June 16, 2021

Linkage Mag

Geared for the Automotive Life

A Missed Chance

Phil Hill's reproduction Packard blueprints. Photo courtesy of Gooding & Co.

Well, I blew it.

I had every intention of logging onto the first Gooding & Co. Phil Hill Automobilia Collection online auction last week, but I didn’t. 

So, I missed out.

I’m mad at myself, as I was very interested in two lots: 

Lot 17, which was a set of reproduction 1900-era Packard blueprints. They weren’t original blueprints, but I love looking at old engineering and architectural blueprints. The precise lines and neat printing create an attractive, fascinating geometry. 

The pre-sale estimate for these prints was $100 to $300, but they went for just $25. 

It was cool that Phil Hill owned these blueprints, but I really wanted them on their own merits.

This auction of 242 lots of Phil Hill’s automobilia had a lot of interesting ephemera, and the sales results show the solid value of Duesenberg — even when no metal is involved. 

For example, Lot 31 was Assorted Hudson Literature, and the pre-sale estimate was $50 to $150. The lot went for $225, which is a nice bump.

However, Lot 33, Assorted Duesenberg Literature, carried an estimate of $250 to $500. The lot rocketed to $2,900. Wow.

The second lot was a cool model.

When I first looked over the online catalog, Lot 129 — a 1:8-scale Pocher model of an Alfa Romeo 8C 2300 Monza — caught my eye. A good friend of mine is addicted to building Pocher models, and I get regular reports of the excruciating details involved in the builds. 

Right now, he’s installing piston rings on his latest model’s miniature pistons. Who will ever know whether they are there or not when the engine is finished and installed? My friend would quickly remind me that a Pocher model in complete, total detail is the goal.

Anyway, the Pocher model was $200 or so when I first went through the catalog. I would have happily paid that for this model, which had a $2k-$4k estimate. It ended up selling for $3,300. So, I wouldn’t have gotten this one in any case. 

So, why didn’t at least bid on the blueprints?

Well, time got away from me. A gorgeous split-cane fly rod on eBay absorbed my attention for a few days. And then there was the signed, first-edition copy of Patrick O’Brian’s “H.M.S. Surprise,” which is one of the best books in the fantastic Aubrey-Maturin series, which is set in the Royal Navy during the Napoleonic Wars.

I got the fly rod — but didn’t get the book. But these distractions aren’t the whole story.

Truth is, I never got around to spending a few minutes registering for the Phil Hill auction. Procrastination is an evil thing.

Luckily, I have two more chances at Phil Hill’s collections — and so do you.

More Phil Hill Automobilia online auctions are scheduled for February 8-19, 2021 and March 15-26, 2021.

I’m going to register — and perhaps bid. Who knows, maybe more blueprints are on the way. 

For more information, visit www.goodingco.com