Classic Car Watch
Leake Auction Results - April 8-9, 2011

NOTE: This column displays cars I have found on the Internet. I am not selling them. Please follow the links if you are interest in a car. Be mindful of the date this article was published. For an explanation why I do this read the original column here.

May 1, 2011
By Scott Lewis

This month I do something completely different. I go to an auction and watch what the cars really go for. I attended the Leake & Dan Kruse Classics Auto Auction in San Antonio on April 8-9.

Overall I was interested to see if there were cars that would be affordable if I only has a few thousand dollars. They did.

I also noticed that the sellers had some pretty high reserves. Of the cars that sold almost every one of them had the reserve removed. I don't think I saw a single car get bid up to the reserve. And the reserves seemed to be about 30-40% above the selling prices. It was largely a buyers market.

As long as you didn't get caught up in the action... there were some decent cars to be had for some decent prices.

1972 Ford Mustang - Sold for $17,000

Comments: I met someone at this show and we started hanging out the entire auction... both days. He bought this car. So I got to drive it as well as watch as my friend bid on it. This car was unique in that it was fully loaded... with power steering, power disc brakes, power top and power windows. The power windows was very rare. In fact, Mustangs from 65-70 could not even be ordered with power windows. It wasn't available. This car is a nice cruiser. My friend drove us to a Corvette car show in Borne Texas in it. It does very nice on the highway.

1966 Ford Shelby Mustang "Barn Find" with no reserve - Sold for $74,500

Comments: This was the star of the show. On day one they were using only one turnstile. This was on the other turnstile all day. Then they used both turnstiles for the auction on day two. As the title says... this was a barn find Shelby. It was not restored. My friend was ready to bid this up to about $50K. At that price you could just detail it and drive it as-is. And never worry about losing money. However, at $75K you have to think about it a lot more. Now you are looking at an expensive restoration project... bnut one that will be worth a lot of money down the road.

1969 Plymouth Satellite - High Bid $9,750

Comments: If you look at last month's column... you will see this car listed there for sale from Automaniacs for $16,900. No wonder they turned down less than $10K. But this is where auctions can be the great equalizers. I still believe what I wrote last month... that although this is an original 383 car... the engine is not the number matching original engine. Oh... and after the auction Automaniacs put this car on sale for $13,900. Imagine that!

1969 Pontiac GTO - High Bid $20,000

Comments: This was my favorite car at the auction. It was very clean, and the paint was amazing. As I watched cars go across the block and have there reserves removed, I had high hopes that this car would do the same and sell for a reasonable price. That would give me the wishful thinking that maybe I could pick up something like this in a couple of years if I save my money. Unfortunately, this car hit $20,000 and did not sell. I later saw this car on Automaniac's site here. It is listed at $36,900 on the page I linked to, but there main list shows this car was "on sale" for $32,900 after the auction.

It is times like this when I see these auctions as the great equalizer. This car may not be worth mid $30K range. But $20K did seem low to me.

1970 Chevrolet Nova SS - High Bid $16,100

Comments: Like the GTO above, I really liked this car. It is something I would hope would be affordable enough that I could drive it without worrying about damaging a car that was worth so much it would live its life in a garage. I was really hoping to see this car sell for less than $20K. And apparently so did a lot of other people... because there was plenty of bidding under $20, just no bidding higher and then there was no sale. Oops!

1969 Plymouth Furry III - Sold for $11,000

Comments: This is a coincidence. I saw this very car at the Good Guys Lone Star Nationals back in October 2010. In fact, it was the first car I listed here in my December column, when I showed what was in the Car Corral of the Lone Star show.

At the Lone Star car show they listed this car at $13,550. I said I would like it for $9,000 back then... and it would be hard to see buying it for more than $12K on the chance you would not get your money out of it if you sold it. Apparently I was right. It sold here for $11,000 which is reasonable at an auction if a bit of a bidding war happens. But clearly this car was not worth the $13,550 they wanted for it last year.

I still think this car would make a good cruiser, and I would have paid $11K for it at this auction. Overall I thin it sold well, for the buyer and the seller. Everyone should be happy with this sale.

1969 Dodge Coronet RT - High Bid $36,500

Comments: Wow... my spidey senses were tingling at this auction. Not only did I spot the blue Satellite above with the 383 engine. I also remembered reading about this exact car in Muscle Machines magazine. It is a magazine put out by Hemmings. In the back they do what I am doing here, cover an auction and tell you what sold and didn't with some comments.

This car did not sell at the RM Auctions America with a high bid of $40,000. Muscle Machines dinged the car and said they would have grabbed the money at $40K. They also thought it should sell for about $20K.

With that in mind... what was this seller thinking? Did he think a local San Antonio auction would bring more money then a prestigious auction? Did he not read the comments in Muscle Machines? How much does this guy think this car is worth. MM said the interior was dingy and contradicted that this car had a claimed rotisserie restoration. What gives? The seller should have jumped at the $36K here, in case anyone else has their spidey sense on and sees that this car is an auction dud.

1972 Oldsmobile Cutlass 442 Clone - Sold for $32,000

Comments: Knowing this car was being advertised as a clone... I thought it was selling a bit high. However, the friend that was with me at the auction owns two 1972 Cutlasses himself... and said the price was very reasonable. This car looked like brand new. Scratch that... it was better than brand new. It was flawless. Panel gaps were tight and even. The paint was better than GM could have ever painted. Not a spot of orange peel anywhere. The interior looked absolutely perfect. Whoever did the restoration must have spend a fortune. Good buy for the people that get it. I just hope that drive it and don't make a trailer queen out of it.

2007 Ford Mustang GT - Sold for $22,000

Comments: I think this was a good buy. If you wanted a tuner car this was a bargain. NADA puts this car at about $20K with the 19,000 miles it has. However, the 550hp turbo motor and that custom paint are worth a lot more than $2K. So... if you were in the market to hot rod a Mustang this would be an affordable alternative. It always pays to buy someone else's project for pennies on the dollar.

For just a little more than a regular Mustang GT that you could find everywhere... you could get this tricked out Pony. It would cost you a lot more to do it yourself. Well bought.

1967 Ford Mustang - Sold for $6,300

Comments: This is why I came. I was wondering if I would be able to find something to buy if I had $5-6K in hand. This was the very first car to go on the auction block. I was impressed by the sale. I have seen complete rusted out hulks on the Internet sell for this much. This car is worth $6K as a part car. And it certainly could make a drivable project car at this price.

1966 Ford Mustang - Sold for $5,600

Comments: Another affordable car. This car was hit in the rear at some point. The paint looks far too new to be part of that hit. The rear valance was curved inward. And the trunk lid was slightly up with gaps along the side. So this car will need some surgery some day. But if all you car is to have a driver to beat on... and maybe install a V-8 (it is a 6 cylinder car) then this is worth it for the parts alone. You can't go wrong unless you plan to do a full restoration. In that case I would want a car that is not hiding damage. I would have bought this car for a fun project/driver.

1971 Chevrolet Chevelle 396 - Sold for $13,000

Comments: My Spidey sense is tingling. Something was bugging me about this car. Yep... a quick search on the web shows that this car has the wrong turn signal lights. In 1971 there amber lights were two piece units. That means this car at the least has the two piece units removed and modified the body work to fit the one piece units. Worse case... this entire nose is wrong. I would want to know the history before dropping $13K on this car. I doubt it is a numbers matching car either.

1965 Ford Mustang - Sold for $9,100

Comments: This car was claimed to be a "resto mod." Not much mod in the resto in my opinion. It was just a typical hopped up Mustang. But the price seems reasonable to me. You could drive the daylights out of this car for this money and not worry about it. It would be cool at local car shows too.

1989 Ford Mustang - Sold for $8,500

Comments: I liked this car. Yes... you really have to be into this kind of look. But you could not build a Mustang like this for the money. The flat black paint with the gloss black stripe was very well painted. If you could live with this look is a totally rad Mustang this is an economical way to get into the mod scene.

1975 Chevrolet Corvette - Sold for $18,750

Comments: The friend I was with started bidding for this car. It was very nice looking. The interior was in great shape. If you don't mind the color combination (orange on tan) then this car was very sharp. My friend dropped out when the bidding went over $16,000, which is as much as he would go. I would have to agree... I was thinking about $15K considering what cars were selling for over the weekend. The seller did very well, and the buyer should not be feeling too bad either. The condition justified the price.

1991 BMW 850i - Sold for $5,600

Comments: I really like these cars. I have listed them in my Car Corner column before. For $5,600 this seams like a good deal to me. Be aware that if these need any kind of repairs they will be expensive. I would also use my phone to look up what NADA says about these before I bid. I didn't do that for this article, so I still think this is a car I would not mind paying this much for. I like it.

1978 Pontiac Trans Am - High Bid $10,000

Comments: Both my friend an I thought this was a really nice car. I think the price was low because it was not original. My friend was temped to bid on it... but only under $10K. With a non-stock 455 engine, this car would be a blast to play with. But it does not have much collectability without its original engine.

1966 Cadillac Eldorado Convertible - Sold for $8,300

Comments: I really liked this car. It had a unique bucket seat interior. I would want to do a little research before bidding on this kind of vehicle (I am not well versed in Caddies). But I think it sold well. If I had no more than $10K burning a hole in my pocket at this auction I could see buying this car to have the ultimate cruiser.