Auction Preview: Gooding & Company Amelia Island 2017

Gooding & Company hosts just three collector car auctions per year (Scottsdale, Amelia Island and Pebble Beach). Emphasizing quality over quantity, their Amelia Island sale is filled with the kind of rare, significant, desirable or just plain unusual cars that you would expect. Among the high profile consignments offered this year, including the likely top sale of the week, here are five cars we’ll be watching.

1998 Porsche 911 GT1 Strassenversion
Presale estimate: N/A
Hagerty Price Guide: N/A
Lot: 42
While the front of the chassis was derived from the 993 road car, there wasn’t much about the 911 GT1 that actually came from the 911. Built in response to the McLaren F1’s dominance in BPR Global GT Series (later the FIA GT Championship), the 911 GT1 was a purpose-built race car with road-going examples (called the Strassenversion, literally “Street version”) built entirely for homologation purposes. Gooding’s example is one of the 20 street cars built and has just 7,900 km. While it lacks its British rival’s top speed, it’s just as exotic, offers similarly insane performance, and is much more rare. The last 911 GT1 to sell at auction was an Evolution model at RM Sotheby’s 2016 Monaco sale for $3.2 million, which seems like a great value when compared against the $10 million-plus McLaren F1. Gooding's example is in a different league from the car in Monaco, however, as it has a sqeaky clean history and is exactly as how it left the factory. It should bring quite a bit more money.

1989 Mazda 767B
Presale estimate: $1,800,000 - $2,400,000
Hagerty Price Guide: N/A
Lot: 23
In 1991, Mazda became the first and only Japanese manufacturer to win the 24 Hours of Le Mans and the 787B is the only rotary-powered car to do so. This 767B is one of three earlier cars with a 630-hp version of Mazda’s first four-rotor engine displacing just 2.6 liters. At Le Mans in 1990, it won the GTP class, although it was 20th overall. GTP cars are serious performers, and these rotary racers have an epic, earsplitting exhaust note. Hopefully, its next owner will bring it out for some events.

2015 Ferrari LaFerrari
Presale estimate: $3,800,000 - $4,500,000
Hagerty Price Guide: N/A
Lot: 73
It seems like just yesterday that the LaFerrari was introduced, but they’ve already started making their way to collector car auctions. Last year, Bonhams sold one for $3.685 million, Mecum sold one for $5.17 million, and RM Sotheby’s sold the special and final 500th example at a charity auction for $7 million. This example is a 2015 model that has $124,000 worth of options, including extra carbon fiber bits and fitted luggage. It’s also painted in the special-order shade of Giallo Triplo Strato. LaFerrari auction sales draw the attention of collectors because it’s a lot more straightforward to buy one at a public sale than it was to buy new, which required ownership of several Ferraris previously as well as selection by Maranello’s bigwigs.

1957 Jaguar XKSS
Presale estimate: $16,000,000 - $18,000,000
Hagerty Price Guide: $6,300,000 - $13,500,000
Lot: 61
This Jaguar XKSS is the star of Amelia Island this year. And if it meets its reserve it will likely be the week’s top sale. Supremely desirable for many reasons, it’s essentially a D-Type racing car with rudimentary equipment to make it manageable on the street. The Malcolm Sayer-penned bodywork is breathtakingly voluptuous, and devoid of a single straight line. Jaguar also completed just 16 cars working from leftover D-Type chassis’ before a factory fire destroyed the remaining nine planned, so it’s exceedingly rare. The fact that Steve McQueen owned one only adds to the XKSS’ mystique.

This car is one of two delivered to Canada and it won most of the events it entered during the late 1950s. In the ‘70s, it was converted to D-Type specs and vintage raced into the 1980s, but the XKSS bits were retained and the car was put right during restoration about 10 years ago. The last XKSS to sell at auction was at Gooding’s 2005 Pebble Beach sale for $1.925 million. The market for rare Jags has moved considerably since then, though, so Gooding’s current estimate for this car seems entirely realistic.

1949 Aston Martin DB Mk II
Presale estimate: $1,500,000 - $2,250,000
Hagerty Price Guide: N/A
Lot: 31
Four of these DB Mk IIs were built, and the company’s new owner David Brown retained this example as his personal car, testing of which contributed to the DB2. The car was then sold to racer Lance Macklin, who had it fitted with Weber carburetors in Italy, making it the very first Aston Martin ever fitted with Webers. Macklin went into a ditch at the Targa Florio and didn’t finish, then missed the start of the Mille Miglia, although he did run in a few of its stages. The car was restored in the 1990s and is now eligible for all kinds of historic driving events. Its rarity and race history are already desirable, but its provenance as David Brown’s personal car and as the first Aston fitted with Webers makes it truly special.