The top result at the RM Sotheby’s Amelia Island 2017 classic car sale was $7,700,000 for a 1937 Bugatti Type 57S Cabriolet by Vanvooren.
A stylish 1937 Bugatti Type 57S Cabriolet by Vanvooren sold for $7,700,000 as the highest price paid at the RM Sotheby’s Amelia Island 2017 classic car auction in Florida, USA. The second highest result at the sale was $2,640,000 paid for the 1995 Ferrari F50 that originally belonged to Mike Tyson. Although three of the high-profile, multi-million-dollar cars failed to sell, RM Sotheby’s still sold 19 cars for over a million dollar at the Amelia Island 2017 auction.
RM Sotheby’s Amelia Island Sale 2017
RM Sotheby’s, the official auction house of the Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance, returned for the 19th year to Amelia Island, Florida, for a classic car sale on 10 and 11 March 2017.
RM Sotheby’s earned a new Amelia Island auction record $70.9 million from the two auction days. In contrast to previous years, a second sales day was added to the auction during which 63 cars from the Orin Smith collection were sold without reserve to earn a total of $31 million. Around 80 cars were on offer in the regular auction that earned $40 million despite several of the top lots failing to sell.
In 2016, RM Sotheby’s earned $38.6 million with a high sell-through rate of 89%. In 2015, RM Sotheby’s earned $60 million at Amelia Island with a remarkably high 98% sell-through rate.
Top Results at RM Sotheby’s Amelia Island 2017 Sale
The 19 cars selling for a million dollar or more at the RM Sotheby’s Amelia Island 2017 classic car auction were:
|1937||Bugatti Type 57S Cabriolet by Vanvooren||7,700,000||8,500,000-10,000,000|
|1956||Maserati A6G/54 Coupe Series III||2,365,000||1,600,000-2,000,000|
|1936||Lancia Astura Cabriolet Series III Tipo Bocca||2,145,000||2,000,000-2,600,000|
|1964||Ferrari 275 GTB||1,842,500||1,800,000-2,000,000|
|1966||Aston Martin Short-Chassis Volante||1,705,000||1,600,000-2,000,000|
|1929||Stutz Model M Supercharged Coupe||1,705,000||1,000,000-1,200,000|
|1956||Bentley S1 Continental Drophead Coupe by Park Ward||1,683,000||700,000-900,000|
|2012||Bugatti Veyron 16.4 Grand Sport||1,650,000||1,500,000-1,800,000|
|1953||Fiat 8V Supersonic by Ghia||1,375,000||1,600,000-1,900,000|
|1974||Porsche 911 Carrera RS 3.0||1,375,000||900,000-1,100,000|
|1954||Mercedes Benz 300 SL Gullwing||1,358,500||1,200,000-1,400,000|
|1958||Rolls-Royce Silver Cloud I Drophead Coupe||1,347,500||1,300,000-1,800,000|
|1952||Bentley R-Type Continental Fastback Sports Salooon||1,347,500||1,250,000-1,500,000|
|1955||Lancia Aurelia B24S Spider America||1,320,000||1,400,000-1,800,000|
|1953||Lancia Aurelia PF200 C Spider||1,248,500||1,100,000-1,400,000|
|1933||Rolls Royce Phantom II Special Newmarket Permanent Sedan||1,237,500||700,000-1,000,000|
|1957||Mercedes Benz 300 SL Gullwing||1,144,000||950,000-1,050,000|
|1955||Alfa Romeo 1900 C SS Coupe Zagato||1,100,000||800,000-1,200,000|
Multi-Million-Dollar Cars at RM Sotheby’s Amelia Island 2017
1937 Bugatti Type 57S Cabriolet by Vanvooren
A 1937 Bugatti Type 57S Cabriolet with coachwork by Vanvooren sold for $7,700,000 as the top result achieved at the RM Sotheby’s Amelia Island 2017 auction.
The price was slightly below expectations and well below the $9,735,000 Bonhams achieved at Amelia Island 2016 for a 1937 Bugatti Type 57SC Sports Tourer.
Only four of the 42 Bugatti Type 57S chassis were ever fitted with cabriolet bodywork by the coachbuilder Vanvooren. The car sold at Amelia Island 2017 is a highly original, unrestored example with its original chassis, engine, gearbox and bodywork.
A modern 2012 Bugatti Veyron 16.4 Grand Sport sold for $1,650,000.
1995 Ferrari F50
With the two top Ferraris failing to sell, the 1995 Ferrari F50 that originally belonged to Mike Tyson provided the top Ferrari result at the RM Sotheby’s Amelia Island 2017 sale when it achieved $2,640,000. The price was the second highest of the ten F50s sold at auction for over a million dollar in the past three years and well above the $2,200,000-2,400,000 presale estimate.
The 1995 Ferrari F50 is one of the 50 produced in US specification and was originally delivered to heavy weight boxing champion Mike Tyson. The first of 4,900 of only 5,694 miles on the clock were driven during his period of ownership.
The only other million-dollar Ferrari result was $1,842,000 for a 1964 Ferrari 275 GTB. The price paid was within estimate and another instance of modern supercar Ferraris achieving higher results than the classic Ferraris from the 1960s.
1956 Maserati A6G/54 Coupe Series III
A 1956 Maserati A6G/54 Coupe Series III also sold for well above estimate when it achieved $2,365,000 at the RM Sotheby’s Amelia Island 2017 auction. The pre-sale estimate was a more modest $1,600,000-$2,000,000.
The 1956 Maserati A6G/54 Coupe Series III is the only surviving car of the two coupes Frua built on the series III chassis. The car is in a magnificently restored condition and was a class winner at the 2014 Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance.
1936 Lancia Astura Cabriolet Series III Tipo Bocca
A 1936 Lancia Astura Cabriolet Series III Tipo Bocca sold for $2,145,000 as the top result of the Orin Smith – A Gentleman’s Collection in the RM Sotheby’s Amelia Island 2017 sale. The car is one of only three fitted with Pinin Farina Tippo Bocca coachwork and was the original 1936 Milan motor show car.
The restored Lancia won amongst others the People’s Choice at Amelia Island in 2013 and was judged Most Sympathetic Restoration at the 2014 Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este, Italy.
Top Rolls-Royces and Bentleys from the Orin Smith Collection
RM Sotheby’s offered 11 Bentleys and 13 Rolls-Royce cars belonging to Orin Smith in the special “A Gentleman’s Collection” sale at the Amelia Island 2017 auction. Results were all over the place.
Two of the Bentleys had upper estimates above a million dollar with the 1952 Bentley R-Type Continental Fastback Sports Saloon selling for $1,347,500 (estimate $1,250,000-1,500,000) and 1957 Bentley S1 Continental Fastback Sports Saloon selling for only $781,000 (estimate $850,000-1,000,000).
However, a sensational result was achieved with a 1956 Bentley S1 Continental Drophead Coupe by Park Ward. It sold for $1,683,000 – the top Bentley result at the auction and well above the pre-sale estimate of $700,000-900,000.
Despite the fame and mystique of the marque, Rolls Royce cars rarely achieve a million dollar at public auction. Three of the Rolls-Royces from the Orin Smith Collection had upper estimate above a million dollar and results were mixed. The 1958 Rolls-Royce Silver Cloud I Drophead Coupe sold within estimate for $1,347,500 (estimate $1,300,000-1,800,000), while the 1931 Rolls Royce Phantom II Croydon Convertible Coupe by Brewster came up short at $506,000 (estimate $700,000-1,000,00) after the 1933 Rolls Royce Phantom II Special Newmarket Permanent Sedan by Brewster had sold for a fantastic $1,237,500 (estimate $700,000-1,000,000).
1929 Stutz Model M Supercharged Coupe
One of the surprise results at the RM Sotheby’s Amelia Island 2017 auction was $1,705,000 for a 1929 Stutz Model M Supercharged Coupe by Lancefield – a new marque record. The pre-sale estimate was a more modest $1,000,000-$1,200,000.
The 1929 Stutz Model M Supercharged Coupe by Lancefield is one of only three surviving supercharged Stutzes. It is restored but still has its original engine, chassis and bodywork.
Top Porsches at RM Sotheby’s Amelia Island 2017
Porsches seem to dominate in numbers at most recent classic car auctions and RM Sotheby’s had no fewer than 23 on offer at Amelia Island 2017. Gooding had several top-end Porsches on offer but only two at RM Sotheby’s had million-dollar estimates.
Despite the high numbers, many Porsche prices stayed firm with the 1973 Porsche 911 Carrera RS 2.7 Lightweight selling for $869,000 (estimate $800,000-1,000,000) and the 1974 Porsche 911 Carrera RS 3.0 for $1,375,000 – a new model record well above the estimate of $900,000-1,100,000.
Two Porsche Carrera GTs were on offer and as both were offered without reserve both sold, and within estimates, at a very respectable $605,000 and $770,000. The two offered as Gooding and Bonhams failed to sell for similar money.
Mercedes Benz 300 SL
With Mercedes Benz 300 SL prices decidedly lower at recent auctions, these 1950s classics are no longer that common at classic car auctions, or guaranteed million dollar results. At Amelia Island 2017, Gooding and Bonhams had no 300 SLs on offer but RM Sotheby’s made up for that by offering three.
A 1958 Mercedes Benz 300 SL Roadster sold within estimate for $957,000 but both Gullwings on offer sold near or above top estimate. A very early 1954 Gullwing sold for a strong $1,358,5000 while the 1957 Mercedes Benz 300 SL Coupe was the third last one produced and achieved a good $1,144,000 given that it is not in top condition.
Top Cars Not Sold at RM Sotheby’s Amelia Island 2017
Although RM Sotheby’s was quite successful at the million-dollar-plus market, four important cars failed to sell at the Amelia Island 2017 auction:
|1961||Ferrari 250 GT SWB Berlinetta||HB 8,200,000||9,000,000-10,000,000|
|1950||Ferrari 166 MM Barchetta by Touring||HB 6,900,000||8,000,000-10,000,000|
|1928||Bentley 4 1/2 Litre Le Mans Sports The Bobtail||HB 6,400,000||6,500,000-7,500,000|
|1971||Ferrari 365 GTB/4 Daytona Berlinetta Competizione Conversion||HB 1,200,000||1,250,000-1,500,000|
The highest bid at the RM Sotheby’s Amelia Island 2017 auction was $8.2 million for the 1961 Ferrari 250 GT SWB Berlinetta – only the also unsuccessful $11.9 million bid for the 1957 Jaguar XKSS at Gooding was higher during the Florida auction series.
Bidding for the 1950 Ferrari 166 MM Barchetta also stopped well short of the estimate while the highest bid for the 1971 Ferrari 365 GTB/4 Daytona Berlinetta Competizione Conversion was only $50,000 off the lower estimate.
Similarly, the highest bid for the 1928 Bentley 4½-Litre Le Mans Sports “Bobtail” was only just below the reserve margin. In contrast, a Bentley 4½-Litre Pedal Car sold for a solid $11,500.
RM Sotheby’s next major classic car auctions are Villa Erba on Lake Como in Italy in May, Motor City in Michigan in July and Monterey in mid-August.
More on Amelia Island 2017
- The Annual Amelia Island Auctions & Concourse d’Elegance
- 2017 Amelia Island Classic Car Auction Results: Overview, Bonhams, Gooding, RM Sotheby’s
- 2017 Amelia Island Auctions Previews: Bonhams, Gooding, RM Sotheby’s
- 2017 Amelia Island Auction Press Announcements: RM Sotheby’s (Bugatti Type 57S Cabriolet, Ferrari 250 GTB SWB Berlinetta, Orin Smith Collection, Bentley Le Mans, Ferrari 166 MM), Gooding (Jaguar XKSS, Racing Cars, Porsche Supercars, McLaren P1, Aston Martins)
- 2016 Amelia Island Auction Results Overview
Amelia Island auctions in 2017 were on the following dates: 9 March – Bonhams, 10 March – RM Sotheby’s (Orin Smith Collection) & Gooding, 11 March – RM Sotheby’s (main auction).