A lot of deep pockets converge on the Scottsdale auctions every year, and that often means there are more eye-popping results than screaming deals. Using Hagerty Price Guide values as a barometer, we’ve put together a compilation of this year’s biggest surprises.
(Two observations to note: vintage trucks continue to be the segment to watch going into 2018, and bidders continue to pay up—way up—for originality.)
The Kelly Green paint on this 911 T certainly has a way of grabbing your attention, but other than that it was in its day just a normal car with normal equipment, and the T was the base model 911 when it was new. So why did it bring this jaw-dropping world-record price? (The last ‘63 sold at Pebble last year for a mere $143,000.)
It’s a completely original and immaculately kept car, that’s why. It was babied and pampered, even by Porsche owner standards, until 1987 when it was put in careful storage, and today it presents like a new car barely showing break-in miles on the odometer. There are plenty of restored vintage 911s around with this look, but there are simply no cars that at this level of originality. Maybe a once-in-a-lifetime buying opportunity.
This Ranchero GT had just about every factory option available, including the 429 Cobra Jet engine, and it was a longtime California car finished in rare, attractive colors. Ranchero prices have inched upwards over the past year. This result was way ahead of the curve, but at least it bought an exceptional car. Barrett-Jackson sold it in Vegas five years ago for just $55,000.
The 260Z was sold in the U.S. market for only one year, and it was essentially a 240Z that was compromised by American emissions and safety regulations. People didn’t let that slide, and 260Zs have always been worth less than the earlier, purer 240Z. So why the fuss over this Bonhams car? Well, it was a single-owner bone stock example with 5437 miles on the odometer, presented in like-new condition. Like the 911 T Targa over at Gooding, it was an ordinary car in extraordinary condition. Sometimes that translates to big money.
This car barely missed out on a world record (Gooding sold one for $77K in Scottsdale three years ago), but the result is still staggering. Volvo 1800s have long been great starter classics since they are built like tanks, look fantastic, and are modestly priced. Or at least they usually are. The Bonhams example was a pampered, all-original California car ordered with just about every factory option, and it really stood out on the lawn with its gorgeous blue paint and caramel/black interior.
Power Wagon fans were spoiled for choice in Scottsdale this year, but almost all of them sold well regardless. This matching-numbers 1951 model was immaculately, correctly restored and had a good time slot at Barrett-Jackson on Thursday.
Trucks did very well in Scottsdale this year. And as Broncos ended up one of the big stories last year, attention seems to have finally turned to Blazers. This one was very well restored in good colors, including the neat Highlander Plaid interior. Still, nearly 60 grand for a Blazer is shocking.
This one defies explanation. It was a very well-restored suicide-door Continental in #2-plus condition. But values for these cars haven’t moved much lately, so there can only be one explanation for why it sold at nearly double the current condition #1 value: two bidders really, really wanted it.
There aren’t a ton of Grand Wagoneers around in respectable condition anymore, and values for good ones have been creeping up over the past couple of years. The one at Barrett-Jackson was a very well kept California example, but it wasn’t flawless. Not to mention the near-84,000 miles on the odometer. At this price you’d expect it to be the best one in the world.