Market Finds: The Hidden Gems of Auctions America’s California Sale

The Hidden Gems of Auctions America’s California Sale

By Petrolicious Productions
July 9, 2015

With so many vehicles offered during a typical car auction, it’s often easy to lose track of the desirable ones as soon as the hammer starts to fall. Moreover, taking a close look at a long list of vehicles in order to find the hidden gems is very time-consuming. These selections are vehicles that caught our eye, and if their pre-auction estimates are anything to go by, most will be an affordable way to acquire a classic car.

Here are our picks for some of the offerings that may be overlooked during the Auctions America’s upcoming California sale, to be held July 17-18 at Santa Monica’s historic Barker Hangar. 

The Car: 1984 Pininfarina Azzura Spider
Estimate: $25,000-$30,000

The Fiat 124 Spider was a very long-lived model, and was sold from 1966 to 1980—with Pininfarina selling the car directly to customers from 1982-1985 ½. Twice as expensive as a Lincoln Town Car when new, the Azzurra was exclusive for very good reason: it was wholly constructed (and upgraded) by Pininfarina.

The Car: 1953 DKW Sonderklasse Coupe
Estimate: $35,000-$45,000

Very rare in the U.S.—this is said to be the only 1953 in running condition in the country—the Sonderklasse Coupe was an advanced family car that helped to jump-start part of the company that would later become part of Audi. For the small car fan who has everything (or wants something new), this represents a rare opportunity to join the DKW fratermity.

The Car: 1965 Volkswagen Type 2 Pickup
Estimate: $60,000-$75,000

At this price, you should feel confident that the Type 2 Pickup wears a full restoration that looks great in photos. A single cab truck version of the automaker’s iconic Bus, this pickup’s headline feature is how the sides of the truck fold down to accommodate larger loads.

The Car: 1969 Saab 95 Station Wagon
Estimate: $20,000-$25,000

Need a second, more practical classic car? Alternatively, do you enjoy being somewhat different to, well, just about everyone? This sharp-looking Saab 95 Station Wagon caught our eye, and we were delighted to see that apart from a bit of cosmetic restoration work, it wears a bit of patina in its load bay. Three-cylinders and 73 horsepower may not seem like much, but these old Saabs are always happy to puff along at a good clip.

The Car: 1961 Alvis TD21 Coupe
Estimate: $38,000-$46,000

Often some of the more advanced sporty vehicles offered in the UK, Alvis has a long and storied history of being a successful race winner and manufacturer of entertaining road cars. Its reputation for quality served it well until being acquired by Rover in 1965, marking the end of the marque. The TD21 here is a sporty grand tourer powered by a 115 horsepower straight-six engine—with an estimate far less than the equivalent Bentley, Jaguar, or Mercedes-Benz of that era.

The Car: 1971 Fiat 850 Sport Spider
Estimate: $30,000-$40,000

With styling by Bertone, the 850 Sport Spider is a cheeky, lovable car that represents the ultimate in stylish fair weather Italian motoring. This example was owned long-term by an enthusiast who kept the car in good working order, over the years attending to the areas that have needed attention. Fifty-two horsepower and a top speed under 90 mph are its headline performance statistics—but we’re sure if feels faster than that from the driver’s seat.

The Car:  1969 Fiat 600 Coupe
Estimate: $15,000-$20,000

We’re very much fans of Fiat’s iconic economy car, the 600. This restored example, Auctions America says, was lovingly maintained by a Dutch Fiat collector, and is an exceedingly original example. With its low estimate and no reserve, it may be a chance to pick this car up for less than expected.

The Car: 1966 Tatra Model T603 Sedan
Estimate: $35,000-$45,000

Obviously, the T603 isn’t your typical collector car. But with design DNA that helped to inspire even Ferdinand Porsche, Tatra’s long-running line of luxury sedans has its fans. Its rear-mounted air-cooled V8 engine is good for a top speed of 100 mph, and exotic appearance should make you the star of your local Cars & Coffee. Formerly a museum piece, it’s since been comprehensively restored and is ready for its next caretaker.

The Car: 1963 Alfa Romeo 2600 Spider
Estimate: $90,000-$120,000

Pretty and pretty punchy, thanks to its 2.6-litre six-cylinder engine, the 2600 Spider was a quick sports car in its day. This example has its original Weber carburetors, surely making it the equal of similar models from other European automakers. Described as being in nice cosmetic and mechanical condition, it’s one of those cars that just begs to be driven home after the auction!

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 an updated list of entries can be found on the company’s website. Click here to view the digital catalog.

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Guitar Slinger
Guitar Slinger
8 years ago

Seriously ? $30 – 40k for an 850 Spider ? $60-75k for a VW Type 2 pickup ? A Pininfarina Azura even being offered in this group * ? All the rest on offer are fine but when it comes to those three has everyone gone stark raving mad ?

* For the record history tells us the Pininfarina Spiders were the worst 124 Spiders ever made despite all the rhetoric to the contrary not to mention being severely over priced from the get go and sales were all but non-existent .

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