The first important automotive auction week-end of 2014 was held during the 17th and 18th January 2014, while RM was holding its Arizona sale (see the news article here), the two other big automotive sales house Gooding & Company and Bonhams had chosen an other Arizona city, Scottsdale to do their auction. And here come the main highlights of Gooding & Company Scottsdale’s auction, during which they sold almost worth 50 million $ of cars. Text : Mickaël B. © Images : Gooding & Company ©
The first highly interesting lot of the sale, was as well the first supercar Ferrari has ever made, a 1985 Ferrari 288 GTO, chassis 52475 was sold for 1’402’500 $. The 288 GTO, designed by genius former Lancia Engineer Materazzi had suggested Enzo Ferrari to turn the V8’s position from transversal to longitudinal, and to add two turbos to the 3 litre engine, for more power and torque. The final output was 400 horsepower, and although this car’s purpose was to win the Group B rallying, the Evoluzione, which was the racing version of the 288, sadly never raced because the Group B was stopped. This very rare, one of only 272 units that went out of the Maranello factory, was unrestored, well preserved, and had been documented by marque expert Marcel Massini.
Why do I prefer the 288 GTO to the F40 ? It is better looking, much more exclusive, and way less savage
During its Scottsdale auction, Gooding & Company broke a few world record prices, and the third Ferrari of the sale, lot number 14 started the breaking series. This 1956 Ferrari 410 Superamerica from the McBride collection had been the 1956 New York Auto Show superstar, with its sublime coachwork by Pininfarina. The 410 was specially designed and crafted for the american market, and was therefore the most powerful road-going Ferrari of the 1950s era. Being one of only sixteen Superamericas ever built, it was of course a very singular opportunity to get hands on one of Ferrari’s greatest automotive. This Series 1 Superamerica has been well documented, thanks to its show car status and exclusivity, and it had been displayed at the 1984 Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance in California. It was sold for 3’300’000 $, making it the first auction world record of the sale.
Mercedes-Benz 300 SL are probably one of the best classic sports car, and at almost every auction, it is possible to bid on one. At Scottsdale, Gooding had made no exception and was proposing like RM both a Coupé and a Roadster. The first one offered for sale was the lot 18, a 1959 Roadster version of Stuttgart’s finest, which was sold for 1’430’000 $, better than its high estimation. This particular car had been delivered to Al Haddad Motors in Bahrain, and had just been brilliantly restored by Brian Anderson’s Classic European, as testifies the numerous prizes won in recent Concours d’Elegance. It was indeed Best In Class at La Jolia Motor Car Classic, and second in class at the 2012 Gull Wing National Convention. As always, it is quite amazing to see how fast these 300 SLs gain in value throughout time, proving that apart from being gorgeously looking, beautifully driving sports cars they can be very good investments.
The second 300 SL of the sale, lot 42, a 1956 Gullwing Coupé model was sold at an even more impressive price of 1’897’000 $. You might consider the price growth this car underwent, thinking two years earlier at the same Scottsdale auction, lot 46, a 1957 Gullwing was sold for 869’000 $. That is more than 50% gain per year !!! Considering the particular car offered for sale, it had a truely unique history, because it is one of the rare 300 SL which had never been restored. With its last road registration in 1983 by the same family who owned it for almost fifty years, it could almost be considered as a barn find, but its good condition, with great patina, original chassis, engine and body valued it probably a little higher than usual.
Apart from being gorgeously looking, beautifully driving sports cars, the 300 SLs can be very good investments too
Lot 122 was the third Mercedes-Benz 300 SL of the sale, a 1956 Gullwing coupé, and performed not as good as the past day, but still selling at a price which nobody would have imagined. At 1’402’500 $, it sold almost half a million dollar cheaper, although being in the same color combination and being an almost 60 years family ownership from 1957 to 2006. The important price difference came probably from the fact that it had been fully restored to Concours condition, making it less desirable in the eyes of some collectors. It was delivered with fitted luggage and belly pans and a nice documented history.
The fourth and last 300 SL of the sale was a 1960 Roadster, and the cheapest. Lot 132, sold for 1’100’000 $, was a red exterior with beige leather interior livery and a matching-numbers example. It had been restored once, was delivered with manuals, luggage, and is, like all 300 SLs, one of the ideal choice for historic automotive events, or cruising down the Riviera. It is as well one of the best cars to enter the automotive collector’s world.
The second world record of the sale was as well held by another Ferrari, which was lot number 25, a 1973 Ferrari Dino 246 GT “Chairs and Flares”, freshly restored in 2012. Part of its amazing bidding success is probably due to the fact it is one of only five originally US-delivered “Chairs and Flares” 246 GT. This very desirable options combination included Daytona styled seats, wider tires, and new wheel arches. It has been documented by marque expert and historian Marcel Massini, and was presented with books, records, and tools. All these elements surely contributed to the world record price it achieved of 473’000 $.
The lot 29, was a Ferrari 250 GT Coupe Speciale with an unique coachwork which was the 1961 London Auto Show car. This one-off, late production car with disc brakes and outside-plug engine had been retained by Pinin Farina for promotional purposes, has been documented by Marcel Massini himself, and was pictured in several books. As a matching-numbers, completely restored as originally delivered specifications, it won first in class at the 2001 Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance, and was sold for 2’365’000 $.
This Ferrari 250 Speciale has surely nothing in common with the brand new eponymous 458, apart from the name, and the spirit.
Gooding & Co was offering an other show car from the 1954 Los Angeles Auto Show, which as sold at an other world auction record at 649’000 $. It was an unique Ghia coachwork Alfa Romeo 1900 C SS Coupé, built specially for Al Williams, who runned legendary Papagayo restaurant in San Francisco’s Fairmont Hotel. Lot 33 was a very well-known car on the west coast of the United States and has received a concours-level restoration, which will guarantee the new owner the possibility to perpetuate the multiple awards this car has already received.
Lot 39 was highly anticipated, as it is one of only 40 cars ever built, and Ferrari’s most legendary model. This 1958 Ferrari 250 GT Series 1 Cabriolet is the fourteenth unit that went out Maranello’s factory, and was equipped with the desirable covered headlights and bumperettes along with factory supplied disc brakes and outside-plug engine. With only just four owners from new, it has been a one-family ownership for four decades. As usual with most Gooding & Co’s offered Ferrari, it was offered with important documentation by Ferrari expert Marcel Massini. With such impeccable history it was no surprise this Blu Pozzi sublime 250 GT Series 1 Cabriolet almost achieved a price which we are more used to on the 250s California Spider, at a world auction record of 6’160’000 $.
Second Ferrari 250 of the sale, this Series 1 Cabriolet was sold at a price we are more used to on the more desirable California Spider
Another world auction record was held by Gooding & Co was this 1956 Mercedes-Benz 300 SC Coupe, lot number 52, one of just 98 built, which was sold at 550’000 $. With a single ownership for three decades, it has been thoroughly restored to Concours Condition, and was presented with dual spares, and fitted luggage. This matching engine numbers was gorgeously looking in this specific color combination and was accompanied by a copy of the factory build record.
One of the most unexpected bidding price was achieved by lot number 115, an Alfa Romeo Montreal sold for 176’000 $. This high achieved price was achieved because according to the auction’s house own word it is “one of the finest Montreals in existence”. Designed for the 1967 Montreal’s exposition by Bertone’s designer Marcello Gandini, who had worked previously on such masterpieces as the Lamborghini Miura, it was fitted with the in-house dual overhead camshaft V8. This 2.6 litre engine was a derived version of the one found in the mighty Tipo 33 racing car, which developped 200 horsepower in the Montreal. Imported in the United States back in 1985 the car offered for sale still had its EPA documentation, its original service book and warranty card. It had won multiple first place show wins, and has been very fastidiously maintained throughout time.
On the second auction day the first lot which achieved an incredible price was lot 117, a 1955 Lancia Aurelia B24S Spider America, which was sold for 1’815’000 $. Considering last year, a similar Aurelia B24S was sold for a little shy over 800’000 $, it looks like the B24S Americas are even better value for money than the Mercedes 300 SLs ! With only 181 left hand drive Spider Americas built, this known ownership from new example was offerend in a sublime dark blue exterior and red leather interior combination. It had been partially restored including paintwork, and was delivered with its tools, owners manual, documentation, and FIVA passport, allowing it to be eligible for major historic automotive events such as the Mille Miglia, for instance.
Looking at the price gap between the Americas spider and the standard Aurelia, it is amazing to notice how a new panoramic windcreen and quarter bumpers can increase the value of a car…
Lot 128 was one of the first and very rare Ferraris, a 1952 212 Inter Coupé, one of only six with custom body by Italian coachwork Vignale, and the 2.6 litre 150 horsepower Colombo V12. This particular example still had its matching-numbers engine, and it had been restored to original appearance, was documented as usual by Ferrari historian Marcel Massini. Offered with an important historical file, owner’s manual and tool kit, it won platinum award at the 2013 Cavallino Classic and was displayed at the 2013 Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance. It was sold for 1’787’500 $.
The first world auction record of this second auction day at Scottsdale by Gooding & Co was achieved by a 1963 Lancia Flaminia 3B Coupé. Designed by Pinin Farina this freshly restored example by italian expert F40 Motorsports had the desirable rear transaxle carburetor V6 engine. Ready for concours or simple cruising, it was sold for 96’250 $.
Probably the most anticipated lot of the sale, the 1997 McLaren F1 GTR Longtail was the lot number 137. This ultimate version of the already ultimate McLaren F1 has several racing podium finishes, and an even more impressive racing history. It was indeed the most successful private BMW Team Car, and was overall winner at Hockenheim, Helsinki, finished four times on the podium in five GT championship. Equipped with the mighty naturally aspirated BMW V12, it has been restored by McLaren themselves and regurlarly maintained by marque specialist Lanzante. Chassis 21R is a piece of automotive racing history and the auction house did offer a unique opportunity to its new owner who purchased it for 5’280’000 $.
The McLaren F1 GTR offered for sale by Gooding, chassis 21R, was a piece of automotive racing history.
Lot 139 was another lot that broke a world auction record. This 1971 Mercedes-Benz 280 SE 3.5 Coupé was sold for 178’750 $, a price never achieved before by 280 SE in an auction. Looking at the reasons why this car sold so well, it might be due to several facts, including that is was a very low mileage example, equipped with almost full options, including sunroof, floor-shift, and the 3.5 litre V8. With its very original color configuration it was accompanied by an important service documentation which surely contributed to this car’s sale performance.
One of the pre-war lots sold by Gooding included this 1929 Duesenberg Model J Dual Phaeton, one of the legendary LeBaron Dual Cowl, which was lot number 143, and was sold for a little over two million dollar at 2’090’000 $. With its original chassis, engine and bodywork, this particular car had had a top quality restoration. Fran Roxas work has indeed been recognized as shown by the top prize won at the 2010 Meadow Brooks Concours by the car that was offered.
Gooding & Co was proposing a very fine example of the first Motorsport BMW road car, a 1980 BMW M1, probably one of the Munich’s brand most important model. The M1 was indeed the introduction to the M models we know today and its importance and legacy cannot be doubted. Lot 145 was one of only 399 road-going units built, it had been owned by a single family for more than two decades, and was just over 2’700 miles from new. Needless to say, this car’s condition was as-delivered, and surely contributed to the amazing price it achieved, breaking the world auction record for a BMW M1. This Inka Orange livery fitted the car perfectly and was delivered with tool kit and service record to its new owner for 440’000 $.
The BMW M1 introduced the world to a whole new version of sports cars, and Gooding was offering probably the finest M1 in existence
The last notable lot of the sale was a 1967 Ferrari 330 GTS, lot number 149, which had never been shown, restored or offered for public sale before. Being one of only 99 units built, and the fifth one which went out of the Maranello factory, it had been an exciting Ferrari discovery, and is an excellent candidate for a preservation or a top-notch restoration. This Celeste blue exterior over dark red leather livery had only 23’000 miles from new, was matching numbers and had been in the same family ownership for more than four decades. As most of the Ferrari offered for sale by Gooding & Co auction house it had been documented by the italian’s marque expert Marcel Massini.