RM Sotheby’s diverse roster of blue-chip collector cars powered its 19th annual Arizona sale to a final $36,523,620 with 88% of all lots sold at the Arizona Biltmore, 18-19 January.
Following a very well-attended outdoor preview, the packed auction room saw high energy and spirited bidding across the two-day event, with top sale honors going to the 1966 Shelby 427 Cobra ‘Semi-Competition’, CSX 3040. Offered from an esteemed private collection and just four owners from new, CSX 3040 is one of the finest semi-competition examples in existence, and has benefitted from a restoration by leading Cobra expert Mike McCluskey. The matching-numbers Cobra eventually soared past its pre-sale estimate of $2.0–$2.4m to bring a final $2,947,500.
“While collectors across Arizona Car Week have been selective, there were clear signs throughout the century of cars we offered that the market is solid,” said Gord Duff, Global Head of Auctions, RM Sotheby’s following the sale. “Our top lots such as the 1966 Shelby 427 Cobra S/C and the 1948 Tucker 48 show that demand remains strong for rare, well-documented, expertly restored automobiles that are priced attractively. The two major single-owner collections we were privileged to offer – reflecting starkly different parts of the spectrum from pre-War classics to modern sports cars – showed the power of no-reserve lots to attract multiple bidders and send prices over the estimate.”
RM Sotheby’s is the auction house of choice for important private collections and this week’s sale featured two single-owner groups, highlighted by A Century of Sports Cars; eleven automobiles focused on great Italian sports and GT cars and offered entirely without reserve. Results for the collection were highlighted by the beautifully restored and maintained 1964 Ferrari 250 GT/L Berlinetta Lusso at $1,682,500, a 1960 Ferrari 250 GT Cabriolet Series II offered from just two owners over the last 30 years at a final $1,407,500, and an award-winning 1955 Alfa Romeo 1900C SS Speciale by Boano at $1,270,000.
A selection of pre and post-war American Classics offered entirely without reserve from a private collection on Thursday evening elicited numerous above-estimate results, undeniably led by the 1948 Tucker 48, chassis no. 1029, the personal car of visionary builder Preston Tucker himself until 1955. Star of the 1948 promotional film Tucker: The Man and the Car and presented with exhaustive documentation, the Tucker achieved a final $1,792,500 (Est. $1.25-1.5m). Also fetching a strong price was the 1935 Auburn Eight Supercharged Speedster, retaining its original chassis, engine, and body, which well-surpassed pre-sale expectations at $769,500 (Est. $500-650k).
Additional stand out moments from across the two-day sale demonstrate strong interest at all levels of the market; a 4,540 km 1993 Bugatti EB110 GT offered out of single-ownership from new sold for a well-deserved $967,500, smashing the previous auction record for a GT example, a 1907 Ford Model K Roadster emerging from single-family ownership since 1957 brought a world record model price at $252,000, and a 1977 International Scout II Traveler Custom drew eyes and bids at a final $128,800.
RM Sotheby’s Arizona 2018 Top Ten Sales
1. Lot 154 1966 Shelby 427 Cobra ‘Semi-Competition’ (CHASSIS NO. CSX 3040), Sold at $2,947,500
2. Lot 137 1948 Tucker 48 (CHASSIS NO. 1029), Sold at $1,792,500
3. Lot 240 1964 Ferrari 250 GT/L Berlinetta Lusso (CHASSIS NO. 5537 GT), Sold at $1,682,500
4. Lot 235 1960 Ferrari 250 GT Cabriolet Series II (CHASSIS NO. 1939 GT), Sold at $1,407,500
5. Lot 148 2017 Ferrari F12tdf (CHASSIS NO. ZFF81BFAXH0224563), Sold at $1,325,000
6. Lot 239 1955 Alfa Romeo 1900C SS Speciale (CHASSIS NO. AR 1900C 01846), Sold at $1,270,000
7. Lot 248 1952 Ferrari 212 Inter Coupe (CHASSIS NO. 0191 EL), Sold at $1,187,500
8. Lot 155 1987 Porsche 959 Komfort (CHASSIS NO. WP0ZZZ95ZHS900020), Sold at $1,160,000
9. Lot 158 1957 Mercedes-Benz 300 SL Roadster (CHASSIS NO. 198.042.7500295), Sold at $1,083,000
10. Lot 147 1965 Shelby 289 Cobra (CHASSIS NO. CSX 2442), Sold at $995,000
Next up, RM Sotheby’s will open its 2018 European calendar with its fifth annual Paris sale, 7 February during Rétromobile week. Held at Place Vauban on the stunning grounds of Les Invalides, the auction will present more than 80 of the finest sports, racing, and touring cars from both pre- and post-war periods. The company’s North American calendar continues with Amelia Island on 10 March, RM Sotheby’s 20th annual sale as the official auction of the esteemed Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance. Amelia Island is set to feature approximately 100 of the most sought-after blue-chip automobiles at the Ritz-Carlton, ranging from coachbuilt classics to sports and racing rarities, and late model collectibles. To view the Paris digital catalogue as well as a frequently updated list of entries for Amelia Island, please visit www.rmsothebys.com or call RM Sotheby’s headquarters at +1 519 352 4575.
Complete results from RM Sotheby’s Arizona are available at www.rmsothebys.com/results.