Auction Preview: Worldwide Auctioneers Scottsdale 2017

When Bonhams joined the Scottsdale fray several years ago, it seemed difficult to imagine yet another Scottsdale Auction Week catalog sale. But the unqualified success of the Arizona Concours, which took place on Sunday, Jan. 15, five days before competitors’ catalog sales kick off, has managed to draw car people to the Valley of the Sun earlier than in years past. Worldwide Auctioneers saw an opportunity to give everyone something to do midweek, thus their Scottsdale auction was born. Here’s what we’ll be watching, and why, on Wednesday:

1963 Jaguar E-type Series I Roadster
Presale estimate: $40,000 - $60,000, no reserve
Hagerty Price Guide: $45,700 - $163,000
Lot 4
The barn find Porsche Speedster craze seems to reach new heights every time someone drags a ratty 356 out of a dilapidated barn. As of yet, E-types haven’t become the darlings of barn find addicts (at least on this side of the Atlantic). But this car might change that. Fresh from 30 years of storage, it appears complete and unmolested at least. Its presale estimate is about market correct for a Series I convertible that needs everything. If it sells for closer to $75,000 or even $100,000, it might signal that barn find E-types are heading the way of Speedsters. God, let’s hope not.

1953 Buick Skylark Convertible
Presale estimate: $175,000 - $225,000
Hagerty Price Guide: N/A
Lot 7
Currently, 1950s American cars aren’t the flavor of the month. The older collectors who remember them in-period are aging out of the hobby and the market is still sorting out nostalgia buys from true icons. This car probably falls into the latter category. Its one-year only production and GM Motorama pedigree make the car something special. Add to that a great restoration in beautiful and correct colors and you have a car whose appeal really does span generations. A sale on the high side of its presale estimate could peg these cars as true immortals.

1974 Porsche 911 2.7L Carrera Targa
Presale estimate: $120,000 to $150,000
Hagerty Price Guide: $19,600 - $86,900
Lot #15
The 1974 2.7L Carrera Targa was built in the first year of the “short hood” 911, the first G-series cars that sported 5 mph impact bumpers. While it looked similar to 2.7-liter Carreras (with side graphics and a duck tail spoiler and rear fender flares), in fact, it was nothing like them under the skin. While the rest of the world got the mechanically injected 210hp engine, similar to the 1973 2.7 RS, federal-spec cars made do with just 167hp. American 2.7-liter engines were also known to be troublesome. At the end of the day, this car is graphics, a tail and flares. It just doesn’t seem special enough to justify a roughly $100,000 premium over a similar (but vastly superior) 3.0-liter 911SC.

1966 Shelby GT350H
Presale estimate: $190,000 - $240,000
Hagerty Price Guide: $108,000 - $205,000
Lot 31
The GT350H represents one of the most incredible stories in muscle car history. Imagine renting a near competition-ready Shelby GT350 for $17/day plus 17¢/mile. You only had to be over 25 and promise you’d be the only one driving it. The stories of renters heading straight to the track are legion and the marketing scheme was unofficially named rent-a-racer. Generally, 1966 GT350s are undervalued in comparison to the scarcer first-year 1965s, but the difference shouldn’t be as great as it currently is. This four-speed 306hp GT350H is worth every penny of its pre-sale estimate. We wouldn’t be surprised to see it fetch even more.

1937 Cord 812SC Sportsman Convertible Coupe
Presale estimate: $175,000 - $225,000
Hagerty Price Guide: N/A
Lot 34
Like the second car on this list, this car’s original fans as a collectible are disappearing fast. But even to a Gen-Xer like myself, supercharged, coffin-nosed Cords have a ton of appeal. With 170hp and a pre-selector, four-speed manual gearbox, they’re actually fun to drive (as long as the front axles and transmission have been sorted). They’re Classic Car Club of America Full Classics and outrageously good-looking. If they were French, German or Italian, they’d be worth $1 million or more. And although they were part of the same company that built the Duesenberg, the market doesn’t seem to care. A pity. These cars should be worth four times this examples presale estimate. Perhaps the market will finally wake up this January in Scottsdale. Or not.