Under the radar at Barrett-Jackson’s Northeast auction

Some sound bargains hid behind the big-ticket cars at the recent Connecticut sale. We pick out some of the most unlikely stars

Barrett-Jackson recently held its third Northeast auction at the Mohegan Sun Casino in Uncasville, Connecticut. Offering a total of 662 cars, it had an amazing 99.25 percent sell-through rate, totalling than $24.9 million. The top-selling cars were the 1967 Chevrolet Nova Custom Coupe named The Innovator, selling for $275,000, and the 1967 Shelby GT500E Super Snake that changed hands for $210,000

While these and a number of classics sold for big money, there were also a number of excellent buys at this year’s Northeast sale. Instead of a blow-by-blow report of what happened, I want to focus on those cars that were possibly a bit under the radar and well bought – with the only exception being a BMW that was bought for market price and was still a very strong buy.

At an auction with this many cars offered, it’s quite an undertaking to find those models that sneak out the door – but as this list illustrates, taking the time to look at every car can be time well spent.

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1966 Ford Mustang GT Convertible

I personally love the first-generation Ford Mustang, and this car was finished in a colour I’d never before seen, Emberglow Poly. With its spectacular and rare ember glow complemented by a parchment Pony interior, this is one of the finest restorations on a Mustang convertible I have ever seen.

This car also had many desirable options including factory driving lights and a rally pack instrument option, making it all the more attractive. This ’Stang sold for only a fraction of what it cost to restore, at only $31,350.

1967 MGB

This has to be the finest restoration of an MGB roadster I have ever seen. Finished in desirable Mineral Blue with correct black leather interior, this was a true concours example. Every detail was correct and perfect in every way. This car, like the one above, sold for likely half of the cost to restore it, at only $30,800. That might sound like a lot of money for an MGB, but this one was absolutely a perfect example.

1985 Toyota Celica Supra

Now this is a model for all of those people out there who think they can’t afford a collector car. These cars are usually completely used up, with hundreds of thousands of miles on the clock and a complete mess cosmetically. Yet this stunning example is again one of the best examples I have ever seen.

Nicely equipped with a desirable five-speed gearbox, and completely original other than a good-quality respray, this was the one to buy if you love 1980s Japanese sports cars on a budget. It sold for only $8200, and you’re not likely to find one this good for twice the price.

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2002 Aston Martin DB7 Vantage

This DB7, which is possibly my favourite 1990s auto design, was an impeccable example. I spent quite a lot of time examining the car, and as a former Aston owner I know what to look for.

Finished in Jade Green with a jade and cream interior, this one had no needs whatsoever. It was equipped with a much less desirable automatic transmission, but the selling price of only $33,000 still represented excellent value.

1995 BMW M3 Lightweight

The M3 Lightweight is a seriously rare BMW, with only 126 built in total. It had quite a few special features including a shortened 3.23:1 final drive, aluminium doors, reduced sound insulation, stiffer springs and shocks from the European-spec E36 M3 coupé, M-shock tower brace, forged M double-spoke alloy wheels, M3 GT front spoiler lip extension, standard M3 rear spoiler with integrated third brake light, plus chequered flag decals in BMW Motorsport colours.

These models will continue to increase in value, and this original 5600-miler sold for a strong $121,000. This may seem like a lot of money now, but in a few years’ time it will likely to seem cheap.

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