Arizona auctions do well when prices are in thousands, not millions

Collector car market has chilled, but it isn’t frozen, Hagerty notes

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This 1980 Rolls-Royce Corniche formerly owned by entertainer Dean Martin sold for $110,000 Sunday at the Barrett-Jackson auction in Scottsdale, Arizona | Barrett-Jackson photo

Editor’s note: This is the last in a series of daily Arizona Auction Week 2020 sales reports from Hagerty, the collector car insurance and value-tracking company that staffs each auction venue. As soon as the auction companies post their final results, including any post-block sales, we’ll post a final wrap up on the week.

The 2020 Arizona Auction Week — a “week” that actually encompasses 10 days — concluded Sunday with $244.1 million in overall sales. This is a 3 percent decrease from the $251 million figure in 2019 despite an additional 574 cars being sold (a 17 percent increase). There also were 8 auctions in 2020 compared to 7 in 2019.

Highest bid hammered sold during the Arizona auctions this year was the $3,222,500 paid for this 1995 Ferrari F50 at Gooding & Company. But that amount was far less than the top sale has been in Arizona in recent years | Bob Golfen photo

The takeaway for many is that the dramatic drop witnessed this past summer at the Monterey auctions was not repeated in Arizona, but there are plenty of devils in the details. Most important is vehicle condition. Finely presented and rare cars sold extremely well, but there were relatively few of those in the Arizona auction tents. 

Vehicles in #1 and #2 condition (“excellent” and “concours”) represented less than half the offerings — the lowest ratio Hagerty has observed in more than 5 years. Bidders, being more cautious, passed on common vehicles with visible needs unless the price was sufficiently discounted. Sell-through rate was 77 percent (compared to 81 percent in 2019), and the average price slipped to $81,534.

Cars over $1 million at first blush seemed to have an easier time of it in Arizona; sell-through rate increased to 73 percent, from 43 percent in 2019. However, much of the improvement has to do with sellers’ and auction companies’ newfound caution in bringing such high-dollar rides to market. There were 25 percent fewer million-dollar cars on offer compared to last year, and most sold below Hagerty Price Guide values. (For the first time since 2012, no vehicle at the Arizona auctions sold for more than $5 million.)

The challenging environment for the most expensive cars partly has to do with what’s going on in the larger economy — the tide of investment dollars that flowed into this segment following the Great Recession has clearly slowed, and a tax advantage that allowed collectors to roll gains from car sales into other cars has been eliminated. 

But as with the rest of the collector car market, condition and provenance matters. Today’s cautious buyers will pay top dollar, but only for the best and rarest cars. Bonhams’ Alfa Romeo 8C 2300, the most expensive unsold car of the week, had a replacement engine, but a Hispano-Suiza J12 at Gooding & Company that hadn’t been sold publicly in recent memory had no trouble beating its high estimate to bring $2.4 million. 

Even as parts of the market slide, others shine. SUVs and trucks continue to perform well — 77 percent sold on or above Hagerty Price Guide values, about the same as last year. Barrett-Jackson sold a 1989 Jeep Grand Wagoneer with 8,000 miles for $110,000, which was approximately triple its condition-appropriate value. 

There was also plenty of buzz around Dodge Vipers. Early RT/10s in excellent condition brought nearly 40 percent above expected results based — and that’s not including Lee Iacocca’s Viper, which sold for $285,500, a 

Ford GTs from 2005-06 also brought strong prices, the best being a 2005 example in a non-standard combination of Midnight Blue with silver stripes for $451,000 at Barrett-Jackson. 

And although American muscle cars and resto-mods remain the stars of Scottsdale, modern classics from Europe and Japan also did well. Barrett-Jackson sold a 1990 Toyota Supra Mk III Turbo with less than 100 miles for a record $88,000. The Paul Walker collection offered by Barrett-Jackson contained five 1995 BMW M3 Lightweights, with the lowest-mile example selling for $385,000.

It’s clear we have a collector car market that’s cooled from the highs of the previous decade, especially at the top. Yet for most car collectors — that is, those who buy cars for thousands, rather than millions of dollars — Arizona  was business as usual. Barrett-Jackson drew more than 5,600 bidders and enjoyed its highest grossing week ever. Long-term owners are still realizing gains. (In the current market, owners have typically reached break-even after three years of ownership.) 

And, as always, the best cars continued to appreciate. But price-sensitive buyers should be aware of the chill that has set in upmarket, as it could creep downward. Knowing what you’re buying and buying for enjoyment are two strategies that are as important today as ever.

Listed below are the raw results witnessed by Hagerty during the live auctions and may not include any post-block sales. Figures reported include the appropriate buyer’s premiums. 

Arizona Auction Week 2020

Overall results through Sunday, January 19

Total sales at 8 auctions: $244.1 million

2,994/3,867 lots sold; 77 percent sell-through

Average sale price: $81,534

2019 results

Total sales at 7 auctions: $251.2 million

2,662/3,295 lots sold; 81 percent sell-through rate

Average sale price: $94,374

Overall top-10 sales 

  1. 1995 Ferrari F50 Coupe sold for $3,222,500 (Gooding & Company)
  2. 2020 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray Coupe sold for $3,000,000 (Barrett-Jackson)*
  3. 1932 Hispano-Suiza J12 Dual Cowl Phaeton sold for $2,425,000 (Gooding & Company)
  4. 2018 Pagani Huayra Roadster sold for $2,370,000 (RM Sotheby’s)
  5. 1948 Tucker 48 Sedan sold for $2,040,000 (Gooding & Company)
  6. 2021 Lexus LC 500 Convertible sold for $2,000,000 (Barrett-Jackson)*
  7. 1967 Ferrari 330 GTS Spider sold for $1,985,000 (Gooding & Company)
  8. 1972 Ferrari 365 GTS/4 Daytona Spider sold for $1,930,000 (Gooding & Company)
  9. 1951 Ferrari 212 Inter Cabriolet sold for $1,930,000 (Bonhams)
  10. 1967 Ferrari 330 GTS Spider sold for $1,710,000 (RM Sotheby’s)

* Charity car

Results by auction company

BARRETT-JACKSON

2020 total sales: $137,1 million

1,908/1,909 lots sold: 99.9 percent sell-through rate

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Average sale price: $71,833

Top-10 sales:

  1. 2020 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray Coupe sold for $3,000,000*
  2. 2021 Lexus LC 500 Convertible sold for $2,000,000*
  3. 2017 Ford GT Coupe sold for $1,485,000
  4. 2017 Ford GT Coupe sold for $1,182,500
  5. 1969 Chevrolet Camaro COPO Sport Coupe sold for $1,094,500
  6. 2019 McLaren Senna Coupe sold for $946,000
  7. 1963 Aston Martin DB5 Saloon sold for $660,000
  8. 1974 Ford Bronco Custom SUV sold for $650,000
  9. 2020 Chevrolet Camaro COPO John Force Drag Car sold for $600,000*
  10. 2003 Saleen S7 Coupe sold for $467,500

* Charity car

2019 results:

Total sales: $119.0 million

1,627/1,628 lots sold: 99 percent sell-through rate

Average sale price: $73,090

BONHAMS

2020 total sales: $8.4 million

88/108 lots sold: 81 percent sell-through rate

Average sale price: $95,872 

Top-10 sales:

  1. 1951 Ferrari 212 Inter Cabriolet sold for $1,930,000
  2. 1955 Lancia Aurelia B24 Spider America sold for $810,000
  3. 1924 Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost Piccadilly Special Roadster sold for $368,000
  4. 1995 Ferrari F512 M Coupe sold for $313,000
  5. 2005 Ford GT Coupe sold for $285,500
  6. 1992 Dodge Viper RT/10 Roadster sold for $285,500
  7. 1972 Ferrari Dino 246 GTS Spider sold for $280,000
  8. 1960 Alfa Romeo 2000 Spider sold for $154,000
  9. 1901 Winton 8 HP Runabout sold for $142,800
  10. 1912 Winton Six 48 HP Touring sold for $140,000

2019 Results

Total sales: $16.1 million

108/120 lots sold: 90 percent sell-through rate

Average sale price: $149,070

GOODING & COMPANY

2020 total sales: $35.8 million

122/137 lots sold; 89 percent sell-through rate

Average sale price: $293,501

Top-10 sales:

  1. 1995 Ferrari F50 Coupe sold for $3,222,500
  2. 1932 Hispano-Suiza J12 Dual Cowl Phaeton sold for $2,425,000
  3. 1948 Tucker 48 Sedan sold for $2,040,000
  4. 1967 Ferrari 330 GTS Spider sold for $1,985,000
  5. 1972 Ferrari 365 GTS/4 Daytona Spider sold for $1,930,000
  6. 1960 Ferrari 250 GT Cabriolet SII sold for $1,462,500
  7. 1968 Lamborghini Miura P400 S Coupe sold for $1,242,500
  8. 2014 McLaren P1 Coupe sold for $1,160,000
  9. 1970 Porsche 914/6 GT Targa sold for $995,000
  10. 1958 Mercedes-Benz 300SL Roadster sold for $940,000

2019 Results:

Total sales: $48.1 million

105/124 lots sold: 85 percent sell-through rate

Average sale price: $458,458

LEAKE AUCTIONS

2020otal sales: $16.6 million

357/674 lots sold: 53 percent sell-through rate

Average sale price: $46,574

Top-10 sales:

  1. 2012 Lexus LFA Coupe sold for $429,000
  2. 1957 Chrysler 300C Convertible sold for $357,500
  3. 1958 Dual-Ghia Hemi Convertible sold for $330,000
  4. 1960 Chrysler 300F Convertible sold for $319,000
  5. 1968 Chevrolet Corvette Coupe sold for $275,000
  6. 1959 Chrysler 300E Convertible sold for $242,000
  7. 1958 Cadillac Eldorado Biarritz Convertible sold for $222,200
  8. 1962 Chevrolet Corvette Custom Convertible sold for $220,000
  9. 1958 Pontiac Bonneville Convertible sold for $220,000
  10. 1958 Cadillac Eldorado Biarritz Convertible sold for $216,700

2019 results:

2020 was Leake’s first year in Arizona

MAG AUCTIONS

2020 total: $1.7 million

98/326 lots sold: 30 percent sell-through rate

Average sale price: $17,846

Top-10 sales:

  1. 1968 Shelby GT500 KR Fastback sold for $167,400
  2. 1970 Ford Mustang Boss 302 SportsRoof  sold for $64,800
  3. 1934 Pierce-Arrow Model 836A Sedan sold for $47,520
  4. 1968 Dodge Charger Hardtop Coupe sold for $44,820
  5. 2007 Bentley Continental GTC Convertible Coupe sold for $44,280
  6. 1966 Chevrolet Chevelle Clone Sedan sold for $43,740
  7. 1966 Chevrolet Chevelle Custom Sedan sold for $43,200
  8. 1972 Chevrolet C10 1/2 Ton Pickup sold for $43,200
  9. 1937 Buick Special Model 46-C Convertible Coupe sold for $41,040
  10. 1933 Factory Five Hot Rod Roadster sold for $39,690

2019 results

Total: $2.5 million

139/384 lots sold: 36 percent sell-through rate

Average sale price: $17,816

RM SOTHEBY’S

2020 total sales: $30.3 million

127/142 lots sold: 89 percent sell-through rate

Average sale price: $238,507

Top-10 sales:

  1. 2018 Pagani Huayra Roadster sold for $2,370,000
  2. 1967 Ferrari 330 GTS Spider sold for $1,710,000
  3. 1971 Lamborghini Miura P400 SV Coupe sold for $1,391,000
  4. 1955 Mercedes-Benz 300SL Gullwing Coupe sold for $1,270,000
  5. 1930 Cadillac Series 452 Fleetwood Sport Phaeton, 5-p. sold for $1,105,000
  6. 2008 Bugatti Veyron 16.4 Coupe sold for $1,105,000
  7. 1937 Mercedes-Benz 540K Hebmuller Coupe sold for $995,000
  8. 1957 Mercedes-Benz 300SL Roadster sold for $973,000
  9. 2017 Ford GT Coupe sold for $923,500
  10. 2005 Porsche Carrera GT Coupe sold for $786,000

2019 results

Total sales: $36.8 million

129/154 lots sold: 84 percent sell-through rate

Average sale price: $285,448

RUSSO AND STEELE

2020 total sales: $8.0 million

251/513 lots sold: 49 percent sell-through rate

Average sale price: $31,998

Top-10 sales:

  1. 1956 Porsche 356A Speedster sold for $258,500
  2. 1989 Mercedes-Benz 560SEC Wide Body Coupe sold for $253,000
  3. 1970 Plymouth Road Runner Superbird Hardtop Coupe sold for $214,500
  4. 1966 Shelby GT350 Fastback Sedan sold for $156,750
  5. 1973 Lamborghini Espada 400 GTE SIII Coupe sold for $154,000
  6. 1959 Chevrolet Corvette Resto Mod Convertible sold for $126,500
  7. 2013 McLaren MP4-12C Spider sold for $118,250
  8. 1958 DeSoto Firesweep Convertible sold for $115,500
  9. 2008 Lamborghini Gallardo Superleggera Coupe sold for $115,500
  10. 1990 Ferrari Testarossa Coupe sold for $110,000

2019 results:

Total sales: $11.8 million 

308/621 lots sold: 50 percent sell-through rate

Average sale price: $38,464

WORLDWIDE AUCTIONEERS

2020 total sales: $6.1 million

42/55 lots sold: 76 percent sell-through rate

Average sale price: $144,264 

Top-10 sales:

  1. 1936 Auburn 852 Supercharged Speedster sold for $880,000
  2. 1956 Chrysler-Ghia Plainsman Concept Station Wagon sold for $742,500
  3. 1930 Duesenberg Model J Willoughby Berline sold for $605,000
  4. 1937 Packard Twelve-Series 1508 Convertible Sedan sold for $451,000
  5. 1997 Porsche 911 Turbo S Coupe sold for $341,000
  6. 1970 Plymouth Road Runner Superbird Hardtop Coupe sold for $242,000
  7. 1934 Packard Super Eight-Series 1104 Sport Phaeton sold for $192,500
  8. 1930 Cadillac Series 452 Vanden Plas Imperial Landau, 7-p. sold for $167,750
  9. 1957 DeSoto Adventurer Convertible sold for $165,000
  10. 1938 Packard Twelve-Series 1607 Convertible Victoria sold for $165,000

2019 results

Total: $9.4 million

55/71 lots sold: 78 percent sell-through rate

Average sale price: $171,166

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