With the auctions finally back to the traditional calendar dates, we begin a year that promises to be nothing short of spectacular. There are so many events on the calendar that in order to give them adequate space, I have to divide them into two: today, I shall focus on the sales of Mecum, Gooding and Barrett-Jackson, while next Thursday we will take a look at RM, Bonhams and Worldwide.
Mecum, with its auction in Kissimmee in Florida, is a massive 10-day event with 3,200 cars on offer and a turnover that in 2020 reached 100 million dollars. The excitement is palpable because traditionally Mecum is the first auction of the year and you can feel the enthusiasm of the market. The others, excluding Gooding which is online, are in Scottsdale, in that 15-mile rectangle where every January the leading collectors flock together in the hope of bringing home an extra Christmas gift.
Starting with Mecum, here are the three cars I have focused my attention on to understand what 2022 has in store for us.
First up is the super-advertised 1992 Ferrari F40. The stratospheric quotation of $2.8m-$3.2m (€2.5m-€2.8m) may well be justified as the car came off the production line during the final year of production (just 53 units), but it may not be enough: the current record for this model is $2,805,000 (€2,480,000) including commissions.
After the successes of Monterey, all eyes will be on the Ford GT. Mecum will offer six: three with reserve and three without. The pick of the lots, with just 139 miles on the clock comes with an estimate of $475,000-$525,000 (€420,000-€465,000) (the current record is $555,000 or €490,500). Then there’s a Heritage Edition, the one with the Gulf livery which, with just 250 miles on the clock is likely to shoot up to somewhere in the region of $650,000-$750,000 (€575,000-€660,000). In Monterey a Heritage Edition with 620 miles on the clock changed hands for $605,000 (€535,000).
Then there is what I refer to as the “wild card” of the sale because it has no market references. This is the 1994 Porsche 911 Turbo that starred in the film “Bad Boys” that same year. The estimate is breath-taking: $1.5-$1.7 million (€1.3m-€1.5m) or, if you prefer, ten times a normal one. However it goes it, will certainly make people talk!
Gooding, slightly more cautious perhaps fearing the return of the pandemic, will be present only online, preferring to bet on the Amelia Island auction in March.
With the top lot – a Maserati 5000 GT that once belonged to the Orsi family, the owner of Maserati at the time – offered at $700,000-$900,000 (€620,000-€800,000), this auction centres around cars going for budgets in the region of $200,000-$400,000 (€175,000-€350,000) and as a result, our analysis does too.
I have set my sights on the 2011 Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG. The design, performance and rarity of this car makes it a supercar worth putting in the garage right away. With an estimate somewhere between $175,000-$225,000 (€155,000-€200,000) we’ll know very shortly whether the market seizes the opportunity.
There’s always a reason for sudden changes in temperature. Why then, is a 1962 Jaguar E-Type S1 3.8 FHC which changed hands just four months ago at an online auction site for $193,000 (€170,500) now estimated at $200,000-$240,000 (€175,000-€210,000)? What differences are there? I’m sure I’m not the only one who wants to find out.
In my humble opinion, the wild card at Gooding is the red 1957 Porsche 356A Speedster barn find with coachwork by Reutter. For the same money as its estimate of $325,000-$375,000 (€285,000-€330,000) you could buy one ready to use but preserved items like this have a completely different charm. Gooding has accustomed us to strokes of genius, and it could very well surprise us again.
Passing from a Gooding auction to a Barrett-Jackson auction is like passing from a sniper’s rifle to a catapult. After the precision of the 50 or so lots on offer at Gooding, Barrett-Jackson greets us with more than 1,400 cars for every budget. But the item worth studying here is the reaction to the auctioning of three NFTs. Even though I don’t understand much about the blockchain and the likes, I will observe them very carefully. I promise.
I thoroughly recommend keeping an eye on the 1955 Mercedes-Benz 300SL delivered new in Cuba and used at the 1957 Havana Gran Prix National Race. Defects? The fact that it’s red, which always lowers the value of this model. RM will also offer one: it will be interesting to compare the results considering the different target audience of the two auction houses.
Why pay $250,000 (€220,000) for a 1972 Jaguar E-Type Roadster prepared by Beacham with the 4.2-litre supercharged V8 engine from the XKR? Surely, you gain quite a bit in terms of drivability but where does collectability go?
It’s easy to choose the wild card from Barrett-Jackson’s deck. The very first Chevrolet Corvette C8 Z06, scheduled for production in 2023, will be auctioned off with the proceeds going to charity. How many millions will it go for? According to recent sales, I would say somewhere in the region of $2.5m-$3m (€2.2m-€2.65) but the bets are open.
Gentlemen, start your bids…