6 big bargains from the 2018 Amelia Island auctions

RK Motors Mar 12 2018

Amelia Island is simply not the place to buy cheap collector cars. Despite a shortage of seven-figure consignments this year, the average sale price was still $240,794, which is hardly within reach for the average Joe. Even so, there are cars that slip through the cracks at any auction event, and a few tempting bargains sold at Amelia this year among the flood of high-priced Porsches.

Here are six of the best deals we saw in action at Amelia, determined relative to their typical market value and condition as rated by Hagerty.

1966 Lotus Elan S3 Roadster

1966 Lotus Elan S3 Roadster Bonhams

Bonhams, Lot 138

Sold for $26,880

Average condition #3 value: $29,500

While far from the most usable or reliable car out there, the Elan is one of the all-time greats thanks to razor-sharp handling, ample power-to-weight, and charming good looks. While values have increased over the past few years, the Elan is still a pretty solid value compared to other classics with similar performance. The S3 Roadster that sold at Bonhams is an older restoration with only light general wear and in #2 (Excellent) condition, but it sold for the kind of money that typically buys a more worn out Elan. It could have brought another 10 grand and still been not particularly expensive.

1966 Sunbeam Tiger

1966 Sunbeam Tiger Mk 1A RM Sotheby’sRM Sotheby’s, Lot 149

Sold for $58,800

Average condition #3 value: $71,500

While Tiger prices have retreated slightly over the past year or so, they remain high, and a really, really good one can break six figures. The Tiger at RM ticked all the right boxes for a 260 car, with its original engine, factory hardtop, factory aluminum wheels, engine dress-up kit, and good colors. While its restoration was done a while ago, it was done to high standards and the car still looks great, but it sold for not a whole lot more than project car money.

1951 Hudson Hornet Convertible Brougham

1951 Hudson Hornet Convertible Brougham RM Sotheby'sRM Sotheby’s, Lot 186

Sold for $72,800

Average condition #3 value: $72,800

RM’s Hudson Convertible Brougham sold for the Hagerty Price Guide’s condition #3 (Good) value on the dot, but it is a much better car than that. Even though the panel gaps are a little uneven, the tires are older and the top frame is a little tired, it is gorgeous enough to warrant a #2 rating despite those details. The condition along with the body style, handsome original colors and great accessories like Kelsey Hayes wire wheels, sun visor and spotlight make it a top notch step-down Hudson, but it sold for average driver-quality money.

1954 Lotus Mk 6

1954 Lotus Mk 6 Bonhams

Bonhams, Lot 32

Sold for $30,240

Average condition #3 value: N/A

The Mk 6 was Lotus’ first production model, so for that reason it will always be collectible. Barely more than 100 examples were built, but they were sold as kits and many of them were raced, so far fewer remain today. This one is a little worn and its history isn’t fully documented, but it’s a genuine car that was restored some years ago and still looks ready to race, which would surely be a blast given that the Mk 6’s windshield isn’t even waist height and the whole car weighs about 1000 pounds. The rarity and significance alone make this seem like a great deal.

1989 Porsche 911 Turbo Targa

1989 Porsche 911 Turbo Targa RM Sotheby’s

RM Sotheby’s, Lot 132

Sold for $120,400

Average condition #3 value: $172,000

For the most part, later air-cooled Porsches sold very well at Amelia Island this year despite there being so many to choose from. At the RM Sotheby’s auction, nearly a fifth of all the cars there were Porsches, and this is one of the few Porsches of the week to go for a relatively low price. As a 1989 930 Targa, it has the desirable G50 five-speed and looks very good in the rare Velvet Red over Linen. While the odometer shows 63,813 miles, it has received restoration work and was rated at a #2 (Excellent) condition. But while a desirable car, it was also up against a lot of other very good modern 911s with special order features and fewer miles, so it didn’t capture the attention that it probably deserves.

1953 Jaguar XK 120 Roadster

1953 Jaguar XK120 Roadster Bonhams

Bonhams, Lot 192

Sold for $80,640

Average condition #3 value: $89,300

An older restoration that’s starting to show its age, this XK120 is nevertheless very attractive and is a proven event car, competing in the Copperstate 1000 last year. It still looks ready for vintage tours and rallies or the occasional casual car show, so it is much better than the price suggests. It could have brought closer to six figures without being considered terribly pricey.


AUTHOR: Andrew Newton

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