These 9 tantalizing cars could be yours this weekend
While most of America will be distracted by Sunday’s Indy 500, some fantastic cars are going up for auction in Raleigh, North Carolina. Raleigh Classic Car Auctions is offering more than 230 cars over the two-day event (remote bidding is supported by Proxibid). The mix of vehicles is surprisingly eclectic, which means there’s something here for everyone. We scoured the roster and turned up nine highlights from across the automotive spectrum:
Average value in #2 (Excellent) condition: $17,500
Arguably the coolest truck of the 1980s has finally been getting the attention it deserves. In just the last year, the value for a first generation 4Runner in Excellent (#2) condition has increased 28 percent from $13,700 to $17,500. This huge jump in value has a lot of sellers thinking now is the right time to cash in, which leads to many low-mileage examples being lured out to auction. This 4Runner has only 94,500 miles (which is nothing for the 22RE) and is fully original—even the red carpets look brand new. This has to be one of the cleanest 4Runners out there.
Average value in #2 (Excellent) condition: $37,100
One of the final Pontiacs was a good one. The Solstice has found a cult following since the company was dissolved during GM’s bankruptcy in 2010, but no other Solstice is as sought-after as the GXP Coupe. The turbocharged 2.0-liter inline-four makes 260 horsepower and 260 lb-ft of torque, which can get the 3000 pound coupe to 60 mph in just 5.5 seconds. Pontiac only produced 781 GXP Coupes, and that rarity translates into many original owners treating the car at times more like an investment than a sports car. With a reasonable 38,000 miles on the odometer, the new owner of this GXP Coupe can enjoy guilt-free driving.
Average value in #2 (Excellent) condition: $15,800
The Subaru BRAT is one of the weirdest car/trucks ever made. In order to get around the 25 percent “chicken tax” tariff on light trucks, Subaru marketed the BRAT as a passenger vehicle. To convince the U.S. government that the truck-like cargo bed was intended for passengers, Subaru carpeted the bed and welded in two plastic jump seats. “Good enough,” said Uncle Sam. Because the jump seats made the BRAT unusable as a truck, many owners cut them out. This BRAT remains stock, jump seats and all, and even has a rare cargo cover.
Average value in #2 (Excellent) condition: N/A
In the late 1930s, Packard moved toward standard bodywork for its cars as custom coachbuilding began to lose favor. That doesn’t, however, render this 1939 Packard Twelve any less of a work of art. That three-foot long hood ornament is a monument to old-school automaking. The listing claims this Twelve Coupe is one of only nine known to exist and was owned by Ken Kercheval from the TV show Dallas, where he played Cliff Barnes (one of the characters who didn’t shoot J.R.). The Packard Twelve is powered by a massive 7.8-liter V-12 good for 180 hp, which made it one of the most powerful cars of its day.
Average value in #2 (Excellent) condition: $18,170
Every Miata fanatic has their favorite year/trim combination. (The black-over-red 1993 Limited Edition or the 1992 Sun Burst Yellow are this author’s favorite.) But for many it doesn’t get any better than the 1991 Special Edition which was built as a tribute to classic British roadsters. Mazda made just 4000 Special Editions, all painted British Racing Green, each with a unique number plate engraved with the owners name: Susan M. Cargill in this case. Susan was director of Cargill Incorporated, the largest privately owned business in the U.S. (by revenue), so there’s a good chance she had other cars to drive, explaining why this Miata only has 8000 miles.
Average value in #2 (Excellent) condition: $33,400
In recent years, the collector car market has increasingly favored practicality and reliability. Few cars fit that description better than a W123 Mercedes-Benz 300TD. These wagons have style, room for all your stuff, and an engine that can withstand hundreds of thousands of miles. This 1984 300TD is an original-owner example with only 81,000 miles; it is likely to sell big. 300TD wagons with odometers reading three times higher can sell for close to $30,000, and if the market continues current trends these family haulers could get even more popular. Since May of 2019, the average #2 value has doubled from $16,900 to $33,400.
Average value in #2 (Excellent) condition: $13,900
This is a pretty rare sight. Although GM made 1.8 million Corvairs, less than two percent were in wagon form. Of the Corvair wagons, the 1962 Monza is the rarest, with only 2362 ever built. You could almost consider this America’s VW Squareback, but with a little more power. The rear-mounted 145 cubic-inch flat-six produced 102 horsepower—more than double the power from Volkswagen’s flat-four. If this Corvair wagon doesn’t do it for you, there are six other Corvairs with various body styles at auction the same day.
Average value in #2 (Excellent) condition: $33,100
Speaking of VW, nothing inspires adventure like a Volkswagen Westfalia. With only 46,000 original miles, this 1979 Westy has a lot of adventure left. The Mexico Beige paint and earth-tone stripes are in perfect condition and the plaid interior is straight from the 1970s. If you’re looking for a cool place to travel the country in style, you’ll get a lot of attention in one of these.
Average value in #2 (Excellent) condition: N/A
This might be the first time some of our younger readers have ever heard of the Panoz Esperante, unless they fancy playing two-decade-old versions of Gran Turismo. Panoz’s Georgia factory only produced a couple hundred of these convertible sports cars, so they’re hard to come by on the auction block, let alone the street. When the Esperante was new it was often compared to the Qvale Mangusta, since both models employ the same 320 horsepower 4.6-liter V-8 sourced from Ford’s Mustang SVT Cobra. There are few cars more exotic than an Esperante at the price point: roughly $30,000–$35,000 in #2 (Excellent) condition.
There are many other interesting cars that didn’t make it onto this list, including a very rare 1995 Mitsubishi 3000GT Spyder. If you’re looking for the sportier version of that car, there is a low-mile 1991 Dodge Stealth RT Twin Turbo with all-wheel drive and a five-speed. A 200-mile 1975 Bricklin SV-1 time capsule could break the Bricklin record, and a low-mile 1985 Volvo 240DL caused a surprising amount of excitement among Hagerty staffers during deliberations. If you spot any favorites, post them in the Hagerty Community below.