Each year, car nuts descend on Scottsdale, Arizona for one week to see some of the highest calibre cars in the world cross the auction block.
Oh, and they spend some serious coin. Last year alone, $160 Million worth of cars were sold in just a few days.
Auction houses Barrett Jackson, Gooding & Company, RM Auctions, and Russo and Steele, among others, set up large tents across the Scottsdale area that are positvely bustling with activity.
As there are so many auctions at the same time, each house needs to be sure they have their own niche.
Barrett Jackson has become the most prominent and “Hollywood” of all over the last decade. Their auction takes place for an entire week, has live coverage on SPEED TV, the highest attendance figures (over 250,000), and places an emphasis on American muscle cars.
Barrett Jackson also normally has celebrities in attendance like Former Yankee (and Chevy collector) Reggie Jackson, Jay Leno, Tim Allen, Bret Michaels, and others. What also makes Barrett Jackson unique is that almost all cars are offered without a reserve price. The gavel falls and the car is sold when bidding is over, no matter what the price is.
Russo and Steele is a bit of mix. The cars crossing the block there range from European exotics to custom hot rods.
Gooding & Company is the location for high-end, exotics over the auction weekend. A number of rare and significant Ferraris, BMWs, Lamborghinis, and a number of Packards
Like Gooding, RM also caters to a high end crowd. RM appears to be the supercar destination this year, with some seriously cool and fast cars for sale.
But could this year’s total sales from the top auctions go north of $200 Million?
This 1969 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 COPO is one of 69 such cars built that year. It features an aluminium V8 engine and 3-speed automatic gearbox. Look for prices to approach (and possibly exceed) $400,000.
The Tucker Torpedo is ever rarer; just 51 were built. The rear-engined Tucker was built for just a few months in Chicago before closing shop in 1949. This should easily blast past the $200,000 mark.
This DeSoto Adventurer II is a one off that was built for King Mohammed of Morocco. It has been deemed one of the most gorgeous concept cars of all time. Concept cars are a mixed bag, so we don't have a price estimate for this one. Our gut says it should be north of $200,000.
This 1960 Ford has been heavily modified by hot rod legend Chip Foose and will be sold at Russo and Steele. Low, wide, and sleek, it just looks great. Hot rods are a very personal purchase, so it is tough to estimate a price. If the design resonates with two committed buyers, look for an intense bidding war and a very high price.
Cobras seem to be a dime a dozen on the street. But a good rule of thumb is if you see one on the road, it is probably a replica. This one is 100% real. Moreover, this car was the public relations demonstrator for Shelby to give the press and dealers. As one of the original 1965 Cobras, we believe this car could be well over $500,000 when it hits the block at Russo and Steele.
Most later Stingray Corvettes are markedly less desirable than earlier cars. This 1968 model is one of the exceptions. Between 1967 and 1969, only 216 of the L-88 Stingray were built. The L-88 package added a number of performance parts to make the Corvette even more potent. This 1968 roadster was one of only 20 built that year and has the factory hard top. A 1969 coupe sold for over $500,000 in October, so we expect Russo and Steele will see even higher numbers for this one.
The Ferrari 250 came in a number of different flavours. The one seen here, the 250 Lusso, is definitely one of the prettiest. Only 355 of these cars were built, and this one has actual racing provenance as it finished 14th in the 1964 Targa Florio. RM is estimating a sell price of around $1 Million.
RM also has a member of supercar royalty. The Jaguar XJ220 was the fastest car in the world in the early 1990s. This is the XJ220S, a roadgoing version of the XJ220 Race Car. Only six were built, and RM is anticipating a sell price in the $300,000 range.
Before the XJ220, the Ferrari F40 was the fastest car in the world. This particular F40 was owned by Chrysler CEO Lee Iacocca. Chrysler owned Lamborghini at the time, which says a lot for just how great this car is. RM believes this car will sell in the $750,000 range.
Gooding & Company have some true heavy hitters this weekend. A number of significant Packards including this V12 powered Twin Six, once owned by legendary actor Clark Gable. Gooding estimates this car will sell for as much as $850,000.
Gooding also has this 1955 Mercedes 300 SL Gullwing. This 300 SL has an alloy body and is one of just 29 such cars built by Mercedes. The rarity of the car means it will command an astronomic price, estimated in the $3 Million range.
Finally, Gooding has a Lamborghini Miura SV, one of the prettiest and most sought after supercars ever built. Lamborghini only made 150 of these, and they now require a heady investment to get in; Gooding believes this car will fetch up to $1.4 Million.
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