7 sweet bargains from the 2021 Scottsdale “Part II” auctions
Earlier in the week we outlined some of the massive sales to come out of the Arizona auctions in March. As is always the case with such massive car auctions, however, these “Scottsdale Part II” sales weren’t all big money muscle cars and seven-figure Shelbys. Of course, we like to dig deeper bring you some of the cars that slipped through at bargain prices. Even though most of the cars and trucks in Arizona this year sold for market-appropriate money or more, these seven vehicles flew under the radar and found happy new owners.
Sold for $5170
Value in #3 (Good) condition: $10,900
Classic Beetles have been getting ever-pricier in recent years. Since 2016, condition #2 (Excellent) values for 1960s and ’70s Bugs have appreciated anywhere from 18 to 98 percent. But there are still deals to be had out there, including this well-cared-for ’74 for a hair over 5000 bucks.
Represented with just three owners from new, it has been sorted mechanically and came with a bunch of original extras that are so often lost on budget classics like this, including the original manuals, spare tire, factory and dealer service decals, and factory pneumatic washer bottle.
Largely original—but far from perfect and showing some wear and incorrect bits—it also has the less desirable big bumpers, black dashboard, high seat backs, and tall lights of later Beetles. But it’s still a solid, usable classic car that’s easy to work on, easy to find parts for, and finished in a good color. What more could you want for 5 grand?
Sold for $22,000
Value in #3 (Good) condition: $26,700
Introduced in 1961, the third-generation Thunderbird quickly earned the nickname “Bullet Bird.” One look at its pointed nose and smooth, projectile-like shape is enough for you to figure out why. It served as pace car at the 1961 Indy 500 and 50 brand-new T-Birds were used for John F. Kennedy’s inaugural parade. Third-gen Thunderbirds also introduced the “Swing Away” steering wheel, where the wheel could slide to the right in order to make exiting the car easier.
Today, Bullet Birds offer a tempting value if you’re more interested in style and jet age design than outright sportiness, but this particular car was a downright sweet deal. It didn’t have much history represented but it looks restored and very clean. Much cleaner than the price—barely more than #4-condition (Fair) money, would suggest.
Sold for $17,600
Value in #2 (Excellent) condition: $31,800
The (very) short version of the military Jeep’s origins is that the U.S. military during World War II needed a light but powerful and rugged personal transport with four-wheel drive, and several manufacturers (mainly Bantam, Willys, and Ford) contributed to the original Jeep’s design and construction. Willys-Overland won the initial contract to build the Jeep in 1941, but when it was clear that Willys couldn’t keep up with demand, the government contracted Ford to build them as well. The military Jeeps built by Ford were designated “GPW,” with “GP” standing for “General Purpose” and “W” referring to the Willys-licensed design and engine.
There is a big market of fans and collectors of military Jeeps, but they must not have been in Scottsdale last weekend. This clean, correct Ford GPW got a body-off restoration and came with matching Bantam BMT trailer as an added bonus. The only real knock is that it has a replacement engine from a Willys Jeep, but that only goes so far in explaining this bargain price. An American classic claimed for a song.
Sold for $13,750
Value in #2 (Excellent) condition: $20,100
A Coupe DeVille from the final year of Cadillac’s biggest body series (Caddies were all downsized for ’77), this car boasts just 28,815 original miles, its original window sticker, and the very 1970s color combo: Fire Thorn Red with white half-vinyl roof over white leather.
It sold for $14,850 in Scottsdale 10 years ago and has only done about 100 miles since then. Our data shows its value in that time has grown 84 percent, but the DeVille hammered sold at no reserve early in the day to a seriously modest result. This is maybe most surprising because the Caddy is tough to miss, in the sheer physical sense, with 19 feet of Caddy to park and 500 cubic inches of V-8 to cruise the boulevard. It’s a ton (two and a half tons, technically), which means a lot of car for the money.
Sold for $27,500
Value in #3 (Good) condition: $32,700
A clean, body-off restored FJ40 in good colors, this Land Cruiser is a somewhat less desirable foreign-market example but it sold for the kind of money that ordinarily buys a rougher, more compromised FJ. Mecum sold it in Denver three years ago for $45,100, and it doesn’t look to have been used much since then. These old workhorses are always in demand, so a good deal is worth recognizing.
Sold for $132,000
Value in #2 (Good) condition: $187,000
Yes, $132,000 is a whole lot of money to most people, but consider what it bought here. The XK 150 was the last of the original XK series of Jaguar sports cars, and the 3.8-liter S model (whose engine carried over to the first E-Type) was the fastest and most developed. This one got a body-off restoration less than 1000 miles ago and retains its matching numbers engine, but it nevertheless sold for driver-quality condition #3 money. That’s grace, space, and pace with cash to spare.
Sold for $17,600
Value in #2 (Excellent) condition: $30,800
The original Oldsmobile Toronado was a landmark design and its jet age styling still looks fantastic over half a century later. Its front-wheel-drive layout was a first for any American carmaker since Cord, and Motor Trend gave it the 1966 Car of the Year award, calling it “symbolic of a resurgence of imaginative engineering and tasteful styling in the U.S. auto industry.”
Toronado values have been flat and generally low relative to similar, more traditional rear-drive classic V-8 luxury cars. This fully restored first-year car sold for even less than Toronados usually do. And for such a nice price, we also can’t ignore what’s in the glovebox: an ancient Sony miniature TV and what looks like four bottles of wine. The hits keep on comin’!