Tom Flanders World

Writer of Fiction
 

Auctions America Auburn Spring 2014 – What I’m watching (update results)

Auctions America probably has more variety than any other company. On the other hand, sometimes that just don’t seem as professional. Less than a week before the auction starts and the on-line catalog is still missing many pictures and descriptions. So my list comes from the complete listings.

Friday – May 9

Lot No. 2005
1949 Ford 8N Tractor
Ford did more to get farms motorized than most other companies combined. The Fordson was one of the first mass-produced tractors in America and it followed the formula of the Model T, simple and reliable. The N series is roughly equal to the Model A. It relplaced the older series with a reboot rather than a radical change.

The estimate for this one is 4,000 to 6,000 (no reserve). That seems low to me but I’m not a big watcher of tractor prices. I also don’t know how well a tractor will be received at a car auction.

Result: $2,640 (Apparently my guess about the tractor being out of place was correct.)

Lot No. 3012
1961 Buick Special Coupe
I have a special place in my heart for this car. My first car was a 62 Olds Cutlass with the exact same body, minus the port holes, and the same little V8 that went on to power so many British vehicles. Nostalgia aside I appreciate these cars as missing links between the monsters of the 50’s and the muscle cars of the 60’s.

One thing to note are the sort of upside-down fins at the back. If you think about them long enough you will correctly guess that they are aerodynamic nightmares. You get up around 80 mph and they generate a large amount of lift. Not helpful when trying to steer.

The estimate is $15,000 – $20,000 (no reserve). Unless I’m underestimating the “survivor” appeal I don’t think a car like this will top $15,000.

Result: $13,750

Lot No. 3045
1984 Aston Martin Lagonda Series II Saloon
The Lagonda name revival is either quite beautiful or butt ugly, depending on the lighting, the viewing angle, your mood, your appreciation for cubism and your state of intoxication. While it could never be considered a practical car it could under no circumstances go unnoticed.

The question is then, what is it worth? The estimate is $50,000 – $55,000 (no reserve). As a status symbol it might be worth that but as a car I don’t think so. Too much a poser. I’m guessing it will for somewhere in the mid $30’s.

Result: $40,700 (My estimate was too low but not off by much.)

Lot No. 3198
1980 Maserati Quattroporte
Like the Lagonda the Quattroporte is an exercise in big sedan angular styling, though less extreme and more widely pleasing. It also has one of the least pretentious names to ever grace an Italian car. What could be simpler than “four door?” If I were to buy a Maserati it would be one of these. You can get Biturbo coupes cheaper, but they’re ugly and plain.

The estimate for this is only $12,000 – $15,000 (no reserve) but this is such a nice example that I expect the price to get closer to $20,000.

Result: $7,040 (I was way off on this one. Perhaps my personal like for the car clouded my judgement.)

Saturday May 10

Lot No. 4151
1955 Ford “Glass Wonder” Show Car Roadster
While my posts usually focus on the cheaper end I could not resist this one. It appears to be the spawn of a sports car enthusiast possessed by the spirit of Harley Earl. A race car overwhelmed by gaudiness. I can’t say there is anything about this car that I particularly like but somehow the overall effect is cool.

The estimate is between $60,000 to $70,000. I have no idea how much this will sell for but I really want to see who buys it.

Result: $52,250

Lot No. 5011
1959 Volvo PV544
The 544 is my favorite Volvo. It looks like a shrunken 40’s Ford, but the twin carbs and four speed transmission make it a nifty driver. However, my favorite context for the 544 is watching Scandanavian folksracing on YouTube. I love watching the nordic rednecks bombing around dirt tracks in their beat up old Volvos Saabs and VWs.

This 544 is not ready for the folksrace though. it is a very nice example of a car you don’t often see niced up. The estimate is $10,000 to $12,000 (no reserve). I’d be surprised if it didn’t top $15,000.

Result: $12,375 (Another miss for me. I guess if I really like a car or should just automatically cut my estimate by 10% or so.)

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