Auctions: Amelia Island / Florida Auctions Bring in Over $186M

A Brass-Era Mercedes Gets the Gold at Amelia Island

Three auctions held in and around the Amelia Island Concours (Bonhams, Broad Arrow, and Gooding & Company) and the RM Sotheby’s Miami Auction grossed more than $186M, exceeding last year’s sales by about $3M. Gooding & Company’s two-day Amelia Island sale grossed $67.3M, achieving an 87% sell-through rate with 111 of 127 lots sold. Broad Arrow reported $63M in sales, doubling its 2023 Amelia Island sale. RM Sotheby’s logged just over $50M in sales, with Bonhams logging $6.75M.

The top sale for the weekend was about as “pre-war” is it gets, since it predated both WWI and WWII: a 1903 Mercedes-Simplex 60 HP ‘Roi des Belges’ sold by Gooding & Company for $12.1M, the record for the most ever paid for an antique brass-era car at auction. Broad Arrow’s top sale, a 1967 Ford GT40 Mk. 1 used mainly for promotional purposes when new, came in second at $4.4M, while RM Sotheby’s top sale of a 1952 Ferrari 250 Europa by Vignale was right behind that at $4.3M.

At Bonhams, the top sale was unique, to say the least: a re-creation of an early 20th century racecar build around the engine from the original car and using original factory plans. The reconstructed 1904 Gordon Bennett Napier L48 “Samson” Racing Car brought $742,000. The price was well below the $900K-$1.1M pre-sale estimate.

We spotted a pattern of “pairs” among the auctions: Gooding & Company and Broad Arrow both had a Ferrari 365 GTS/4 Daytona Spider in their top-10 results, both cars selling for over $3M. Bonhams and Gooding & Company each offered a red 1960 Alfa Romeo Giulietta SZ by Zagato, though only the Gooding car sold, for $417,500. Duesenberg buffs would have noted that Gooding & Company and RM Sotheby’s each sold a Model J “Disappearing Top” convertible.

Porschephiles were watching closely as two “reimagined” classics crossed the block. A 1988 Porsche 959 SC Reimagined by Canepa sold for $3,085,000 at Broad Arrow, while Gooding & Company sold a 1990 Porsche 964 Carrera 4 Reimagined by Singer for $1,160,000.

Gooding & Company

The auction house returned to its Florida venue to sell the top lot of the week, making history with the 1903 Mercedes-Simplex 60 HP ‘Roi des Belges’ offered from 121 years of single-family ownership. This rare Mercedes-Simplex was originally purchased by Alfred Harmsworth, who co-founded Britain’s The Daily Mail newspaper with his brother in 1896.

Describing the importance of the sale of this car, the auction house said in a statement, “This incredibly well-preserved and historic automotive artifact was undoubtedly among the most significant cars to come to market in recent memory.”

The 1972 Ferrari 365 GTS/4 Daytona Spider exceeded its $2.5M-$3M pre-sale estimate, selling for $3,635,000 to set a record for the model. Just 121 of these open Daytonas were factory-built, while numerous others were converted from coupes in the aftermarket. The car. A 1961 Porsche RS61 for $3,100,000 also set a record.

The 1967 Ferrari 275 GTB/4 “garage find,” originally owned by legendary race driver Jo Siffert, brought $2.9M. Two Porsches landed in the Gooding top 10, including a 2015 918 Spyder Weissach for $3.525M and a 1961 RS61 for $3.1M, a record for the model. All of the Ferraris from the Lannelli Family Collection sold, topped by the 2011 599 GTO for $907K. A Premiere auction preview car, the GTO landed in the middle of its $800K-$1M pre-sale estimate.

Gooding & Company Top 10 Sales

  1. 1903 Mercedes-Simplex 60 HP ‘Roi des Belges’: $12,105,000
  2. 1954 Ferrari 500 Mondial Series 1 Spider: $3,995,000
  3. 1972 Ferrari 365 GTS/4 Daytona Spider: $3,635,000
  4. 2015 Porsche 918 Spyder Weissach: $3,525,000
  5. 1961 Porsche RS61: $3,100,000
  6. 1967 Ferrari 275 GTB/4: $2,920,000
  7. 1931 Duesenberg Model J “Disappearing Top” convertible: $2,645,000
  8. 1938 Bugatti Type 57C Atalante: $2,260,000
  9. 1957 Mercedes-Benz 300 SL Roadster: $2,012,500
  10. 1973 Porsche 911 Carrera RS 2.7: $1,985,000
Gulf livery Porsche 918 Spyder left front view
Gooding & Company sold this 2015 Porsche 918 Spyder Weissach for $3.52M. (Source: Gooding & Company)
1903 Mercedes-Simplex 60 HP ‘Roi des Belges left front view
1903 Mercedes-Simplex 60 HP ‘Roi des Belges’ sold by Gooding & Company for $12.1M, the most ever paid for a brass-era car at auction. (Source: Gooding & Company)

RM Sotheby’s

RM Sotheby’s, having departed from the Amelia Island auctions after last year’s sale, held its Florida auction within the inaugural ModaMiami event. Making a strong showing for very early Ferraris, the RM Sothebys top sale was a 1953 Ferrari 250 Europa coupe with body by Vignale selling for $4,295,000. That beat the previous record for this model by $1M. With a design by Giovanni Michelotti, it was the display car at the 1953 Paris Motor Show. This Europa was also the first bodied by Vignaleand the first of just two 250 Europas that used the 3.0-liter Colombo V-12. That’s a lot of Ferrari history in one car.

Second on RM Sotheby’s top-10 was another very rare Ferrari, a 1967 365 California that sold for $4M. Pininfarina made just 14 of these open cars, using the chassis of the 330 GT 2+2 but with the larger 4.4-liter engine that would go into several Ferraris that followed.

The design debuted elements that would define the 365 GT 2+2. And, it just so happens, the auction also featured one of those, and it was one of our preview cars. That car sold for $162,400 – well under its $225K-$275K pre-sale estimate.

A 1966 Porsche 906 Carrera 6 racecar set a record for this model, selling for $2,205,000. Other notable sales from the RM Sotheby’s Miami 2024 auction included a 2012 Lexus LFA Nürburgring Package for $1.6M, a 1963 Aston Martin DB4 “SS Engine” Series V convertible, also for $1.6M, and a 1976 Lamborghini Countach LP 400 “Periscopio” for $1.15M.

RM Sotheby’s Top 10

  1. 1953 Ferrari 250 Europa coupe by Vignale: $4,295,000
  2. 1967 Ferrari 365 California: $4,000,000
  3. 1930 Duesenberg Model J “Disappearing Top” convertible: $3,855,000
  4. 1990 Ferrari F40: $3,360,000
  5. 2018 Bugatti Chiron: $3,150,000
  6. 2010 Bugatti Veyron 16.4 Grand Sport: $3,085,000
  7. 1929 Duesenberg Model J Dual Cowl Phaeton: $2,500,000
  8. 1930 Mercedes-Benz 770 K Pullman Cabriolet: $2,450,000
  9. 1963 Mercedes-Benz 300 SL Roadster: $2,260,000
  10. 1939 Mercedes-Benz 540 K Special Cabriolet: $2,205,000

(tied with 1966 Porsche 906 racecar)

Red and black 1953 Ferrari 250 Europa Vignale left view
RM Sotheby’s top sale, a 1953 Ferrari 250 Europa by Vignale for $4.3M. (Source: RM Sotheby’s)
Red Ferrari 365 California, left front view
1967 Ferrari 365 California, one of just 14 built, sold for $4M at RM Sotheby’s Miami auction. (Source: RM Sotheby’s)


The top sale at Bonhams for $742,000 was one of the more intriguing automobiles of the auction weekend, the Reconstructed 1904 Gordon Bennett Napier L48 “Samson” Racing Car. The first six-cylinder-powered car to ever race, the original Napier set the Flying One Mile World Record at 104.65 mph on the sand at sand Daytona Beach in January 1905. The car would go on to set additional records before being scrapped as a used-up racecar.

In the 1950s, Australian tractor maker Alan Hawker Chamberlain discovered the six-cylinder engine, which needed rebuilding, and decided to recreate the historic car around it. That was done by the late 1970s/early 1980s using original factory drawings, photos, and other documents. The finished car has since been shown at Pebble Beach twice and won its class in the Goodwood Festival of Speed hill climb in 2000. Another driver took it up to 99.4 mph in Western Australia in 2007.

A 2005 Ford GT with just 213 miles took second place on the Bonhams Top 10, bringing $409,350. Our preview car for this auction, the 1960 Alfa Romeo Giulietta SZ, did not sell. As noted above, Gooding & Company sold a visual twin to this car for $417,000 against a $400K-$500K estimate.

Bonhams Top 10

  1. Reconstructed 1904 Napier L48 “Samson” Racing Car: $742,000
  2. 2005 Ford GT: $409,250
  3. 2008 Mercedes-Benz SLR McLaren: $387,250
  4. 2007 Acura NSX-R by “Spoon”: $368,000
  5. 1995 Ferrari 512TR: $335,000
  6. 1955 Mercedes-Benz 300 S Coupe: $332,250
  7. 1967 Aston Martin DB6: $263,200
  8. 1965 Shelby Cobra 427 CSX 4000 Series: $257,600
  9. 1996 Porsche 911 Type 993 Turbo GT2 Tribute: $246,400
  10. 1930 Packard 745 Deluxe Eight: $224,000
1904 Napier L48 racecar, left front view
Bonhams sold this re-creation of an early 20th century Napier record-breaking racer for $742K. (Source: Bonhams)
Black 2005 Ford GT, right front view.
Bonhams second-highest sale at Amelia Island was a 2005 Ford GT for $409,250. (Source: Bonhams)

Broad Arrow

Broad Arrow’s second Amelia Auction doubled the sale gross of last year’s inaugural auction, grossing $63M with a 92% sell-through rate. The top sale was a 1967 Ford GT40 Mk. 1 that was used for media promotion when new. The auction’s top 10 also included a 1988 Porsche 959 SC Reimagined by Canepa, one of three built so far, going for $3,085,000.

Broad Arrow reported that two cars that sold after the auction, the 1959 Porsche 718 RSK Spyder “Lucybelle III” and 1966 Shelby 427 S/C Cobra, were within the top 10 sales, though the prices were not disclosed. The Cobra, of just 31 427 Semi-Competition Cobras made, was part of the Racer X Collection of 12 cars.

Volvo P1800 buffs can raise a glass of brännvin for the $95,200 paid for one of the early models contract-built for Volvo in England by Jensen.

Broad Arrow Top 10

  1. 1967 Ford GT40 Mk. 1: $4,405,000
  2. 2022 Bugatti Chiron Pur Sport: $4,047,500
  3. 1973 Ferrari 365 GTS/4 Daytona Spider: $3,305,000
  4. 1988 Porsche 959 SC Reimagined by Canepa: $3,085,000
  5. 2021 Lamborghini Sian: $2,645,000
  6. 1957 Mercedes-Benz 300 SL Roadster: $2,260,000
  7. 2022 Hennessey Venom F5: $2,205,000
  8. 2020 McLaren Speedtail – $2,067,500
Blue Ferrari Daytona Spider, left front view
1973 Ferrari Daytona Spider sold for $3.3M at Broad Arrow’s Amelia Island auction. (Source: Broad Arrow)
Jim Koscs
Written by Jim Koscs, Audamotive Communications