Around 50 cars are expected to sell for above a million dollar at the 2017 Scottsdale and Arizona classic car auctions in January. The 1960 Ferrari 250 GT SWB California Spider on offer at Bonhams is likely to be the top result and set a new auction week record. A 1939 Mercedes Benz 540 K Special Roadster at RM Sotheby’s is likely to be the most-expensive non-Ferrari car on offer. Several further pre-war cars are likely to sell for more than a million dollars.
Scottsdale and Arizona Auction 2017
The annual Scottsdale and Phoenix, Arizona auctions in mid-January are traditionally the first major classic car auction week of the year. In 2017, auctions will be held from January 14 to 22.
Major auction houses participating include Barrett-Jackson, Russo and Steele, Bonhams, Gooding & Company, and RM Sotheby’s. The top results are generally expected at the auctions of the latter three.
In 2016, Bonhams earned $18 million, Gooding earned $43 million and RM Sotheby’s $63 million at Scottsdale / Arizona. The sell-through rate for all three was around 85%.
The top result in 2016 was $9,900,000 for a 1937 Mercedes Benz 540 K Special Roadster at the RM Sotheby’s Arizona auction. Although setting a new auction week record, the result was slightly below expectations.
In 2016, the results at the top auctions were a bit below expectations and set the mood for much of the year. Prices seem to have strengthened again towards the end of the year and the mood for 2017 seems more buoyant.
Top Ferraris at Scottsdale and Arizona 2017
Ferraris are usually the most-expensive cars on offer at major public auctions and the Scottsdale and Arizona 2017 auctions will be no exception. Around 20 Ferraris have the potential to sell for above a million dollar at these auctions.
The 1960 Ferrari 250 GT SWB California Spider, estimate: “refer to department”, on offer at Bonhams is like to not only be the most-expensive car on offer at the Scottsdale 2017 sales but also to set a new Arizona auction week record. Only 56 of the short-wheelbase California Spiders were ever built – five have sold for over $10 million at public auction since 2008.
Another Bonhams car, the 1952 Ferrari 340 America Spider Competizione, estimate $7,500,000-$9,000,000, is likely to be the second most-expensive Ferrari during the auction week. This ex-Scuderia Ferrari racing car participated amongst others in the 1952 Mille Miglia, 24 Hours of Le Mans and Targa Florio races driven by factory drivers Piero Taruffi, Maurice Trintignant, and Giovanni Bracco.
The 1961 Ferrari 400 Superamerica SWB Coupe Aerodinamico, estimate $3,250,000 – $3,850,000, is the top Ferrari on offer at RM Sotheby’s Arizona 2017. An even rarer 1965 Ferrari 500 Superfast, estimate $2,800,000-$3,200,000, is on offer at Gooding – only 36 were built and sold at prices double that of a standard 275 GTB. However, these are likely to currently sell for similar prices.
Four long nose, torque tubes Ferrari 275 GTBs will be on over with estimates ranging from $2,500,000 to $3,500,000: the 1966 Ferrari 275 GTB at Bonhams was the penultimate car produced; the yellow 1966 Ferrari 275 GTB/6C at RM Sotheby’s is believed to have much of its original paint while Gooding has two alloy-bodied cars on offer – a 1966 Ferrari 275 GTB and a 1967 Ferrari 275 GTB/4.
A few modern Ferraris are also likely to sell for multimillion-dollar prices. RM Sotheby’s has a 1990 Ferrari F40, estimate $1,250,000-$1,500,000 while a rarer 1995 Ferrari F50 is estimated at $3,000,000-$3,500,000 and a newer 2003 Ferrari Enzo at $2,700,000-$3,000,000. Bonhams has a similar 2003 Ferrari Enzo while Gooding will sell at 2011 Ferrari 599 SA Aperta, estimate $1,200,000-$1,400,000 – the open version generally selling for around double the price of a Berlinetta.
1970s Ferrari 365 GTB/4 Daytona berlinettas have increased in value in recent years with the odd special example breaking the million-dollar barrier. Not surprisingly, many owners try the market with four on offer at Scottsdale, Arizona 2017. Barrett Jackson will offer a further Daytona Spider conversion – unlikely to fetch the $2.5 to $3.3 million official spiders are capable of.
Top Mercedes Benz Cars at Scottsdale and Arizona 2017
A 1937 Mercedes Benz 540 K Special Roadster set a new auction week record when achieving $9,900,000 at the RM Sotheby’s Arizona 2016 sale. Although the California Spider may smash that record, RM Sotheby’s will be keen to achieve a similar result with a one-off 1939 Mercedes Benz 540 K Special Roadster with coachwork by Sindelfingen, estimate $7,400,000 – $8,000,000. This car, that spent some post-Second World War years in the Soviet Union, has been sold twice by RM Auctions since 2013.
A further larger pre-war Mercedes Benz is the 1928 Mercedes Benz Typ S 26/120/180 Supercharged Sports Tourer, estimate $5,000,000-$6,000,000, on offer at Bonhams. Only 176 of these “Cars for Kings” designed by Ferdinand Porsche were ever built.
Mercedes Benz 300 SL prices have been softer at recent auctions but results above a million dollar are still the norm. Three will be on sale at Scottsdale, Arizona 2017: two 1955 Gullwings – the one at Gooding from the original owner – and a 1961 Roadster.
Jaguar E-Type Lightweight Competition
The 1963 Jaguar E-Type Lightweight Competition, estimate: refer to department, is likely to be one of Bonhams Scottsdale 2017 star cars. Racing Jaguars have done well in recent years and this is another rare car. It was the 10th of only 12 Lightweight E-Types ever produced.
Although this 1963 Jaguar E-Type Lightweight Competition was successfully raced in period, mostly in Australia, by Bob Jane, it of course does not have the same pedigree as the Le Mans-winning 1955 Jaguar D-Type that set the marque record at $21,780,000 in 2016 or the 1953 Jaguar C-Type Works Lighweight that sold for $13,200,000 in 2015.
Top Pre-War Cars at Scottsdale Auctions 2017
In addition to the two large Mercedes Benz cars, several further pre-1939 cars are expected to sell for over a million dollar at the Scottsdale and Arizona auctions in 2017:
Bugattis at Scottsdale and Arizona 2017
A 1925 Bugatti Type 35 Grand Prix, estimate $2,600,000-$3,200,000, at Gooding is considered very original and had only three previous owners. The purchase may be complemented by an electric children’s car – the 1928 Bugatti Type 52 Bebe, estimate $65,000-$75,000, is a half-size Type 35.
RM Sotheby’s will offer a 1939 Bugatti Type 57 Cabriolet by Letourner et Marchand, estimate $1,250,000-1,500,000, as well as a 2013 Bugatti Veyron 16.4 Super Sport, estimate $2,100,000-$2,300,000, the final one built. However, the Bugatti highlight of the year is more likely to be the 1937 Bugatti Type 57S Cabriolet with coachwork by Vanvooren that RM Sotheby’s announced for Amelia Island 2017.
American Classics at Scottsdale and Arizona 2017
Several large American classic cars from the 1930s are likely to sell for over a million dollar at the Scottsdale and Arizona auctions in 2017:
Gooding will offer a 1932 Packard Twin Six 906 Individual Custom Convertible Sedan, estimate: upon request. This Packard is one of only two ever made and originally belonged to Hollywood superstar Al Jolson. It won it won Best in Class twice at the prestigious Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance – first in 1963 and then again in 2012.
One of RM Sotheby’s star cars for Arizona 2017 is a 1933 Chrysler CL Imperial Dual-Windshield Phaeton, estimate $1,400,000 – $1,800,000. This unique Chrysler was the personal automobile of LeBaron Ralph Roberts.
The 1930 Cadillac V-16 Roadster by Fleetwood, estimate $1,000,000 – $1,250,000, is further design icon at RM Sotheby’s featuring the first ever “styled” engine with wiring covered up.
Many further American classics will be available at all the auctions. Barrett-Jackson has particularly large number of Packards on offer but also a Duesenberg.
Other 1930s Cars at Scottsdale and Arizona 2017
Rare classic cars often turn up in pairs during auction weeks. Bonhams will offer a 1931 Alfa Romeo 6C 1750 5th Series Supercharged Grand Sport Spider, estimate $2,800,000-$3,400,000 million, with coachwork by Zagato while Gooding will offer a 1932 Alfa Romeo 6C 1750 Series V Grand Sport Roadster, estimate $2,250,000-$2,750,000, with Figoni body.
Top pre-war British cars at Gooding include: the exceptionally rare 1936 Squire 1 ½ Litre Tourer, estimate $1,500,000-$2,000,0000, one of only seven ever built by the company and a 1928 Bentley 4 ½ Litre Open Sports Tourer, estimate $1,100,000-$1,400,000, retains its original engine, chassis and coachwork by Vandenplas. The 1913 Rolls-Royce 40/50 HP London-Edinburgh Silver Ghost Sports Tourer, estimate $750-900,000, at Bonhams may be held back by its replacement body.
Top Porsches at Scottsdale and Arizona 2017
Porsche prices have risen steeply at recent auctions with occasional special 911s joining the 959s at selling for over a million. The top Porsche result is likely for the 1964 Porsche 904 GTS at Bonhams. No estimate was given but these cars sell for around $2 million. This 904 is helped by original condition but hindered by limited in-period racing.
Bonhams will also offer a 2015 Porsche Spider 918 with only 1,000 miles on the clock. Three similar near-new 918s sold for $1.6 million in 2016.
Gooding and RM Sotheby’s each have a Porsche 959 Komfort and a 1996 Porsche 911 (993) GT2 on offer. Although RM Sotheby’s sold a GT2 for a staggering $2.5 million in London in 2016, results around a million dollar lower are expected.
More on Scottsdale, Arizona 2017:
- Scottsdale 2017 Results: Barrett-Jackson, Bonhams, Gooding, RM Sotheby’s
- 2017 Scottsdale and Arizona Auctions Preview
- 2017 RM Sotheby’s Arizona Preview
- 2017 Bonhams Scottsdale Preview
- 2017 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