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.
Mercedes-Benz, through its Mercedes-AMG performance division, has launched a new AMG GT coupe, after discontinuing the successful original 2015-2023 model. The king of the hill in that original run was the AMG GT Black Series, a track machine with few peers. For those who put down a deposit for the hyper-limited $2.7 million AMG Project One hypercar, Mercedes also offered the opportunity to buy an AMG GT Black Series Project One Edition for nearly $400,000. Just 25 were believed sold in the U.S., and RM Sotheby’s Miami sale in March is offering one, with a pre-sale estimate of $550K-$700K.
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.
If you plan to be in New York City on November 13 and have easy access to about $60 million, why not take a chance bidding on a one-of-one Ferrari? The RM Sotheby’s Modern and Contemporary Art auction will offer a 1962 Ferrari 250 GTO that’s also known as the 330 LM. The car was built to suit a new race class at the time, which allowed replacing the 25 GTO’s 3.0-liter V12 with a more powerful 4.0-liter. Ferrari kept this special GTO for its own Scuderia Ferrari race team. Will this car surpass the reported $70 million a private collector paid for a 250 GTO in 2018? We shall see on November 13.
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?
What does $400 million buy today? It was enough to take home about 1,200 of the world’s finest collector cars offered at the 2023 Monterey auctions held from August 17-19. That was down from $475M in 2022, and the sell-through rate was lower, too. Just the same, some stellar automobiles traded hands in Monterey at auctions held by Bonhams, Broad Arrow, Gooding & Company, Mecum, and RM Sotheby’s. The top sale was a 1967 Ferrari 412P racecar for $30.2M at Bonhams, while a 1957 Jaguar XKSS, one of just 16 made, was #2 at just over $13M.
What better prelude to the 72nd Pebble Beach Concours d’ Elegance® than to buy a car (or few cars) from the auctions held in conjunction with this pinnacle event? If you’re bidding or selling, the action is at the auctions, of course. We’ve assembled the auction itinerary here and selected some highlights from the Bonhams, Broad Arrow, Gooding & Company, Mecum, and RM Sotheby’s sales.
Giotto Bizzarrini, who died in spring 2023, left a legacy that includes the Ferrari 250 GTO, the first Lamborghini V12 engine, and the car that bore his name, the Bizzarrini 5300 GT. Few of these stunning Italian sports/GT cars were made, all powered by Chevy Corvette V8s for spellbinding performance and easy serviceability. A class win at Le Mans in 1965 established racing pedigree. At its Monterey Auction this month, RM Sotheby’s is offering an impeccably finished 5300 GT with a pre-sale estimate of $880K-$1M.