By Richard Hartwell
As in previous year’s the auction action at Amelia always starts with Bonham’s. It’s a great kickoff to the weekend and generally delivers some exciting bidding on some amazing cars. This year, the one-day sale racked up $14.9M in sales with more than 90 percent of the cars sold at expected prices. I say “expected” because the bidding in Scottsdale in January and Kissimmee recently was decidedly illogical at times. At Bonhams’ this year, there were some standout sales including 1955 Porsche 550 Spyder sold for $4,185,000 — near its Hagerty Price Guide condition-appropriate value. The earliest surviving Ford Model T (serial number 2, from 1908) sold for $246,400.
The star of the Bonham’s of course, was the one-off 1954 Jaguar XK 120 SE Fixed-Head Coupe by Pinin Farina. This stunner sold for $940,000. This was the one and only Jaguar XK 120 ever bodied by the renowned Italian design house of Pinin Farina. Based on the desirable, high-specification Special Equipment (SE) development of Jaguar’s famed XK120, this vehicle was first imported to New York by famed importer Max Hoffman. It was clearly a 100-point, concours-quality restoration backed by a class award at the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance in 2017. According to Bonhams, the car also won the highly prestigious International Historic Restoration of the Year Award in 2017 as a result of its stunning return to 1955 Geneva Motor Show condition, adding further distinction to this singular Pinin Farina-bodied XK120 SE.
Gooding & Company returned to Amelia this year with a hugely successful auction. In fact, the results stunned the collector car market once again, with the most profitable Amelia auction in its 13-year history at the venue. The company amassed a whopping $69,209,480 in sales, achieving a 94% sales rate from 93 out of 99 lots sold. Presenting a truly outstanding event, the auction house sold 20 lots over $1,000,000, yielding an average price per car of $744,188.
The most significant sale was the 1937 Talbot-Lago T150-C-SS Teardrop Coupe, which sold for $13,425,000 and set a new world record for the Talbot-Lago marque at auction. This will go down in history as the most valuable French automobile ever sold at auction. The wholly unparalleled offering captivated the audience in every way. Timeless, elegant beauty, at an unprecedented price.
RM Sotheby’s returned to the Ritz-Carlton at Amelia Island for the company’s 23rd annual sale as the official auction house of The Amelia. The single-day live auction was a resounding success, totaling $46,636,640 and with an incredible 89% of all lots offered finding new homes.
Showing evidence of the strength of the market for rare pre-war cars, the highest sale price of the day was set by one of the most significant Packards ever produced. The 1934 Packard Twelve Individual Custom Convertible Victoria by Dietrich is one of just three known examples remaining today. Boasting excellent provenance along with show-winning history, this incredible Packard won First in Class and runner-up to Best of Show at the 2014 Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance. Such a magnificent Packard is extremely rare to find at auction and crossed the block selling for an astounding $4,130,000. Following the Packard, the air left the room as a 1930 Duesenberg Model J Convertible Sedan by Murphy shattered its high estimate by over a $1,000,000, selling for $3,525,000.
Not far behind the pre-war showstoppers, a beautiful trio of the world’s fastest production cars crossed the block. Selling for $3,360,000, the stunning 2019 Bugatti Chiron Sport is the first example to ever be publicly sold at auction in North America and is one of approximately sixty Chiron Sport examples produced, wearing a striking color combination of Nocturne exterior over Beluga Black and Italian Red interior. Joining the French hyper car and selling for $2,700,000, the 2020 McLaren Speedtail is known as the most aerodynamic and fastest car ever produced by McLaren. A striking black 2015 Ferrari LaFerrari sold for an incredible $3,662,500 with only 576 original miles on the dash. One other notable highlight from the sale included a show field-quality 1993 Jaguar XJ220 set a world record sale price crossing the block at an incredible $687,000.
Reflecting on an eventful week in Florida, Gord Duff, Global Head of Auctions, said: “The 2022 auction season has continued to show us that the collector car market further gains momentum. We broke records in Arizona and Paris, and Amelia Island has proven to be a great success as well, having sold over $46 million on Saturday. One of the most exciting moments of the auction was selling the 1930 Duesenberg for more than $1,000,000 over its high estimate. Our entire team is motivated and ready to continue the charge in Fort Lauderdale, Monaco, and Monterey.”
For those looking for auctions that are not necessarily “frenzied” but refined and elegant, look no further than the Amelia auction houses. See you in Fort Lauderdale RM!