Classic Car Watch
Rogers' Classic Car Museum Auction (By Mecum) Fed 27-28

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.

April 3, 2015
By Scott Lewis

Jim Rogers was a Media mogul, former chancellor and lover of all things automotive. He was one of this era's most passionate activists and most generous philanthropists. With his passing last year, it was decided that his massive automotive collection should be used to pay it forward, the way Rogers had always lived his own life. That is why it was decided to offer the entire collection at auction with all proceeds to benefit The Rogers Foundation - dedicated to transforming the lives of K-12 students and artists in Southern Nevada through arts and education grants and scholarships. The auction will be held right from the collection's museum display space in Las Vegas this February 27-28.

I stole that from the Mecum web site. Sorry!

The Rogers' Collection contains some 230 cars all to be auctioned off at NO RESERVE!

This sounds like a great chance to pick up a classic for a decent price. However, this is all for charity. That brings out a lot of people with lots of money. Have you ever noticed that some new cars come out and the 1st production car goes up for auction for charity. The car then sells for 5 - 10 times what it is worth. It is because it is for charity, more than being the first car produced.

So we could have a major conundrum on our hands if we venture out to Las Vegas for this auction. Can you find a bargain?

I have no idea. But... I decided to take a look. Below are a few cars that pique my interest. In reality, there are way too many cars from the late 30s to mid 50's that just don't interest me. So I really don't think I would buy anything. But we will follow up just for fun, and see I could score something if I were at the event with my customary $20,000.

Lot S3
1984 Avanti Coupe


- Car has been started in the last two weeks
- May still need mechanical and fuel system maintenance
- Car has not been driven
- 5.0/190 HP V-8 engine
- Automatic transmission
- Believed to be 21,796 miles
- Upgraded interior with bucket seats
- Center console with burled woodgrain trim
- Cruise control
- Wood-rimmed Nardi steering wheel
- Red upholstery, padded dash
- Carpeted trunk with covered spare
- Blaupunkt stereo
- Power steering and front disc brakes
- Air conditioning
- Red paint with Red interior
- Chrome wire wheels
- Whitewall radial tires
- Optional body-color bumpers
- Avanti was rescued by Washington, DC construction magnate Stephen Blake
- Blake took over as CEO in 1982, immediately began overhauling the company
- An example of the post-takeover Avanti
- Changes included a switch to premium Imron paint, suspension upgrades and rectangular headlights
- 160 MPH speedometer, 7,000 RPM tachometer; fuel, oil, temperature, charge and engine vacuum gauges

ESTIMATE: $15,000 - $25,000

Pre-Auction Notes: These are funky little cars. Remnants of Studebaker. Here is a little story. I grew up in Valley Stream on Long Island. The owner of The Islanders hockey team lived in Valley Stream. He own an Avanti. It had custom license plates, "CUP TRIK." That was a play on Hat Trick since The Islanders won three Stanley Cups in a row. Cool! I believe at this vintage this is considered an Avanti II.

Sold For: $10,000

Post Auction Notes: I might have bought this car. They are quirky, but interesting. The price is right for my fictional $20K budget to have money left over to ship it home and get it running.

Lot S42
1948 Buick Super Convertible


- Car has been started in the last two weeks
- May still need mechanical and fuel system maintenance
- Car has not been driven
- Sequoia Cream with Yellow and Navy interior
- 248/115 HP Fireball Straight-8 engine
- 3-speed manual transmission with column shifter
- Iconic chromed vertical bar grille and bumpers
- Front and rear bumper guards
- Chromed windshield and window trim
- Chromed gun sight hood ornament
- Instrumentation includes speedometer, oil and temperature gauges, clock
- All Super convertibles featured power top, seat and windows as standard equipment
- Custom upholstery with pleated inserts
- Buick push button radio with windshield-mounted antenna
- Navy top boot
- Painted steel wheels
- Wide Whitewall tires
- Chromed rear gravel guards
- Fender skirts

ESTIMATE: $40,000 - $55,000

Pre-Auction Notes: This looks like the car from the Karate Kid.

Sold For: $29,000

Post Auction Notes: Not something I would want. I was just curious.

Lot S69
1957 Continental Mark II
368/300 HP, Automatic


- Car has not been started
- Car has not been driven
- Starmist White with Blue interior
- A top choice post-war classic
- 368/300 HP V-8 engine with unique vertical-fin aluminum valve covers
- Automatic transmission
- Power steering and brakes
- Power windows, remote driver’s mirror
- Padded dash with separate instrument pod
- Clock and tachometer
- Town and Country push button radio
- Sliding heater and ventilation controls
- Carpeted trunk, covered spare
- Tinted glass
- Wide Whitewall tires
- Finned full wheel covers
- 140 MPH speedometer, fuel, oil, temperature and battery gauges
- Long hood, short cabin silhouette inspired by the first generation Lincolns
- Timeless styling by John Reinhart, William Clay Ford and Gordon Buehrig
- Frenched headlights
- Cowbelly frame allowed lower profile

ESTIMATE: $45,000 - $65,000

Pre-Auction Notes: Just Curious - These are WAY out of my price range. But I really like them and am curious what it would sell for.

Sold For: $25,000

Post Auction Notes: Wow... someone got a bargain here. Unfortunately it was not me. Are you noticing that so far the cars are going for under Mecum's estimates.

Lot S163
2002 Aston Martin DB7 Vantage Convertible


- Car has been started in the last two weeks
- The V-12-powered Vantage was introduced in 1999 at the Geneva Auto Salon
- Believed to be 3,518 actual miles
- Hand built 5.9/420 HP V-12 engine
- ZF 5HP30 5-speed automatic transmission
- Red Metallic paint with Red soft top
- White leather seats and center console
- Burled wood trim
- 6-way power-adjusted heated seats
- Manual adjustable lumbar support
- Heated dual power mirrors
- Power windows
- Power convertible top
- AM/FM/in-trunk CD stereo with 6 speakers
- Climate control
- Full instrumentation
- 4-wheel independent suspension
- 4-wheel vented disc brakes with ABS
- Traction control
- 18 inch alloy wheels
- Bridgestone high-speed radial tires

ESTIMATE: $35,000 - $45,000

Pre-Auction Notes: I doubt I could afford this. I would expect it to sell in the range they listed. But it is interesting.

Sold For: $59,000

Post Auction Notes: Ouch! I guess I spoke too soon about cars going for less than their estimates. This must have been a sweet car.

Lot S172
1961 Lincoln Continental Convertible


- Car has been started in the last two weeks
- May still need mechanical and fuel system maintenance
- Car has not been driven
- 1 of 2,857 produced
- Royal Red with Red interior
- Walnut woodgrain dashboard inserts
- 430 CI V-8 engine
- Automatic transmission
- Honeycomb grille
- Dual headlamps
- Chrome bumpers with front bumper guards
- Driver side mirror
- Suicide doors
- Steel wheels
- Polished hubcaps
- Whitewall tires
- Chrome beltline moldings
- Push button radio
- Seatbelts
- Rearview mirror
- Clock

ESTIMATE: $30,000 - $40,000

Pre-Auction Notes: I have always loved these. A convertible with a huge backseat. One of the very few 4 door convertibles, and the only one I can remember. I also recall when you could buy these all day long for $10,000 - $15,000. What are the chances of getting a bargain here.

Sold For: $37,500

Post Auction Notes: Nope... no bargain.

Lot S174
1970 Mercedes-Benz 280SL Roadster


- Car has not been started
- Car has not been driven
- Needs fuel injection work
- Fire Red with Tan interior
- 2.8L/170 HP inline-6 engine
- Automatic transmission
- Front and rear bumper guards
- Driver side mirror
- Steel wheels
- Red-center wheel covers
- Defroster and heater
- Radio
- Dual windshield wipers
- Upholstered steering wheel
- Driver side gauge cluster
- Independent suspension

ESTIMATE: $45,000 - $60,000

Pre-Auction Notes: I used to really like these little convertibles... long before they were popular. Then all of a sudden they went bat shit crazy expensive. Now I will never be able to own one.

Sold For: $40,000

I suppose the non-running condition held the price down a bit. I don't know how much money it would take to get this car running right, but once you did you would have a car worth at least $75K (IMO).

Lot S206
1986 Porsche 928S


- Car has been started in the last two weeks
- May still need mechanical and fuel system maintenance
- Car has not been driven
- Porsche’s first and only front-engine V-8 sports coupe
- Porsche’s first mass-produced V-8 powered model
- 5.0/288 HP DOHC V-8 engine
- Bosch LH-Jetronic fuel injection
- 4-speed automatic transmission
- Power rack and pinion steering
- 4-wheel power vented disc brakes with ABS
- Polished cast alloy 16-inch wheels
- 225-50R radial tires
- 4-wheel independent suspension
- Front and rear sway bars
- Guards Red with Saddle leather interior
- Front and rear spoilers
- Rear bumper extensions
- Pop-up headlights with washers
- Tinted glass
- Hatchback access to large rear cargo area with retracting cover
- 160 MPH speedometer
- 6,000 RPM tachometer with gear readout
- Snug-fitting high-bolstered bucket seats
- Front and rear climate control
- Center console with rear climate control vents
- Blaupunkt stereo with cassette
- Power windows, sunroof and rear wiper

ESTIMATE: $10,000 - $20,000

Pre-Auction Notes: Here is our car. Of all the cars at this auction... this is the one I want. And the price range means it might be possible on a $20K budget. Let's see.

Sold For: $17,000

Post Auction Notes: At this price I would not been able to buy this car. With buyer's fees and such there would not be enough money in the budget left to ship it home. But it did warm my heart that is sold for under $20K.

Lot S210
1969 Cadillac Eldorado


- Car has been started in the last two weeks
- May still need mechanical and fuel system maintenance
- Car has not been driven
- 472/375 HP V-8 engine
- Turbo Hydra-Matic transmission
- 2-door Personal Coupe configuration
- Egg Crate grille and quad headlights
- Red with Red leather interior
- Split bench power front seat
- Fold-down armrest
- Power steering and disc brakes
- Factory climate control
- Cruise control
- Auto-dimming headlights
- In-dash clock
- Power windows
- Soft Ray tinted glass
- Crisp styling initiated by Bill Mitchell
- Olds Toronado-sourced Unified Powerplant Package
- Front-wheel drive

ESTIMATE: $15,000 - $20,000

Pre-Auction Notes: I really kind of like these early front wheel drive Eldorados. A friend on mine in High School's father had one.

Sold For: $11,500

Post Auction Notes: Score!!! If I passed on the Avanti on hopes of getting the Porsche 928, I would have bought this as a consolation. Yes Virginia, you can get a deal at a massive collection sale.

Lot S227
1984 Nissan Tomahawk Z


- Car has been started in the last two weeks
- May still need mechanical and fuel system maintenance
- Car has not been driven
- One of three Tomahawk Z's produced by Roy Bateman of Native American Craftsmen
- The first of three built
- Body hand-laminated five times
- Aluminum and stainless steel bracings
- Body kit cured in-mold for two weeks
- Manual transmission
- Digital instrument cluster
- Side exhaust
- Roll bar
- Black with White racing stripe and Gray flames
- Chrome wheels
- BF Goodrich radial tires

ESTIMATE: $35,000 - $45,000

Pre-Auction Notes: This car is just weird. And might just be to weird to collect the estimate. Let's see.

Sold For: $20,000

Post Auction Notes: Yep, it went well below the estimates. Although, I don't know what that means as I never heard of this car before. Oh well, I would have bought an Eldorado had I attended.