Arizona Totals Send Mixed Signals

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We’ve barely concluded Arizona Auction Week, and post-block deals are still coming together, but combined sales released so far total $231.5m. Although there were many million-dollar cars, the preliminary total represents a decline of 15% from last year’s $271.2m*.

The most expensive car of the week was a 1937 Mercedes-Benz 540K Special Roadster (pictured), sold for $9,900,000 at RM Sotheby’s. Preliminary totals at RM Sotheby’s came to $62.8m, a 1% dip from last year’s $63.6m total. The sales rate was 85%. View all the sold prices here.

Barrett-Jackson sold 1,481 out of 1,490 cars (99%), and preliminary sales totaled $104m, down 21% from last year’s $131m. Three “Serial One” Corvettes — a 1955, a 1956 and a 1957 — took high-sale honors when they sold as a one-lot package for $1,815,000. View all the sold prices here.

A 1950 Ferrari 166 MM/195 S Berlinetta Le Mans was the top seller at Gooding & Company at $6,490,000. Gooding achieved an 86% sales rate, and combined sales totaled more than $43m, down 17% from $51.5m a year ago. View all the sold prices here.

Bonhams reported a sell-through rate of 84% and preliminary sales of $18m, off 28% from $24.9m total at 2015’s sale. The top lot was a 2015 McLaren P1 at $2,090,000. View all the sold prices here.

The next issue of Sports Car Market features in-depth coverage of all the Arizona auctions. There’s still time to subscribe!

*Russo and Steele and Silver Auctions have not yet released sales figures. For purposes of comparison, the $271.2m combined total does not include their 2015 numbers.

Tony Piff

SCM Auctions Editor and Photographer

Tony has long trumpeted the virtues of collecting Japanese cars. His daily driver is a 1970 Toyota Hilux — the one with the turn signals on top of the fenders. His popular “Rising Sun” column keeps a pulse on the J-tin market.

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11 comments

    1. Mark, you are correct and the story is wrong. Article is entitled “Sends Mixed Signals” yet fails to say what the “mixed signals” are. The only “signal” shown is that the overall dollar sales totals were down but was that because of fewer cars, fewer attendees, bad weather, or what. Very poorly titled article.

  1. Arizona send mixed signals? well was the signal not started with the Keno Brothers auction in New York in December with a poor sales rate? and Arizona is only continuing the trend and it is the reality that the consignors are asking from the auction houses price that cannot be achieved any more… take two examples Countach, only the Bonhams sold and at less than 300k including buyer premium… and notice that none of the BMW M-1 sold at any auction house… I think there is a disconnect between buyer and seller and 2016 will show that in more than one auction… let see Paris this week!!!

    1. It is called denial…this run up has been a speculator’s game with a good number of enthusiasts participating looking to parlay their passion with investment gains (and succeeding, which is great)…The Keno auction failure had a list of excuses…unfamiliar to car world, bad timing (Thursday night, come on), too close to Scottsdale, etc. Then last week in Kissimmee the excuses arrived again…money is waiting for Scottsdale, not the right venue for XXX car…

      I’d say reality is the culprit here…we saw a 300% run up in the last few years and Monterey showed we peaked. Now the world economies are crumbling and oil is probably at a multi-decade low.

      Let’s look at this in a macro environment, let’s say my cost basis average for buying 5 collector cars in the last 4 years totaled $1M and they are worth $2M today. There is negligible upside left on the automotive investment but if I cash them out I have $800K in play money to go on a spending spree buying non-automotive investments on the cheap in the next 24 months and get another 2-3x on my money. That is the reality. Buy low, sell high, rise, repeat. An global economic downturn provides a spectacular time to have cash to buy low.

      Let’s not kid ourselves that every buyer in this cycle has had an inelastic demand for these collector cars.

  2. <>
    RM’s website shows they sold an M-1 at $300,000 all in, not that much more than they got for a Z8 at $264,000.

  3. Prices were already flat or on the decline in Monterey. This is a necessary adjustment to an irrational run up in values over the past few years. Another aspect that hasn’t been discussed involves the current exchange rates. There’s not much incentive for collectors from the UK or Europe to buy while their currencies are weak.

  4. Your magazine is the STANDARD but last month Osborne and Collier got the Seinfield speedster wrong and Colliers rebuttals sounded like a politicians excuse ..Give us so reasons why there is a change no Ron Pratt ,too many customs .. Looking forward next month

  5. Just look at Gooding; the estimate shortfalls are way up from two years ago. One good ‘excuse’ is too many units in some of the rapidly climbing cars.

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