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The AutoGuide News Blog is your source for breaking stories from the auto industry. Delivering news immediately, the AutoGuide Blog is constantly updated with the latest information, photos and video from manufacturers, auto shows, the aftermarket and professional racing.
 |  Apr 10 2012, 5:32 PM

A decade ago, General Motors announced a limited run off of 2002 Chevy Monte Carlo coupes. Know as the SS “Intimidator,” these cars were built as a tribute to the late, great NASCAR legend Dale Earhardt.

Given their limited production and unique trim and color scheme, these cars have become quite prized in certain circles, notably among NASCAR fans and even car collectors. Now one of these cars, in much the same condition as when it first rolled off the line, is being sold for a worthy cause.

It will be auctioned off at the spring Toronto Classic Car Auction with part of the proceeds being donated to a local hospital to help fund a new urgent care unit.

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 |  Feb 22 2012, 4:01 PM

In terms of automobiles, there’s no question that the classic Jaguar E-Type (XK-E), ranks as one of the most iconic of them all. And among the cognoscenti, Series I cars represent the purest of them all. When you add a celebrity’s name to the registration then surely, when such a car comes up for auction, it’s likely to attract serious interest.

So that should logically be the case with this lovely red 1965 Series I roadster, which sports the larger 4.2-liter XK straight-six engine and once belonged to Sir Elton John (the car in fact, still sports the signature OKE 1 registration plate from when he owned it).

The E-Type, which is in excellent condition, is scheduled to go under the hammer at Bonhams’ Oxford auction in March for a fairly princely £70,000 ($109,900); however for the car’s current owner, that doesn’t represent particularly good news, since 11 years ago he paid some £81,000 ($121,170) at Christie’s for the thing, during an auction that was arranged by Sir Elton himself.

Nonetheless, the estimate is right in line with current E-Type prices in the UK, proving once again that collector car values are often fickle at best.

Other significant cars slated to cross the block at Bonhams Oxford, include a 1961 Morgan Plus 4 Supersports, which is expected to sell for around  £60,000 ($94,200), a 1961 Ferrari 250 GTE, which should go for £50,000 ($78,500) and a very rare, right-hand-drive British spec, 1966 Citroen DS21 decapotable pegged at £40,000 ($62,800).


 |  Jan 23 2012, 1:30 PM

Original 1955-57 Mercedes-Benz 300 SL gullwings don’t tend to come up for sale very often, yet when they do they often attract a lot of attention and interest from big money collectors.

This past weekend’s Gooding & Company auction in Scottsdale, Arizona, was no exception, where one example fetched a cool $4.62 million.

Mercedes built some 1,400 Gullwing coupes before the car was succeeded by the heavier and slightly more conventional 300SL roadster, yet this particular car drew attention because it was one of a handful of aluminum bodied cars built (most SLs sported steel bodies with just the hood, doors and decklid made from aluminum).

The cost of the entire aluminum body was exorbitant, even by 1950s standards, which helps explain why so few SLs (29) were ordered this way, yet combined with some 176 lbs in weight savings, along with the direct fuel injected 3.0-liter straight six, the result was a fast and extremely desirable Grand Tourer (top speeds of more than 160 mph were easily possible).

The Gooding sale at Scottsdale marks a record for a classic Mercedes gullwing; most of these cars (though we’re refering to steel bodied examples) tend to go for around $500,000-$600,000, when they come up for sale.

[Source: Gooding & Company]

 |  Oct 30 2011, 4:00 PM

The British economy maybe in the tank, yet some people, it seems, still can’t get enough of luxury goods in the UK, including classic cars.

This past Saturday (October 22) at the Historics at Brooklands auction, the mood was buoyant as the largest collection of vehicles ever assembled at this fall auction saw a 65 percent sell through rate.

In particular, British offerings proved popular, with 13 Jaguars crossing the block, including a cluster of XK-120s, one of which (shown above) proved to be the star of the event, selling £67,000; significantly above original projections (£37,000 – £42,000).

Other highlights included an ex London Metropolitan Police 1962 Daimler SP250, which originally served as a chase car and sold for £39,500 and a 1973 Rolls-Royce Phantom VI hearse with coachwork by Mulliner Park Ward, which went under the gavel for £24,600.

Yet what was interesting about this auction, besides the numbers was the percentage of first time buyers as well as the number of relative bargains. There was a whole fistful of cars that went for less than £10,000, including machines as varied as a 1949 Bristol 401 (£7,250), a 1934 Hotchkiss Carbourg (£6,250), a 1977 Jaguar XJ6 Coupe ( £6,000),  a 1974 MGB GT V8 sold  (£6,750) and a 1969 Morris Mini Cooper S Mk II which sold for (£9,750).

In addition, a number of restoration projects were up for grabs and drew strong buyer interest indicating that many in attendance were actually there for the cars and not just looking to make an investment.

In reference to the event, Historics’ Auction Director Edward Bridger-Stille remarked that: “It demonstrates that our customers still crave that satisfaction derived from either owning an eminently usable classic car, or becoming immersed in a hands-on restoration project. With over 500 people attending on the day, our customers continue to show their support, and we look forward to delivering another excellent offering of classic and collectible cars at our Spring sale in February.”

 |  Jul 26 2011, 12:00 PM

It’s quite rare to uncover one low, mileage, ‘untouched’ classic in a barn, so how about three of them, especially when they’re Italian exotics.

Well, after literally years of rumors circulating about a forgotten stash of machines located in the Dallas area, it emerged that the collection of cars exists, despite not having seen the light of day in years.

In March 2011, a car collector and restorer located in the Dallas area, came in contact with a broker who sent him a couple of photographs of three Italian exotics, covered in dust inside a storage building. When the collector saw the pictures he couldn’t believe his eyes; the three cars in question were a 1972 Ferrari 365GTB4 with 9,700 miles on the clock; a 1974 Dino 246GT with 2,700 miles and a 1977 Maserati Bora with just 900 miles registered on the odometer.

It turned out the the owner of these cars was a long time friend of race driver and famed US Ferrari importer Luigi Chinetti, and had asked the broker to take bids on the cars, which he was trying to sell.

The Dallas collector, recognizing a perhaps once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, submitted a bid on the three cars which was duly accepted. Now after some more wheeling and dealing, the trio of un-restored classics is up for grabs at Mecum’s Monterey Auction, which takes place from August 18-20 at the Hyatt Regency Hotel and Spa.

Although Dinos and Boras in particular don’t tend to trade hands for huge sums of money these days, the fact that all three of these cars boast such low mileage and are true ‘barn finds’ could, quite, easily result in some serious money being laid down over the course of the weekend.

Stay tuned to find out what this trio of exotica actually bring when they finally cross the auction block.

[Source: Mecum Auctions]

 |  Jul 15 2011, 2:17 PM


He’s been dead since 1980, but the allure of Steve McQueen remains as strong as ever. A notorious car and motorcycle enthusiast, McQueen was responsible for putting some of the most memorable examples of auto culture on the silver screen, including the car chase in Bullet and 1971′s Le Mans, arguably the most realistic motor racing movie ever filmed.

Speaking of Le Mans, a 1970 Porsche 911 S, which was delivered to McQueen on the movie set while he was putting together his masterpiece, is now up for grabs at next month’s RM Auction, which takes place during the same weekend as the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance in Monterey.

This classic 911, tucked away for three decades after McQueen sold it in 1971,  is  a genuine Euro spec car and reportedly in stunning original condition, with less than 20,000 km (12,500 miles) on the clock. Another former McQueen car will also be up for grabs, a 1953 Siata 208 S Spider, originally bought by the star in 1956.

Powered by an exotic 2-liter V-8 engine , the Siata eventually wound up back East and was discovered in North Carolina in 1983. It was subsequently restored and painted a custom Ruby Red (it was gray originally). Not too long ago,  in 2008, the engine received a major overhaul, the car as since covered less than 400 miles. The ultra rare 208 is being sold with a collection of memorabilia including original  ownership and workshop manuals, a collection of original spare parts and documentation showing the car was purchased by McQueen, along with FIA paperwork. As a fully functioning, running and driving car, eligible for historic racing events, yet still able to draw accolades at top shows, It’ll likely fetch top dollar.

RM’s Monterey auction runs from August 19-20 and will be hosted at the Portola Hotel and Spa. For more details on these and other cars slated to go under the hammer, click on the link below:

[Source: RM Auctions]

 |  Mar 15 2011, 9:52 AM

It’s amazing what some people will pay for vintage Ferraris. Take the case of a 1952 340 Mexico, chassis number 0224 AT. Previously owned by Larry Nicklin, it was a star attraction at the RM Amelia Island Auction on March 12.

Pre-estimates had this car going for between $2,750,000 to $3.500,000, but when the gavel went down for the final time, the price was listed at a staggering $4,290,000!

Other top sellers at the Auction included a 1930 Alfa Romeo 6C 1750 ($990,000); a 1933 Dusenberg Model J Torpedo Victoria ($979,000); a 1930 Dusenberg Model J convertible coupe ($962,500); a 1968 Ferrari 275 GTB/4 Berlinetta ($935,000) a rough looking 1953 Ferrari 212 Inter ($660,000) and a pair of Mercedes SLs; a 1961 roadster and a 1955 gullwing coupe, both of which went for $627,000.

RM says this year’s Amelia Island event delivered record sales – some $24.3 million and looking at the vehicles mentioned above it isn’t easy to see why. It’s sometimes fascinating to see what lengths some people will go to when looking to buy a particular classic car.

 |  Mar 11 2011, 4:29 PM

Paul Denhert’s car collection maybe relatively small (16 cars and 14 motorcycles), but it is certainly varied. Dehnert collected everything from Corvettes, to Ferraris, Pontiacs, Harley Davidson and Triumph motorcycles.

Now, lucky bidders will have a chance to acquire vehicles from the collection, as Mecum Auctions will be putting the lot up for sale at their 24th Annual Original Spring Classic Auction on May 17-22, to be held at the Indiana State Fairgrounds.

Among the machines likely to attract the most attention are a pair of Corvettes, a pristine, restored 1969 Stingray coupe powered by the infamous L88 427 engine (shown above), plus a 1993 Lingenfelter twin-turbo ZR1, plus an original 289 Shelby Cobra (the 1963 company demonstrator no less) and a 1957 Phase I Ford Thunderbird. Bike fans will no doubt salivate over a 1973 Triumph X-75 750 cc Triple Hurricane and a Mike Hailwood inspired Ducati MH900.

Like other Mecum auctions, the Spring Classic will be broadcast live on national television and as we posted this blog, consignments were still being taken. For more information, click on the link below.

[Source: Mecum Auctions]

 |  Jan 15 2011, 5:26 PM

A one-of-a-kind 2011 Corvette Z06; built by Chevrolet to celebrate the car’s first appearance and inaugural victory at Le Mans back in June 1960, will be auctioned off at Barrett-Jackson’s Westworld collector car auction on January 21st, with all proceeds going to the National Corvette Museum, located in Bowling Green Kentucky.

Outwardly, the Z06 looks similar to any other, but incorporates a number of unique features, including special Arctic White paint and blue racing stripes to commemorate the original winning 1960 #3 Cunningham Corvette racer, Competition Gray headlamp pockets, blue brake calipers,  ZR1 style rear spoiler, black carbon front splitter and rocker panels, carbon fiber fenders and floor pans and special 50th anniversary Le Mans emblems.

Hardcore ‘Vette enthusiasts will probably recognize the car as the same one driven by Ron Fellows at the ‘Legends of Le Mans’ event at Laguna Seca last year. The car was accompanied  on the track by the 1960 Le Mans winner, along with the 1967 Bob Bondurant/Dick Guldstrand; 1973 BF Goodrich and C6.R Corvette racers.

All proceeds from the Barret-Jackson auction of this car will be used in development of the National Corvette Museum’s  planned 500 acre motorsports park, which will incorporate road courses, a karting track, skidpad, autocross course and a drag strip.

[Source: Autoweek]

 |  Jan 03 2011, 3:23 PM

Barrett-Jackson celebrates 40 years in the automotive auction business in 2011 and given the company’s reputation over the last decade there’s no doubt it will be pulling out all the stops this year.

Among the high profile cars hitting the auction block at the 2011 event will be this, a somewhat somber reminder of America’s past. It’s the very 1963 Pontiac Bonneville Naval Ambulance that carried President John Fitzgerald Kennedy from Air Force One at Andrews Air Force Base, to Bethesda Naval Hospital in Maryland, following his assassination in Dallas, Texas on  November  22, 1963.

It then transported his casket, along with the late President’s wife Jackie and brother Robert to the U.S. Capitol Building in Washington DC, where JFK was later buried.

The Bonneville was one of 69 207G Superior high roof ambulances converted at the firm’s Mississippi facility and completed on February 6, 1963. Once its military service was up, the ambulance was sold as surplus. However, unlike many of its contemporaries, it was mothballed and survived the next four decades untouched. Purchased a year ago by collector John Jensen, the ambulance remains totally original and displays just 38,000 miles on the odometer.

It has been documented by Pontiac Historic Services and won a Gold award at the 2010 Military Vehicle Preservation Association’s National Convention. For the B-J auction it has been assigned lot number 1277.

Said Barrett-Jackson’s Steve Davis, ” the ambulance is not just a historical vehicle, it represents one of most significant moments in the 20th century. Most Americans remember when and where they were when they heard the tragic news of JFK’s assassination. His death was a turning point and those of us who watched it on TV or witnessed it firsthand were affected. It will be an honor to have a vehicle cross our block that once transported one of our most celebrated presidents in U.S. history.”

[Source: Pontiacs Online]