The US market opened in rude health, with new auction records and impressive sell-through rates in January. RM Sotheby’s claimed the honours for the highest price achieved during this year’s Scottsdale car week, its 1955 Mercedes-Benz 300 SL Alloy Gullwing changing hands for $6,825,000 (estimate $7,000,000 – 9,000,000) – an auction world record for the model. Both the non-alloy 300 SLs on offer also found new homes, the recently restored 1964 European-spec Roadster made a mid-estimate $2,315,000 and the 1955 Gullwing took $1,710,000 (estimate $1,450,000 – 1,650,000).
Top Ferrari performer was a 1967 330 GTS from The Dr. Terry Maxon Collection at $1,957,500 (estimate $1,500,000 – 2,000,000), edging out the other jewel in the collection, a 1965 275 GTB, that drew $1,875,000 (estate $1,500,000 – 2,000,000).
Elsewhere, highlights included Giorgio Moroder’s 1988 Cizeta-Moroder V16T which commanded a winning bid of $1,363,500, comfortably exceeding its $900,000 – 1,200,000 guide. Owned by the music legend since new, the prototype (chassis 001) was exhibited at the 1989 Los Angeles and Geneva Motor Shows and had been restored by Canepa Design in 2018.
RM Sotheby’s Arizona sale generated a $43.3 million total and a 95% sell-through rate.
Bonhams star attraction also turned in a strong result, the meticulously restored 1958 AC Ace smashing its pre-sale estimate of $325,000 – 375,000, selling for $516,500.
An unrestored ‘barn find’ 1953 Mercedes-Benz 300 S Roadster, off the road for the last two decades, fetched $472,500 (estimate $375,000 – 475,000); while robust demand for modern machinery saw a 14,000-mile 1997 Porsche 911 Turbo S make $467,000 (estimate $260,000 – 320,000), and a 1989 Lamborghini Countach 25th Anniversary with 10,662km raised $445,000 (estimate $300,000 – 350,000). Bonhams’ Scottsdale auction matched RM’s sell-through rate at 95%.
Supercars headed the results at Barrett-Jackson’s Scottsdale marathon, with all lots offered at no reserve. The most successful event in their 50-year history saw 1,857 vehicles hammered away for $195.9 million. Notable results included a two-owner 1,547-mile 2004 Porsche Carrera GT which set a new high-water mark at $1,980,000; a barely used 2015 Porsche 918 Spyder showing just 377 miles at $1,815,000; and a 902-mile 2019 McLaren Senna at $1,512,500.
Mecum made the headlines at the beginning of the month, selling 2,954 cars at its annual Kissimmee auction for a record $213 million – the first time a single-event collector car sale had passed $200 million. The ex-Ken Miles 1965 Shelby GT350 R Prototype “Flying Mustang” took the top slot at $3,750,000, while another Mercedes-Benz 300 SL Gullwing again made big numbers, Mecum’s car blitzing its $1,750,000 – 2,000,000 estimate, establishing a new record at $2,640,000.
Read through the rest of our classic car auction reports for more auction results. Check out our online resource for upcoming classic car auction events and classic car auction results around the world.