Top 10 sales at Amelia ruled by supercars and prewar classics
As we look at the highest collector car sales from 2022’s Amelia Island auctions, we’re seeing a few trends come into clearer focus, particularly for vehicles at opposite ends of automotive history: supercars and prewar classics.
Given their strong showings in Florida, analog supercars from the ’90s and early 2000s will likely continue to power through current market uncertainty, thanks to their minimalist appeal and unique place in the market. On the other hand, values of modern (think post-2010) hypercars may be artificially propped up by young, wealthy buyers who are drawn to exclusivity; these vehicles could move to shaky ground as the state of the economy grows less stable.
Some big sales of prewar classics proved that the market isn’t just buying for nostalgia and moving on as the demographics shift. To wit, three of the top five sales at Amelia Island in 2022 were vehicles from the 1930s. With that said, the under-$1M market is not showing the same levels of appreciation as the broader market is; neither is it matching the trajectory of the models in this top-10 list. In many cases, vehicles valued below $1M are depreciating. On the bright side, this trend could be a boon for buyers working at lower price points.
It’s also important to note that strong prices over the last several years have drawn more sellers looking to cash in, and Amelia showed that many of them have overestimated the value of their cars, resulting in many no-sales.
Below are the 10 most expensive sales at the 2022 Amelia Island auctions, in ascending order.
Sold for $2,535,000 (Gooding & Co.)
One of three prepped by Carroll Shelby to race in the Sports Car Club of America in 1967, this Toyota 2000GT fell short of winning an SCCA title, but it did claim several victories during the 1968 championship season. With this sale, this racer became the most expensive Japanese car sold at public auction. It may have also given Shelby the last laugh.
Sold for $2,700,000 (RM Sotheby’s)
Only a handful of Speedtail Coupes have sold at auction, and this one is an excellent example. McLaren’s fastest road car—with 1035 horsepower and a top speed of 250 mph—it is the 87th of 106 examples produced and only the second Speedtail imported to the U.S. Regardless, it sold for less than money than any other Speedtail to cross the block, and it’s the only one to fall below $3M.
Sold for $2,975,000 (Gooding & Co.)
As one of just 23 left-hand-drive, center-shift/four-speed R-Type Continentals, this gorgeous Bentley sold very strongly against a $2M to $2.5M estimate. The Brit even outstripped the #2 (Excellent) condition given to it by our people on the ground, surpassing the model’s #1 (Concours) value of $2.1M, a figure which includes a 20 percent premium over RHD versions.
When the R-Type Continental was released, The Autocar wrote: “This Bentley is a modern magic carpet which annihilates distances and delivers the occupants well-nigh as fresh as when they started. It is a car Britain may well be proud of, and it is sure to add new luster to the name it bears.” This sale proves the point.
Sold for $2,975,000 (Gooding &Co.)
Porsche’s switch to a mid-engine layout, first with the 550 and then with the 718, took the racing world by storm and turned the little Stuttgart company into a racing powerhouse. This particular 718 RSK is proof of that. In 14 SCCA starts from 1959 to ’61, it scored 10 class wins, nine overall podiums, and three overall victories. It also did well on the auction block, despite being powered by a non-original engine.
Sold for $3,360,000 (RM Sotheby’s)
One of approximately 60 “Sport” models (out of a 500-unit total production run), this 2019 Chiron Sport Coupe (with only 3950 miles)’s an aluminum-alloy, quad-turbocharged W-16 engine makes the same eye-popping 1500 horsepower as the “regular” car but is 40 pounds lighter. It can launch from a standstill to 100 mph in 4.4 seconds, but this example sat on the block for much longer than that, as bidders fought to push the hammer price beyond its $3M to $3.3M estimate.
Sold for $3,525,000 (RM Sotheby’s)
One of three top-five sales from the 1930s, this Duesenberg Model J Convertible Sedan did well, even in less-than #1 condition (our team rated it a shade below that, at #2+). Model Js are highly coveted, and this one has its original frame, firewall, engine, and Murphy coachwork, including numerous distinctive features like a folding armrest in front and rear seats and the lockable “umbrella cabinet” at the feet of rear-seat passengers.
Sold for $3,662,500 (RM Sotheby’s)
Sporting rare all-black livery and with less than 600 miles on the clock, this LaFerrari—“The Ferrari”—drew a lot of attention from bidders. Unveiled at Geneva in 2013, the purportedly definitive Ferrari is Maranello’s first plug-in hybrid, with 161-hp electric motor supplementing the 789 horses produced by its 6.3-liter V-12. A 2015 LaFerrari has a #2 value of $3.3M, but this one blew past that figure, even though we rated it in #2- condition. Perhaps the buyer was enticed by the inclusion of two prepaid annual check-ups, which are worth thousands—but this model’s waspish styling and otherworldly performance surely carried the bidding.
Sold for $4,130,000 (RM Sotheby’s)
Prewar cars made up nearly a quarter of consignments at Amelia this year, perhaps proving that potential buyers of 80-year-old vehicles want to see the goods up-close and personal so they can bid with confidence. Needless to say, there were no concerns about the value of this 1934 Packard. Represented as one of only three known surviving cars with Dietrich Individual Custom Convertible Victoria bodywork, it was last restored in the 2000s and won its class at Pebble Beach in 2014. RM’s headliners are usually historic European sports and racing cars, so seeing a high-end Packard on its block was a bit of a surprise, but no matter. Rated in #2+ condition, it earned a top-three position among Amelia’s highest sales.
Sold for $4,185,000 (Bonhams)
Considered the star car at Bonhams, this 1955 Porsche 550 Spyder—with coachwork by Wendler and extensive in-period racing history—fell short of its $4.5M low estimate yet still managed to claim the second spot on the leaderboard at Amelia in 2022. An older restoration with non-original engine and in #2- condition, it sold for exactly condition-appropriate money. The 550 is arguably the most iconic and important Porsche model ever produced, so the buyer was likely happy with the price.
Sold for $13,425,000 (Gooding & Co.)
By far and away the top sale at Amelia this year, the 1937 Talbot-Lago established a new auction record for a French-built automobile and and is the second most expensive car sold in Amelia’s history, slotting behind the $17.16M paid for a 1961 Ferrari 250 GT SWB California Spider at Gooding’s 2016 sale. One of only 10–12 Teardrop Coupes built on Talbot-Lago’s top spec T150-C-SS chassis, the coupe was styled by Figoni et Falaschi, one of the most respected and sought-after coachbuilders in history. Gooding played it safe by tagging it with a pre-auction estimate “in excess of $10M.” Nailed it.