Scottsdale Preview: Cars in the $75,000 to $250,000 range

Scottsdale in January always has scores of interesting cars to watch. Last week we previewed a handful of lots at the lower end of the market, as well as some at the top. Today we turn our attention to the broad middle range, with cars priced between $75,000 and $250,000. While these cars are out of reach for most of us, they are interesting to observers as bellwethers that indicate how healthy the market is. Below are five lots whose results we will be eagerly awaiting.

1.1969 Ford Mustang Boss 429 Fastback
Barrett-Jackson,Lots #5026 and #5048
Boss 429s have traded frequently during the past few years, with the market neatly settling right around $200,000 for average cars and $300,000 for cars in top condition. Barrett will offer two excellent Boss 429s during Saturday action. In front of the right crowd and selling during prime time, we should get to see just how far top-tier muscle cars have rebounded.

2.1967 Porsche 911S Coupe
Bonhams,Lot #377
Pre-sale estimate:$120,000-$150,000
SWB 911S cars have been exceptionally hot during the past year, but very few have been brought to public auction. Trying to duplicate some mid-$100k private sales and benchmark the current market for these cars, Bonhams has landed two in its Scottsdale sale — a 1967 and a 1968. The 1967 has a great ownership history including a tie to Bob Bondurant, as well as a fresh restoration. Look for a headline-grabbing price.

3.1973 BMW 3.0CSL “Batmobile”
Russo and Steele, Lot #S739
Much attention has been paid to the George Barris Batmobile selling down the street at Barrett-Jackson, but the sale of this Batmobile will probably be a better indicator of how healthy the broader collector car market is. One of BMW’s premier cars of the 1970s, CSLs have cooled of late after being aggressive movers between 2007 and 2010. Has their recent leveling signaled a cooled interest or has the model simply been taking a breather before its next climb?

4.1965 Alfa Romeo Giulia Sprint Speciale Coupe
Gooding & Company, Lot #132
Pre-sale estimate:$200,000-$225,000
Unloved for a time, Sprint Speciales are enjoying a well-deserved renaissance to say the least. In fact, they have more than doubled in price since 2010. Gooding is putting up two SSs this year — one a red Giulietta, and this black Giulia — that will provide an interesting point/counterpoint. This particular SS is well restored, has a striking presence, and appears primed to set a record.

5.1958 Mercedes-Benz 190SL
RM Auctions, Lot #165
Pre-sale estimate: $105,000-$145,000
Pundits stood in awe as a remarkable Strawberry Metallic (DB543) 190SL sold in excess of $200,000 in Monterey last year. RM is aiming for $105,000 to $145,000 for this example, also painted in its original Strawberry Metallic, which would make a strong case for how far these early SLs have come. Once unfairly dismissed as a poor replacement for the 300SL, the 190SL is finally being evaluated on its own merits, and that may just mean the best examples in the world are now six-figure cars.

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