So the Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance weekend has come to an end with the show itself featuring some incredible cars, but we can’t forget about all of the auctions that have piled on to this annually increasing and intensifying collector car weekend. We believe there were a total of 5 auctions taking place during the weekend, but the big three: RM Sotheby’s, Gooding & Company and Bonhams will have the largest impact on the market. So what exactly happened this past weekend? and where does it leave us?
Starting with Bonhams, which took place on Thursday during the day, this sale was just all over the place. Much of the lesser cars brought more than they should have and much of the more expensive sports cars either fell short or did not bring as much as anticipated. For example a 1969 Austin Healey Sprite Mk IV brought $19,800!
an awkward looking 1959 Gogomobil brought $31,900!!
Moving on to the Porsches in this sale, overall showing the market for the average 356’s and 930 Turbos is getting a bit stale with a couple of outliers being the much newer cars. A 1997 911 Turbo S coupe brought a strong $300,000
which is pretty consistent with what they’ve been bringing for the past few years. On the other hand they had a 1957 356A coupe no sale, a 1978 930 (3.3 liter) bring only $85,800 and a 1959 356A cabriolet bring just $90,200. Although an early 1965 911 did bring $225,000, that is close or even a bit low for what similar cars have brought in the past few years (i.e. http://www.goodingco.com/vehicle/1965-porsche-911-5/ from 2 years ago).
Bonhams most expensive sale was a Ferrari 250 Europa coupe by Pininfarina
which brought $2,227,500 which is still pretty big money, but not in terms of 250 Europas. For example a 1955 250 Europa in un-restored original condition brought $2,530,000 at Gooding’s sale at Amelia Island in 2014 and they also sold another at Pebble Beach in 2013 for $2,310,000. So Bonhams big sale was no market buster even though it was a lot of money and it was and has been the going rate for these cars, at least for the past 4 years and it seems to indicate a bit of a leveling off in the Ferrari world. We would like to add that this particular Europa was a very nice car with a well executed restoration and a good known history. One thing that did stand out to us in this sale was that the prewar cars are starting to move upwards. A 1911 Pierce Arrow Model 48 Touring
brought $550,000 which was a pretty big number for this particular car and the ex-Bob Mead 1913 Lancia Theta Roadster (a car we know well from our local area) with a 1960’s restoration brought $216,000 which was also a very big number.
The Gooding & Company sale came next taking place on Friday.
This sale as a whole was just not that great, but it was very easily predicted because they had so many modern sports cars, especially Porsches. It resembled a used car auction. They also no-saled their star car, the 1957 Jaguar XKSS, which is a bit disappointing but was definitely predictable as well. If you look at the cars that they did sell individually, they did very well, for example a 1989 Porsche 930 brought an incredible $242,000 and there really wasn’t anything that special about the car other than the fact that it had pretty low mileage and was an ROW model which in my opinion isn’t as good as a U.S. delivery car. Other cars that sold continue to show that the post war sports car market really isn’t going anywhere. There was a couple of less significant Ferrari’s that sold here including a 1978 308 GTB for $126,500, a 1989 328 GTS for $137,500, a 1988 328 GTB for $121,000 and a 1973 Dino 246 GTS for $319,000
which are all great numbers for these particular cars and are certainly more than what they were 5 years ago, but looking at the past 3 years they haven’t really moved in price at all. They also sold a bunch of modern supercars, most notably a 1990 Ferrari F40 for $1,485,000 which again hasn’t moved much in the past 3 or so years. They were hovering around $500,000 – $600,000 back in 2011-2012 and then took a big jump. Comparatively this car was a much better and more significant buy for the money than the brand new 2015 McLaren P1 that also sold for $2,392,000 which is just ridiculous seeing how it was half that when new in 2015 and these cars have no historical significance whatsoever. At least the F40 was Enzo Ferrari’s last design before his death.
Gooding also sold a 1949 Aston Martin DB Mk II that was David Browns personal car and then raced at the Targa Florio and sort of in the Mille Miglia.
It is an interesting car, but David Brown had many personal cars that he went through over the years. We had a 1959 DB 2/4 Mk III that was his personal car and then given to Carol Shelby as a gift after winning LeMans in 1959. Also the cars racing history isn’t all that significant either, as it did participate in the Targa Florio, it was a DNF, it was late to the Mille Miglia so it didn’t actually compete and it raced in a few races in the British circuit but nothing exciting. Overall it is an interesting car, but was it worth $1,540,000? In our opinion, it really wasn’t.
The next debacle of this sale was the 1957 Jaguar XKSS which was certainly a big excitement before the sale because XKSS’s just do not come up for sale, especially publicly, but Goodings mistake was estimating the car to bring $16,000,000 – $18,000,000. To put this into perspective for you, an XKSS is basically a D-Type road car with bumpers, doors etc..so none of them have any kind of race history, only ownership history. RM Sotheby’s sold the 1956 LeMans winning D-Type for $21,000,000, which is a very significant car which warrants that price, so how could a road car with no race history and really no significant ownership history bring something even close to the LeMans winning car? It can’t. Before the sale began Gooding announced that the estimate had been dropped to somewhere around $12,000,000 and that was just the kiss of death and the car no saled for somewhere around that number. This was the most significant car in the sale and we would have liked to see it sell. Again, like Bonhams, the sales in this auction really indicate that the postwar sports car market is currently at a stalemate.
Lastly, the RM Sotheby’s sale went pretty well as they did have a lot of fantastic cars, but the sale overall, like the other two, was just not that great. If you really sit and analyze what happened you will find that they no saled all of their big Ferraris including: 1961 Ferrari SWB Berlinetta (with a $9,000,000 – $10,000,000 estimate), a Ferrari Daytona Competioine conversion, a 1950 166 MM Barchetta ($8,000,000 – $10,000,000), and they sold a 1967 275 GTB (2 Cam) for under $2,000,000 at $1,842,500. They also no saled a 1974 Dino 246 GTS and sold a 1977 308 GTB for only $83,600. The Ferrari market is definitely beginning to gasp for air. To continue with the more ordinary cars, RM no-saled a 1960 190 SL Mercedes that had a $200,000 – $225,000 estimate. They did, however, sell some of the sports cars for decent money including a coupe Porsche 911 RS’s. The 1974 RS Carrera 3.0 Liter fetched a whopping $1,375,000! And another 1973 2.7 Liter RS Lightweight brought $869,000 which is around where they have been for the past 2 – 3 years. However, they had a third RS in the sale, a 1973 2.7 Liter RS (non lightweight) which was a no sale.
They sold a very nice 300SL Gullwing for $1,358,500 which is exactly what they have been fetching for the past 4 or 5 years now and actually a little less. We do have to say though, in terms of post war sports cars the Jaguar Market is actually doing very well and is actually increasing. The E-Types continue to rise in value as are the XK120’s and XK140’s. They sold a 1967 Series 1 OTS here for $137,500, a 1966 Series 1 OTS for $242,000 a 1956 XK140 MC drophead for $165,000 and a 1961 XKE Series 1 OTS flat floor/side latch bonnet for $412,500! This is due in part to the fact that everything else is so expensive these cars are really a bargain. They made more Jaguars than Aston Martins, but the quality and design is almost identical and the Jaguars are still a lot cheaper, even at these prices.
The more significant cars here were the ones that really shined, especially the prewar cars. The ex Dragone 1936 Lancia Astura cabriolet by Pinin Farina brought $2,145,000 showing this car was well sold.
They also sold a 1950 Alfa Romeo 6C 2500 SS Touring Coupe for $880,000, a 1932 Packard 903 Phaeton brought $253,000, the 1953 Lancia Aurelia PF200 C spider by Pinin Farina brought $1,248,500, a Guney Nutting 1934 Rolls Royce P2 Drophead Sedanca brought $632,500 a 1929 Phantom II Henley Roadster brought $682,000 and even a re-bodied 1927 Rolls Royce Phantom 1 Ascot Tourer brought $357,500!
Lastly the Ex-Dragone 1937 Bugatti Type 57 S Cabriolet by Vanvooren brought $7,700,000, it was certainly a great car, but we hope the new owner is fully understanding and informed of the cars history because of the unclear description about the car having the wrong engine and now having the correct one.Fortunately for someone the 1933 Isotta Frachini 8A only sold for $902,000. Granted the car has a tired restoration and it has been sold at auction a couple of times before, it is still a great car and at that price this car was well bought. Unfortunately, the 1928 Bentley 4 ½ liter LeMans car did not sell as it was clearly the greatest car offered for sale this entire weekend.
Overall, all three auctions were mediocre, but one thing can be said and that is that the post war sports car market is beginning to flatline with cars hitting walls in terms of value and the prewar car market is clearly beginning to catch some wind in its sales. We will continue to follow the market so keep following us to keep up to date on the market and where its going. Amelia is over and on to Pebble Beach.