The classic car auction action returns to the United States this weekend after RM's spectacular sale at Monaco, where one of the two 1957 Ferrari 625 TRC Spiders sold for nearly $6.5 million to top an auction with an 87 percent sell-through rate that generated nearly $43.5 million.
This weekend, Mecum Auctions celebrates its 25th anniversary with its annual Original Spring Classic at the Indiana State Fairgrounds and while Dragone Classic Motorcars stages its first auction at Westport, Connecticut.
Then, after the Memorial Day holiday, Auctions America by RM stages its spring event at Auburn, Indiana, and The Elegance at Hershey....
And all of this auction action comes in the afterglow of an article in the Los Angeles Times that was entitled "A bull market for collector cars" and reported the value of collector cars has increased 33 percent since 2009.
Ferraris, Ducatis dominate RM sale at Monaco
RM's sale at Monaco is held in conjunction with the biennial Grand Prix de Monaco Historique vintage racing weekend and featured more than 90 cars, 100 Ducati motorcycles and three boats. Ten of the cars sold for one million Euros (approximately $1.28 million) or more and four exceeded two million Euros (nearly $2.6 million.)
The million-Euro vehicles included a 1971 Ferrari 365 GTS/4 Daytona Spyder, 1968 Alfa Romeo Tipo 33/2 "Daytona," 1948 Ferrari 166 Inter Spyder, 1969 Alfa Romeo Tipo 33/3 sports racer, 2007 Peugeot 908 V12 HDi FAP Le Mans racer, and a 2006 Ferrari FXX Evoluzione.
The 2-mill Euro vehicles included the TRC, a 1996 Ferrari 206 S Dino Spyder, a 1952 Ferrari 225 Sport Spyder "Tuboscocca" and a 1936 Mercedes-Benz 540 K sport cabriolet A.
For the first time, the Ducati factory offered the public sale of two Desmosedici GP racers. The bike ridden to the 2010 world championship by Casey Stoner sold for 251,500 Euros (about $322,000) while the bike raced in 2011 by Valentino Rose went for 235,200 Euros.
Racers, Simca concept highlight Mecum's 25th
Some 2000 vehicles are expected to cross the block at Dana Mecum's 25th anniversary celebration at Indianapolis. where the consignments included several historic racing machines, among them TV Tommy Ivo's 1974 streamlined Top Fuel dragster, Don Prudhomme's 1962 Pontiac Trans Am Funny Car, Craig Breedlove's 1968 AMC Javelin that raced at Bonneville, the 1963 Chevrolet Corvette that Mickey Thompson drove in the Sears Allstate tire test and the first 1969 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1.
Also being offered at the auction the Simca Special concept car designed by Virgil Exner Jr. for his master's thesis from the University of Notre Dame (Exner's father was the famed head of design at Chrysler in the 1950s). The Simca Special was displayed at the 1959 Paris auto show (while Ex Jr. was serving in Korea). Most recently, the car has been part of the John O'Quinn Collection.
Dragone stages its inaugural auction
After nearly 70 years buying, restoring and selling classic cars, the Dragone family is staging its first auction, this Saturday at Westport, Connecticut, where nearly four dozen vehicles, including a 1931 Murphy-bodied Duesenberg Model J Custom Beverly, a 1954 Porsche Speedster purchased new by racers Skip Hudson and Dan Gurney, and a 1932 Packard 902 Victoria convertible that has spent half a century in storage will be up for bidding.
Scale models among highlights at Auburn auction
Not only does that docket at Auction America by RM's Auburn Spring Auction include more than 600 cars, it will feature what the company is calling "the largest private collection of high-quality scale models, fine art paintings, original signs and rare vintage mascots the auction company has ever consigned at no reserve."
The model cars include a 1/8-scale Conti 1967 Ferrari 275 GTB/4 NART Spyder that has been appraised at more than $10,000 while a Sapo Modelltechnik model of a 1913 Mercer 35J Raceabout includes more than 3,000 individual parts and has been appraised for $18,000.
LeMay, Museum of Glass celebrate hood ornaments
The LeMay -- America's Car Museum -- and another Tacoma, Washington, museum -- the Museum of Glass -- are working together on an exhibition to debut at the LeMay's grand opening June 2.
Glassworker John Miller and artists from the Museum of Glass have created nine hand-blown, 25-inch tall glass sculptures, each inspired by a different vehicle at the LeMay. Five of the sculptures will be at the LeMay and the other four members of the "Classic Heat Collection" will be displayed at the Museum of Glass.
"We are thrilled to welcome ACM to the Tacoma Museum District and honored they approached us for this collaboration," said Susan Warner, Museum of Glass executive director. "John Miller and our Hot Shop Team did a fabulous job interpreting the classic designs into glass. We know that car lovers and glass enthusiasts alike will be impressed by the Classic Heat collection."
'39 Delahaye tops Branson spring auction
From what we can tell from searching through the results on the auction's website, the top sale at The Branson Auction spring event was $205,200 for a 1939 Chapron-bodied Delahaye 135M. A 1931 Cadillac V12 roadster brought $197,100 and a 1927 Rolls Royce Phantom convertible sedan went for $162,200. For whatever reason, the auction company did not announce total sales or sell-through rate.
'57 Chevy, '70 Super Bird best at Novi
We did get complete numbers from the Novi/Metro Detroit Spring Classic Cart Auction by Classic Motorcar Auctions. While the sell-through was only 40 percent, total sales were nearly $950,000.
Two vehicles topped the sale, a 1957 Chevrolet Bel Air resto-mod and a 1970 Plymouth Super Bird each selling for $80,000. Next was a 1941 Cadillac Series 62 convertible at $65,000, and a 1954 Chevrolet Corvette roadster going for $57,500.
Shelby to be remembered at Monterey
Although the late Carroll Shelby won't be at Monterey in August, the 50th anniversary of the introduction of the Shelby Cobra will take place with 45 CSX 2000 and 3000 series cars on the Laguna Seca track during the Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion. Reunion organizers note that the owners of nearly 60 Cobras applied to race, but the maximum race grid is limited to 45 cars.
For more on Shelby's legendary life, see http://www.izoom.com/auto.aspx?article=shelbyobit.html
Click here for event calendar.
Click here for more articles by Larry Edsall.