The top results at the RM Sotheby’s Arizona 2017 sale were for a 1939 Mercedes Benz 540 K Special Roadster and a new record price for a 1969 Ferrari 365 GTS.
A 1939 Mercedes Benz 540 K Special Roadster with coachwork by Sindelfingen sold for $6,600,000 as the top result at the RM Sotheby’s 2017 Arizona classic car auction. A rare 1969 Ferrari 365 GTS achieved $3,602,500 – nearly triple the previous record for this model. RM Sotheby’s also achieved multi-million results for a 1995 Ferrari F50, a 1961 Ferrari 400 Superamerica SWB Coupe Aerodinamico, 2003 Ferrari Enzo, a 1967 Ferrari 330 GTS, 1966 Ferrari 275 GTB/6C, and a 2013 Bugatti Veyron 16.4 Super Sport. In all, RM Sotheby’s sold 15 cars for more than a million dollar at the Arizona 2017 sale.
RM Sotheby’s Arizona Classic Car Auction 2017
RM Sotheby’s 18th consecutive Scottsdale week classic car auction was held on 19 and 20 January 2017 at the Arizona Biltmore in Phoenix. RM Sotheby’s gained $53,772,775 from the 141 lots with a relatively high sell-through rate of 89%. RM Sotheby’s seemed to have judged the top end of the market well with only one of its multimillion dollar lots failing to sell.
In 2016, RM Sotheby’s grossed $62.8 million from 149 lots with a sell-through rate of 85%. That result included the current Scottsdale / Arizona auction record holder: a 1937 Mercedes Benz 540 K Special Roadster that sold for $9,900,000 – the third highest price ever paid for a Mercedes Benz car at public auction.
Million-Dollar-Plus Cars at RM Sotheby’s Arizona 2017 Sale
The following 15 cars sold for more than a million dollar at the RM Sotheby’s Arizona 2017 classic car auction:
|1||1939||Mercedes Benz 540 K Special Roadster||6,600,000|
|2||1969||Ferrari 365 GTS||3,602,500|
|4||1961||Ferrari 400 Superamerica SWB Coupe Aerodinamico||3,080,000|
|6||1967||Ferrari 330 GTS||2,475,000|
|7||1966||Ferrari 275 GTB/6C||2,117,500|
|8||2013||Bugatti Veyron 16.4 Super Sport 300||2,090,000|
|11||1933||Chrysler CL Imperial Dual-Windshield Phaeton Ralph Roberts by LeBaron||1,300,000|
|12||1930||Cadillac V-16 Roadster by Fleetwood||1,100,000|
|13||1966||Shelby 427 Cobra||1,100,000|
|14||1965||Aston Martin DB5||1,045,000|
|15||1939||Bugatti Type 57 Cabriolet by Letourneur et Marchand||1,017,500|
1939 Mercedes Benz 540 K Special Roadster
The 1939 Mercedes Benz 540 K Special Roadster with coachwork by Sindelfingen was the top result for RM Sotheby’s 2017 Arizona sale achieving $6,600,000 – almost a million less than it was bought for in 2013. It was the second consecutive year that RM Sotheby’s top result in Arizona was for a Mercedes Benz 540 K: a 1937 Mercedes Benz 540 K Special Roadster set the Scottsdale/Arizona week record at $9,900,000 at the RM Sotheby’s Arizona 2016 sale and ended the year as tenth most-expensive car in 2016.
This 1939 Mercedes Benz 540 K Special Roadster was one of the last of 419 chassis produced in the 540 series. Only around 25 were fitted with Special Roadster bodywork. The car disappeared from Germany into the Soviet Union after the Second World War but was returned to the west in the 1960s.
Although this 540K sold for a bit below the pre-auction estimate of $7,500,000-$8,400,000 million, it is a good premium earner for RM Sotheby’s – the auctioneer sold this Mercedes Benz at least twice before: it sold for $4,620,000 at RM Auctions Monterey 2011 sale and for $7,480,000 at RM Auctions Monterey 2013 sale.
However, a similar period Mercedes caught RM Sotheby’s (or the market?) off guard: a 1938 Mercedes-Benz 200 V Sport Roadster, offered from the Jules Barsotti Collection with a pre-sale estimate of $50,000-$70,000, sold for a magnificent $176,000!
Top Ferraris at RM Sotheby’s Arizona 2017
In contrast to Bonhams and Gooding, RM Sotheby’s managed to sell all the multi-million dollar Ferraris on offer at Arizona 2017 with several setting new auction records:
1969 Ferrari 365 GTS
The 1969 Ferrari 365 GTS that sold for $3,602,500 at the RM Sotheby’s Arizona 2017 classic car sale is an exceptionally rare car: only 20 of these spiders were ever built. The result set a new world record at auction for this model nearly three times higher than before.
The previous six owners of this 1969 Ferrari 365 GTS had driven it for only 10,235 kilometer. The car is a matching-numbers example and has its original coachwork and Borrani wheels.
1995 Ferrari F50
A black 1995 Ferrari F50 sold for $3,135,000 – another new auction record for the model. The highest result for an F50 in 2016 was $2.4 million.
This 1995 Ferrari F50 was the 62nd of the 349 built and one of 55 in US specification. Only four F50s were finished by the factory in Nero black with only two of these destined for the USA. (The other US black F50 was crashed but repaired.) The car has covered only 2,090 miles since new.
1961 Ferrari 400 Superamerica SWB Coupe Aerodinamico
The 1961 Ferrari 400 Superamerica SWB Coupe Aerodinamico by Pininfarina sold for $3,080,00 at RM Sotheby’s Arizona 2017 sale – only slightly below the pre-auction estimate of $3,250,000 – $3,850,000.
The Ferrari is one of only 17 SWB Pininfarina 400 SA Coupe Aerodinamicos ever built. It is in concourse condition having scored 99 points at Pebble Beach and scoring 99.5 points at the 2013 Ferrari Club of America Concours in Pasadena.
This 1961 Ferrari 400 Superamerica SWB Coupe Aerodinamico is another car that RM Auction sold previously – it achieved $2,750,000 at Monterey 2013.
2003 Ferrari Enzo
Tommy Hilfiger’s red 2003 Ferrari Enzo sold for $2,695,000 at the RM Sotheby’s Arizona 2017 sale. The car was driven for only 3,620 miles since new.
(A highest bid of $2,350,000 was rejected for a yellow Enzo at the Bonhams Scottsdale 2017 classic car auctions a few hours earlier.)
1967 Ferrari 330 GTS
The 1967 Ferrari 330 GTS sold for $2,475,000 – near the top of the estimate range. This car was the 63rd of only 99330 GTS convertibles built.
The car was fully restored in 2013 and retained its original engine. The Ferrari 330 GTS is in top condition: it is Ferrari Classiche certified and a four-time Platinum award winner including at the 2014 Cavallino Classic.
1966 Ferrari 275 GTB/6C
The fly yellow over black 1966 Ferrari 275 GTB/6C at RM Sotheby’s Arizona 2017 sold for $2,117,500 – just below estimate. This car is a late-production, long-nose, torque-tube version. It is a matching-numbers example and finished in its original color scheme.
This was the best result of the four Ferrari 275 GTBs on offer at Scottsdale, Arizona 2017. The two at Gooding attracted higher bids but failed to sell (although close enough to reserve margins that deals were certainly possible) while Bonhams sold a 1966 Ferrari 275 GTB for $1.7 million.
Bugattis at RM Sotheby’s Arizona Sale 2017
Two Bugattis from completely different eras sold for over a million dollar at the RM Sotheby’s Arizona 2017 classic car auction:
2013 Bugatti Veyron 16.4 Super Sport
The last of the 300 cars produced, a 2013 Bugatti Veyron 16.4 Super Sport, sold for $2,090,000 – less than the $2.3 million RM Sotheby’s achieved with the same car at the Monterey 2015 sale. The car has covered only 400 miles since new and is one of only 8 in US specification.
At Barrett-Jackson, Floyd Mayweather’s 2011 Bugatti Veyron Grand Sport failed to clear the reserve margin.
1939 Bugatti Type 57 Cabriolet by Letourneur et Marchand
RM Sotheby’s sold a 1939 Bugatti Type 57 Cabriolet by Letourneur et Marchand for $1,017,500. This car is the earliest of six survivors with this coachwork and finished second in class behind the Best of Show winner at Pebble Beach in 2004.
Many classic Bugattis are on offer at the start of 2017. Gooding sold a Typ 35 Grand Prix for $3,300,000 at Scottsdale while many further Bugattis will be available in Paris in February. The best result is likely from the super elegant 1937 Bugatti Type 57S Cabriolet that will be on offer at RM Sotheby’s Amelia Island sale in March 2017.
American Classics at RM Sotheby’s Arizona 2017
RM Sotheby’s had million-dollar results with several American classics:
1948 Tucker 48
The 1948 Tucker 48 was the most expensive American car at the sale when it achieved $1,347,500. This was the 44th of the 51 Tuckers ever built – remarkably, 47 survived.
The Tucker is a recent barn find that had covered only 7,900 miles since new. It has a known history from new although it has not been seen in public for more than three decades.
1933 Chrysler CL Imperial Dual-Windshield Phaeton ‘Ralph Roberts’ by LeBaron
The 1933 Chrysler CL Imperial Dual-Windshield Phaeton ‘Ralph Roberts’ by LeBaron, sold for $1,300,000. This one-off design was the personal car of LeBaron designer Ralph Roberts. The super-elegant Chrysler won several awards at recent shows, including Best in Class at Amelia Island and Pebble Beach. Although these confirm the superb condition of the car it limits the new owner’s opportunities to display the automobile in coming years.
1930 Cadillac V-16 Roadster by Fleetwood
The 1930 Cadillac V-16 Roadster by Fleetwood sold for a strong $1,100,000. This is another very desirable American classic and has the first engine ever “styled” with hidden wiring and a dressed-up engine compartment. In contrast to the Chrysler CL Imperial, this Cadillac was last shown at Pebble Beach in 1999 and 2008, which should allow the new owner to present the car at the world’s most prestigious Concours d’Elegance again soon.
1966 Shelby 427 Cobra
Original Shelby Cobras continue to sell well with the 1966 Shelby 427 Cobra selling for a mid-estimate $1,100,000 at RM Sotheby’s Arizona 2017. This Shelby is a low-mileage car – 21,000 miles since new – and came with a full ownership history. The car is largely unrestored and has its original bodywork in factory delivered colors.
2008 Lamborghini Reventón
The 2008 Lamborghini Reventón sold for $1,320,000 – near upper estimate but still below the around $1.5 million that these cars originally sold for. This was the third of only 20 Reventons ever made making it a rare Lamborghini indeed.
All Lamborghini Reventóns were finished in matte grey over black leather. The four previous owners of this car had only covered a thousand miles in eight years.
1965 Aston Martin DB5
The 1965 Aston Marin DB5 sold for $1,045,000 at RM Sotheby’s Arizona 2017 was the first in two years to break through the million-dollar mark after three had sold for more than a million dollar in 2014. The Aston Matin DB5 was a US-specification car with matching numbers engine.
Expect more to test the market after Barrett-Jackson sold a 1964 Aston Martin DB5 a day later for $1,485,000!
Top Cars Failing to Sell at RM Sotheby’s Arizona 2017
With a high 89% sell-through rate at the RM Sotheby’s Arizona 2017 sale it is not surprising that only four of the million-dollar cars on offer failed to sell:
1971 Lamborghini Miura P400 SV
The 1971 Lamborghini Miura P400 SV by Bertone, chassis 4946, estimate $2,300,000 – $2,600,000, was the only multi-million dollar car on offer that failed to clear the reserve margins. Two Miuras sold for more than $2 million in 2016 but despite winning Best Lamborghini at Concorso Italiano’s Miura 50th Anniversary celebration in 2016 this Lamborghini failed to join the club.
1955 Mercedes Benz 300 SL Gullwing
Mercedes Benz 300 SLs went from reliable earners to more uncertain prospects well worth protecting with a reserve margin at public auctions. While the 1955 Mercedes Benz 300 SL Gullwing, estimate $1,350,000-$1,500,000 at RM Sotheby’s failed to sell, Gooding sold a single-owner garage find Gullwing for well above estimate $1,457,000 and then failed to attract a million-dollar bid for a 300 SL Roadster the following day. More 300SLs will be available in Paris.
1996 Porsche 911 GT2
After RM Sotheby’s sold one of the 57 Porsche 993 GT2s homologated for street use for a sensational $2.5 million in London 2016 more were expected to test the market. Two did at Scottsdale 2017 with both the yellow 1996 Porsche 911 GT2, estimate $1,100,000 – $1,500,000, at RM Sotheby’s and the silver car at Gooding (highest bid $950,00) failing to sell.
A 1987 Porsche 959 Komfort missed the million-dollar mark but sold above lower estimate for $935,000.
Top Ferraris Not Sold at RM Sotheby’s 2017
The only top Ferrari failing to sell at the RM Sotheby’s Arizona 2017 sale was a 1990 Ferrari F40 – the estimate of $1,250,000-$1,500,000 was perhaps a bit ambitious for a car without any special outstanding features or history.
Like Bonhams (with two), Gooding and Barrett-Jackson, RM Sotheby’s also failed to sell the 1970 Ferrari 365 GTB/4 Daytona on offer. With a further four for sale at Paris in mid-February there is clearly too many on offer to realize rather optimistic reserve margins. Bonhams sold a Ferrari 365/4 GTB for $1,155,000 at Scottsdale 2016 but that clearly has not lifted other cars to a million dollar or even $700,000 in the eyes of buyers.
More on Scottsdale, Arizona 2017:
- Scottsdale 2017 Results: General Results Overview, Barrett-Jackson, Bonhams, Gooding, RM Sotheby’s.
- Scottsdale 2017 Previews: 2017 Scottsdale and Arizona Auctions Preview, RM Sotheby’s Arizona Preview, Bonhams Scottsdale Preview, Gooding Scottsdale Preview.
- 2017 Pre-Auction Announcements: Bonhams (Porsche 904, Ferrari 340, Jaguar E-Type), RM Sotheby’s (1933 Chrysler CL), Gooding (Bugatti Type 35, Sports Cars, Performance Cars), Barrett-Jackson (Shelby Mustangs, Rare Mopars).
- Results from Scottsdale, Arizona 2016: Bonhams, RM Sotheby’s, Gooding, Barrett-Jackson.
Scottsdale (Arizona) – The First Classic Car Auctions of the Year.