Big Money for Classic Pickups at Top Auctions

A 1932 Ford pickup went under the hammer for $250,000 and set the pace for a record truck sale at last week’s 2012 Barrett-Jackson Scottsdale auction.

Overall, buyers paid almost $5.4 million (including the auction commission) to take the keys of 149 trucks and pickups sold at the auction last week. That equates to an average of $36,241 per truck.

“Barrett-Jackson has always been a marker for collector car trends, and this year we experienced the growing fascination with pickup trucks,” said Craig Jackson, chairman and CEO of Barrett-Jackson.

The top-selling custom pickup (Lot 1305.5, shown above on the auction block) was built by Stinger’s Hot Rod Shop. The truck emulates a Harry Miller Indy racing truck if such a class existed in the 1930s. It was estimated that 90 percent of the truck was hand-built. It features a Donovan inline-four-cylinder, Tremec five-speed transmission, quick-change rear end, Bendix-style brakes, 19-inch Dayton wire wheels and paint from Rad Rods by Troy. With the 10 percent auction commission, total price to the buyer was $275,000.

In all, 25 trucks sold for more than $50,000 (including commission). A 1953 Ford F-100 (Lot 1259) built about 10 years ago by Ford Racing and McLaren Performance Technologies went for $132,000. Called the FR100, this unique truck features a stretched cab, independent front and rear suspensions from a Mustang and a 5.0-liter dual-overhead-cam engine rated at 425 horsepower. Ford actually built two trucks: A silver one that was featured at SEMA and in many magazines, and this black one that was introduced at the 2003 F100 Super Tour, according to auction records. This FR100 had been to Barrett-Jackson before, selling for $226,800 in the 2006 auction.

Another six-figure sale was a 1970 El Camino LS6 (Lot 1239) that sold for $106,700. Other top sellers included a 1948 Chevy cab-over (Lot 430.2) for $97,900; a 1958 Chevy Cameo (Lot 701.1) for 93,500; a 1956 Ford F-100 (Lot 956) for $77,000 and a 1940 Ford (Lot 1235.1) for $71,500.

“We have been watching classic pickup values steadily go up for a few years now, and this was definitely the year of the pickup in Scottsdale,” said McKeel Hagerty of Hagerty Insurance, which tracks auction sales throughout the country. “Compared to 2011, the average prices are up, and the buzz around pickups was talked about just as much as the multimillion-dollar sales.”

Besides Barrett-Jackson, four other major auctions were held last week around Scottsdale, Ariz. Analysts say more than $180 million in total sales were registered, up considerably from $157 million last year. Jackson says trucks made up more than 10 percent of the consignments and sales at Barrett-Jackson, but that percentage is likely to be lower at the other auctions. Just one truck sold at the prestigious Gooding  & Co. auction, where an aluminum-bodied 1955 Mercedes-Benz 300SL sold for more than $4.6 million. The lone truck entry was a 1957 Chevy Cameo (Lot 116) that sold for $49,500.

Over at Russo & Steele, nearly 40 trucks were sold. Official final results weren’t available to us, but Hagerty analysts said the top seller was a 1947 Chevy (Lot S718) at $132,000. Based on reports from Hagerty and Russo & Steele, a sampling of other top-selling trucks at Russo included a 1948 Ford (Lot S706) for $126,000, a 1940 Ford (Lot S626) for $66,000, a 1949 Ford (Lot SN825) for $63,250 and a 1930 Ford (Lot TH337) for $53,250.

More pickups crossed the block at Silver Auctions. A 1935 Ford (Lot 330) drew a top bid of $37,260, followed closely by a 1948 Chevy (Lot 260) at $36,990, according to Hagerty analysts.

Overall, analysts said trucks accounted for more than $6.8 million in auction sales last week, well up over last year.

“Classic pickups are currently one of the hottest trends in collecting,” Hagerty said. “For many years, old trucks were primarily used for utility purposes, but collectors are now buying them to restore and show.¬†The great thing about classic pickups is they are affordable, easy to work on, have great style similar to the cars of the era, and appeal to a wide audience.”

Here is a list of all trucks that sold for more than $50,000 at the Barrett-Jackson auction:

Price* Lot# Year/Model
Barrett-Jackson
$275,000 1305.5 1932 Ford
$132,000 1259 1953 Ford F-100
$106,700 1239 1970 Chevrolet El Camino LS6
$97,900 430.2 1948 Chevrolet cab-over-engine (COE)
$93,500 701.1 1958 Chevrolet Cameo
$77,000 956 1956 Ford F-100
$71,500 1235.1 1940 Ford
$66,000 413.2 1954 Chevrolet 3100
$66,000 1242.2 1955 Ford F-100
$66,000 704.2 1958 Dodge Sweptside
$63,800 423.2 1946 Chevrolet
$62,700 1045 1956 Ford F-100
$60,500 1555 1956 Ford F-100
$58,300 75 1956 Ford F-100
$57,200 700 1936 Ford
$57,200 71.1 1957 Chevrolet Cameo
$57,200 713.1 1956 Ford F-100
$56,100 708 1941 Ford tanker truck
$55,000 1554 1954 Ford F-100
$55,000 410.1 1936 Ford
$55,000 1551.1 1930 Ford roadster
$55,000 409.2 1955 Chevrolet Cameo
$52,800 705.2 1955 Chevrolet Cameo
$51,700 702.2 1949 Diamond T
$50,600 705 1957 Chevrolet 3200

*Includes 10% auction commission. To determine the hammer price, multiply the final sale price by 0.90909.

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