All eyes of the collector car world are focused on California this week as Monterey Week 2012 gets underway. Each year thousands of collector car enthusiast head west to participate in the weeks’ activities which culminate at the esteemed Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance. Included in the car shows, race car reunions, and road rallies are 5 high-end collector car auctions. Mecum, RM, Russo and Steele, Gooding and Company, and Bonhams all are holding events this week. Our handy guide to those Monterey auctions awaits you after the jump.
Article Contributed by Steve Burns
A couple weeks back we previewed the Corvettes being offered at RM’s Arizona sale later this month: Part 1 and Part 2. We thought we’d build on that preview and include all of the Corvettes crossing the auction block this month. RM’s event is just one of 8 significant collector car auctions taking place in the annual January sales frenzy. Over 300 Corvettes will cross the block in search of new homes.
Here is something that you don’t see everyday and in the words of the auctioneer, it’s probably something that will never be duplicated! We’re talking of course about the matched set of Corvettes that was sold at Saturday’s RM Auctions Al Wiseman Collection in Tarpon Springs, Florida. Al had a 1953 Corvette with the serial number of #39. When the 50th Anniversary Corvettes were produced in 2003, Al lobbied GM quite hard for about a year and was successful in buying serial number #39, which was doing duty as a test mule. Topping off the collection was a commemorative 1953 Corvette pedal car from Pedal Cars USA produced to celebrate the Corvette’s golden anniversary. This unique Corvette pedal car also is number #39 in its series.
The 1953 Corvette has been in Al’s collection for around 5 years and has just completed a full concours quality restoration. Al was no stranger to 1953 Corvettes. Back in 2002 he teamed up with Chip Miller of Carlisle Productions to restore serial #158. That Corvette, dubbed “Restoration Celebration”, was restored to better than perfect condition and the proceeds from the sale of that car were donated to charity.
Interestingly, the sale of both of these 1953 Corvettes ended up in the hands of the same buyer…Terry Michaelis of Proteam Corvettes.
And while the buyer and seller of both 1953 Corvettes remained the same, what has changed in the last five years is the prices commanded for the first year of America’s Sports Cars. #158 was purchased for $170,000 in 2002 while 1953 Corvette #39 brought in $390,500 just five years later.
Yes, this auction of the 1953 Corvette had the bonus of a serial numbers-matching 2003 50th Anniversary Corvette Roadster, as well as the kids commemorative pedal car, but it was the 1953 Corvette that drove this sale home.