The Market


Five points to take away from the 2022 Amelia Island auction results

Five points to take away from the 2022 Amelia Island auction results 7th March 2022

After the highest-ever combined gross totals posted at Amelia Island by the Big Three international auction firms – despite taking place during armed conflict in Ukraine and shaky world financial markets – we take an insider’s look at the trends behind the numbers.

Click HERE for full results from the Big Three sorted by make and model
It was the first time for two years that Bonhams, Gooding and RM Sotheby’s held concurrent sales in Florida. Our comparative figures reflect this. To give some context, the Big Three grossed $291m during Monterey Week in 2021: 89% sold by number; 38% sold below low estimate; 27% above top estimate.
So, what can we read from this year’s Florida results?

1. The Stuttgart steamroller continues. A fifth of entries were Porsches. Every single entry sold. A 550 Spyder was the second-highest selling car. It was proof of the current market’s obsession with the marque and the fact that there is a model for every pocket, they are easy to trade, use and maintain, and a 911 of any age is an iconic car, recognisable the world over.

2. Mundane Pre-War sedans and limousines are slow, but rare and desirable coachbuilt cars do well. RM’s 1934 Packard topped out the Canadian firm’s event at the Ritz-Carlton and a 1934 Duesenberg was named joint Best of Show at The Amelia on Sunday. RM’s car might have only met bottom estimate, but it confounded some experts at the event not expecting it to sell at that price. Brass Era cars sprang fewer surprises than in previous years. We predicted the dramatic Talbot-Lago ‘Teardrop’ should make $12-13 million, and it did ($13.4 million with premium) but cars as good as that come along rarely, hence the result. The shrinking of this market has long been predicted; it’s not flavour of the month, but still has a dedicated following in North America.

3. “I want one, but it’s got to be great”. The market has polarised since the “just get me something” days of 2013 to 2015. Collectors want the best and will pay accordingly. Gooding’s Bentley R-Type Continental ticked every possible box and carried a mighty estimate of $2m to $2.5m but it sold for a record $2,975,000 gross. RM’s black (colours count) and very low mileage 1991 Ferrari Testarossa doubled its lower estimate selling for $321,250 all-in. A Fiat Dino 2400 Spider achieved an unprecedented $390,000. Lack of matching numbers, an unpopular original colour or cash restoration by an unknown garage are passion-killers.
4. The USA is its own market. The recent Paris sales were healthy, but could this sort of record-breaking bonanza be replicated across the Atlantic? We doubt it. Next week’s Rétromobile show only has local outfit Artcurial holding an auction, while the Monaco Historics (RM and Bonhams) are two months away, with hefty European buyer’s premiums to consider.

5. “I was expecting more”. Three individual results show the market is not running away with itself. A trio of supposedly ‘hot ticket’ models sold, but all under lower estimate: Gooding’s F40; RM’s LaFerrari and Bugatti EB110GT Prototype, the latter a darling in Paris last month but only finding a new owner post-sale here in Florida.
With RM’s weekend announcement that it would offer selected cars from the collection of the late pool-cleaning equipment tycoon Oscar Davis – including another Talbot-Lago ‘Teardrop’ (announced just before Gooding auctioned theirs) and a $10m-$13m Maserati 450S sports-racer, below – this August all eyes will be on Monterey Week. Despite the surge in online sales and the biggest-ticket classic cars increasingly transacted under the radar, North America remains the epicentre of high-value live auctions.
The overall numbers below are telling in how the market has recovered since 2020. Look at the average price of cars sold:
Amelia Island Auctions, March 2022. Bonhams/Gooding/RM Sotheby’s combined† (2020 figures in brackets)
Gross: $129,762,232 ($77,758,722)
Number of cars not sold: 26 (40)
Number of cars withdrawn: 1 (3)
Total number of cars: 270 (351)
Number sold: 244 (311)
Percentage of cars sold by number: 90% (89%)
Percentage by value average low/high estimate: 89% (59%)
Percentage of cars met or sold below low estimate: 48% (70%)
Percentage of cars sold below average of estimates: 68% (84%)
Percentage of cars sold met/exceeded top estimate: 18% (10%)
Average price of cars sold: $531,852 ($250,028)
Average year of cars offered: 1966 (1966)
Percentage of cars offered at No Reserve:  46% (66%)

†Includes post-sales
Percentage of Porsches: 20% (13%)

Click HERE for full results from the Big Three sorted by make and model
Top 10 sales at Amelia Island 2022
1. Gooding 1937 Talbot-Lago T150-C-SS ‘Teardrop’ $13,425,000          
2. Bonhams 1955 Porsche 550 Spyder $4,185,000          
3. RM 1934 Packard Twelve Individual Custom Convertible Victoria $4,130,000          
4. RM 2015 Ferrari LaFerrari $3,662,500          
5. RM 1930 Duesenberg Model J Convertible Sedan $3,525,000          
6. RM 2019 Bugatti Chiron Sport $3,360,000          
7. Gooding 1959 Porsche 718 RSK $2,975,000          
8. Gooding 1954 Bentley R-Type Continental Fastback $2,975,000          
9. RM 2020 McLaren Speedtail $2,700,000          
10. Gooding 1967 Toyota-Shelby 2000 GT $2,535,000

Photos by K500