Gooding & Company’s Scottsdale results

Gooding & Company held its fifth annual Scottsdale auction this past January 20-21, and the 2012 event was one of its best. Including post-block sales, Gooding only missed selling two of its 118 lots (both during the sale’s second day), and totaled just under $40 million. By comparison, last year’s $35 million total had been the company’s previous Arizona high.

The top car was a 1955 Mercedes-Benz 300SL alloy Gullwing, one of 29 manufactured. These cars are exceedingly rare and don’t often trade in a public venue, which made forecasting the value difficult. Indeed, the auction house’s pre-sale estimate of $3.4-$3.8 million proved insufficient. In the end, after spirited bidding, the car secured a sale price of $4.62 million, which constitutes a world record for a 300SL at auction. In five years of Gooding’s Scottsdale presence, this sale marked the fifth time the company registered the top sale price among all auction houses.

Perhaps an even more surprising figure than the alloy Gullwing was the jaw-dropping $880,000 achieved by a Maserati Ghibli Spyder. The restored and highly optioned car was in 4.9L SS spec — the most desirable and rarest of the breed — and wore an unusual color. The seemingly ambitious $700,000-$800,000 estimate provided by the auction house proved to be realistic once the hammer fell, even though it was more than twice current guide book pricing.

In all, Gooding & Company tallied seven million-dollar sales on its way to an average sale price in excess of $343,000 — a figure more than 70% higher than RM’s average sale price.

Gooding & Company’s next sale will take place March 9 in Amelia Island, Florida. The Amelia sale is typically the lowest earner of Gooding’s three annual events, but it is also one of the company’s most enjoyable.

Brian Rabold is the editor of Hagerty Price Guide.

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