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.
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.
Just 10 supercar connoisseurs were able to buy a McLaren 570 MSO-X, a special track-oriented model, in 2018. Each was decked out in livery inspired by McLaren F1 GTR racecars, and each is unique. At Barrett-Jackson’s Scottsdale auction in January, the #8 MSO-X will go to a new owner thanks to this auction company’s all no-reserve policy. McLaren built these cars as dual-purpose road and track machines, ready pile on the miles in either setting.
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.
Will the 812 GTS be Ferrari’s final front-engine, naturally aspirated V-12 spider? Based on the appropriately named 812 Superfast Berlinetta, the 812 GTS shares a lineage with a line of classic open Ferraris, including the magnificent 365 GTS/4 Daytona Spider of the early ’70s. The 812 GTS has a retractable hardtop roof and a 789-horsepower 6.5-liter V-12. Bonhams’ Scottsdale auction is offering a 2021 812 GTS with just 217 miles.
A few Scottscale Auction highlights: a record $6.8 million for a 1955 alloy-body Mecedes-Benz 300 SL Gullwing; a $335,000 sale of the 1949 “Rain Man” Buick Roadmaster convertible; and $775,000 for a rebuilt Duesenberg Model J engine – yes, just the engine. Read all the highlights here