This story is being updated throughout the week. To jump to Thursday’s posts, click here. Friday starts here. To read about the $18.045M Ferrari, click here. For Friday’s recap, click here. Saturday’s coverage begins here, and our Sale of the Week is here.
Of course, for a blow-by-blow of the auctions—and more charts than you can shake a stick at—keep on reading.
For car enthusiasts who live in still-frosty northern climes, the Amelia auctions represent a first taste of spring—a dabble of car culture before we’re able to wake our rides from their winter slumber. More broadly, though, the sales at Amelia are a chance to hone in on evolving market themes. Though the Hagerty Market Rating has cooled over the last five months and the top of the market has stabilized from its ascent during the second half of the pandemic, there’s reason to believe this week’s Amelia’s auctions may continue a trend of big individual sales and overall strong event numbers.
This potential comes from an increase in consignment quality, as overall car count is about the same as 2022. Despite the overall market slow-down, top-flight cars continue to command strong prices. That should help boost fortunes, possibly past 2016’s high water mark of $140M.
While themes from January’s auctions in Scottsdale and Kissimmee primarily bend toward domestics and muscle cars, the focal-point cars crossing Amelia’s blocks take cues from its concours lawn, with storied race cars like Dan Gurney’s Eagle Mk. 1 and high-dollar pieces from marques like Ferrari. The increasing popularity of ’80s- and ’90s-era cars is also on display, with several pre-merger AMG Mercedes-Benzes available. Of course, it wouldn’t be Amelia without a strong Porsche presence as well.
As always, we will be updating the blog regularly throughout the auctions with key highlights, data, and emerging trends, so check in here often for the latest news.
Thursday, March 2nd
10:00 AM: James Hewitt here, one of the Data Analysts on Hagerty’s Valuation Team. I’ll be posting charts and insights into the sales at Amelia in this blog this week. Let’s start it off with a look at the value of a brand – the Porsche brand. After all, Amelia is a Porsche event – everywhere from the concours lawn to the auction block to the parking lot is swarming with them. However, in the collector car world Ferrari is worth 7 times more when using the #2 value of all models in the Hagerty Price Guide – $1.1B vs $192M.
However, the above chart doesn't account for how many actually sell. Ferraris, although exceedingly valuable, are also exceedingly rare. Other brands, like Chevrolet, appear constantly at auction but usually sell for relative peanuts. Porsche finds the sweet spot.
10:34 AM: Those of you that have seen my other articles know I love repeat sales , and Amelia is no different. For those that are more into pre-war cars than Porsches, watch these four important cars that all sold in 2014-2015 for $1M+. How do you think the pre-war market will fare?
- 1908 Napier Type 23A 45HP Tourer: Sold $1.034M in 2014
- 1931 Alfa Romeo 6C 1750 Gran Sport Spider by Zagato: Sold $2.42M in 2015
- 1931 Duesenberg Model J 'Disappearing Top' Convertible Coupe by Murphy: Sold $3.52M in 2015
- 1934 Packard Twelve Sport Coupe by LeBaron: Sold for $2.2M in 2015
12:40 PM: Many classic Corvettes sold for big money at the January auctions, including ten C2s exceeding $300,000 and several record prices. However, this trend doesn't appear to have carried over into Amelia as a 1968 Corvette L88 Convertible Sunray-DX Racer at Bonhams failed to sell. — Adam Wilcox, Data Analyst
1:10 PM: The first seven-figure sale of the week is a 1966 Ferrari 500 Superfast SII which sold for $1,930,000 at Bonhams. Although this sale is 32 percent below Hagerty Price Guide condition value, it nearly exceeded the high estimate set by the auction house. — Adam Wilcox
1:29 PM: Bonhams at midday has a full tent with lots of conversation. The focal-point Bugatti 57S took the stage and immediately got a $6.2m bid. It stalled at $8.5m and did not sell. — Eddy Eckart, Senior Editor
1:53 PM: Bonhams sold this 1992 GT-R race car for $379,000 including fees. The market for race-spec GT-Rs, even from the Godzilla R32 era, continues to fall short of their limited-production roadgoing siblings, but this one sold about where price guide editor Greg Ingold expected. — Eddy Eckart
2:00 PM: The 1992 Nissan Skyline GT-R above is a record sale for an R32 Skyline and the first world record of the week. — Adam Wilcox
2:27 PM: The big tank non-Z06 Corvette initiated some enthusiastic bidding and applause for its strong sales price of $238k including fees. Considering the Corvette was a 327/250hp car makes that price even more notable. — Eddy Eckart
2:33 PM: The center of attention at RM is the impressive Pagani Zonda R, which has been drawing groups of people eager to take pictures with it. — Greg Ingold, editor, Hagerty Price Guide
3:28 PM: First four-wheeled lot of the day at Gooding. It's a 1951 Ford F-1 pickup that sold for $42,000, but it's only going to get more expensive from here. — Andrew Newton, Senior Auction Editor
3:45 PM: A pair of Jaguar project cars sold exceptionally well. A 1961 E-Type 'Flat Floor' Roadster sold for $117,600, nearly triple high estimate and 13 percent above #4 condition value, despite receiving a 5+ condition by our team. Also, a 1951 Jaguar XK 120 Lightweight in project condition sold for $775,000, 29-percent above high estimate. — Adam Wilcox
4:10 PM: Gooding’s first seven-figure car had a fairly sleepy trip across the block. It’s a 1958 BMW 507, opened at $1.2M and crept up to a $1.875M final price. A lot of money, yes, and right about its high estimate, but also barely the condition #4 value in the Hagerty Price Guide. — Andrew Newton
4:41 PM: Old Ferraris aren’t just for the concours lawn: a $3.525M final price for Gooding’s 1953 Ferrari 250 MM gets its new owner access to the Mille Miglia. — Eddy Eckart
4:53 PM: The 1951 Cisitalia 202 SC Gran Sport Cabriolet that sold for $720,000 at Gooding set a record for the marque. — Adam Wilcox
5:52 PM: Rudge wheels and its set of luggage likely helped Gooding’s 300 SL Gullwing transact at $1,737,500 including fees, about right for its condition. — Eddy Eckart
5:53 PM: Every collector car seems to have appreciated during the last three years of COVID except for... the 1970 Citroën Méhari that sold for the exact same $29,120 today as it did 2.5 years ago at RM's Elkhart auction. — James Hewitt
5:57 PM: The Porsche 356 market is seen to have peaked around 2015/2016 and stayed pretty constant since then. Need some data to back that up? Gooding's 1958 Porsche 356A Speedster just sold for $280,000 (estimate of $300k-$350k). That same exact car was bought in 2018 for... you guessed it, $280,000. — James Hewitt
6:00 PM: Gooding sold all 55 vehicles they offered on day 1 of their two day auction. Bonhams ended their one day auction with a 77 percent sell through rate. — Adam Wilcox
6:38 PM: Amelia has in recent years been a key venue for prewar cars and that is again the case this year. The early returns are...not great. A 1908 Napier and 1912 Crane, both cars that have appeared at previous auctions, failed to sell, and both were bid to less than at their last appearance.
That said, it's worth remembering that the prewar market has been shining bright (like polished brass...) over the last year. Scottsdale saw a 1912 Simplex 50HP sell for $4.85M, blowing its estimate out of the water. Valuable pre-1930s ($100k+) that had been sold at auction previously have consistently brought more money in 2022 and 2023 .
— James Hewitt
Friday, March 3rd
8:00 AM: Thursday's auctions featured Gooding & Company's first 55 lots and Bonham's 102 lots. Total sales reached $32M, with 134/157 lots selling for a sell-through rate of 85%, and the average price was $238,951. While it was an improvement over last year's Thursday total sales of $14.9M, only Bonhams auctioned vehicles and recorded a 93% sell-through rate on 134 lots and an average price of $119,497. — John Wiley, Manager of Valuation Analytics
11:38 AM: Pre-merger AMGs have been the subject of a lot of attention recently, and Price Guide publisher Dave Kinney noted quite the deal for one yesterday at Bonhams. This 1990 AMG 500 SL 6.0 transacted for $84,000 after fees, well shy of its $130-$160k estimate. — Eddy Eckart
11:59 AM: The Gooding auction is off to a strong start with its expertly and freshly restored low-light Karmann Ghia convertible setting a record price of $123,200. — Brian Rabold
12:29 PM: That Karmann Ghia beats the previous record of $106,400 set at Broad Arrow's Monterey 2022 auction. Which in turn shattered any other previous record. Take a look at this chart showing sales since 2010. Crane your neck to see the two recent records, pretty impressive.
— James Hewitt
1:32 PM: Dan Gurney’s Eagle Mk. 1 was bid up to $2.4M but failed to sell, just the second no-sale so far at Gooding. -Eddy Eckart
1:45 PM: The 996 Porsche 911 GT3RS is mythologized and exceedingly rare in the U.S. (this one is here under the Show or Display rule), and this example’s $368,000 sale (including fees) reflects that. -Eddy Eckart
3:30 PM: One of the most anticipated cars of the week, a 1962 Ferrari 250 GT, just brought $18.045M at Gooding & Co's sale. That's a record price for auctions at Amelia Island. —David Zenlea
David Gooding said it had been in only two collections for a long time. So, hasn’t been to market in a while, which helps explain why it sold. The price is greater than the Hagerty Price Guide's condition #1 value even with the addition for side vents.
3:40 PM: That 250 GT California Spyder joins an exclusive club of Ferraris selling over $10M. In fact, 63% of the members of that club have model names that start with "250". If only you knew that would be the case 55 years ago when trading in the 250 for the new 275...
— James Hewitt
3:47 PM: Gooding's 1988 Porsche 930 sold for well over the current Hagerty Price Guide #1 value of $211k, but the interesting choice of paint to sample black on black doesn't seem to have wowed the bidders as much as expected. The hammer price of $290k didn't approach the low estimate of $400k. — James Hewitt
3:57 PM: Sometimes walking away from a deal will bite you. Gooding's 1994 Porsche 964 Turbo S 3.6 failed to sell with a high bid of $720,000. The same car was bid to $875,000 on Bring a Trailer four months ago. — James Hewitt
4:30 PM: And here we go again... A new auction record for a Ferrari 246 Dino has been set at $967,500 after the surprising $858k sale on Bring a Trailer August of 2022. They're knocking on the door of $1M, start taking bets on when it will happen.
— James Hewitt
6:05 PM: Here's another example of cars being bid to their old 2016/2018 levels, and some sellers aren't going to do a deal at that. After selling for $440k (high bid of $400k) in 2016 this Alfa was bid to... $400k today. That just wasn't getting the deal done and didn't sell. — James Hewitt
7:46 PM: The conclusion of Friday’s sales brought the cumulative total for the last two days to $83.3M. Sell-through has been strong at 88%—Gooding made it through 79 vehicles over two days before one failed to sell.
Several records were set today, including Gooding’s star California Spider setting a new bar for the Amelia auctions. Big cars that are fresh to the market or haven’t been seen recently have done well over the last two days. The seven-figure cars that don’t meet that criteria, perhaps coincidentally who also have owners who don’t need to sell, aren’t selling. Conversely, buyers are no longer as eager to part with their cash as they were in the recent past. —Hagerty valuation team
Saturday, March 4th
10:51 AM: The first lot at Broad Arrow is a lovely 1967 Saab 95 V4 wagon with a high-quality restoration, sold for $47,040. That’s $7k over its #1 value. —Andrew Newton
11:24 AM: Broad Arrow offered a very original, 16,000-mile 1974 Pontiac Trans Am equipped with 4-speed manual and 455 Super Duty engine. The hammer fell with a final price of $176,300 including fees, nearly 60 percent above Hagerty Price Guide #1 value, showing that Bandit era Trans Ams aren’t the only second-gen Trans Ams capable of bringing big money for originality. — Greg Ingold
12:46 PM: The second-to-last McLaren P1 produced—an example dripping with $400,000 worth of MSO options—crossed the block at Broad Arrow. The sale price of $2.45 million with fees set a new record for P1s and shows that there may be a head of steam growing in what has been a relatively predictable market for 2010s hyper cars. Two more McLarens, one a 2019 Senna ($1,380,000 with fees) and the other a lesser-known 2016 MSO HS ($830,000 with fees), represented strong sales as well. —Greg Ingold
12:52 PM: RM’s first million-dollar lot at Amelia is a 1958 Mercedes-Benz 300SL from the collection of Skip Barber, selling for $1,380,000, just $20k short of its #2 value. Ordered new by the King of Jordan, it wears an older restoration by Rudi Koniczek. It sold in Monterey 10 years ago for $984,500, suggesting long-term stability of the 300SL market.—Andrew Newton
1:07 PM: Japanese cars are hot as ever at Amelia. Broad Arrow handily sets a new record for an Acura Integra Type R with a 6200-mile example that went for final price of $151,200 including fees. This sale proves that you don't need an NSX, Supra, or GT-R to be special enough to crack six figures.—Greg Ingold
1:14 PM: With just 27 street versions built, the Jaguar XJR-15 used to be a car that rarely came to public sale. One every couple of years, maybe. A few high-profile sales have apparently brought them out of the woodwork, however. We saw two in Monterey, and there are two here in Amelia. The one at RM Sotheby’s is essentially unused but needs mechanical attention. As a result, it sold for $1.27M with fees, near its low estimate and below its #3 value. —Andrew Newton
1:25 PM: That Integra Type R is a new record at $151,200, sure, but what's even more shocking is it was at a live auction. Online auctions have historically been king of 1990s Japanese cars, especially the Integra Type R. Take a look at this chart plotting live vs online sales of ITRs and you might struggle to even find the live sales.
2:43 PM: Czech this out: a very rare, early 1934 Tatra T77, one of the first streamlined cars, that reportedly received $1M worth of restoration work, far more than it’s actually worth. Although it’s still not in show condition, it’s a wild piece of Art Deco design and its lower-than-expected $390k final price shows that you usually lose money restoring a car, and that in this hobby it’s often best to let somebody else put money into shop rates and parts costs for a car before buying it yourself. —Andrew Newton
2:48 PM: The tale of two car investments: RM sold a stunning 1929 Rolls-Royce Phantom I Derby Speedster by Brewster for $885K. That same car was bought at Gooding's 2013 Amelia auction for $1.98M. Five lots later, they sold a 1931 Duesenberg Model J 'Disappearing Top' Convertible Coupe by Murphy for $4.295M . That same car sold for $3.52M in 2015, a $775K gain. —James Hewitt
2:49 PM: Pre-merger AMGs have had a great day: a 1987 Mercedes-Benz AMG 'Hammer' Sedan sold earlier today for $775,000—24-percent above Broad Arrow's high estimate and setting a record for both a W124 and AMG "Hammer." Then, just 20 lots later, those records were broken by a 1991 AMG 6.0 "Hammer" Widebody Coupe which sold for $885,000. —Adam Wilcox
3:17 PM: We’ve often observed how Lotus Esprits seem to be undervalued, especially given the recent boom in prices for modern, driver-focused exotic cars. Now, one sale does not make the market, but Broad Arrow’s 2002 Esprit 25th Anniversary sold today for $193,200 against a $125k-$150k estimate. That’s a record price for any Esprit that wasn’t driven by any British secret agents. Fun fact: it's also the first non-Bond Esprit to sell for more than a Bond-related one, besting this $165,467 2008 sale. —Andrew Newton
3:25 PM: Another $5M F50. RM Sotheby’s 1300km car traded for $5.065M, becoming the third example of the model to cross that threshold since August. Prepandemic, $3M was all the money. Few cars have risen so high in value so quickly. —Brian Rabold
3:40 PM: Lest you think Ferrari Dino collectors only care about cars with chairs and flares, take note that the early hand-built 206 models also hold special appeal. RM Sotheby’s established a new high-water mark with an $868,500 all-in price for s/n 00136.—Brian Rabold
9:30 PM: Final numbers are still being tallied and, assuredly, auction companies are feverishly working to close a few post-block sales. It’s already clear, though, that 2023 will be the biggest year ever for the Amelia Island auctions, with more than $170M sales besting 2016’s record of $140M. We'll have a full breakdown in the days to come. Meantime, you can read our sale of the week here.
More unattainable cars for most of us, who cares
How can you not be impressed by the state of period automotive engineering and sheer beauty of the Packard Twelve and Duesenberg Model J (10:34 AM entry)? Simply stunning (and 100% American). One doesn’t have to be a deep pocketed collector to be impressed by the likes of those.
Strong sales in the overall dollar tally, but look at the sales relative to their catalogue estimates. Sure, there were some outliers that went well over their estimates (see Integra R), but for the most part the hammer price (not including house fees) fell short and in many cases well short of their estimates. Given that these estimates are arrived at quantifiably, what does this say about the weekend? Inflation or recession concerns? Too much supply (three California Spiders?); not enough demand? Day-to-day online sources like BaT, Collecting Cars and Bonhams own The Market (props to Hagerty auctions too) drawing bidders away from marquis live auctions? Are post Covid expectations too high or does this signal a weakening in the collector car market?
I’m more interested in sales prices for small bock C2 Corvettes and 1965-1970 Shelby GTs than race cars I will never own or other six figure cars.
Dave: I, too, have a soft spot for C2s, and there were a couple that crossed the block this past week. The most notable (to me, at least) was a large-tank ’63 at Bonhams with a 250-hp 327/powerglide combo—something I hadn’t seen before. It went for $238k including fees.