Can a car crash ever be positive? Just ask collectors who seek the rare Alfa Romeo Giulietta SZ, a lightweight racer that could also be road driven. In major European sports car races, the Alfa became known as a giant killer for its winning ways. It all started when a race driver had an older Alfa re-bodied by Zagato after a crash. Alfa Romeo like the result enough to commission 200 copies from the famous coachbuilder. Bonhams is offering one of those at its Amelia Island auction, with a pre-sale estimate of $350K-$400K. Meanwhile, Gooding & Company’s Amelia Island auction also has one of these rarities, also red, with an estimate up to $500K.
Ferrari draws on its heritage for design inspiration and, sometimes, model names. That’s why there were three different Ferrari GTO models over a half century period. While not intended as a racecar like the legendary 250 GTO and later 288 GTO before the 2011 599 GTO was developed from an experimental track car program, called 599 XX. Ferrari built just 599 of these later GTOs, with 125 coming to the U.S. Gooding & Company is offering one of these rare machines at its Amelia Island auction, with a pre-sale estimate of $800K-$1M.
Could you imagine referring to a modern high-end luxury grand tourer as “Queen Mother” today? It happened to Ferrari 55 years ago with its 365 GT 2+2. After testing the model in 1969, Road & Track magazine called the car “The Queen Mother of Ferraris.” Ferrari buffs embraced the nickname for this car and use it to this day. RM Sotheby’s is offering one of the 800 built at its Miami auction March 1-2, with a pre-sale estimate of $225K-$275K.
January kicked off collector-car auction season with a big bang and big dollars. Following Mecum’s $275M haul in Kissimmee, Florida mid-month, the traditional Arizona auctions added about $245M more to the tally, with $200M of that from Barrett-Jackson’s no-reserve sale in Scottsdale. Bonhams, though, had the highest-priced auction sale in Arizona, with $5.175M buying a Bugatti Chiron Super Sport 300+ (as in 300+ mph test-track capability) for a car with just Bugatti’s test and delivery miles.
To see and be seen in the toniest zip codes, you could hardly do better than a Bentley Azure, a convertible built in two design generations from 1995-2009. The second-generation design introduced in 2006 was based on a more modern chassis and offered performance that belied its size and elegant demeanor. The hand-built Azure was 213 inches long, weighed close to three tons, and used a 450-horsepower twin-turbo V-8. Bonhams is offering a 2007 Bentley Azure in Silver Lake Blue at its Scottsdale auction – at no reserve.
Ferrari had Pininfarina, and Aston Martin had Zagato, at least for a small number of very limited-edition models. The first was in 1961, the DB4 GT Zagato, with just 19 made. One of those sold for $9.5M a few years ago. The most ambitions collaboration between the British automaker and Italian designer/coachbuilder was a quartet of special bodies built around the second-generation V12-powered Vanquish model from 2017-2019. RM Sotheby’s 2024 Phoenix, Arizona auction is offering #33 of the 99 Vanquish Zagato coupes built, with an estimated selling price of $600K-$650K.
The 1960-1962 Ferrari 250 GT Cabriolet Series II may not have starred in a blockbuster movie about a mischievous Chicago high-schooler playing hooky, but it is nevertheless one of the brightest stars in the Ferrari universe. A bit more focused on touring comfort than its athletic California Spider sibling, the Series II Cabriolet was nearly as fast. Its Pininfarina-designed-and-built body easily draws admiring glances more than six decades later. Just 200 were built, and the RM Sotheby’s Phoenix, Arizona auction is offering one with a plethora of concours and show trophies. The pre-sale estimate is $1.5M-$1.75M.
Porsche last offered its blisteringly fast, track-optimized 911 GT2 RS for 2018-2019, selling about 1,100 in the U.S. It may not be the rarest modern 911 special model, but it remains among the most desirable by the automaker’s ardent collectors and track mavens. Typically optioned, the 911 GT2 RS easily exceeded its $294,000 base price. The 2024 Barrett-Jackson auction in Scottsdale, Arizona is offering a well-optioned 2019 Porsche 911 GT2 RS formerly owned by IndyCar champion Paul Tracy. Offered at no reserve, it will be going to the highest bidder in January.
Lamborghini has had trouble attracting customers from the Witness Protection program, and the Murciélago Roadster is one reason. The absolute antithesis of “blending in,” the open Murciélago was even more extroverted than its coupe sibling, if only because now people could easily see who was driving this 42-inch-high supercar. The $320,000 Murciélago Roadster came with a rudimentary top that made fair-weather driving more appealing than dealing with the annoyance of rain showers. The Barrett-Jackson collector-car auction in Scottdale, Arizona in January 2024 is offering a black 2006 Murciélago Roadster at no reserve.