2012 Monterey Cars To Watch: Mid-market

The high-dollar cars always grab the headlines when it comes to the auction scene, but the truth of the matter is those cars represent a small if important fraction of the collector car market activity. The same holds true when it comes to Monterey. While several world records will likely be lauded later this week, there are also lots of cool cars at the mid-market level. Below are three such cars to watch from the Monterey auctions that are expected to sell between $100,000 and $200,000

 1970 Oldsmobile 4-4-2 W-30 convertible
Mecum Auctions
The Olds 4-4-2 W-30 is one of the coolest American muscle cars, yet it is often off of the hobby’s radar. The 1970 convertible that Mecum will be auctioning in Monterey carries a host of desirable options and is painted in iconic white and gold. These cars easily sail past $100,000 with the right documentation and in the right venue. This car has the former, so we’ll see if Monterey is the latter.

 1960 Lotus Elite SII
Gooding & Company
The Lotus Elite has a reputation for quickness, agility, and perhaps most famously, fragility. That last point has long kept Elite prices at bay, which has consequently meant that top-level restorations didn’t make a lot of economic sense. Last March, however, Gooding achieved $140,250 for a freshly restored Elite, serving notice that superb examples are starting to trade at a far higher level than most Elites do — proof that some degree of reassurance that the car’s best attributes will in fact be enjoyed are worth a premium. Gooding estimates it will receive $110,000-$150,000 for an Elite at its Pebble Beach sale, which, if it holds true, will reset the top of the market for one of Colin Chapman’s finest designs. (See also the Elite consigned to RM’s sale with a similarly high estimate.)

 1962 Maserati 3500GT coupe
RM Auctions
The Maserati 3500GT has enjoyed a steady appreciation for the past three years, and that trend looks to continue in Monterey. RM will auction a second series car at an estimate of $105,000 -$145,000, which is consistent with Hagerty Price Guide’s top price of $136,000 (for a car with wire wheels and a five-speed transmission, as this car is configured). These Masers have great presence in general, and the one offered here wears a handsome two-tone paint combination that sets it apart. Expect this sale to serve as a benchmark of the current market.

Read next Up next: Our Cars: James Palmer’s Buick Skylark convertible

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