On the horizon: eclectic classics at Arizona sale

| 21 Jan 2016

With the Scottsdale auctions now fast approaching, it’s easy to get distracted by headline-grabbing sums and glittering exotics – but we thought it would be more fun to shine the spotlight on some of the week’s more eclectic lots. We asked RM Sotheby’s to round-up it’s top left-field classics. Words and pictures: RM Sotheby's

1968 Alfa Romeo Gran Sport Quattroruote by Zagato 

Inspired by the Alfa Romeo 6C 1750 Gran Sport Spider of the early 1930s, the Alfa Romeo Gran Sport Quattroruote is a rare factory-approved recreation. Alfa Romeo supplied a purpose-built chassis to coachbuilder Zagato, where the retro-inspired aluminum bodies were hand-built to each frame. Sold through the existing Alfa Romeo dealer network, the company built a total of just 92 examples from 1965 – 1967. The example on offer, finished in Rosso over Nero leather, was previously owned by well-known Alfa Romeo enthusiast and California Mille founder Martin Swig, who found it in a classified ad and purchased sight unseen. Later restored by marque experts, during which time its engine and transmission were rebuilt, this limited edition tribute is in excellent condition and a joy to drive ($125,000 - $175,000).

1973 BMW 3.0 CSL 

With noticeably more aggressive and angular styling than the marque’s other two-door sedan at the time, the 2002, the CS line of sports coupes went on to become one of BMW’s most iconic road-going automobiles. The most desirable iteration was the 3.0 CSL. Built in an effort to take the car racing, the 3.0 CSL was lighter than the 3.0 CS or CSi thanks to its use of thinner steel bodywork, including a bonnet, doors, and boot lid in aluminum, as well as some deleted interior trim and soundproofing. The car offered later this month has been upgraded for more comfortable driving with a 3.5-liter engine, five-speed gearbox, and air conditioning. Desirable for its performance and looks, it would be an ideal acquisition for the collector looking for the perfect vintage automobile for long-distance touring ($100,000 - $140,000).

1987 Aston Martin V8 Vantage ‘X-Pack’ 

Thanks to its fire-breathing 4x2 Weber carburetors and low-restriction exhaust, Aston Martin’s true V8 Vantage supercar was never sold new in the United States. Sharing the same aluminum body shell as the standard V8, the V8 Vantage featured aggressive body upgrades that improved high-speed stability, and was easily distinguished by its blanked-off grille and hood scoop. Just 137 cars were manufactured to the ultimate Series III specification, utilizing the factory-designated aluminum 580X engine block, known as “X-Pack,” producing 432bhp and resulting in performance near to that of a 200mph supercar. This particular example has enjoyed continuous service and enthusiast ownership from new and was treated to an authentic cosmetic restoration by marque specialists in recent years. A rare opportunity indeed—this is the first example offered at auction in the US — the X-Pack represents tremendous value in today’s market, especially when compared to just about any DB-series Aston that came before ($500,000 - $575,000).

1988 Porsche 959 ‘Komfort’ 

As Porsche’s first supercar, the 959 is now and will always be iconic to the brand, which bodes well for their future values. 

Built to homologate the new Type 961 rally car, customers lined up to buy Porsche’s 200mph 959 road-car, whose production reached 329 examples even when the FIA suddenly cancelled Group B. All told, a well-driven 959 could see off almost any other high-performance car on the planet. This particular “Komfort” example, with “Color to Sample” blue leather upholstery, carpet, and AC, was delivered new to the Otto Glöckler Porsche dealership in Frankfurt, and used by Mr. Glöckler as his personal car. Finished in Grand Prix white, the 959 shows just 25,500 km and is complete with a Porsche Certificate of Authenticity. With advanced technology that included lightweight materials, a rear-mounted, 2.8-liter turbocharged engine, and a mind-boggling array of electronic management systems, even by today’s standards, the 959 is one of the automotive world’s true wonders ($1,100,000 - $1,400,000).

1989 Nissan Skyline GT-R 

With Nissan’s revival of the Skyline in 1989, a new legend was born: Godzilla. Much like its legendary forefather, the GT-R featured a DOHC inline six, though now packed with the latest of technology. Like the GT-R of the past, it would dominate on the track, not losing a single race in the All Japan Championships, and claiming an overall victory at the Spa 24 Hours along with consecutive wins at the Bathurst 1000. With near unlimited performance potential, along with a budding tuner scene, most GT-Rs were heavily modified by their owners. It is exceedingly rare to find a “bone-stock”, never modified example like the car offered here. One owner from new and in highly original condition, this Skyline has been driven less than 14,000 documented kilometers, routinely serviced by the Nissan dealership in Tokyo. The GT-R is, without a doubt, an icon of its generation, and with the recent expiration of its import exclusion, can surely only go up from here (Est. $50,000 - $70,000).

2002 BMW Z8 Roadster

RM is bringing an essentially brand new Z8 Roadster to Phoenix, showing a mere 550 actual miles. Inspired by the 507, the Z8 served not only as a “halo” car for the entire BMW lineup, but also as a test bed for new engineering techniques. The real achievement was hidden away from view—an advanced form of welded and extruded aluminum space-frame chassis construction. Remarkably well-preserved, this example is offered complete with not only the desirable removable hardtop but also original window sticker, books, spare keys, tools, and dealer coffee table book. For the buyer who missed out on this modern successor to the 507 when it was new, this is the next best thing ($275,000 - $325,000).

The Craig McCaw Collection

RM Sotheby’s will also offer an eclectic group of a dozen cars from the Craig McCaw Collection at its January sale, some of which will be sold to support Stanford, the Revs Program at the University and other charities including The Nature Conservancy. Highlights include a stunning 1911 Lozier Model 51 Seven-Passenger Touring, boasting just four owners in its 105 years ($900,000 - $1,100,000), along with an exceptionally original 1949 Jaguar XK 120 Alloy Roadster, purchased new and owned for 46 years by legendary designer and enthusiast, Brooks Stevens ($350,000 - $450,000).

For full event details or to view all entries for RM’s two-day sale, which spans everything from stately Brass Era cars and American Classics to supercars of today, download the complete digital catalogue at www.rmsothebys.com.

For those unable to attend the event in person, RM Sotheby’s offers a range of remote bidding options, including absentee, Internet, and telephone bidding, and the auction will stream live at www.rmsothebys.com providing real-time coverage of the event.