The offerings from Gooding & Company typically represent an outstanding cross-section of collector cars and the selection at the 2014 Scottsdale auction ranged from MGAs to a Ferrari 250 GT Series I Cabriolet that sold for $6.1-million. British cars were in abundance and these are some of the more interesting selections that were offered.
1955 MG TF 1500 (HDA 46/8363) – An ongoing curiosity is the increasing appreciation of interim models that were unloved and under appreciated in their time. For decades, collectors viewed the TF as nothing more than the historical bridge to the more modern MGA that would soon follow and values traditionally followed others in the T-series range. Buyers now see it as the most usable of the square-rigged MGs and the TF 1500 has overtaken the TC in price. This unrestored example was honest and clean with the type of patina that accrues only after years of careful ownership. Sold at $34,100.
1960 Triumph TR3 (TS58623L) – This TR3 was the bargain of the week and it was bought for a steal. An homage to the Triumph works rally team cars that were driven to great success on the European rally circuit, this factory hardtop was impressively restored and had great eye appeal. From the roof mounted spotlight to the Halda Speedpilot rally computer inside, everything about this car looked authentic and period correct. The pre-auction estimate placed the value at $55,000 to $75,000 – which seemed right to us – but sold for $29,700. Very. Well. Bought.
1959 Austin Healey Sprite Mk I (AN5-L/16468) – Donna Mae Mims was a vivacious blonde who combined Playmate looks with the driving skill of Bob Tullius. Famous for her pink helmet, pink suit and pink cars – earning her the moniker of the “Pink Lady” – she was the first woman to win an SCCA National Championship. The car she used to win in 1963 was this Bugeye, which makes it an interesting and important part of racing history. Restored to period specifications and ready for the Monterey Motorsports Reunion, it was very well bought at $48,400.
1956 Austin-Healey 100M (BN2-L/232183) – This car – out of the Don Murray Collection – was the only one of the three factory Ms to sell at Scottsdale. Finished in an attractive color scheme with excellent pane, it was a fine example of the most desirable model in the standard Healey range. While M prices have been on an enormous uptick of late, this car sold within its estimate at $137,500 and was well bought at that price.
1976 Triumph TR6 (CF5 7938 U) – With just 8,200 miles from new and still possessed of its original paint and interior, this TR6 was about as nice an example as one could hope to find. Given its exceptionally original condition, this factory hard top equipped car was one to store rather than drive. There may not be many more chances to own what is an essentially new TR and this may have been the best one to ever come across the block. Sure, the yellow was bright and the decals decry its 70s heritage, but where else will you find another? Well bought and sold at $35,200.
1964 Austin-Healey 3000 Mk III BJ8 (HBJ8-L/26979) – Perhaps no British sports car has ridden the wave of increasing prices further than the Big Healey. Over the past decade it seems that six digit price tags at auction were a foregone conclusion for the handsome brute. Now it seems that the market has cooled a bit. As always, condition matters – compare this car with the white BJ8 that sold for $93,500 at the same auction – and this car was let down somewhat by the details. Still, it was a more powerful “Phase 2” car with the more attractive “Phase 1” lights that presented well under the lights. Sold for $61,600.