What happens when multiple copies of the same rare car go up for auction at the same time? The law of supply and demand still hold true, it turns out. For evidence, let’s look at the three 2006 Ford GT Heritage Edition coupes that sold at Barrett-Jackson’s 2019 Scottsdale auction. Only 343 of these cars, sporting classic Gulf blue-and-orange paint scheme, were made.
All were fully optioned and had minimal miles, although some were less minimal than others. All sold on Saturday Prime Time, and lot numbers separated from each other on the block by about an hour and a half. All three were displayed together in the inside preview area along with three other GTs and a GTX-1 targa top conversion.
Their presence and proximity with each other in the auction docket presumed a degree of confidence by Barrett-Jackson, and the no reserve consignors, that there would be at least four bidders (three successful and one underbidder) for Heritage Editions at WestWorld on Saturday. The results were correct on that count. All three sold, but what the cars represented and what they brought also showed that, in terms of prices, supply and demand really do matter.
First across the block was lot number 1313. It previoulsy sold at Barrett-Jackson’s Palm Beach auction in 2016 for $412,500 and had, for a Heritage Edition, unusually high mileage of 3,092 (but only 42 miles more than in 2016.) It sold for a generous-in-today’s-market $533,500, $58,500 over the #1-condition (Concours) average value..
Second across the block about an hour and a half later was lot number 1376. It barely had any more than delivery miles with just 288 on the odo, more typical of Ford GTs in general and Heritage Editions in particular, and sold for $495,000, 7.2 percent less than the previous GT Heritage Edition but still $20,000 over current valuation. This also reduced the pool of potential bidders by yet another prospect.
2006 Ford GT Heritage Edition
Bringing up the rear on the docket was lot number 1406, a further hour and a half removed. This one had even fewer miles, just 77, hardly enough to get on and off its various trailers and into the B-J preview tent. The best of the three in odometer terms (and the odometer is the only distinguishing characteristic among them) it sold for $462,000, a further 6.3-percent discount from the previous GT Heritage Edition and 13.6 percent less than the first of the trio to cross the block. In the case of cars like the Ford GT, where many were bought and parked, a few miles on the odometer can mean the difference between a #1 and #2 (Excellent) condition rating. This one went for less than #1-condition value despite the fewest miles of the trio.
There may be several lessons to learn here. One is that at least some B-J bidders don’t have the patience to pass up one example when there’s a better one coming, a conclusion which the buyer of lot number 1313 probably reached upon waking up Sunday morning as the owner of an expensive “high-mileage” Ford GT Heritage Edition.
But the more important lesson is that when presented with three essentially identical cars, even in a marketplace heavily populated by deep pocketed purchase-motivated buyer, taking potential bidders out of the pool reduces demand and therefore lowers the prices that will be paid for otherwise identical goods. The patient buyer, who got the lowest-mileage of the GT Heritage Editions (lot 1406) woke up with on Sunday with that pleasant conclusion on the brain.