The Market


2024 Florida sales – Gooding wraps it up at Amelia Island

2024 Florida sales – Gooding wraps it up at Amelia Island 2nd March 2024

Waiting on official figures, after a two-day, 127-car event, we estimate a likely gross for Gooding's 2024 Amelia Island sale to be ca. $60m. In 2023 – with a larger catalogue – that figure was a record $72.68m. All the talk on Friday was about the 1903 Mercedes-Simplex, a highly significant car consigned from its first family owner that achieved $12,105,000 all-in.

** Stop press on 3 March 2024: Gooding announced two major after-sales: the Ferrari 500 Mondial and the Porsche RS61. This boosts the overall gross by ca. $7 million to $67+ million at an 87% sell-through.**

The importance of this car cannot be overstated. Not only is it one of the rarest early motor cars, but it is also one of Mercedes’ most famous models. Only a handful were built, and all are accounted for today. This car is the sole example with Grand Prix history. The big plus is coming from single ownership since new in the hands of the Harmsworth family, owners of the British Daily Mail newspaper. Often, interest in particular types of cars is transient. Fashions might come and go, but this is the real deal

This really was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, for which Gooding had lined up a who’s who of serious collectors on the telephones. Following determined bidding that lasted just a few minutes, after 121 years’ single ownership the car passed into new hands via the buyer's representative in the room.

Someone with great taste and determination now owns a car from the pioneer era, a machine capable of generating a modern speeding ticket – yet is now in its 13th decade. We congratulate them.

At a glance (on the day, provisional):

* Gross, motor cars: $33,438,170
* Percentage sold by number: 82%
* Top-selling car: 1903 Mercedes-Simplex 60 HP 'Roi des Belges' $12,105,000 gross, $11,000,000 net (est. "in excess of $10m")
* Well sold? $918k for the 1974 Ferrari Dino 246 GTS was down to its incredible originality as a ‘reference-grade’ GTS. And that is for a standard red, US-spec car, not a ‘chairs and flares’.
* Well bought? How about the elegant 1961 Maserati 3500 GT – on carbs, in subtle silver over black – snapped up for $145,600 against its $175k to $225k guide? 

Greg Ingold watched the sale on a day marked by sporadic rainstorms, and comments:

“The rain didn’t dampen spirits over at The Omni. As was the case yesterday, the event was well attended with plenty of interest in the major cars on offer.

“Apart from the 1903 Mercedes-Simplex, undisputed star of the show and this week’s auctions, the remainder of the sale saw patchy results on the Mullin Collection, with a handful of cars selling above reserve and some below. The selection of these entries, though, was mixed, and serves merely as an appetizer to the main event in April.

“Overall, strong bidding resulted in a healthy 82% sell-through and post-block sales might well improve on this and add to the gross.”

Other results of note (all prices gross):

* 1959 Lancia Flaminia Sport Zagato, $467,000. On the money and reassuring to see there’s still appreciation for these iconic, advanced-in-their day Italian sports cars.
* 1929 Bentley 4 1/2 Litre Le Mans Sports Tourer, $1,545,000. On the surface ‘cheap’, but a thorough read of the catalogue reveals the desirable specification in which the car is presented today did not last long in period and had to be recreated in the hands of a later owner.
* 1967 Ferrari 275 GTB/4, $2,920,000. Bought at lower end of estimate, a wise decision considering the likely three-year, $500k restoration.
* 1992 Porsche 964 Carrera RS N/GT, $637,500. Displaying just 55km and effectively ‘new’.
* 1960 Alfa Romeo Giulietta SZ, $417,500. Non-matching engine, non-original colour.
* 1955 Mercedes-Benz 300 SL 'Gullwing', $1,765,000. Two US owners since new, matching numbers engine and presented as delivered in ‘safe’ DB50 White. Market price.

Full published results with market analysis to follow…

Gooding at the Racquet Park, Omni Amelia Island Plantation 29 February-1 March 2023 – provisional results (2023)

Gross: $59,313,290 ($72,676,188)
Number of cars not sold: 21 (7)
Number of cars withdrawn: 0 (0)
Total number of cars: 127 (155)
Number sold: 106 (148)
Percentage of cars sold by number: 83% (95%)
Percentage by value average low/high estimate: 65% (70%)
Percentage of cars met or sold below low estimate: 66% (62%)
Percentage of cars sold below avge of estimates: 79% (78%)
Percentage of cars sold met/exceeded top estimate: 14% (11%)
Average price of cars sold: $558,559 ($491,055)
Average year of cars offered: 1968 (1969)
Percentage of cars offered at No Reserve:  60% (67%)

All quoted prices include buyer’s premium.

Photos by Marcelo Murillo for K500