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Pebble Beach Auction Tally Tops All-Time Record

$11 mil for a Ford.

by on Aug.20, 2012

This GT40 Le Mans winner nabbed an $11 mil. all-time record bid for a Ford.

What economic downturn?

Auctioneers gaveled in a record $260.3 million in sales over the long Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance weekend, shattering last year’s $197.5 million tally, according to preliminary numbers compiled by Hagerty Insurance, which specializes in classic and exotic automobiles.

The strong performance came despite a decline in the actual number of vehicles being auctioned off during the four-day gathering. And the figures actually could go higher as some cars that didn’t hit their minimums during the auction could still be sold before the five biggest auction firms break down their tents.

The top seller was a 1936 Mercedes-Benz 540K Special Roadster that garnered a winning bid of $11,770,000 at the Gooding auction house.  That was more than many had anticipated – but fell short of the $15 million figure some had expected.

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Perhaps the biggest surprise, however, was the $11,000,000 that RM Auctions nabbed for a 1968 Ford GT40 Gulf/Mirage Coupe. It has a strong pedigree among the very limited run of supercars that the late Henry Ford II ordered built after the Detroit maker failed in its bid to purchased Ferrari, back in the 1960s.  This particular GT40 won the grueling 24 Hours of Le Mans endurance race four years in a row, from 1966 to 1969.

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What Troubled Economy? Scottsdale Classic Auctions Rake in Over $180 Million

First-off Corvette 427 Convertible nabs $600,000; Mercedes gullwing nears $5 mil.

by on Jan.23, 2012

The winning bid and fees for this 1955 aluminum-bodied Mercedes Gullwing neared $5 million.

The economy may still be in trouble but one would have had a tough time believing it in tony Scottsdale, Arizona over the weekend, where bidders flashed their cash in a bidding frenzy that generated tens of millions of dollars in sales during the city’s annual classic auction extravaganza.

Final figures from the well-known Barrett-Jackson and five other auctions indicate they generated about $182 million in sales, with a rare aluminum-bodied Mercedes-Benz gullwing coupe commanding $4.62 million after commissions were added in.  Meanwhile, charities netted a cool $600,000 for the first-off-the-line Chevrolet Corvette 427 Convertible – as much as eight times what it would go for in a dealership later this year.

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The final sales total was up from $157 million in 2011, and was well beyond initial expectations, McKeel Hagerty, head of the classic car insurance firm, Hagerty Insurance, telling TheDetroitBureau.com that, “Across the board, everybody had solid sales.”  Hagerty added that a number of collectors returned to Scottsdale after being out of the market for several years.

On the other hand, he said, there was “definitely not the irrational exuberance (of a decade ago).  It’s a smarter market.”

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