Auction Report

Amelia live blog: A Toyota just sold for $2.5 million + Talbot-Lago brings $13.425M

by David Zenlea
27 February 2022 10 min read
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This Shelby prepared Toyota 2000GT became the first Japanese car to sell for more than $2M at public auction. Click here to jump to details on the sale. Photo by Matt Tierney

This story has been updated throughout the week. Click here to jump to Thursday’s Bonham sale, here for Friday’s coverage of Gooding & Co.’s sale, and here for RM Sotheby’s on Saturday.

Not terribly long ago, the concours and auctions at Amelia Island were a somewhat sleepy opening act to the concours season. Although the vibe remains relaxed compared to Monterey—and the traffic is usually less of a pain—Amelia and the auctions around it have grown greatly in prominence. First and foremost, they have become a Porsche paradise and this year is no exception. The pandemic also elevated Amelia’s importance, albeit indirectly and by accident of timing: Amelia Island had the misfortune of hosting the very last in-person event most of us attended before the shutdowns in March 2020, and it was one of the first to return at something close to full force in 2021.

This year, we forecast the auctions here will earn more than they ever have, thanks largely to an influx seven- and eight-figure consignments, including a 1937 Talbot-Lago that carries an eye-watering ten-million dollar estimate. We also expect the concours itself to be memorable, although here we must admit to some bias.

We’ll be on the ground all week following the auctions from RM Sotheby’s, Gooding & Co., and Bonhams, and will be posting updates directly to this page. Stay tuned and let us know in the comments section if you have any questions.

Thursday, March 3 (Day One)

March 3, 2022. 2:30 pm: For the second time in three years, Amelia auctions have the unfortunate distinction of coinciding with tragic world events. The direct impact of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine is minimal—the countries rank 54th and 66th, respectively, as shipping destinations for 25-years-or-older cars from the United States. Yet the ripples of economic sanctions and general unease may well reach the waters just off the Ritz-Carlton, where RM Sotheby’s opened its preview. The next few days’ auctions will tell us whether collectors, who have in recent years shrugged off worries about the pandemic and inflation, remain in a buying mood. —David Zenlea, managing editor

March 3, 2022. 4:20 pm: The collector auctions surrounding The Amelia are well underway, with Bonhams’ sale currently moving a healthy selection of pre-war cars and mid-century British luxury legends. Meanwhile, Gooding & Company’s sale preview is populated by a sizable crowd of prospective bidders, VIPs, and curious looky-loos. Us? We’re just window shopping. —Conner Golden, features editor

March 3, 2022. 4:30 pm: Some of Bonhams’ earlier sales had us paying attention. The 1967 Porsche 911 S Targa soft window (Lot 214) at Bonhams didn’t sell well against the stated value in the Hagerty Price Guide. Even a #4 condition (Fair) example carries a value of $145,000, boosting to $189,000 in condition #3 (good) and $285,000 in condition #2 (excellent). Bonhams listed the Targa as an older restoration from 2013, so that should conceivably put it somewhere between #2 and #3. Instead, it was a potential steal at $123,200.

The rough-ish 1968 Lamborghini 400 GT (lot 222) sold well at $318,500 against the condition #4 value of $328,000 and condition #3 value of $377,000. This preserved Lambo falls somewhere between conditions #3 and #4. The same collector who snapped up the 400 GT also won Wilt Chamberlain’s 1961 Bentley S2 Continental Drophead Coupe (Lot 218) for an excellent $140,000. Presented with non-original but clean paint and upholstery, the good condition Bentley appeared a great buy against a condition #3 value of $184,000. —John Wiley, manager valuation analytics

March 3, 2022. 5:00 pm: Overheard two oldtimers at Gooding preview discuss some new-fangled online auction platform calledBring a Trailer.” One of them hadn’t heard of it before, the other discovered it via a friend who purchased a C2 Corvette on the site. Meanwhile, the indescribably elegant 1937 Talbot-Lago T150 C-SS Teardrop Coupe exploded to life for a prospective bidder, drowning out the screaming coffee grinders of the on-site baristas. Free coffee somehow tastes even better with an eight-figure soundtrack. —Conner Golden, features editor

March 3, 2022. 5:25 pm: “There seems to be so many cars in crap condition [at Amelia auctions], everyone must be dumping everything they’ve got in the garage to cash-in,” said a passing pair of anonymous collectors.

March 3, 2022 8:00 pm: Bonhams one-night sale has wrapped with $14.9M in sales. That’s below Hagerty’s prediction of $23.2M and down more than a quarter from last year. Given how auctions of all stripes have been hitting it out of the park of late, that’s a big surprise. My first inclination would be to blame the chilling effects of the front-page news, but my colleagues who were in the room seem to think it had much more to do with the cars.

Bonhams one-night sale has wrapped with $14.9M in sales. That’s below Hagerty’s prediction of $23.2M and down more than a quarter from last year.

March 3, 2022. 8:10 pm: The spectators Conner overheard may have been onto something. The exuberant bidding we’ve seen of late has been for exceptional examples. Last year, Bonhams had a big collection of good prewar cars that resulted in strong bids and sales. This year’s lots didn’t quite measure up qualitatively. Average lots appear to have yielded average prices. —Eddy Eckart, senior editor

Bonhams opened with a bevy of motorcycles, which looked great on the lawn but generally brought unexceptional prices.

March 3, 2022. 8:19 pm: To see a 50-motorcycle collection at a catalog auction is very uncommon, and it is hard to expect it to do well. Many of the motorcycles on offer at Bonhams’ sold cheap, a far cry from prices realized at Mecum’s Vegas auction two months ago. The world descends on Vegas in January to buy motorcycles, not Amelia. — James Hewitt, senior information analyst

March 3, 2022. 8:22 pm: Other than a few surprises and strong sales like a 1931 Rolls-Royce Phantom II that sold for around double the high estimate, things were fairly quiet with many lots selling below their estimate ranges. As always, Bonhams brought together an interesting and eclectic group of vehicles, but condition-wise most were in driver-quality #3 range. —Andrew Newton, senior auction editor

The headline car of the day was a 1955 Porsche 550 Spyder that brought $4.185M. (Photo by Matt Tierney)

March 3, 2022. 8:31 pm: We talked to a few dealers today at the Gooding preview, all of whom say that business is great right now. We’re getting used to hearing that. After some mixed results at Bonhams today, Gooding will be the place to be on the 4th, especially if you’re a Porsche fan. A collection of rare/unusual-spec 964s and 993s, historic race cars, a pair of barn find 356s, and just about the nicest 968 we’ve ever seen are all up for grabs tomorrow. —Andrew Newton, senior auction editor

March 3, 2022. 10:23 pm: That’s a wrap on day one of the auctions. You can find our full Thursday recap here.

Friday, March 4 [Day 2]

10:00 am: Those of you on the ground: Curious what the vibe is? The mood of the masses is hard to measure—we don’t have a chart for it—but ultimately is what drives a lot of the market. At Pebble and certainly Scottsdale, we encountered a lot of people who were thrilled to be alive and playing with cars after many months of confinement. That still the general feeling? —David Zenlea

10:05 am: Last night at dinner I sat next to a young-ish couple who are both from Ukraine but have lived in Portland, Oregon, since their youth. The guy deals in high-end used Porsches, nationwide. They are very much concerned with the war but were also very much enjoying the evening at this, their first Amelia. —Joe DeMatio, senior manager of content

10:05 am: Amelia still seems to be its own island for now. Lots of brightly colored Porsches driving around, cool cars at the previews. Gooding’s auction tonight will give us a real indication of whether bidders have become worried. —John Wiley

11:35 am: Hagerty’s head of editorial operations, Larry Webster, just sat down with Roads Scholars marketing director Cam Ingram, Broad Arrow Group specialist Alexander Weaver, and our own John Wiley to discuss the heated market. In case you missed it, you can catch their conversation here.

12 pm: Gooding & Co.’s sale is off to a strong start. Standing room only crowd and spirited bidding. Lot 12, a 1997 Porsche 993, hammered at $185k—15k over high estimate. —Tim Weadock, Hagerty director of vehicle data

12:02 pm: Get ready to hear a lot about Porsches. There are more of them here than we’ve seen in three years. —David Zenlea

12:30 pm: Porsche Club of America revealed the one-off 996 Classic Club Coupe at Amelia Island's Werks Reunion. A collaborative effort between PCA, Porsche Classic, and Porsche Exclusive Manufaktur, to demonstrate the capability of the automaker's "Sonderwunsch" program, this is a clear sign Porsche is taking the oft-ignored 996 crowd very, very seriously. "This is the 996 coming of age," says on-hand Porsche rep.

In a field just behind the debut stand, the 996 Corral features a delectable selection of the first watercooled 911. This is more significant that it might seem on the surface; recognition and respect within the greater Porsche community is an unfamiliar thing for 996 enthusiasts, and a new Porsche-backed project and dedicated area of Werks Reunion showfield is proof the "un-" is slipping from "the unloved 911." If you need further proof, just check the 996 market. Conner Golden, features editor

Photo by Matt Tierney

2:00 pm: Gooding's Shelby-prepped 1967 Toyota 2000GT hammered for $2.535 million, setting a new record for highest price paid for a Japanese car, and fulfilling our prophecy that 2022 was the year of the first $2 million Japanese classic.

2:05 pm: Gooding's sale is crowded. Bidding is healthy, with most sold lots sitting close to the low estimates or right in the middle.

2:23 pm: The Talbot-Lago is up. —John Wiley

Photo by Matt Tierney

2:29 pm: The car met reserve—with a big cheer—at $10M. This car is going home with a new owner. —JW

2:35 pm: And now it has sold for $13.425M. That makes it the highest sale of 2022 so far and the first eight-figure car to sell at Amelia since 2016. —David Zenlea

"When the market is like this, you have to take advantage while the music is still playing."

Overhead in Gooding & Co. tent

2:37 pm: Prewar isn't dead: Bonhams' 1911 Winton sold for just 1.8 percent above its sale price nine years ago. That's a feather in the hat of the consistency of the prewar market, which some worry will decline as older collectors leave the hobby. — James Hewitt

2:40 pm: Overheard dealer chatter in the Gooding tent: "When the market is like this, you have to take advantage while the music is still playing." Today, at least, the music is definitely playing. —Andrew Newton

3:49 pm: Originality and history matter a lot: Gooding's 10k-mile one-owner '66 Corvette at $533k sets a new world record for a '66 Corvette. Besting the previous high by over 20%. — James Hewitt

4:01 PM: How is this for consistency: The 1939 Bentley 4 1/4-Litre "Honeymoon express" sold for $769k in 2015, $770k in 2016, and $775k in 2022. — James Hewitt

4:29 pm: Although, James, couldn't one argue that constant inflation means that the car is actually declining in value? —David Zenlea

Saturday, March 5 [Day 3]

11:48 am: RM Sotheby's auction is just starting to sell cars, and the room already has 3/4 of the seats filled and a line of people standing along the back. John Wiley

11:52 am: Strong start for RM with a 2005 Aston Martin Vanquish S sold for $179,200, well past its $150,000 high estimate and its condition #1 value of $101,000. A record smash? Not quite—this fell just $465 short of an all-time high. Andrew Newton

11:57 am: About 10% over condition one value for the XK150 S (Lot 109) at $302,000. Then, bidding stalled on the Iso Grifo (Lot 110) when it got stuck below condition #4 value. Not sold.

12:07 pm: The 1972 Ferrari 365 GTC/4 hit a high bid at almost a 25% premium to condition 1 value, but still went unsold at $350,000. —John Wiley

12:10 pm: 1991 Testarossa (Lot 114) quickly broke $200,000, then had some serious back and forth bidding to a $321,250 final price. #1 value is $236,000--a 36% premium. Andrew Newton

12:13 pm: Seats continue to fill up at RM. Maybe 90% full? Meanwhile, Jaguar XK120 SE OTS (Lot 115) sold near condition correct amount at $126,000. John Wiley

12:17 pm: 1963 Carrera 2 GS/GT (Lot 116) sold approximately around number 4 condition at $428,500, perhaps due to carrying a matching gearbox but not the original engine. Greg Ingold

12:20 pm: The $300,000 stalled-out high bid was near condition correct amount for the Ferrari F430 with the rare 6-speed manual (Lot 117). It seems the premium for the manual over the F1-style single-clutch automatic transmission is 100%. John Wiley

12:28 pm: The 1960 Porsche 356 Carrera Zagato Speedster did indeed prove to be a wildcard. $472,500 winning bid is down from another Zagato Speedster RM sold for around $600,000 this last November, but perfectly aligned with RM's estimate range. These seem to be difficult cars to predict when they hit the market. Conner Golden

12:36 pm: the 914/6 with uber-rare M471 package (Lot 122) claimed $544,000. A record for 914? Not quite—RM sold another M471 914 last year in Monterey for $626,500. —Andrew Newton

12:53 pm: The EB110 Prototype (Lot 129) is the first car here to have people stand up and whip out their phones.

1:00 pm: The blue Bug was a no-sale at $1,850,000. Still, it saw a high bid to over condition 1 on a high condition 3 car. I looked the car over yesterday and while it was cool, it looked like it needed some details addressed. This isn't the first time we've seen this car on the auction block; Bonhams offered this prototype back in 2012, but it ended in a similar no-sale. —Greg Ingold

1:02 pm: As expected, the watercooled Ruf market is tough to pin down. The 2006 Ruf Rt12 S (Lot 130) sold for $434,000; above RM's high estimate of $400,000 and a chunk above Gooding’s 2007 Rt12 that sold at Amelia in 2020 for “just” $263,000, but a substantially less than the $910,000 Rt12 that sold on Bring a Trailer last month. Conner Golden

1:04 pm: Strong result for the Lancia Appia Zagato (Lot 131). The $190,400 winning bid beat the high estimate for about 40% above condition 1 value—and this certainly wasn't a condition 1 car. John Wiley

1:42 pm: At $687,000, it looks like Jaguar XJ 220s still have room to grow. RM’s example (Lot 142) isn’t the world’s best, but it topped its high estimate and sold for more than $100,000 over its #1 value. —Andrew Newton

1:51 pm: Bidding was slow on the McLaren Speedtail (Lot 143) but still sold at $2.7 million. With an MSRP of “over £2 million with £262,000” in options, it appears the seller just about broke even. —Conner Golden

2:03 pm: As an in-person auction first-timer, following the energy in the room is fascinating. When a car of note hits the block, the level of attendee conversation spikes to a roar. The wave subsides between interesting cars. —Conner Golden

2:10 pm: A 463-mile Ford GT sells for $538,500 (Lot 137), while an 8-mile Ford GT sells for $544,000 (Lot 148). The 8-mile car was yellow with black stripes, arguably more interesting than the silver with no stripes on the other car. The yellow car had 3/4 options while the silver car had 2/4 options. They sold closer than I would have expected given the mileage game prevalent with Ford GTs. —Andrew Newton

2:19 pm: The auction remains well-attended even though most of the eye-catching lots have crossed the block. —Greg Ingold

2:21 pm: The 1931 Bentley 8-Litre (Lot 152) sold for only a smidge above low-estimate. Interesting — this is one of the few pre-war cars to have solid trans-generational appeal, so I thought bidding would be stronger. —Conner Golden

2:45 pm: A 1963 Corvette Z06 just sold for $423,000 (Lot 158), much more in line with second-generation Z06 pricing than yesterday's show-stopping $1.2 million sale of an all-original 5,300 mile small-tank Z06. —Eddy Eckart

2:50 pm: The 1934 Packard Twelve-Series (Lot 161) was announced as the sale's “star car.” An interesting choice for Amelia to have such a starched-collar car as the lead, but bidding is strong-ish. A handful of oldtimers are standing up with their phones. —Conner Golden

3:08 pm: The still quite-full room is very quiet for the LaFerrari (Lot 165), with more than a handful of folks standing with phones. Despite that, bidding charged up to $3m quickly. The Auctioneer is really putting emphasis on the extended, transferable warranty that comes with it — likely to assuage bidders on the publicized battery issues that plague the LaFerrari. —Conner Golden

3:11 pm: The gargantuan 1930 Cadillac V-16 looks hysterical on the auction block turntable (Lot 166). A gorgeous pre-war icon, its physical presence filled the room like a city bus. —Conner Golden

3:29 pm: Wow. That 1996 993 Turbo hammered for $456,000 (Lot 170), right between the estimate range and a moonshot away from the $268,000 value for a car in condition #1. We gave this car a 2+ rating, but the 99 mile odo reading likely had a large impact on the sale.

Prior to the 993, the ostensibly ultra-desirable 964 Turbo S claimed $1,105,000 (Lot 169), just $55,000 more than the 964 Carrera 4 Lightweight.—Conner Golden

3:35 pm: With about 20 lots left, RM's auction certainly wasn't a barn-burner but there have still been plenty of extraordinary sales. The quality of cars wasn’t quite up to what we’ve become used to at RM Amelia, and I think all of us have overheard others making similar observations about the consignments here. If Bonhams on Thursday was a little sleepy and Gooding on Friday was buzzing, RM today seems like somewhere in the middle. —Andrew Newton

3:53 pm: Even amongst all the supercars and Porsches, the 1913 Stutz had the most aurally dramatic entrance of the sale (Lot 179). What a wonderful racket! Shame it stalled out at a $220,000 high-bid. —Conner Golden

Photo by Stefan Lombard

4:31 pm: The final lots of the day have seemed to take some encouragement to get up to their sale prices, but most have made their estimates. The Levi Garrett IMSA GTO Camaro (Lot 193) seems like a steal at $117,600. —Eddy Eckart

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Comments

  • Joe Becce says:

    Is Hagerty sponsoring the usual Ride & Drive event at Amelia Island next weekend? I have participated every year and was looking forward to driving one of Davin’s recent rebuilds this year as well. Especially relevant after following the rebuild series on the Hagerty YouTube channel.

  • Jim Rosenthal says:

    I looked at the Bonhams offerings and was surprised at how incomplete some looked. Given that, they sold strongly, I thought.

    Really good cars will bring really high money- mediocre cars less, but the fact that they are selling at all speaks for the market heat.

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