Andy’s favorites at RM Sotheby’s Arizona auction

Bidding begins at 5:30 p.m. January 16 at the Arizona Biltmore

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RM Sotheby's prepares for bidders to arrive at the Arizona Biltmore | Andy Reid photos

The RM Sothebys Arizona Aucion is one of the two really big catalog auctions on offer this week. Historically, RM Sotheby’s has offered many high dollar — think over a million of those dollars — cars as well as a number of cars at the aspirational end of the market. 

The auction company also has led the way in the U.S. in offering newer cars that appeal for the younger collector.

This year is no different and RM has a large number of vehicles in both categories, many of which are truly exceptional examples, at the Arizona Biltmore Resort.

The auction takes place January 16-17 with bidding beginning at 5:30 p.m. each day.

My picks from among the cars are:

1991 Lotus Elan

This has to be the finest M100 Lotus Elan on the planet. Finished in the rare color of Metallic Blue with a black leather interior and with only 250  original miles on the odometer, this car has to be the best one available.

1937 Mercedes-Benz 540K coupe

This car was originally delivered as a roadster but was converted in period by the factory to coupe configuration. But the story is what is most interesting. The owner of this car entered it in a concours but lost best of show to a John Deere tractor. Disgusted, he put the car away and did not look at it for 40 years. This car is in the same condition it was when put away and has wonderful patina and an even better story.

1953 Jaguar XK120

This stunning XK120 belonged to a great friend of mine for years and covered thousands of miles in rallies. My friend is a true sports car enthusiast and when moving the car to its current owner had every detail of the car attended to. This makes for a completely sorted and cosmetically stunning XK120 that is ready for its next owner to cover many more thousands of miles behind the wheel.

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1953 Porsche 356

This beautiful blue and early 356 is a excellent example of a bent-window 356 coupe. It was my very favorite car at the RM auction and a very well done restoration. If you want a car that can run practically every the world over, be shown at Porsche Parade and steal the show or drive to the corner for dinner, this Swiss Army knife of a Porsche car do it all.

1961 Jaguar E-type

This is the Holy Grail of E-type roadsters: A side-bonnet latch, welded-louver car. It is finished in Opalescent Green Metallic and is an impressive restoration. It is fitted with a Tremec 5-speed gearbox but it’s original 4-speed comes with the sale. It is a stunning car that very surprisingly is offered at no reserve.

2005 Morgan Aero 8 

This is my other favorite car at the RM Sothebys sale and a car I have loved since it was brand new. No matter where you take this car you are very likely to have the only Aero 8 there. Powered by a BMW 4.4 liter V8 with a 6-speed gearbox, it not only looks great but also goes quite fast. To me, it s the perfect combination of modern and classic. Any yes, there is still wood in the body framework.

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Andy Reid's first car, purchased at age 15, was a 1968 Fiat 124 coupe. His second, obtained by spending his college savings fund, was a 1966 Ferrari 330 GT 2+2. Since then, he has owned more than 150 cars—none of them normal or reasonable—as well as numerous classic motorcycles and scooters. A veteran of film, television, advertising and helping to launch a few Internet-based companies, Reid was a columnist for Classic Motorsports magazine for 12 years and has written for several other publications. He is considered an expert in European sports and luxury cars and is a respected concours judge. He lives in Canton, Connecticut.

1 COMMENT

  1. I remember auto journalists panning the Morgan Aero 8 for the perceived oddness of it’s headlamp design (a lot of which probably loved the Bugeye Sprite and just swooned for the Tucker).
    In person I find the car quite handsome, ought’s modern with that ineffable Morgan style, and had I the means, I’d have one. It’s, I think, a work that must be seen live rather than in photos to really “get”. Sounds rippin’ great, too; why have a four, when you coulda had a V8? And I know you are correct in stating that, wherever you took it, you’d be alone. I use a Holden Monaro based ’04 Pontiac GTO with the optional 6spd Tremec as a year-round daily driver in the tundra of Fargo, ND, and unless I’m at a club function or car show, I never see another- and they’re rare at shows & club dos as well. And I’m certain that GM sold a lot more of those GTOs in their 3 year import run than Morgan ever sold Aero 8s. The blue is nice, but I’d like BRG over a wheat interior. Triple black would be ok, too. Where’s my lottery tickets?

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