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.
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.
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?
This month’s Gooding & Company Geared Online auction offers a compelling pair of vintage V8-powered Maserati GTs by the same legendary Italian designer, Giorgetto Giugiaro. The front-engine Ghibli represents 1960s design, and the mid-engine Bora flies the 1970s flag. Both have pre-sale estimates hovering in the $100,000 neighborhood, give or take. Both are listed at no reserve, which means both are going to new owners for sure. If you had to choose just one, which would you want?
If you’re heading to Monterey Car Week in August, consider Concorso Italiano a must-see event Saturday, August 19 on the fairways of the Bayonet Golf Course in Seaside, California. This unique show displays nearly 700 cars and motorcycles, covering the gamut of 10 different marques. Alfa Romeo, Ferrari, and Lamborghini dominate in sheer numbers, while other Italian classics, exotics, and obscure models offer many more compelling treats to see. The atmosphere is casual-festival, with an emphasis on fun.
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
The new Rolls-Royce battery-powered “Spectre,” arriving in late 2023, provides a “magic carpet ride” of luxury. In fact, the Spectre’s suspension uses an array of cameras and sensors to “read” the road surface ahead and preemptively adjust the ride on the go. Pricing is expected to be over $400,000, and orders are already coming in.
The Ferrari-Maserati divorce has put the Italian supercar universe back in order, with Maserati emerging with its strongest model line since the 1960s. The newest models include the MC-20 supercar, a high-performance Grecale SUV, and the GranTurismo. The gas-fueled Maserati GranTurismo arrives in spring, with an electric version coming in late 2023. Sources suggest a $170,000 starting price.