Stanley Paine knew what he had.
“When I originally got involved…I did my homework. We were excited.” he said. “Nobody gets 13 Supras.”
His eponymous company, Stanley J. Paine Auctioneers, handles repossessed property for many district attorney offices in the state of Massachusetts, and in that context landed 29 sports cars that had been seized from an alleged drug dealer in 2020. They included the baker’s dozen of Mark IV Supras, all but one of which were Turbos. The lowest mileage of the bunch brought $304,750, including buyer’s fees.
The price alone merits our Sale of the Week crown. It’s 60 percent beyond the Hagerty Price Guide’s condition #1 (concours) value for Supra Turbos and may well be a record for the model if one doesn’t include the modded Fast & Furious stunt car that Barrett-Jackson sold last year for $550,000.
The price is all the more remarkable because the car in question arguably isn’t. No question, it looks really nice: a Supra Turbo with a 6-speed manual and just 22,962 miles showing on the odometer. But we’ve seen Supras with lower miles, including a Turbo that sold on Bring a Trailer last July for “just” $211,050.
Credit, among other things, the ballistic speed with which 1990s classics, Supras chief among them, are picking up in value. When we featured the Mark IV Supra in our 2018 Bull Market list, we wagered an excellent (condition #2) example would cost you about $65,000. In 2019, we nearly lost our minds when RM Sotheby’s sold an 11,200-mile Supra for $173,000. Since then, prices have only continued to climb—our price guide has moved them up more than 40 percent in the last twelve months. And now, this.
Also at work here is the power of the internet and a seller smart enough to leverage it. We often talk about online classic car sales in the context of the big online-only platforms, particularly Bring a Trailer. Yet the truth is that nearly every one who sells cars these days does so online, be it through a Facebook Marketplace listing, an Instagram photoshoot, or a walk-around on YouTube.
In this case, Paine took to key Facebook groups and forums, targeting the Supra superfans who could help get the word out.
“Social media made this auction,” Paine said.
The cars’ illicit origins certainly didn’t hurt, attracting coverage on FoxNews. By the time the auction rolled around, Paine said he had more than 900 registered online bidders—who were required to deposit 25 percent of their expected maximum bid as a show of intent—along with 60 on site. And so an auction company that more commonly deals in homes now holds the record for the most expensive Supra in the world. For now, at least.
I had a chance to buy a (twin ?) turbo years ago, red on red anniversary model for $25,000! Should have done it, but it was a stick shift and I wanted an automatic! Damn it anyway!^%$#@