Revised results for Arizona Auction Week 2020 beat year-ago totals

5 of 8 auction companies provide official tallies, showing recent sales nudging past those of 2019

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Spirits are high during bidding for a Mercedes-Benz 300SL at Russo and Steele | Howard Koby photo

There was much trepidation going into Arizona Auction Week 2020 following the bummer results from the Monterey collector car sales in August, when gross figures were down by nearly a third, and after a disappointing 2019 in general.  

But the numbers are in (mostly) and the overall results for Arizona’s collector car extravaganza and its unprecedented 8 auctions has risen to $252 million, beating last year’s cumulative total of $251.2 million. 

The increase from the previous unofficial total of $244.1 million came as 5 of the 8 auction houses released their official results, which often rise with post-block sales and other adjustments.

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A 1995 Ferrari F50 at Gooding was the week’s highest sale at $3.2 million | Bob Golfen photo

Granted, there were 574 more cars sold this year than last, a 17 percent boost, and one more auction added to the busy schedule. But still, it’s a victory for the Arizona auctions, which tend to set the tone for the coming year. 

The strength of the market going into the new year, the Arizona results show, is in the broad middle and lower end of the collector car spectrum, with fewer high-dollar cars being offered and many of them failing to reach expectations.

Barrett-Jackson comprised the bulk of the results by sheer volume, with their largest docket ever, more than 1,900 vehicles, sold over a seven-day period.  The sell-through rate was 99.9 percent, which is a striking indication of Barrett-Jackson’s customary no-reserve format.

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The $3 million Corvette on the auction block | Barrett-Jackson photo

The company reported its highest results ever, with total sales of $141 million for the vehicles, automobilia and 9 charity cars, which reached $7.825 million including the $3 million winning bid for the first mid-engine 2020 Chevy Corvette.

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Only one car at Barrett-Jackson was offered with a minimum reserve price, a high-value 2015 Porsche 918 Spyder that rolled off the block unsold after failing to meet the reserve.

Other auctions reporting their final numbers are:

Gooding & Company, which scored $36.17 million sales and had the highest result of Arizona week, $3.2 million for a 1995 Ferrari F50 coupe.

RM Sotheby’s, with $30.4 million in sales.

Russo and Steele, with $10.7 million in sales, an increase from initial reports of $8 million.

Leake Auctioneers, the newcomer at Arizona Auction Week, which reported sales of $17 million.

Leake posted solid results for an Arizona newbie | Leake photo

While the 3 other auction houses provided releases reporting their dockets of individual sales, none in this group has provided its official total.

The unofficial results from these auctions, compiled by staffers from the Hagerty collector car insurance and valuation company, were reported as:

Bonhams, with $8.4 million in total sales, down nearly a half from its 2019 auction.

MAG Auctions, which took over the annual Silver Arizona sales for the first time this year, $1.7 million.

Worldwide Auctioneers, whose boutique sale of just 98 cars reached $6.1 million.

The final official tally could rise as these auction companies release their official numbers. Overall, however, Arizona Auction Week has provided an upbeat start to the car collecting year.

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Bob Golfen is a longtime automotive writer and editor, focusing on new vehicles, collector cars, car culture and the automotive lifestyle. He is the former automotive writer and editor for The Arizona Republic and SPEED.com, the website for the SPEED motorsports channel. He has written free-lance articles for a number of publications, including Autoweek, The New York Times and Barrett-Jackson auction catalogs. A collector car enthusiast with a wide range of knowledge about the old cars that we all love and desire, Bob enjoys tinkering with archaic machinery. His current obsession is a 1962 Porsche 356 Super coupe.

2 COMMENTS

  1. Thank you for the updates on results. Hagerty and Sports Car Digest need to revise the totals that they reported. I didn’t even know that Gooding & Co. changed their total until I read your article. I’m sure your readers realize that not all of Barrett-Jackson’s lots were cars and trucks, some are boats and trailers. Getting correct Russo and Steele info was challenging. I counted 281 sold for a total of $10,764,200. I called them to ask what the total number of lots were and they wouldn’t tell me. They show 351 online, Hagerty reported 513 total lots. If so, that’s not a very good sales rate.

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