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Arizona 2015 – the key blue-chips, supercars and barn-finds

The Arizona auction extravaganza begins this week. We’ve pored over the catalogues from Bonhams, RM and Gooding to bring you the most important lots…

If the price estimates from the auction houses are anything to go by, the market for classic cars is as buoyant as ever – and the annual Arizona sales act as a barometer by which the following months’ trends are set. Three-million-euro Ferrari Daytonas and million-euro Lamborghini Countaches are 2014’s news; attention has now moved to the other 1980s and 1990s heroes, such as Ferrari Testarossas, Porsche 959sBugatti EB110s and the like. But it’ll also be interesting to see whether the Lamborghini Miura will finally move beyond the stable levels at which it has rested over the past few years – the same going for the lesser-loved classics such as the Ferrari 400 2+2. There also seems to be much movement in the market for Mercedes-Benz 300 SLs: RM’s catalogue boasts three, Gooding’s four, and Bonhams’ another trio.

RM Auctions from 14 to 16 January in Phoenix

At RM’s sale, which takes place between 14 and 16 January, a Ferrari 250 LM once again leads the line. The ninth of 32 produced, it has period racing history under the banner of Scuderia Filipinetti, and is expected to fetch between $9.5m and $12.5m. Elsewhere, other heavyweight Ferrari collector cars include a 1969 Ferrari 365 GTS by Pininfarina, two 275 GTBs (a two-cam and a four-cam) and the 365 GTB/4 Daytona Spider shown above, estimated at $3m - $3.5m.

Ferraris aside, one lot of note is a 1993 Bugatti EB110 GT. It carries an estimate of $575,000 to $775,000 but, considering its single-owner history, limited numbers (139 GTs were built) and low mileage – only 8,000km – could it edge closer to the magical million-dollar mark?

Bonhams on 15 January in Scottsdale

Bonhams’ sale on 15 January in Scottsdale also throws an ex-Scuderia Filipinetti Ferrari into the limelight, this time a 1966 275 GTB Competizione. One of the most successful of the 12 275 GTB/Cs, chassis 09079 boasts class wins at Le Mans, Spa-Francorchamps and Imola; its estimate is available on request only. Also resplendent in red, although wearing Aston Martin wings rather than the familiar Prancing Horse, is a 1964 Aston Martin DB5 Convertible. One of the 123 built, it left Aston Martin Works in right-hand-drive form wearing its striking red paintwork. Estimate: $1.4m - $1.7m

It remains to be seen whether the legendary Porsche 911 2.7 RS has reached its zenith. Bonhams’ experts have put an $850,000 - $950,000 estimate on the yellow example it will auction in Scottsdale – no doubt due to its as-delivered restored condition and Prince Max Emanuel von Thurn & Taxis provenance.

Gooding & Company on 16 and 17 January in Scottsdale

Perhaps it was the stratospheric sum paid for a dilapidated Gullwing at last year’s sale that prompted Gooding to include three important barn-finds in this year’s auction, taking place on 16 and 17 January. The most significant is a Shelby Cobra 289 from 1964, stored in a barn in Vermont for almost 40 years. Gooding describes the Cobra – chassis CSX2436 – as ‘highly authentic’, attaching an estimate of $1m - $1.4m.

Elsewhere, the lots include a stunning 1962 Ferrari 400 Superamerica Series I Coupé Aerodinamico, one of only seven produced with closed headlights in short-wheelbase form. Despite carrying an estimate of $4m - $5m, the exotic coupé does not occupy the most lucrative slot at Gooding’s sale; that’s reserved for a 1959 Ferrari 250 GT LWB California, expected to fetch precisely double that. A Porsche 906 Carrera 6 with period Dutch racing history might also tickle your fancy at $2m - $2.4m, eligible for the Tour Auto, Le Mans Classic and the Rennsport Reunion.

Photos: RM Auctions, Bonhams, Gooding & Co.