5 cars from Scottsdale 2022 that broke our price guide

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Bonhams

If you spent any time paying attention to the auctions in Scottsdale, no doubt you’ve noticed that live auctions there were an absolute feeding frenzy. Sales in Arizona exceeded everyone’s already high expectations. As we crunch the numbers following last week’s sales we usually look back and see which sales broke our price guide.

With the collector car market we’re living in right now being so hot, there was a long list of vehicles which exceeded their condition-appropriate value in the Hagerty Price Guide. While there will always be outliers, some sales show real, sustainable movement in the market. Here are five vehicles across different segments which perfectly demonstrate that.

1956 AC Ace

1958 AC Ace Roadster rear three-quarter
Bonhams

Sold for $516,500 (Bonhams)

#1 condition (Concours) value: $421,000

British cars have been a sleepy market the past few years, so it came as a surprise to see an incredibly strong sale of this AC Ace. The car was purchased by a USAF officer who brought the car back with him from Europe. The car was restored by Kevin Kay Restorations in 2016 and has since been invited to numerous concours events such as Amelia Island, Pebble Beach, and The Quail, to name just a few.

The car’s well-known history as well as its litany of concours appearances certainly plays a big factor into the sales result, but it is hard to ignore the fact that the price achieved is more in line with the more sought-after Bristol variant. Surely a base model Ace like this doesn’t exist anywhere else, and it is important to view this car as an entry ticket to the world’s most exclusive automotive events. To look at this sale as the mere purchase of a car is to completely miss the point.

1976 Toyota Land Cruiser FJ40

1976 Toyota FJ40 Land Cruiser side view
RM Sotheby's/Drew Shipley

Sold for $95,200 (RM Sotheby’s)

#1 condition (Concours) value: $84,600

It’s almost absurd how long the vintage truck and SUV market has been expanding. Before the Bronco took the spotlight the FJ40 Land Cruiser was the benchmark for the top of the market. Vintage 4×4 vehicles have become as much of a lifestyle statement as collector items, so it isn’t hard to see why the market continues to expand at a steady rate.

This example offered by RM Sotheby’s is a South American delivery truck imported to the U.S. and professionally restored. In the process it received some tasteful upgrades, like an aftermarket off-road suspension and and a set of BF Goodrich tires. While they probably didn’t contribute to this impressive auction result, they certainly don’t detract from truck’s overall appeal. This sale shows that you can’t count out the FJ40; while in prior year a gray-market example may have received less attention, where the truck was delivered when new doesn’t really matter anymore.

1965 Shelby GT350

1965 Shelby GT350 Number 257 side view
Barrett-Jackson

Sold for $687,500 (Barrett-Jackson)

#1 condition (Concours) value: $600,000

If you appreciate the Mustang as the performance car it is today, you have Shelby American and the GT350 to thank. In 1965, Shelby worked out with Ford to convert the new Mustang into a track-capable sports car. The success of these cars as well as the fact that early cars were hand-built at Shelby American means that they are highly sought-after among collectors.

This example offered by Barrett-Jackson was reported to be restored with many NOS parts and to be a well-documented car. All of these aspects are very important to serious collectors, because many parts installed at Shelby are nearly impossible to lay hands on, their presence drives desirability up considerably. With a car as well presented as this one selling so well, it is hard to argue that the Shelby market is on the move.

1963 Chevrolet Corvette Split-Window Coupe 327/340 hp

1963 Chevrolet Corvette Split-Window Coupe side view
Barrett-Jackson

Sold for $385,000 (Barrett-Jackson)

#1 condition (Concours) value: $209,000

Split-window Corvettes hold a special place in the hearts of car people. Like a gullwing Mercedes, even people outside the collector space will know exactly what you are talking about. Like the 300SL with blue-chip collectors, a ’63 Corvettes is known among serious American car collectors as a must-have vehicle, even if it is not the most expensive car in the collection. After this January, though, split-window Vettes appear to have gotten a lot more expensive.

This example from Barrett-Jackson is the most obvious one. At $385,000, it sold for nearly the same price as a Concours condition ’63 Z06 equipped with the small fuel tank. The car appeared to be in excellent condition and has great history; however, the price is a bit difficult to explain, especially for a non-fuel-injected model. While this car could be considered an outlier, nearly every ’63 Corvette we observed this January sold for a price which was noticeably higher than its appropriate condition in the price guide. Remember, one sale doesn’t indicate a trend, but a handful does. The ’63 Corvette market is well on the move.

2008 Porsche 911 GT2

2008 Porsche 997 GT2 front three-quarter
Gooding & Company

Sold for $357,500 (Gooding & Company)

#1 condition (Concours) value: $229,000

Right now, water-cooled 911s are experiencing the same sort of upward trajectory that their air-cooled cousins enjoyed a few years back. No doubt anyone who questioned the collectability of water-cooled cars a few years back is rethinking their position. The one sale that stood out was this 400-mile 911 GT2 offered by Gooding & Company, which held an online sale during the rest of the in-person Scottsdale auctions.

The 911 GT2 is the top dog of the 997-series with its massively powerful, 530-hp, 3.6-liter engine. With only a handful of examples made, they are also incredibly difficult to come by, which helps collectability massively. Gooding & Company has a long established history of selling desirable Porsches for top dollar, but this result really exemplifies how strong the market has become for late-model 911s.

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