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The Latest News And Reviews
Throughout The Car Industry

Categories: Auctions

Festivals of Speed Returns To Orlando

On: Wed, Jul 27, 2011 at 5:33PM | By: Clay Ritchings

Festivals of Speed Returns to Orlando test 2

October 7 - 9, the Festivals of Speed returns to the Four-Diamond Ritz-Carlton Orlando, Grande Lakes for its sixth year with world's most exotic automobiles, aircraft, motorcycles, and watercraft benefitting the Arnold Palmer Hospital for Children. The festivals include the annual Luxury Lifestyle Jet Port Reception, Wine Connoisseurs’ Dinner and Motorsports Collection Display, as well as some new automotive activities. Expect “the very best in automotive, aircraft, marine and motorcycle transportation with the finest culinary, wine, spirits and fashion for the ultimate luxury experience.”

Discovery To Launch All-Auto Channel

On: Thu, Jul 21, 2011 at 4:09PM | By: Tim Healey

Discovery To Launch All-Auto Channel  test 2

If Speed TV isn't enough for you, and Top Gear only wets your whistle, well, Discovery has a new automotive channel on the way.

The channel, which will be aimed at well-heeled male audiences, will be called Velocity and it will launch with a combination of old and new programming.

RM Auctions To Offer Four Ways To Enter The Automotive Century Club At Its St. John's Sale

On: Wed, Jul 6, 2011 at 3:06PM | By: Andrew W Davis

1907 Locomobile; photoillustration by author test 2

RM Auctions—the firm that brought you the megamillion-dollar Concorso d'Eleganza Villa d'Este sale in Como, Italy I covered in an earlier feature—is bringing its show stateside as part of the festivities surrounding the newly-renamed "Concours d’Elegance of America" being held at The Inn at St. John’s in Plymouth, MI, at the end of July.

The Concours—formerly known only as the “Concours d'Elegance” and held for years at the historic Meadowbrook Hall in Rochester, MI—expanded in both physical size and overall aspirations, leading to the switch in name and venue, though not necessarily in that order.

Now there’s not only a spacious former Catholic seminary within which the auction and certain show events can be held, but a neighboring 27-hole golf course upon which the “33rd Annual Concours d’Elegance of America” can sprawl on Sunday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. [Admission is $25, including parking, shuttle and program book, in case you were wondering.]

But back to the auction.

Feebay's Top Five Sales For June Is A Lamborghini Fest

On: Wed, Jul 6, 2011 at 9:15AM | By: Andrew W Davis

Photoillustration by author test 2

If you’re anything like me (God help you), you spend a fair amount of your online idle time poking around eBay, with special attention paid to eBay Motors and its bevy of fantastic cars you can’t afford and wretches you wish you couldn’t.

But I’ve noticed an odd phenomenon on eBay regarding the former (i.e. the unaffordable exotic) the VAST majority aren’t selling, whether at auction (rare), “Buy-It-Now” (ditto) or the only seemingly-viable method, “Best Offer.” For all the multi-million-dollar listing and asking prices on the site, there aren’t ANY selling prices anywhere NEAR that high.

In fact, the highest recorded sales price you can find in the site’s “completed listings” is the $255,000 “Best Offer” sale of a used orange ’08 Lambo Murcielago. The NEXT THREE of the “top five" automotive sellers are Lamborghinis, too, though not all the same model, seller, year, etc.


Mecum Des Moines: Home Of Great Original-Condition Oddities

On: Tue, Jul 5, 2011 at 1:16PM | By: Andrew W Davis

1981 Zimmer Golden Spirit automatic [Lot F114] test 2

It is a car collector’s most fervent wish that they find the vehicle they've been seeking in as-new, one-owner, low-mileage and perfectly-running and -driving condition. But as most cars that are desirable NOW were the same THEN—or were built for dangerous duties like racing—that almost never happens. And while you can restore a valuable car to better-than-new condition, the very fact that so many ARE restored has flipped the equation, making those in original condition the rarer of the two.

But for every multimillion-dollar original relic discovered there are thousands upon thousands of cars that nobody wants—apart from the weirdos that fastidiously maintained them—that feature all the buzzwords I mentioned up top, despite the fact that there's no "popular" reason for their preservation.

I found four such cars—OK, three cars and a truck-thingie—on-deck for Mecum Auctions’ July 15-16 Des Moines sale. They are proof of the adage that something's being rare does not make it desirable, nor does a desirable thing have to be rare. Even so, these vehicles are among the best examples of their kind you’ll find, so maybe it's best to think of this as your opportunity to buy some vehicles you never knew you needed…

Bid On The World's Oldest-Known Bespoke Bentley To Book-End Your Brooklands

On: Thu, Jun 30, 2011 at 9:15AM | By: Andrew W Davis

1921 Bentley; Photoillustration by Author test 2

When it comes to the winners of the world’s major automotive-endurance races, it’s usually the cars that have won the 24 at Le Sarthe that command the most respect and highest prices.

When buying a classic Bentley—cars once famously derided in-period by no less than Ettore Bugatti as the “world’s fastest trucks”—the same applies. And though you may not know it by looking at their modern line-up, Bentley was chief ass-kicker at Le Mans once upon a time, winning the full-day racing event outright four CONSECUTIVE times, 1927-1930.

Those winning “trucks”—and certain of their contemporaries—would easily be multimillion-plus-dollar cars if ever they were sold at auction, which they VERY rarely are. But those are the genesis for Bentley’s RACING heritage. What about the company itself? What would the VERY FIRST “bespoke” Bentley be worth? We’re about to find out…

Money, Modern Muscle, And A Monstrocity Meet At Bonhams Wally Lewis Sale

On: Mon, Jun 27, 2011 at 5:51PM | By: Andrew W Davis

1994 Gazelle-Pinto; Photoillustration by author test 2

In the stuff-selling world there’s a definite hierarchy. At the bottom you have the worthless tchotchke hawkers of eBay, and at the top are the established, old-world auction houses that have lot fees with more zeros than the price of the actual thing anywhere else.

Right at the tippy-top of THAT pile are firms like Bonhams. Founded in 1793—no, that 7 isn’t supposed to be a 9—this ''privately owned British auction house'' is ''one of the world's oldest and largest auctioneers of fine art and antiques. The Bonhams name is recognised [sic, silly Brits] worldwide throughout all sectors of the fine art, antiques, and collectors' market.''

So why the hell are they selling—between sales of ''Fine English Furniture'' and ''Art & Antiques''—a Ford Pinto-based kit car from 1994?

Blame Wally.

This Gooding & Co. Pebble Beach Auctions Offering Is A Real Duesy

On: Fri, Jun 24, 2011 at 5:15PM | By: Andrew W Davis

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There was a time (not all that long ago, really) when persons of means could purchase a chassis of choice from a manufacturer and then deliver it to their custom coachbuilder to create the car of their dreams.

Nothing like that exists today, no matter how hard firms like Bugatti, Rolls-Royce, and Maybach work to make you THINK that’s what they’re doing. Sure, you can choose the exterior color scheme and have your choice of interior colors, upholstery, and accent materials.

But at the end of the day, all that “personalization” still leaves you with the same body riding on the same platform and stuffed with all the same mechanical and electronic doo-dads as the one bought by the person before you and the person buying after you.

Think not? Put them through my patented “Coachbuilt-or-Not?” test.

Mecum Set To Offer 400 Corvettes, Five Of Which Are Here. Hooray For Playing Favorites!

On: Mon, Jun 13, 2011 at 3:53PM | By: Andrew W Davis


I would like to say that I’m an expert in all things automotive (or at least be able to say it with a straight face and/or in public), but just like categories involving popes and kings are my Jeopardy kryptonite, Corvettes—and their myriad configurations—kill me every time.

I could probably learn a lot visiting St. Charles, Illinois, and if I do it June 23-26 some of that learning would undoubtedly involve Corvettes, thanks to the 2011 Bloomington Gold show—self-billed as “America’s Original Corvette Show”—at the nearby(?) Pheasant Run Resort.

Problem is I usually equate “good” with “expensive,” so in order to know how good a particular Corvette model is—or how much better it is than another—I need to know what it’s worth.

Enter the folks at Mecum Auctions, and their “Corvette Exclusive” Bloomington Gold auction event nestled into the same time (June 24-25) and space (the show grounds) as the Bloomington event with which it shares its name.

Find Cool Cars For Camry Money At Mecum's St. Paul Sale

On: Mon, Jun 6, 2011 at 9:35AM | By: Andrew W Davis

2000 Lotus Exige LHD coupe test 2

If there’s one thing that you learn as a long-term automotive writer it’s this: math and science—no matter how bad they sucked—were worth working at as they seem to be the key to affording the automotive baubles you only get to borrow.

Sure, having a new car or two just appear clean and full of fuel in your driveway every week is great, don’t get me wrong. But when what I call “Seventh-Day Disease” kicks in—named for the last day you have a car you REALLY wish you owned and don’t want to give back—you start wishing that you’d have checked the “Doctor” or “Lawyer” box on the “What do you want to be when you grow up?” form instead of “Writer/Pauper”.

There is an antidote that works most of the time, though: a “cheap-yet-cool” set of wheels you can call your own. (With your spouse’s permission; DO NOT forget that part. I CANNOT stress that enough. Trust me on this.) And one of the best places to find that vehicle is at one of the smaller “local” automotive auctions, like Mecum's upcoming St. Paul sale.

"It's KISS, Baby!": Bid On Band Member-Branded Minis To Benefit UNICEF (Now Until June 8!)

On: Fri, Jun 3, 2011 at 2:15PM | By: Andrew W Davis

KISS-branded Mini ad test 2

It is said that if Gene Simmons could find a way to put the KISS logo on oxygen and sell it to us at a markup, he would. Despite the fact that his band’s fan base is relatively small (and aging), KISS nonetheless boasts more “branded” items (from “adult” toys to the kid-friendly kind) than almost any other band.

Ordinarily such licensing is aimed at benefitting Mr. Simmons and his band mates, but every so often the KISS (marketing) Army’s efforts are marshaled to the benefit of an important cause.

This go-round of goodwill-generation is not without irony; KISS has partnered with BMW/MINI to raise funds for UNICEF via the auctioning of four customized MINI Countryman via eBay, despite the fact that the charity is a children’s aid organization that assists a demographic sure to be absolutely terrified if they saw the fund-raising band in its full regalia.