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Harrington at auction

Discussion in 'Harrington Alpine' started by 65beam, Jan 15, 2020.

  1. jdoclogan

    jdoclogan Platinum Level Sponsor

    Just got back home from my annual car week in Scottsdale. I was able to do a complete inspection of the former Bob Avery car with an RM representative present. Not only was this a re-bodied HA it was done with a later Series II body and was running a 1725 Alpine engine. This #55 tribute car was not well done (most panels were not well gaped and trunk was poorly installed) nor was it advertised properly in the catalog. The catalog is the document that most all buyers use for their guidance going into an auction. I spoke with a significant representative with RM Sotheby's who questioned my claim of false advertising. He suggested that they had stated that the car had been re-bodied in the catalog. [The fact that the RM representative thought the catalog had such information strongly suggest they new it was re-bodied]. After reviewing the catalog with me he recognized that indeed the true nature of #55 was not included.. I gave him my card and he replied that he appreciated the expertise I brought. Apparently the re-bodied condition was mentioned in an off-hand manor at the time of the auction. I assure you this would be difficult in an auction setting or for a phone buyer to pickup on and make a quick readjustment in their vision of owning an original NART Sebring car. I'm not claiming I had influence on the presentation during the auction, but, there appeared to be concern about future legal ramifications by the representative going forward for RM. Lets be clear this is not the car that ran at Sebring. However, those that have choose to continue the misrepresentation provide no justice to an innocent buyer. The new owner must carry the fraudulent story on for the sake of maintaining the supposed value. Sure we can all state that this is a "buyer beware" situation and the new owner would be happy with there purchase no matter what. I say this is deceit exploiting the desires of an individual to believe they have the original. This is not unlike any copied painting of a Baroque master painter being put out as an original. The frame (in this case the top) may be original to the time period but the all important canvas is a fake. Sad day for the World of original automobiles. Sad day for those that support such chicanery.

    I will show current evidence that this is not the original #55.

    No VIN stamped on the firewall. Nor is there any evidence any VIN was scrubbed off. This is not a Series 1 or 2 Alpine body.


    Bonnet prop placement does not match a Series 1 or 2 Alpine. There was no evidence that the body mount had been moved from the right inner fender area to the current cowling position.


    There are those that know the factory fit of the factory modified boot for Harrington Alpines was superb. The current fit is a sloppy and poorly executed installation.

    I will add that I had the opportunity to purchase a "tooled tribute" GT40 replicating Ken Miles' 1966 Sebring winning GT40 roadster. The tribute GT40 actually had an original prototype radiator with number 001 stamped on the tank and a set of original wheels (that may have been on the original roadster) acquired from Holman Moody. There was a significant amount of provenance surrounding the real story behind the Ken Miles GT 40 roadster's tub with the owner. The tribute's builder/owner acquired exact measurements of the GT40 as the lead tech inspector during the Watkins Glenn 25th anniversary celebration for the GT40. The build was excellent. As an honorable and outstanding car collector he went to great lengths to resize (larger) the replicated VIN plate so no one with expertise could miss that the car was not "the" original Ken Miles car. At no time did he ever claim this to be the original car because ... It wasn't!
    Last edited: Jan 23, 2020
  2. Gordon Holsinger

    Gordon Holsinger Diamond Level Sponsor

    Jdoc, I saw this car in 06 in Cincinattit looked kind of off. I am by no expert on Harrington’s other than I worked on one Wally Swift had many years ago. It is sad that this car is tainted by the auction company not disclosing information about the re body except for a little blurb
  3. bernd_st

    bernd_st Bronze Level Sponsor

    A little blurb which makes a 100k or more difference :rolleyes:. Nice report JDoc...
  4. Harrington Jan

    Harrington Jan Bronze Level Sponsor

    Same procedure as last time, when it was up for sale in UK some years ago. I was contacted by a RM representative (from US) who asked if I could help them to find some missing parts. Which I "couldn't", didn't want to be involved in this fake business. One day prior to the auction a good friend of mine John Willshire went to look at the car and also reminded the RM personal that it's not the true car. Later at the auction just two bidders in action after £50K, ending price became double that sum. Car took part at Donington Classics a year later, became #34 after all Minis and alikes. Car disappeared and shows up now in US, with same kind of bidding, two bidders up to a very high level. (who were they?) same guys as in UK (maybe the owner somewhere in the backyard).
  5. Gordon Holsinger

    Gordon Holsinger Diamond Level Sponsor

    Jan this has all the earmarks of fraud!
    Warren and Harrington Jan like this.
  6. Gordon Holsinger

    Gordon Holsinger Diamond Level Sponsor

    Jdoc great report on the Harrington when I saw the car I thought it looked a little sketchy. I am glad to know I was not wrong. I think I still have a blurb that described the car from 06 I will have to look in my archives.
  7. jumpinjan

    jumpinjan Gold Level Sponsor

    I wish I had the chance to critique it with you.
  8. jdoclogan

    jdoclogan Platinum Level Sponsor

    My experience would have been elevated had both Jan(Harrington Jan) and Jan (jumpinjan) been with me. We all would have discovered so much more together.
  9. 65beam

    65beam Bronze Level Sponsor

    Who bought it and where is it going?
  10. Warren

    Warren Silver Level Sponsor

    It's a good rebody and the dream date of a seller a having couple of bidders wanting it more than a few strings from their golden parachutes ;)
  11. Bill Eisinger

    Bill Eisinger Platinum Level Sponsor

    I was also in Scottsdale and saw that car...not being a Sunbeam expert I was a little puzzled by that car. Thanks for the explanation.

    I did see a couple of nice Tigers at Barrett-Jackson.
  12. jdoclogan

    jdoclogan Platinum Level Sponsor

    Bill, I would be puzzled about the final price paid for #55 if I wasn't aware of the artifice presentation. The bids were based on the notion it was an original non-Ferrari NART car. It certainly wasn't based on an excellent rebuild (very good but not excellent) as a #55 tribute car.
    Warren unfortunately it was a contrivance not known to the bidders. I have been to 100s of auctions and it only takes two emotional bidders seeking an unknown false dream to make knowledgeable viewers shake their heads at the results.

    I saw all four of the Tigers at Barrett Jackson as well.
    Lot 506 was a nice older restoration. I would consider it to be a nice driver quality. Sold $51,700
    Lot 766.1 was a very nice restoration (excellent non-original paint) with excellent hardtop (with holder) and tonneau cover. Sold $67,100
    Lot 1290 was an exquisite presentation with many LAT options and some personalized touches. Sold $88,000
    Lot 1097 was an original MKII with a impeccable restoration to original factory condition. Sold $148,500

    I also saw the Tigers at RM Sotheby's.
    Lot 113 was a MKII with personalized touches. Sold $70,000
    Lot224 was a MK IA restored to original standards Sold $86,800
    Harrington Jan likes this.
  13. Warren

    Warren Silver Level Sponsor

    The MK2 should be closely looked at . Isn't it the one that went to Norway then restored then to return back to the US. machine engraved tags and I'd bet there's a fuel pump door.
    Nevermind all the parts it's was missing as well as certification.
    The shadow of doubt is hard to get out of.
  14. jdoclogan

    jdoclogan Platinum Level Sponsor

    Warren, I didn't know that assumed history. Nor did I investigate with an up close and personal examination.
  15. Barry

    Barry Platinum Level Sponsor

    The auction houses are not interested in the shadow of doubt, they are interested in $$$. A higher selling price means a higher commission for the auction house. Inconvenient facts could reduce the selling price, so ...
  16. Gordon Holsinger

    Gordon Holsinger Diamond Level Sponsor

    I hate the auction houses they do not research provenance of the cars in many cases it is all about $$$$$.
    Harrington Jan likes this.
  17. jdoclogan

    jdoclogan Platinum Level Sponsor

    Just read a report from Vintage Motorsport. The Harrington Le Mans #55 was the third highest "race car" sell ($196,000) at the Scottsdale Car Week after the 1970 Porche 914/6GT ($995,000) and the charity sell of Jeff Gordon's first road course victory of his Winston Cup career in a 1997 Chevorelt Monte Carlo ($250,000). Amazing what a little slight of hand can do for the bank account.
  18. Warren

    Warren Silver Level Sponsor

    No sweat I'm particularly interested as I now have all three flavors of Tigers. 70 for a MK2 would be a cheap price. It's really hard to get comps on the cars.
  19. Gordon Holsinger

    Gordon Holsinger Diamond Level Sponsor

    Interesting that the 914 was referred to as the expensive Kareem Giha. 914 6 995 k is a lot of money for a design that was not that popular with the Porsche community.
  20. MikeH

    MikeH Platinum Level Sponsor

    Through its run in 72, there were only 41 6GTs factory built. 300 kits were sold by Porsche to convert other 914-6’s. There were 3360 of those built. And I think you meant Karmann Ghia.
    Last edited: Jan 30, 2020

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