Forget March Madness, Florida brought the heat to the collector car world with the quartet of Amelia Island auctions booking $186 million in sales, a record for the venue. The top sale, a 1962 Ferrari 250 GT California Spider, accounted for $18M by itself. Ferraris grabbed 13 slots across the four auctions’ Top-10 lists, and Porsches took four. Modern supercars made some auction Top-10 lists, including $5.3M for a rare Pagani Zonda and $2.4M for a McLaren P1. A 1931 Duesenberg put the spotlight on Pre-war cars with a $4.3M sale.
It’s good to be king, because then you can order yourself a custom-built car like the Maserati made for the Shah of Iran in 1959. The monarch and budding car collector requested that Maserati build a special car by installing the V-8 engine from its 450S racecar into the 3500 GT production coupe. The result was the 170-mph 5000 GT. Maserati made 34 with bodies by various coachbuilders. At its Amelia Island auction, Bonhams is offering one of the 22 with bodies by Allemano, a restoration candidate with a pre-sale estimate of $500K-$800K
While the “Imperial” and “LeBaron” names became diluted on mainstream Chrysler cars in more recent history, the two had once created great American luxury together. LeBaron was America’s most distinguished designer of the period, creating bodies for the world’s top luxury automakers. The early 1930s Chrysler Imperials designed by LeBaron are among America’s most beautiful classics. Marjorie Merriweather Post, who owned General Foods Corporation, must have thought so when she purchased this 1933 Chrysler Imperial CL Dual Cowl Phaeton. Bonhams is offering the car at its Amelia Island auction, with a $375K-$450K pre-sale estimate.
The letters on your modern car’s trunk lid might have no real meaning, but the “S” on the back of a classic Porsche 911 signified a major performance upgrade over the standard car. Porsche’s marketing for the original 911S cautioned, “This is no car for a novice.” The 911S rewarded skilled drivers while being known to put a scare into those unfamiliar with its handling traits. RM Sotheby’s is offering a rare concours-restored 1968 911S at no reserve at its Amelia Island auction in March. Expect hot bidding.
Major auto auctions held in conjunction with the world-renowned Amelia Island Concours d’ Elegance in Florida offer some of the world’s most desirable collector cars, and Premier’s regional sales managers will be there for the action and to meet customers. In the meantime, they have posted their own “Cars to Watch” as picks for cars most likely to sell well. Except for one American supercar making the list, it’s a German and Italian feast.
Would you recognize this car as a Lamborghini? It’s the Islero, and it’s rare with just 225 made for 1968-1969. Named for the bull that killed one of Spain’s most famous bullfighters, the Islero packed the punch of a six-carburetor V-12 that could take it to 150 mph. The Islero’s modernistic look presaged the angular style would define exotic car design in the Seventies. Gooding & Company will offer this restored black 1968 Lamborghini Islero at its Amelia Island auction, where it is estimated to sell for up to $500,000.
A 1986 hit movie made the Ferrari 250 GT California Spider famous among non-enthusiasts, but the California Spider had a rich life before that film. Enthusiasts have revered the car as a pinnacle Ferrari classic since it left the factory more than a half-century ago. The Ferrari collectors who restored this 1962 California Spider bought it in lightly damaged condition in 1972 for – wait for it – $2,400! It is expected to sell for up to $22 million at the Gooding & Company Amelia Island auction.
The 2023 collector car auction season got off to a roaring start in January. The Bonhams Scottsdale auction reached $30M in sales, and RM Sotheby’s reported $44M. The big surprise came from Bonhams, where a 1912 Simplex brought $4.8M, a record for a pre-WWI car. Supercars were still supreme, though, with a Ferrari LaFerrari getting $4.075M at RM Sotheby’s and, earlier in the month, a Ferrari F40 topping the Mecum sale in Kissimmee, Florida at $3.135M.
One a year in January, Palm Beach, Florida becomes the center of the Ferrari world with Cavallino Classic. This four-day event presents the full spectrum of the Ferrari lifestyle, including racing, touring, and concours competition – all in and around the luxurious setting of The Breakers hotel. A feast for all the senses, Cavallino Classic is a rare opportunity to see the marque’s vibrant history on display and on the track.