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Ferrari, rare ’57 Chrysler 300C lead Morphy’s May 16 Automobile Auction

1988 Ferrari Testarossa, Rosso red with tan leather, all original, flat 12-cylinder engine, 22,400 miles. Estimate $80-000-$100,000. Morphy Auctions image

DENVER, Pa. – Since the days of Henry Ford, Americans have had a love affair with cars – driving them, showing them off, and collecting them. Morphy Auctions’ automobile division caters to the luxury, sports and classic car collector with its boutique sales of rare, premium-quality vehicles, such as the 53-lot event planned for Saturday, May 16 at the company’s flagship gallery.

Sleek examples of motoring and design perfection, the cars entered in the auction are in magnificent condition and ready for their close-ups. Leading the five-star fleet is Lot 37, a 1957 Chrysler 300C convertible coupe with push-button Torqueflite transmission, consigned by a collector from Hershey, Pa.

“Fewer than 500 of these cars were produced, so it’s very rare,” said Bill Windham, VP of Morphy’s automobile division. “It has a 375 horsepower Hemi engine, which, at the time of the car’s production, was the most powerful engine available in any street car. The combination of a 300C, a Hemi engine and the fact that it’s a convertible makes it especially desirable.”

RM of Canada undertook the complete body-off restoration of the mighty Chrysler. “One can only imagine the hours and attention to detail that went into the job. It’s a masterpiece,” Windham said. The pre-sale estimate has been set at $175,000-$200,000.

Lot 42, a 1946 Ford Super Deluxe Woody Wagon is the stunning reflection of the nut-and-bolt restoration that elevated it to incomparable status.

“It might well be the finest ’46 Ford Woody in existence,” Windham said. “Every single nut and bolt was taken apart and reassembled – a project that took 20 years to complete. The wood, alone, is a work of art and exemplifies the owner’s passion for quality and attention to detail.” Equipped with a 239/100 engine and 3-speed manual transmission, the like-new Woody could cruise to a $90,000-$110,000 winning bid on auction day.

Chevys will be out in force, started with Lot 39, the 1967 Indy Pace Car Camaro SS/RS convertible.

With appropriate Pace Car cowl-trim tag coding, this rare classic is even more desirable due to its factory 4-speed transmission. Described in Morphy’s catalog as a “total rotisserie restored example,” its engine bay and underside are spotless, and the drive train has been completely disassembled and rebuilt to factory specifications. With its 350/290 V8 engine, this matching-numbers example is a confident candidate for any motoring enthusiast’s collection and is estimated at $75,000-$90,000.

Following as Lot 40, its stablemate is a 1970 Chevelle SS LS6, the highest-horsepower model to roll off Chevrolet’s production line.

It has a 454 cubic inch 450 h.p. motor, Turbo 400 automatic transmission, 4.10 rear axle, positraction and many extras. The original Black Cherry paint and Ivory interior are flawless. “Jim Brady of Super Sports oversaw the frame-up restoration on this car, which will transfer with full documentation. This is an investment-grade muscle car,” Windham said. Estimate: $75,000-$100,000.

Making it a Chevrolet trifecta, Lot 41 is a 1953 Corvette, fully restored and finished in the Black with Red-interior color scheme.

Thousands of dollars were spent on the high-quality frame-off restoration, with particular attention paid to originality. It has a 235 in-line 6-cylinder engine and automatic transmission, and is one of the finest of the original 3,640 first-year Corvettes available on the market today. It is expected to make $70,000-$80,000 at auction.

The speediest of the European sports cars in the sale is Lot 31, a Rossa Corsa Red 1988 Ferrari Testarossa that has clocked only 22,400 miles. The sound of its flat-12 engine through a 5-speed transmission is spine tingling.

“Manual-shifting Ferraris, or what aficionados call three-pedal Ferraris – are really taking off in the marketplace,” Windham said. “Ferrari no longer produces a manual-shifting model, and although later ‘paddle shifters’ – which operate hydraulically – produce faster gear changes, they eliminate a large component of driver interaction and skill. Enthusiasts enjoy the full relationship between driver and car that a manual clutch provides.”

Windham said Testarossas have appreciated 20% in the past 12-18 months.

“A few years ago, this car could have been bought for $55,000 to $60,000, but with the current demand for three-pedal Ferraris, this one is entered in the auction with an $80,000 to $100,000 estimate,” Windham said.

The Saturday, May 16 Automobile Auction will start at 12 noon Eastern Time. Absentee and Internet live bidding will be available through LiveAuctioneers.

For additional information on any automobile or motorcycle in the May 16 auction, call Bill Windham at 717-335-3435; email bill.windham@morphyauctions.com.

 

View the fully illustrated catalog and register to bid absentee or live via the Internet as the sale is taking place by logging on to www.LiveAuctioneers.com.