CaaaRazy Prices At The Jim Street Auction.


$130K – Unrestored.

To quote a fellow Woody Boater when Asked if I should publish these prices. “Matt…grow a pair and let the ship show begin!!!” So without further adooo dooo! Here we go. May god have mercy on all of us in the comment section.

If you have been following the Jim Street collection auction at Mecum, and not “the Wedding” you will of course come to the same conclusion as many. The prices are very strong. $41K for an engine? A Switzer craft for 42K. But the price isn’t the news here. What is, is that very few believe the prices? How is this happening? Is it the power of the Jim Street collection? You may want to read the older story on this in the comment section. Last night it got real strange.

Chris Craft $80K

Or, and here is the part that I am nervous about even bringing up. The Warner Auction “Situation” Maybe its where the boats come from? Now before we get all wound up here. We do not know, what the story is. And crazy stuff happens when people want something, especially two people. And if that’s the case, then oh mother of all mothers please speak up. Cause that’s where the nutso is.

Switzer 14, Shootin star $42k

I will also add, we as a culture seem to devalue our stuff, until we want to sell it. And I will also go here. An Auction like this is the exact place crazy stuff happens. And from the comments in the past story last night, this could explain alot.  And when crazy keeps happening, then the market rises. And that may be the case here. We may be seeing a massive spring jump in certain items. And that 41K K engine? There HAS to be more to that story. So. Here is the list of prices from another fellow WoodyBoater Steve Bunda.
Grevette 33 ft $400k
21 Chris-Craft Cobra $140k
Switzer 14, Shootin star $42k
23′ Bell Isle with Liberty Engine $225k
Chris-Craft 20, Custom $42k
1937 Garwood 28′ $115k
1936 Chris-Craft 27′ $80k
18′ Chris-Craft Cobra $80k

So get out your commentator, call your lawyer, and have at it. PLEASE try and keep the chairs from flying.

The Belle Isle.


32 replies
  1. Jim Staib
    Jim Staib says:

    Most of the boats were one of a kind. People had tried to buy them for years. Some previous offers were more than they brought at auction. The prices posted do not include the 10% premium. The boats that sold on Thursday brought more realistic prices. I met people from Europe that came to buy. It was quite an event.

  2. Russ
    Russ says:

    Anyone wat to hazard a guess as to why they could do this at the Jim Street auction but even the crickets were silent at the Warner auction?

  3. Mark
    Mark says:

    All the hoopla aside in general the people that have the money to buy these boats didn’t stumble upon their cash and are smart enough to not overpay based on emotion so I don’t buy it.

  4. Andy C
    Andy C says:

    My only problem is how can a boat not be sold if it has no reserve? There was a 1959 century coronado that didn’t sell. Did nobody bid on it?

  5. Russ
    Russ says:

    I guess boat prices AND housing prices are back to where they were at say in 2005. Right before “the bottom of the boat” fell out….

  6. John Rothert
    John Rothert says:

    I don’t know or care anything about this stuff…but Jim was there and his is never fake news.

    Could “Go boating” right outside my shop…..

    John in Va Still drying out and more rains to come!

  7. m-fine
    m-fine says:

    “PLEASE try and keep the chairs from flying.”

    Well, that takes all the fun out of it!

  8. Matt
    Matt says:

    Turns out that black cobra had fiberglassed sides. So the person that bought it wasnt looking for an original Cobra for sure at that price.

  9. Brian Robinson
    Brian Robinson says:

    Staib said it best. All the prices were within 10% of what I predicted beforehand. There was a small number of people that knew Jim Street and followed his treasures. A novel could be written on nearly all of these boats. They are all one-offs, as rare and valuable as they get. The only boat that sold for arguably too much was the 20’ Custom, it wasn’t anything special. Strong prices like this are good for the hobby. Nice to hear there were a lot of bidders and enough people that appreciate the potential of these boats.

    • Greg Wallace
      Greg Wallace says:

      Only thing “special” about 20 custom was 2 owner and all original wood, in fact just upholstery messed with.

      • Brian Robinson
        Brian Robinson says:

        I wish I could have seen the 20 Custom (among others) in person. It had a later MBL manifold on it, not sure about the block itself and a deluxe steering wheel which I don’t believe existed in 1946 (vs. stock Sheller). I believe the correct hull number was #59, but had #80 stamped elsewhere (from the factory)

  10. Rob Lyons
    Rob Lyons says:

    While the pricing doesn’t make sense to many (especially if you are purist) it appeared to be driven by several factors;

    All except for the Custom and 18′ Cobra (not part of the Street Collection) are TRULY one of kind boats. Not sure about any other Woodyboaters, however I can’t say that I’ve seen a line up like this at a show, EVER!

    The Cool Factor was definitely a contributor, just think of the attention the Cobra would get at a boat show (I’m guessing Matt would go for a ride, snap some pictures and “write all about it”).

    Being owned by Jim Street certainly brought classic boating lore into play with the pricing.

    For those of us that had the pleasure to attend the auction it was 3 days of stories that would fill WB for WEEKS. It was supercharged with energy not often seen in the hobby. In the end I think this will remembered with lots of positive memories. (expect maybe for me in that I didn’t get to take a piece of it home)

  11. Briant
    Briant says:

    There are two sides to every coin. While many applaud these high prices as being great for us that own boats, the downside is that very, very few young people facing years of asinine student loan payments and starter homes priced at $500k will ponder the idea of purchasing a wood boat that they have little or most likely no sentimental value or interest in.

  12. floyd r turbo
    floyd r turbo says:

    There are still bargains out there for people to get into the hobby. I’ve helped sell a few items for elderly friends that divesting projects they won’t get to or can’t and sold for half of what they paid or less just to move the item. They weren’t happy about it but realized their initial acquisition price should have been negotiated with a little more zeal, but they followed their heart and not their head.

  13. floyd r turbo
    floyd r turbo says:

    Using Jerry Springer, former Mayor of Cincinnati (and Ohio connection), tabloid talk show host, and “carnival huckster” for this…pure genius Matt. Well played sir.

  14. m-fine
    m-fine says:

    OK, I will comment…

    What is up with that Cobra? I have always felt the original looked like a design by committee with mismatched elements, but someone managed to make that one significantly worse.

    There has to be a story behind it to give it any value, let alone $130K type of value. Does anyone know the history of it and why bidders would be attracted to it?

    • Dave Ramsey
      Dave Ramsey says:

      The story is that Jim Street was the last Cobra owner alive who was the original owner of the boat. He had it customized long ago, to match the gaudiness of the Golden Sahara.

      Also, one can see all the results on Mecum’s website if you sign up for their email newsletter.

      • m-fine
        m-fine says:

        Yeah, but all that value is now gone. As of the sale, it is no longer a single owner boat, and the current condition/design is a far cry from what it was when the Golden Sahara photo was taken, so is there any real value there? (2 exhausts vs 4, gold fin now black etc.)

        The only value I can see is that it was owned and customized by Street. Maybe his name still carries enough weight to give it value, but for how long?

  15. Troy in ANE
    Troy in ANE says:

    Someone commented before the auction that the Cobra had been fitted with a V drive. Is there any fact to that or was it just folk lore?

      • Greg Wallace
        Greg Wallace says:

        Last time I ran the Cobra it had an overdrive turning opposite engine rotation and angled to allow engine to set level. Jim told me Henry built it. Was a sweet running and fine handling Cobra.

        • Dane
          Dane says:

          Thanks Greg, That’s what it looks like in the auction photos. I’ll guess that some confused the angled transmission with a V Drive.

  16. Leslie
    Leslie says:

    All the prices are real. Everything did sell. I was there with Jim’s widow. Very sad time for her.

  17. George Burgess
    George Burgess says:

    Jim bought the Cobra #010 complete with no engine power no exhaust pipe no battery no prop and shaft. He painted the hull and fin black then installed the blown cadillac. He told me that he ran the boat through the measured mile outside the Algonac plant at around 63-65 MPH. He returned to the dock re-jetted the carbs and changed the fuel, to alcohol ran through the mile at something like 73 MPH with pictures of daylight under most of the hull and only the prop and rudder in the water. Jim was a one-of-a-kind individual.

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