The emotional appeal of a classic car is undeniable. Be it sleek Italian sports cars or imposing British behemoths or our American muscle cars, we love our vintage rides.
The most prolific local purveyor of vintage vehicles is McCormick’s Classic Car Auctions. In the business for 32 years, they auction as many as 1,200 cars per year. “It really all started with Frank Sinatra’s Rat Pack,” says Keith McCormick. “They loved Stutz Blackhawks and luxury classics of their time, they set the trend and it just caught on.” The list of cars McCormick’s has sold is innumerable — from Charlie Chaplin’s Packard to Howard Hughes’ Edsel ambulance. McCormick’s tip on the best deals right now? Small English sports cars like MGB and Triumph Spitfires. They are inexpensive to repair and parts are still available. 244 N. Indian Canyon Drive, Palm Springs. 760-320-3290; classic-carauction.com
indiGO Classic Cars, specializing in makes such as Maserati, Jaguar, Range Rover, BMW, Lotus, McLaren, Bentley, Audi, Rolls-Royce, and Aston Martin, is also the shop to visit when looking for that perfect bit of gas-powered history. “[Chairman and CEO] Todd Blue is very passionate about vintage cars,” says indiGO’s Sarah Lippy. “So our inventory is pretty exclusive.” Lippy notes that while many of the vintage autos are kept at the company’s facility in North Houston, they often make trips to the valley for special events and can be shipped to indiGO’s Rancho Mirage location upon purchase. Current inventory includes a blue 1966 Porsche 912 and a mint Mosport Green 1966 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray with only 45,384 miles. 13921 North Freeway, Houston. 866-760-5530; indigoautogroup.com
One Eleven Vintage Cars has also helped shaped the lauded lineage of vintage and classic cars in Palm Springs. Owner Bob Arzano raced Corvettes back in the ’60s and fell in love with the brand. He moved to Palm Springs in 1977 and opened One Eleven Vintage Cars. He’s seen his share of class acts, from buying and selling cars for Frank Sinatra to unearthing the “Piranha” in Palm Desert. Built by Gene Winfield, it was a one-off custom car built for the Man from Uncle TV series. Arzano notes that older 12-cylinder front-engine Ferraris and Lamborghinis have accelerated in value.
PHOTO BY THINKSTOCKPHOTOS.COM
Vintage cars have a universal appeal.
In particular, the Mercedes 280 SE convertibles have been taking the checkered flag for best vintage investment. They sold for $80,000 several years ago but now sell for $300,000. 335 E. Sunny Dunes Road, Palm Springs. 760-323-1161; oneelevencars.com
Exotic Motor Cars has been in its present location on Ramon Road across from the Palm Springs International Airport for 25 years. Marv Sholl started the business 37 years ago after retiring to our valley from his hometown of Evanston, Illinois. Exotic Motor Cars always has an interesting inventory but prides itself on having more pre-owned Rolls-Royces than anyone in the valley. EMC sold Liberace’s 1957 Cadillac Limo two years ago for only $10k! Currently, highlights of the inventory include a 2006 Bentley Continental Flying Spur sedan and a flawless 1956 Ford Fairlane Crown Victoria two-door. 4525 Ramon Road, Palm Springs. 760-778 5444 ; exoticmotorcars.com