The 2017 Austin-Healey Conclave

The 2017 Austin-Healey Conclave

A quick wrap up from my trip to the 2017 Austin-Healey Conclave – in short: another great event, organized this time by the Texas Austin Healey Clubs. A quick wrap up from my trip to the 2017 Austin-Healey Conclave – in short: another great event, organized this time by the Texas Austin Healey Clubs.

Scroll through some of my pictures from the trip:

 


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The 2017 Austin-Healey Conclave

A quick wrap up from my trip to the 2017 Austin-Healey Conclave - in short: another great event, organized this time by the Texas Austin Healey Clubs. A quick wrap up from my trip to the 2017 Austin-Healey Conclave - in short: another great event,...

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Arizona Auction Week 2017 Wrap-Up

Arizona Auction Week 2017 Wrap-Up

After spending some time studying my new Hammer Price app (a must-have) and going through some of my auction notes for the week, I have come to some of the same conclusions I did last year—some marques did well, and others lost a little ground in value. it also seemed like the general attendance for the whole week was up, starting with the Arizona Concours d’Elegance. Too bad the weather didn’t cooperate.

The Italians continue to march forward, although mostly in the “affordable” models. Really nice Ferrari 308s have moved into six -figure territory, with a slightly flawed but nonetheless lovely 1958 Alfa Romeo Giulietta Spider Veloce bringing stellar money at $160,000+, and a 1974 Alfa Romeo GTV hammering at $76,000+ at Bonham’s.

Overall, the whole Austin Healey market is down about 20% from highs of a few years ago. Even a fabled 100S—one of fifty—was well-bought at a bargain price of $490,000. I heard people tell of it’s flaws but I reminded them that, “It’s still a real 100S!” Only the really nice cars sold well with the so-so cars at street sales rates.

Except for the $6.7 million spent for the Lightweight, the Jaguar market has cooled a bit on the E Types. A really nice late Series 1 4.2  did sell for $160,000+ which isn’t too shabby, though. There were just a lot of E Types available, and it is a hot brand and model. I still predict the Series 2 cars will start filling up the demand for E Types overall in the next few years.

Trending up (still,) the air-cooled Porsches are the cars to have. Some lovely 356 Speedsters held their own, and a really nice 912—but still a 912—fetched $105,000 at Gooding on Saturday. Another 356 barn-find bewildered even the most faithful at $341,000. After $600,000 plus for a Speedster barn find in Hilton Head, I’m left smiling to myself.

In talking with Andy Reid and other auction watchers, the cars that came up slowly and steadily—like the Aston Martins—held their own. The rising prices on cars like the Sunbeam Tigers have steadied, and again, only the nice cars held their values. There was also a lot of talk also about money availability and people not wanting to touch other investments with a stock market and Dow that is surging towards 20,000.

I think I may have to attend the March Amelia Island event to continue my research and see if the trends continue. Poor, poor pitiful me.

Top image credit: Andy Reid – ClassicCars.com


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The 2017 Austin-Healey Conclave

A quick wrap up from my trip to the 2017 Austin-Healey Conclave - in short: another great event, organized this time by the Texas Austin Healey Clubs. A quick wrap up from my trip to the 2017 Austin-Healey Conclave - in short: another great event,...

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My Annual Arizona Car Week – Trending 2017

My Annual Arizona Car Week – Trending 2017

Ever since I sold Mark Baker’s 100R Healey at Bonham’s Auction in Scottsdale four years ago I eagerly await coming back to Arizona for my now annual trip to the land of auctions and car shows. Once here, a common question I get from old and new friends alike is, “Are you out here buying and selling cars?”

When I typically reply “no” most figure I’m just goofing off in the sun. Which, since I do have family here, I sometimes do. But this has become a crucial week for me from a business strategy standpoint.

Arizona Car Week—as it has come to be known—is a place for me to focus my time, money, and energy to see first-hand what is going on in the vintage automobile market. What goes on at Arizona Auto week is what becomes knowledge that I can then share with friends and customers.

While the auction experience in and of itself is very exciting, the number of industry people and fellow enthusiasts I’ve met here has been invaluable. What I learn here— through a mix of social media, and being on the ground where the collectors and fans speak with their voices, minds, and checkbooks—sets my thinking for the year as a restorer and impassioned automotive devotee.

I mostly focus my attention on the Bonham’s, RM and Gooding’s auctions. I study the catalogues for sell estimates and then look at the cars critically. I do this for a variety of marques and models.

I then attend as many auctions—live—as I can, and study the results where I cannot. I talk to people as the cars move along, note which one failed to meet reserves, and which ones are beating the estimates. If I’ve seen the cars, many times I can tell you why it failed to meet the reserve, or why it took in some big cash. You can’t do that from the web, or watching Barrett Jackson on TV.

It’s a crazy busy week for me, there is so much activity all at once, but if you pay attention the trends become visible quickly. What marques and models are becoming more valuable? Which marques are losing strength or simply holding?

These hectic days help me guide customers and prospective customers into the light as to what cars are worth spending money on, and which ones to maybe wait on. If there are a lot of mediocre examples, you can bet the nice ones will shine.

When it’s over and I’m back in the Sport and Specialty shop, I’ll provide some insights as to what I have seen, heard and deduced. Come on back.

I need to get some more sunblock, so until I get home make sure to follow me on Facebook where you can see more of the beautiful cars below.


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The 2017 Austin-Healey Conclave

A quick wrap up from my trip to the 2017 Austin-Healey Conclave - in short: another great event, organized this time by the Texas Austin Healey Clubs. A quick wrap up from my trip to the 2017 Austin-Healey Conclave - in short: another great event,...

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Arizona Auto Auction Week – Judging the Future Classics

Arizona Auto Auction Week – Judging the Future Classics

Future Classics - Sport and SpeciatlyMy friend Andy Reid was asked to be the chief judge for a new car show here in Arizona to compliment the already crazy week of activities. The show was titled “Future Classics” and the main sponsor was www.classiccars.com, where Andy is their East Coast editor. In a moment of desperation he asked me to help judge the European cars coming there.

The show was held at High Street near the Desert Ridge Mall and was a wild success with more than 150 cars in attendance. Hip hop and dance music was blaring and I got to see a wide assortment of cars, from 930 Turbos to a one-of-three optioned Mitsubishi Starion, (pretty ratty, but pure gold in the owner’s eyes!)

Both “diamonds in the rough” and beautiful custom builds shared the street. After the AZ Concours d’Elegance it was certainly different, but no less fun! The quality and craftsmanship of the work on these cars exceeded many I saw on Sunday and the attention to detail was amazing! You can see the some of the cars on their Facebook page, Future Classic Car Show.

future-classics-1The Best of Show went to John Garza’s perfect resto-mod done on a first generation Toyota Celica (top photo) with a four cam engine swap. If TRD built a Celica, this would be it! So cool! Also of note was an unmolested Saab 900S with less that 40K miles. The Chicago based husband and wife team of Arnie and Lena Press each won with their Dinan Stage 3 BMW M3 Coupe and Acura NSX. Both were absolutely beautiful cars.

I don’t often get to spend time with the “modern” stuff! Hope I get asked again next year.


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The 2017 Austin-Healey Conclave

A quick wrap up from my trip to the 2017 Austin-Healey Conclave - in short: another great event, organized this time by the Texas Austin Healey Clubs. A quick wrap up from my trip to the 2017 Austin-Healey Conclave - in short: another great event,...

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