It’s a problem most car fans wouldn’t mind having. Don Davis has to change too many batteries.
The Texas-based businessman and avid car collector is putting 64 rare and classic cars up for auction April 27. More than $15 million worth of old Ferraris, Mercedes-Benzes, Porsches and Corvettes will be offered without reserve by RM Auction in Fort Worth, Texas.
Davis is selling the cars to whittle his collection down to 25 to 30, he said.
"It’s just too many cars to maintain," said Davis, who also lives in Carmel for a portion of each year. "This way, we won’t have as many batteries go bad," he said with a laugh.
Many of the cars he is selling are duplicates in his collection. For example, Davis owns numerous Mercedes-Benz 300 SL roadsters and coupes, and is selling three of them in the auction. A total of 10 Porsches will be offered, and models include a rare 1988 959 Komfort, a 1973 911 Carrera RS Touring, and several 356 coupes and convertibles.
Other notable cars being offered at the auction include a 1973 Ferrari 365 GTB/4 Daytona Spider, a 1967 Toyota 2000GT, a pair of Shelby 289 Cobra’s, a 1954 Chrysler GS-1 Special by Ghia, 1966 Toyota FJ40 Land Cruiser, and a 1958 Dual-Ghia Convertible.
Several of his cars will be particularly hard to say goodbye to, Davis said.
The first is a 1967 Ferrari 330 GTS. This dark blue convertible is one of only 99 built, and it’s powered by a 300-horsepower V-12 engine.
"If you say you have a 100-point car, this one’s a 120-point car," Davis said. The car has the awards to prove it, Davis said, including a Best of Show title from the 2011 Concorso Italiano in Monterey. The presale estimate on this Ferrari is $1.2 to $1.5 million, according to RM Auctions.
A 1941 Chrysler Newport pace car from that year’s Indianapolis 500 will also be hard for Davis to part with, he said.
The car is one of only five built, and is the actual vehicle used for the pace car duties in the 1941 race. This Newport was also owned and driven by Walter P. Chrysler Jr., the son of the company’s founder. The car’s "dual-cowl" configuration means the car has one windshield for the front passengers and a second to protect the rear passengers.
This Newport has an inline eight-cylinder engine that makes 143 horsepower. Its presale estimate is $900,000 to $1.2 million.
Finally, Davis said one of the Shelby 289 Cobras is unique for the extensive paper trail that tracks the car’s history. The black-on-black 1965 Cobra has the original Shelby window sticker, buyer’s order and receipt, and registration records for more than a decade.
The car is powered by a Ford V-8 engine with a four-barrel carburetor, and makes at least 271 horsepower. The car’s presale estimate is $650,000 to $850,000.
Though he’s downsizing his collection, Davis said he doesn’t plan to stop collecting cars. "Oh, I plan on being active in the old car market," Davis said assuredly.
Though he’ll continue to focus on post-war Europeans cars from marques such as Ferrari, Lamborghini and Mercedes-Benz, Davis said there wasn’t anything in particular he was looking to buy next.
"I enjoy the chase," Davis said. Just not the batteries.
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