2021 RM Sotheby’s Amelia Island Sale (Auction Results)

A Duesenberg Model J and a range of Ferraris were the top results at the RM Sotheby’s Amelia Island 2021 classic car auction in Florida, USA.

1929 Duesenberg Model J 'Disappearing Top' Torpedo Convertible Coupe by Murphy led the results RM Sotheby's Amelia Island 2021 classic car auction
Ryan Merrill ©2021 Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

A 1929 Duesenberg Model J ‘Disappearing Top’ Torpedo Convertible Coupe sold for $5,725,000 as the top result at the RM Sotheby’s Amelia Island 2021 sale. Very strong results were also achieved on a Ferrari F50 and a Ferrari F40. Five Ferraris sold for over a million dollars — more than a third of all top Ferraris sold at public auctions thus far this year. Eight cars achieved results of over a million dollars with many selling for above estimate.

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:

YearEarings ($ million)Sell-Through Rate
1937 Bugatti Type 57S Cabriolet by Vanvooren
1937 Bugatti Type 57S Cabriolet by Vanvooren – Darin Schnabel © 2016 courtesy RM Sotheby’s

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 Results at RM Sotheby’s Amelia Island Sale 2021

The top eleven results at the RM Sotheby’s Amelia Island 2021 classic car auction were:

YearCarPrice ($)Estimate
11929Duesenberg Model J Disappearing Top Torpedo by Murphy5,725,0003,500,000 – 4,000,000
21995Ferrari F503,772,5003,400,000 – 3,750,000
31968Ferrari 275 GTB/42,810,0002,500,000 – 2,800,000
41971Ferrari 365 GTS/4 Daytona Spider2,452,5002,250,000 – 2,750,000
51992Ferrari F402,040,0001,800,000 – 2,200,000
61935Mercedes-Benz 500 K Roadster1,600,0001,000,000 – 1,500,000
71961Ferrari 250 GT Cabriolet Series II1,490,0001,200,000 – 1,400,000
82015Porsche 918 Spyder1,182,0001,000,000 – 1,250,000
91965Shelby 289 Cobra967,500850,000 – 950,000
101958Mercedes-Benz 300 SL Roadster923,500800,000 – 1,000,000
111960Chevrolet Corvette LM758,500900,000 – 1,300,000

Million-Dollar Results at RM Sotheby’s Amelia Island 2021 Sale

All the top cars on offer at the RM Sotheby’s Amelia Island 2021 classic car auction sold and mostly above or near top estimate. The only top car falling slightly short was the 1960 Chevrolet Corvette LM that achieved $758,500 and will need major further investment to bring the former Le Mans participant back to respectable condition.

Eight of the cars in the auction achieved over a million dollars — the highest number at a single auction thus far in 2021:

1929 Duesenberg Model J ‘Disappearing Top’

Profile 1929 Duesenberg Model J 'Disappearing Top' Torpedo Convertible Coupe by Murphy on sale at the RM Sotheby's Amelia Island 2021 classic car auction
Ryan Merrill ©2021 Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

A 1929 Duesenberg Model J ‘Disappearing Top’ Torpedo Convertible Coupe by Murphy sold for $5,725,000 as the top result at the RM Sotheby’s Amelia Island 2021 classic car auction. The result was well above the presale estimate.

This beautifully restored Model J is one of two examples built with polished and brushed bare aluminum coachwork and the sole intact survivor. With a well-known history from new, 2199 passed through the hands of a few Southern California owners through its early life and in 1951, it was purchased by a long-time Auburn Cord Duesenberg Club member and remained as his prized possession until 1985. Recently, the Duesenberg underwent a meticulous restoration by RM Auto Restoration that has resulted in a Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance award win and a Amelia Island Concours Best in Class award.

It was a good week for Duesenbergs — Bonhams sold a 1933 Duesenberg Model J Sweep Panel Dual-Cowl Phaeton for $1,655,000 at Amelia Island while Mecum achieved $2,970,000 for 1930 Duesenberg Model SJ Rollston Convertible Victoria at Indianapolis 2021.

Top Ferrari Results

1995 Ferrari F50 on offer in RM Sotheby's Amelia Island 2021 classic car auction
© 2021 Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

Prior to the Amelia Island sales, only eight Ferraris have sold for over a million dollars at major classic car auctions thus far in 2021. However, it was a return to form for the Maranello marque when five of the million-dollar cars sold at RM Sotheby’s Amelia Island 2021 were Ferraris.

Topping that list was the 1995 Ferrari F50, a very desirable US-spec car and the 48th of 349 examples produced, being just one of 55 supplied to the US market. Built to celebrate Ferrari’s 50th anniversary and the company’s only convertible, manual-transmission supercar, this example achieved a final price of $3,772,500 — one of the highest F50 results ever.

The 1992 Ferrari F40 similarly achieved a very strong $2,040,000.

The 1968 Ferrari 275 GTB/4, one of 330 examples produced between 1966 and 1968, sold for $2,810,000 — the strongest result for the three standard GTB/4s sold thus far this year. Maintained and enjoyed by the same owner since 1973, this example benefitted from a full restoration by a leading specialist and is stunning in its Giallo Solare paint and Campagnolo alloy wheels.

The 1971 Ferrari 365 GTS/4 Daytona Spider sold for $2,452,500 — the Daytona Berlinetta in the same auction achieved a respectable $555,000. The Spider is one of only 121 examples built and 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 and has covered fewer than 13,500 miles from new.  

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. It sold for $1,490,000.

Other Top Results at RM Sotheby’s Amelia Island 2021

1935 Mercedes-Benz 500 K Roadster on offer in RM Sotheby's Amelia Island 2021 classic car auction
Darin Schnabel ©2021 Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

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. It sold for above estimate $1,600,000.

A 1934 Mercedes-Benz 500/540K Spezial Roadster was the top lot in the Bonhams Amelia Island 2021 classic car auction where it sold for a strong $4.9 million.

The 2015 Porsche 918 Spyder sold for $1,182,000 — mid-estimate but prices for the 918 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 1958 Mercedes-Benz 300 SL Roadster missed the million-dollar mark but sold for mid-estimate $923,500. A good result for a fine runner that will hopefully not be seen only on trailers and at concours events.

Further evidence of the strength of the market for rare, modern supercars, and demonstrating that it’s not just Italian and German thoroughbreds that have such a dedicated following, was the 2012 Lexus LFA, the 430th of 500 LFA’s produced between 2010 and 2012, one of only 11 examples clad in Steel Gray paintwork, showing less than 500 miles on the odometer. The car sold for a remarkable $700,000 against its pre-sale high estimate of $500,000. A homespun favorite for collectors, the 1965 Shelby 289 Cobra, originally used at a Shelby American demonstrator between September 1964 and January 1965 and completely restored by a leading Cobra authority, achieved $967,500.

Other notable highlights from the sale included the second car of the auction, a pristine 1965 Austin Healey 3000 BJ8 which sold after a spirited bidding contest for an impressive $168,000 and set the tone for the afternoon. A delightful single-family owner from new 1959 Fiat 500 Jolly exceeded its high estimate achieving a final price of $106,400 while an equally impressive condition 1965 Porsche 356 C Cabriolet smashed its high estimate ultimately selling for $280,000.

Next RM Sotheby’s Auctions

2010 McLaren Mercedes MP4-25A Formula 1® Race Caron Offer at RM Sotheby's Silverstone 2021 Sale
Courtesy © Motorsport Images / RM Sotheby’s

RM Sotheby’s returns to European live sales in June 2021, when it conducts its first Milan sale, taking place at the historic Palazzo Serbelloni in Italy. This boutique sale will offer 21 lots on 15 June will be a live-streamed sale with two full days of preview.

The single-owner collection of the finest Rolls Royce and Bentley automobiles, called ‘A Passion for Elegance’. will take place on 19 June 2021 in Liechtenstein. The sale comprises 25 outstanding examples of some of the most desirable pre and post-war cars from the two most iconic British marques.

Formula 1 together with RM Sotheby’s announced a very special, single-lot auction of the Lewis Hamilton 2010 McLaren Mercedes MP4-25A Formula 1 Race Car. Taking place on 17 July 2021, during the weekend of the Formula 1 Pirelli British Grand Prix, this marks the first time any Lewis Hamilton F1 Race car, let alone a Hamilton Grand Prix winning car has ever been offered for public sale.

A triumphant return to Monterey is expected, especially after the strong results at Amelia Island, on 13 and 14 August at the Portola Hotel. A spectacular highlight includes the most iconic racing sports car ever, the Steve McQueen, ‘Le Mans’ movie legend, 1970 Porsche 917K Gulf-Racing Car.

Amelia Island Classic Car Auctions 2021

Amelia Island 2021 Auction Results

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