The American Muscle of Amelia Island

Chad Tyson

The Amelia Island auctions are known to the collector car community as the East Coast version of Pebble Beach in August – meaning that they, along with the Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance, bring out some of the rarest and most expensive cars seen annually. Bidders and concours attendees fly in from across the U.S. and abroad for these events each year, and the auctions have been steadily growing in size and in total dollar volume for the past several years. Amelia has become a true global classic-car weekend.

This year’s event sold a total of $55m in cars at two auctions over the course of just two days — cars like Duesenbergs, Ferraris, Bentleys, Porsches and the like made up a large portion of this year’s totals.

But just as interesting this year were the American muscle cars that made their way onto the auction block. Many of the available cars that sold were high-spec examples, and these cars all brought big money as well, which further solidifies what we’ve been seeing over the past year or so: great examples of great muscle cars with the best options are seeing renewed interest in the collector car market. Here are five of the most noteworthy American muscle car sales of the weekend:

1. 1967 Chevrolet Camaro Yenko Super 450 Coupe – $350,000, Gooding & Co. lot 14

This was an example from the first year of Yenko Camaro production, and was said to be one of just 10 remaining examples of the 54 built. It was completely restored and in excellent overall condition, and it came with great paperwork. $350k may seem like a lot of money for a Camaro, but this was a lot of Camaro. It had everything going for it. (Image: Chad Tyson)

2. 1971 Oldsmobile 442 W-30 convertible – $189,750, Gooding & Co. lot 59

One of 32 4-speed W-30 convertibles built in 1971, and complete with a lot of options. Restored in its factory colors and complete with all documentation and original Protect-O-Plate, this 442 brought a price under its initial $225k low estimate. (Image: Chad Tyson)

3. 1973 Pontiac Trans Am SD 455 – $165,000, Gooding & Co. lot 34

The SD 455 is widely considered the last of the real American muscle cars built before emissions regulations and insurance premiums ended most of the fun. This car was one of 72 4-speed SDs built in ’73, and it was well restored throughout, again with good documentation from PHS Automotive Services. (Image: Chad Tyson)

4. 1960 Chrysler 300F GT Special – $236,500, Gooding & Co. lot 19

Some say that the Pontiac GTO was the first muscle car, but I’ve always thought Mopar held that title with cars like this 300F. This car was specifically built to race on Daytona Beach, with a tuned 400-hp 413-ci engine and a 4-speed manual transmission. It held the record for the “Flying Mile” at 144.9 mph and is still in original condition, with only 11,000 miles. In terms of letter cars with history, this is one of the best. (Image: Chad Tyson)

5. 1965 Shelby GT350 fastback – $242,000, RM Auctions lot 139

First-year Shelby GT350s tend to bring a lot of attention at auction, as well as some of the highest prices for the model. This car was completely restored and reportedly very well detailed, and the price paid was again on the money in the current market. (Image: RM Auctions)

Look for more detailed results from Amelia in an upcoming issue of American Car Collector!