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7 Muscle Cars “Stolen” During Monterey Auctions

Updated September 18, 2015

Some cars slip through the cracks at auction. Maybe it was early or late in the day or the buyers were distracted. Here are 7 lucky deals made in Monterey by some astute buyers. Unfortunately the split-window Corvette at the top of the page was not one of them.

We’re using the actual selling prices of the car we’re featuring from the Russo and Steele, and Mecum auctions in Monterey last month. To determine market value, we’re using data from the Hagerty Insurance site, and we’re assuming all cars are Condition 2, unless photos and/or description clearly indicate otherwise. We’re using each vehicle’s VIN to make certain we’re getting the correct market value.

If you’re not familiar with the 1-4 rating system for collector cars, please see the bottom of the page. We’ve also include the average value for all cars of the same make/model/year/engine for comparison, regardless of condition.

1969 Ford Mustang Mach 1 Fastback

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Described as having 500 miles on the car since a frame-off restoration, this 1969 Ford Mustang Mach One is powered by a 351 CID Windsor V8 engine bored .030 over with Edelbrock intake and air cleaner  and a Holley 650 CFM carburetor.
Under the car is a stainless dual exhaust with headers , rebuilt Toploader 4-speed transmission, Trak-lok differential, front disc with rear drum brakes, and power steering.

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The exterior Is painted in a  custom black with matte lack stripes, rear window slats, and front and rear spoilers, while on the interior there are bucket seats, a Hurst T handle shifter, Classic Auto Sound cassette stereo. Finishing of the car are a set of vintage-looking but larger diameter American Racing Torque Thrust wheels.

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This car sold for $25,000 at the Mecum Auction in Monterey, CA.

Hagerty’s lists a value of $46,700 for a Condition 2 1971 Mustang Mach 1 with a 2 barrel carb as the original carburetor is not on the car and we wanted to be conservative in our estimates. The AVERAGE value of all 1971 Mustang Mach 1 351 2bbl. is $36,620, so the winner of this auction look as though he or she purchased the car under market price by $10,000 or more.

1964 Pontiac Tempest GTO

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This 1964 Pontiac Tempest GTO carries the 389 CID engine with the famous Tri-Power setup (three Rochester carburetors), and a four-speed transmission.

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Exterior is finished in black with red interior.

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The car came very well-documented: Pontiac Historical Services documents, a copy of window sticker, service and repair receipts and the car’s AMA specifications.

This car sold for $26,000 at the Mecum Auction in Monterey, CA.

Hagerty’s lists a value of $42,700 for a Condition 3 Pontiac Tempest GTO 389 Tri-Power. The AVERAGE value of all 1964  Pontiac Tempest GTO Tri-Power is $47,668, so the winner of this auction look as though he or she purchased the car under market price by around $16,000.

1972 Chevelle SS 454 Convertible

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Chevrolet produced 5,333 LS5 Chevelles in 1972, and this car may be one of the rarest. Built in March 1972 at the Baltimore assembly plant, this 1972 Chevelle SS 454 convertible is one of a believed 70 W-code convertibles built and one of 15 equipped with the M40 400 Turbo Hydra-Matic transmission.

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Power comes from a matching-numbers W-code LS5 454 rated at 270 NET HP at 4,000 RPM and 390 lb-ft of torque at 3,200 RPM.

Restored and recently refreshed in the original Spring Green with White stripes, White interior and soft top and optioned with a power top, cowl induction hood, bucket seats and center console.

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Despite the fact that the auctioneer’s estimate was for the car to sell for between $75,000 and $90,000, the hammer went down on this car at $32,000 at the Mecum Auction in Monterey, CA.

Hagerty’s lists a value of $72,400 for a Condition 2 1972 Chevelle SS LS5 Convertible. The AVERAGE value of all 1972 Chevelle SS LS5 Convertible is $57,874, so the winner of this auction looks as though he or she purchased the car around $25,000 to $40,000 under market price.

1970 Oldsmobile 442 Convertible

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Auctioneers Russo and Steele claimed this 1970 numbers matching Oldsmobile 442 is in Concours condition (which would be Condition 1). Regardless, we will continue to base our price comparison on Condition 2 (but will give you a peak at Condition 1 prices).

This car has been through an extensively-documented full frame-off, rotisserie restoration over the course of a decade.  Great attention to paid to detail, for example, an unrestored 1970 442 convertible was used to measure GM factory panel fit.

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Under the hood sits the mighty Oldsmobile 455 CID 4-barrel V8 that produced 340 hp, backed by a console-mounted Hurst Dual/Gate shifter operating a Turbo Hydra-matic transmission. Options include the W25 fiberglass hood with functional scoops, optional N74 variable ratio power steering, option W27 aluminum differential housing, optional FE2 suspension, power disc brakes and A/C.

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The hammer went down on this car at $39,600 at the Russo and Steele Auction in Monterey, CA.

Hagerty’s lists a value of $83,600 for a Condition 2 1970 Oldsmobile 442 Convertible. The AVERAGE value of all 1970 Oldsmobile 442 Convertible is $60,237, so the winner of this auction looks as though he or she purchased the car around $20,000 to $44,000 under market price. FYI – a Condition 1 ’70 442 Convertible is valued by Hagerty at $132,000.

1969 Buick Riviera GS

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According to Russo and Steele, this number-matching 1969 Buick Riviera GS is a very original car with under 50,000 believed to be actual miles. One recent repaint done to a high standard shows as good as factory. Otherwise all original and in nice condition throughout. No dents, dings or rust. Excellent gaps. Chrome and trim is in good to excellent condition. Cold A/C, AM radio, tilt, front seat belts, power brakes, power seat, power windows, power steering.

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Engine compartment is original and tidy with its original numbers-matching 430 cubic inch V8 (the first year for the new, well-regarded Buick big block, which replaced the old Nailhead); four-barrel carburetor, newer exhaust, 15-inch Firestone radials, owner’s manual, spare and jack included.

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This car sold for $14,300 at the Russo and Steele Auction in Monterey, CA August 13 -15, 2015.

Hagerty’s lists a value of $32,300 for a Condition 2 1969 Buick Riviera GS. The AVERAGE value of all 1969 Buick Riviera GS is $19.423, so the winner of this auction looks as though he or she purchased the car around $5,000 to $18,000 under market price.

1971 Plymouth Road Runner

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This is a matching numbers car with its original four-barrel, 300 hp 383 CID  engine that was ready to run on unleaded gas from the factory with its 8.7:1 compression and hardened exhaust valve seats.

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The car features a three-speed Torqueflite automatic transmission and recently new seat covers and carpets were installed. Given the appearance of the engine bay in the photographs, we’re going to be conservative and give this car a #3 Condition Rating.

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This car sold for $20,000 at the Mecum Auction in Monterey, CA August 13 -15, 2015

Hagerty’s lists a value of $29,900 for a Condition 3 1971 383 Road Runner. The AVERAGE value of all 1971 383 Road Runner is $30,165, so the winner of this auction look as though he or she purchased the car under market price by around $10,000. Not bad for a car purchased for $20,000.

1968 Chevrolet Corvette L36 Convertible

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This 1968 Corvette convertible hosts the L36 427 CID 390 hp big block V8, 4-speed manual transmission and a 3.75 Positraction differential mounted in a 12-bolt rear end. It  is equipped with an optional removable hardtop, white soft top, and redline tires.

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Despite the fact that the auctioneer’s estimate was for the car to sell for between $30,000 and $40,000, the hammer went down on this car at $27,000 at the Mecum Auction in Monterey, CA.

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Hagerty’s lists a value of $50,000 for a Condition 2 1968 L36 Corvette convertible. The AVERAGE value of all 1968 L36 Corvette convertibles is $31,539, so the winner of this auction looks as though he or she purchased the car somewhere between (and this is a big ballpark) $4,500 to $23,000 under market price.

Hagerty Condition Ratings

#1 vehicles are the best in the world. The visual image is of the best: in the right colors, driving onto the lawn at the finest concours. Perfectly clean, this vehicle has been groomed down to the tire treads. Painted and chromed surfaces are mirror-like. Dust and dirt are banned, and materials used are correct and superbly fitted. The one word description for #1 is “concours.”

#2 vehicles could win a local or regional show. They can be former #1 classics that have been driven or have aged. Seasoned observers will have to look closely for flaws, but will be able to find some not seen by the general public. The paint, chrome, glass and interior will all appear as excellent. No excessive smoke will be seen on startup, no unusual noises will emanate from the engine compartment. The vehicle will drive as a new vehicle of its era would. The one word description for #2 is “excellent.”

#3 vehicle could possess some, but not all of the issues of a #4, but they will be balanced by other factors such as a fresh paint job or a new, correct interior. #3 vehicles drive and run well, but might have some incorrect parts. They are not used for daily transportation but are ready for a long tour without excuses, and the casual passerby will not find any visual flaws. “Good” is the one word description of a  #3 vehicle.

#4 vehicles are daily drivers, with flaws visible to the naked eye. The chrome might have pitting or scratches, the windshield might be chipped. Paintwork is imperfect, and perhaps the fender has a minor dent. The interior could have split seams or a cracked dash. No major parts are missing, but the wheels could differ from the originals, or the interior might not be stock. A #4 can also be a deteriorated restoration. “Fair” is the one word that describes a #4 vehicle.

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Chris Riley
About Chris Riley

I have been wrecking cars for as long as I've been driving them but I keep coming back for more. Two wheels or four, I'm all in. GearHeads.org gives me a chance to give something back to the automobile community.

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