2014 Scottsdale Auction Preview: $100,000-$1,000,000 cars

Nearly one-fifth of all the classic cars that will sell at auction in 2014 will do so in January, and the Arizona auctions represent roughly half of that figure. It is difficult to pore through more than 2,000 cars and winnow it down to the “most important” or “most interesting,” or “most” anything. So, instead, we have picked five cars in three price categories that caught our eye. We will keenly be watching these cars sell this week, in addition to the remaining 1,500.

There is an admittedly big spread between $100,000 and $1,000,000, but those are the bookends we chose for our next look at Arizona cars. As you might expect, that kind of spread accounts for an interesting assortment of cars.

1963.5 Ford Galaxie Factory Lightweight
Presale estimate: $140,000-$180,000
Hagerty Price Guide: $125,000-$232,000
One of the storylines we will be watching closely this week is how far muscle has come back. Blue Chip collectibles are seeing tremendous gains year over year, but the muscle car recovery has been slower. Some sectors, like Shelby GT350s, have fully rebounded, while others are just starting to stir. This 1963 R-code lightweight will be a good barometer — it is one of the progenitors of the genre and is one of the most revered Fords ever built. A sale price at the high estimate will be a strong sign that 2008 is a distant memory for most buyers.

1987 Buick GNX Coupe
Estimate not listed
Hagerty Price Guide: $42,100-$96,100
Long-recognized as one of the most important domestic cars of the 1980s for its role in the horsepower revival, the GNX is a favorite among younger enthusiasts. This particular example has only logged 11 miles, which makes it a rare opportunity to buy a brand-new car, 27 years after it last appeared in a dealer showroom.

1963 Chevrolet Corvette FI Coupe
RM Auctions
Presale estimate: $150,000-$200,000
Hagerty Price Guide: $52,400-$162,000
For fans of mid-year Corvettes, RM has consigned a terrific example. This Top Flight restored car has most of the features buyers look for, being a split-window Fuelie with 4-speed and off-road exhaust. The Daytona Blue color is a plus. These cars have recently begun to recoup their losses from five years ago; this sale could establish a new market level for 1963 Fuelies.

1980 BMW M1
Gooding & Company
Presale estimate: $400,000-$500,000
Hagerty Price Guide: $292,000-$435,000
M1’s are fantastic cars, and they have proven to be a fantastic investment over the past 10 years. This low-mile example (2,700 miles from new) wears the right colors and is positioned to set a new record for a production M1.

1966 Lotus Cortina Mk I
Gooding & Company
Presale estimate: $90,000- $120,000
Hagerty Price Guide: $20,800-$73,200
One of two Cortinas up for sale this week, this one is particularly clean, has low miles, and hasn’t been hot-rodded — all of which are reminiscent of the $115,500 example Bonhams sold in August. Cortina Mk Is ratcheted up a level in 2013, so we will see if the new expectations stick.

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