Of the five collector car auctions in Amelia Island this year, Gooding & Company has most of the heavy-hitting cars. In fact, looking at the presale estimates, Gooding has six of the 10 highest-estimated cars for sale this year. Gooding has an Mk IV Ford GT40, a Ferrari Enzo, a 289 Cobra, and nearly 40 Porsches, but here are five of the most noteworthy cars that we’ll be closely watching.
Recently featured on an episode of Hagerty’s Barn Find Hunter were a genuine 427 Cobra and a long-nose, alloy-bodied Ferrari 275 GTB dragged out from years of hibernation. One of only 80 long-nose alloy cars, the Ferrari was parked in a North Carolina garage back in 1991 after the owner’s trusted mechanic passed away, and its sat and gathered dust for the next 27 years. It was just exhibited at the Cavallino Classic in January, where it apparently drew quite a crowd, and will be one of the biggest auction cars in Amelia this year. The dust has been left on for effect, since the buried-treasure mystique of barn find cars tends to get bidders excited.
The other big car to come out of the same North Carolina garage in the recent Barn Find Hunter was this Cobra, one of just 260 Cobra 427 street cars. Its life for the past three decades was just like the Ferrari’s, meaning it is another freshly discovered million-dollar-plus gem, dust and all. It also goes to show that there are still great automotive discoveries to be made.
While Porsche may not have invented turbocharging, it really mastered the technology. Porsche made its strides it through racing, with projects like the 917 Can-Am cars as well as the early experiments with turbocharged 911s (eventually leading to the all-conquering 935).
This car is the last of just four Carrera RSR Turbos, which were the first turbocharged racing 911s. The car finished second at Le Mans in 1974, close behind a Matra prototype, and it also raced in the United States with a second overall finish at Watkins Glen. Because of FIA rules, the displacement of the RSR Turbo shrank the flat-six to just 2.1 liters, but with exotic bits like titanium connecting rods, sodium valves and a KKK turbocharger, it was capable of 500-plus horsepower. Judging by its presale estimate, this is likely to be the most expensive car at Amelia this year if it sells.
For 356 collectors, the Carrera GS/GT is high on the must-have list. In addition to the four-cam Carrera engine, the GS/GT has aluminum doors, hood, and engine cover, as well as other lightweight bits. Fewer than 50 were built on the 356 B platform, so the chance to buy one hardly ever comes up. This one, sold new in Switzerland, is a numbers-matching car that was recently acquired and restored. For those looking for more of a project, there’s a totally original barn-find 356 A Carrera in this sale as well.
The 410 Superamerica was Ferrari’s large, expensive offering in the mid-1950s. Only about three dozen were built, and just a dozen of these Series I Pininfarina-bodied coupes. Refined, comfortable, and drivable, the Superamerica was also extremely fast for its day, with a Lampredi 5.9-liter V-12 making 340 horsepower in a time when Corvettes and Mercedes 300SLs made do with only 240 horses. This Series I example is represented with just three owners from new and was fully restored in the early 2000s.