Phoenix, AZ. January 22, 2008 –-Preeminent international auction house, RM Auctions, has kicked off the 2008 collector car calendar in grand style with a highly successful auction event in Phoenix, Arizona.

Held at the luxurious Arizona Biltmore Resort & Spa, it was standing room only at the single-day auction, which attracted a fashionable crowd of collectors from across North America and Europe. The considerable plunge in the Dow Jones during the week did not seem to affect the outcome of the RM sale, with total sales exceeding $26.7 million for 88 investment quality automobiles, with six motor cars breaking the million-dollar mark.

“Despite the current financial climate, outstanding cars will always bring exceptional prices,” said Ian Kelleher, Managing Director of RM Auctions.

“Proof is clearly in the results – one of the world’s most significant and attractive Packards is worth more today than it was yesterday, and the auction was extremely well attended, with bidders from all around the world taking part. When it was all said and done, the strong sales results set the scene for a promising year ahead,” he added

Prewar cars dominated the top-sellers list, headlined by a Pebble Beach winning 1934 Packard Twelve Coupe and a stunning 1936 Mercedes-Benz 540K Special Cabriolet, both of which attracted spirited bidding with the gavel falling at an impressive $2,035,000 each.

The sports and racing segment of the market also continued to prove strong, with a 1963 Shelby AC Cobra, the first Cobra sold to the public and one of just three factory competition examples, attracting a top bid of $1,732,500. Another top-seller in this category was an extremely rare 1966 Ferrari 275 GTB, which brought $1,375,000 on the block.

Additional auction highlights include:

An elegant 1929 Duesenberg Model J Dual Cowl Phaeton with coachwork by LeBaron, sold for $1.76 million.

A 1941 Chrysler Thunderbolt concept car, also by LeBaron, brought $1.32 million.

An impressively original 1929 Bentley 4 ½ Liter Tourer sold for $880,000.

A magnificent 1957 Mercedes-Benz 300 SL Roadster attracted a final bid of $742,500

A 1935 Pierce-Arrow 12 Convertible Coupe, one of only four known surviving examples, sold for $374,000

A beautifully restored 1969 Iso Grifo Coupe brought $308,000.

As the first event on the 2008 calendar, RM Auctions used the Arizona sale to launch a new look for their North American events, which included elegant and sophisticated theming, complemented by a professionally choreographed video presentation of each car on the block.. The auction was preceded by a gala cocktail reception in the Biltmore Pavilion. The focal point of the stylishly decorated venue was one of the jewels of the sale, the 1963 Shelby AC Cobra, which was elevated above the bar.

RM Auctions will head to Florida next month for the annual Collector Cars of Fort Lauderdale event, closely followed by the much-anticipated Automobiles of Amelia Island auction, which will be held at the elegant Ritz-Carlton Hotel in March and coincide with the famed Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance.

For further information, or full sales results from the Automobiles of Arizona event, visit

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