From Paris to the States

Classic Car Weekly (UK) - - Auction News - AUC­TIONS IN­SIDER RICHARD HUD­SONEVANS

The top seller in the first of four auc­tions dur­ing Retro­mo­bile week in Paris was a 1962 Fer­rari 400 Su­per­amer­ica Aero­d­i­nam­ico, the Earls Court and Chicago Mo­tors Show-ex­hib­ited Se­ries II LWB, that had been in the Mat­suda port­fo­lio in Ja­pan in the late 1990s. It sold im­me­di­ately af­ter­wards for €2,950,000 (£2,271,500) to head a €19.03m (£14.65m) gross­ing RM Sotheby’s sale Wed­nes­day evening in Place Vauban.

In to­tal 48 of the 61 cars on the car­pet did change keep­ers and a 79% sale rate was achieved One of the few rolling as­sets that ex­ceeded its guide price band was a ma­jor ret­ro­spec­tive event el­i­gi­ble Porsche 550 with Wendler Spy­der body, the 1955 Frank­furt Show car that was raced at the 1956 Se­bring 12 Hours and which cost the next owner-driver €2,744,000 (£2,112,880). A mid-es­ti­mate €2,016,000 (£1,552,320) was forth­com­ing for a 1957 BMW 507 Se­ries II Roadster on Rudge wheels with hard­top.

The 2004 ‘Mal­ibu Enzo’ of in­ter­net search fame, which had been to­talled in 2006 but then to­tally built-up with fac­tory new and sup­plied com­po­nents plus up­grades to sat­isfy Fer­rari Clas­siche cer­ti­fi­ca­tion, fetched €1,568,000 (£1,207,360), just over the lower es­ti­mate with pre­mium. That it had also been dash-signed by Fer­rari old boy and FIA chef Jean Todt prob­a­bly had some bear­ing on the ham­mer price.

Other barom­e­ter read­ings for the Pranc­ing Horse mar­ket were a 1997 F50, the 266th of 340, with match­ing num­bers and Clas­siche pass num­ber, sold for €1,275,000 (£981,750), and a 4000k-from­new 1989 F40 for €1,036,000 (£797,720). Once again, both th­ese stal­lions only just cleared their lower es­ti­mate fig­ures. A 1955 Mercedes-Benz 300SL Gull­wing, a Mille Miglia Stor­ica reg­u­lar, flapped away more eas­ily, at­tract­ing a well-with­ines­ti­mate 1,176,000 euros (£905,520).

The very first pro­duc­tion As­ton Martin DB5 left­hooker from 1963 (briefly owned by the se­ri­ously ac­quis­i­tive Ni­cholas Cage be­tween takes) failed to find the min­i­mum €1,100,000 (£847,000) be­ing sought, but a right- to left-hand drive con­verted and re­stored 1966 DB6 man­ual did scrape home at €392,000 (£301,840). €112,000 euros (£86,240) bought a 1956 left-hand drive ex­am­ple of the 640 Austin-Healey fac­tory-built 100Ms, rather than one with a ‘Le Mans’ kit of bolt-on good­ies.

Af­ter all the Paris auc­tions are over, mar­ket watch­ers will have a much clearer overview of where we re­ally are, what the prices are ac­tu­ally do­ing, and we can gauge where sen­ti­ment and fash­ion may lead us next.

Dis­count­ing Russo & Steel re­sults, which are still be­ing fi­nalised, circa $250m was spent on old­timers in the re­cent US 2016 sea­son-open­ing auc­tions, the sale to­tals down by al­most 15% from the same fix­tures one year ago. The av­er­age price per clas­sic bought at the auc­tions in Phoenix and Scotts­dale was 13% less, too, than it was in 2015.

By con­trast at Kis­simee, US mar­ket leader by vol­ume Me­cum re­port a $92m sale to­tal (£64.17m), 30% more than last year with a sim­i­lar per­cent­age in­crease on the av­er­age spend too, and with a 78% suc­cess rate. This means there­fore that vir­tu­ally eight out of ev­ery clas­sics be­ing auc­tioned by them sold and did so for higher prices.

‘Af­ter the Paris auc­tions are over, we can gauge where sen­ti­ment and fash­ion may lead us’

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