While selling more than $106 million worth of cars in eight hours over two days is a rousing success by any standard, Gooding & Company’s 2014 Pebble Beach auction might unfairly be remembered for a few high-profile cars that didn’t sell. Although 107 of 121 lots offered found new owners, and although both average and median sale prices increased over last year, the fact that three of Gooding’s missed lots had collectively garnered high bids totaling $43 million ultimately changed the tone of the sale in the opinion of many.
Such is an auction where a single bid (or absence of) can color the whole event. In Gooding’s case, a 1962 Ferrari 250 GT SWB was bid to $10 million, a 1995 McLaren F1 rose as high as $10.75 million, and the much-anticipated 1966 Ferrari 365 P “Tre Posti” coupe fell just shy at $22.5 million. All of these cars were surely close to reserve, but buyers exercised restraint. Thirty cars sold for more than $1 million, and 16 record-setting sales were recorded (or 15 percent of the cars sold amazingly did so for unprecedented prices), but the fate of the three cars that didn’t sell swung the overall total from what would have been the highest grossing collector car auction ever to a 7-percent slip from last year’s figure.
Most importantly, dizzying prices were achieved for a number of cars. Gooding continues to be the best outfit to sell Cal Spyders, as the $15.18 million price achieved by a 1961 SWB example with covered headlights eclipsed the previous record for the model by nearly $4 million. A pair of Lussos vaulted past the $2 million mark (selling at $2.365 million and $2.2 million) to elevate the market for the car, and a 1966 Lamborghini 400GT coupe sold for $869,000. A 1967 Mazda Cosmo cracked the quarter-million mark and sold for $264,000. All told, new records were set for Lamborghini Countachs ($1.87 million), Porsche 959s ($1.485 million), Porsche 911 Carrera 3.0 RSs ($1.001 million), and Auburn 852 SC Boattail Speedsters ($1.21 million), among others.
Overall Top 10 Sales:
- 1961 Ferrari 250 GT California SWB Spyder (closed headlight) sold for $15,180,000
- 1959 Ferrari 250 SI Cabriolet (open headlight) sold for $5,610,000
- 1953 Aston Martin DB3S Roadster sold for $5,500,000
- 1956 Ferrari 250F Race Car sold for $4,620,000
- 1939 Alfa Romeo Tipo 256 Cabriolet Sportivo sold for $4,400,000
- 1967 Ford GT40 Coupe sold for $3,520,000
- 1927 Bugatti Type 35 Grand Prix sold for $2,970,000
- 2001 Ferrari 333 SP Race Car sold for $2,365,000
- 1964 Ferrari 250 GT Lusso Coupe sold for $2,365,000
- 1956 Ferrari 250 Europa GT Coupe sold for $2,310,000
Gooding’s next auction is scheduled for Jan. 16-17, 2015, in Scottsdale, Ariz.