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Category Archives: Cars

Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance – my personal picks

Phew, what a weekend!

The Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance is over for yet another year, and this year saw even more of the world’s finest collector cars cross the block than ever before.

A new world record for any car sold at auction was set by the Ferrari 250 GTO Berlinetta (as expected!), while Ferrari blew away all the competition.Pic: Bonhams

Just look at the top 10 sales in California this weekend:

1962 Ferrari 250GTO coupe – $38,115,000 (Bonhams)

1964 Ferrari 275GTB/C Speciale coupe – $26,400,000 (RM Auctions)

1961 Ferrari 250GT California SWB Spider – $15,180,000 (Gooding)

1964 Ferrari 250LM coupe – $11,550,000 (RM Auctions)

1967 Ferrari 275GTB/4 coupe – $10,175,000 (RM Auctions)

1953 Ferrari 250MM coupe – $7,260,000 (Bonhams)

1965 Ford GT40 prototype roadster – $6,930,000 (RM Auctions)

1962 Ferrari 250GT SWB Speciale Aerodinamica coupe – $6,875,000 (Bonhams)

1958 Ferrari 250GT Series 1 cabriolet $6,820,000 – (Bonhams)

1959 Ferrari 250GT Series 1 cabriolet $5,610,000 – (Gooding)

Even the Best in Show award winner was a Ferrari – the first time a post-war car has ever been selected.

Now, I know Ferrari reigns supreme at the top of the market for a reason – beautiful cars matched by impeccable performance and an impressive racing pedigree – but they just don’t do it for me.

I’ve yet to get my driving license (hey, I’m working on it!), but if I was to part with my hard earned cash at Pebble Beach, I’d be looking away from the high-end and towards the more unusual models.

Take a look at my top five picks of the bunch:

1937 BMW 328 Roadster

Pic: Bonhams

Just look at it!

For me, the 1930s was the pinnacle of car styling – I like my cars curvy and this one certainly ticks that box.

Even better is the fact that it was made in the 1930s by BMW, and wouldn’t look out of place being driven by a villain in Indian Jones and the Last Crusade.

The BMW 328 Roadster can also hold its own on the track. Upon its release it was one of the most successful sports cars at Germany’s feared Nurburgring and has gone on to become one of the most iconic cars of all time.

1959 Fiat 500 Jolly

Pic: Bonhams

I imagine myself cruising round my huge estate in this one, picking up friends with a cocktail in my hand.

A classic beach car, the Jolly is the four-wheeled equivalent to the Vespa scooter, designed so sun-kissed jetsetters could swan around the seafront in style.

Now a beloved collector favourite, the Jolly sees big bids at auction, with this example coming in at $88,000.

1965 Shelby Mustang GT350 Paxton Prototype

Pic: RM auctions

Gotta love a bit of American muscle right?

This one packs an extra punch in bring one of only two Paxton supercharger prototypes ever made under the direction of the legendary Carroll Shelby, famed for his dangerously powerful machines.

His attempt to “turn a mule into a racehorse”, the result was the 1965 Shelby GT350 – the most successful of the famous line – with this used as a demo car, boasting a supercharger V8 engine.

At $572,000, it was actually something of a bargain for those looking to own automotive history outside of Ferrari.

1966 Volkswagen 21-Window Deluxe Micro Bus

Pic: RM Auctions

What better way to ferry around friends than the iconic VW bus?

This stunning restoration is just about one of the nicest you can find and is in highly original condition.

However, I’m not much of a stickler for the rules, so I’d probably drop in a bigger engine – hey, a man needs more than 40HP to get off the line.

While you can pick up a shabby-chic version for less than $20,000, this example – the rarest variant with 21 windows – had an estimate of $90,000-120,000.

1965 Aston Martin DB5

Pic:RM Auctions

Now, I needed a touch of class in the collection, so I’ve opted for none other than Aston Martin.

The DB5 screams “prestige”, not only as an incredibly beautiful British sports car, but also as the famous drive of James Bond.

I can just see myself now, ejecting my enemies from their seats with a beautiful Bond girl in tow…

Sadly, it’ll be a long while before I can afford one – this just made $1.6m.

by Joe


October’s auction highlights – top consignments for collectors

Following the summer vacation, the auction world is back in full swing, with an exciting line-up of consignments announced at the world’s top auction houses. Paul Fraser Collectibles looks at what October has to offer for collectors:

Record-breaking diamonds

Premier Blue, Diamond, Sothebys, Fancy Blue,

The Premier Blue is the world’s biggest fancy vivid blue diamond and looks set to see a new record pre-carat price

Sotheby’s will kick off its Fall season in Hong Kong on October 7 with a selection of the world’s finest diamonds, including the Premier Blue, the world’s largest “fancy-blue” diamond, which is expected to see around $19m. Also starring is the huge 118.2-carat flawless white diamond, valued at $30m.

Original condition classic cars1918, Locomobile, Bonhams, Preserving, Automobile, Model 48, Classic Car,

Bonhams presents its second annual Preserving the Automobile auction on October 7, returning to the Simeon Automotive Museum.

The auction showcases early classic cars in original condition, with collectors jostling for a select-group of survivors.

Among the stunning consignments is an 1903 Oldsmobile Model R, a 1910 Sears Model P, and a 1934 Packard 1101, each of which is offered without reserve.

Elvis Presley’s spiritual ringElvis, Elvis Presley, Spiritual Ring, Ring, Memorabilia, Jewellery, auction

It’s not all high-end offerings in October, with Ahlers & Ogletree selling a ring given to Elvis Presley when he visited the Self-Realization Fellowship in Los Angeles in the 1960s.

A bizarre but fascinating addition to the sale, it isn’t going to fetch much, but will undoubtedly excite dedicated Elvis lovers.

George Orwell’s Spanish civil war scarvesGeorge Orwell, Spanish Civil War, Homage to Catalonia, Scarves, Memorabilia, Rare, For Sale,

My personal favourite of October’s offerings, the scarves that George Orwell wore while fighting fascists in the Spanish civil war, will be sold for just £800-1,200 at Bloomsbury Auctions on October 3.

One of the scarves is the same that the great writer (and literary hero of mine) wore when shot in the neck by a sniper. It still bears his blood and a bullet-hole.

A trio of sublime stamp collections

1869 Pictorial Issue, Invert, 15 cents, 15c, stamps, philately, collecting, United States

The 1869 15c Invert – valued at a cool $1.2m

On October 9-10, Robert A Siegel will offer a trio of astonishing US stamp collections, including the Dr Irvin Heimburger Collection of 1869 Pictorial Issues and the Beverly Hills Collection of US Inverts.

While out of the reach of most of us (few will have a spare million or so lying around), the stamps are a brilliant ogling opportunity for those aiming for the top. Some of the finest offered for decades, the catalogues alone are worth a look – if you can deal with the jealousy!

Of course, if none of these take your fancy, there’s sure to be something to suit your tastes in our online store.

by Joe

‘The dingo stays here’

Did you see that Jane Austen’s ring will be staying in the UK after all?

The Jane Austen House Museum managed to get together the required £149,000 ($238,000) to keep the ring on British shores, after US singer Kelly Clarkson had “bought” it at auction last year.

Clarkson had reckoned without the might of the British government, which from time to time slaps temporary export bans on some “national treasures” that look like they’re about to leave the country.

The dingo leaves the UK on November 5 unless a new owner is found

Stubbs’ dingo leaves the UK on November 5 unless a new owner is found

The bans, which last just a few months, are intended to provide museums and institutions with sufficient time to purchase the items. In this case, it worked.

“The export licensing controls for objects of cultural interest are designed to balance the need to keep nationally important objects in this country, the rights of owners and the encouragement of a thriving art trade,” says England’s Arts Council, which advises the government on these matters.

The current collection of items in limbo makes for interesting reading, and suggests that someone at the Arts Council, or perhaps Britain’s minister for culture, Ed Vaizey, has a particular penchant for Australian animals.

Here’s the list:

  • Two paintings by George Stubbs, depicting a kangaroo and a dingo, respectively.
  • A photo album containing snaps by British photographer Julia Margaret Cameron.
  • Rembrandt van Rijn’s ‘Rembrandt Laughing’.
  • Letters and documents from British army officer James Wolfe.
  • A Bentley Blower 4.5 litre racing car.
  • A collection of works pertaining to Thomas Baines’ North Australian Expedition from 1855 to 1857.

When we get word on the dingo’s new home, you’ll be the first to know.


Scottsdale collector car auctions 2013 – the top lots so far

With the classic car collecting community all fired up to head to Scottsdale, AZ for a legendary week of auctions at the end of January, Paul Fraser Collectibles presents the best lots consigned to the mega-sale so far…

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You can find more information on all of these and more in our Classic Cars news section. We will be bringing you all the results from Scottsdale 2013 as soon as they happen, so make sure to check back with us regularly.


January 2013 auction highlights – top treats for the New Year

Christmas is done for another year yet, as you sit back to survey your haul, you may notice that a few of your most wanted items failed to leave Santa’s sack…

Luckily, the collectibles world has come to the rescue with some exciting consignments for January 2013:

Ferrari 250 GT SWB Berlinetta Competizione, auction, Berlinetta,Competizione, Barrat-Jackson, Scottsdale, Arizona

Unfortunately, Santa didn’t get me one of these either!

No Ferrari 250 GT SWB Berlinetta Competizione in your stocking? Not to fear, a stunning example is available at Barratt-Jackson’s Scottsdale auctions, which will be taking place at the end of the month in Arizona.

No 16th century masterpiece under the tree? Sotheby’s have got you covered with El Greco’s Entombment of Christ providing an exciting entry in Old Master’s Week, which will see sales from numerous top auction houses in New York.

Did you plead for one of the finest examples of the first US dollar in your letter to Santa? Well, Santa may have let you down this time, but Heritage Auctions won’t. The auction house has the famed Frothingham 1794 dollar crossing the block on January 9, as part of its six-day US Coin FUN Signature auction.

And don’t forget, Paul Fraser Collectibles always has a brilliant range of collectibles for sale, with something to fill the gap in everyone’s wish list for 2013.


What do celebrities collect…?

Ever wanted to know what celebrities share your favourite hobby? Well now you can! Here’s a list famous people and what they collect…


  • Jay Leno – cars

American comedian, Jay Leno, is a well known classic car collector and owns one of the biggest collections of the sort in the world.

Amongst his collection are a McLaren F1, a Rolls Royce Silver Shadow II and a 1906 Stanley Steamer.

Other famous car collectors include Jay Kay of Jamiroquai,  footballer David Beckham and British TV and radio personality Chris Evans, who owns the most expensive car ever sold at auction – a Ferrari 250GT SWB California Spyder, once owned by Hollywood actor James Coburn – which cost him £5.6 million.

  • Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie – art

Brad and Angelina are big fans of British urban artist Banksy, shelling out £1 million for one of his pieces in London in 2007.

Other famous art collectors include Bill Gates, Beyonce, Victoria Beckham, Kylie Minogue and Lady Gaga.

  • Nicolas Cage – comic books

Cage, who was born Nicolas Kim Coppola, is thought to have taken his surname from Marvel Hero, Luke Cage.

Cage’s collection contained some of the expensive comic books in the world including Detective Comics #27 and Action Comics #1.

The actor sold his collection in 2002 for a total of $1.6 million.

Other famous comic book collectors include Seth Green and Kevin Smith.

  • Marie Osmond – dolls

Osmond has collected dolls since her childhood and in 1991, opened her own doll business.

Other famous doll collectors include Demi Moore and Kathy Lee Gifford.

  • Andrew Lloyd-Webber – wine

Composer Andrew Lloyd Webber is a known collector of wine. In Janurary this year, Lloyd Webber sold 746 lots of wine for a total of $5.6 million. Of the sale, Lloyd Webber said “I hope the new owners enjoy my wines as much as I have and I look forward to reacquainting myself with them in restaurants all over China”.

Other famous wine collectors include Chris DeBurgh and Thomas Jefferson.

By Kylie.

£161 million? Yes, please…

It has emerged today that the very lucky winners of the Lotto’s £161 million prize are Scottish couple, Colin Weir, 64 and his wife Chris, 55. According to The Telegraph, the couple have said that their immediate plans for their winnings include buying houses for their son and daughter and trips to Australia and China.

The couple were so thrilled with their jackpot that they even indulged in a single glass of white wine which is “something I normally only do at Christmas”, according to Chris.

Not sure that’s how I would have celebrated myself but the story did get me thinking, if I won £161m, what would I buy…?

Here’s my top 5 ultimate collectibles…

1)      Like most girls, I do like a good dress. And I couldn’t think of a better one to own than Marilyn Monroe’s famous subway dress from Seven Year Itch.


The frock, which I think is fair to say is the most iconic costume from cinema history, sold earlier this year for a whopping $5,658,000, only a fraction of the £161m Lotto jackpot.

Needless to say I would also be purchasing a number of fans and re-enacting Marilyn’s subway scene in my living room on a daily basis…

2)      Now I have to admit, I’m a bit of a bookworm, and would definitely include The Great Gatsby in my list of all time favourite novels. I’d love to get my hands on a rare first edition copy in immaculate condition.

And had I won £161 million 2 years ago, I may have got just that. In June 2009, a first edition of The Great Gatsby, complete with immaculate dust jacket, sold for $180,000, well exceeding its $80,000-$120,000 pre-sale estimate.

3)      This next piece is something I’ve had my eye on for a while. Worth a cool £4.5 million, this panther bracelet was once owned by Wallis Simpson, Duchess of Windsor.


The bracelet is pavé-set with brilliant- and single-cut diamonds and calibré-cut onyx, with the eyes each set with a marquise-shaped emerald.

With £161m in my pocket, these diamonds would definitely be this girl’s best friend.

4)      I’ve always wanted to time travel, and I can’t imagine a more stylish way to do so then in the DeLorean time machine, from the Back to the Future series of films. A replica of the famous time travelling vehicle sold for £112,920 at a Profiles in History auction last year.


The only problem is the amount of speeding tickets I would inevitably acquire whilst cruising  along at 88mph willing the flux capacitor (it’s what makes time travel possible) to kick in…

5)      If I had £161m, I don’t think it would be fair to deny myself a genuine piece of songwriting history. And what better item than the piano Sir Paul McCartney used to write Yesterday, a song which has been covered over 1,600 times.

The piano actually belonged to McCartney’s friend, Alma Cogan. McCartney allegedly dreamt the melody of the song, and convinced that he had stolen it, visited Ms Cogan, who confirmed it was unique.

The piano fetched £150,000 at a Fame Bureau auction earlier this year.

So that’s how I’d be spending my winnings. What would you buy….?

By Kylie.

Subway dress image: Profiles in History

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