Market and auctions

How much we want to dream!
Worldwide, Bonhams and Gooding thank Scottsdale.

Cliff Goodall’s view

Photo credit: Bonhams, Gooding, Worldwide

Scottsdale week kept its promises: today I will analyse Worldwide, Bonhams and Gooding, and next week I will do Barrett-Jackson and RM. The first, organized on 26th January, saw takings of $9,700,702 (€8,668,692) from the 71 cars sold out 78 on offer, also thanks to 73.07% of them going under the hammer without reserve. 

Just like being behind the wheel: everything you need to know to fully understand the situation
Just like being behind the wheel: everything you need to know to fully understand the situation

Bonhams went further: with an estimated $9,390,000 (€8,406,867) on offer, it managed to take home $11,706,460 (€10,399,199), or 124.67%. Gooding fared slightly less well, with $6,755,650 (€6,048,333) in takings compared to its estimated value of $7,128,000 (€6,332,016). 

Just like being behind the wheel: everything you need to know to fully understand the situation
Just like being behind the wheel: everything you need to know to fully understand the situation

The three auctions were very similar to each other, with very close average prizes: $136,629 (€122,323), $142,762 (€188,179) and $146,862 (€131,485). The same goes to the percentage of cars sold: Gooding (which had the highest average price) managed to sell 83.63% of the cars on offer, Worldwide 91.03% while Bonhams sold an impressive 93.18%.

Just like being behind the wheel: everything you need to know to fully understand the situation
Just like being behind the wheel: everything you need to know to fully understand the situation

And now let’s take a closer look at the results and see whether the predictions I made were on the mark.

At Worldwide, I had spotted the Delahaye, lot 40: sold for $1,435,000 (€1,284,755). Yes! Bullseye: my forecast was spot on! Then there was the Dual Ghia. I had predicted it to go for over $500,000 and, once fees were added, it arrived at $637,500 (€570,755), however the reserve was higher, so it remained unsold. For the moment, two out of two, at least for the estimates. Finally the Lamborghini Diablo: $302,000 (€270,380). The Diablo joins the growing list of cars setting new records! Good, I don’t want to congratulate myself, but..

1935 Delahaye 135M Competition Drophead Coupe sold for $1,435,000 (€1,284,755)
Dual Ghia Convertible went unsold at $637,500 (€570,755)
1991 Lamborghini Diablo sold for $302,000 (€270,380)

The top lot of the sale was a Duesenberg Model J bodied by Bohman & Schwartz in 1929: it is a curious car. It looks like two cars joined together, with the front section projected into the aerodynamic 30s and the classic back of the 20s. The gold livery that tended towards copper is definitely an eccentric choice but I must say that on this car it’s spot on. The selling price? $2,260,000 (€2,023,375), considering recent prices for Duesenberg’s, this was a bargain.

1929 Duesenberg Model J Berline sold for $2,260,000 (€2,023,375)

I was also very curious about the 1970 Dodge Hemi Challenger R/T. The estimated price was $352,000, the highest value attributed to this model in the last three years, while at the same time it couldn’t fall below $264,000 in order not to trigger a negative trend. The final sale price was $329,500 (€295,000), which allows me to confirm that the market is definitely growing.

1970 Dodge Hemi Challenger R/T sold for $329,500 (€295,000)

Let’s turn our attention to Bonhams: no lot had a maximum estimate that exceeded $ 500,000 and yet all four of the most expensive lots went beyond their maximum estimates.

The most expensive was a 1958 AC Ace Roadster. A majestic restoration performed by KKR (at a cost of $400,000), a unique livery and a top-notch pedigree won this car a place on the catalogue cover. An estimate of $325,000-$375,000 put it beyond the reach of my own personal dreams but the final sale price of $516,500 (€462,425) shattered the previous record of $396,000 (€351,778).

1958 AC Ace Roadster sold for $516,500 (€462,425)

A quick leap forwards almost forty years and we find yet another record. It’s a well-known fact that the youngtimers are the new Eldorado, and a 1995 Ferrari 355 Spider equipped with the highly desirable 6-speed manual transmission with the classic “gate” shift and a beautiful Black over Biscuit livery confirmed this. The highest price until yesterday was $128,175 (€113,861) but here, bids kept coming until it sold for the record price of $224,000 (€200,550).

1995 Ferrari F355 Spider sold for $224,000 (€200,550)

The most curious lot, however, was a 2009 Maybach 62 Limousine. With a long list of options installed when new, among which the divider between the chauffeur and the passenger, it was estimated at $60,000-$80,000, without reserve. The bids amazed everyone, and after a flurry of raises, it was sold for $235,200 (€210,575), almost 4 times the minimum estimate. Let’s not forget, however, that this isn’t the only example: in autumn, once again from Bonhams, the same model reached ($388,500) €345,000, almost seven times the minimum estimate. One might be a coincidence, but two?

2009 Maybach 62 Limousine sold for $235,200 (€210,575)

Taking a look at the lots I had recommended to follow, the 1961 Jaguar E-Type S1 3.8 Roadster with the exterior hooks on the hood, flopped in the room but sold for $360,000 (€322,308) after the auction (the results include this sale). Compared to its estimate of $380,000-$480,000 it’s not that bad and indicates that hooks are starting to make a difference again. 

1961 Jaguar E-Type S1 ‘External Bonnet-Latch’ Roadster sold for $360,000 (€322,308)

The prototype of the 1992 Ferrari 512 TR changed hands for $296,500 (€265,455), perfectly within its estimate of $275,000-$325,000, allowing us to safely say that a prototype can be worth twice as much as a regular model. But each case is different so thorough research is always recommended.

1992 Ferrari 512 TR Prototype sold for $296,500 (€265,455)

The 1949 Buick Roadmaster Convertible used in the film Rain Man broke through its estimate of $150,000-$250,000 by changing hands for $335,000 (€299,925). High, low? How can you safely judge it when this model has such a unique history?

1949 Buick Convertible Roadmaster “Rain Man” Movie Car sold for $335,000 (€299,925)

Gooding who, let’s remember, was the only one to organize their sale online, was rewarded by a lively market, so much so that some lots stunned us.

First up, the 1972 Mercedes-Benz 350SL Roadster with 44,000 miles on the clock. Even though demand for this open-top beauty is growing strongly, when it’s a “107” model from the 70s, until today it couldn’t keep up. The estimate of $65,000-$75,000 seemed genuinely high, yet it was justified by the absence of reserve. But the sale price left no-one in any doubt whatsoever: $108,900 (€97,500). Definitely a car on the rise!

1972 Mercedes-Benz 350 SL sold for $108,900 (€97,500)

A car I am following very closely because the market is clearly flourishing is the Chevrolet Corvette C2 (the Stingray model), especially those from 1963, nicknamed “Split-Window”. The original good condition, the rare colour scheme and the fact that it was being offered by a private individual, made fans go wild, bumping the estimate of $200,000-$250,000 to a sale price of $335,500 (€300,375). I will keep you updated on the evolution of this model. It’s definitely worth it.

1963 Chevrolet Corvette 327/340 Split-Window Coupe sold for $335,500 (€300,375)

And the three cars I had recommended to follow?

The Maserati 5000 GT changed hands for $924,000 (€827,255), above its estimate of $700,000-$900,000, a figure that amazed me because this model is not one that resides in the hearts of enthusiasts. On the contrary, the $264,000 (€234,519) paid for the 2011 Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG confirmed my idea that the estimate of $175,000-$225,000 was low and that this car has a bright future.

1961 Maserati 5000 GT Coupe sold for $924,000 (€827,255)

The Jaguar E-Type S1 3.8 Coupé was definitely the car I talked about the most during dinners with friends in the past few weeks, usually preceded by the question: are the “online only” auction houses a valid alternative to the tried and tested large auction houses? So I saved the page as one of my favourites and for four days – that was the time Gooding gave potential buyers to make their offers – I continued to check up on how the Jaguar was doing. In the end, it sold for $231,000 (€206,815), almost 20% more than the $193,000 paid at Bring a Trailer, the famous online auction specialist.

1962 Jaguar E-Type S1 3.8 FHC sold for $231,000 (€206,815)

Finally, the Porsche 356 Speedster, glorified for its “barn find” originality, stopped at $247,500 (€221,585), a far cry from the estimate of $275,000-$325,000. As I had predicted, fans no longer overpay for this type of car and this was the latest lesson taught by the three auctions. See you on Thursday for Barrett-Jackson and RM. Very interesting indeed…

1957 Porsche 356A Speedster sold for $247,500 (€221,585)