22 January 2014

Auction Results: Arizona 2014

Historically, the annual Arizona auctions have been scrutinized and examined as a bellwether for what the market will do during the next 6 to 12 months. And for good reason — somewhere in the neighborhood of 15% of cars sold at auction each year appear in Scottsdale or Phoenix in January. Those looking for evidence of a cooling trend this year will either have to dig deep into the results or wait for the next major event, as 2014’s totals far surpassed 2013’s record amount. In the end, $248.5M worth of cars traded among the 6 auction houses — more than a 10% increase — with Barrett-Jackson, RM Auctions and Bonhams all recording their highest-ever totals in Arizona. Yes, more cars were required to achieve this feat, but the average sale price for all cars sold this year was still more than 7% higher than last.

We have long discussed how Blue Chip collectibles have been driving overall growth in the market for the past several years, and Blue Chip cars continued to perform in Arizona. Top sale for the week was $8.8M for a 1958 Ferrari 250 GT California LWB Spyder, sold by RM. This is the second year in a row that a Cal Spyder earned top honors in Arizona, as Gooding sold a 1958 LWB example for $8.25M in 2013. Gooding sold a similarly elegant if less sporting 1958 Ferrari 250 GT Cabriolet for $6.16M, as well as a 1997 McLaren F1 GTR Longtail race car for $5.28M. In general, most of the star cars that sold across all auctions did so for numbers at the leading edge of the market.

Exclusive foreign cars weren’t the only ones to do well, of course. Perhaps surprising to casual observers were Barrett-Jackson’s results for Corvettes. In particular, an exceptionally rare 1967 Chevrolet Corvette L88 coupe sold for a record price of $3.85M, the 1969 L88 “Rebel” race car sold for $2.86M, and a 1968 L88 convertible sold for $880,000. That’s three Corvettes for more than $7.5M.

Cars in more affordable price ranges also performed well, generally speaking. As evidence, the two companies that most cater to the mainstream buyer — Silver Auctions and Russo and Steele — saw their collective average sale price increase by more than 16%, and this despite Russo narrowly missing on its premier car.

As is the case at any auction, bargains were to be found. With nearly 3,000 vehicles on offer throughout three cities during the course of a full week, some cars didn’t generate the attention they probably deserved. For example, a nice 1971 Oldsmobile 4-4-2 W-30 convertible sold for $84,700 by Barrett-Jackson, which is about the price an excellent replica might make. Plenty more of these opportunities lurked, with lucky bidders who found themselves in the right place at the right time being rewarded.

While Arizona grabs most of the attention from the classic car universe in January, Mecum’s mega-auction in Kissimmee will close out the month with roughly the same volume of vehicles crossing the block. When those numbers are combined with Scottsdale, a new story may emerge, but for now 2014 has picked up right where 2013 left off, which is to say with all cylinders firing.

13 Reader Comments

  • 1
    Robert San Jose,Ca January 22, 2014 at 16:36
    Glad to see Folks still loving Detroit Mtrs. Keep them rolling for future Kids.
  • 2
    michael geffon United States January 22, 2014 at 22:45
    with these prices maybe i can get $100,000 for my 29 model a ford.
  • 3
    jack WA January 22, 2014 at 22:50
    How do you get the prices for the rest of the cars that sold at the auction?
  • 4
    Steve Hamilton, ON. January 23, 2014 at 08:20
    And to think I could of had a '70 Chevelle SS 454 for around 3 grand in 1980. Should of bought 10 of 'em. Can't afford this stuff now. Crazy.
  • 5
    Car Collector Chronicles SE Wisconsin January 23, 2014 at 10:10
    Like many of my brethren I am sure, I felt that for the most part the prices paid were ridiculous. Folk were not paying that kind of money for a ride they could/would drive!
  • 6
    Buddy Morton Ft.Lauderdale,Fla. January 23, 2014 at 10:59
    I'd like to know the average return(on investment ) at the Scottsdale auction.6
  • 7
    Bud Stets NY January 23, 2014 at 11:23
    Boooo! Bad FOX See what happens when money gets involved. The programs go " pay from your pocket " not theirs! Remember Speed channel. Remember cable was supposed to be free. No wonder the $$$ keep leaving the original Car Guy behind.
  • 8
    thomas campbell norwalk ct. January 24, 2014 at 09:10
    i wonder what a nice older restoration 1969 A M X 390 go pack would go for?
  • 9
    Car Nut Valley City ND January 28, 2014 at 01:18
    Perfect example of a good thing going bad. Fox buying out Speed channel. Speed did a great job of covering the sales at Barrett J, now after the switch we have to look for the sale on three or four channels. Fox also doesn't televise all the other programs that made Speed a real favorite. Fox could have stayed with their sports coverage and left the car and racing programs to Speed.
  • 10
    sailordude Jacksonvile, FL January 29, 2014 at 11:38
    Thomas Campbell, there is a valuation tool at the top of the page, it says an AMX averages about $28,000 now.
  • 11
    Ken W Phoenix Az. January 30, 2014 at 19:05
    If you're reluctant w/ the auctions in Scotsdale Az. when selling you oldcar, try sellin on your own at the pavillions at the 101 freeway & Indian Bend. The only thing you have to agree to is that your for sale sign has to be on the seat or floor and not in the window. That show is every Sat. year round
  • 12
    Hank pittsburgh February 3, 2014 at 23:36
    these insane prices are good and bad. The only good I see is everyday folks might consider their bone yard is worth more if they sell or part out the vehicle rather than scrap it. another reason why prices are only going to keep climbing. The bad is CORPORATE take over, thats the name of the game, get bought out. Its going to be a rich mans hobby someday cause all the good stuff is drying up and people see this stuff bringing high dollars so now everything is worth gold. I feel it just halts the market. People just need to come down to earth and stop flaunting their money. This crap fuels the replica market, because no one will be able to afford the real deal. Whats next when most the stuff is owned and sitting in a private garage doing nothing, and future kids want to pursue the passion. I can't believe the inflated prices auctions create.
  • 13
    Dennis Burnett Sterling Heights Mi February 19, 2014 at 20:42
    Keep this going for the kids , are you kidding. Kids today and im talking about guys in there 20 dont care about these cars , I am 49 and have a 1972 Vette guys I work with think its great but they are driving Subarus and Hondas. these are cars they can tune drive and afford. These prices make me sick , I cant wait for the end when the Boomers want to sell up there classics they have driven the prices way over what these cars are worth. People collect what they had in there youth, the end is coming Also dont tell me about the kid down the block that has a 1962 Falcon and loves it, they are few and far between supply will out weigh demand in the near future..

Join the Discussion