Market and auctions

Gooding Amelia: many valuable insights

Cliff Goodall’s view

Photo credit: Gooding

It would appear that Gooding is changing its strategy: it has abandoned the auction in Arizona, it has extended Amelia Island to two days and is also planning a series of events in Europe. Confirmation of the pronounced competitiveness of the major auction houses in a flourishing market.

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

Let’s take a look at the two days of Amelia Island and try to interpret the data: two days, more cars on offer: up from 99 to 131, of which 123 cars were sold, equivalent to 93.89%. Turning to the values, in 2022, pre-auction estimates amounted to $65.5 million (€61.5m), while 2023 saw that figure rise to $82,620,000 (€77,588,450). However, in reality, some estimates hid “inflated” expectations, other top lots went unsold and most cars did not reach their minimum estimate. In the end, total takings amounted to $70,225,260 (€65,948,550), a new record for a sale on Amelia Island but quite far from the standard the Californian Auction House had accustomed us to. And the average price per car sold also fell from $731,148 (€686,620) 12 months ago to $570,937 (€536,165) today. 

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

A quarter of the total turnover came from the top lot: a 1962 Ferrari 250 GT SWB California Spider. One of just 37 produced with covered headlights and the only one in Azzurro Metallizzato. Designed for the 1962 New York Motor Show, it was factory-equipped with unique features that (most importantly) have been confirmed by the Ferrari Classiche certification and came with “full matching numbers” (chassis, engine, gearbox and bodywork). Now: the current record for this model is $16,380,000 (€15,407,685) – sold in the middle of the last “bubble” in 2015 – and this example was indeed nicer but the estimate of $18m-$20m seemed pharaonic. Not so: sold for $18,045,000 (€16,946,000). Certain models, their rarity and their quality, are indomitable.

1962 Ferrari 250 GT SWB California Spider sold for $18,045,000 (€16,946,000)

Another good case is the Dino 246 GTS, a model that has been growing in value for some time now. The model offered by Gooding had everything you could wish for: first of all it was a very rare and ultra-desirable “Chairs and Flares” model, so named for the attractive Daytona seats and dramatically flared wheel arches. Then, it came in the very rare Verde Pino Metallizzato, specified on just 35 Dinos of all types, and was the fourth to last Dino built. 27,500 miles, never restored, and absolutely perfect. In many ways, it was the Kim Basinger of Dinos. The estimate? $600,000-$700,000, lower than the record of $802,500 (€754,865). But then it sold for $967,500 (€908,550), setting a well-deserved new record.

1974 Ferrari Dino 246 GTS “Chairs & Flares” sold for $967,500 (€908,550)

The third “rossa” worth following was the 1989 Ferrari 328 GTS. Built in the final year of production, this one was fitted with ABS and convex-design wheels and these features are now highly sought after. The example sold was Blu Chiaro Metallic over beige leather interior, it had travelled 11,200 miles from new and had Ferrari Classiche certification with accompanying Red Book. The estimate of $150,000-$180,000 (without reserve) was soon forgotten when it changed hands for $207,200 (€194,580). 

1989 Ferrari 328 GTS sold for $207,200 (€194,580)

One thing you might have noticed: three Ferraris, but none of them were red! Confirmation, if any were needed, of the charm of diversity.

Remaining in Amelia for a few moments more, we move from Maranello to Sant’Agata Bolognese, where Gooding set a new record for a non-racing Lamborghini Diablo. A stunning 2001 6.0 VT SE Coupé with just 7,000 miles on the clock in Antares Grey, estimated at $400,000-$500,000, flew all the way to $527,500 (€495,375), setting another record in the process. As in the case of the 328 GTS, the mileages of the previous record-setting cars were significantly lower. This shows how far the quotations for these models have advanced.

2001 Lamborghini Diablo 6.0 VT Coupe sold for $527,500 (€495,375)

At Pebble Beach, the RUF Porsches left the audience stunned. Almost as if in this golden age of resto-mods, the angry and “vulgar” version of the Porsche had the upper hand. In Amelia Island, however, the market appeared to have cooled. 

1997 RUF BTR2 sold for $720,000 (€676,150)

Three were on sale, a yellow BTR2 from 1997 with 26,000 miles on the clock, the only Turbo R Cabriolet produced, built in 1998 and resplendent in orange with just 10,223 miles to its credit, and a white RK Coupé from 2007, the aggressive version of the Cayman of which only two were built, this one with 6,642 miles under its belt. 

1998 RUF Turbo R Cabriolet sold for $1,022,500 (€960,230)

The estimates were in line with prices reached at Pebble Beach: the oldest was estimated at $900,000-$1,200,000, the Cabrio at $1,250,000 to $1,500,000 and the “small” one from $500,000-$700,000. And yet, not one of the three came close to its minimum estimate. The BTR2 went for $720,000 or €676,150 (-20%), the more expensive Turbo R Cabriolet for $1,022,500 or €960,230 (-18.2%) while the RK Coupé fared even worse at $335,000 or €314,600 (-33%).

2007 RUF RK Coupe sold for $335,000 (€314,600)

Coming down in price, however, there were a number of cars that amazed. For example, the 1959 Volkswagen Karmann Ghia Cabriolet, one of the rare “low light” versions, certified for originality by Volkswagen and complete with period-correct accessories, including leather luggage. Restored last year and in a fantastic colour scheme, it was unreserved and valued at $100,000-$130,000. Apparently a “shot in the dark” that would inevitably have missed its target when it went under the hammer. Instead, the market decided that this car was worth what they were asking for and the car went away for $123,200 (€115,700), setting a new record for the model.

1959 Volkswagen Karmann Ghia Convertible sold for $123,200 (€115,700)

I was torn between the head and the heart for the best deal of the event: my head would have recommended the 1952 Fiat 1400 Rondine Coupé, with coachwork by Stabilimento Monviso. Designed by Michelotti, you can count the number of those remaining in this condition on the fingers of one hand, what with its wonderful restoration, the equipment, the jack and the use and maintenance booklet. Something more unique than rare. The estimate of $150,000-$200,000 was high for me. But seeing her go at $89,600 (€84,150) made me turn up my nose.

1952 FIAT 1400 Rondine Coupe sold for $89,600 (€84,150)

My heart leaned towards the 1995 Alfa Romeo 155 D2 Super Turismo. No, it wasn’t one of the official works cars in Martini livery but the one raced by Nordauto Engineering, a very professional private team. Estimated at $150,000-$225,000 and sold for $179,200 (€168,285). If you consider that those ex-works cars now go for north of $750,000, perhaps having this one in the garage is a smart move.

1995 Alfa Romeo 155 D2 Superturismo sold for $179,200 (€168,285)