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“A man is not old until regrets take the place of dreams,” said John Barrymore.
Extremely loose translation: no matter your age, your dream car is still out there.
So forgo your regrets, and peruse our five favorite cars from this week’s RM Sotheby’s Arizona auction, which might be the best collector car auction of 2019.
Running from January 17-18 at the Arizona Biltmore Resort & Spa in Phoenix, the 20th iteration of the auction will probably top last year’s $36 million in sales. This time out, there are more than 100 lots of both classic supercars and real surprises, including Indy 500 competitors, Porsche diesel tractors and an aptly-monikered 1974 Volkswagen open-topped “Thing.” There’s even a customized, award-winning 1967 Cadillac Eldorado owned by Blink-182’s Travis Barker.
You can go online now to longingly stare at all of these, and bid on most of ‘em. A few (including the 1957 Ferrari below) require advance registration and prohibit internet bidding, but you can register by phone to place a commission. And if you’re in the Southwest or on the West Coast, we recommend checking things out in person.
For a sneak preview, check out our five favorite lots from the auction below.
When money is no object: 1957 Ferrari 250 GT Coupe Speciale
Custom built for the royal lady of Belgium, probably because she helped facilitate a tire supplier to Ferrari during a supply crisis. This one-off could fetch as much as $13 million.
For the kid you may or may not have: 1968 Ford Mini GT 40 by SCAF
Possibly the coolest working go-kart ever built, this mini replica of the legendary racing car (note: with a removable roof!) has been upgraded with a new single-cylinder, 9-hp motor with electric start, front and rear electric lights and a hand stitched leather-wrapped steering wheel. It’s ready to go if you want your kid to compete in the Little Big Mans race at Le Mans.
To own a bit of what-if history: 1948 Tucker 48
Running on a modified helicopter engine, only 51 of these ill-fated but innovative sedans were ever built. Featuring at-the-time innovations such as rear-wheel drive and a third directional headlight, the Tuckers were shut down in part by pressure from Big Auto (check out superfan Francis Ford Coppola’s 1988 bio flick Tucker: The Man and His Dream if you want the full story). Restored, this post-war icon should fetch up to $1.7 million.
For “woodie” fans: 1950 Ford Station Wagon Custom “Envy”
Sleeker than the average wood-paneled station wagon, the 1949 Ford models became popular with surfers and were often customized … including this model, which features a wagon body of hardrock maple with birds-eye inserts and a 5.7-liter LT1 Corvette drivetrain. The interior is high-grade leather with ostrich and suede highlights, and features a green neon halo-lit headliner.
For pure style: 1958 BMW Roadster Series II
While the Roadsters flamed out after three years for being too expensive (particularly for what was supposed to be a mid-priced model), they did eventually inspired the more popular Z8s. Plus, the likes of Elvis Presley and original Bond girl Ursula Andress were fans of this car with (as the auction site puts it) “sensual curves.”