Highlights (and One Potential Letdown) from Scottsdale Car Auction Week
This past week was a big one for classic and vintage car auctions. When the weather gets cold in the Northeast, the wealthy head down to the warmer climes of Scottsdale, AZ, for a series of auctions. Bonhams, RM, Gooding & Company and Barrett-Jackson all held events over the past week. Here are some of the highlights. $249 million worth of hardware was sold this past weekend. That figure is up from $224 million in 2013. 2,815 vehicles were sold– 116 more than last year. And the average sale price was $107,096– up from $100,176 in 2013. These numbers were compiled and tallied by Hagerty, which insures classic cars. The biggest seller of the week was a 1958 Ferrari 250 GT California LWB (long wheelbase), sold at RM Auctions. It sold for an impressive $8.8 million. The Ferrari 250 GTO may be the most coveted Ferrari, but any 250 will garner big money. The GT California is also the type of car featured in the hit 1980’s film “Ferris Beuler’s Day Off.” If you have the means, I highly recommend it.
PHOTOS: See more of the 1958 Ferrari 250 GT California
The next most expensive sale from last week was another 250. This 1958 Ferrari 250 GT Cabriolet pulled in $6.2 million at auction, sold at Gooding & Company. Also sold at Gooding was one of my favorite cars of all time– the 1997 McLaren GTR Longtail. The race-ready car might look the part of champion but this vehicle did not have much of a racing history (the F1 GTR shown here won the 1995 24 Hours of LeMans), so it did not pull in the kind of money you might think.
PHOTOS: See More of the 1995 McLaren F1 GTR
The top ride from the Barrett-Jackson auction was the 1967 Chevrolet Corvette L88 Coupe. Even without a race history, it fetched $3.9 million– Because aging white males who wear bowling shirts with flames on the sleeves drop big money on any Corvette that will roll through B-J.
PHOTOS: See More of the 1967 Chevrolet Corvette 427
A New York Times piece on the auctions also cites the low selling price for the Snake and Mongoose funny cars, which (together) sold for just under $1 million. Perhaps the low selling price could be attributed to the terrible movie based on the racing rivalry of these two cars. It was pretty evident that the film was a weak attempt to piggyback off of Ron Howard’s film “Rush.” Outside of this one letdown, the Scottsdale auctions were an unqualified success.