The classic car auction season in Florida wrapped up with Barrett-Jackson's Palm Beach event adding more than $18 million to the 2012 total.
The top sale at Palm Beach was a 2012 Shelby GT500 that brought $1 million for the Wounded Warriors Family Support charity. Otherwise, the top sales were $220,000 for a 2010 Spyker C8 Spyder convertible and $203,500 for a 1959 Chevrolet Corvette custom convertible.
In addition to having some 450 vehicles cross the block, Barrett-Jackson made big news away from the gavel at Palm Beach. At the auction, it announced the addition of Rick Cole to its staff as automotive specialist, helping the auction company attract more major consignments. (That's Cole at the far right in the photo with Craig Jackson.)
Cole got his start in the business as a teenager working with Tom Barrett and Russ Jackson. In 1978, he launched his own auction company in southern California and helped stars from Steve McQueen to Sylvester Stallone acquire their classic cars. He also handled the sale of many famed movie cars. Cole also staged the first auction at Pebble Beach.
And just days before Palm Beach, Barrett-Jackson learned that the City of Scottsdale, Arizona, will invest some $40 million to expand facilities at WestWorld, home of Barrett-Jackson's annual Scottsdale event.
Recapping the Florida auctions
Here's the final take from the major 2012 Florida classic car auction season:
Mecum at Kissimmee, $60 million
RM at the Milhous Museum, $38 million
Gooding & Company at Amelia Island, $36 million
RM at Amelia Island, $23 million
Barrett-Jackson at Palm Beach, $18 million
Auctions America at Fort Lauderdale, $17 million
Total -- $192 million
For those keeping score at home, the Arizona auctions in January generated $184 million.
The auction action now moves north. Well, actually it already has.
Big blocks set pace at Mecum KC
While a 2012 Mercedes-Benz S600 topped all sales at $133,000, big block Chevrolet Corvettes dominated Mecum's spring event at Kansas City. Total sales for the event were $8.9 million. Four of the top 10 sales were Corvettes with 427-cubic-inch engines, and a 427-powered 1967 Chevrolet Camaro resto rod was fourth behind the Mercedes and a pair of 1967 Corvette convertibles.
Chevys -- Corvettes, Camaros, a '57 Bel Air and a 2007 custom Kodak -- dominated the top 10 sales. Other then the Mercedes, the only other non-Chevy on the list was a 1947 Dodge WDX pickup that brought $65,000.
Russo and Steele moves to Fisherman's Wharf
Russo and Steele's 12th annual Sports and Muscle in Monterey auction will be staged on historic Fisherman's Wharf, August 16-18. Formerly held in hotel venues, the event will have a harbor backdrop for the 250 cars scheduled to cross the block. Among the early consignments is a 1969 Shelby GT500 convertible.
Up next on the classic car auction calendar...
Although Branson, Missouri, was wracked by a tornado, the 32nd annual Branson Collector Car Auction will take place as scheduled, April 20-21.
That same weekend, Classic Motorcar Auctions stages its Novi Spring Classic Car Auction near Detroit. Consignments include a 1969 Ford Mustang Boss 429 and one of 16 surviving 1940 Buick Century Model 66-C convertible coupes.
The following week, Auctions America by RM stages its first major northern event of the season with its second annual Spring Carlisle Auction, April 26-27, in conjunction with the Spring Carlisle Collector Car Swap Meet & Corral at Pennsylvania's Carlisle Expo Center.
May 11-12, RM stages its annual Monaco sale at the Grimaldi Forum, where nearly two dozen Ferraris spanning 60 years of production will be among the cars crossing the block. Those Ferraris include one of two 1957 625 TRC Spiders and a 1953 375 MM Spider (one of only 15 built).
See and hear them by clicking these links:
1957 Ferrari 625 TRC Spider
1953 Ferrari 375 MM Spider by Pinin Farina
Also at the auction is a 1966 Ferrari 206 S Dino Spyder factory racer (see photo).
Barn finds featured at Charlotte AutoFair
Tom Cotter, author of the "... in the Barn" books, is putting together a display of barn finds for the annual Food Lion AutoFair, scheduled April 19-22 at Charlotte Motor Speedway. Among those barn finds are the 1952 Cunningham C3 (see photo courtesy of Charlotte Motor Speedway) which Cotter discovered after it had been parked for 50 years in the basement of a home in South Carolina. The car was the second of the 25 street-legal cars Briggs Cunningham built so he could race at Le Mans.
Concours d'Elegance season gets going
The third annual Greystone Mansion concours will feature some 125 classic vehicles at the former Doheny Family Estate, May 6 in Beverly Hills, California. Among those cars is the only 1932 Alfa Romeo 8C 2300 short-chassis Zagato Spyder in existence with its original coachwork intact.
Click here for event calendar.
Click here for more articles by Larry Edsall.