2000 Honda Civic Si
No, that’s not a typo. A 2000 Honda Civic Si really did sell for $52,250 at Bring a Trailer this week, a new record for the model at auction. Those of us old enough to remember when these cars were new will remember them as being wildly popular with the sport compact tuner crowd and today, it’s rare to see one that hasn’t been modified, raced or abused, let alone one with just 5,600 original miles as this one has. OK, so this car does have a couple of modifications—an aftermarket Pioneer stereo, and a DC Sports lower tie rod brace—but both are easily reversible and don’t detract from the car’s stock appearance. The Civic Si has a VTEC-equipped B16A2 engine, which was rated at 160 horsepower by Honda, and an 8,000-rpm redline, which the new owner would be wise to take advantage of. One auction result doesn’t make for much market change, so we don’t expect that values of average Civic Si driver-quality examples will benefit much from this sale. On the other hand, you can bet we’ll see a few more ultra-low miles cars start to come out of the woodwork seeking to capitalize on this lightning strike. Very, very well sold—especially considering the original MSRP of $17,995.
1961 Jaguar MK II
It’s not much to look at now, but in its day, this Jaguar MK II was a pretty hot sedan. A common sight in English and European “saloon” car racing, the 1961 MK II got its dual-overhead-cam, 3.8-liter straight-six engine from Jaguar’s XK (later, E-Type) sports car line and its speed and composure made it equally adept as both a police car and a baddie getaway car. This one has the three-speed automatic instead of the standard four-speed manual, but that’s currently the least of its worries. While this MK II runs, it’ll need a pretty comprehensive restoration. Once that’s done, the car could be worth six to eight times its current sale price.
1988 Mercedes-Benz 560SL
The ubiquitous R107 series Mercedes SL is a legendary car, being a preferred choice of transportation for celebrities, doctors, lawyers and CEOs for the better part of two decades. Production ran from 1971 all the way to 1989, making this 1988 560SL one of the later examples to be produced. The 560 variant was also the most powerful, with a naturally aspirated 227-horsepower, 279-lb-ft, 5.5-liter V-8 powering the rear wheels through a four-speed automatic transmission. More boulevard cruiser than sports car, at least the 560SL has enough power to get around its 3,500-lb curb weight. This one appears to be a well-kept, low-miles car (39,000 miles on the odometer) in a great color scheme: Petrol Blue Metallic over Mushroom leather interior. Though these cars have seen renewed interest in the last several years and some have sold for as much as double the price paid here, with roughly a quarter of a million R107s built, they’re simply too common to appreciate much further in price. A fair buy for an end user.
1986 Alfa Romeo GTV6
Exceptional cars tend to get exceptional results at auction. This gorgeously presented Alfa Romeo GTV6 sold for more than double what even a very good driver would bring, with a solid bidding war in the final minutes of the auction. With 49,000 miles and lots of recent service, this 2.5-liter “Busso” V-6-powered sports coupe should run and drive as well as it looks. These cars and the Milano sedans that they share a chassis with, really represent the last of the old-school, quirky Alfas before the Fiat takeover in 1986. A DeDion rear suspension and inboard disc brakes are nods to Alfa’s motorsports pedigree, something you won’t forget from behind the wheel. Both buyer and seller did well here—this looks like one of the nicest GTV6s left.
1993 Ferrari 348 Serie Speciale
Almost $100,000 for a Ferrari 348? You better believe it. Yes, the 348 is oft-referred to as the red-haired stepchild of the V-8 Ferrari line for its twitchy handling characteristics, dated ergonomics, and mediocre performance, but this is a Serie Speciale—one of 100 built exclusively for the North American market. What’s so speciale about it? A wider rear track, F40-style Kevlar shell bucket seats, and a small bump in power yielding 312 hp from its 3.4-liter V-8. A shorter final drive ratio, unique rear grille, intake on the front air dam, and a serialized plaque inside the car, among a few other changes, all sealed the deal. This was one of just 35 Serie Speciale coupes (the rest were Targa-style GTS models) and we love the Blu Serra Metallic paint. This car had just 19,000 miles on it with strong service history, including a recent major service. Even at more than double the price of your average 348, we still consider this one a good buy. Ferrari collectors love a unique and significant car, so it may have further to go over the next decade or two. Oh, and don’t forget the allure of that now-obsolete dog-leg gated five-speed manual gearbox.
1979 Ford Bronco
Classic SUVs are still a growing segment of the collector car market, but usually to fetch a price like this 1979 Bronco did, there’s been thousands of dollars in resto-mod work done. Not so, here. This Bronco is all-original, right down to its Wimbledon White and Coral “Tu-Tone Deluxe” paint and factory 351-ci V-8 engine. We especially like the original four-speed manual gearbox, linked through a dual-range transfer case. With just two owners and 20,000 original miles, this survivor will make an excellent, usable and all-original classic that we think will remain desirable for decades to come. A strong price for a very strong classic Bronco.
1953 Porsche 356 Pre-A Coupe
Speaking of strong prices, check out this early “bent-window” 356 Coupe. Here’s the deal: when Porsche was building the first 356 models, the curvature of the windscreen was a production issue. Two-piece windshields with a separate pane for driver and passenger, bonded together in the middle with weather stripping were the first solution. By 1953, a single window that was bent in the middle became the new norm. Ultimately, by the end of 1954, all 356 models had curved windshields, and it’s thought that just 300 or so original “bent-window” cars remain after all these years. Believe it or not, this car, while very nicely presented, would have brought even more money with its original engine—this one has a replacement 1.6-liter flat-four from a later 356 C model. The good news is that it produces 75 hp, which makes a light and nimble 356 highly drivable in today’s traffic.