You should have noticed by now that the TCCT team is extremely adaptable. We can talk about a Bugatti Atlantic with the same passion as we would a Citroen Mehari, a modern hypercar or a ‘60s sedan. In a certain way, our motto ought to be: “it doesn’t matter how much a car costs but how much it’s worth.”
There are some cars on this planet that, perhaps because they are produced in large numbers or because they are still considered “used” and not “classic” cars or for a myriad of other reasons, go for very low figures at auctions yet still have the ability to fill every enthusiast with joy and this is the goal of my mission today: at the recent RM auction, find four cars at a modest budget but with an extremely high value.
Did I succeed? Read on and decide for yourself.
Let’s start with the most expensive lot: the 2006 Aston Martin Vanquish S. Designed by Ian Callum, when the Vanquish was presented in 2001 it generated an unprecedented veneration; With its 6.0-litre V12 it developed 457hp and could reach 306km/h, doing the 0-100 sprint in just 4.7 seconds. In 2004 the S version was unveiled, which, in addition to its more powerful engine (528hp) underwent significant structural modifications that increased responsiveness by 20%. The one offered at RM was one of 326 units produced for the United States and one of the very rare “2+0” models (so lacking rear seats), which also had chassis number “007”. With just 17,000 miles on the clock from new and painted black (with Iron Ore leather) it was a stunning bargain at $90,200, especially assuming that new it cost well over $250,000. Buy it, enjoy it for 10 years, and then sell it on, making a considerable profit.
2006 Aston Martin Vanquish S sold for $90,200
Are you the type who prefers a beer over a “shaken, not stirred” Martini? Then let’s move on to the second lot. When was the last time you saw this car? Some of you may not even recognize it, but then the mundane is certainly not for fans of classic cars. The Panoz Roadster came with a 5-litre 225hp Ford Mustang-derived engine mated to an automatic transmission. Between 1992 and 1994, only 44 were produced. This is the second of the six produced in the last year and the only green one with a tan leather interior. Having clocked up just 6,150 miles it was practically brand new and was sold for $45,100, a figure well above the estimate price of $30-40,000 and a fact that makes it clear that not even the auction house was able to give it a precise rating. An alternative to Lotus Seven?
1994 Panoz Roadster sold for $45,100
We are now so used to seeing large (German) sedans with supercar engines that we take them almost for granted, but this is a fairly recent phenomenon. Until the first half of the 70s the only choice you had was between a sports coupe or a comfortable but slow sedan. The only exception was the Maserati Quattroporte, a gran turismo dressed up as a sedan. I have never understood why the first series of this model failed to work its way into the hearts of fans, even this 1964 specimen from $75-95,000 changed hands for just $60,500. Yet it is the anti-brand of the various BMW Ms or Mercedes AMGs that are in great demand right now. Previously exported to the Riverside Museum, it was number 18 of the 759 produced complete with a folder of invoices totalling $26,000.
1964 Maserati Quattroporte sold for $60,500
However, I kept the best deal of the auction until last. If you were looking for history, power and a low price, it ticked all the boxes. Thanks to the creation of the Shelby Cobra Daytona, Peter Brock became an American motoring legend. But Brock was also the founder of one of the first hang-gliding teams and used a 1971 Volkswagen Transporter van as a service vehicle. For this sport you needed a vehicle that could climb up a mountain and then get to your destination quickly, and this can’t be done with a vehicle pumping out just 60hp and weighing 1,188kg. The solution was revealed on Jay Leno’s Garage program: install a 150hp Buick V8 small block (this is the standard power output…). Since then the van has remained in the property of the Brock family and in 2000 it underwent a complete engine refurbishment. Estimated $70-90,000 it was sold for $27,500 euros. An absolute steal.
1971 Volkswagen 'Hang Glider' Transporter by Peter Brock sold for $27,500