25/01/2012 RM Auctions, 'Automobiles of Arizona' 19-20 January 2012: Review
1957 Ferrari 410 Superamerica Coupé - Sold for $1,815,000
“A great kick-start to what is shaping up as another terrific auction year,” is how Rob Myers, Chairman and Founder, RM Auctions, described the Ontario-based company’s $25.6m sale at the Arizona Biltmore last week.
Out of the 140-car catalogue – deliberately restricted to high-quality entries only – 126 lots were sold, an impressive, in today’s market, sell-through rate of 90%.
It comes as no surprise that the 1957 Ferrari 410 Superamerica Coupé, the only one originally bodied by Scaglietti and featuring wildly dramatic, space-age styling, sold for $1,815,000. Of the other nine Ferraris offered by RM at Arizona in 2012, a 1991 F40 (ex-Lee Iacocca) sold for what must be a record $781,000, the 1973 365 GTB/4 'Daytona' Spider achieved $990,000 and a quite superb (with Targa Florio history) 1963 Ferrari 250 GT Lusso realised $979,000.
1955 Austin-Healey 100M 'Le Mans' Roadster - Sold for $162,250
1973 Ferrari 365 GTB/4 'Daytona' Spider - Sold for $990,000
Other Italian marques doing well included the 1957 Maserati 3500 GT ($165,000, very classy in white with red hide), the $297,000 1963 Maserati 3500 GT Vignale Spyder and the 1969 Lamborghini Islero S, a tidy car coming out of a big Lamborghini collection on the West Coast for $110,000.
Heading into mainland Europe, the two Mercedes-Benz 300SLs sold at above-market values (a 1955 ‘Gullwing’ for $632,500 and $737,000 for a 1957 Roadster); and how about $990,000 for the 1959 BMW 507 Roadster? So close to ushering in the era of the ‘million-dollar-507’, the black/green leather car came with Rudge wheels and an extensive restoration history file courtesy of RM Auto Restoration.
1959 BMW 507 Roadster - Sold for $990,000
A quite perfect 1958 Porsche 356A 1600 Speedster deservedly achieved $335,500 and the superb (Black Pearl with Terra Cotta leather) 1962 Aston Martin DB4 sold for $363,000.
RM likes to present rare American show or concept cars and, in Arizona this year, these included a restored 1956 Cadillac Eldorado Brougham Town Car Concept which found a new owner at $258,500. Of the pre-War entries, such gems as the 1938 Cadillac V-16 Presidential Convertible Parade Limousine ($269,500), the 1930 Duesenberg Model J LWB LeBaron Dual Cowl Phaeton ($880,000) and the 1931 Chrysler CG Imperial Convertible Victoria ($522,500) were all set to be shipped to garages new.
While, in recent years, the likes of RM and Gooding have preferred to leave the muscle cars to local company Russo & Steele and Barrett Jackson, RM usually includes a carefully chosen number of big-engined American V8s. So, in 2012, the 1971 Dodge ‘Mr. Norm’ Hemi Challenger R/T went for $308,000, the 1967 Chevrolet Nickey Camaro SS $385,000 and the 1967 Chevrolet Corvette 427/435 Stingray Roadster a handy $205,000.
1954 Chevrolet Corvette 'Bubbletop' Roadster - Sold for $176,000
1954 Allard K3 Roadster - Sold for $57,750
1957 Mercedes-Benz 300SL Roadster - Sold for $737,000
1930 Duesenberg Model J LWB Dual Cowl Phaeton - Sold for $880,000
I’ll leave greater minds than mine to wrestle with the “is an AC Cobra 289 British or American?” conundrum, but there’s no denying the lineage of the big-block, 427 Cobras. RM sold the rootinest, tootinest 1966 Shelby 427 Cobra for $880,000. I’d like to have been there to hear it “a-hodda-hodda-hodda” over the block. And the car I wished I'd bid on? Got to be the 1954 Allard K3 Roadster, all $57,750 of it.