My Car Quest

August 21, 2019

Two Apollo GTs Were Sold At Auction In Monterey – Were They Both Good Deals?

by Mike –

It is rare to see an Apollo GT at auction and even more rare to see two at auction during the same weekend. But if there was a venue where this could happen it would be in Monterey during Monterey Car Week. And it did happen this past August!

The red Apollo GT 3500 (chassis #1027), below, sold at the Russo & Steele auction for $112,500 USD.

Apollo GT

Apollo GT

The copper GT 5000 (chassis #1044), below, sold at the Mecum auction for $25,000 USD. Both prices include the buyer’s commission.

Apollo GT

Apollo GT

Russo & Steele did not write much about the red Apollo,

This is one of 3 original cars that were offered with an automatic transmission by Milt Brown’s International Motors. The car is finished in Rosso Corsa with a nicely detailed black interior. This car has been very well maintained over the years, with lots of owner history and receipts showing restoration work. The car is in the owner registry, showing 3 prior owners since 1965.

Apollo GT

Mecum wrote about the copper one,

This remarkable original example is fitted with English glove leather interior, wood steering wheel, Jaeger instruments, ArtiKar air conditioning, Bendix-Dunlop servo-assisted disc brakes as well as the optional and desirable Borrani wire wheels. This Apollo was family owned for decades, stored in a garage for many years and includes a service log book detailing the work performed throughout the previous owner’s stewardship.

Apollo GT

Apollo GT

Mecum also wrote something about this being one of the Apollos used in the Disney movie, The Love Bug, because it has yellow paint in the door jamb and an upgraded Ford 260 CI V-8 engine. Hmmm, this seems dubious at best and I hope the buyer did not buy this Apollo because of the hope it was in The Love Bug.

Mecum did not mention the significant quantity of rust all over this Apollo nor did they mention that it does not have a gas tank, has not been driven in many years and that it was originally red.

It will certainly need a complete restoration.

The big question is were these both good deals? Can the $25,000 Apollo be brought up to the same condition level as the $112,500 example for the difference in price ($87,500)?

Let us know what you think in the Comments.

The Hagerty Price Guide lists the values of these models ranging from condition 4 (daily drivers with flaws) to condition 1 (concours). The condition of the copper Apollo at Mecum falls well below the Hagerty condition descriptions and is off the scale.

3500 GT – $45,500 to $155,000

5000 GT – $59,800 to $172,000

 

 

Apollo GT logo

Photos of the red Apollo are from Russo & Steele and photos of the copper Apollo are by Mike Gulett.

Summary
Two Apollo GTs Were Sold At Auction In Monterey - Were They Both Good Deals?
Article Name
Two Apollo GTs Were Sold At Auction In Monterey - Were They Both Good Deals?
Description
Were both of these Apollo GTs well bought?
Author

Comments

  1. William M. Craig says

    Gerald Roush in the old Ferrari Market Letter wrote a great article on “The bigger fool theory”. Some investors buy a car in hopes that a “bigger fool” will come along and dump big money in their “investment”. I always bought a car because I love sports cars and there was something unique about that certain car I wanted to get out of it. I have a residue of every car I ever had bouncing around in the kid i was back then. Eternal Youth. Was it my version of Icarius’ flight to the sun. Maybe but as Bob Hope use to sing:”thanks for the memories!” I had a glass jaw for women and a glass jaw for what would never come again. I think they were well bought-if for nothing else-the Jaeger Gauges- My Ferrari had Jaeger Gauges. A really nice touch in an age that can’t be touched..

  2. Robert Feldman says

    The best advice I ever received was no matter what type of car you want to buy, purchase the best one you can find and you will never be sorry! I vote in favor of the red car because in this condition with service records it can be enjoyed immediately. No one can say if the copper car can be brought to the condition of the red car for 87,500.00. And, if it can, it is going to take a long time with many surprises along the way. Red car, better deal!

  3. Buy with your heart, not your financial future.

    Cars like these were created for us by passionate people who LOST money in their pursuit of excellence. Our opportunity to enjoy driving, caring, and sharing these cars has only recently included profiting from them. Money is intoxicating, so pay closer attention to the joy, the speed, and the essence of these cars more than the cash.

    While an excellent comparison, I would say BOTH cars are great values if you have the money + time. The variable weight of each being different for each person who has a range of both on hand.

  4. Chip Baldoni says

    IT ALL DEPENDS OF YOUR FRAME OF MIND AND YOUR BUDGET.
    The $25,000 Apollo is a deal for someone who has the year or two of time to restore it.
    Yes, the owner of the cheaper one will be in it between $60,000 to $90,000 depending
    on the work he does himself. Many he wants to work on a project to be self satisfied or get a good value.
    The $112,500 Apollo owner gets immediate satisfaction as to drive it.
    Both cars are fun for both owners. Both are great value for diferent reasons.

  5. I agree with Chip but would like to ad that most Apollo’s I have seen have had poor restorations, the red car was a good driver at best. Apollo’s and intermeccanica Italias were the red headed step children of the Italian American hybrids. They didn’t cost much and many of the owners didn’t treat them very well, so most are average. With the copper car you have well over a hundred K to restore it to a very high standard. There are certain cars that just look average after a nice restoration then there are the ones that look like super stars, IMO a well restored Apollo is one of the better looking cars made, it’s a work of art and when people see it they know it’s special.

  6. Robb Northrup says

    Mike:

    I’m aware of both cars. The Russo and Steele car is a decent driver, and the price is commenserate with what we’re seeing in the market. Perfect cars have changed hands for much more. But it needs a lot of work to bring it up to concours standards.

    The Mecum car will cost a bundle to get it right and I hope both owners will contact our group for assistance in order to get these cars restored correctly (and so we can keep track of them). Few owner-directed restorations turn out to be accurate.

    The Mecum car IS NOT one of the two cars used by Disney. The main car is owned (and has been restored) by one of our club members. According to my correspndence with Disney, the other was cut up for use in close-up/interior scenes for the first movie and both were sold off after the “Love Bug” was completed. And $130K+ seems to be a good amount for what a restoration will cost. ALL replacement sheet metal will have to be hand formed, along with chrome trim that’s missing. The a/c unit is wrong and engine bay detailing is incorrect

    The Mecum car was one of a few body/chassis units sold off while International Motor Cars was seeking new financing; hence, the Ford engine. NO factory Apollos (or Vetta Venturas) came with anything other than Buick engines and suspensions. As for the “upgraded” Ford 260, the Buick 300 was an outstanding engine and in Apollo guise was lighter than the Chev small block at the time. And for this application, better than the Ford.

    I take some exception to Mr. Clarke’s comment of these cars being “red-headed” step children. When new, they were highly praised in the enthusiast press. But afterwards they suffered from the hot rodder’s touch — as have most de Tomaso Panteras! Porperly restored, Apollos are extremely good driving cars and better handling than contemporary Ferrari 250s and Jag E Types (see Denise McCluggage’s article in “Science and Mechanics” March, 1964) and with the Buick running gear, must easier to maintain.

    And very good looking!

    Robb Northrup
    President
    Apollo Owners Registry

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