Quicker and (maybe) smarter than me, the folks at Sports Car Market added seven terrific links to its most recent newsletter and I'm here to say thanks while passing them on to you.
They all link to the catalogs of seven major companies appearing in the Scottsdale auction festival during mid-January. In past years such catalogs were available only in print and at a high price. Indeed, RM's catalogs were keepers, a combination of coffee table book and vehicle history. No doubt they were helpful to the well-heeled prospective buyers but not everyone was willing to lay out that kind of money and, let's face it, there are countless enthusiasts who simply like to admire the cars and, perhaps, learn a little. So we can all be thankful that the catalogs are now available for downloading, absolutely free. I might add that for the auctioneers it makes marketing sense to expand the appeal.
I'm not even going to attempt describing the contents. You can do that yourself, simply by perusing the catalogs. If you're an enthusiast without deep pockets, you'll have fun. If you're a person of means you may find the car (or cars) of your dreams and either head for Scottsdale or use your phone as a bidding tool. If it were me I'd head straight for the RM catalog and inform my banker that I'll be bidding on the 1959 BMW 507 up top. One of my all-time favorites and a candidate for most beautiful sports car.
On the other hand, with less money to spend and a nostalgia for art deco-inspired Fords, and wooden boats, too, I'd hop over to the Gooding catalog and get ready to bid on this 1939 Ford station wagon. With original wood paneling and expert restoration, plus a history that included musem display, I'd love to park it next to the docks at a classic boat show.
While clicking through the Russo & Steele catalog I was brought to an instant halt by this 1953 Corvette. It is one of the rare original examples and is totally unique in having served as the "model" for a US Postal Service 1953 Corvette stamp. The car belongs to Noland Adams, who has 55 + years of experience as an owner, restorer, and Corvette historian. This beauty was owned by him for 43 years.
For sheer volume and variety you can't beat the Barrett-Jackson "circus." It provides five days of entertainment, fun, a chance to see over a thousand collector cars all in one place, and an opportunity to buy some genuinely affordable wheels. That's why I was attracted to this 1969 Toyota Corolla hardtop; that and the fact that vintage Japanese cars are beginning to get some deserved attention. I'd be happy to drive this one home. Get the catalog here.
The Silver auction at Fort McDowell is smaller and more intimate than some of the others, but no less interesting. For example, Silver is offering this 1937 Dodge D5 convertible sedan, one of only 473 produced. With a restoration by a professional mechanic for his own use (same owner many years) it shows off a black lacquer exterior, tan leather interior, factory fender skirts, wide whitewalls, and comes with a heater; handy for those cool weather tours.
I must admit that I've never heard of the MotoExotica sale in Phoenix, which kicks off auction hysteria on January 14-15. But a glance through the online catalog made me realise I'd be missing an important event if I failed to attend. In fact, budget permitting, I might be bidding on a lovely 1947 Buick convertible. I fell in love with these beauties when I was a kid and my affection hasn't changed after all these years. With a wide variety of cars and a slide show accompanying every vehicle pictured, this catalog is one to enjoy.
And now, as they say, for something completely different. In addition to a selection of high end classics, the international auctioneer Bonhams, making its Scottsdale debut, is offering the complete auto library of the late David E. Davis, one of America's most revered automobile journalists. Like countless others I frequently read his work and enjoyed it. Met him once, when he put my 4-year-old on his shoulders for a better view of the Grand Prix at the Glen. This is a collection with a personal history that adds to the interest.
[Thanks again to Sports Car Market for these links]