12 high-priced cars that could break the bank at Scottsdale
Predicting the top-selling cars during Arizona Auction Week isn’t an exact science, but you can certainly improve your chances by simply scouring the pre-auction estimates. Of course, not every high-valued car will find a new home, but here are 12 big-money automobiles (plus two bonus selections) that we’ll be keeping an eye on next week.
12. 1948 Tucker 48
Gooding & Company: Lot 121
Much has been written about Preston Tucker’s “Car of Tomorrow,” but for many of us, the Tucker 48 will always be mesmerizing. No doubt, the seller of this one is counting on it.
The 37th of 51 built—and one of only a dozen in Waltz Blue Metallic—chassis #1034 was completed at the Tucker factory, and as a later model it benefitted from a number of running design changes, including the preferred front-mounted fuel tank and revised elastomeric torsion-tube suspension, which improved both ride quality and handling.
According to Gooding & Company, #1034 was among 23 Tucker automobiles that were included in the court-ordered liquidation of the company’s hard assets in October 1950. At the time of the sale, the car showed 339 miles, “likely accrued by the Tucker marketing department. James Anderson, a Minneapolis-area Packard dealer, placed 1034’s winning $2200 bid [about $23,500 today], and the original title transfer document, bearing the names of the original Tucker Corporation trustees, remains with the car.” The odometer currently shows less than 6300 miles from new.
If you’re feeling an overwhelming sense of déjà vu, you should. Last year at Scottsdale, RM Sotheby’s sold a Waltz Blue Metallic Tucker (chassis #1040) for $1.6M.
11. 1967 Ferrari 330 GTS
RM Sotheby’s: Lot 242
Another rare and beautiful car, this 1967 Ferrari 330 GTS by Pininfarina is one of 99 GTS models built. Recently refinished in the splendid shade of Grigio Ferro (Iron Gray), it is a three-time Cavallino Platinum Award winner, in 2017, ’18, and ’19.
Powered by a sweet-sounding 12-cylinder engine and featuring a shallow egg-crate oval grille, three louvered vents behind the front wheels, a tapered tail, and beautifully trimmed interior, the GTS offered Ferrari connoisseurs “sporting Italian elegance at its best.” It still does.
10. 1965 Ferrari 275 GTB/6C
RM Sotheby’s: Lot 152
A replacement for Ferrari’s 250 GT platform, the original GTB 275 was something special—designed by Pininfarina, coach-built by Scaglietti, and powered by a 3.3-liter Colombo short-block V-12. With looks that resemble the iconic Ferrari 250 GTO, the ’65 275/GTB is considered the purest form of the model, since a slight redesign followed in 1966.
This short-nose 275 is one of 59 examples originally optioned with six carburetors (hence the 6C in its name), and it retains its original chassis and engine. The rosso (red) beauty was fully restored in 2012 after being purchased by famed driving school personality Skip Barber, and the restoration has held up as well. So has the car’s allure.
9. 1995 Ferrari F50 Prototipo
Worldwide: Lot 49
Technically, this 1995 Ferrari F50 Prototipo doesn’t have a pre-auction estimate, but the car certainly has the juice to be included on the list. Unveiled by Piero Lardi Ferrari and Sergio Pininfarina on March 6, 1995 at the Geneva Auto Salon, Ferrari’s stunning new F50 supercar was, according to Luca di Montezemolo, achieved through “50 years of racing, 50 years of winning, 50 years of hard work.”
Using technology derived from the V-12 in Ferrari Formula 1 cars, the F50’s 4.7-liter engine featured a 65-degree angle between its two cylinder banks and four overhead camshafts, with three intake valves and two exhaust valves per cylinder.
Serial #99999 is the first F50 prototype and was used in pre-production development of the final F50 design. Worldwide calls it “the most significant road-going F50 in existence.”
Previously, the car sold for $2.4 million (post-block) at Gooding’s 2016 Scottsdale auction. Three years earlier, it went for $1,677,500 at RM’s 2013 Monterey sale.
8. 1951 Ferrari 212 Inter Cabriolet
Bonhams: Lot 54
That’s right, another Ferrari—there are nine of them on the list. Surprised? We aren’t either. This one, however, is different. It isn’t as sleek as the others and certainly isn’t a car you’d say “looks fast, even when parked.” Ah, but looks can be deceiving. The Ferrari 212, produced in multiple variations in 1951–52, actually achieved significant racing success, a fact that made the road cars easier to sell.
This one, a 1951 Ferrari 212 Inter Cabriolet with coachwork by Vignale (chassis #0159), had a more indirect motorsport connection but still spent plenty of time at the track. It was purchased new by Peter Staehelin, co-owner of the Ecurie Espadon race team, which campaigned Ferrari Formula 2 cars.
Chassis #0159 is the first of four Vignale Cabriolets built and the only one to feature the elegant chromed fender strakes. Powered by a 2.6-liter V-12 and fully restored in 2014, the 212 finished second in class at the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance that year.
Bonhams also sold the car for $2.2M at its 2015 Quail Lodge auction; Hagerty’s valuation team rated it in #1 (Concours) condition at the time.
7. 1972 Ferrari 365 GTS/4 Daytona Spider
Gooding & Company: Lot 42
The 365 GTB/4 was Ferrari’s follow-up to the 275 GTB/4, and since it debuted in 1968—on the heels of Ferrari’s podium sweep at the 1967 24 Hours of Daytona—it soon became known as the Daytona.
The last front-engine V-12 GT model designed before Fiat’s takeover of Ferrari road-car production in 1969, it was designed by Pininfarina’s Leonardo Fioravanti and built by Carrozzeria Scaglietti. It’s 4.4-liter engine delivered 352 horsepower, which allowed it to accelerate from 0–60 mph in 5.3 seconds and reach a top speed of 170 mph. “It isn’t fast,” Car and Driver wrote at the time, “it’s blinding.”
Ferrari built only 121 production GTS/4 Daytona Spiders, most of which were sent to the U.S., and the car became an American pop culture icon by appearing in a pair of 1976 movies, The Gumball Rally and A Star is Born. Coincidentally, film director Sydney Pollack owned this Spider from 1975–79.
Gooding sold the same well-documented car—which is now looking for its 14th owner—for $1.29M at Scottsdale in 2008.
6. 1967 Ferrari 330 GTS
Gooding & Company: Lot 154
We know the best-known and most popular Ferrari color is red, but how can anyone resist a 330 GTS in Fly Yellow? It snaps your head around quicker than John Wick in a bad mood. And the 330 not only looks good, it’s also a capable performer, with a 300-hp V-12 that propels it from 0–60 in about seven seconds and to a top speed of almost 150 mph.
When it was unveiled in 1967, the media was immediately impressed. Car and Driver wrote, “Depress clutch. Find neutral. Turn ignition key. Give the gas a tiny, nervous touch. Oh my God!” Road & Track did its best not to scare off the faint of heart by concluding, “Ferrari continues to progress toward the perfect sports car. The 330 GTS is not just a wonderful, exciting open roadster, but also a comfortable everyday car that doesn’t mind being driven to the supermarket.”
We could write so much more about this superfly (yellow) beauty, but that would keep you from looking at the photos. Which you need to do. Right now.
5. 2018 Pagani Huayra Roadster
RM Sotheby’s: Lot 147
Speaking of captivating sports cars, this modern-era masterpiece is the work of Argentine-Italian designer Horacio Pagani, whose talent as a supercar builder is undeniable. Pagani’s Huayra—named after a South American Quechua wind god—was a highly anticipated successor to the Zonda C12, and six years after the Huayra was unveiled in 2011, Pagani began offering an open-top version.
This 2018 model, in Blue TriColore with silver detailing and exposed carbon weave throughout, is the 42nd of 100 and shows less than 200 miles. Its 720-hp AMG V-12 engine is mated to a seven-speed automated manual gearbox, developed by the British race engineering firm Xtrac, which ensures astounding acceleration. Top speed is 240 mph.
A 2017 Huayra Roadster was bid to $2.7M without selling at Mecum’s 2019 Monterey sale. Gooding sold a 2014 model for $2.09M at its 2018 Scottsdale auction.
All Huayras wear a plaque that reads “Creata con Arte e Passione”—Created with Art and Passion—and last year Pagani told Top Gear magazine that the Huayra Roadster is “better than anything we’ve done so far.” Of that, we have no doubt.
4. 1932 Alfa Romeo 8C 2300
Bonhams: Lot 73
Hagerty estimate: $1.0M–$3.0M
This 1932 Alfa Romeo 8C 2300 Cabriolet Décapotable is another car without an official estimate, but it’s a biggie, so our valuation team gave it one. Admittedly, there’s a large gap between the high and low estimates, but depending on what transpires, the Alfa could easily break into the top 10 at Scottsdale.
One of seven road cars built on an 8C 2300 chassis and bodied by Carrosserie Joseph Figoni, it features sweeping lines, advanced engineering, and staggering performance for its time. It is powered by a 2.3-liter all-alloy straight-eight engine with a Roots Supercharger that produced 140+ hp.
3. 1965 Ferrari 500 Superfast
Gooding & Company: Lot 131
Winner of the most eye-catching Ferrari on this list—thanks to its elongated tail—is this 1965 500 Superfast. The 14th of 36 built and one of 28 left-hand-drive versions, it is believed to be the only one delivered from the factory in Nero (black) paint.
The Superfast features the largest and most powerful engine fitted to a road-going Ferrari to date: a 5.0-liter SOHC V-12 with three Weber 40 DCZ/6 carburetors that delivers 400 hp and a top speed of 170 mph. At nearly $30,000 when new (that’s $245K today), it was also the most expensive Ferrari of the day.
After purchasing the car in 2012, its current owner spent years documenting and refreshing it, an endeavor that included a full engine rebuild in 2016.
A Blu Scuro-painted ’65 Ferrari 500 Superfast Series I sold for $2.75M at RM Sotheby’s 2016 Monterey auction, the midway point between this Superfast’s high and low estimates.
2. 1995 Ferrari F50
Gooding & Company: Lot 44
What makes the estimate for this 1995 Ferrari F50 considerably higher than that of the F50 prototype above? We’re not sure. Maybe the proto’s estimate is too low and this one is right on, because RM sold a ’95 F50 that had more miles (8000 vs. 5000) for $3M at Monterey five months ago. Of course, the RM car also had $300,000 worth of fresh service and concours preparation, which is a significant chunk of change.
Ferrari’s F50, intended as an early celebration of the marque’s 50th anniversary, was a blend of Ferrari’s raw past and high-tech future. Its 513-hp, 4.7-liter V-12 stretched the limits of natural aspiration, and the car’s carbon-fiber body kept the weight in check; the F50 topped out at an eye-popping 200+ mph. This one also benefits from the rarity factor, since only 55 of the 349 F50s built were sent to the U.S.
Let the bidding begin.
1. 1958 Ferrari 250 GT Series I Cabriolet
RM Sotheby’s: Lot 253
As Hagerty valuation editor Andrew Newton wrote previously, if this car meets its reserve and sells, it will likely be the priciest vehicle of the week in Scottsdale 2020. It’s easy to see why.
“A Ferrari 250 GT Cabriolet is a dream car in any configuration, but this car ticks the most desirable boxes. It’s a Series I car, which is particularly rare, with about 40 built compared to 200 Series II versions. It also has covered headlights, which are far more attractive than the open-headlight versions and far more expensive—those little headlight covers can add $2M or more. Finally, this one has a documented history, the right paperwork, and its original drivetrain, chassis, and body.”
Sold new in Italy and originally finished in Grigio Metallizzato (gray metallic), the Ferrari received a red repaint in the 1980s. It was completely restored in the ’90s, with another repaint in red. A replacement 250 GT block was fitted, but a few years ago the original block received a $95,000 rebuilt and made its way back into the car, which has been with the same collector for more than 20 years. Another 250 GT Series I Cabriolet sold for $6.8M in Pebble Beach last year, so this one could be fun to watch.
Like this article? Check out Hagerty Insider, our e-magazine devoted to tracking trends in the collector car market.