A classic, wood on blue, Gov't Model. The ones made in the '20's and '30's were probably the most beautiful 1911 variants ever made. I had the "opportunity" to buy a '30's National Match .45, looking pretty mint, in the box, for $4000. Pretty pricey, but pobably not much more than it would cost to reproduce that gun today.
OUCH!!! Just a year ago those things were a mere $3000!
Like lots of other folks I'd love to see a Singer M1911A1 under some future Christmas tree. But that's less likely than a date with a hot fashion supermodel. My list then is in the order of:
1940/1941 military contract (blued)
1930's National Match
1930's commercial .45
MINT 1913-under military contract
On the whole I haven't done too bad. I have plain-jane WW1 and WW2 Colts in excellent shape and a mint pre-Series 70. Anything better than those is just way too expensive anymore.
Regarding custom Colts, I had a brief fling with those years ago but since the Kimber came out I can't see spending the money on a custom gun. They'll never appreciate like a collectible early specimen. I spent about $1,500 to customize my Series 80, and bought a Kimber just for use as a backup during matches. Turned out the $650 Kimber outshoots the Series 80, which now just sits in the safe.
The one 1911 I'd like to have is one of the 100 "North American Arms" company of Canada made 1911's. They are rarer than the Singer. Apparently, NAA was tooling up to produce 1911's under contract from Colt when WWI ended and that's why there's only 100 or less of them (I believe that there are well less than 100 known to exist). Anyway, since the NAA 1911 is considered one of the rarest 1911's - that's what I'd like to have. I've already owned lots of standard early Colt 1911's (had 3 "C" prefix, four digit serial numbered 1911's mfg cira 1914 and a US Army 1911 made in 1918) - next to the NAA mentioned above I'd like to have a minty Union Switch and Signal mfg 1911A-1. But to be realistic one that I've had that I'd like to get back is a Series 70 vintage Combat Commander .45ACP in matte nickel finish. While I wait, I'm content with my 1968 mfg pre-Series 70 Government model .45ACP and a refinished 1943 vintage 1911A-1 frame that supports a Colt .22 Conversion Unit. The old Colts are the best!!! NAA (wonder where my handle comes from now??)
Man, I had no idea the Series 70 and earlier Commanders were so popular! I hope we don't all show up at the same time when one pops up for sale.
FWIW, I shot a Series 80 Commander today (stock, no add-ons or mods) and it really impressed me. Very accurate and reliable as all get-out. It has a number of sharp edges, but functionality was stupendous.
Now I *really* want one! The wife says I can pick one up if a promotion at work comes through. I wonder if "Needs money for another pistol" is a good thing to put on the resume. Heh.
Also would like to have a Colt Model 1905 .45ACP too....(yeah, I know this is supposed to be a 1911 page...but you guys also have "other" handguns, too, don't you?? - like how can you be a 1911 fan and not also have a soft spot for a Browning Hi-Power???) NAA.
My favorite has always been the LWT Commanders. I just picked up a new (for me) S80 Enhanced last month, before the deadline here.
The Pre 70 LWT was my first 1911, and I have owned a number of them.
I would love a '49 in 38 Super, but any of the Commerical non A1's would be nice, an early 30's vintage National Match (Perry gun) would be very nice, seen a couple of each in the low to mid $20k range.