A 1937 Mercedes Benz 540 K Special Roadster set a new Scottsdale classic car auction week record when selling for $9,900,000 at the RM Sotheby’s Arizona sale. A 1957 Duesenberg Model J Disappearing Top Torpedo Convertible was at $3 million the second most-expensive car at the auction with a 1965 Shelby 427 Competition Cobra at $2,255,000 third. A Ferrari was only the fourth most-expensive car but five of the 17 cars sold for over a million were from Maranello.
RM Sotheby’s 2016 Arizona Classic Car Auction
The 17th annual RM Sotheby’s classic car auction in Phoenix, Arizona was held on 28 & 29 January 2016. The two-day auction grossed $62.8 million – a million less than in 2015. RM Sotheby’s had 149 cars on offer with a sell-through rate of 85%.
For the third consecutive year RM Sotheby’s (or RM Auctions) increased the Scottsdale auction week record price. As in 2015, RM Sotheby’s sold 17 cars for more than a million but in 2015, the top six prices were for Ferraris.
Million-Dollar Plus Cars at RM Sotheby’s Arizona 2016
The following 17 cars sold for more than a million dollars at the 2016 RM Sotheby’s Arizona classic car sale:
|1937||Mercedes Benz 540 K Special Roadster by Sindelfingen||9,900,000|
|1929||Duesenberg Model J Disappearing Top Torpedo Convertible Coupe by Murphy||3,000,000|
|1965||Shelby 427 Competition Cobra||2,255,000|
|1965||Ferrari 275 GTB by Scaglietti||2,117,500|
|1971||Lamborghini Miura P400 SV by Bertone||2,000,000|
|1965||Ferrari 275 GTS by Pininfarina||1,760,000|
|1960||Ferrari 250 GT Cabriolet Series II by Pinin Farina||1,650,000|
|2015||Porsche 918 Spyder||1,595,000|
|1962||Maserati 5000 GT Coupe by Allemano||1,540,000|
|1953||Cadillac Series 62 Coupe by Ghia||1,430,000|
|1939||SS 100 Jaguar 2 1/2 litre Roadster by Van den Plas||1,402,500|
|1958||Mercedes Benz 300 SL Roadster||1,265,000|
|1952||Cunningham C3 Coupe by Vignale||1,210,000|
|2011||Ferrari 599 SA Aperta||1,182,500|
|1955||Mercedes Benz 300 SL Gullwing||1,155,000|
|1953||Ferrari 212 Inter Coupe by Vignale||1,100,000|
|1964||Shelby 289 Cobra||1,072,500|
Prices include buyers premium.
Top Mercedes-Benz Cars at RM Sotheby’s Arizona 2016 Sale
For a change, a Ferrari was not the most-expensive car sold at a major classic car auction with a magnificent Mercedes Benz taking the honors at the RM Sotheby’s sale in Arizona 2016.
1937 Mercedes Benz 540 K Special Roadster
A 1937 Mercedes Benz 540 K Special Roadster set a new Scottsdale classic car auction week record when selling for $9,900,000 at the RM Sotheby’s Arizona sale. This was just more than the previous record $9,625,000 paid for a 1964 Ferrari 250 LM at the 2015 RM Auctions Arizona sale.
This 1937 Mercedes Benz 540 K Special Roadster achieved the third-highest price ever for a Mercedes-Benz car at public auction and the second highest for a Mercedes Benz passenger car. The records are still the near $30 million for the 1954 Mercedes Benz W196R Formula 1 single-seater racer paid at Bonham’s Goodwood Festival of Speed 2013 sale and the near $12 million paid for a 1936 Mercedes Benz 540 K Special Roadster at the 2012 Gooding Pebble Beach auction.
The 1937 Mercedes Benz 540 K Special Roadster by Sindelfingen is an original US delivery car with known history. It has the desirable long tail and high door configuration. It is one of the earliest 540 Ks made and may have been in effect a pre-production demonstration model. The car is believed to have covered only 10,277 miles since new.
Mercedes Benz 300s at RM Sotheby’s Arizona 2016
Three Mercedes Benz 300 SLs were on offer at RM Sotheby’s Arizona 2016 auction. All three sold but at relatively low prices: a 1958 Roadster sold for $1,265,000 and a 1955 Gullwing for $1,155,000 – both at the bottom end of the estimate. A 1957 Roadster achieved only $935,000 – well below the $1 million expectation. (Gooding similarly struggled with its three 300 SLs on offer while Bonhams achieved $1.5 million for a 1962 Roadster but even that price was below expectations.)
A 1957 Mercedes Benz 300 Sc Cabriolet A failed to sell.
Duesenberg Model Js at the RM Sotheby’s Arizona 2016 Sale
The second highest price at the 2016 RM Sotheby’s Arizona sale was $3 million for a 1957 Duesenberg Model J Disappearing Top Torpedo Convertible. The car is one of only six built and has covered only 17,000 miles since new.
A 1934 Duesenberg Model J Town Car failed to sell while Gooding sold a 1929 Duesenberg Model J Dual Cowl Phaeton for $2,420,000.
Shelby Cobras at RM Sotheby’s Arizona 2016 Auction
Three Shelby Cobras achieved high prices at the RM Sotheby’s classic car sale in Arizona 2016:
A 1965 Shelby 427 Competition Cobra sold for $2,255,000 – the third highest result at the auction. This car is one of only 23 Competition Cobra 427s built and the only one to have won championships in two countries: 1968 US SCCA A Production Championship and the 1971 Easter Canadian Endurance Championship. During the 1968 season, it had podium finishes in 8 ou tof 11 SCCA races.
A 1964 Shelby 289 Cobra sold for $1,072,500 while a 1963 Shelby 289 Cobra “Dragonsnake” achieved 990,000.
Ferraris at the 2016 RM Sotheby’s Arizona Sale
A Ferrari was only the fourth most-expensive car at the 2016 RM Sotheby’s Arizona sale but ultimately, more Ferraris than any other marque achieved results in excess of a million dollar:
- 1965 Ferrari 275 GTB Long Nose – sold for $2,117,500 (A $2.1 million bit failed to buy a similar Ferrari at Gooding.)
- 1965 Ferrari 275 GTS – sold for $1,760,000
- 1960 Ferrari 250 GT Cabriolet Series II – sold for $1,650,000
- 2011 Ferrari 599 SA Aperta – sold for $1,182,500
- 1953 Ferrari 212 Inter Coupe by Vignale – sold for $1,100,000
The 1950s and 1960s Ferraris generally sold for well below estimates. Gooding similarly failed to sell two 250 GT Cabriolets and a 275 GTB Long Nose. Both auction houses also failed to sell 1985 Ferrari 288 GTOs.
Other Top Italian Cars at RM Sotheby’s Scottsdale 2016
Several cars from other Italian marques were on offer at the RM Sotheby’s 2016 Scottsdale classic car auction:
A 1971 Lamborghini Miura P400 SV by Bertone sold for $2 million while a low-mileage 1971 Lamborghini Miura LP400 SV failed to sell.
A 1962 Maserati 5000 GT Coupe by Allemano sold as expected for a model-record $1.5 million while a 1959 Maserati 3500 GT Spyder Prototype by Vignale failed to sell.
2015 Porsche 918 Spyder
The near-new 2015 Porsche 918 Spyder sold for a strong $1,595,000 at the RM Sotheby’s Arizona 2016 sale. This hybrid technological tour de force has a top speed of 345 km/h and can accelerate from 0 to 100 km/h in 2.6 seconds. It can run for around 30 km on purely electric power.
Barrett-Jackson also sold a 2015 Porsche 918 Spyder at Scottsdale 2016 for $1760,000, while Bonhams sold a similarly almost new 2015 McLaren P1 for just over $2 million.
A 1988 Porsche 959 Komfort failed to sell.
A 2005 Porsche Carrera GT sold for $795,500 – below expectations. Gooding sold a similar car for $980,000 in a post-hammer deal while several will attempt for a million dollars at the Paris sales in February.
Other Million-Dollar Cars at RM Sotheby’s Arizona 2016
Further cars selling for over a million dollar at the RM Sotheby’s Arizona 2016 sale were all rare and fairly unique models:
- The 1953 Cadillac Series 62 Coupe by Ghia that sold for $1,430,000 looks more Italian than American.
- The 1939 SS 100 Jaguar 2 ½ Litre Roadster that sold for $1,402,500 has a Belgian rather than British Van den Plas body.
- The 1952 Cunningham C3 Cupe by Vignale that sold for $1,210,000 is one of three with Vignale coachwork and the only one to have raced in period.
- The 1911 Lozier Model 51 Seven-Passenger Touring sold just short of a million at $990,000
See also the following links for more on these cars:
- RM Sotheby’s Arizona 2016 Classic Car Auction (Preview)
- German Cars Preview – including three Mercedes Benz 300 SLs
- Italian Cars Preview – not only Ferraris
- American Cars Preview – more than just Duesenbergs and Cobras