10 great bargains and strong performers from RM Ft. Lauderdale
The Ft. Lauderdale auction had a new name this year, as RM Auctions replaced Auctions America in title if not in substance. A scheduling conflict at the Broward County Convention Center meant the annual event was somewhat smaller than we’re used to, but the quality of the cars was better than ever.
From the pack of 337 cars on offer, these 10 stood out either as great deals or particularly strong performers:
Body by Bertone; engine #AR0012401285; Dark blue/tan vinyl; five-speed, no radio, Italian Webers, velocity stacks, silver steel wheels, Vredestein tires.
Estimate $100,000–$120,000, with reserve; hammered sold at $88,773 plus commission of 10%; Final price $97,650.
Notes: Older restoration, 2- condition. Very good paint, interior, and chrome, but with some paint shrinkage and scuffs on the decklid. Wiper-scratched windshield. Engine compartment is done right—clean and orderly. Underbody was done, then driven a little. Upholstery is slightly stretched. A good car done thoroughly and to high standards, but showing age.
Analysis: Offered here a year ago and was reported bid to $105,000 without selling. It has added 13 miles to the odometer since then and does not appear to have been touched, including not getting more than a lick and a promise of cleanup for the auction. It will reward its new owner for some cosmetic attention and a thorough-but-routine service, and it is a good value at this price.
Two-door hardtop; S/N 124379N627020; Red, black vinyl roof and stripes/black vinyl; 302/290-hp, four-speed, Hurst shifter, console gauges, Rally wheels with hubcaps and trim rings, Wide Tread GT tires, push-button radio, headers, cowl induction hood.
Estimate $50,000–$60,000, with reserve; hammered sold at $57,500 plus commission of 10%; Final price $63,250.
Notes: Older restoration, 3+ condition. Pitted door handles and outside mirrors, scuffed windshield trim. Seriously flawed decklid and rear spoiler paint. Sound interior. Chassis painted assembled, then driven. Sound, but only a driver.
Analysis: A competently restored and well-maintained Z/28 driver with a few cosmetic flaws, it is worth every dollar of the price it brought and could have brought a little more without being expensive.
1962 Fiat-Abarth Monomille Scorpione coupe
S/N 100249940; Red/Black; 982-cc/60-hp SOHC single Solex downdraft, Campagnolo alloy wheels, plastic rim steering wheel, Vredestein tires, Talbot fender mirrors, no seatbelts.
Estimate $110,000–$120,000, with reserve; hammered sold at $90,000 plus commission of 10%; Final price $99,000.
Notes: Recent restoration, 3+ condition. Sound paint except for microblisters on the roof, a few small fisheyes, touched up chips along the hood edge, and shrinkage on the hood. Left door mirror mounting holes are filled with machine screws and painted over. Left door is filled and chipped along the front edge. The engine compartment has been restored like new and only lightly used. Not as good as its first impression.
Analysis: An interesting Abarth with Bialbero-style round tail body and raised engine cover but lacking a few ponies from its 60-hp single-cam engine. The mechanical presentation is encouraging enough that it offsets its many cosmetic shortcomings. Some things, like the absence of seatbelts, support the statement that it came from a “collector of Abarths,” a car built for display, not driving, and that makes the price it brought generous, record Monza money for a Monomille.
Four-door wagon; S/N 1JCCE1SN1BT056361; Deep Maroon Metallic/saddle vinyl, cloth; 258/110-hp six, automatic, power brakes and steering, air conditioning, factory sunroof, roof rack, alloy wheels, Warn locking front hubs, aftermarket cassette stereo.
Estimate $25,000–$30,000, with reserve; hammered at $17,000 plus commission of 10%; Final price $18,700.
Notes: Visually maintained, largely original, 3 condition. Competently repainted with new woodgrain, otherwise original, clean and orderly. Sound original interior, decent brightwork, orderly engine compartment.
Analysis: Most Wagoneers of this era have returned to the earth as iron oxide, so finding one this original and sound is something of a “Eureka!” moment, one that seems to have been lost on the Ft. Lauderdale bidders—except for the new owner, who was seriously thrilled and contemplating driving it the 1200 miles home (enthusiastic and optimistic, too.) It is a very good value here, even something of a bargain.
S/N ZA9LU45AXLLA12243; white, blue coachlines/white leather; air conditioning, power windows, 0.Z. wheels, Super Swamper tires, vinyl covered rear-mounted spare, Hella driving lights.
Estimate $335,000–$375,000, with reserve; hammered sold at $335,000 plus commission of 10%; Final price $368,500.
Notes: Visually maintained, largely original, 3 condition. Sound repaint over old paint. Re-dyed and slightly soiled original interior. Road grimy original underbody, chassis and engine. Cataloged as an LM002/America, but the instruments are metric.
Analysis: LM002s have, for whatever reason, been undergoing a resurgence of interest. This one was offered by Russo and Steele in Monterey in 2015 and brought a reported high bid of $240,000 without selling. Here it brought nearly 50 percent more on the hammer and sailed right up to the usually optimistic pre-sale low estimate, an example of the level of interest being shown in the LM002. This one is pure white (with a little blue striping), such that it would immediately disappear into the background upon being deployed in a blizzard. At this price it is doubtful it will see much snow—or dirt, or rocks—but it’ll fit right in on Rodeo Drive.
1991 Mercedes-Benz 250 GD Utility
S/N WDB46140117076736; Matte Olive Green/black vinyl; Dark Grey cloth top; five-cylinder diesel, five-speed, Kenwood CD stereo, 20-inch aftermarket alloy wheels, Sailun tires, LED auxiliary lights, four bucket seats, roll bar, rear-mounted spare, and small Jerry can.
Estimate $40,000–$45,000, with reserve; hammered sold at $60,000 plus commission of 10%; Final price $66,000.
Notes: Truck restoration, 2- condition. The chassis is restored like new. The right front fender is broken (in the auction lineup). The paint is good, the interior is better.
Analysis: These G-wagens were mostly built for military use, with concomitant levels of ruggedness and off-road capability. Its value is hard to rate, except against a restored Land Rover or Land Cruiser which also fall in the range of this transaction. At the next mud run, though, this is likely to be the only 250 GD, and exclusivity has its value.
S/N 1980407500071; engine #198980700075; red/brown leather; polished rim body color wheels and hubcaps, Becker Mexico radio, bumper overriders, hinged steering wheel.
Estimate $1,000,000–$1,300,000, with reserve; hammered at $1,085,000 plus commission of 10%; Final price $1,193,500.
Notes: Visually maintained, largely original, 3- condition. Same owner since 1968. Sound and carefully preserved re-dyed original upholstery with abundant patina. Indifferent old repaint. Dented right rear fender with a long scratch. Stone clipped nose, sound but aged chrome. Wavy left door, dented left rear wheel eyebrow. Chipped hood edges. Probably too good to restore, but not by much. Proceeds donated to the YMCA in Jackson, Michigan.
Analysis: This Gullwing shows 36,741 miles, probably original, and has been displayed for decades at the Auburn-Cord-Duesenberg Museum in Auburn, Indiana. Its combination of known history from new, preservation, and originality make it particularly desirable and fully justify this price.
S/N 19804210003069; engine# 19898210000024; blue/light yellow leather; blue cloth top; Becker Grand Prix multiband radio, body color wheels and hubcaps, Michelin XWX tires, Talbot outside mirror, Euro headlights, bumper overriders.
Estimate $1,200,000–$1,500,000, with reserve; hammered at $1,400,000 plus commission of 10%; Final price $1,540,000.
Notes: Visually maintained, largely original, 3+ condition. Represented as 36,988 miles from new. Disc brakes, alloy engine block. Very good older clear-coat repaint with body color haphazardly applied in the wheel wells. Very good original interior, lightly creased but sound. Good chrome and newer top. The engine compartment is aged but orderly.
Analysis: The last and most desirable specification of the 300 SL, this roadster is pleasingly maintained and presented in reassuring condition that evidences a life with careful, caring owners who gave it what it needed without compromising its originality where possible. This is by any measure a superior 300 SL drop-top, and it brought a deserved superior price with an appropriate premium for its benign history.
Two-door hardtop; S/N 626M05488; Cirrus Blue, Provincial White roof/Ice Blue leather; 394/345-hp, automatic, power steering, power brakes, WonderBar radio, power driver’s seat, air conditioning, Autronic Eye, cruise control, wheel covers, narrow whitewalls, power antenna, and power windows, buckets, and console.
Estimate $40,000–$50,000, with reserve; hammered at $35,000 plus commission of 10%; Final price $38,500.
Notes: Recent restoration, 2 condition. Very good paint, chrome interior, dash, gauges. Beautifully done everywhere and lavishly equipped.
Analysis: Worldwide sold this Starfire in Houston in 2010 for $28,600, and it brought a representative price for its condition and exhaustive options list in Ft. Lauderdale.
1932 Packard Twin Six Individual Custom Sport Phaeton
Body after Dietrich; S/N 900362; Engine# 900353; beige, brown accent, red coachline/brown leather; beige cloth top; chrome wire wheels, wide whitewalls, Pilot-Rays, dual enclosed side mounts with mirrors, rollup rear windshield with wings, dual taillights, trunk rack.
Estimate $375,000–$425,000, with reserve; hammered sold at $340,000 plus commission of 10%; Final price $374,000.
Notes: Rebodied or re-created, 2+ condition. Reproduction body by California Metal Shapers for Dave Tobin in 1986. Excellent paint, chrome, interior, and top. Chassis and underbody are better than new without going overboard.
Analysis: Sold at RM Hershey in 2015 for $440,000 and is now showing just 25 more miles than it did then. It has obviously been kept in a benign environment and looked after, even if it hasn’t been driven, and represents full value for money in this transaction.