What typically commands the most attention at the annual Hershey auction are the large, gleaming, high-dollar, multi-cylinder luxury cars. This year was no different, with six V-16 automobiles and even more V-12s. But while Hershey typically favors prewar, there are always a few postwar gems stuck in between the Packards, Marmons, and their ilk, and there are always a few deals to be had.
Here are six classics that sold for much less than they’re arguably worth.
The 1953–56 Ford F-100 was a milestone pickup design, considerably more usable and ergonomic than the old F-1 it replaced, and prices have seen some growth this year as market attention turns to trucks of all shapes and sizes. Engine swaps and other modifications are common, so seeing this totally stock short bed with a six-cylinder under the hood is relatively rare. And it’s even rarer to see one restored to such high standards. We rated it as being in #2+ condition, but it sold for well under #2+ money. A solid buy for the new owner, especially if values continue to rise.
The 560 SL was the last, most developed, and fastest iteration of the R107 series of SLs sold here in America. Even two decades after it’s debut, the two-door SL roadster strongly maintained its place as a status symbol. This 1989 model would have cost more than 60 grand when it was new, and although the odometer reads over 84,000 miles, these cars were built to last and we rated it at a #3 (Good) condition. Other 560s in similar condition can bring north of 20 grand, so to come in well under 18 is a pretty solid deal.
There’s a V-12 engine, it’s a CCCA Full Classic eligible for all sorts of events, the Valley Green paint looks stupendous, and the top goes down. There isn’t much not to like about the ’47 Continental Cabriolet at Hershey, and we rated its older restoration as a #2- condition. Prices have been sliding over the past couple of years largely thanks to a shrinking audience for these expensive mostly hand-built luxury cars, but this result was well ahead of that curve. It’s a lot of car and style for the money.
The Ford Galaxie debuted for 1959 with Thunderbird-inspired styling and available open-top motoring in the form of the Sunliner convertible or the Skyliner retractable hardtop, which are naturally more collectible than the standard hardtop. This solid, correct example has the desirable 352/300-hp engine and we rated it as being in #2- condition, but it sold for barely more than project car money.
Of the more-than 46,000 Nash Ambassadors built in 1948, only 1000 had a convertible body. As you can probably imagine, not many are left and you can’t really be picky when shopping for one. We rated this eye-catching blue older restoration as being in #3+ condition, but there must not have been too many Nash folks in the room because it’s a better car than the price would suggest.
Based on the Roadmaster convertible, the first Skylark came about in 1953 to celebrate Buick’s 50th birthday, and it was part of a trio of top-tier low-production GM models that also included the Cadillac Series 62 Eldorado and Oldsmobile 98 Fiesta. It also debuted Buick’s modern “Nailhead” overhead-valve V-8 engine. Fewer than 1700 were built for 1953, so that rarity, combined with the significance and sheer beauty, make the 1953–54 Skylark just about the most collectible Buick model of them all, along with the GNX. We rated this car as being in #2- condition, but it sold for less than what a #3 example would normally expect to bring. A 90-grand-plus price tag isn’t cheap, but it is for one of these cars.