Category Archives: Car show

Harley Earl’s 1963 Corvette Sold Again

The Mecum Auction concluded their Chicago area auction last week, with the big seller being a 1963 Corvette originally gifted by General Motors to their famed car stylist Harley Earl.

Harley Earl

Portrait of Harley Earl
Harley J. Earl

Harley J. Earl spent thirty years with General Motors and retired as the Vice President of Design.  He left a lasting mark during this iconic era, including working on the special Motorama era cars, concept cars, stylish sports coupes (hardtops) and two toned paint jobs with outrageous fins.  His 1938 Buick Y Job is actually considered the first “concept” car produced from Detroit.

1938 Buick concept car
1938 Buick Y-Job concept car

A little known fact is that the Daytona 500 NASCAR trophy is named the Harley J. Earl Trophy; showing the impact this designer had in automotive circles.

1963 Corvette

While titled as a 1963, it has several touches from the 1965, like 4 wheel disc brakes,  and many one-off designs including a set of custom gauges in the passenger pod.  The exhaust pipes coming out the side cove is also a unique touch.  It has a 327 power plant and the requisite four speed. It generally is suspected to be a mule (or test car) and hence even rarer and more valuable.  The car was originally destined for the Chicago Car Show. but then re-deployed as well deserved thanks to an automotive icon.Harley Earl Interior

Past Sales

This Corvette doesn’t seem to stay in one collection for long.  Mecum sold it in 2010 for $925,000, and previously  in 2009 for $985,000 and it was also sold by Barrett-Jackson in 1999 for $145,000 (all prices are listed without buyer’s premium).

Mecum Auction results for Chicago

During the three days of car selling frenzy, covered by Velocity TV, 965 cars were offered up for sale with 615 hammered sold (that is nearly a 65% selling rate) with over $18 million in sales.  Like most auctions many cars are offered on “reserve” meaning if the bid doesn’t reach a certain set amount, the car is not sold.

So what do you think?  Did the buyer get a deal?

 

Photos courtesy of Mecum Auctions and Barrett-Jackson Auction

Harley J. Earl photos © General Motors

Flipping Lambrecht’s Classic Chevrolets

At last count four cars from the Lambrecht Chevrolet Auction held last week, have surfaced on the Internet for resale.  You had to figure some local shops would take advantage of their location and opportunity to flip a car.  Of course all these cars are now prominently featuring their connection to the Lambrecht Chevrolet dealership, and sold through VanDerBrink Auctions.

Chevy’s Now for Sale

One seller found out that his 1969 Kingswood Station Wagon had too much rust in the frame to be unsalvageable.  I’m guessing if the car had flat tires and laid down on the dirt, rust would be inevitable.  Now is the time to see if someone needs just the parts and cut your losses.

1969 Chevy Station Wagon
1969 Chevy Kingswood Station Wagon went for $900

A 1959 Chevrolet Bel Air is being offered with a $25,000 asking price.  Good profit if it sells, since it was bought at auction for $18,000.  It’s a cute car but when the seller/dealer advertises it as a 150/210 AND a Bel Air Hardtop I guess you’d have to do some more research.

59 Chevrolet 2 door post
1959 Chevrolet sold for $18,000

A 1957 Chevy suffers the same identity problem, advertised as a 150/210 and Bel Air.  So unless Johnny Cash had a hand in it, I’m guessing it is only one of those three models – and based on the VIN I’d wager it is the 210 sedan version with four doors, which is two doors too many for my taste.

Post 4 door 57 Chevy
4 door 1957 Chevrolet sold for $7,000

Olds too!

And not just Chevy’s are being flipped.  One seller is offering a 1964 Oldsmobile Jet Star 88 two door hardtop for sale.  This seller cleared off some if the dirt and dust, but you can’t deny it is rough.

Black 1964 Olds 88
1964 Olds Jet Star 88 hammered sold for $5,300

Lots of people have looked at these cars and the prices paid and scratched their head.  The mileage is relatively low for fifty + year old cars, but they are in rough shape; even the “flippers” haven’t generally tried to start or verify the running condition.  In this shape, you can try to get them in running condition and then enjoy the look and notoriety.  But if you were planning on a full out restoration you better open that checkbook wide and start adding some zero’s, because lots of parts are missing and torn up.

Flipping Cars

I have mixed feeling on flippers.  They serve a purpose and I’m all for making a buck.  For someone who didn’t want to bid on line and couldn’t make it out to Pierce, Nebraska, they can still buy a rusty Chevy.  I just think that these flippers needlessly raised the prices up and now need even more of a price increase in order to make a profit.

What do you think, are flipper’s a miracle or menace?

 

Photos courtesy of VanDerBrink Auctions

 

Lambrecht Chevrolet’s 1955 Models Reviewed

The VanDerBrink Auction of the Lambrecht Collection of classic Chevrolet’s is a week old and reality is crashing through the buying fever.  The crowds have departed Pierce, Nebraska and we can now look more analytically at the cars and prices paid.

VanDerBrink Workmanship

The auctioneers at VanDerBrink did a great job in organizing these cars and gave fairly valid descriptions of the cars.  Some were mislabeled as Bel Air models but all auction houses note that descriptions are guides and not to be relied on.  With this many cars, some minor issues are bound to occur and VanDerBrink did a great job keeping the crowd orderly and advancing.  Plus the sellers, the Lambrecht’s, must be happy with the outcome and know their name will be now known in collector circles for years to come.

1955 Chevrolets sold at the Lambrecht Auction

Let’s look at the 1955 Chevrolet’s in detail this time.  The 1955 was the beginning of the “tri-five” series from 1955-1957. There were ten Chevrolet cars sold during the two days of the auctions for this model year.  The cars come in three variations, the bare bones 150, a slightly sexier 210 and the fully duded out Bel Air.  The VIN’s shown by VanDerBrink helped decipher which model was which and with what engine.  All these cars were high mileage survivors and presumably trade-ins to Lambrecht Chevrolet.  All ten cars are in rough condition and will need some extensive body and mechanical work, or kept in

a survivor mode.  Remember they can only be original once!

All prices will have a buyer’s premium of 5-10% added to the listed price, based on whether the bidder was on site or not.

Sales

For the 1955 model year, six sold cars were four doors and four were the more in demand 2 doors; both a hardtop and a sedan.  While perhaps more practical if you are planning on using the rear seat often, the reality is the 2 doors are always more in demand in the collector market and generally higher priced when restored.  The 2 door sedan (post) went for $5,750 and the hardtop went for $9,000.  There were no high dollar sales for this year with the range being from $12,000 to $1,800.  The ten cars sold for an average of under $5,200   Plus none of these cars were the low or no  mileage; sold on MSO (Manufacturer’s Statement of Origin) paperwork instead of state title; which indicates that Lambrecht Chevrolet didn’t have any trouble selling those models when new!

At least at these prices, the cars are going to loving homes and not being chopped up for their body parts.  Or are they…check out a future blog article.

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Photos Courtesy of VanDerBrink Auctions

 

Lambrecht Auction of Chevrolet’s Analysis of 1956 Year

The VanDerBrink Auction of the Lambrecht Collection of classic Chevrolet’s is nearly a week old and the buying fever has subsided.  The crowds have departed Pierce, Nebraska and we can now look more analytically at the cars and prices paid.

Crowd at Lambrecht Auction
Aerial view of Lambrecht Auction site

1956 Chevrolet

Let’s look at the 1956 Chevrolet’s in detail this time.  The 1956 was in the middle of the three years of the oft referred “tri-five” series from 1955-1957. There were seven Chevrolet cars sold during the two days of the auctions for this model year.  The cars come in three variations, the bare bones 150, a slightly sexier 210 and the fully duded out Bel Air.  The VIN’s shown by VanDerBrink helped decipher which model was which and with what engine.  One unit was a 210 station wagon.  All these cars were high mileage and presumably trade-ins to Lambrecht Chevrolet.  All seven cars are in rough condition and will need some extensive body and mechanical work, or kept in a survivor mode.  Remember they can only be original once!

1956 Chevy 4 door sedan
Lambrecht Chevrolet 1956 2 door sedan

All prices will have a buyer’s premium of 5-10% added to the listed price based on whether the bidder was on site or not.

Lambrecht Sales

For the 1956 model year, five were four doors, with the above mentioned station wagon and a 2 door sedan also selling.  While perhaps more practical if you are planning on using the rear seat often, the reality is the 2 doors are presently more in demand in the collector market and generally higher priced when restored.  The 2 door sedan (post) went for $14,500.  On Saturday, when more of the high value cars sold from the Lambrecht Collection a 4 door hardtop went for $30,000.

1956 Chevy 4 door sedan
$30,000 selling price for 4 door 1956 hard top

The fact that the auction didn’t have any of the more popular versions of the 1956 model year, suggests that if Lambrecht had accepted those models as trade in they were sold long ago.  Plus none of these were the low or no  mileage; sold on MSO (Manufacturer’s Statement of Origin) instead of state title; which indicates that Lambrecht Chevrolet didn’t have any trouble selling those models when new!  The average price for the seven cars was just over $7,900 and only three cars went for over $5,000.

Interior view of 1956 station wagon
Lambrecht’s 1956 station wagon interior

 

At least at these prices, the cars are going to loving homes and not being chopped up for their body parts.  Or are they…check out a future blog article.

Photos – Courtesy of VanDerBrink Auctions

Lambrecht Chevrolet Classic Car Auction

This past weekend the Lambrecht Chevrolet auction was held in Pierce Nebraska by VanDerBrink Auctions.  If you hadn’t heard about this nearly 500 car auction in advance, you missed out on a surely once in our lifetime event.  It seems the mom and pop owners of Lambrecht Chevrolet had a history of keeping both new cars that just didn’t seem to move off their lot; or some cars that they took in as trade ins.

Some of these cars were kept in fields, some were stored in warehouses until literally the roof fell in and some were kept at the Lambrecht dealership showroom.    Well the cars weathered and finally the surrounding trees were chopped down and the cars were offered up for sale this past weekend (September 28-29, 2013).  Even the History Channel got in the act and offered coverage from the farm fields.

Lambrecht Chevrolet

These Lambrecht Chevrolet vehicles were generally what I would call rough, survivor cars.  They were stored outside, after all, and exposed to Mother Nature.  Even the better vehicles were bound to need some work.  You can’t ignore a vehicle for fifty plus years and expect the radiator, belts, brakes and even engine to be road worthy.

VanDerBrink Auctions

VanDerBrink auctions seemed to have a good handle on this auction. Bearing in mind that they are not a usual purveyor of high-end collector cars, they had things well in hand.  This wasn’t their first rodeo!  Parking was available nearby and while probably high by Pierce, Nebraska local standards, $20 seems a fair deal given the circumstances.  Their website stayed up and had generally accurate descriptions and pictures of the cars.  They had plans for temporary storage of the cars, since most had no functional tires!

MSO’s

Most of the low mileage “new” cars were offered with Manufacturer Statement of Origin (MSO), meaning that the cars never were sold and titled in the state.  A few cars were noted as being issued a Nebraska title, which I took to mean the MSO wasn’t located.  And the balance of the nearly 500 cars were used vehicles, generally with 50,000+ miles on the odometers.  It indicates the organizational skills maintained by a small dealership like Lambrecht had, to locate MSO’s from sixty years ago!  I know some owners with one classic car that can’t find their titles!

The value in these cars was the low mileage status of them.  They are survivors and few and far between.  To quote the pundits, “they are only original once.”  But many buyers  were quoted as indicating they had plans of fixing up the cars and driving them.  But once you start putting miles on these cars, their provenance drops.

1978 Chevrolet Corvette Coupe – Anniversary Edition

1978 Corvette Pace car sold from Lambrecht Collection by VanDerBrink Auctions
1978 Corvette Pace car Edition

As an example a 1978 Corvette was sold with only 4 miles on the odometer and sold for $80,000.  This was the 25th anniversary model and is a pretty eye-catching model.  Being a Corvette, you would expect a few well-heeled buyers and sure enough it was sold for $80,000.  VanDerBrink charged a 5% buyers premium on site and a web buyers premium of 8-10%

As a comparison, the Barrett-Jackson auction has sold three low mileage similar Corvettes.  In 2011, they sold a 1978 with only 48 miles for $45,100.  More recently in January 2013 Barrett-Jackson sold one with 158 miles for $44,000 and in Spring, 2013 at Palm Beach a coupe with 928 miles sold for $33,000.  So the Lambrecht version had probably a $40,000 premium for those four miles.

The best news is that nearly 500 cars have found new homes and were saved from the metal shredders.  And for that we all should be grateful!

Photo © GM

Tom Fritz Car Art at Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance

While cars are the major attraction at a car show – (duh), organizers always seem to find other ways to spend your time and money.  One of the best side attractions at the Pebble Beach Concours  d’Elegance is the art work shown by the Automotive Fine Art Society (AFAS) artists.

AFAS

These auto artists have two major shows a year, here at Pebble Beach and at Amelia Island in March.  They have been displaying their wares since 1986 at Pebble Beach.   This is their chance to show off their newest designs to discerning car nuts and art buyers in a juried show.  AFAS consists of 25 members devoted to interpreting cars through art.  At this show Tom Fritz won the inaugural “Art Fitzpatrick Award” from AFAS.

Tom Fritz’s Newest Pieces

This year Tom Fritz, a member of AFAS, was able to preview five new pieces.  His  “Like Dogs Was After ‘Em” shows a 32 Ford hi-boy alongside a 1940 Ford Deluxe coupe on a back road.  “Long, Lazy Wait” depicts a sprint car on a small dirt track.   “Ain’t Bashful No How” is a terrific front engine dragster painting.  The “Woodshed Session” is a scene from a race track, focused on two spirited competitors.    “Ending The Rumors”   shows a race car leaving a plume of dust and smoke behind the car.   While many may not be able to afford a Fritz original, I’m guessing we all could buy one of his reproductions.  In fact I’m guessing you probably already bought or used one!

USPS Muscle Cars

You see Tom was selected to do the artwork for the third series of classic “muscle” cars for the United States Postal Service.  So for the price of five stamps, you can own some Tom Fritz art!

As you check out his latest pieces, you’ll see he has a great eye for detail and has some tremendous designs.  More information on Tom Fritz and his artwork can be found here.  Tom will be showing in two months at the SEMA show in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Illustrations courtesy of Tom Fritz

 

Porsche 911 Celebrates 50th Anniversary

This year marks the 50th anniversary of the Porsche 911.  For perspective the Corvette is celebrating 60 years with their seventh generation of the American sports car.  This is presently the fifth incarnation of the 911 and is treasured for both its sleek design and focused engineering.  The first model was labeled a “901” but due to trademark issues had to change it to the now iconic 911.

911 Porsche
911 comparisons

Porsche 911’s Humble Beginnings

It is rare for a model to stay in constant use for half a century, but even the original first generation was known for setting the industry standards for superior engineering.  Imagine that in 1963, the first 911 came with such advanced features as overhead cams, dry-sump oiling, seven-main-bearing bottom end, 5-speed transaxle, 4-wheel disc brakes, rack-and-pinion steering, and advanced independent suspension. There are even cars being manufactured today that can’t hold a candle to that design.

Porsche always had a high level of engineering design but ironically, the fir

st generation Porsche 911’s were blinding fast but treacherous to drive, but over time the handling was improved.  The exterior lines of the 911 seem timeless and stately.

Porsche 911 Celebrations

Across the globe various venues are hosting events to celebrate the 50th Anniversary epoch.  The Silverstone Classic in July had a great event.  Originally hoping for 911

Porsche’s to roar along the circuit, they couldn’t stop the demand and ended up with over 1200 cars hitting the race track. Here’s the details on the event.

You just had to know the Frankfurt Auto show in Porsche’s backyard would do the 911 proud and the factory pulled no punches with a knockout event. Porsche had a driving party at their test track at Weissach,Germany.  And their museum is having a special exhibition as well

Daily Driver Capable

Thanks to its own 50-year racing history, today’s Teutonic 911 is one of the highest-performance cars, but still is tame enough to be a daily driver.  Few cars can claim to be favored by three generations of drivers.

 

Photo courtesy of Porsche