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Arizona Auctions Bring Big Bucks from Collectors

Top seller is a 1937 Mercedes-Benz 540K Special Roadster that sold for $9.9 million.

by on Feb.01, 2016

Burt Reynolds was in Arizona this weekend to promote the sale of a Trans Am used promote "Smokey and the Bandit" for $550,000.

Last year was a record-setter for new vehicle sales and 2016 is expected to be even better; however, new cars and trucks aren’t the only hot sellers hitting benchmarks these days as evidenced by the millions of dollars worth of vintage metal moved in Arizona this weekend.

This weekend was abuzz with collector car sales as the four major auction houses – Barrett-Jackson, Gooding and Co., RM Sotheby’s and Russo and Steele – all held events in Phoenix and Scottsdale.

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The jewel of the weekend was a 1937 Mercedes-Benz 540K Special Roadster that sold for $9.9 million, which was shy of its projected sale price of $10 million to $13 million, at the Sothebys event, which generated more than $62 million in sales. The Mercedes originally sold for about $12,000. (more…)

Arizona Auction Action – First Big Event of the Year Sets Multiple Records

Ferraris lead the weekend, but even Detroit iron scores big.

by on Jan.20, 2014

A 1997 McLaren F1 goes up for bidding at the Gooding and Company auction in Scottsdale.

It may have been frigid cold in much of the country but the only word for Scottsdale, Arizona this past weekend was hot.

The Scottsdale auctions, that is, as an array of the world’s biggest automotive auction houses gathered in the tony Phoenix suburb for the first big event of the 2014 collector car season.  And the results were impressive, Gooding & Company alone claiming to set 11 new records, the auction house gaveling in a bid of $6.2 million for a 1958 Ferrari 250 GT Series 1 Cabriolet, one of numerous all-time highs.

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That said, the weekend wrapped up without setting a new overall auction record, the pinnacle reached last summer when a Mercedes-Benz W196 sold for nearly $30 million.  But few appeared to be complaining about one of the most successful auction events on record, as just the top three auction houses alone reported a collective take of nearly $120 million.

The figure is expected to increase substantially when other auction houses weigh in, notably including the original Barrett-Jackson which helped turn Scottsdale into a must-attend weekend gathering for collectors.  According to a preliminary count by Hagerty Insurance, which specializes in collector cars, the grand total is likely to near $250 million.


Mavens Wanting the First Mustang Will Write a Big Check

Ford auctioning off 2015 ‘Stang GT at Barrett-Jackson for charity.

by on Dec.20, 2013

Ford is raising money for charity by auctioning off the first Mustang GT on Jan. 18.

Ford Mustang aficionados should be circling Jan. 18 on their calendars as that’s when the first 2015 Mustang GT will be sold – by the Barrett Jackson auction house with the proceeds going to JDRF, formerly known as the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation.

The car, which will be Lot 3010, being auctioned at the Scottsdale, Ariz. Event, will feature a 5.0-liter V8 producing 420 horsepower and 390 pound-feet of torque. The winning bidder will get to outfit the latest pony car with a variety of options, including a choice between a six-speed automatic or a six-speed manual, and any interior or exterior color combo.

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“Ford Mustangs have always been among the most popular collector cars at Barrett-Jackson Collector Car events,” said Steve Davis, president of Barrett-Jackson. “While every collector wishes they had snapped up the first Mustang sold in 1964, this is an opportunity to realize that dream in a different way.” (more…)

Picking Tomorrow’s Top Collector Cars

Hagerty identifies “emerging collectibles.”

by on Jan.20, 2012

The new collector car? An original Honda S800.

Okay, just maybe a Saab 9-4X might turn out to be something rare a decade from now considering how few rolled off the assembly line before the Swedish automaker went belly-up. But we’re having a hard time believing that something from the final year of the Pontiac Aztek will ever count as having a “collector car” in your garage.

The reality is that there are an awful lot of different products on the market, and plenty more used vehicles you can choose from.  So, if you were really interested in starting a hobby as a collector – and didn’t have a seven-figure nest egg to tap – where would you begin.

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Luckily, we’ve got some friends in the right places, notably including McKeel Hagerty, the CEO of Hagerty Insurance, to lend some help.  Don’t bother to question his bona fides.  His firm is one of the largest in the business serving automotive collectors and that means he’s got the data to show what’s trending up.


JFK’s Hearse Going on the Auction Block

Will be offered by Barrett-Jackson in January.

by on Dec.19, 2011

The Cadillac hearse used to transport JFK's casket to Love Field for the flight back to Washington.

If you’ve got the money you’ll be able to buy a memento of one of the saddest days in American history.

The hearse that carried John F. Kennedy’s casket to the Dallas airport in November 1963 will go on the auction block next month.  It was used to transport both the casket and First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy from Parkland Memorial Hospital to Love Field, where Air Force One was waiting for the return flight to Washington, D.C.

“The eyes of the world were on this car on that unforgettable day in American history,” said Steve Davis, president of the Barrett-Jackson Auction, which will handle the sale of the Cadillac hearse. “It’s one of the most significant and historical vehicles ever offered for sale.”

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The hearse was originally created as a showpiece for a trade show by the Miller Meteor Company and then sold to the O’Neal Funeral Home, in Dallas just a month before JFK’s November 22, 1963 assassination.


First Classic Car Auctions of ’10 Deliver Mixed Results

No fire sales, but no records, either.

by on Jan.25, 2010

The annual Barrett-Jackson Auction has spurned a classic car industry, each January, in Scotsdale.

Even the windstorm that flattened two tents, damaging 100s of classic cars waiting to go on the auction block couldn’t dampen the enthusiasm at what has become the biggest week of the year for collectors who gathered in the tony Phoenix suburb of Scotsdale, over the past week.

The weekend has been a must-attend for more than a decade, starting out with the granddaddy of Scotsdale events, the annual Barrett-Jackson Auction and now including five other events that aim to serve every possible niche of the classic car market, from muscle cars to rare and exotic imports.

Preliminary figures from the four largest events show sales of about $135 million in classic metal.  That’s almost identical to last year’s numbers for the Barrett-Jackson, Russo & Steele, Gooding and RM Auctions.  And the figures actually would’ve been higher, says David Kinney, Publisher of Hagerty’s Cars That Matter, were it not for the windstorm that brought down the two Russo & Steele tents.

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On the other hand, Kinney cautions, the auctions gaveled off more cars, this year than during the devastating January 2009, when the economy was in freefall, so buyers paid less, on average.  At the 800-pound gorilla of the auction scene, the annual Barrett-Jackson, the typical car was auctioned off for $54,814, a bit less than a 4% decline.  But at Gooding, which specializes in exotic autos, the average price slipped from $386,226, last year, to just $297,368.

“Doldrums may be a good way to describe it,” suggests McKeel Hagerty, a long-time auction observer and owner of Hagerty Insurance.  “The quality wasn’t the wall-to-wall perfect cars we would have seen in prior years.  Some of the best cars just aren’t coming to market right now.  People are waiting for the market to improve before selling.”