RM Auctions and Gooding & Company in Arizona 2008

Top North American auction houses Gooding and RM held sales on consecutive days last weekend. Despite the vicissitudes of global markets the results were solid, with RM recording total sales exceeding $26.7 million on the Friday, and Gooding grossing more than $21.0 million the day after.

Top sellers at the RM Auctions event, held at the Arizona Biltmore Resort & Spa, Phoenix, were from the 1930s: a 1934 Packard Twelve Coupe and a 1936 Mercedes-Benz 540K Special Cabriolet each selling for $2,035,000. The catalogue mainly comprised American cars from this, or the immediate post-War period and other big hitters were the 1929 Duesenberg Model J Dual Cowl Phaeton with coachwork by LeBaron ($1.76 million) and the 1941 Chrysler Thunderbolt concept car, also by LeBaron, at $1.32 million.

Significant prices were also achieved by the superb 1957 Mercedes-Benz 300 SL Roadster ($742,500) and 1963 Shelby AC Cobra, the first Shelby Cobra sold to the public and one of just three factory competition examples, achieving $1,732,500.

Other traditional US auction fare did well, with cars such as the 1966 Ferrari 275 GTB/6C selling for $1,375,000, a 1954 Jaguar XK 120 Roadster for $159,500, and the 1972 Ferrari 365 GTB/4 ‘Daytona’ achieving $374,000. The 1957 Maserati Tipo 54 (450S) was bid to $1,250,000 but did not sell - possibly a result of a (clearly catalogued) history that lacked conclusive proof of consistent chassis records.

"Despite the current financial climate, outstanding cars will always bring exceptional prices," said Ian Kelleher, Managing Director of RM Auctions.

"Proof is clearly in the results - one of the world’s most significant and attractive Packards is worth more today than it was yesterday, and the auction was extremely well attended, with bidders from all around the world taking part. When it was all said and done, the strong sales results set the scene for a promising year ahead," he added

Please CLICK HERE to see the full results from RM's Arizona sale.

A regular at Pebble Beach, traditionally holding the curtain-closing sale after the famous Concours d’Elegance, Gooding & Company was conducting its first Scottsdale sale. Well known for its superlative presentation, the Santa Monica-based company had a catalogue of over 70 motor cars, the highest seller slot going to the yellow 1959 Ferrari 250 GT LWB California Spider, knocked down for $3,300,000 including buyer’s premium.

Like RM, Gooding was majoring on familiar high quality US auction inventory: 1930s Elegance coupled with European exotica of the 50s and 60s and just a dash of high-worth homespun ‘muscle’ such as the 1966 Shelby GT 350 H selling for $132,000.

Other cars worthy of mention include the 1937 Bugatti Type 57C Coupé at $731,500, the 1932 Alfa Romeo 6C 1750 for $1,540,000 (a world record), and $550,000 for the sublime 1967 Ferrari 330 GTC Speciale.

"We were thrilled by the exceptional turnout and results from our first Scottsdale auction. 90% of our cars sold for more than their estimate," said President and Founder David Gooding. "With 64 lots, the average price per sale exceeded $330,000."

Please CLICK HERE to see the full results from Gooding & Company's Scottsdale sale.

Text: Steve Wakefield
Photos: RM / Gooding & Company

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