The 10 biggest sales from the 2021 “Scottsdale Part II” auctions
Given all the jumbling of events and calendars this year, it’s no surprise that January’s Scottsdale auctions didn’t proceed as normal. The biggest Scottsdale auction, Barrett-Jackson, didn’t even take place in January and was postponed to March 23-27. This happened to fall just a week after Mecum’s annual auction outside of Phoenix, in Glendale, giving us a sort of Scottsdale 2021, the Sequel. Between the two sales, 1736 cars sold, bringing in a total of $139.9M. There were some heavy hitters that shouldered much of this load, so let’s examine the 10 most expensive results from the combined Barrett-Jackson and Mecum sales.
Not included in this list but worth mention are the numerous “first run” cars sold for charity by Barrett-Jackson over the week. Among them were 2022 Cadillac CT5-V Blackwing VIN 001 ($265,000), 2021 Ford Mustang Mach 1 VIN 001 ($500,000), 2021 Ford Bronco VIN 001 ($1,075,000), and 2022 GMC Hummer EV Edition VIN 001 ($2,500,000), with all proceeds going to charity.
1959 Chevrolet Corvette Custom
Sold for $825,000
Restomods and customs typically sell very well in Scottsdale, and none sold better than this custom ’59 Vette. It has an LT1 V-8 from a 2020 Corvette, custom suspension, powder-coated frame, one-off custom wheels, a custom stereo, and more. The build has 150 miles on it. Such wildly customized cars can be hard to value, since the work put in often far exceeds the value of the original car. For reference, a standard 1959 Corvette with the top-spec fuel injected 283 wouldn’t break 200 grand, even in #1 (Concours) condition.
2006 Saleen S7 Twin Turbo
Sold for $605,000
Total production of the Saleen S7 only numbers in the dozens and there were reportedly just 14 Twin Turbo models, so these home-grown hypercars are Pagani-level rare. The Twin Turbo model boosts the Ford Windsor engine to 750 hp, and combined that massive power with rear-wheel drive and a good-old-fashioned manual gearbox. When new it cost around $555,000. This is the fourth S7 Twin Turbo we’ve seen at auction, and all of them have sold in the $600,000 range.
2011 Ferrari 599 GTO
Sold for $720,500
Developed from the 599XX track car, the 599 GTO lapped Ferrari’s Fiorano test circuit a second faster than the Enzo, and just 125 examples came to the U.S. market at a base price of $416,550. They’re already worth more than that. This 175-mile car sold right within its presale estimate range.
2016 Ferrari F12tdf
Sold for $880,000
More powerful, lighter in weight, and fitted with handling enhancements over the standard F12, the F12tdf cost about $600,000 when it was new and Ferrari sold a total of 799 examples. Unlike most late-model exotics, they never really depreciated and these days prices are in the high six-figure range. Some are even asking over $1M. This 449-mile car was reportedly bought new by Roger Penske with $54,912 worth of options. These aggressive front-engine Ferraris have aged well in the few years since their arrival, and that hasn’t gone unnoticed.
1965 Shelby GT350
Sold for $962,500
Sold out of Barrett-Jackson CEO Craig Jackson’s personal collection, this 1965 GT350 fastback, one of the last 10 GT350s built that year, started out as a barn find in 2016. Jackson then commissioned a restoration to make it “the best Shelby on the planet.” It has concours awards to back up that claim, but that only goes so far in explaining the significance of this price. Other excellent GT350s have sold in the $400,000 and $500,000 range, and our current condition #1 (“Concours,” or “best-in-the-world”) value in the Hagerty Price Guide is $520,000. This was nothing short of a massive result for a pristine GT350.
2017 Ford GT
Sold for $990,000
The current Ford GT is a lot like a barely-road-legal GTLM racer. For some reason, though, this car’s single owner didn’t enjoy much seat time in it, as its odometer shows just 80 miles. Ford GTs initially had a two-year sales restriction, meaning owners had to keep their cars for at least 24 months before selling them on. Once those restrictions started running out in 2019 and “used” GTs began to hit the market, prices shot to well over $1M but have since settled a bit. In a purely financial sense, then, the seller here missed the boat by a couple of years on getting the most out of the car, but $990,000 is still around twice the original MSRP. Not a bad flip by any means, if you’re cynical and willing to overlook the fact it was hardly enjoyed.
2018 Ford GT ’67 Heritage Edition
Sold for $1,210,000
One of several special editions introduced for the “new” Ford GT, the ’67 Heritage Edition emulates the 1967 Le Mans-winning GT40 driven by Dan Gurney and A.J. Foyt. As we mentioned above, values for new GTs have dipped since their peak in 2019, but with the right options and at the right venue they can still be million-dollar cars. These special editions clearly hold a certain allure for particular buyers.
1967 Ferrari 275 GTB/4
Sold for $2,475,000
A Ferrari 275 GTB will stand out anywhere, especially at an auction packed with muscle cars and restomods like Barrett-Jackson. But that’s not to say this Italian thoroughbred was out of place. Although we’ve never seen it at auction before and it had a reserve (Barrett-Jackson sells most of its cars at no reserve), this 275 is a fully restored matching numbers example and it brought a very healthy price. At nearly $2.5M, it sold near the very top of the value range for these cars in today’s market.
1967 Chevrolet Corvette L88 Coupe
Sold for $2,695,000
When it comes to regular production Corvettes, the L88 is at the top of the food chain. That’s largely because the L88 hardly qualify as “regular production” at all. Chevrolet never actively promoted it, vastly underrated the output of its engine, and charged a hefty price for it. For those in the know who ticked the right boxes, though, the L88 got you essentially a race motor for the street with aluminum cylinder heads, solid lifter cam, and 12.5:1 compression along with forged pistons, rods, and crankshaft. Further hinting at its real purpose, the L88 option also deleted the heater and radio but added F41 suspension, M22 “Rock Crusher” four-speed, J56 heavy-duty brakes, and Positraction differential.
Chevrolet offered the L88 from 1967–69, and 1967 cars are the most desirable not only because they’re the rarest but also because 1967 was the only year that matched L88 engine with more attractive C2 body style.
We saw this car at Mecum Indy in 2018 but it didn’t sell at a $1.7M high bid. At this price, however, it’s the third-most expensive Corvette sold at auction ever, and the second-most expensive L88.
1966 Shelby Cobra 427 Super Snake
Sold for $5,500,000
This Cobra started life as a standard 427 competition roadster for a European promotional tour, but shortly thereafter it returned to Shelby American. There it received not one but two Paxton superchargers, a beefed-up automatic transmission, and a hood scoop big enough to sleep in, becoming a “Super Snake” Cobra in the process. Road & Track featured the car in 1968, calling it “The Cobra to End All Cobras.”
Only two Super Snakes were built. The other one sold to Bill Cosby, but a subsequent owner drove that car off a cliff and into the Pacific, so this is the only genuine one left. Songwriter James Webb bought it in 1970 and turned down offers as high as $1.2M over the years he owned it, but in the ’90s Webb owed $3M in back taxes and the IRS seized the car. The feds sold it at an auction for $375,000 in 1995.
More recently, we’ve multiple times seen the Super Snake showcased as a star car at Barrett-Jackson Scottsdale. In 2007 it sold for $5.5M and was the most expensive vehicle Barrett-Jackson had ever sold at that time. It also brought just over $5.1M in 2015 and now $5.5M in 2021. Talk about consistency.