Amelia Island auction results show strength of the classic marketplace
By Larry Edsall
How strong is the classic car market? Strong enough that owners of a half dozen vehicles were able to walk away from nearly $6.5 million in firm bids at the RM and Gooding & Company auctions last weekend on Florida's Amelia Island.
Despite those bids not reaching the car owners' reserve prices, the two auction houses still did more than $54.8 million in business as they sold some 95 percent of the 160 vehicle consignments they offered.
The high-dollar sale of the weekend was the $4.510-million transaction at RM involving one of three 1935 Duesenberg Model SJ convertible coupes, though this was the only one built with a supercharged engine.
Also at RM, a 1933 Stutz DV32 convertible Victoria went for more than $1.512 million, a 1965 Ferrari 275 GTB brought $1.375 million, a 1952 Ferrari 225 Sport Berlinetta “Tuboscocca” went for $1.237 million, and a 1911 Lozier Model 51 seven-passenger touring sold for $1.1 million.
The prices paid for the Stutz and Lozier were more than double their pre-auction estimates.
The top sales at Gooding included $2.75 million for a 1928 Bentley 4 1/2-litre Semi-Le Mans tourer, $2.365 million for a 1966 Ferrari 275 GTB long-nose alloy, $1.98 million for a 1929 Rolls-Royce Phantom I Derby Speedster and $1.76 million for a 1953 Fiat 8V Supersonic that sold to benefit St. Jude Children's Research Hospital.
The Rolls, which more than doubled its pre-auction estimate, and a pair of Ferraris -- a '67 275 GTB/4 and a '95 F50 that each sold for more than $1.6 million -- were part of a dozen-car consignment from one collection that accounted for some $9.27 of the sale's total dollar figure in what amounted to a sale within a sale.
But the sales totals at both auctions might have been even higher had owners been willing to remove their reserves. For example, a 1965 Aston Martin short-chassis Volante was bid to $1.2 million at Gooding while owners at RM turned down $1.425 million for a Tucker, and $1.3 million for a 1970 Porsche racer.
The auctions on Amelia Island boost the 2013 Florida-venue total more than $130 million with two major events still on the calendar -- Auctions America at Fort Lauderdale March 22-24 and Barrett-Jackson at Palm Beach April 4-6.
Click here for event calendar.
Click here for more articles by Larry Edsall.