Are these heavyweights the key to the top prices at Amelia Island?

They said only the very best will sell well, and the auction houses answered accordingly. At this year’s Amelia Island sales, there are more big hitters than ever, with some truly top-shelf, blue-chip vehicles set to cross the block…

Crème de la crème

As the lots consigned to the Amelia Island auctions began to trickle out from the perfectly formed PR departments of their respective auction houses, the collector car world was greeted by the familiar sights of some big-money 1950s Prancing Horses, the ever popular modern hypercar, and the 1980s plastic-fantastic brigade we’ve come to expect from top auction catalogues. With the announcement of the 1957 Jaguar XKSS from Gooding & Co, however, the chatter among the industry grew louder. Perhaps spurred on by Jaguar’s recent re-birth of the XKSS, the sale of chassis 716 is the first at auction in a decade, and having been restored by renowned specialist Pearson Engineering and boasting period race history, the attached estimate of 16–18m US dollars is sure to spark conversation. 

RM Sotheby’s is bringing the heat with a trio of 10m-dollar delights: a Platinum Award-winning 1961 Ferrari 250 SWB Berlinetta (est. 9–10m dollars), a one-of-three-remaining 1937 Bugatti Type 57S Cabriolet by Vanvooren (est. 8.5–10m dollars), and a period Mille Miglia-master 1950 Ferrari 166 MM Barchetta by Touring (est. 8–10m dollars), which will be spearheading a sale littered with variety. For the younger collectors, Gooding & Co’s awe-inspiring 1989 Mazda 767B (est. 1.8–2.4m dollars) and the 1998 Porsche 911 GT1 Strassenversion (estimate on request) are sure to have paddles wagging, while the myriad machinery on offer from Motostalgia, including the bespoke 1939 Bugatti Pacific (est. 240,000–300,000 dollars) and ex-Nuvolari 1950 Cisitalia Abarth 204A Spyder (estimate on request), will no doubt have bidders filling their tent. In a more considered market, the number of upper-echelon, top-price cars on offer should yield some interesting results and further highlight whether the best will always do well, regardless of market conditions.

Photos: RM Sotheby's / Gooding & Co / Motostalgia

You can browse the entire Amelia Island catalogues for Motostalgia, Gooding & Co, and RM Sotheby’s in the Classic Driver Market.