January’s Arizona auctions have historically been one of the best settings to see rare and important muscle cars, but in reality there are rare and important cars of all stripes. Here are five cars in the wide $100,000 to $1,000,000 price range that illustrate the diversity of this year’s consignments.
1970 Mazda Cosmo Sport Series II L10B Coupe
Presale estimate: $140,000-$180,000
Hagerty Price Guide: $101,000-$187,000
We can rightly put to rest the claim that Japanese cars won’t be collectible thanks to cars like the Toyota 2000GT and Mazda Cosmo. A tiny but elegant two-seater, the Cosmo featured Wankel rotary power and although it enjoyed a reasonably long production run from 1966 to 1972, only about 1,500 were made. Most of these stayed in Japan, so seeing them come up for sale in the U.S. is highly uncommon. That said, another white Cosmo, a 1967 example, was sold at Gooding’s 2014 Pebble Beach sale for $264,000. That was a much rarer Series I car, however, so this one will likely bring a more modest sum.
1965 Sunbeam Tiger Mk I Harrington Coupe
Presale estimate: $200,000-$250,000 (no reserve)
Hagerty Price Guide: N/A
British coachbuilder Harrington did a number of very attractive coupe bodies for Sunbeam sports cars, but all of them were on the four-cylinder Alpine platform. All of them, that is, except this car, which is a Mk I Tiger with a 260-cid Ford V-8. RM describes it as the “holy grail” for Tiger enthusiasts. Given the car’s rarity and that blend of gorgeous Harrington bodywork with Ford power, that’s no mere auction catalog hyperbole.
1984 Audi Sport Quattro
Presale estimate: $350,000-$475,000
Hagerty Price Guide: $140,000-$226,000
Homologation specials are almost always collectible, even more so when the racing versions were particularly successful. Audi’s Sport Quattro is particularly important in that it brought about the revolution of all-wheel drive into rallying. That it dates from the legendary Group B era of flame-spitting turbocharged monsters only adds to the cool factor. In order to homologate the purpose-built Sport Quattro for Group B, Audi had to build 200 road cars. They built 214, and RM has consigned what is probably one of the strongest examples in the world. Basically treated as a collector car from new, it is largely original, has precious few kilometers on the odometer, and is currently registered for road use in the U.S. The pre-sale estimate is up there, but it’s safe to say that there will be a ton of interest in this car.
1967 Chevrolet Yenko Super Camaro
Gooding & Company
Presale estimate: $425,00-$525,000
Hagerty Price Guide: $280,000-$488,000
Any Chevy to have come out of Don Yenko’s shop is noteworthy, and Gooding will have not one but two real Yenko Camaros, one from 1967 and one from 1968, in Arizona for 2015. The 1967 example, one of approximately 54, was restored in the 1990s and the side pipes were added shortly after. Barrett-Jackson sold it way back in 2002 for $121,000, but the market for genuine Yenkos has of course appreciated greatly since then.
1966 Shelby GT350H
Russo and Steele
Presale estimate: not listed
Hagerty Price Guide: $104,000-$185,000
Probably the only kind of rental car that anyone would ever want to buy, the GT350H was the short-lived but famous collaboration between Shelby American and Hertz for a Mustang “Rent-A-Racer” in 1966. The GT350H could be had in a handful of colors, but by far the most recognizable and most common was the combo of Raven Black with gold Le Mans stripes found on this recently restored car, which is also equipped with the more common automatic transmission. The combination of a neat and unique story, relative rarity and the Shelby connection has made the GT350H a favorite among collectors, and although prices bottomed out a few years ago, they are on the rise again and any decent GT350H is well into six-figure territory.