A 1929 Duesenberg Model J Disappearing Top Torpedo by Murphy is with an estimate of $3,500,000 to $4,000,000 the most-expensive car on offer in the RM Sotheby’s Amelia Island 2021 classic car auction in Florida, USA, in May 2021.
The lead car for the RM Sotheby’s Amelia Island 2021 car auction is a true American classic: a 1929 Duesenberg Model J ‘Disappearing Top’ Torpedo Convertible Coupe with brushed aluminum coachwork by Murphy. The ten most expensive cars on offer in the auction all have upper presale estimates exceeding a million dollar. Five of the top cars are Ferraris ranging from the 1961 Ferrari 250 GT Cabriolet Series II to the more modern F40 and F50 supercars. The latter two have surprisingly high estimates while the 2015 Porsche 918 Spyder and 1958 Mercedes-Benz 300 SL Roadster are priced to sell. The auction also includes a large number of cars younger than 50 years priced between around $200,000 to $600,000 — a section of the market that currently seems to perform well.
RM Sotheby’s Amelia Island Sale 2021
RM Sotheby’s 23rd annual Amelia Island auction is scheduled for 22 May 2021. As the official auction of the Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance, the one-day sale will see a diverse lineup of more than 80 motor cars with entries spanning the market from pre-and post-war classics through to grand touring and sports cars of the 1950s, ‘60s, and ‘70s, as well as high-performance, modern cars.
The 2021 auction, postponed due to Corona from the traditional early March to late May, was a single-day live auction earning $42,174,340 and with a 95.28 percent sell-through rate — the highest since 2015.
RM Sotheby’s results and earnings at recent Amelia Island auctions were as follows:
In 2017, RM Sotheby’s earned an Amelia Island record $70.9 million but in contrast to most years, a second auction day was held during which 63 cars from the Orin Smith collection were sold without reserve to earn a total of $31 million. The top result that year was $7,700,00 paid for a 1937 Bugatti Type 57S Cabriolet by Vanvooren.
Top Cars on Offer at RM Sotheby’s Amelia Island Sale 2021
The ten most expensive cars on offer at the RM Sotheby’s Amelia Island 2021 classic car auction are:
|1||1929||Duesenberg Model J Disappearing Top Torpedo by Murphy||3,500,000 – 4,000,000|
|2||1995||Ferrari F50||3,400,000 – 3,750,000|
|3||1968||Ferrari 275 GTB/4||2,500,000 – 2,800,000|
|4||1971||Ferrari 365 GTS/4 Daytona Spider||2,250,000 – 2,750,000|
|5||1992||Ferrari F40||1,800,000 – 2,200,000|
|6||1961||Ferrari 250 GT Cabriolet Series II||1,200,000 – 1,400,000|
|7||1935||Mercedes-Benz 500 K Roadster||1,000,000 – 1,500,000|
|8||2015||Porsche 918 Spyder||1,000,000 – 1,250,000|
|9||1960||Chevrolet Corvette LM||900,000 – 1,300,000|
|10||1958||Mercedes-Benz 300 SL Roadster||800,000 – 1,000,000|
Million-Dollar Cars at RM Sotheby’s Amelia Island 2021
Ten of the cars on offer at the RM Sotheby’s Amelia Island classic car auction in 2021 have presale estimates of over a million dollar:
1929 Duesenberg Model J ‘Disappearing Top’ Torpedo
The 1929 Duesenberg Model J ‘Disappearing Top’ Torpedo Convertible Coupe by Murphy, chassis no. 2199, on offer at the RM Sotheby’s Amelia Island 2021 sale is a recent Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance award winner and Amelia Island Concours Best in Class winner.
This Duesenberg Model J is one of two examples built with polished and brushed bare aluminum coachwork and the sole intact survivor. With a very well-known history from new, 2199 enjoyed the care of a handful of Southern California caretakers through its early life and into the late 1940s. In 1951, it was purchased by a longtime Auburn Cord Duesenberg Club member and remained as his prized possession until 1985. The car was subsequently restored, after which it received the coveted ACD Club Category One certification.
Recently, 2199 underwent a meticulous restoration by RM Auto Restoration that returned the Duesenberg to its original, highly attractive, and unique presentation featuring its polished aluminum original coachwork. It is a recent Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance award winner and Amelia Island Concours Best in Class winner.
For the smaller budget, a 1933 Duesenberg Model J Sweep Panel Dual-Cowl Phaeton will be available at the Bonhams sale with an estimate of $1,00,000 to $1,250,000.
Top Ferraris at RM Sotheby’s Amelia Island Sale 2021
Five of the ten million-dollar cars on offer in the RM Sotheby’s Amelia Island classic car auction in 2021 are Ferraris — this large number of Ferraris is less common at auctions of late. Thus far this year, only eight Ferraris have sold for over a million dollar at major public auctions.
The top five Ferraris on offer are popular models and regular sellers at auctions:
The 1995 Ferrari F50 is in US specification and was the 48th of only 349 F50s built, of which only 55 were produced for the US market. It is a well-maintained car and had an engine-out service in 2018. However, the F50 has no particularly interesting provenance or history, which makes the model-record presale estimate somewhat surprising.
The 1968 Ferrari 275 GTB/4 by Scaglietti is a late-production car with matching numbers for both engine and gearbox. It is one of only 330 produced. Maintained and enjoyed by the same owner since 1973, the 275 GTB/4 underwent a restoration during his ownership, executed by Bob Smith Coachworks of Gainesville, Texas. It is finished in Giallo Solare and equipped with Campagnolo alloy wheels.
Ferraris 275 GTBs sold very reliably at auction in 2021: half of the million-dollar Ferrari results were for this platename with the $3,586,000 paid for a 1967 Ferrari 275 GTB/4 Alloy in the Gooding Geared Online May sale the top Ferrari result thus far in 2021.
The 1971 Ferrari 365 GTS/4 Daytona Spider on offer is the 36th of only 121 examples built and is the 1972 New York International Automobile Show car. Retaining its matching-numbers chassis, engine, and gearbox, it is finished in its original colors of Giallo Fly over Pelle Nera. Owned by an early Ferrari enthusiast and friend of Enzo Ferrari, Alfred Ducato, until his death in 1987, the car has covered fewer than 13,500 miles and boasts an exemplary and fully documented history from new. The Spider is Ferrari Classiche Certified and a Platinum Winner at the Cavallino Classic. The Spider often sells for around a million and a half more than the regular Daytona Berlinettas. As is often the case, a 1972 Ferrari 365 GTB/4 Daytona Berlinetta will be available in the same auction for direct comparison — estimate: $500,000 – $600,000.
As for the F50, the presale estimate for the 1992 Ferrari F40 is way above recent auction results for the model for no apparent reason — no particular provenance or story. It is a late production car — one of 60 built for the US market in 1992. It is well-maintained with only 3,304 miles on the clock, of which only 20 were done since a major service. The three F40s sold at public auctions in 2020 achieved around $1.1, $1.4, and $1,7 million while several further lots failed to reach the reserve.
The 1961 Ferrari 250 GT Cabriolet Series II was the 127th of 200 Series II Cabriolets produced. It is presented in factory-correct Grigio Conchiglia over Pelle Blu with matching cloth top, accompanied by a desirable hardtop. A true gentleman’s Ferrari, the car was fully restored in 2013 and would be a prime candidate to be exhibited at international concours, FCA events, or simply to be enjoyed by a driving enthusiast looking to experience Ferrari performance and luxury at its finest. Certified by Ferrari Classiche, it retains numbers-matching engine, gearbox, and rear differential.
1935 Mercedes-Benz 500 K Roadster
The 1935 Mercedes-Benz 500 K Three Position Roadster by Windover is arguably one of the most striking bodies ever produced for the supercharge 500K chassis. Of the 342 chassis produced, only 41 were not fitted with in-house Sindelfingen coachwork with fewer than 20 receiving British coachwork from new. Chassis number 123699 was fitted with the rare British-made teardrop-shaped pontoon-style fenders without side-mounted spares.
The Mercedes-Benz was originally ordered by William “Willie” Henry Rhodes-Moorhouse, a member of the British ski-jumping team at the Winter Olympic Games in Garmisch-Partenkirchen in 1936 and RAF squadron leader during the Second World War.
The Mercedes-Benz 500K was restored by RM Auto Restoration in 2006 and was subsequently shown at Pebble Beach in 2007 and Amelia Island in 2008.
A 1934 Mercedes-Benz 500 / 540K (Factory Upgrade) Spezial Roadster is the lead car for the Bonhams Amelia Island 2021 sale with an estimate of $4.5 to $5 million.
1960 Chevrolet Corvette LM
The 1960 Chevrolet Corvette LM, chassis #3535, is enticingly offered with no reserve and a surprisingly low estimate given its history but not its current condition. The car is one of three C1 Corvettes entered by Briggs Cunningham in the 1960 Le Mans 24 Hours race and was driven as the Number 1 car by Cunningham and Bill Kimberly.
However, the Corvette crashed heavily after 32 laps and caught fire. It was sold immediately after its return to the USA and was subsequently heavily modified. It disappeared from public view and only resurfaced around 2011 when an estate was cleared out. Although it retained the oversized fuel tanks, and plenty evidence of modifications for the Le Mans race, the Corvette is heavily altered and with a 1970 engine.
The Le Mans Corvette is offered “as found” and will require some expense and research to bring back to a presentable condition.
2015 Porsche 918 Spyder
In contrast to the two Ferrari supercars in the RM Sotheby’s Amelia Island 2021 classic car auction, the 2015 Porsche 918 Spyder comes with a very realistic presale estimate. Prices for the Spyder fell heavily and many struggled at recent auctions. Gooding sold a 2015 Porsche 918 Spyder earlier in May 2018 for an above estimate $1,144,000 but still nearly 40% lower than the seller bought the car for at Monterey 2017.
The Spyder on offer at RM Sotheby’s Amelia Island 2021 was the 337th of 918 produced. It is finished in Meteor Silver Metallic over Garnet Red leather and driven fewer than 2,620 miles from new.
1958 Mercedes-Benz 300 SL Roadster
Like the Porsche Spider, the 1958 Mercedes-Benz 300 SL Roadster came to the RM Sotheby’s auction with an estimate hinting at a seller willing to sell. At least four Roadsters have sold for over a million dollar thus far in 2021, partly confirming that with 1,858 produced, the 300 SL Roadster is not the rarest car on the road, if still very desirable.
This fire engine red over cognac leather Roadster was formerly in the Blackhawk Collection. It was restored in the 1990s and owned by the seller since 2003. Although thus not in concourse condition it is well maintained making it an ideal touring car.
Amelia Island Classic Car Auctions 2021
Amelia Island 2021 Auction Results
Amelia Island 2021 Auction Previews