Amelia Island Auctions 2015 – the stars from Bonhams, Gooding and RM Sotheby’s

On the east coast of Florida this week, the collector community meets at the annual Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance. The programme offers an auction from RM Sotheby’s, but Bonhams and Gooding will also be serving up some delicacies. We present highlights from the three auction houses...

Bonhams on 12 March at Fernandina Beach Golf Club

The Bonhams catalogue includes this 1992 Ferrari F40, the last to be built with US equipment – and estimated at 1.2 to 1.4 million US dollars. In a different price bracket, meanwhile, is one of our favourite supercars from Bavaria, the BMW M1. The Bonhams example comes from the last year of production (1981) and has fewer than 7,600 miles on the odometer, and the estimate of 400,000 to 450,000 euros is fair enough when you consider what this rare supercar has to offer, both technically and historically. Moving to a different era entirely, we have the 1930 Cord L-29 ‘Town Car’ with a Murphy & Co body and a Hollywood history. The most famous actor to be chauffeured in this innovative automobile was John Barrymore – and the estimate of the pre-War classic with its special bodywork and authentic patina is available only on request.

The automobile auction by Bonhams will start at 12.00, following on from the automobilia sale from 10.00.

Gooding & Company on 13 March at the Racquet Park

Anyone looking for a suitable historic racer for the Tour Auto, Le Mans Classic or Porsche Rennsport Reunion would do well to consider this 1974 Porsche 911 Carrera 3.0 RSR in Café Mexicano livery, carrying an estimate of 1.2 to 1.5 million US dollars. The eventful history of the RSR racing car is well worth reading – and don't miss the onboard tutorial shown here, with racing driver Jim Pace at the wheel.

A further potential dollar millionaire at Gooding’s Amelia Island sale is also a Porsche. However, this is no classic or racing legend, but an almost modern Porsche 993 GT2. This exceptional ‘Turbo’ is extremely rare – only 57 road-going versions were built – and is increasingly sought-after by the collector market, hence the generous 950,000 to 1.25 million-euro estimate. However, arguably the most exciting car at the Gooding auction is a Maserati 200 SI: a racing legend with a brushed aluminium body that was raced by the Maserati factory team in the 1950s, with – among others – Stirling Moss at the wheel. Today, the Maserati would be welcome at almost any top-class event, as its period history demonstrates.

The Gooding & Company auction starts next Friday at 11.00.

RM Sotheby’s on 14 March  at the Ritz-Carlton Hotel

RM will be serving up a selection of world-class racers next Saturday, at the official Amelia Island auction. In addition to the Jaguar D-type, which we’ve covered elsewhere, there is another British blue-chip classic going under the hammer, in the form of the Jaguar XJR-9. The car’s biggest success was victory at the 1990 24 Hours of Daytona. Today, after restoration, the race car is in excellent condition and expects bids between 3.0 and 5.0 million US dollars. Another highlight is the wonderful 1953 Ferrari 212 Europa Coupé with its Vignale coachwork, of which only six were built – this one for the American sportsman Thomas Neelands. Price expectations are at the 2.0 to 2.5 million-dollar level. For almost the same price – 2.2 to 2.5 million – RM Sotheby’s is offering an attractive 1967 Shelby Cobra ‘Semi-Competition’ 427. Chassis number CSX 3045 is one of the 29 Cobras to this racing specification and is accompanied by a fully documented history.

The RM Sotheby’s sale will start on Saturday at 11.00.

Photos: RM Sotheby's, Bonhams, Gooding & Co.