The Market


Amelia Island 2021: RM Sotheby’s $41.1m auction

Amelia Island 2021: RM Sotheby’s $41.1m auction 23rd May 2021

Adding an additional $4m to their 2020 Florida total, the Canadians held a blockbuster sale at the Ritz Carlton yesterday, selling over 93% of the 99-car catalogue.

The gross was the firm’s biggest in Florida since 2017 when it ran a two-day event that included the $30m Orin Smith Collection. US auctioneer Mike Shackleton conducted proceedings in front of a lively audience in the ballroom of the seaside luxury hotel and golf club complex.

Unlike British rival Bonhams, which concentrated on older American cars, RM sold some serious Ferraris: 275 GTB/4 ($2.8m); F40 ($2m); Daytona Spider ($2.4m, pictured, top); F50 ($3.8m); 250 GT Pin’ Cab’ S2 ($1.5m). All prices include buyer’s premium.

At a glance:

* Gross: $41,152,641 (2020, $35,726,501)
* Percentage sold by number: 93% (2020, 93%)
* Top-selling car: 1929 Duesenberg Model J 'Disappearing Top' Torpedo $5,725,000 gross, $5,200,000 net (est. $3.5m to $4m)        
* Well sold? Massive price for the manual 2007 Ferrari 599 GTB. Someone paid $692,500 all-in for a car estimated at $500k to $650k – a throwback to 2014-2015
* Well bought? Who really knows, but the (less-fancied) North American-spec Daytona Spider, at $2,452,500 with premium, might prove a wise buy one day

The top-selling Duesenberg, restored by RM and a 2020 winner at the Amelia Island Concours, smashed its estimate, proving once again the appeal of one-off bodywork mounted on cars from the golden era of inter-war Americana. Amelia Island is THE place for this category.

As we observed at Bonhams two days before, the venue was packed with buyers, and not only for the older cars with which the Brits filled their catalogue. A 2005 Mercedes-Benz CLK DTM AMG sold for $472,500 all-in (est. $325k to $375k). Entries such as the 2005 Ferrari Superamerica (that went for a mid-estimate $268.8k gross) and the manual Ferrari 599 GTB, darlings of the late peak in 2015, performed strongly once again.

The matching-numbers four-cam 275 GTB sold well considering its non-original colour, older restoration and lack of Ferrari Classiche certification. A top US or European restoration would fix that and bring its value up to the more usual $3m+.

Perennial favourites such as the 1965 Shelby Cobra 289 (a respectable $967.5k gross) and 1964 Alfa Romeo 2600 Spider, an immaculate concours car that sold for $246.4k – an all-in price hardly achievable in Europe – turned in very solid results.

It all bodes well for Monterey Week, where an early consignment at RM is an ex-Gulf JWA 1970 Porsche 917K (est. $16m to $18m).

Check back soon on K500 for an overview of the 2021 Amelia Island auctions with all results sorted by make and model.

RM Sotheby’s at Amelia Island, 22 May 2021 – results (2020)

Gross: $41,152,641 ($35,726,501)
Number of cars not sold: 5 (10)
Number of cars withdrawn: 1 (0)
Total number of cars: 99 (146)
Number sold: 94 (136)
Percentage of cars sold by number: 93% (93%)
Percentage by value average low/high estimate: 93% (75%)
Percentage of cars met or sold below low estimate: 48% (67%)
Percentage of cars sold below avge of estimates: 72% (82%)
Percentage of cars sold met/exceeded top estimate: 17% (11%)
Average price of cars sold: $437,794 ($262,695)
Average year of cars offered: 1965 (1965)
Percentage of cars offered at No Reserve: 40% (70%)

Photo by RM Sotheby's