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Resource Guide
Auction Central
By Larry Edsall
Back to Community

Maybe the new gold standard should be barn-found Shelby Cobras
By Larry Edsall

Larry Edsall at A barn-find 1963 Shelby Cobra led all sales at the fifth-annual Collector Cars of Fort Lauderdale auction, which this year was staged by Auctions America instead of by its parent, RM. The Cobra, a 289-powered CSX 2080, brought $467,500.

In 1981, the same Cobra was bought by its second owner for $30,000 in gold coins. That owner drove the car only once, and then parked it until offering it for bids.

Auctions America noted that gold was at $460 an ounce the last time the Cobra was sold. On March 2, gold closed at $1437.20 per pounce. In other words, it said, those same gold coins would be worth $93,730 today. But during the same period, the value of the Cobra has multiplied by a factor of nearly 15!

"Recently the media has explored the value of collector cars as more than just items to drive and enjoy as a hobby, said Auctions America president Donnie Gould. "There is strong potential for beautiful and rare automobiles as tangible assets to offer good returns on a collector’s investment."

However, he added, "To avoid disappointment we always counsel our clients to research potential purchases well and, above all else, buy cars that they are truly passionate about."

Other top sales at the event included $440,000 for a 1932 Duesenberg Model J Dual Cowl Phaeton, $187,000 for a 1957 DeSoto Adventurer, $165,000 for a 1995 Batmobile from the movie" Batman Forever," and $165,000 for a 1938 Ford hot rod.

Overall, 498 vehicles crossed the block, with 68 percent selling for a total of more than $17.2 million.

Next up: Amelia Island...
The classic car focus moves up Florida’s Atlantic Coast this week from Fort Lauderdale to Amelia Island, where the 16th annual concours d’elegance includes official (RM) and unofficial (Gooding & Co.) auctions, as well as the concours, road tour, seminars (women in racing, hot rod lifestyle, Cannonball Run revisited) and more.

Among the features are vehicles raced by Bobby Rahal, the return of the Mormon Meteor, a display of Ferrari 250 GTOs, the Pope’s official limousine, the restored GM Motorama Biscayne concept, and the last 1933 Derby L8.

Larry Edsall at Only 10 Derbys were built. This one (see photo), called "Montlhery, was raced in the 1934 Monte Carlo Rally by Gwenda Stewart. The car survived World War II in a museum at La Rochetaille in France and now resides at the Tampa Bay Auto Museum.

Featured at the RM auction are a 1953 Ferrari 212 Inter Coupe by Vignale, coming out of 25 years in storage, and from the same collection, a 1952 Ferrari 340 Mexico Coupe; a 1930 Alfa Romeo 6C 1750 GS Spider by Zagato body; the only surviving 1908 Oldsmobile Limited; a 1956 Cadillac Eldorado Brougham Town Car prototype from the Motorama show; a barn-found 1965 Shelby Cobra 289, and a 1955 Mercedes-Benz 300SL "Gullwing."

Consignments at Gooding & Co. include a pair of barn-finds – a 1955 Bentley R-Type Continental fastback with Mulliner coachwork and a1961 Aston Martin DB4, as well as a 1928 Bentley 6 ½-liter coupe, a 1955 Austin-Healey 100S and a 1962 AC Cobra.

...and Mecum at KC
The same weekend as the events on Amelia Island, Mecum stages its annual Kansas City auction, where some 500 cars will cross the block.

Click here for event calendar.


Click here for more articles by Larry Edsall.

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