Looking at the Bonhams, RM Sotheby’s and Gooding & Company dockets for the Amelia Island auctions, there are more cars priced at the top and fewer cars priced at the bottom and middle than there were last year.
The change at either end of the price spectrum can be explained by several factors. First, the number of very rare and expensive Porsches has increased significantly over 2015, largely thanks to the 16 cars consigned by Gooding from the collection of Jerry Seinfeld, the average low estimate for which is over $1.5 million. Second, cars like W113 Mercedes SLs and Ferrari 308s that have traditionally sold at these events have moved from sub-$100,000 into six-figure territory.
The average low estimate overall at Bonhams, RM Sotheby’s and Gooding & Company is up 28 percent over last year from $417,000 to $536,000, and the median low estimate is also up seven percent. The biggest change was in cars priced above $500,000 with an increase of 27 percent, while the biggest decrease was in cars priced from $250,000 - $500,000, a drop of 20 percent. The Bonhams, RM and Gooding sales in Scottsdale, meanwhile, actually saw an increase of 22 percent for cars in that estimate range, so there’s a possibility that the auctions companies are starting to reserve their most expensive cars for Amelia instead of Scottsdale while more sub-million dollar cars go to Arizona. Regardless of what is driving the change, though, it’s clear that Amelia is more of a destination for top-shelf cars and their buyers than in previous years.