Barrett-Jackson is a great auction to buy a classic Mustang. The buyer gets to look at many different cars and can network with hobby experts—who are always there—to figure a price range for a car he or she wants to buy. But make sure to look at potential purchases closely, and with a critical eye, to make sure you get your money’s worth.
When we attended Barrett-Jackson’s weeklong classic car auction in January of 2017 in Scottsdale, Arizona, we asked Mustang restoration expert Bob Perkins (who writes Mustang Monthly’s Resto Roundup column) to critique some classic Mustangs and establish a bidding range. Then, we compared the actual sales price to what Bob thought was a good buy.
We picked out a half dozen Mustangs with an emphasis on Bob’s specialty, 1969-1970 Boss Mustangs and Mach 1s, and threw in a Shelby for good measure. In this hobby, knowledge is power so three classic Mustang collectors joined us: Karl Roepke; Dave Steine; and Richard Boeye.
Read below to see how close Perkins and our team of Mustang experts got to the actual prices. The trick at auction is to know exactly what you are bidding on. If something isn’t right, that’s okay. You just don’t want to pay a concours price if the car is a driver, but both examples can be great buys.
From left to right are Mustang veterans Dave Steine, Bob Perkins, Karl Roepke, and Richard Boeye—a group of people that provide an immense bank of knowledge from which to draw at a classic car auction.
1970 Boss 302
This 1970 Boss 302 caught our attention, looking hot with a shaker hood scoop, rear window louvers, and rear deck lid spoiler. An unknown bystander said the Pastel Blue is “The weirdest color I’ve ever seen. It matches a dead spot in an ivy leaf.”
In unison, Perkins and Roepke pronounced the shaker assembly a reproduction and “probably fiberglass.” Perkins said the distributor is aftermarket, as are shocks and rev limiter. But, the shock towers are real nice with no evidence of repair or rust.
The hood pins are 1969-style. 1970 models did not come with hood pins. Wheels are aftermarket with radial tires.
The gas cap is a pop-open style from a Mach 1. Perkins could find no repair and no rust inside the fenders.
This 1970 Boss 302 offered a chance to purchase a clean, rust free car with some aftermarket and incorrect pieces. Bob said, “I would much rather have a car like this with some aftermarket and incorrect pieces with a great rust-free body as to have a concours restored car with rust repair.” He said a good price for this car would be between $55,000 and $60,000.
Dave Steine: $82,500
Karl Roepke: $62,500
Richard Boeye: $60,000
Hammer Price: $51,000
Price with Commission: $56,100.
1970 Boss 429
Hall of Fame baseball player Reggie Jackson brought this black 1969 Boss 429, obviously of concours quality, being in the “salon” section of the tent. Perkins said black is a great color for a Boss 429, but the paint appears to be pretty slick with no orange peel. This car is KK 2044, very late in the 1969 production run.
The hood was not open. However, Perkins scrolled through many pictures on a screen located on a display in front of each salon car. He found no photos of the trunk or undercarriage.
Perkins was surprised to see an aftermarket antenna on a car of this high caliber. Mustang vendors carry one of the best reproduction parts available (in his words) for a 1969-1970 Mustang.
The tires are reproductions. Perkins said, “For some reason reproduction tires need a lot of weight for balancing,” which explains the two large wheel weights.
Perkins can’t walk 100 feet at Barrett-Jackson without greeting somebody he knows. Mark Bedney paints and restores Mustangs at Kevin’s Classics in Cannon Falls, Minnesota. He guessed Reggie’s Boss would bring $375,000.
Perkins felt at a disadvantage to estimate an auction price because the Boss 429 was behind a barrier and he could not see the undercarriage, the engine compartment, or the trunk. However, he went out on a limb and said without Reggie’s name the car would probably sell in the 300K to 400K range. The auction brochure listed an original Boss 429 engine, but did not specify if the Boss 429 was matching numbers.
Perkins guessed the car could bring $400,000 because it was Reggie’s, but without Reggie’s name attached it was more like a $300,000 to $350,000 car (but again, without being able to see the trunk or the undercarriage). Steine, Roepke, and Boeye also guessed the same figure of $400,000. The display said the car has “an original NASCAR Boss 429 motor”, but there was no mention of the engine being serial numbered to the car and therefore the original one the car was born with. Perkins felt this Boss 429 was probably worth $300,000, but could bring $350,000 to as high as $400,000.
Hammer Price: $350,000
Price with Commission: $385,000
1970 Mach 1
This 1970 Grabber Orange Mach 1 was surrounded by people and obviously very popular.
This large sign attracted attention and apparently helped potential buyers understand the Mach 1’s history and specifications.
The owner also displayed a deluxe Marti Report that included a copy of the original window sticker and a list of the options and production numbers.
Perkins (far left) visited with Jack Scanlon (middle) and Roy Langlitz, partners on the 1970 Mach 1. These men stayed with their car the day of its sale to answer questions. Langlitz said he bought the car from his nephew who parked the car in a garage for over 30 years. He had known the car since 1975 and he explained to us this car was rust free.
The engine is the original R-code, 428 Cobra Jet with ram air via the original shaker hood scoop. Everything looked detailed and correct under the hood, but the original Thermactor smog was gone.
Oddly, the seats in this highly restored 1970 Mach 1 are 1969 vintage, which feature this red upholstery stripe.
Jack Scanlon showed us photos of the restoration process, which everybody could peruse in three large albums.
Perkins was impressed that the quarter panels and wheelhouses are all factory Ford. He did not see sheet metal replacement.
Perkins guessed this Mach 1 would do well. Langlitz told us he hoped the car would bring $150,000—Perkins was skeptical of such a high price but thought the car might reach $100,000.
Hammer Price: $99,000
Price with Commission: $108,900
1968 Shelby G.T. 500
Perkins recognized this 1968 G.T. 500 convertible when he shined his Olight S1R Baton flashlight under the hood. Steine recalled that this car from Barrett-Jackson’s 2007 auction in Scottsdale, saying, “Cory Lawson had the car here along with the first 1968 G.T. 500 KR fastback made—an Acapulco Blue one—and this car. He didn’t sell either one of them.”
Who can forget a survivor with 7,930 miles? Perkins said, “This is just a great car. It’s probably one of the nicest untouched 1968 G.T. 500 convertibles in the world. You look under the hood and it has an original upper radiator hose and the belts and smog, and all that stuff is the original stuff. It’s had a couple minor little replacement items, like the air filter element and a battery, but that is expected on a 45-year old car. But this is just an absolutely top-notch example of an unrestored 1968 Shelby.”
This sign gave the mileage of 7,930 and details of the survivor status of this ’68 G.T. 500 convertible.
Once again, Perkins got real close to the auction price.
Hammer Price: $200,000
Price with commission: $220,000
1970 Boss 302
Everybody in our group commented on how much they liked the color, Calypso Coral, of this 1970 Boss 302. But, how much was it worth?
Perkins noted, “very nice detailing under the hood” on a 302 with a shaker scoop, which is highly desirable. He did see rust repair on the tops of the shock towers.
Also, both rear quarter panels appeared to have been replaced or repaired.
Perkins guessed the car should bring $65,000 but he didn’t give a range this time.
Hammer price: $65,000
Price with commission: $71,500
1970 Boss 302
Steve Davis (right, with Craig Jackson on the left pointing his finger and Aaron Shelby in the middle) is a Mustang and Ford enthusiast from way back, long before he began his relationship with Barrett-Jackson. Davis sold his 1970 Boss 302 at the auction. (www.mustang-360.com/news/1701-steve-davis-of-barrett-jackson-auctioning-personal-boss-302)
Perkins said, “This is the best detailed Boss car that we’ve seen at the show. I think this car will do well for several reasons: the quality of the detail, the fact that Steve Davis is the current owner so I’m sure it will get plenty of auction time, and it looks like a really nice restoration. It is what I would consider a trailered concours MCA Gold type car, not a Thoroughbred because there are some reproduction parts on the car, such as the hoses and belts and battery and battery cables and your electrical your high maintenance type items, just regular wear and tear items.”
Perkins did note that the car looked slightly lowered in the front and the photo board with the car showed an axle with 28-splines, instead of the stock 31-spline axles, a detail that would not be visible in an MCA show.
Perkins said, “Rarely at auctions do you see a Division 1 or Thoroughbred-type concours restoration.”
Perkins: $105,000 to $110,000
Hammer price: $124,000
Price with commission: $136,400