Is the thrill gone at the top end of the collector car market?

Is the thrill gone at the top end of the collector car market?

That’s one significant opinion after conclusion of Amelia Island auctions

The collector car auctions on Amelia Island concluded Saturday with five sales combining for $80.4 million in transactions compared with $120.3 million the previous year, when the schedule also was compacted because of threatening weather.

Fewer lots were offered this year and among them there were fewer high-dollar prizes to be had. However, Hagerty, the insurance and vehicle-valuation tracking company, noted that it still expected sales to reach $91 million this year.

“In some ways, the thrill is gone as far as seven-figure cars go, at least as it applies to those that aren’t in exemplary condition or have an exemplary story,” Dave Kinney, publisher of Hagerty Price Guide, was quoted in Hagerty’s post-auctions news release.

Nonetheless, collector, restorer and market observer Colin Comer told Hagerty, “This week’s sales proved that buyers have faith in the underlying strength of the market, which kicked off with a bang in Arizona despite gloomy expectations. Spectacular cars priced under $1 million and fresh-to-market cars such as the barn-find Cobra and Ferrari 275 GTB that sold at Gooding continue to be especially attractive to buyers.”

1972 BMW 2002 on the block at RM Sotheby’s | Andy Reid photo

Noting the success of late-model, low-mileage, low-production performance cars, Comer added, “That’s the bright and shiny segment right now. Many such lots saw spirited bidding and exceeded expectations this week.”

For example, a 2001 Lamborghini Diablo VT 6.0 SE with 14 miles, garnered a strong $412,000 at RM Sotheby’s. A 2007 Ferrari 599 GTB Fiorano in black with a rare (one of 20) 6-speed manual, hit $506,000 at Gooding & Company.

Among the five auctions, the sell-through rate this year was 68 percent and the average sales price was $240,794 compared with 66 percent and $333,219 figures a year ago.

Russo and Steele recently announced that it plans to join the Amelia Island auction fray in 2019.

Hagerty noted that the pre-war segment had a good showing at the catalog auctions this week on Amelia Island, “underscoring the importance of offering these special cars to the correct audience,” the company noted. Also doing well were later-model Mercedes-Benz SL, such as the SL500 and 560 SL, Volkswagen Beetles, and a 1975 BMW 2002 turbo that set an auction record selling for $192,500 at Gooding.

1922 Duesenberg Model A Touring up for bidding at RM Sotheby’s | Andy Reid photo

“We expect interest to continue to focus on more modern cars, especially those with a legitimate motorsports connection or outstanding performance pedigree,” Hagerty added in its news release.

Meanwhile, as Comer put it, “Sellers of upper-altitude cars will either have to adjust their expectations to what could be new market values or simply become comfortable waiting for the right buyer to come along.”

Results below were reported by Hagerty, which had observers at each sale. Figures include buyer’s fees but not post-block sales.

Amelia Island auctions 2018

Overall total from all auction companies

Cumulative total: $80.4 million
334/489 lots sold: 68 percent sell-through rate
Average sale price: $240,794

Prior Year (2017) cumulative results through Saturday
Cumulative total: $120.3 million
361/550 lots sold: 66 percent sell-through rate
Average sale price: $333,219

Overall Top 10 Sales from all auctions:
1. 1966 Ferrari 275 GTB Long Nose Alloy Coupe, $2,530,000 (Gooding & Company)
2. 2003 Ferrari Enzo Coupe, $2,365,000 (Gooding & Company)
3. 1966 Ferrari 275 GTB Long Nose Coupe, $2,205,000 (RM Sotheby’s)
4. 1967 Ford GT40 Mk IV Coupe, $1,925,000 (Gooding & Company)
5. 1993 Porsche 911 Turbo S Leichtbau Coupe, $1,760,000 (Gooding & Company)
6. 2015 McLaren P1 Coupe, $1,710,000 (Bonhams)
7. 1993 Porsche 911 Carrera RS 3.8 Coupe, $1,655,000 (RM Sotheby’s)
8. 1952 Ferrari 212 Europa Cabriolet, $1,600,000 (Gooding & Company)
9. 1990 Porsche 962C Race Car, $1,595,000 (Gooding & Company)
10. 2015 Porsche 918 Spyder, $1,540,000 (Gooding & Company)

Results by auction company

Gooding & Company

Overall total: $35.5 million
81/86 lots sold: 94 percent sell-through rate
Average sale price: $438,818

Overall Top 10 Sales:
1. 1966 Ferrari 275 GTB Long Nose Alloy Coupe, $2,530,000
2. 2003 Ferrari Enzo Coupe, $2,365,000
3. 1967 Ford GT40 Mk IV Coupe, $1,925,000
4. 1993 Porsche 911 Coupe, $1,760,000
5. 1952 Ferrari 212 Europa Cabriolet, $1,600,000
6. 1990 Porsche 962C Race Car, $1,595,000
7. 2015 Porsche 918 Spyder Roadster, $1,540,000
8. 1996 Porsche 911 GT2 Coupe, $1,485,000
9. 1966 Shelby Cobra 428 Roadster, $1,457,500
10. 1976 Porsche 934 Turbo Coupe, $1,320,000

Prior year (2017) results
Total: $30.6 million
69/88 lots sold: 78 percent sell-through rate
Average sale price: $443,025

RM Sotheby’s

Overall total: $27.6 million
87/102 lots sold: 85 percent sell-through rate
Average sale price: $316,824

Overall Top 10 Sales:
1. 1966 Ferrari 275 GTB Long Nose Coupe, $2,205,000
2. 1993 Porsche 911 Carrera RS 3.8 Coupe, $1,655,000
3. 1993 Porsche 911 Carrera RSR 3.8 Coupe, $1,270,000
4. 1930 Isotta Fraschini Tipo 8A S Boattail Cabriolet, $1,270,000
5. 1957 Mercedes-Benz 300SL Roadster, $1,094,000
6. 1956 Mercedes-Benz 300SL Gullwing Coupe, $1,077,500
7. 1931 Marmon Sixteen Convertible Coupe, $1,050,000
8. 1930 Duesenberg Model J Hibbard & Darrin Imperial Cabriolet, $995,000
9. 1962 Aston Martin DB4 Saloon, $765,000
10. 1960 Ferrari 250 GT Coupe, $720,000

Prior year (2017) results:
Total: $70.8 million
134/150 lots sold: 89 percent sell-through rate
Average sale price: $528,131

Bonhams

Overall total: $13.2 million
88/101 lots sold: 87 percent sell-through rate
Average sale price: $149,919

Overall Top 10 Sales:
1. 2015 McLaren P1 Coupe, $1,710,000
2. 1959 Porsche 356A Carrera GS Coupe, $632,000
3. 1968 Ferrari 330 GTC Coupe, $545,100
4. 1936 Horch 853 Roadster, $544,000
5. 1933 Rolls-Royce Phantom II Continental Convertible, $480,200
6. 1947 Delahaye 135MS Coupe, $478,000
7. 2001 Ferrari 550 Barchetta Convertible, $450,500
8. 1957 Porsche 356A 1600 Super Speedster, $445,000
9. 1995 Porsche 911 Carrera RS Coupe, $368,000
10. 1992 Porsche 911 Turbo Coupe, $343,800

Prior year (2017) results:
Total: $10.0 million
71/86 lots sold: 83 percent sell-through rate
Average sale price: $141,342

Motostalgia

Overall total: $2.3 million
50/72 lots sold: 69 percent sell-through rate
Average sale price: $46,985

Overall Top 10 Sales:
1. 2005 Mercedes-Benz SLR McLaren Coupe, $286,000
2. 1965 Ferrari 330 GT SI Coupe 2+2, $225,500
3. 1965 Shelby Cobra CSX 7000 Series Roadster, $158,400
4. 2012 Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG Convertible, $119,900
5. 1962 Alfa Romeo 2000 Spider, $106,700
6. 1967 Jaguar E-Type SI 4.2 Coupe, $104,500
7. 2004 Ferrari 360 Spider, $91,300
8. 1953 Jaguar XK120 SE Fixed-Head Coupe, $90,200
9. 2005 Aston Martin Vanquish S Coupe, $85,800
10. 1991 Ferrari Testarossa Coupe, $84,700

Prior year results:
Total: $4.7 million
50/95 lots sold: 53 percent sell-through rate
Average sale price: $94,844

Hollywood Wheels

Overall total: $1.8 million
28/128 lots sold: 23 percent sell-through rate
Average sale price: $66,831

Overall Top 10 Sales:
1. 2003 BMW Z8 Alpina Roadster, $216,000
2. 1968 Shelby GT500 KR Fastback, $183,600
3. 1958 Chevrolet Bel Air Impala 348/250 Sport Coupe, $116,100
4. 1954 Chevrolet Corvette Roadster, $114,480
5. 2007 Bentley Azure Convertible Coupe, $108,000
6. 1966 Chevrolet Corvette Convertible Restomod, $99,900
7. 1959 Chevrolet Corvette 283/245 Convertible, $97,200
8. 1947 DeSoto Deluxe Sedan, $78,300
9. 1980 Ferrari 308 GTB Coupe, $68,040
10. 1964 Buick Riviera Sport Coupe, $57,240

Prior year results:
Total: $4.2 million
37/130 lots sold: 28 percent sell-through rate
Average sale price: $112,875

(Results include buyer’s fee.)

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