Rob Myer’s Auction house was holding its usual Arizona sale on 16th and 17th January 2014. We wanted to follow it live from Europe like we did last year but sadly it was too late so we could only look at the final results. Still the memories of the 2013 sale were enough to console us from not being able to follow this sale, and especially the amazing moment spent watching the Lancia Aurelia B24S America Spider barn find being sold for 825’000 $. So here are the main highlights of this 2014 RM Auctions Arizona sale. Text : Mickaël B. Images : RM Auctions ©
Starting with one of the best 911s of the sale, which was this 1989 Porsche 911 Carrera Speedster, lot number 8, sold for 126’500 $. With the 3.2 liter air-cooled flat-six engine, it was delivered with a Porsche Certificate of Authenticity, and was in one of the most desirable colour combination available. The only negative point is its – horrible looking – american plastic black bumpers and reflectors, which we think spoils a bit the fantastic look of this car.
The 911 Speedster : Is it really the best interpretation of the 356 ?
Pre-war lots were not put aside with a few lots, like a 1933 Packard Twelve Coupe, lot 14, sold for 418’000 $. It was the last of its series built, and had been remarkably well preserved, restored by marque specialist Dennis Sobiesky and had won several Elegance awards throughout the United States. Rob Myer’s Auction house was selling as well a 1930 Duesenberg J “Disappearing Top” Convertible Coupé by Murphy, exactly like the one Clark Gable used to drive, and that RM had sold at Pebble Beach back in august 2012. Although as this Model J didn’t have Clark Gable as one of its past owners, but had still a very good history, with only 30’000 actual miles, it was sold for “only” 2.2 million $.
If you were rather searching a proper pre-war sports car, a 1930 Bugatti Type 35B Grand Prix was offered, the most desirable version of the 35 “Pur Sang” of automobiles, thanks to the big 2.2 liter eight cylinder in-line supercharged engine. This particular car had the notable anecdote that it had competed at the 1930 Monaco Grand Prix, so it was a true opportunity to own a formula 1. Another Bugatti sold in Arizona was the lot 50, a 1938 Type 57 Stelvio Cabriolet by Gangloff, one of the most desirable 57 convertible, with the Corsica Roadster. This particular example had unique features such as faired-in headlamps, it had its engine rebuild and was well sorted by the restoration department of Rob Myer’s auction house.
Le Pur Sang des Automobiles : the Bugatti Type 35
A 1938 Jaguar SS 100 3.5 litre achieved an amazing price of 852’500 $, and you might wonder what this particular example had that made it so special. Well first of all, it is the only one painted in Snow Shadow Blue, it has a competition history and is matching numbers, delivered with factory build sheet, original factory tools, jack, and owner’s manual.
For british spy lovers, the Arizona Sale was another opportunity to acquire the ultimate Bond car, lot 15, an Aston Martin DB5, which was sold for 550’000 $. With only three owners from new, this matching numbers, right-hand drive, Silver Birch grey with red leather interior David Brown creation was restored in 2007. The other alternative RM was offering to the DB5 was a more recent, more powerful, matching numbers 1970 DB6 Mark 2 Vantage, one of 71 built, although Bond never had one. Sold for 506’000 $, it proves that the DB5’s successor is getting more and more valuable throughout time.
Judging by the prices achieved recently we can only admit the DB6 is almost getting more desirable than the original DB5
There were two Ferrari 275 GTB for sale at RM. The first one, lot 16, was a GTB/4, probably the most desirable version of the 250’s successor, and was formerly the property of actor Nicolas Cage. It was a matching numbers with original books and tools but was not sold with a high bid of 2’850’000 $, which was still well over the usual prices achieved by 275 GTB/4. The second 275 for sale was a, GTB, lot 100, one of 450 long-nose, sold for 1’815’000 $. It was a matching-numbers, Ferrari Classiche certified example, and had been beautifully preserved with excellent patina in its Briggs Cunningham Blue livery.
Nicolas Cage has a very good taste choosing his cars : Miura, 275, …
The third Ferrari 275 on sale in Arizona was a 1966 275 GTS, one of 200 units which had just been restored. With only less than 12’000 original miles on the odometer, this very rare Grigio Fumo Spyder was sold for 1’480’000 $.
The biggest surprise of the sale came from a 1972 Ferrari Dino 246 GTS, which although not being a “Chairs and Flairs” example sold for over 350’000 $. This amazing price achievement was probably due to the fact this car had only two owners from new and was finished in a very desirable Gially Fly exterior with black leather colour combination. Still that was really an impressive achievement, considering the average prices of the 246 GTS recently.
One other Ferrari that was sold at an unexpected price, was the 1990 Ferrari F40, formerly the property of the Petersen Museum. With less than 7500 kms only on the odometer, and being considered as the most ultimate supercar of mankind, it was sold just shy under one million, at 935’000 $, which is almost 50% more than the usual sale price.
How’s an F40 almost worth one million dollar ? Just look at the odometer and you’ll understand…
RM sold as well the german competitor of the mighty F40 : the 1988 Porsche 959 in its “Komfort” version, sold for 759’000 $. It was a USA-registered model, with known history, superbly maintained, full accessories and was delivered with its Porsche Certificate of Authenticity.
The successor of the F40, a 1995 Ferrari F50 achieved as well an amazing price, of 1’650’000 $, probably due to its very low mileage of 230 miles and its almost as-new condition. Despite having its Ferrari Classiche certification pending, we have little doubt the italians won’t deliver it, especially as this car still has full original tools and garment bag.
Although I never liked the F50, the price achieved by this almost new one at RM is proof it is still a good investment – Mickael
The Mercedes-Benz 300 SL is almost the car than can be found at every automotive auction, and the Arizona Sale was no exception, with the lot 20, a superb 1958 light blue exterior and red leather Roadster. A more desirable Gullwing doors Coupe version of the 300 SL was as well proposed by Rob Myer’s auction house, in its best colour combination with grey exterior paint and black leather. This particular example was the 1956 Turin Automobile Show car, was equipped with rudge wheels, and had been restored. This classic, and legendary sports car, is one of the most important of the German marque, and the price achieved by both the Coupé (1’292’500 $) and the matching numbers Roadster (1’045’000 $) testifies the good value for money these 300 SL represent especially in the future.
300 SLs have always been gorgeous, but God almighty would I have loved to take both these two back at home…
The 1953 Siata 208 S Spyder, lot 37, did not sell at a high bid of 1’000’000 $, although formerly owned by famous collectors, being well documented, and offered with its matching numbers Fiat 8V engine, so the best supposition might be that the reserve price was too high.
One of the main highlights of the sale was the 1961 Porsche 718 RS 61 Spyder, lot 51, one of just 14 built, which finished second in its class at the 1961 12 hours of Sebring. Using its 178 horsepower flat-four engine, it did several podium finishes during its racing period. It had just been beautifully restored and was ready to renew with its success whom purchased it at an great price of 2’750’000 $.
There were several Porsche 356 for sale by RM Auctions, but the most notable one, lot 94, a 1957 A Carrera 1500 GS Speedster by Reutter was not sold despite a high bid of 1’050’000 $. Although it was one of only 75 built, it had been restored, and had only four owners from new, it didn’t reach the reserve price.
There were two Ferrari 250 on the sale and the first one was a splendid matching numbers, Ferrari Classiche Certified, GT/L or Lusso, the very last version of Enzo’s legendary 250s. This particular example was the 168th built of only 350 units, it had been restored. This very special colour combination Lusso was sold for 2’447’550 $.
The 250 Lusso was Enzo’s personal car. A tasteful choice, no doubt.
The second one was probably the most expected lot of the sale, a 1958 Ferrari 250 GT Long WheelBase California Spider. It was the eleventh of 50 Long WheelBase Spiders built by Enzo Ferrari and Scaglietti. This matching numbers, covered headlamps example was documented by Ferrari historian expert Marcel Massini. It was sold for 8’800’000 $.
A 1966 Porsche 906 Carrera 6 was offered by RM, although it didn’t sell despite an impressive racing history and known ownership from new, it achieved a high bid of “only” 1’180’000 $. It had been restored, and as all of the Porsche 906 is eligible for major historic automotive events such as the Mille Miglia or the Tour Auto.
Daytonas continue their increasing price ascent as proved by this 1973 matching numbers, european specification Ferrari 365 GTB/4 Daytona which was sold for 555’500 $. It was driven less than 26’000 miles which very low considering this car is 40 years old, and had still its original interior, with tools, jack and books.
EU-specifications, covered headlamps : perfect Daytona ? Maybe, but we’d surely have a less common color than the usual red.
RM was proposing a 1961 Chaparral 1, lot 107, one of the two Jim Hall team cars, the third of five Chaparral built, with good modern and period racing history. Despite all the efforts of Max Girardo, it achieved a hugh bid of 1’750’000 $.