The Best Cars up for Grabs at the 2024 Arizona Auctions


This biggest month of collector car auctions is upon us. As Mecum’s extravaganza in Kissimmee winds down, we’re gearing up to look west to Arizona, January’s original main event.

As Kissimmee has consistently and dramatically grown over the years, Scottsdale—which is made up of several separate auctions going on during the same week—has been more nuanced. Barrett-Jackson (the original and anchor event in Arizona) has been a constant, other companies have come and gone, and some have skipped years and come back.

This year, talk of a cooling market is on market observers’ lips, and total sales are expected to drop in Scottsdale this year despite a similar number of vehicles on offer. Even so, there are always incredible cars on offer in Arizona each January, and below are the best ones in 2024.

2015 Ferrari LaFerrari

2024 Arizona Auctions Sammy Hagar LaFerrari 2

Van Halen singer Sammy Hagar ordered this LaFerrari new, and the Rock and Roll Hall of Famer will be the one selling it at Barrett-Jackson. The “Why Can’t This Be Love” vocalist may have belted out “Black and Blue,” but he ordered his Italian hybrid hypercar in unique cream over cream leather with carbon fiber and black accents, along with his initials on the steering wheel.

Hagar also lyrically complained “I Can’t Drive 55” in his famous black 512 BBi, but apparently he couldn’t drive his LaFerrari much at all. The car has racked up just 1100 miles. “Everyone asks why I am selling it. It’s so fast and so powerful, it’s beyond my skills and abilities,” he told Barrett-Jackson. Respect, Sammy. “It Feels So Good” to tell the truth, and at least you’re a “Good Enough” man to admit it. But even if you have “Dreams” of making this one-of-500 LaFerraris “Mine All Mine,” you’ll need “Big Fat Money” to be the one on “Top of the World” by the time bidding ends. Hagerty Price Guide values for this halo-model Ferrari range from $2.75M – $4.4M.

1965 Aston Martin DB Short-Chassis Volante

2024 Arizona Auctions Aston Martin DB Short-Chassis Volante
RM Sotheby's/Erik Fuller

Volante” means “steering wheel” in Italian, but in English it means “moving with light rapidity,” and if you don’t speak Aston Martin, it also means “convertible” in the vernacular of British luxury sports cars. The first use of the Volante name on an Aston was on an interim model in 1965-66, when the company phased out its hit DB5 for the more-refined DB6.

Aston still had extra DB5 chassis laying around after the DB6’s debut, though. Since they couldn’t just slap a DB6 body on top given the former’s shorter wheelbase, they instead built a run of 37 drop-tops that basically have the (more attractive) proportions of a DB5 with a few styling cues from the DB6. Aston fans call them “Short-Chassis Volantes.”

The one on offer in Scottsdale doesn’t have the cleanest resume (color change, converted from RHD to LHD, non-original gearbox), but with a car so rare it’s hard to be picky. Others have sold in Europe for €1,158,600 and €1,805,000. The pre-sale estimate for this one is $1,400,000 – $1,800,000.

1936 Bugatti Type 57 Atalante

2024 Arizona Auctions Bugatti type 57 atalante

Any Bugatti Type 57 is special, and the factory Atalante coupe bodywork is particularly gorgeous, but this example also led quite a life. One of four factory-built with a roll-top sunroof, it sold new to a jeweler who in 1938 used it to compete in the Rallye des Alps. His mistress served as navigator. The wife didn’t like fast cars, apparently. The car also did the Monte Carlo and Rome-Liege-Rome rallies, and was also owned by French aviator Léon Givon.

It received restoration work in the late 1940s with a new engine, metal roof and different windshield, and its next owner in 1950 took it with him to live in the Belgian Congo. Then, during the upheaval of the Congo Crisis in the 1960s, he used the Bugatti to escape with his family and whatever belongings would fit to Northern Rhodesia. Things have been quieter for this Atalante since. It was re-restored in the late 1970s, but really got the attention it deserved, including reconstruction of the correct sunroof, during a restoration in the late 1980s. It’s been an occasional show car since, and has a $1.5M-$1.8M pre-sale estimate for Scottsdale.

2020 McLaren Speedtail

2024 Arizona Auctions mclaren speedtail
RM Sotheby's/Jeremy Cliff

McLaren billed the 2020 Speedtail as a spiritual successor the company’s greatest hit, the F1. Like that ’90s icon, the Speedtail has cutting edge tech and materials, a central seating position flanked by two passenger seats, and an ultra-exclusive 106-unit production run.

This car is the 69th one built. Finished in Liquid Blue Silver over blue and gray, it’s still essentially new with just 54 miles. Speedtails are worth nowhere near as much as their eight-figure F1 ancestors, but they are still expensive. While a handful have sold for over $3M at auction, the mid-$2M has been more common lately, and this one has a $2.0-$2.5M estimate.

1937 Mercedes-Benz 540K Special Roadster by Mayfair

2024 Arizona Auctions 1937 Mercedes-Benz 540K Special Roadster by Mayfair

Like with the Bugatti Type 57, any Mercedes-Benz 540K is special, even more so when it’s a Special Roadster. This one piques our interest, though, since it isn’t one of the factory-bodied “Sindelfingen” Special Roadsters but a one-off job by London coachbuilder Mayfair, who somehow gave the Benz even more swoops and flourishes. The bright hood louvers, fender skirts and frame covers along with the outside exhaust headpipes, and Mother of Pearl instrument panel all make for a spectacular automobile.

We’ve seen the car before, as it sold for $2,530,000 in Monterey in 2007, and there again for $3,277,500 in 2018. It went back to Monterey last year and was a $2.6M no-sale. It’s a no-reserve auction this year at Barrett-Jackson, so it will find a new home.

1968 Ferrari 330 GTS

2024 Arizona Auctions ferrari 330 gts
RM Sotheby's./Patrick Ernzen

Basically an open-top version of the 330 GTC, the Ferrari 330 GTS was the successor to the 275 GTS, and is both a prettier and a faster car. It is also exceedingly rare. Ferrari sold just 100 of the Pininfarina-bodied drop-tops, and the one in Scottsdale is represented as the 86th.

You know what they say, when the top goes down the price goes up. In this case, way up. A regular hardtop 330 GTC has a condition #2 (Excellent) value of $575K in the Hagerty Price Guide, but for a 330 GTS it’s $2.4M, and this one has a pre-sale estimate of $1.75M-$2.25M.

1931 Duesenberg Model J Convertible Sedan by Franay

2024 Arizona Auctions duesenber model j

The Duesenberg Model J is a triumph of American design and engineering, offering world-class luxury and astounding performance for the bigwigs with deep enough pockets to buy one. No surprise, then, that it also appealed to the panjandrums on the other side of the Atlantic.  If the Model J was fit for Hollywood, it was also fit for royalty. Literally, in this car’s case.

After being clothed in this dual-windscreen convertible sedan body by coachbuilder Franay of Paris, it was shown at the 1931 Paris Salon and sold to Queen Maria of Yugoslavia. She reportedly liked it a lot, writing of the “absolute security” at high speed as well as its “grand comfort, remarkable suppleness, and supreme elegance.” By the 1940s, the car had returned to the United States and, after its restoration in the mid-1990s, has been a show car. For Scottsdale, its pre-sale estimate is $2M-$3M.

1963 Shelby Cobra

2024 Arizona Auctions Shelby cobra
RM Sotheby's/Karissa Hosek

RM Sotheby’s bills this as “likely the most obsessively documented Cobra on the planet.” That’s reassuring, especially since it is also represented as the first Cobra with a 289 engine, and one with just three owners from new. Ordered new by a computer scientist at Stanford, CSX2044 was originally slated to get the 260, the engine used on the earliest Shelby Cobras. But the owner had inquired about Ford’s new 289 and his numerous changes to the order apparently delayed things to the point that when it came time to plop in an engine, he got the newer, larger one.

Options included a roll bar, seat belts with shoulder harnesses and impact reels, dual mirrors, sun visors, wind wings, heater, chromed air cleaner and aluminum rocker covers for a total cost of $7,297.33. The buyer also fitted larger taillights from a Ford truck and reflective red tape to the rear to make his little roadster more safely stand out on the road at night. After covering 23,000 miles, a muffler knocked loose and the California scientist stowed it away in the garage, too busy working on the early Macintosh computers. It has since left the garage but, other than a repaint and upgraded carburetor, is reportedly just as it left Shelby American in 1963.

While not the first Cobra ever (that car sold for $13.75M in 2016), being the first 289 has to count for something, and since so many genuine Cobras have long since been restored, there’s something special about an original one. CSX2044 has a $1.2M-$1.4M estimate in Arizona.




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    A little math on the Cobra…

    The first Macintosh models came out in 1984.
    As they were certainly developed before ’84, say two years; this means that the car was driven approximately 1,210 miles a year in that 19-year period.

    Believable? I guess. Current mileage isn’t mentioned.

    They started development in 1979, so there does seem to have been a little more usage than that. However, the article states that the first owner was a prof at Stanford, which does pay rather well. Presumably this was not his only car.

    While a different animal from a different era, I wonder why the original Aston Martin V8 Vantages ( 1977 – through ) haven’t taken off. All though my judgement is clouded. As a kid I remember seeing a guy pull up in one at the local airport, get out, jump in his hanger kept Stearman 75 and fly off. If I won some ridiculous mega millions payoff?…give me that instead of a La Ferrari and private jet, then let the rest go.

    I don’t want to be critical, but your article on the Most Original and carefully documented Cobra was very interesting. But I am forced to ask why the lead photo of the story features a different white 289 Cobra! The car shown in the body of the story has large yellow driving lights beneath the headlights! As, I mentioned at the beginning of my remarks, I am not trying to be critical, it just seems like a strange choice of words and photos.

    My apologies if I’ve misunderstood your comment but there are two different cars. The focus of the article above is CSX2044 which is soon to be auctioned by Sotheby’s. The one linked in the last paragraph is CSX2171 and was up for auction in 2022.

    I’m definitely getting three of those this year I’ve waited long enough. Do they take your first child by chance? Seriously, do you have a list of “Not the Best” for the rest of us?

    My apologies if I wasn’t clear. It’s that this site is focused on them so much. Seems much more that domestic cars.

    There are probably significantly more foreign cars that have achieved a VERY high value than US cars – Duesenberg (and sort of the Cobra) notwithstanding.

    I have often wondered the same thing. Would the readers be more interested in cars valued in the $20k to $80k range or is the avg. reader of these articles waiting for more info on $1M+++ automobiles?

    I agree Joe, not only foreign cars but cars for the filthy rich! I suppose Hagerty thinks everyone that insures vehicles through them is rich, not me. I’m just one of those blue-collar working stiffs with a 2018 GT350, I guess I better save my coins for a car I can’t afford!

    It’s Walter Mitty syndrome, Chris. Many with casual auto interest are led to believe in endlessly regurgitated, thrice-told tales of a handful of over-hyped “super” cars presented in filler content devoid of perspective. Unsure what it does for the hobby, but probably boosts circulation of those preferring to look at shiny pictures online than go into the garage and lavish attention on the real thing— which, BTW, is often more affordable than you might think.

    Good point, yours.

    I think it would be cool if there was a quality replica kit for the ’60s Astons. They would make a great weekender car, but the original’s rarity, collectability, and seven-figure prices preclude using them, for anyone who could afford to own one.

    Since Aston Martin is still a going concern, I would think there would be many legal obstacles to that venture.

    Why devote so much time on cars only the upper crust buyers can afford? I expected Hagerty to be more down to earth for regular Joes who won’t be attending those out there events.

    Lovely cars and a nice article. Once the auction’s over, please write another one about the five cheapest cars that sold.

    I think I’m gonna put a tow bar onto my DeLorean and go back and get me one of them Cobras for seven thousand dollars. I figure the DeLorean might get to 88 mph towing a Cobra, but not the Bugatti or the Deusenberg. Maybe they can push, does that count?

    Not really relative, but as I recall, as three of us kids slid up beside the 427 Cobra at the shelby dealer by the factory in LA, on our Stingray bicycles, right after the salesman yelled at us to “get away from the car”, he said the 427 was a whopping $9800, back then. ’65-’66 maybe? Just before drivers licenses.

    Regarding “Cars up for grabs”, I’m going out on a limb and say that the vast majority of Hagerty readers are not interested in the million dollar plus cars, but nicely restored Detroit Iron from our younger days. How about articles such as “best of the 1950’s or 60’s? Or, cool resto-mods, rat rods, and in general AMERICAN classics? Those who might be bidding on six and seven figure cars are reading some magazine that ends with the wording “De Elegance” and does not care about us mere mortals turning wrenches in our garage.

    Amen, Rick. There are plenty of interesting, driveable, good-looking, even sleek cars going back to the ’30s that fiscal mortals can afford and easily maintain.

    Perhaps time for a moratorium on the covered to death auction queens traded between arbitragers and MBAs who don’t even change their own oil—even have detailers come to their homes to wax them. Enough already.

    Some of us well know all the cars above. They are not markedly different from hundreds of others receiving less ink, but equally interesting, often better real world cars, for a fraction the lucre.

    Many of us are quite interested in both the (somewhat) affordable American cars, and the magnificent machines shown above – ones that we dreamed of as youth, such as the 330GTS. That is true, whether we can actually afford either genre or not.

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