5 American machines that broke our price guide this month
Auction season 2021 is here, and already we’ve witnessed some eyebrow-raising results. Despite the pandemic, Mecum Auctions managed to pull off its most successful Kissimmee, Florida, sale to date, evidence of a voracious appetite for collector cars. As we know, where there is pent-up demand there is sure to be action, and January brought us several astonishing sales.
For instance, Worldwide Auctioneers sold this 1947 Mercury Station Wagon, with a rare four-wheel-drive conversion by Marmon-Herrington, for $346,000. That figure obliterates the previous high-water mark for a Marmon-Herrington, at $209,000.
A number of other sales blew past their recommended values in the Hagerty Price Guide. Here are five sales from this past month that have us back at the valuation drawing board for further study.
2013 Chevrolet Corvette 427 Collector’s Edition
#1-condition (Concours) value: $63,900
2013 was a watershed model year for the Corvette. It marked 60 years since the first Corvette launched in ’53, and it was also the final year for the C6 generation. The 427 Collector’s edition, developed for the occasion, is one heck of an honorary Vette. It is the only Corvette convertible that received the Z06’s 505-horsepower LS7 engine, and the 60th anniversary package’s special paint, stripes, and trim, lend it a unique look.
The 427 Collector’s Edition car offered at Mecum was a 30-mile car with all the trappings, including the Carbon Fiber and 1SC interior package. At a final price of $92,400, it sailed past all expectations. If the end of the C6’s depreciation cycle is imminent, it’ll be desirable special editions like this one to light the way forward for the rest of the lineup.
1957 Chrysler New Yorker Town & Country Station Wagon
#1-condition value: $47,100
Let’s face it, this car is just plain cool. Chrysler’s upscale station wagon offers air conditioning and power everything—amenities a modern driver should greatly appreciate. The cachet of a Hemi under the hood doesn’t hurt, either. It doesn’t seem like so long ago that a decent station wagon was an interesting and budget-friendly alternative to a coupe, but longroofs are all the rage as of late. This ’57 Town & Country straddles the line between family commuter and rip-snorting tire smoker, with fantastic 1950s jet age styling and good performance from its 325-horsepower 392 engine.
This Town & Country is in very good condition, but not so good you’d be nervous to drive it. So it was all the more surprising when the car rocketed past our #1-condition average value. Fifties Chryslers likely aren’t on the verge of a major rise, but if we can glean anything from this result it is that wagons are currently in demand all over the collector car map.
1970 Chevrolet Monte Carlo SS 454
#1-condition (Concours) value: $50,700
We previously pointed to this car as one of our favorite picks for muscle cars up for sale this January. Bidders in Kissimmee obviously felt the same way, because at a final price of $100,100 it is about double the #1-condition average value of a 1970 Monte Carlo SS 454. This is without a doubt the cleanest Monte Carlo we’ve seen in a long time. A 454 Monte Carlo even in pristine condition has long been one of the best horsepower-per-dollar cars from the muscle car era; this result could rewrite that story.
Granted, a single sale does not reset the market for any car. A week later, however, a 1971 Monte Carlo with an LS5 and a 4-speed sold for $90,200. Keep in mind that 1971 literature does not list the 4-speed as an available option with the 454. Two big sales in rapid succession? That’s enough for us to watch the first-gen Monte Carlo world with bated breath.
2006 Dodge Magnum SRT8
#1-condition (Concours) value: $33,200
Wagon frenzy also hit in Kissimmee, yet again with a Hemi-powered Mopar. Here we have a low-mile Magnum—Dodge’s sporty wagon offered from 2005–08. The Magnum came standard with a V-6, but the sporty R/T and SRT8 models packed V-8 power. While the former utilized a 5.7-liter engine, the memorable SRT8 sent 425 horsepower to the rear wheels via Chrysler’s 6.1-liter Gen III Hemi, used throughout Dodge’s SRT lineup. By today’s standards, that output is rather pedestrian in the realm of 700+ hp Hellcats, but the SRT8 Magnum was the real deal when even Cadillac’s CTS-V wagon was still in its gestation phases.
Magnums do have a strong niche following, however they tend to get lost in the sea of more sporty-looking Chargers and Challengers. Perhaps as a result, prices have remained stable over the past few years. Given the low mileage in this case, along with the aforementioned surge in wagon enthusiasm, this 2100-mile Magnum had sold extremely well at $57,200, which matches our previous benchmark for a Magnum at auction, set in 2010. Is the Magnum finally getting the attention it deserves?
1972 Chevrolet C10 CST
#1-condition (Concours) value: $39,900
In light of all buzz around the rise of classic SUVs like the Blazer, Chevy pickups haven’t been in the spotlight so much lately. The market for 1967–72 Chevy and GMC trucks has been especially quiet, as many collectors shift their focus 1973–87 “square body” trucks.
Much to our shock, this ’72 C10 CST crossed the block with a bang as its result more than doubled the average #1-condition value. Admittedly, the truck has a lot going for it. For starters, a C10 doesn’t get much sportier than a short-bed pickup with a 400-cubic inch big block under the hood (referred to a 402 in Chevy cars). The CST package also adds some very cool features, including bucket seats with houndstooth upholstery, a center console, and faux wood-grain trim.
For Chevy truck fans, this is the granddaddy of the SS 454 pickups from early 1990s. Someone was clearly willing to pony up for this example, but what this means for the broader market remains to be seen. But considering that trucks in general are a hot commodity, a spark of life in the ’67–72 Chevy and GMC pickup arena might be right around the corner.
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