classic event kicks off May 3, 2014, at the La Torretta Lake Resort & Spa. A small but high-end group of cars and trucks is slated to cross the block, many of them with estimates in the six-figure range. Of the 93 vehicles being offered, here are five that grabbed our attention:

1969 Chevrolet Corvette 427/430 L88 Coupe
Lot 74
Estimate: $650,000-$850,000
Hagerty Price Guide: $410,000-$733,000

For many, Chevrolet’s flagship Corvette hit its stride in the mid-to-late 1960s with the 427-cid big block V-8. The top dog was the high-output L88, and very few were sold new. When they surface for sale today, they demand serious interest. In less than two years, L88 C3 Corvettes have gained in value by about 200%. This particular example is marketed as a beautifully preserved original car with only 2,574 miles. With this in mind, the high estimate seems well within reach for this car.

1959 Cadillac Eldorado Biarritz Convertible
Lot 36
Estimate: $175,000-$225,000
Hagerty Price Guide: $96,600-$230,000

With generous use of chrome and some of the largest tailfins ever put on a road-based vehicle, nothing says 1950s style like the iconic ’59 Eldorado. One would have to search far and wide to find someone who doesn’t have an idea of what a ’59 Cadillac looks like. Because of their popularity and collectability, these cars have held their value quite well over the years, but the market for 1950s cars has been sleepy for a while. There has been a lot of chatter lately about a generational shift among collectors, so we are searching for signs of this change among sales.

1970 Pontiac GTO Judge 400/366 Convertible
Lot 70
Estimate: $210,000-$240,000
Hagerty Price Guide: $94,200-$185,000

The GTO Judge is probably one of the most recognizable cars to roll off of Pontiac’s assembly lines. With good looks and power to back it up, these cars still remain popular with muscle car enthusiasts. After seeing a significant drop in price five years ago, these cars have maintained a steady value since. This example is marketed as a meticulous numbers-matching restoration. The estimate may seem ambitious at first glance, but Worldwide sold a similar example at their Auburn sale last summer for $214,500. It will take a few more sales at that level to move the market, which is what we are on alert for now.

1967 Porsche 911 S Coupe
Lot 32
Estimate: $175,000-$225,000
Hagerty Price Guide: $151,000-$296,000

Nobody can deny that the Porsche 911 market has been on fire over the past year. The average 1967 911 S has seen gains of up to 285% over the past 16 months, and well-documented sunroof coupes like this one are far and away the hottest commodity. As with any swift and steep climb, we are fielding questions about sustainability. This sale will be another checkpoint to see if feverish buying is still strong or if the market is starting to slow down.

1964 Chevrolet K10 Pickup
Lot 28
Estimate: $35,000-$45,000
Hagerty Price Guide: N/A

More and more quality trucks are showing up at auction, and they are being scooped up by enthusiastic collectors. Many of these trucks are being restored back to original condition, and this is a good example of one of those trucks. Beautifully restored to correct condition, this Chevy sports a 292-cid inline-six and hard-to-find four-wheel drive. Three years ago this truck might have earned $25,000, so this is a good opportunity to see how far the market has moved.

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