10 picks from Leake Auctions’ Tulsa sale
Leake Auctions’ hometown auction stages in the shadow of “The Big Driller” in Tulsa, Oklahoma. This sale was the third under the new ownership of construction, energy, and farm equipment auction heavyweight Ritchie Bros.
It also was way off from recent Leake Tulsa sales. The consignment was down 12 percent from last year and one-third from 2015. The total sale was off 21.3 percent from last year and 43.4 percent from 2015.
The Leake Auction crew remains largely the same, other than rainmaker Andy Stone, who left a year ago to join the Silver Auctions’ Southwest spinoff. The difference? Integrating and normalizing the Leake crew, systems, and procedures with the highly organized Ritchie Bros. business. How big a juggernaut is Ritchie Bros.? In 2016, the company peddled $4.3 billion in mostly yellow and green heavy equipment.
Under the circumstances it’s not surprising that the Leake crew’s attention was diverted from lining up consignments for Tulsa. It is undergoing a culture shift of tectonic magnitude. It may transform the collector car auction market. The mediocre numbers from Leake Tulsa 2018 give them a favorable baseline from which to start.
We’ve picked 10 lots (of the 42 we reviewed) that are representative of the Leake Tulsa diversity, personally viewed on-site by Hagerty’s Andrew Newton. All 42 reviews are posted at rickcarey.com.
Final Price: $82,500, with reserve ($75,000 plus commission of 10%).
Specs: S/N 446370H293600; White, Black/Black vinyl; 455/360 hp, automatic, Radial T/A tires, hood tach, horseshoe shifter, dash clock, factory AM-FM radio, bucket seats, console, power steering, power brakes, tilt steering column, tinted glass, GSX Historical Society documented.
Notes: Unrestored original, 2- Condition. Represented as a matching-numbers engine, transmission, and rear axle. Claimed to be the only Stage I in existence with all matching serial numbers. Tired paint with lots of small chips, but all is forgivable since it is original. Same goes for the brightwork. Used but tidy underneath. Fantastic original interior. A genuine Stage I in totally unrestored condition. Worn enough to give it lots of character but still thoroughly presentable, so it’s a pretty special piece of Buick muscle history.
Analysis: There’s no originality premium at all in this GSX Stage I except a negative one. It’s too good to restore for years to come, although at some time the paint is going to need to be redone, which leads to the chrome, which leads to the engine compartment. In other words, it’s going to be very hard to stop at a preservation repaint. It is a very good value at this price, a car to be cherished and preserved (or taken to Monterey or Kissimmee in search of a generous buyer for a serious Buick.)
Final Price: $42,900, with reserve ($39,000 plus commission of 10%).
Specs: S/N 494475H926481; Black/Black leather; 425/325 hp, automatic, wheel covers, narrow whitewalls, bucket seats, console, factory air conditioning, pushbutton radio, power steering, power brakes, power windows.
Notes: Older restoration, 2- Condition. Good but older paint and chrome. Lightly scratched and dinged window frames. Very good fresh leather. Some dull original switchgear but mostly very good interior. Fresh-looking underneath. A handsome but basic older restoration.
Analysis: The ’65 Riviera is a seriously handsome and understated automobile with ample performance to go with its sleek shape. It looks great in black over black and obviously caught the attention of the bidders here in Tulsa to bring this handsome but not excessive price.
1939 Cadillac Series 61 convertible coupe
Final Price: $28,600, with reserve ($26,000 plus commission of 10%).
Specs: S/N 8294332; Black/Maroon leather, Beige cloth top; V-8 engine, hubcaps, Firestone wide whitewalls, dual enclosed side mount spares, fog lights, column shift, dash clock, radio, factory deleted running boards.
Notes: Older restoration, 3 Condition. Optional running board delete gives it a cleaner look. The dull old paint would greatly benefit from just a serious detailing. Tired brightwork with light pitting in places. Light discoloration on the top but it is in good shape. The leather and dash are pretty good, but the steering wheel has lots of cracks in it. Light road wear underneath. Restoration finished in the early 1990s but not exactly pampered since. Another round of restoration work is definitely in order for this stately but tired prewar Caddy.
Analysis: This ’39 Cadillac has the look of a 60 Special but in a two-door body with a folding top. It’s under the radar, has a great deal of potential to be improved with some cosmetic attention and is a serious value at this price.
Final Price: $7975, no reserve ($7250 plus commission of 10%).
Specs: S/N 40967W221287; Red/Black vinyl, Black vinyl top; 164/95 hp, four-speed, wheel covers, narrow whitewalls, bucket seats, later AM radio.
Notes: Older restoration, 3+ Condition. Excellent newer top. Budget respray with poor prep and particles throughout. Undercoated chassis. Maintained but not fully restored engine bay. Newer seats and carpets, but the rest of the interior is sound and original. A budget restoration on a solid four-speed Monza. Just a driver, but more carefully applied paint would bring it up substantially.
Analysis: Corvairs are usually pretty affordable, but this is a serious bargain for a four-speed Monza. This price is not a whole lot more than project car money for a perfectly good driver.
Final Price: $24,200, with reserve ($22,000 plus commission of 10%).
Specs: S/N CKY184F194231; Orange, White hardtop/Black vinyl; 350/160 hp, automatic, front-mounted spare, bucket seats, console, factory air conditioning, tow hitch, 3 tops: bikini, full soft, and full hard.
Notes: Unrestored original, 3+ Condition. Represented as matching numbers. Decent original paint with scratches here and there as well as light dulling. Cloudy and scratched windows on the hardtop. Dull but presentable brightwork. Original but tidy and well maintained underneath. Excellent newer seats. The rest of the interior is original but well kept. A well preserved but not babied original early Blazer. It has a lot of eyeball and is arguably too good to restore.
Analysis: And at this price, it’s arguably too expensive to restore. Strong money, but Blazers appear to be on the rise following trends set by increasingly expensive Ford Broncos.
Final Price: $48,400, no reserve ($44,000 plus commission of 10%).
Specs: S/N XS29L9B133633; Dark Bronze, White vinyl roof, White tail band/Camel. 440/375hp Magnum, automatic, bucket seats, floor shift, console, factory radio.
Notes: Cosmetic restoration, 3 Condition. Huge touch up on the top of the nose. Otherwise decent but old paint. Lightly scratched up chrome. Light discoloration on the roof vinyl. Good newer seats. The rest of the interior is original but good. Looks original but sound underneath. Mostly muted ’70s colors and decent but unremarkable original condition.
Analysis: The R/T and SE combination is rare and in terms of value more than makes up for the rather mundane cosmetically restored condition. Even with that, the buyer recognized a good value and took it home at an advantageous price with more than enough headroom to make it better without having more than it is worth invested in it.
1934 Ford Model 40 Deluxe Roadster
Final Price: $36,300, with reserve ($33,000 plus commission of 10%).
Specs: S/N 1095819; Green, Black fenders/Beige vinyl, Beige cloth top; 221/85 hp Flathead V-8, hydraulic brakes, fiberglass fenders, black painted wire wheels with hub caps, whitewalls, amber fog lights, dual chrome horns, wind wings, rumble seat, suicide doors, floor shift, Sunpro temp gauge, rear-mounted spare.
Notes: Older restoration, 3 Condition. Flathead with three on the floor. Pretty badly pitted brightwork. The paint looks good from a short distance but there are several chips on the front fenders as well as some cracking on the hood and chips at the back of it. Very good newer upholstery. Pretty dirty and dull underbody. Restored in the 1970s and certainly showing its age. It’s nevertheless nice to see a well-equipped ’34 Ford that has escaped the hot rodders unscathed.
Analysis: A ’34 Ford Deluxe Roadster can bring astounding money when it’s restored to the nines, but this result reasonably reflects the condition of this car, including its composite reproduction fenders. The juice brakes are a departure from stock condition but in its present driver-quality condition they are a worthwhile safety consideration.
Final Price: $5500, no reserve ($5000 plus commission of 10%).
Specs: S/N 1FABP28T2EF104479; Silver/Gray vinyl; 2.3/175 hp Turbo, five-speed, alloy wheels, Falken tires, power windows, air conditioning, cassette stereo.
Notes: Unrestored original, 3- Condition. Pretty dull paint with some discoloration on the hood, some long scratches on the nose, a small dent on the roof and another on the hood. Dry weather stripping and some small dents in the window frames. A little dirty underneath. Showing 84,737 miles but well-kept all things considered. Rare special Fox-bodies are a bit collectible, but this is no better than a driver.
Analysis: Showroom fresh Fox-body Mustangs have been surprisingly expensive at auction this year, but in the real world of used examples sub-10-grand Mustangs abound. SVOs are relatively rare, interesting and collectible but most people who are interested in them want a good one, or at least a better one than this and it is not a surprise that it changed hands this cheaply.
Final Price: $69,300, with reserve ($63,000 plus commission of 10.0%).
Specs: S/N RS23J77181216; Bright Blue Metallic, Black vinyl roof/Black vinyl; 426/425 hp Hemi, four-speed, red line tires, bucket seats, column shift, factory radio, documented with the original build order punch card and two original fender tags.
Notes: Older restoration, 2- Condition. Represented as the original Hemi engine. Clean, lightly-used engine bay. High quality but older paint and chrome. A few chips around panel edges. Factory gaps. Light pitting around the tail lights. Original dash and lightly pitted steering wheel, but mostly very good restored interior. A genuine Hemi GTX that has been restored but was done a while ago and would now be more suited to cruising and tire-spinning.
Analysis: Reported sold at Mecum’s Houston sale in 2014 for $68,040. Its nearly identical price today is a good indicator of Hemi prices over the past four years.
Final Price: $89,100, with reserve ($81,000 plus commission of 10%).
Specs: S/N 8T02J149391-01190; Lime Gold, White side stripe/Black; 302/250 hp, built up to 347 cubic inches, later overdrive automatic, Shelby wheels, strut tower bar, MSD ignition, R134 air conditioning, aluminum radiator, coilover front suspension, four-bar rear suspension, tilt steering column, wood-rim steering wheel, factory radio.
Notes: Modified restoration, 2- Condition. Neat build with tasteful upgrades, but of course not correct even though it is represented as the matching numbers engine. Nearly spotless engine bay. Lightly scratched up front bumper. Very good paint. Factory gaps. Very good, lightly worn interior. An older restoration with light upgrades that will put some purists off, but aren’t apparent from the outside.
Analysis: While this is a generous price for a modified Shelby someone is going to get miles and miles of enjoyment out of the car’s excellent condition along with its performance and handling. That is a bonus that makes it, at least to the right subset of collectors, a good value.