Our 5 Favorite Cars For Sale At The Quail Auction

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We chose the less obvious options.

The famous Quail Lodge Auction is about to get underway and the cars on offer this year are sublime.

Browsing through the Bonhams listings, we noticed several cars for which we'd be willing to sell a kidney. Examples include a 1994 Lamborghini Diablo VT, various Jaguar E-Types, a 1995 Aston Martin V8 Vantage V550 Coupe, and a 1995 Porsche 911 GT2. Oh, and did we mention the 1999 Acura NSX Zanardi Edition?

These are the kinds of cars that could get an automotive enthusiast in deep trouble with their significant other. You go to Pebble Beach to buy a Datsun shirt, and you come back with a 1911 Buick Model 26 Roadster.

We did the legwork for you on this one, and we found a few affordable (we use that term extremely loosely) and quirky cars that will be sold at the auction.


1. 1914 Detroit Electric Model 47 Brougham

Electric vehicles are much older than people realize. Detroit Electric is now nothing more than a speck in the automotive history books, but it was pretty famous back in the day. Using an electric motor made sense in the beginning due to high gas prices due to WW I.

The Model 47 Brougham could do 100 miles between recharges, which perfectly illustrates what a poor effort the current Mini Cooper Electric Hardtop is. More than 100 years have passed since the introduction of the Detroit Electric Model 47 Brougham, and the Mini EV can only do 14 miles more on a charge.

Between 1907 and 1939, 13,000 Detroit Electric models were made, and it's estimated that only 160 still exist. Famous owners include Thomas Edison, John D. Rockefeller Jr, Clara Ford (Henry's wife), and Lizzie Borden.

It will be sold without reserve and is expected to fetch at least $30,000.

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2. 1990 Land Rover Defender 90 Hard Top

The modern Land Rover Defender is cool, but it will never be as cool as the boxy Series and Defender models.

This example is a European-spec Defender 90 short-wheelbase with only 85,000 miles on the clock. A cosmetic restoration was performed on this car, which is why it looks so good after spending 32 years in a muddy, wet Europe.

It's the ultimate old-school off-roader with zero electronic nannies. You get a permanent 4WD system with a manually locking center differential and a rebuilt 2.5-liter turbocharged four-pot diesel. It's part of the last generation of Defenders that used an in-house designed engine rather than the 2.2-liter diesel borrowed from a Ford van.

There is no reserve on this lot, and it's expected to sell for between $50,000 to $80,000.

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3. 1965 Fiat 500 Jolly Giardiniera

Are you ashamed to be seen in a Fiat 500c convertible? Us too. Somehow, the older version of the car is much cooler, even though it essentially has a table cloth to keep the sun from burning your skull.

This car was built because Fiat's boss, Gianni Agnelli, wanted a drop-top to go with his yacht. The Italians called it "Jolly de Plage," which translates to Joker of the Beach. It's like VW's famous beach buggy, but just a bit more glamorous.

It may have been a joke initially, but Fiat sold vast quantities of the Jolly to luxury coastal hotels in France and Italy. The Jolly may have been cheap, but it was beloved by the filthy rich. Famous owners include Aristotle Onassis, Yul Brynner, John Wayne, Grace Kelly, Henry Ford II, and President Lyndon Johnson.

This example has been a California resident since 1973, and it's expected to go for between $100k to $130k.

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4. 2004 Porsche 911 Type 996.2 GT3

The Porsche 911 GT3 and the GT3 RS are universally loved. The latest version of the latter made its debut this week and is absolutely magnificent.

The first-gen GT3 is a bit of an anomaly, however. You can still get one at a relatively affordable price. The example you see here is expected to sell for between $150,000 to $180,000, which is nothing on Planet GT3.

There are two main reasons why Porsche fans don't fully appreciate this car yet. It was part of the first generation of water-cooled 911s, and the famous Andreas Preuninger was not involved in the development process of the original vehicle. The 996-gen 911's design was also criticized. But this is the 996.2 GT3, and Preuninger was involved. He upped the power from 355 horsepower to 380 hp and made several aerodynamic and mechanical upgrades.

These cars will undoubtedly increase in value as we enter the EV age. And what proper GT enthusiast doesn't want the whole set?

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5. 2002 BMW Z8 Roadster

The BMW Z8 Roadster was a bit of a miss when it was first introduced. It's almost as if BMW didn't know what it wanted the car to be. The suspension was too hard for it to qualify as a grand tourer, and it wasn't that much fun to drive.

Twenty years later, it no longer matters. Now we look at the Z8 and see a hand-built, limited edition BMW with styling inspired by the iconic 507. It also comes with a list of features the modern BMW M fan can only dream of, including the 4,941cc V8 borrowed from the E39 M5. The Z8 sends all its power to the rear wheels via a six-speed manual gearbox.

This is yet another car we expect to only increase in value, but right now, it will likely be sold for between $200,000 to $230,000.

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