It has been a monumental weekend. Most working class citizens had an extra day to observe Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s Birthday and partake in the celebrations throughout our fair country. Gospel Music Artists gathered from all over the world to converge on the Stellar Awards — the genre’s answer to the Grammy’s. Football fans across the country either cheered praises or screamed obscenities as Peyton Manning and the rest of the Denver Broncos now pack their bags and head for Superbowl XLVIII. Car enthusiasts and collectors had a Superbowl of our own as The of Collector Car Auctions made their mark on the state of Arizona and on the weekend.
Let’s begin with the legendary RM Auctions, which staged a successful 45,000,000-dollar auction that included 125 collector cars in Scottsdale Arizona on January 16th and 17th. This world-renowned auction produced numbers not seen before on certain models: A prized Ferrari 275 GTB sold for $1,815,000; $1,485,000 was paid for a Ferrari 275 GTS, a beautiful Jaguar E-Type 4.2-Litre Fixed Head Coupe went for $187,000, and $176,000 held down the hammer on a Porsche 911 E 2.2 Targa. In addition to those, peculiar cars such as the 1960 DKW Schnellaster Kastenwagen 3-6 went across the block ($60,500). The top five sales of the weekend were dominated by rare Prancing Horses:
1930 Duesenberg Model J ‘Disappearing Top’ Convertible Coupe by Murphy……………………..…………………$2,200,000
1963 Ferrari 250 GT/L ‘Lusso’ by Scaglietti ………….……………………………………..……………………………..$2,447,500
1961 Porsche 718 RS 61 Spyder …………………..…..…………………………………………………………………..$2,750,000
1967 Ferrari 275 GTB/4 by Scaglietti ……………………………………………………………………………………….$2,850,000
The top figure was paid for Ferris Bueller’s favorite car, a 1958 Ferrari 250 GT LWB California Spider which went away for $8.8 million. All of these were record-breaking prices.
Across the way, Gooding & Company had Scottsdale in a daze with amazing numbers for amazing cars.
Some of which were personal favorites:
-Mercedes Gullwings are jewels in anyone’s collection and two were on hand at Gooding &Co.
-One for $1,402,500 and the other for $1,897,500; both were 1956 Coupes. (However a 1960 300SL Roadster sold for $1.1 million).
-A 1985 Ferrari 288 GTO was hammered away at $1,402,500.
-$2,365,000 was exchanged for a 1961 Ferrari 250 GT Coupe Speciale’.
-A 1956 Ferrari 410 Superamericana Series I changed hands for $3.3 million.
-Race cars were holding their own in auction as well. A 1997 McLaren F1 GTR Longtail was sold for $5,280,000.
Gooding also had a ’58 Ferrari 250 GT on hand, a 250 GT Series I Cabriolet for $6,160,000. Ferrari 250 series cars are heavy money, indeed.
In contrast, 1963 Lancia Flaminia 3B Coupe, another favorite, sold for a paltry $96,250.
Then there was the Barrett-Jackson Collector Car Auction, also in Scottsdale. This is a staple for the collector and rightfully so with numbers like their top five:
-A 1967 L88 Corvette, the only one built in red with red interior, fetched a record $3.85 million.
-The 1969 L88 “Rebel” Corvette changed hands for $2.6 million.
-Michael Schumacher’s 1988 Ferrari F1 test car was snatched up for a cool $1.7million.
-The only one of Carroll Shelby ‘s Cooper Monaco King Cobras know to be in existence went for $1.65 million.
-$1.375 million was paid for Simon Cowell’s own Bugatti Veyron which was sold with a factory-backed warranty.
The first of only 69 non-street legal drag Chevrolet COPO Camaros that will be built sold for $700,000.
The COPO wasn’t the only Camaro. The first production 2014 Chevrolet Camaro Z/28 brought in $650,000.
Camaros weren’t the only firsts sold at Barrett-Jackson; Ford sold the first production 2015 Ford Mustang GT at $300,000 for charity.
To bring us back to reality, a car I’d never seen before, a 1956 Dodge Dart Phoenix went for $45,500.
Many sales that did not take place during the auction were resolved before it ended. One of special note was when racing icons Don “The Snake” Prudhomme and Rick Hendrick struck a deal on Prudhomme’s famous Snake Dragster and its Hauler.
Silver auctions & Russo and Steele round out the Arizona Gang whose results were not available at the time of this article, but were no less astounding. Interestingly enough, the final hammer in Arizona will drop at the same time as the first hammer in Florida for the Mecum Auctions. Mecum will auction 3,000 cars in 10 days.
Celebrities and demigods like Reggie Jackson, Joe Mantegna, Brett Michaels, Sir Stirling Moss and Bubba Watson were on hand with perennial favorites like Rick Hendrick and Ron Pratt making this auction weekend not just about the cars, but the people who are passionate about them.
Both the history and the record books were amended this weekend. Barrett-Jackson was registered in the Guinness Book of World records as having the world’s largest existing tent structure. They also raised a personal best of $60 million for charity. Barrett-Jackson was also the place where it took a rare L88 performance Corvette less than two minutes to break the standing record. RM broke records for a Ferrari 250 sale as well as several other marquees. Amazingly both auctions sold a Ferrari F40; $740,000 for the one made famous by the guys from Gas Monkey Garage and RM Auctions sold one another for $ 935,000, which goes to show that there’s enough big cash and rare cars to go around.
Switching between online streams and television channels, this year, I actually realized how many auctions take place at one time, in one place. I also came to realize that there certainly is a rich one-percent (proven by the $49 million raked in by Gooding & Company and almost $40 million+ by Barrett-Jackson). This one-percent sat side-by-side with working class farmers and business owners who saved their money to finally buy that piece of metal that turns back the clock to a simpler time. Some bought the cars their father drove, some, the car they had their first kiss, while others bought the car that adorned their bedroom walls.
All in all, it was a wonderful weekend and an inspiring way to begin the year for any collector or enthusiast. It shows us that the hobby is infectious. No matter your station in life the roar of a 429 Mustang or sleek lines of a Duesenberg will turn the heads of Actors, Accountants and Adolescents. Car Auctions are a gavel-cade of cars for everyone.