Market Finds: Get Noticed: The Icons in Auctions America’s California Sale

Get Noticed: The Icons in Auctions America’s California Sale

By Petrolicious Productions
June 4, 2015

It takes quite a lot to get our attention, but halfway through the early selection of vehicles in Auctions America’s upcoming California sale, it was clear that there were more than a few eye-catching machines that require a closer look.

These are our five picks for the five most iconic cars for the company’s upcoming auction.

It takes quite a lot to get our attention, but halfway through the selection of early highlights slated for Auctions America’s upcoming California sale, it was clear that there were more than a few eye-catching machines that require a closer look.

Here are our picks for the five most iconic cars from the company’s upcoming California auction, held July 17-18 at Santa Monica’s historic Barker Hangar. 

The car: 1954 Sorrell-Manning Special

Price: Estimate: $175,000 – $225,000

Auctions America describes master fabricator Bob Sorrell as “…one of the most talented automotive designers and builders of the ’50s and ’60s.” This is the most desirable of the few SR-100s constructed, and was believed to be Sorrell’s personal car. It has been featured on magazine covers and there is proof it traveled more than 170 mph in 1955 at the Bonneville Salt Flats—a feat, even today.

We love the novel way the body lifts off of the chassis, and there are a number of other interesting engineering solutions used as well.

The car: 1964 Cooper Monaco Type 61 Racecar

Price: Estimate: $200,000 – $250,000

Cooper…Cooper…where does that name sound familiar? Oh, right—on the back of every modern Mini. A visible legacy of racers and engineers Charles and John Cooper, who were masters at wringing performance out of just about anything—and the world’s best drivers loved racing anything with a Cooper badge on the nose.

The Cooper Monaco seen here evolved from the company’s mid-engined formula cars into a two-seat sports car. Fit any engine you want—like a 600 horsepower V-8 engine, in this case—and have a load of fun at your next track day. For fans of keeping things original, its original engine accompanies the car.

The car: 1955 Ford “Beatnik Bubbletop” Custom

Price: Estimate: $150,000 – $250,000

Bubbletop cars are not often featured on Petrolicious, namely because we lean more toward the performance car end of the spectrum—and a swoopy custom car doesn’t often fit that brief.

That said, sometimes a vehicle comes along that stops us in our tracks, like the “Beatnik Bubbletop”, an extensively modified show car that defies comparison. Its main styling draw is its completely clear roof, which lends the otherwise white or purple machine a Jetsons-like look. A multiple prize winner in competition, and a note to its next owner: make sure to match it to your Halloween costume this year. May we suggest going as John Travolta from Grease?

The car: 1988 Ferrari Testarossa

Price: Estimate: $160,000 – $180,000

There are more posters of the Ferrari Testarossa than Testarossas in the world, but that doesn’t mean we wouldn’t park one in our garage in a heartbeat. One of the quintessential ’80s supercars, 380 horsepower is nothing to sneeze at. Made even more desirable by its giallo yellow paint—a very rare color on these cars—this 1987 example is highly original and described as a “fantastic driver”.

A recent engine-out service to its 4.9-litre V12 engine should give the next owner added peace of mind, but may we suggest taking it out for a drive more often than the previous owner did?

The car: 1966 Shelby GT 350H ‘Hertz’ Fastback

Price: Estimate: $140,000 – $180,000

The idea of renting a performance car to Hertz customers was one started by Shelby American, in an attempt to increase fleet sales. The idea was to offer a special GT 350-H to Hertz Sports Car Club customers, who were older than 25 and “qualified” to drive such a machine.

Many weren’t, but that was part of the fun. This was one of the original Hertz rental cars, originally offered to customers in New Orleans—then subsequently sold to a number of owners in Louisiana, Texas, Canada, and New Jersey before the current owner, as Auctions America notes. Restored in 2006, it’s one of the most tasteful ways to experience the classic Ford Mustang.

To be held at the historic Barker Hangar in Santa Monica, Auctions America will be presenting its revitalized California auction on July 17-18. Details and a frequently updated list of entries can be found on its website, and a few of the auction vehicles will be participating in the upcoming Drive Tastefully: Barker Hangar event on June 27. The rally will be a great chance to see them in motion.



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Frank Anigbo
9 years ago

I don’t think the word ‘iconic’ should be applied to the first 3 cars on this list. Interesting? Yes. Iconic? The Testarossa and Shelby/Mustang both require no introduction and thus fit the dictionary definition of the word.

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