Why a Rare Porsche Will Top $1.5 Million at Auction

While you could say that just about any Porsche 959 is a stunning car, this one is just an absolute neck-turner.  It’s black over carmel brown, and it’s one of only three made in this color combination.  Talk about rare.

Porsche only made 337 959’s from 1986-1989.  Each and every single one of them is still a technological tour-de-force, but when they came out, there was truly nothing else like it on the road.

The car that I’m talking about is a 1988 model, and it could be yours, should you be going to the Gooding & Company Pebble Beach auction in August.  It’s sale price is estimated to be between $1.6-1.8 million, which, if proved accurate, will only reflect the voracious appetite for collectible Porsches like this.

The Porsche 959 remains one of the most technologically-advanced and interesting supercars ever built.  Up until recently, they were a rare, astonishing sight in the US, due to the idiotic, bureaucratic import laws that the US has.  Why?  Because only 50 out of the 329-337 (production numbers vary, depending on who you ask at Porsche) built between 1986-1989 came to the US.  However, since the bulk of 959’s were built before 1988, the import laws are completely open on them, meaning that you can drive them legally on US roads without fear of the car getting crushed and you getting massive fines.  This is very good news for American car enthusiasts and collectors.

Gooding & Company is calling this car a “Komfort” model, which means that it’s the road-going version of the 959.  Komfort was Porsche’s way of differentiating the road-going 959 from the “Sport” version of the 959, which raced in everything from rally to endurance racing.  The Komfort cars were powered by a 444-horsepower, twin-turbocharged, 2.8-liter flat six-cylinder engine that was connected to a six-speed manual (most cars at the time still had four-speed manuals – a six-speed was simply out of this world).  It was completely ahead of its time in terms of speed, technology and handling.

“Car & Driver” recorded a smoking 3.6-second 0-60 run, and somehow had the cojones to get it all the way up to 190 mph.  Porsche says that the car has the potential to hit 205 mph, so it seems obvious that “Car & Driver” just didn’t have the nerve…That being said, the 190 mph that they recorded held their top speed record until 1997 and the McLaren F1.

What made the car so revolutionary was the fact that it had electronically-controlled AWD. The only other production car to use electronically-controlled AWD was the Audi Quattro, which started using the system back in the mid-1980s.  This system could distribute torque depending on the dynamic load on each wheel.  It could also be locked at a fixed torque split.

I’ve never quite seen such a beautiful Porsche, and while I’ve never seen a 959 in person, this is an absolute stunner.  The 959 is high up on my automotive bucket list, and this one only elevates it to be alongside other legendary cars like the Pagani Huayra, Dodge Daytona, Ford GT40, and Shelby Cobra, among others.

I’ve attached the link to the car from Gooding & Company for you to look at.  There are very few details on it, but they will be available closer to the auction date (think late July).  http://www.goodingco.com/vehicle/1988-porsche-959-komfort-2/

If you can’t afford that much, there is a beautiful 1973 Porsche 911 Carrera 2.7 RS Lightweight at the same auction that is estimated to go for $1.0-1.2 million.  I’ve attached the link for it also.  If you have the means, I highly recommend buying both and driving the wheels off of them.  Cars like these are meant to be driven.  http://www.goodingco.com/vehicle/1973-porsche-911-carrera-2-7-rs-lightweight-3/#tab1

This is the 959 coming up for sale in August.  It's beautiful.
This is the 959 coming up for sale in August. It’s beautiful.

What to Look for in Used Police Cars!

When you think of police cars, the Ford Crown Victoria comes to mind.  For those of you older than that 30-year span of the Ford Crown Vic, you might remember the Chevy Caprice 9C1, the legendary AMC Javelin Alabama State Patrol cars, the Dodge Monaco, and countless others.  Most used police cars these days consist of the Ford Crown Victoria, the occasional Ford Expedition or Explorer, maybe a Dodge Charger, or the Chevrolet Impala.  Here’s what to look for in these powerful bare-bones cars.

For the dollar-per-dollar factor, it’s hard to beat a used police car.  If you don’t drive that much, or if you carpool with a few buddies, a used police car is well worth the money.  However, you shouldn’t EVER go to a police auction and bid on the first police car that goes on the block.  This is a bad, bad, bad idea!  You have to do a lot of homework to find a good one among the thrashed and abused ones.

Most city auctions don’t allow private buyers that aren’t dealers or salvage pickers.  This way, they don’t have to deal with the major hassle of the fact that “as is” means “you bought the car.  It’s your problem that it won’t start now.”

So, how does one figure out what a good used police car is when the description says something like, “should start with a boost, minor body damage, minor interior damage on seats, exposed wires on interior and holes on the exterior.”

Start with realistic expectations.  Don’t expect a brand-new car.  The chance of that happening are slim to none.  Some of these cars may have been sitting on a back lot for weeks, months, even years after they were after on the road.  Some could have a bad engine or transmission, and you, the unlucky buyer, will be saddled with a car that has terrible rod knock or a hole in the headers.  It’s practically guaranteed that you will have to replace the battery.  Bring a jump box to get the car running, if you go to check the car out in person, which I strongly advise you do.

There’s a pecking order when it comes to Police Interceptors.  Cars that are used in the line of duty often have crummy cloth seats and vinyl rear seats that often have rips or holes in them.  You WILL see wires and holes where police equipment was – don’t be alarmed!  Most used Police Interceptors will have this.

In terms of paint, these cars are exceptionally well-kept.  This allows for scratches to be fixed easily, and for decals and logos to show better.  Black and white cars will often sell for less money than a single-color car, like a black, silver, or white car.  Single colors are often easier to retail, so my advice is get a black and white car and take it to a paint shop and paint it a single color.  A step above both of those is the Police Interceptor that has an all-cloth interior and no hanging wires or gaping holes like the active duty cars.  These cars tend to be abused far less, as they are usually used by government employees or police officials who don’t engage in high-speed chases (like lieutenants or captains).  These cars will go for more money, thanks to their lower mechanical wear and retail-ready interiors.  Another thing that adds retail value is police equipment.  Push bumpers, radios, spotlights, and the like will add a few hundred or so to the value of the car.

Always focus on no more than two vehicles, as it will allow you to put a lot more effort into looking at those cars.  Always, always, always inspect the car(s) with a professional mechanic or knowledgeable person before bidding.  Try to find out as much about how well the vehicle in question was maintained as you can.  Take a picture of the VIN so you can do a CarFax search when you get home.  Online descriptions are laughable, but sometimes you’ll luck out and get a real gem.

Not everything you’ll buy from a police auction is going to run like a top the moment you buy it.  The Ford Crown Victoria in particular has become well-known among car dealers for being the “almost car” because a full-sized car that people “kinda sorta” want with rear-wheel-drive, fuel economy that is worse than dismal, and more cheap plastic bits than your local LEGO store isn’t something that people exactly flock to in hordes.

Throw in exposed sometimes-live wires from the police-only parts that were removed, heavily worn seats, and you can sometimes buy a car for about 10% of it’s original retail price after 7 years.

If you want a cop car so that a cop will wave you by when you’re speeding to get to work, or that you can do burnouts, drifts, and cruise all day long in comfort while scaring the general public half to death when you zoom up in their rear-view mirror, take your time getting one.  Nobody’s going to laugh at you when you get a gem and they have to fork over a couple of thousand for a new engine because they bid on the first car they saw.  You’ll be the one laughing.  But, PLEASE, don’t lock yourself in the backseat.  You’ll get to listen to the entire 9-1-1 dispatch center, then the fire dispatch center, and then the tow truck driver and the fire crew laugh at you.  The worst will be if you lock your friends in the backseat while you go into the gas station to use the bathroom.

If you own or have owned a previous police car, tell us what to look for in the comment section.  We’d love to hear what you have to say about these cars.  They are surprisingly fun to drive, despite a transmission best suited for intergalactic travel and an engine that’s better on the bottom of the ocean.  If you want really good reliability and power, suck it up and buy a 5.0-liter V8 crate motor from Ford Racing.  Oh, and get a new transmission while you’re at it.  Also, tell us your funny stories involving police cars.  I’m sure that all of us have plenty.

A Chance to Buy Rare Muscle Cars from America’s Fastest Decade!

Owners of any given car can auction their car(s) off for any given reason.  You can auction the car off to get profit from an investment, to raise funds for another car, health reasons, etc.  Sometimes, however, it’s not the owner’s choice for the cars to be auctioned off.  Especially if the cars were purchased through illegal means.  David Nicoll amassed some very rare classic American muscle cars during his time as president of New Jersey’s Biodiagnostic Laboratory Services (BLS for short).  Now, Nicoll is facing somewhere between 17-22 years in federal prison for bribery charges.  His small collection of classic American muscle cars will be crossing the auction block on September 12 at a U.S. Marshal’s Service public auction in Lodi, New Jersey.

David Nicoll purchased his car collection literally through the blood of hours.  During his time as president of BLS, the FBI and the U.S. Attorney’s Office say that Nicoll received $33 million dollars in payments from a medical blood test bribery scheme that he personally oversaw for 7 years, and which netted well over $100 million dollars in total revenue.  Per the prosecution, BLS would bribe physicians to send their patients for medical tests which were often unnecessary, to be paid for by insurers.  Not one to be sly and frugal with his illegal gains, Nicoll was an extravagant spender.  It’s on FBI and IRS record that he spent $154,000 at a gentlemen’s club, over $400,000 in sports tickets, $700,000 on an apartment for his “female companion,” and over $5 million dollars in cars.

But, we’re not here to discuss fraud and extravagant spending on things like housing, clubs, and sports.  We are here, my friends, to talk about his fabulous taste in classic American iron.

Nicoll did not spend those ill-gotten $5 million dollars on chrome-clad Lamborghini Aventador’s or diamond-enrusted Rolls-Royce Ghosts.  His collection did, however, include a few Ferrari’s.  Instead, the bulk of that money was spent on some of the finest, rarest, and most expensive classic muscle cars ever created.  The inventory list of the A.J. Willner auction looks like a “best of 1967-1970.”  For sale are a:  1967 Shelby GT500, a 1969 Chevrolet Yenko Nova, a 1969 Chevrolet Yenko Camaro, a 1969 Chevrolet Yenko Chevelle, a 1970 Plymouth HEMI Superbird, a 1970 Chevrolet Chevelle SS 396 L78/L89 Convertible, and a 1970 Ford Mustang Boss 429.  Here’s the scoop on these cars:

  • 1969 Chevrolet Yenko Nova.  This is quite possibly one of the most coveted and valuable cars to be crossing the block.  It is a Rally Green 1969 Chevrolet Yenko Nova.  One of only 37 ever produced and believed to be only one of seven original Yenko-built Nova’s remaining, the Yenko Nova was said to be the fastest of the Yenko supercar trio because of it’s light weight.  It was able to get to 60 mph in just 4 seconds.  That’s about how long it takes a modern Porsche Boxster to get to 60.  Just like the other two Yenko supercars, the Nova is powered by Chevrolet’s answer to the 426 HEMI – the powerful L72 427 cubic-inch (7.0 liters) V8 Chevrolet big-block V8.  Nicoll purchased the car for $580,000, but classic coveted muscle car sales have been a series of peaks and valleys for the past few years.  The pre-auction estimate is about $475,000 or so, as another Yenko Nova sold for that in 2012 at the Indianapolis Mecum auction.  We shall see what the car will fetch at auction.
  • 1969 Chevrolet Yenko Camaro:  While “mass market” is a relative term for classic Yenko supercars, the Yenko Camaro and Chevelle were produced in slightly higher quantities.  Yenko only produced 201 Camaros and 99 Chevelles.  FBI records show that Nicoll spent about $365,000 on his Le Mans Blue Chevelle.  The amount spent on his Camaro was not disclosed.
  • 1970 Plymouth HEMI Superbird:  Nicoll didn’t limit his purchases to just Chevy’s – he bought a Tor Red 1970 Plymouth HEMI Superbird.  He bought the most valuable cars from the Big 3 (sorry, AMC!).  On the Mopar front is an extremely rare 1970 Plymouth Superbird with the 426 HEMI dressed in a stunning coat of Tor Red.  Plymouth only produced 135 Superbird’s with the 426 HEMI, and this car is one of even fewer HEMI ‘Bird’s with the 4-speed manual.
  • 1967 Ford Mustang Shelby GT500:  I’m not exactly sure of what the color is, but it looks like it is Lime Gold Poly.  Even if it’s a different color, it doesn’t make it any less stunning.  The GT500 is powered by Ford’s powerful 428 cubic-inch Police Interceptor V8 (7.0 liters) putting power down to the wheels through a Ford C4 3-speed automatic transmission.
  • 1970 Ford Mustang Boss 429:  This particular Boss 429 is finished in Grabber Green.  It is powered by Ford’s NASCAR-intended 429 cubic-inch V8 (7.0 liters) “semi-hemi” engine.  It puts the power down through a four-speed manual transmission.  It is quite possibly the most valuable Mustang ever created, with only 859 ever produced.

Those with a good deal of money wanting a bone-stock, amazing muscle car will almost certainly want to be in Lodi, New Jersey on September 12, 2014, for the U.S. Marshal’s Service Auction through A.J. Willner Auctions.  You can view the cars at A.J. Willner’s website at http://www.ajwillnerauctions.com/auctions/us-marshals-seized-vehicle-collection