The Market


Battle Royale in Florida

Battle Royale in Florida 22nd February 2024

After RM announced it was creating a blockbuster rival event in Miami – 385 miles away – to the established concours on Amelia Island, a new landscape was guaranteed for this year’s spring auction season as arch-rivals RM and Broad Arrow go head-to-head to attract the attention and dollars of the biggest car collectors.
The catalogues have landed heavily and are predictably thicker than ever. But better? Here’s what to watch out for next week.
Bonhams (Thursday), Gooding (Thursday and Friday) and official auction partner Broad Arrow (Friday and Saturday) will set up near the Georgia state line at The Amelia. The concours, like Broad Arrow, is now Hagerty-owned. RM is at Coral Gables, an easy 20-minute cab ride from Miami airport, on Friday and Saturday in association with ModaMiami, its own new lifestyle event.
At a glance:

Total number of cars: 475 (2023, 454)
Average mid-estimate price: $560,586 (2023, $574,083)
Average price of car sold in 2023: $448,965 gross
Percentage of cars at No Reserve: 52% (2023, 50%)
Average year of cars offered: 1973 (2023, 1969)
2023 combined gross: $177,789,949 at 87% sold by number – a record
Highest-value car offered in 2024: Gooding’s 1903 Mercedes-Simplex 60 HP 'Roi des Belges', “in excess of $10,000,000”
Top selling car in 2023: Gooding’s 1962 Ferrari 250 GT SWB California Spider, $18,045,000
Some might call the headlining Veteran – using the British definition of ‘pre-31 December 1904’ – Mercedes-Simplex a ‘McLaren F1 of its day’. The significant car, incredibly coming from single British family ownership of 121 years, is much more than that. We expect leading collectors from across the globe to be bidding on a genuine piece of automotive history. And for it to sell well.
The prize for top selling runner-up is likely to go to one of the rare early Ferraris at Gooding or RM, or the brace of late-1950s/early ’60s racing Porsches from Broad Arrow and Gooding, though Broad Arrow also has a modern Bugatti Chiron and a 1967 Ford GT40 road car, both at an identical $4m to $5m. It’s worth bearing in mind the strong $6.93m paid for a GT40 at Mecum in January this year. This car could spring a surprise.
The Ferraris are pitched into a sector of the market not as wide as before; the Porsches always subject to hyper-critical attention on questions of originality and authenticity. In the red corner are RM’s 1953 Ferrari 250 Europa by Vignale (an elegant, coachbuilt coupé for $4.5m to $5.5m) and Gooding’s 1954 Ferrari 500 Mondial Series I Spider, a four-cylinder, event-eligible sports-racer at $4m to $5m. Both are ‘old school’ and drive accordingly, but well-suited to the more genteel environment that was always the essence of Amelia Island. Broad Arrow has an ex-Le Mans 1959 Porsche 718 RSK Spyder for $3.5m to $4.5m; Gooding a 1961 Porsche RS61, hill-climbed in period, for $4m to $5m. Like almost all their ilk, neither have their original engines and, built post-1957, are not Mille Miglia-eligible. This is a market dominated by the less rare but more iconic and multiple-event-friendly 550 Spyder and will be a test of marque enthusiasts’ appetite for small Porsche sports-racers, few of which appeared at public auction in 2023.
Ferrari’s quirky 365 California is a rare sight both at events and auctions. RM’s red (from new) ‘super Ferrari’ convertible is billed as “a celebrated model that has not been publicly offered in the US for over 10 years”. Refer to K500 and you’ll see the last one of these big, luxury cruisers sold at auction in August 2013 for $2.97m. Considering market movements over 11 years the estimate of $4m to $4.5m for this well-restored one should be achievable, but the trend has moved away from luxury Ferraris and now also penalises uninteresting colours, so this may not be that easy.
Elegance and rarity aside, you might not choose a 365 California or 1950s Ferrari primarily for the driving experience. For visceral performance and classic looks, you’d probably go for a defining model like the 365 GTB/4 ‘Daytona’ and its immediate predecessor the 275 GTB/4. Two ‘Daytona’ Spiders are offered at Amelia Island rather than their spiritual home, Miami. Both are US-spec with Borrani wires and presented in interesting colours. At $2.5m to $3m, Gooding’s Verde Bahram example with original beige interior and believed 7,800 miles from new narrowly gets our vote, though Broad Arrow’s Blu Dino car, for $2.8m to $3.2m, looks great too. We rate both.
Just one 275 GTB crosses the block next week. “One of the most exciting Ferrari finds in recent memory” is a garage-discovery out of 50 years in single ownership which will be auctioned by Gooding on Friday. The car is billed as delivered new to Swiss racing driver Jo Siffert in Blu Chiaro, although Siffert was also a dealer. Other than some quaint but easily removable 1970s go-faster improvements and the inevitable red paint job, it’s largely original, still with its Connolly interior: the estimate is $3m to $3.5m. Another Ferrari offered by the Californian firm is described as a “time capsule, reference-grade example”: the US-spec 1974 Dino 246 GTS still carries its original Rosso Corsa paint– and a guide of $650k to $850k, despite the colour and spec.
Away from Maranello, two Alfa Romeo Giulietta SZs will cross the block, one at Bonhams and one at Gooding. Like the older Porsche sports-racers, well-used SZs rarely have matching engines, and this pair is no exception. Both have interesting histories and attractive original colours – grey for Bonhams’, blue for Gooding’s – and similar estimates of around $400k to $450k. Both look good value for modern, limited-edition Porsche 911 money and offer great event eligibility whilst combining two of motoring’s most glamorous Italian names.
As you’d expect, a sizeable proportion of the catalogues is packed with ‘Great Gatsby’ Americana and more modern Porsches, both a speciality of Amelia Island auctions. Gooding presents the first tranche of 20 cars from the Peter Mullin collection, all without reserve, before it holds a bespoke sale of the late, great connoisseur of French coachbuilt cars at the Petersen Museum in April. Look out for the Chapron-bodied Citroëns at Amelia that include a 1963 DS19 Le Dandy ($150k to $225k) and one-off 1965 DS19 Majesty ($120k to $150k), both rare, eccentric and a lot of style for the money.
There’s no Miura, but RM has three varieties of Countach: a 1981 (non-original) Blu Tahiti LP 400 S – bought for around $490k at the Guikas Collection sale in 2021 and since refreshed – for $700k to $800k, a red-over-white 1988 5000 QV billed as a ‘time-capsule’ US car but converted from fuel injection to Weber carburettors ($850k to $950k), and a 1976 LP 400 'Periscopica' in cool original-spec Blu Tahiti estimated at $1.1m to $1.4m which is probably ‘on the money’. These early cars have remained static whilst the later versions have taken off: time to catch up?
So, all this plus a chunk of AMG Mercedes, M Division BMWs and six 300 SLs topped by RM’s discs brake/alloy block Roadster, changed from dreaded Fire Engine Red to trendy triple black under the supervision of RM Restorations for a strong $2.2m to $2.7m, will be offered in two competing locations next week. It’s just possible to make it there and back to Amelia Island in one day.
Four important auctions running head-to-head on the same day during Monterey Car Week last August was tough if you wanted to check out all of them. Three on Friday in Florida, with the two ‘must-attends’ of RM and Gooding separated by hundreds of miles, will test everyone’s patience and willingness to bid online. By dividing buyers to conquer the opposition, the auction houses are likely to reward bidders in the right place at the right time with some opportunistic bargains.

We’re covering all sales in both locations and will give you daily updates and intel.

For further details on The Amelia and ModaMiami, visit and

2024 Florida auction schedule:

You can download a complete lot listing sorted by make and model HERE.

Bonhams – Thursday 29 February at 12:00 EST. Bonhams Pavilion at the Fernandina Beach Golf Club, West Entry, 3990 Amelia Island Parkway, Fernandina Beach, FL 32034. See

Gooding & Co – Thursday 29 February at 15.00 EST, Friday 1 March 11.00 EST. Racquet Park, Omni Amelia Island Plantation, 6800 First Coast Hwy, Amelia Island, FL 32034 (one mile south of Amelia Island Parkway). See

RM Sotheby's – Friday 1 March at 13.00 EST, Saturday 2 March at 13.00 EST. The Biltmore Hotel Coral Gables (Miami), 1200 Anastasia Ave, Coral Gables, FL 33134. See

Broad Arrow Auctions – Friday 1 March at 16.00 EST, Saturday 2 March at 11.00 EST. The Ritz-Carlton, 4750 Amelia Island Parkway, Amelia Island, FL 32034. See

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