Auction Pick of the Week: Archives

Auction Pick of the Week: Archives

Every Thursday, I highlight my favorite pick from the current vehicles up for auction on Cars&Bids.  That auction site launched in June 2020, and only features vehicles 1980 and newer.  

The full story on Cars&Bids, as well as other enthusiast auctions was covered in the article “Enthusiast Car Auctions.”

The cars I pick are not going to be high dollar or the most collectible.  These are the underdogs or more unique vehicles available in the market.  Essentially, cars that stir my soul, are expected to be great bargains or have great potential for modifications.  

All past picks are shown below.  You can access the original auction details by clicking the link in the title of each listing.

April 8, 2021 Pick of the Week

Vehicle:  1996 Mitsubishi Patero Junior (click HERE to see the listing)

Why this Car?

If I am being honest (and I am ALWAYS honest, here!), I had no idea what a Pajero Junior was before seeing this auction listing.  How’s that for a start?

I really struggled to find any unique/quirky vehicles in this week’s auction.  That is until I found little Junior here.  I like boxy SUVs, so this guy caught my eye.  I also like this seller, so it got my attention.

The Pajera is actually the Montero sold in other countries.  The Junior is just that – the little sibling of the big guy.  I am a fan of the other small utes,  Suzuki Samurai and Geo Tracker (both really fun off road, btw), so I think this one is worth a look.  It has really low miles and appears to be in great shape.  It is RIGHT HAND DRIVE, which makes it really novel.  What the heck…let’s see how this little guy does in the auction!

Auction Ends:  April 12, 2021

Predicted Auction Price: I have no idea, but would love to see it go for under 12,000!

Final Bid:  $8,300.  What a deal!

April 1, 2021 Pick of the Week

Vehicle:  1984 Chevrolet K5 Blazer (click HERE to see the listing)

Why this Car?

I absolutely love the square body K5 Blazers. I think I’ve made that clear in a number of articles and on the Vehicle Nanny Facebook page.  Unfortunately, most of them that are up for auction are high dollar examples that defy the purpose of Vehicle Nanny.  Those are nicely restored trailer queens that are just too expensive to drive.

This Blazer has the kind of bumps and bruises I like, as they are relatively easy fixes for anyone who is the least bit handy.  The tailgate handle is missing (typical), but can be replaced.  I noticed the console between the front seats is also missing, but the auction description shows that it is included in the sale.  It doesn’t say, but I hope it is in decent shape.

I am not a fan of lifted Blazers with over-sized tires.  It may look cool to some, but that short wheelbase and added ride height plays havoc with on-road handling.  If I were to buy this Blazer, I would return the suspension to stock and put on more suitable tires (no more than 31 inches tall, vs the 35s on it now).  I would also likely add a new intake manifold and carburetor to help the performance of that 5.0L V8.

I’m going to give this Blazer some serious thought for myself.  Don’t anyone bid on it until I give you the all clear!

Auction Ends:  April 6, 2021

Predicted Auction Price: $15,000 (I hope it is less than $10,000)

Final Bid:  $14,100.

March 25, 2021 Pick of the Week

Vehicle:  1991 Land Rover Defender 90 (click HERE to see the listing)

Why this Vehicle?

I love Land Rover Defenders, as they are one of the most capable off road vehicles ever built.  They gained a worldwide reputation for ruggedness and versatility over the years. Using a steel ladder chassis and an aluminium alloy bodywork, the Land Rover originally used detuned versions of Rover engines. This particular one runs with the indestructible 2.5L turbo diesel. 

The description in the listing shows it has a number of modifications, many of which could be reversed if you want a stock look. Personally, I would ditch the lift and over-sized tires/wheels to return it to stock ride height.  It also shows a bit of wear, tear, bumps and bruises, but I think this might help keep the price down.

Oh yeah, it also has right-hand drive (it was imported from the UK last year, but has a U.S. title). I don’t know how that might affect the value of the Defender, but it would be very novel to drive!

This would be a fun vehicle to fix up to make it really nice, with not too much trouble.

Auction Ends:  March 29, 2021

Predicted Auction Price: $22,000 

Final Bid:  $20,000 (reserve was not met)

March 18, 2021 Pick of the Week

Vehicle1995 Pontiac Grand Prix GTP

Why this Vehicle?

In the mid 90s, Pontiac was selling some of the more fun and best looking cars for GM.  The Grand Prix, especially with the GTP option package, defined Pontiac’s “We Build Excitement” branding.  This package included the revised 3.4 L V6, sport suspension, ground effects and distinctive tail lamps and wheels.  Oh, and the louvered hood vents were especially sporty!

The GTP up for auction has less than 3,000 miles, so it should have lots of good life left to it.

Auction Ends:  March 22, 2021

Predicted Auction Price:  $10,000

Final Bid:  $7,900 (the reserve was not met, so this may get relisted for sale soon).

March 11, 2021 Pick of the Week

Vehicle2015 Chevrolet Camaro Z28

Why this Vehicle?

I admit it…I am a sucker for a black Z28.  I typically like to showcase auction vehicles that are unique, quirky and cheap.  This car cost about $70,000 when new, so I think any auction price under $35,000 will be a good deal–especially considering the low 15,300 miles on this one.

When I was still working for GM, I remember following a new 2014 Z28 out of my parking deck one evening after work.  That car was black like this one, and it sounded and looked so tough as it rumbled through the parking deck and onto the freeway.  The Z28 has a 7.0 litre V8 (that’s 427 cubic inches for you old gear heads) that produces over 500 horsepower.  It also has the meanest looking stance with those big meats (tires).

This week’s auction pick is not the great buy of my normal pick, but sometimes you have to throw caution to the wind, go with your emotions and enjoy the ride!  Maybe one of you will step up and buy this car!

Auction End:  March 16, 2021

Predicted Sale Price:  $35,000

Actual Sale Price:  $54,000  (WOW, was I off!)

March 4, 2021 Pick of the Week

Vehicle1993 VW Eurovan Weekender

Why this Vehicle?

The Eurovan is pretty rare by itself, but this one is even more rare with the Weekender package with pop-up roof tent and fold flat seats that form a bed.

Let’s face it…the past year has been trying for everyone and having a vehicle like this can give you the freedom to hit the road and get away from it all while staying safe in your very own camper van.

This one has a lot of miles, but it seems to have received good maintenance and services over the years.  Obviously not a daily driver, but a vehicle like this is there for the fun times only.  Hey…we all need some fun right now!

Auction End: 3/10/21

Predicted Sale Price:  $12,000

Actual Sale Price:  $9,000 (good bargain!)

February 25, 2021 Pick of the Week

Vehicle:  2002 VW Cabrio

Why this Vehicle?

Spring is just around the corner (I’m an optimistic Michigander!), so thoughts turn to fun, convertible weekend cars. This is the last year of the Cabrio (convertible Golf), making it relatively rare.  This car caught my eye because it will be a relatively low cost convertible to buy with very low miles (43,400).  

I had to laugh when I saw this car was equipped with 14” steel wheels with plastic wheel covers.  For under $1,000, you can get a set of 17” wheels and tires delivered from  That single upgrade will really give this car a more modern look and maybe even give it a tougher appearance.  

Best of all…being a California car, rust will not be an issue.  Just look at the underside of this one–super clean!

Auction End:  3/1/21

Predicted Sale Price:  $8,000

Actual Sale Price:  $7,000

February 18, 2021 Pick of the Week

Vehicle:  1999 Land Rover Discovery II

Why this Vehicle?

The Discovery was intended to fulfill the role the Range Rover originally was intended for; a segment which was now dominated by Japanese rivals such as the Nissan Patrol, Mitsubishi Pajero and Toyota Landcruiser. Although positioned below the Range Rover in the company’s line-up, the vehicle was both longer and higher, offered more room in the back, and optionally also more seats.  The Series II ran from the 1998 – 2004 model years.

I am a big fan of Land Rovers, especially the Discovery model from the late 90s.  They are distinctively styled and extremely comfortable and capable vehicles.  

The common issue with these trucks was head gasket failures and this one already had the head gaskets replaced, along with other high dollar maintenance items.  

Also, this Land Rover spent its life in Florida and Georgia and currently sits in Atlanta.  The seller has had this Disco since April 2020, and in that time he has installed several modifications including a 2-inch suspension lift, a center differential lock retrofit, a Lucky8 front bumper with a Warn winch, and a Kenwood CD player with auxiliary inputs.

It has some noticeable wear and tear, but that just makes it ready for a little off road fun!

Auction End Date: February 23, 2021

Predicted Sale Price:  $10,000

Actual Sale Price:  $11,099

February 11, 2021 Pick of the Week

Vehicle2006 Jaguar XJL

Why this Vehicle?

The XJ is Jaguar’s flagship sedan.  This generation was built from 2004 – 2009, and continues to provide the utmost in luxury and performance along with its unique British character.

I have always liked the elegant style that is Jaguar, and the XJ in this generation is supposed to be the more reliable of Jags.  It has an all aluminum body (rust free) on an advanced aluminum frame, making it relatively light (nimble handling).

I was attracted to this listing because it was a Jag XJL (the “L” means long wheelbase), but later learned it is even more luxurious because of the Vanden Plas trim on this one.  That trim provides things like lambs wool floor mats and rear seat picnic trays (see the back seat picture above).  

Based on the description in the auction listing, this car shows a few areas of wear, scratches, etc.  That’s OK, as I think that will keep the price down.  Ultimately, I’d like to have a car like this to drive, not admire in the garage.

Auction End Date:  2/17/21

Predicted Sale Price:  $9,000

Actual Sale Price:  $7,800 (someone got a good deal!)

February 4, 2021 Pick of the Week

Saab wagon front

Vehicle2008 Saab 9-3 Aero SportCombi

Why this Vehicle?

General Motors fully owned Saab by 2000 (after buying a 50% stake in 1990), and used the Opel Vectra platform for the 9-3.  That makes it a tight, good handling car for its class.  The Aero was equipped with a 2.8L Turbo V6 versus the standard 2.0L turbo four cylinder.  I had a 2008 9-3 convertible Aero as a company car and absolutely loved it.  It was very likely the nicest midsized vehicle I have driven. That Turbo V6 was so very smooth and powerful.

One nifty feature of all Saabs is the ignition key located in the center console, near the driver’s hip (see picture above).  I think it harkens back to Saab’s roots as an aircraft manufacturer.  Neat.

I chose this version of the 9-3 because of the SportCombi (aka station wagon) body style.  It is a nice combination of sport and utility without it being a hulking SUV.  

Unfortunately, GM sold Saab (along with winding down Saturn, Hummer and Pontiac) due to the 2009 bankruptcy.  Saab had a cool following, thanks to its Swedish roots and never survived after the sale to Spyker.

Auction End Date:  2/8/21

Predicted Sale Price:  $8,000

Actual Sale Price:  $10,000

January 28, 2021 Pick of the Week

front view of white Suzuki Sidekick SUV

Vehicle:  1992 Suzuki Sidekick

Why this Vehicle?

I owned a 1990 Geo Tracker in 1990 (Chevrolet sold a nearly identical vehicle as the Geo Tracker).  Both were offered as a 2 door convertible, 2 door hardtop and a 4 door hardtop., and found it to be a fun, capable 4×4.  Also had a couple of Trackers as company cars when I worked for GM, and always enjoyed driving them.

This vehicle has body-on-frame construction (like a full size truck and Jeep Wrangler), making it a tough little rig.  It has a 2-speed transfer case with a low gear, making it even more fun if rock crawling.  The Sidekick/Tracker is lightweight, yet sure-footed and its simple design makes it easy to maintain and modify.

Auction End Date: 1/28/21

Predicted Sale Price:  $5,000

Actual Sale Price:  $4,200

January 21, 2021 Pick of the Week

Vehicle1996 Chevrolet Corvette

Why this Vehicle?

The 1996 model is the fourth generation Corvette, known as the C4.  It is the least appreciated of the eight generations.  It includes model years 1984 – 1996, so this one featured is from the last model year of the fourth generation.

The C4 is one of the best performance car bargains, and remains one of the better handling cars to this day. In 1996, Chevrolet offered two special edition versions to commemorate the final year–the Grand Sport (with a vivid blue paint and white stripes) and the Collector Edition (available only in silver).

I always liked the large “clamshell” hood that opened forward, exposing a very neat engine compartment.  The aluminum front suspension components were on full display as well, which I thought was pretty cool.

Auction End Date:  1/27/21

Predicted Sale Price:  $17,000 – 29,000 

Actual Sale Price:  $15,069

Supporting the Hobby

Viewing online auctions like these help stir the imagination and keep the hobby alive. Hopefully the vehicles I picked demonstrated some interesting cars can be bought at reasonable prices.  That is the main intent of Vehicle Nanny.  

In addition to sharing stories like this, I am providing ongoing support of automotive programs designed to inspire and educate young car enthusiasts through the sale of items in the Vehicle Nanny Merchandise Store.  All proceeds go directly to the Hagerty Automotive Youth Program, so I hope you can find a fun item for yourself that also supports our budding car enthusiasts.

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