Gooding & Company Amelia Island 2024 Auction Preview

Gooding & Company Amelia Island 2024

It’s a big weekend for the collector car world with two significant auctions taking place at Amelia Island whilst a competing one will occur in Miami. Gooding & Company have been holding their Amelia Island Auction for many years at the Omni Amelia Island Resort and have consistently offered a strong selection of European sports cars, especially Porsches, at this event. It’s certainly one of the most significant auctions on the East Coast each year and we’ve had the pleasure of filming there several times.

This year, even though the usual assortment of seven-figure cars will be on hand, as well as one that is expected to reach at least $10 million, it feels like time to consider cars that will appeal to the next generation of collectors. The 1970s and 1980s may have brought about some boring designs, that’s far from a universal truth as evidenced by the five classics we’re highlighting below.

The E36 was the second generation of the BMW M3 that earned a reputation for both comfort and impressive performance starting with the E30 variant. BMW introduced the Evolution model in 1995 which increased the engine’s output to 321 horsepower, making it the first BMW to exceed 100 horsepower per liter of displacement.

The Evolution also increased torque to 258 lb-ft and was equipped with a six-speed manual transmission. A double Vanos system adjusted valve timing on the intake and exhaust camshafts, aiding in producing the performance expected of a car wearing the M3 badge.

Some cosmetic changes were made as well including new wheels, mirrors, and spoiler. Although it wasn’t sold in the US when new, the 1996 BMW M3 3.2 Evolution was the car owners of the detuned US-spec M3 longed to drive. The example on offer by Gooding and Company comes with its original owner’s manuals, wheels, and radio. It was serviced in Munich by BMW Group Classic prior to its arrival in the US and may end up being well-bought in the long-run if it falls within the pre-auction estimate of $140,000 – $180,000.

In the mid-1980s, the Peugeot 205 T16 was a groundbreaking rally car that dominated the Group B category. It was based on the popular Peugeot 205 hatchback but featured a mid-mounted turbocharged engine and four-wheel drive. The T16, which stands for Turbo 16-valve, was developed covertly by Peugeot Sport under the leadership of Jean Todt.

It was unveiled in October 1983 and won its first rally in Finland in 1984 with Ari Vatanen behind the wheel. To keep up with the fierce competition from Audi, Lancia, and Ford, the T16 was continuously refined and improved. All told, it took 16 wins along with two constructor’s championships and two driver’s championships before Group B was shut down at the end of 1986.

Group B required Peugeot produce at least 200 road-going examples of the T16 to comply with the homologation rules, which were sold to selected customers. Although the homologation version of the T16 was equipped with a less powerful 1.8L turbocharged four-cylinder engine, it retained the bodywork and rear wing of the racing car.

Other than a repaint by the seller, the rest of the car appears to be original and has been maintained well through its life. It’s unclear how many other examples of the T16 have been imported to the US, but there aren’t many of them worldwide, let alone here. The estimate provided by Gooding & Company is $225,000 – $275,000 which seems reasonable for a car this rare that presents as nicely as this example.

The Maserati Bora was the brand’s first monocoque-based street-going car and was designed by Giorgetto Giugiaro with engineering work by Giulio Alfieri. It was introduced in 1971 at the Geneva International Motor Show and fewer than 600 examples were built before production ceased in 1978.

The Bora was first equipped with a 4.7L V8 that produced 310 horsepower but by 1974 Maserati had introduced a more powerful 4.9L V8 that generated 330 horsepower. The larger engine was primarily intended for delivery in the US market due to emission regulations.

The Bora 4.9 could reach speeds in excess of 170 mph thanks in part to its wedge-shaped body that aided with aerodynamic performance. It was equipped with leather seats, electric windows, air conditioning, and hydraulic disc brakes on all four wheels.

The example to be offered by Gooding & Company is one of only 275 built with the 4.9L engine and a five-speed manual transaxle. It retains its matching-numbers engine and is still equipped with its factory upholstery that presents very nicely. It benefits from a major brake service that was performed in 2022 and the pre-auction estimate of $180,000 – $220,000 seems within reason for one of only 275 Maserati Boras built with the 4.9L motor.

The Ferrari 308 premiered at the 1975 Paris Salon to replace the outgoing Dino 246. Early examples of the 308 were constructed with fiberglass bodies until the 308 GTS was introduced in 1977, following which the remainder of the 308-series was produced with steel bodywork through 1985.

The Ferrari 308 Quattrovalvole was introduced in 1982 as a replacement for the 308 GTBi/GTSi, which were equipped with electronic fuel injection by Bosch. The Quattrovalvole, referred to as the QV, was named for its new four-valve-per-cylinder head configuration. This increased power to 240 horsepower.

Although the 308 QV was eventually discontinued following the introduction of the 328-series, the 308 GTB QV has long-since earned its place as the poster car of the 1980s. The example set to be offered by Gooding & Company shows just over 4,100 km since new and is a European-spec car that’s passed through four owners, including its first owner which was a company based in Strasbourg.

It underwent a major service in 2023 that included a timing-belt replacement, a new battery, air conditioning service, and oil and brake fluid changes. The car includes its original owner’s manual, service book, tool kit, and manual for its Blaupunkt Courchevel radio. This well-optioned Ferrari appeals to many collectors these days and should reach the pre-auction estimate of $250,000 – $325,000 with ease.

The Toyota J40 series of 4x4s was inspired by the American Jeep that the Japanese military found in the Philippines during World War II and reverse engineered to create their own version. The J40 series was first produced in 1960 and production continued until 2001 in Brazil.

The FJ40 was the most popular variant of the J40 series, and it was available in short, medium and long wheelbase versions, with petrol and diesel engines. The FJ40 had a two-door body style with a removable hard top and a fold-down windshield. It was equipped with a 4.2-liter inline six-cylinder petrol engine that produced 135 horsepower and 210 lb-ft of torque. It had a four-speed manual transmission with a two-speed transfer case and a part-time four-wheel drive system. It also had front disc brakes, power steering and air conditioning as optional features.

The 1977 Toyota FJ40 Land Cruiser was one of the last models to feature the classic round headlights and the vertical grille. It also had rear barn doors instead of a lift gate, and vent windows on the hard top. The 1977 model year was also the best-selling year for the FJ40 in the United States, with over 6,000 units sold.

The example set to be offered by Gooding & Company is equipped with a four-speed manual gearbox and two-speed transfer case, along with a 4.2L inline six-cylinder engine that produces 135 horsepower. It’s equipped with front disc brakes and benefits from a thorough body-off restoration that employed OEM Toyota parts whenever replacements were needed.

It’s equipped with an updated stereo in the dash which will only make the driving experience more enjoyable and cements this as a collectible that can be driven by its next owner. The pre-auction estimate of $60,000 – $80,000 appears reasonable and we expect the winning bid on this no-reserve FJ40 to be at the lower-end of that range.