Market and auctions

Auctions. Instructions for use.

Cliff Goodall’s view

Photo credit: Barrett-Jackson, Bring a Trailer, H&H, Mecum, RM Sotheby’s

Today, Monaco will start with the auctions of RM and Bonhams, followed by a series of great events from Villa d’Este to Pebble Beach and then Le Mans – all priceless showcases for collectors. For this reason, before turning the page, I would like to propose this “what we missed” piece for our weekly analysis of the finest international auctions.

I have selected eight cars with prices ranging from $100,000 to over $1,000,000. 

I’ve always had a soft spot for Amphicars. The price of this model has been stable since the dawn of time but all this could change shortly: from Barrett-Jackson in Florida a 1965 example, red with just 3,500 miles on the clock from new, was sold for $161,700 (€153,875), 25% more than the previous record set just one year ago.

1965 Amphicar 770 sold for $161,700 (€153,875)

Let’s start with the… future: the final Lamborghini Aventador LP780-4 produced, known as Ultimae, but above all, the last example to mount the naturally aspirated V12 engine. Along with the car, Lamborghini also offered a series of virtual “accessories”, including an NFT with very interesting contents and the possibility to use them on the recently launched metaverse. For the buyer of this car, what mattered most was the hardware (the car and its being the “last” one) or the software (the various technological upgrades)? Probably both, since RM managed to sell it for $1,603,125 (€1,525,580), triple the standard price.

Lamborghini Aventador LP 780-4 Ultimae Coupé sold for $1,603,125 (€1,525,580)

Staying with the new for a moment, let’s take a look at Bring a Trailer, with its blockbuster cars offered 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

The most famous of the recent sales, which ended up in all the newspapers, was Denzel Washington’s Porsche 911 Turbo. Black with black interior, sunroof and only 18,000 miles on the clock. The price for a regular example is around $200,000, but its history and overall condition increased that to $405,993 (€386,355). The Washington effect… and he wasn’t even the more famous George!

1997 Porsche 911 Turbo (Ex-Denzel Washington) sold for $405,993 (€386,355)

Among the best-selling cars on Bring a Trailer is undoubtedly the Honda S2000, a model whose price is growing steadily but the one sold this time was no ordinary example: just 123 miles on the clock and one of the 700 examples of the limited Club Racer models. With normal models now fetching around somewhere around $30,000-$50,000, it was possible to see a new record but the $200,000 (€190,325) paid for this one means that this model has made a real leap in terms of positioning.

2009 Honda S2000 CR sold for $200,000 (€190,325)

I had my suspicions when a 2009 Ferrari 430 Spider with 11,000 miles and manual gearbox sold for $408,430 (€388,675), four times the current value of the model. Why? Because of Ferrari’s famous manual gearbox with the gated shift. An isolated case? No, a law, a veritable obsession for this rare type of gearbox on more recent Ferraris: another 430 $315,000 (€299,765), a 612 Scaglietti for $289,000 (€275,020) – triple the price of a normal one – a 575 Maranello for $410,000 (€390,170).

2009 Ferrari F430 Spider 6-Speed Manual Gearbox sold for $408,430 (€388,675)

Finally, the one nobody saw coming. Mea culpa: many times I have written that pre-wars and the millionaire lots are not for online auctions. I should think again: the most expensive car ever sold on Bring a Trailer is … a 1927 Mercedes-Benz 680S Sport for $2,800,000 (€2,664,565)! And the second, another Mercedes-Benz, the 1930 770K for $2.5 million (€2.3 million). The world continues to change and I now can’t wait to see what BaT will manage to do with the 2017 LaFerrari Aperta with 161 miles on the clock. Are you ready to see the first online sale above 5 million?

1927 Mercedes-Benz 680 S Sport/4 sold for $2,800,000 (€2,664,565)

Let’s move on to the only unsold lot, but an excellent unsold one at least. The Ferrari 458 Speciale is one of the cars whose value has increased the most in recent months and the Aperta version is the very best for speculators. From Mecum in Glendale, a 2015 example. White with black leather interior, with just 98 miles on the clock, arrived all the way up to $935,000 (€889,775). But the owner decided to take it home. Considering that the list price was about a third of this umber, I would have been happy to say bye bye.

2015 Ferrari 458 Speciale Aperta went unsold at $935,000 (€889,775)

H&H put on a sale somewhere between the incredible and the embarrassing. Take a look at the photos: An AC Ace Rudspeed from 1963, or rather what remains of an AC Ace. Two seats, a hood and a few scattered pieces and… wait for it… the “chassis plate”, sold for $248,590 (€236,645)! What could that possibly mean? That with the original identification plates, you can rebuild the rest and pass it off as… well… an original. But maybe that’s me just being cynical?

1963 AC Ace 2.6 Rudspeed sold for $248,590 (€236,645)