11 March 2015

Auction Preview: Amelia Island Sub-$100,000 Cars

There isn't usually a large number of cars at the lower end of the price spectrum at Amelia Island, but you can always find at least a few interesting cars that don't have stratospheric prices. Here are five very neat automobiles that are still in five figure territory.

1976 Ford Bronco

Gooding & Company
Presale estimate: $35,000-$45,000
Hagerty Price Guide: N/A
Classic trucks have really come into their own as collector vehicles, as evidenced by the Toyota Land Cruiser phenomenon as well as the presence of a 1976 Bronco at a high-dollar auction like Gooding’s Amelia Island sale. This being Gooding & Company, though, it’s no ordinary Bronco. It’s a desirable first series example with such sought-after equipment as dual fuel tanks, power brakes, power steering and a 302 V-8 with a 3-speed manual. It has also had a recent full restoration.

1974 Volkswagen Thing Acapulco Edition

Gooding & Company
Presale estimate: $25,000-$35,000
Hagerty Price Guide: $10,700-$31,500
It’s a fun, open beach car with a surrey top and lots of character, but it’s a fraction of the price of a Fiat Jolly and way more usable, too. One of a series of Type 181 Things for a Mexican resort, Gooding’s example was sold by Russo and Steele in Scottsdale back in 2010 for $22,500, and Barrett-Jackson sold a similar vehicle last year for $27,500. It may seem like a lot for such a bare bones old VW, but all you have to do is look at Fiat Jolly prices lately and this restored thing seems like a bargain.

1957 Chevrolet Bel Air

RM Auctions
Presale estimate: $75,000-$100,000
Hagerty Price Guide: $38,400-$88,100
The ’57 Bel Air is quite possibly the most recognizable 1950s American car, and although it’s not rare, there are certain versions that command attention. RM’s example is a 40,000-mile car equipped with the same Rochester fuel-injected small block that came in the Corvette that year. That was the same engine that famously produced one horsepower per cubic inch (283/283hp). Finished in the oh-so-1950s color of Canyon Coral, it has received cosmetic attention but remains largely original. Its condition, low miles and powertrain translate to a presale estimate that’s way up there for a ’57 Chevy.

1963 Triumph Vitesse Sports 6 Convertible

Presale estimate: $20,000-$30,000
Hagerty Price Guide: N/A
Attractive Michelotti-designed bodywork, a soft top and a straight-six engine (albeit a small one at 1,600 cc) make the Triumph Vitesse Sports 6 an appealing car. It also doesn’t come at an exorbitant price, despite the fact that less than 700 are believed to have been built. Bonhams’ example is an older restoration that has a 4-speed with overdrive, Minilite-style wheels and a relatively plush interior. They aren’t as sporting as most Triumphs, but these Vitesses are rarely seen for sale and would get more attention at a British car meet than any TR.

1959 Morris Minor 1000 Tourer

Presale estimate: $20,000-$30,000
Hagerty Price Guide: $9,700-$27,400
You don’t get much car with a Morris Minor, but you do get a lot of character. Bonhams’ first lot at Amelia will be a 1959 1000 Tourer, which is one of the more desirable body styles available on the Minor. The car’s restored condition and its body style explain its high presale estimate, but over at RM there will be an even more collectible Minor Traveller woody wagon shown at $40,000-$60,000.

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