8 no-reserve collector cars on the eBay menu this week
Some of us have our dream classic nailed down to the year, make, model, and paint code. Others, perhaps, prefer to trawl the back pages of Craigslist and Facebook Marketplace for inspiration, trusting that a quirky fender cut or charming rust bucket will catch their eye. Whichever camp you belong to, we’ve already got you covered with some online buying tips. For today, however, we decided to make life even easier on our fellow eBay scanners by selecting eight no-reserve classics up for grabs this week (all recorded in ET). They run the gamut from prewar to mid-2000s, from tattered barn find to show-car stunner, from tossable coupe to trusty pickup. Take a gander—and if you’re the winning bidder, drop us a comment so we can celebrate with you!
1940 Plymouth P9 Roadking Business Coupe
Average #3 (Good) condition value: N/A
The P9 series was Plymouth’s most accessible option in 1940, slotting below the Deluxe P10 series but boasting similar roominess and exterior style as its more posh brethren. You could order your Roadking P9 as a two- or four-door sedan or as a two-passenger coupe, the latter of which is shown above. Many of us hear the label “prewar” and imagine all the luxury and decadence of Duesenbergs and Packards and Pierce-Arrows, but though those cars are the auction stars you tend to see on fancy golf courses today, they represent a slice of contemporary automotive aristocracy. Plymouth was an affordable option at the time, and that working-class appeal endures.
This particular example is unrestored but appears to be in decent mechanical fettle. It’s got a new clutch and upgraded shocks, and the seller reports that when he drives it around his farm, it fires up reliably, shifts well, and doesn’t overheat. Naturally, the car’s got some rough edges; the gas gauge is broken and the carburetor may need some TLC from the next owner. Overall, this Plymouth looks like an approachable option for those hoping to venture into prewar car ownership. Values on these are likely to remain affordable (driver examples are readily available in the $7000–$8000 ballpark) and you can enjoy this piece of 1940s nostalgia without fear of dramatic depreciation.
Charmed by this sturdy old bird? You have until Wednesday night at 10:30 to make it yours.
1986 Chevrolet C-10
Average #3 (Good) condition value: $9800
It’s no secret that vintage pickups, along with their 4×4 cousins, are the cool kids in today’s collector vehicle market. Chevy’s third-gen C/K trucks, the longest-lived series in bowtie-brand history, is rumbling along nicely in this trend. We’ve observed a 47 percent increase in insurance quotes for these handsome, squared-off 1973–91 trucks, and in that same time (2017–20), the trucks’ average #3 (Good) condition values have ticked up 37 percent (from $7800 to $10,700). Trucks in nicer, #2 (Excellent) condition have fared even better, with average values rising 55 percent from $12,800 to $19,900.
The truck before you is a 1986 model equipped with a 5.0-liter V-8 and an automatic transmission. Its paint and interior leather appear to be in excellent condition, and the seller reports zero rust. If you don’t mind that the AC has given up the ghost and the glove box door has gone AWOL, you may be in luck—as of this writing, the bidding sits at $6250. Set an alarm for Wednesday evening at 11:30 to place your final bid!
1962 VW Beetle
Average #2 (Excellent) condition value: $30,600
The Beetle is one of the most recognizable cars in history, thanks to a unique body and its status as the longest-produced vehicle in the world. It certainly doesn’t take more than a first glance to recognize this blue example—and to marvel at its remarkably clean condition.
This 1962 Bug has been restored to sparkling status, complete with a new tan interior, sliding roof, and window seals. (Whitewall tires, too!) It’s a left-hand-drive model with a manual transmission and, although the true mileage isn’t known, the 40-hp flat-four putters along smoothly and the seller reports no problems with the gearbox.
You might not expect such a prevalent car to experience a quick rise in values, but Beetle values have nearly doubled in the last three years. The groove could be here to stay, too, given the strong interest from Gen-Xers; this age bracket accounts for more than 40 percent of insurance quotes. First-time classic buyers may not jump at a $14,500+ Beetle, but for a VW enthusiast who wants to add a particularly nice Bug to their collection, this example may be perfect. Mark your calendars and set your automatic coffee makers for Thursday, 8:35 a.m.
1989 Ford Mustang Saleen
Avwerage #3 (Good) condition value: $17,700
Though this hatchback Saleen represents the American muscle contingent on this list, be warned that this isn’t an all-original, Saleen enthusiast special. However, if you’re a Fox-body enthusiast looking either for a trackable car or a streetable hot rod, this example may be calling your name.
Under the hood sits the original V-8, which has been stroked from 302 to 347 cubic inches and topped with a Vortec supercharger. The hi-po build extends to an upgraded clutch, crank pulley, harmonic balancer, fuel pump, fuel injectors, intake manifold, throttle body, and Champion aluminum radiator. The seller hasn’t put it on a dyno, but reports that a previous owner did and recorded the output at 550 hp at the wheels.
This example’s still got some rough edges, though. There are a few bulbs out in the dash, no AC, and a mysterious melt mark on the passenger side interior. Despite a repaint, the hood and front bumpers show some paint chips and imperfections; but we’re inclined to look upon these with favor. Cars are meant to be driven, after all, and this one looks like a hoot.
This Saleen isn’t mechanically true to the original build, but we’d argue that it captures the spirit of Steve Saleen. Agree? Make sure you’ve placed your bid by Thursday, 9:30 p.m.
1986 Mercedes-Benz 560SL
Average #3 (Good) condition value: $18,100
So far, all the vehicles we’ve chosen on this list (which is organized according to the date of auction closing) boast values that are, to some degree, on the rise. The 560SL bucks the trend, however, with average #3-condition values decreasing 13 percent since May of 2017 (from $21,050 to $18,325). That may not be thrilling news for those seeking to stay in the black, but if you’ve wanted a stalwart convertible cruiser of the German variety, the conditions may be ripe.
This breed of SL was the most powerful that the U.S. received in the 1980s, and it improved greatly upon earlier iterations. The new 5.5-liter V-8 made 238 hp and could shove the coupe to a top speed of 130 mph—a 20-mph increase. Beginning in 1986, Mercedes-Benz also added anti-lock brakes, leather upholstery, and an airbag.
This particular 560SL is on offer until this Saturday at 4:30 p.m. This red-over-black 87,428-mile car has led an easy, garage-kept life and maintains its original paint with only one minor scratch. The soft top is black and, though dirty, is not ripped. The car also comes with a red hard top for those preferring the streamlined look.
1976 Fiat 126 P
Average #2 (Good) condition value: N/A
What is this lunch-box-sized, Crayola-yellow Italian? It’s a Fiat 126 P—like a Fiat 500, but less classic, more quirky, and potentially more fun. Fun, of course, involves a much different set of variables when you’re discussing the microcar market, and none of the 126’s stats will send a shiver up your spine. A 600-cc, 24-hp two-cylinder sits in the rear of the car, which can seat a grand total of four—with no promise of getting anyone anywhere with haste. Introduced in 1972, the 126 enjoyed a remarkably long production life, with models rolling off the line in Poland until 2000.
“Microcars have their moments in the collector market—BMW Isetta values seeing big appreciation before softening, Fiat 500 Jollys selling for massive amounts, and so forth—but they are a niche market and often garage art,” says Hagerty valuation analyst James Hewitt. “The 126 isn’t going to fly as garage art for many, but for the select few, it will tick all the boxes.”
If you’re enchanted by this petite oddball, now’s your chance at one in very nice, restored condition. This one on eBay retains its original engine but has been extensively refurbished with period-correct parts. It’s recently received a new, upgraded clutch, a valve adjustment, and a new battery and has even been spiced up with a lower and stiffer springs and shocks and a Momo Corse steering wheel (the original is included). “The car needs nothing else to enjoy,” reads the listing. You’ve got until Sunday until 7:01 p.m.!
2009 Pontiac Solstice GXP
Average #1 (Concours) condition value: $44,900
The Solstice GXP is among the most desirable modern Pontiacs, though that title rings a rather melancholy note. Despite the plastic-fantastic interior and clunky soft-top ergonomics, the 177-hp Solstice produced a lot of smiles when first introduced in 2006, and the hotted-up GXP model got downright exciting. GXP models got a 2.0-liter turbo four good for 260 hp and 260 lb-ft of torque, all of which was channeled to the rear wheels via a standard limited-slip diff. RIP Pontiac!
This particular Solstice ticks nearly all the boxes for GM’s short-lived Miata fighter. It’s a low-mile (2834, to be exact) GXP coupe with a five-speed manual. However, the extremely low milage doesn’t make it as remarkable as you might expect. It’s very common to find these with nearly zero miles—many new owners saw the collector potential and stored them away. Were it a 2010 model rather than a 2009, it would be even more exclusive, since the final model year cars are extremely uncommon and rarely come to market. As it sits, this is one of 1266 Solstice coupes and one of only 8 to boast the GSP powertrain and wear “Mean Yellow” paint.
The starting bid is $29,000, but there’s a lot of room above that number. The auction doesn’t end until Sunday at 9:15 p.m., and we saw a 2009 GXP hardtop with more miles (7700) sell for $38,500 last year. That said, 2020 definitely marches to a different drummer.
Average #4 (Fair) condition value: $18,700 (10 percent premium for included factory AC)
It wouldn’t be a fair sampling of eBay—or any auction site—if we didn’t include a barn find. This 1963 Ford Thunderbird had things rather easy, as far as abandoned venues go, sitting in a California barn for 46 years. Though the convertible isn’t running, it’s equipped with the “Z-code” 390-cubic-inch, 300-hp, four-barrel V-8 and an automatic transmission. This specific car wears the fabulous combination of Corinthian White over red and the seller notes it’s equipped with the uncommon option of factory air conditioning.
The Ford Thunderbird was originally designed as response to Chevrolet’s new Corvette, but the collector market hasn’t received the Thunderbird with the same fervor. This can be both good and bad, if you’re looking to get into one. With less steam driving up values, when the proverbial release valve opens, there is less distance to fall, says Hewitt. “You aren’t likely to come out on top like might with a split-window Vette, but it also means you likely won’t lose much,” he adds. Of course, for a car in barn-find condition, you’ll need to plan for a considerable repair budget, as well.
Is this nostalgic convertible your dream restoration project? You’ve got until Sunday at 10:01 p.m. to make some calls.