A barn find headlines the Gooding & Co. Florida sale 2018

As a rule, the cars offered at Gooding & Co. sales tend to have higher average estimates than those offered by the firm’s direct competitors, and this year’s Amelia Island auctions confirm this “tradition”. Gooding & Co.’s Amelia Island (FL) sale will be held on Friday, March 9th, starting at 11 a.m., at the Omni Amelia Island Plantation resort, just a few hundred yards from the Ritz Carlton, where the Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance will be held the following Sunday, March 11th. The sale will be previewed on Thursday March 9th, from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. USA Eastern Standard Time. The buyer’s premium will be 10% on the hammer price. The catalog of the Gooding & Co. Florida sale 2018 includes 87 cars (plus an engine), and 53 of these 87 are being offered without a reserve price.

The oldest car in the catalog is a freshly restored 1910 Peugeot V2Y2 (chassis # 3958), the only known survivor among the approximately 300 chain-driven sport model versions built. It took first in its class at the 2016 Amelia Island concours, and is now being offered without reserve, with an estimate of USD 140–180 K. The youngest car crossing the block will be a 2016 Porsche 911 991 GT3 RS (chassis # WP0AF2A95GS192395) that has covered 170 miles from new. Coming from the J. Hascall collection, it too is being offered without reserve and is expected to fetch around USD 175–250 K. The event will feature nine cars built since the start of the new millennium and 11 with estimates above the million dollar mark. These include one car valued at USD 6 million, another at USD 5 million, and a further three each expected to fetch in excess of USD 2 million.

The car with the lowest estimated value (USD 25–35 K), offered without reserve, is a 1982 Porsche 928 (chassis # WP0JA0927CS820655) with an automatic transmission and less than 62,000 miles on the clock. Coming from the Brumos collection, this car is in well preserved, but original, condition. The highest estimate of the sale, at USD 6–8 million, has been assigned to a 1974 Porsche 911 Carrera RSR 2.1 Turbo (chassis #911 460 9102 -R13), one of the only four RSR 2.1 Turbos built, which came 2nd overall at the 1974 24 Hours of Le Mans.

1966 Ferrari 275 GTB Alloy

The story of this 1966 Ferrari 275 GTB Alloy (chassis # 08125, see header visual above) may be taken as clear proof that miracles do happen! The alloy version of the 275 GTB is among the rarest and most admired road cars built at the Maranello plant, and the 80 specimens featuring the “long nose” body hold particular appeal. Sporting an Argento Metallizzato (metallic silver) over blue leather color scheme, this one rolled off the production line in January 1966, and was sold the same year to movie director Giorgio Pivetti of Milan, through Crepaldi, the official distributor for the area.

A few years later, it was exported to the USA, where it was registered in Massachusetts in 1975 before being bought, in 1981, by dealer Marc Tauber who had spotted it in ad in The New York Times. A few months later, the car was purchased from Tauber by a New York enthusiast who, in 1982, sold it to its current owner. This long-term owner used the car sparingly for several years, but following the sudden death, in 1991, of his trusted mechanic, also a close friend, he parked the 275 GTB, together with a 1967 Shelby Cobra 427 (his other pride and joy) in his North Carolina garage. He advertised both cars for sale, as a single deal, in the Ferrari Market Letter. But after a change of heart, he decided to hold on to the cars, which thereafter remained closed in the garage for 27 years.

These “sleeping beauties” came to light again in late 2017, and their emotional and incredible discovery is beautifully documented in an episode of the TV series The Barn Find Hunter. The 275 GTB Alloy was sent to specialist Greg Jones to be inspected (it was found to be very unmolested with matching numbers on almost everything) and fixed sufficiently to be able to run for a few minutes. Offered as found, still covered in dust, it is expected to fetch in the region of USD 2.5–3.25 million.

1967 Ford GT 40 Mk IV

The GT 40, the racing weapon developed by Ford to overcome Ferrari on the racetrack, is a legendary model, and the GT 40s still in existence, mainly to be found at museums or in important collections, are seldom offered for sale. The car offered (chassis #J-12) is one of the so-called J-cars, meaning the ones designed and built to meet the requirements of the FIA’s new Appendix J regulations. These cars subsequently became known as the Mk IVs. Only 12 were built in all, and this one, the last of the 12, was built using a spare chassis and leftover spare parts. It was constructed with a seven-liter engine and sported the distinctive chassis made from a revolutionary lightweight honeycomb material. In this case, it was an originally unmarked chassis to be used, if necessary, at the 24 Hours of Le Mans.

Sold in this bare chassis condition in the early 1970s to Harry T. Heini of Miami Lakes (FL) together with other chassis, engines and parts, it remained in “as was” condition until 1977, when it was sold to Brian Angliss, owner of UK firm Autokraft Ltd, and later of AC Cars Ltd too. It was Angliss who, the same year, after purchasing many spare parts left in the factory after the Le Mans races, sold the chassis together with all the spare parts necessary to build the car, to a Mr Rod Leach, of Hertfordshire, UK. A correct Ford 427 engine, with rare tunnel port heads, was fitted, paired with a right transmission.

A decade after purchasing the car, Leach finished this amazing project. Displayed and seldom used since, the car, generally recognized as an original GT 40 and considered to be the last one built, was sold to its current owner in 1994 and, in 2015 received its FIA technical passport. It is certainly difficult to categorize this car, because it is too original to be considered a replica, and yet it doesn’t have the “birth certificate” it needs to qualify as 100% authentic. Although this obviously impacts on its value, it will always have a special space in the classic car world. It is offered for sale with an estimate of USD 2–2.5 million.

1953 Fiat 1100/103 Coupe Vignale

Carrozzeria Vignale was founded in 1948 and by 1953 it was already a well-established firm, creating spectacular one-off and small-run production cars, mostly Fiat derivatives. Only two 1100 Coupes are known to have been bodied by Vignale, one based on the standard 1100 chassis and the other on the more refined, and back then new, /103 version. It is currently impossible to say which the (probably just two) 1100 Coupe Vignales is the one that was shown at the Vignale stand at the 1953 Turin Motor Show, as there is conflicting evidence that would need to be properly investigated in order to try and solve the mystery.

The first thing known for sure about the car being offered at the Gooding & Co. sale (chassis #024545), namely the one using the type /103 chassis, is that it was exported, as a used car, from Italy to the USA in 1954. After crossing the Atlantic it was registered in the name of Harrison Godwin, a cartoonist and hotelier of Carmel (CA) and often driven. In 1955 it was shown at Pebble Beach, still with the second blade of the front bumpers positioned high and still wearing dark California plates; the following year it appeared without the upper blades, repainted in red, and with light colored California plates, albeit with the same numbers. The fact that there exist pictures from the late 1950s-early 1960s that show the car with its California plates being driven in Trieste (Italy) suggests that it was shipped back and forth from its country of origin.

In 1967, during a drive up north, the car suffered a major breakdown in Oregon. It proved impossible to find a correct head, and the car ended up remaining stranded at the local mechanic shop for the next 17 years, deteriorating as a result. It was rescued in 1984, seemingly with the idea of restoring it, but this process was not started until 2008, when it was purchased by its current owner. A painstaking restoration was needed and even though the car proved to be more complete and sound than had been imagined, this work took 10 years. Whereas some details have been very carefully restored, others, such as the upper bumpers, are missing due to the esthetic preferences of the current owner. The car appeared at Pebble Beach in 2016 and is now offered for sale with an estimated value of USD 400–500 K.

1953 Jaguar XK120 SE Roadster

The Jaguar XKs whose name includes the letters SE, standing for special equipment, are the top-performing versions: the ones enhanced by a double exhaust, revised camshaft and wire wheels. Little is known of the history of the one being offered by Gooding & Co. (chassis # S673968), a matching numbers car with a black engine block, as reported by the Jaguar Daimler Heritage Trust.

What is known is that it recently (in 2015) underwent a complete restoration, carried out by Tom Jaycox. Keeping its original engine and chassis, it was finished in the original, and splendid, color combination of Battleship Grey over Red Leather interior. To add more horsepower, a special pair of sand-cast SU-H8 carburetors and a C-Type head were added, and to make it more usable, an alloy radiator, an alternator and a 5-speed gearbox. Because of these modifications it is not a concours candidate, but it would be a great car drive in rallies and tours. It is offered, without reserve, with an estimate of USD 120-140 K.

1952 Ferrari 212 Europa Cabriolet by Ghia

Before entering into a close collaboration with Pinin Farina, Enzo Ferrari gave various coachbuilders his chassis to dress. Often it was the customer who would choose which “atelier” should be given the job of giving form to the mechanics built in Maranello, after which Ferrari himself would choose the solutions he liked the most and have them exhibited at car shows around the world. In December 1951 this late production 212 Europa chassis (#0233 EU) was sent to Carrozzeria Ghia in Turin, to be given a Cabriolet body, after which it appeared at the Ghia stand at the Geneva and Turin motor shows in Spring 1952.

Its first owner was Gianni Mazzocchi, founder, in 1929, of publishing company Editoriale Domus, whose titles include Domus, still today a leading magazine in the architecture world, and which, in 1956, started publishing Quattroruote, still today Italy’s leading car magazine. In 1953, the car was sold and ended up in southern France before being exported to the New York area in (circa) 1954. In many cases supercars of this period exported to the USA, as soon as they encountered their first major technical issues, would have their engines replaced. In the case of this particular car, this happened in the late 1960s, by which time it was in the Detroit area, and its original engine was swapped with a Chevrolet V-8. Thus completed, it was spotted by a car enthusiast in 1972 and bought, at a swap meeting, for 600 dollars, after which it remained parked in a closed garage in Grand Blanc (MI) for decades, a period during which all Ferrari historians believed it to be lost.

In 2011 the car was rediscovered by chance in a garage and promptly purchased by Ferrari expert Tom Shaughnessy (of Oceanside CA). Shaughnessy immediately contacted Ferrari collector Tom Caulfield, a close friend of his and, from the 1970s, owner of 212 engine number 0233 EU, and he purchased this matching numbers engine. The car quickly changed hands again and the new owner, the consignor, embarked on a restoration project that, lasting a good six years, saw the car returned to its former glory just a few days before the 2017 Pebble Beach Concours, where it finally appeared in public once again. It is offered for sale with an estimate of USD 1.8–2.2 million.

1990 Porsche 962C

The 962 is one of the most beautiful looking and successful racing Porsche models ever — an icon of the Stuttgart-based firm that has notched up countless victories in endurance prototype races and world championships. The firm campaigned its 962s through its Rothmans Works Team, and sold other 962s to many racing teams, thus allowing privateers to achieve important results too. The specimen offered (chassis # 962-160) is a late production car, which raced by Swiss racing team Brun Motorsport. Formally purchased from Porsche by Dr Robert Bishop of Indianapolis (MI), it was leased to Brun Motorsport to race in the WSPC series. All the papers documenting that agreement (including the one stating that the team would have to restore the car to as-new condition and return it within 90 days of the last race of the season) accompany the car, offering unique “inside information” about the history of this racing weapon. Its debut race was the 1990 24 Hours of Le Mans (DNF), after which it participated, always wearing the Repsol colors, in a further ten, its best results being a 6th place overall (Monza 1991 with Larrauri/Sigala at the wheel) and, on two occasions, 8th place overall (Nürburgring in August 1990 with Larrauri/Huysman, and Mexico in October 1991 with Sigala/Pareja). The current owner purchased the car from Dr Bishop in 1997, and used it in the Rennsport Reunion meeting and in historic sports car racing events. Perfectly maintained, it is ready to see more action in historic races; indeed, the recently revamped engine has had only nine hours of use. I’d certainly love to take it out on the Le Mans racetrack during the Le Mans Classic, even for just one lap! It is offered with an estimated value of USD 1.5–2 million.

All photos courtesy of Gooding & Company. Copyright for Ferrari 212 and Fiat by Brian Henniker, Porsche and Jaguar by Mike Maez, Ford by Mathieu Heurtault, barn find by James Lipman.

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