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.
Closing in on the end of another year, Premier Financial Services looks back on its Top-10 exotic cars leased for 2023. This year, Ferrari pushed Porsche out of the #1 leased marque for the year in terms of volume of leases. Lamborghini, however, made a stronger showing on the list with three models in the Top-10. Porsche’s two top sports cars, the 911 GT3 and 911 Turbo S, both made the cut, as well. With its new MC20, Maserati has returned to the mid-engine exotic category after a 45-year absence. The new Maserati grabbed the #10 spot on the list. What’s your favorite?
Has inflation taken a bite out of the exotic car market? Premier Financial Services Midwest Regional Sales Manager Ross Dressel has seen a dip in activity in the $200K-$500K heart of that segment. But meanwhile, “affordable” pre-owned exotics and classics in the $75K-$200K range are getting more action for America’s #1 exotic and classic car lease financing provider. Who’s up? Who’s down? Read here to find out.
Just a few months after unveiling its new DB12 “super tourer” coupe, Aston Martin has introduced the convertible version, called Volante. The British automaker first used the Volante name on a special run of 37 DB5 convertibles in 1965 and has used it on its convertibles since. The name is Italian for ‘flying’ or ‘moving lightly and quickly.’ The 671-horsepower DB12 Volante can certainly do that. The newest Aston Martin would seem to have just two direct rivals, the Ferrari Roma Spider and Bentley Continental GTC. Which would you choose?
With the added perk of super-rarity, the Bentley Continentals of the Sixties remain among the most sought-after of the marque’s classic cars. Gooding & Company’s 2023 Pebble Beach Concours d’ Elegance® auction is offering a rare left-hand-drive 1961 Bentley S2 two-door saloon with coachwork by H.J. Mulliner that exemplified this model’s divergence from the parent company. It has a pre-sale estimate of $400K-$500K.
Bentley was born racing, and while most of its 100+ years have been spent away from the track, the company is going back with one of the 1929 Bentley Blower Continuation Cars it has built. The car, created using blueprints and 3D scans of an original car in Bentley’s Heritage Collection, will compete at three major historic automobile races through September. Bentley is also celebrating the 20th anniversary of its sixth and final victory at the 24 Hours of Le Mans with a limited-edition series of 48 “Le Mans Collection” Continental GT and GTC models.
A review of Premier Financial Services’ leasing activity during 2021, shows most of the same marques and models repeating their appearances in our annual Top-10 Leased Exotics list, although with different positions. Which is your favorite?