Money well spent: 5 great car buys at Monterey

The final hammer has fallen, the transport trucks have rolled away, and (in some cases) the checks have already cleared. This year’s Monterey auctions were better than expected in terms of overall sales. Which is not to say there weren’t deals to be had. Here are a few great cars bought for good money. (For more information on our condition ratings, click here.)

1966 Jaguar E-Type SI 4.2 Roadster
Auction: RM Sotheby’s, lot 232
Final sale price: $253,000
HPG value: $84,400–$291,000

1966 Jaguar E-Type SI 4.2 Roadster
RM Sotheby's
1966 Jaguar E-Type SI 4.2 Roadster

Our analysis: This is an exquisitely and freshly over-restored E-type in concours condition that will mellow nicely. It is entirely possible that the restoration cost more than the amount it took to acquire the car.

1967 Porsche 911 S Coupe
Auction: Gooding, lot 161
Final sale price: $159,500
HPG value: $154,000–$288,000

1967 Porsche 911 S Coupe
Gooding & Company
1967 Porsche 911 S Coupe

Our analysis: A tribute to the 1967 Monte Carlo rally winner, expertly performed. Sure it isn’t stock, but it looks the part and would be a blast to tour in, especially at a significant discount compared to the $185,000–$229,000 value we’d give it based on our price guide.

1958 Austin-Healey 100-6 BN6 Roadster
Auction: Mecum, lot T3
Final sale price: $28,600
HPG value: $22,600–$103,000

1958 Austin-Healey 100-6 BN6 Roadster
Mecum
1958 Austin-Healey 100-6 BN6 Roadster

Our analysis: The red/black color combo feels a little dated today, but it’s tough to find a non-Sprite Austin-Healey in good condition for less than this.

2002 Ford Thunderbird
Auction: Mecum, lot T6
Final sale price: $6,600
HPG value: $13,300–$32,000

2002 Ford Thunderbird
Mecum
2002 Ford Thunderbird

Our analysis: A #3 condition car at less than half its value. Even if there is a surprising story tied to this car, it’s worth well over $6,600 in parts value alone.

2003 BMW Z8 Alpina
Auction: Worldwide, lot 73
Final sale price: $212,500
HPG value: $150,000–$295,000

2003 BMW Z8 Alpina
Worldwide Auctioneers
2003 BMW Z8 Alpina

Our analysis: The Z8 has been creeping up in price and Gooding sold a standard version for an amazing $440,000 the same weekend. The Alpina, even with the mandatory automatic transmission, is much rarer and valued more by enthusiasts. This Z8 looked like a high #2 condition car, but went for less than our $235,000 value for that rating.