The Market


Gooding’s $14.3m August 2020 Geared Online sale

Gooding’s $14.3m August 2020 Geared Online sale 12th August 2020

Instead of the rounded tones of British auctioneers James Knight and Malcolm Barber at Quail Lodge, this year’s Monterey Week sales – downgraded to ‘virtual’ status by the pandemic – were heralded by the sound of 1,000 mouse clicks and keyboard taps when bidders took to the ether to compete for 53 motor cars at Gooding’s first-ever online auction.

The Santa Monica company’s strengths are generally the best selection of cars, great presentation and the top auctioneer in the business. None of that automatically translates online, of course, though the Gooding name still counts.

That the top-selling Ferrari 275 GTB sold for the highest amount yet seen in an online-only auction says more about the market’s rapid acceptance of such events than the success of the sale itself, impressive though it was.

At a glance:

* Gross (motor cars): $14,342,350 (2019 Pebble Beach, $76,824,740)
* Percentage sold by number: 64% (2019 Pebble Beach, 73%)
* Top-selling car: 1966 Ferrari 275 GTB Long Nose 6C $3,080,000 gross, $2,800,000 net (est. £2.75m to $3.25m)
* Well sold? In a more discerning market for 1960s V12 Ferraris, that was top money paid for the (albeit nice, pictured, top) white 275 GTB with outside filler cap and six-carb motor
* Well bought? $176k all-in for the BMW Z8 raised a few eyebrows, say €152k in Europe

We include last year’s figures only for interest, and remind readers that 2019 saw weaker sales than usual at the biggest event of the year. Overall, the gross for the Big Three during Monterey Week last time was down by just over a third. Sell-through dropped from 82% across the board to 75%. Gooding was no exception, posting a $76.8m gross in 2019 compared with $115.9m the year before.

Since lock-down immediately post-Amelia, some sort of online presence has been the only game in town. Any thoughts of “let’s hope it all goes away” are for the birds – internet auctions for $1m+ cars are here to stay, though for truly great, best-of-the-best models a public offering at Pebble Beach or by a well-connected specialist remains the only way to market.

Gooding’s catalogue was a safe dip of a toe in the deep waters of the online world. Buyer’s premium for cars was kept at 10%, in line with arch-rival RM. Bonhams will stick to a split 12%/10% for its August US sale.

There was something for everyone. Although 64% sold by number is modest by US standards, on every other metric the results were better than the real deal conducted live in the big white tent at the Pebble Beach Equestrian Center in 2019: fewer cars sold below low or average estimate; nearly 20% sold above high estimate.

All three modern Ferrari supercars found new owners at market-correct prices. The 275 GTB did well thanks to its unusual colour and desirable ‘semi-comp’ spec of outside filler cap and six carburettors. Although catalogued as without Classiche certification, a high level of originality and no history of ‘resale red’ helped it on its way to a good result. An estimate of $500k to $600k was probably $200k too much for the US-spec, wrong-colour ‘Daytona’ on flashy Borrani wires; it did not sell.

Of the two 300 SLs, the disc-brake 1961 Roadster sold just over low estimate for $946,000, while a typically ‘Gull Wing Group’ red over grey leather coupé out of long-term ownership failed to sell at an estimate of $850k to $950k.

As has become the way with internet auctions, all the action is in the last half hour, and determined bidders fought to the death over the totally mad 1960 Dodge Polara Station Wagon. Carrying an estimate of $40k to $55k, the virtual hammer dropped at $85,000, that’s $93,500 with premium.

Boosted by the success of this sale, Gooding will hold another Geared Online auction late October.

Gooding Geared Online auction 3-7 August 2020 – results (2019 Pebble Beach sale)

Gross: $14,342,350 ($76,824,740)
Number of cars not sold: 19 (32)
Number of cars withdrawn: 0 (0)
Total number of cars: 53 (140)
Number sold: 34 (108)
Percentage cars sold by number: 64% (77%)
Percentage by value average low/high estimate: 58% (51%)
Percentage of cars met or sold below low estimate: 50% (85%)
Percentage of cars sold below avge of estimates: 71% (95%)
Percentage of cars sold met/exceeded top estimate: 18% (4%)
Average price of cars sold: $421,834 ($711,340)
Average year of cars offered: 1969 (1963)
Percentage of cars offered at No Reserve: 0% (39%)

All images copyright and courtesy of Gooding & Company. Photo by Mike Maez