Home on the range – a first look at the 2020 Arizona sales
The cars are polished, the saleroom staff attentive and the doors now open for business. Over the next three days, nearly 400 cars will cross the blocks of the Big Three international houses in sunny Scottsdale. Here’s our take on this year’s offerings in the metal, and the mood in the big white tents.
As far as the atmosphere goes, with lacklustre pre-Christmas auctions at the back of many minds, a mix of “anticipation” and “apprehension” probably sums it up. There should be few worries about the sell-through come Saturday afternoon, as Bonhams, RM and Gooding combined present a whopping 70% without reserve. But if the auction houses fail to post sales on the relatively few star lots on offer, there’s a big difference in gross at stake.
On this preview day there few visitors from outside the US to be seen, though all auctions were well-attended the minute the doors opened.
Bonhams at The Westin Kierland
As usual, the Brits have the headliners tucked away in the lobby, with the rest of the cars outside. The Alfa 8C (pictured, above) dominates, and – well-catalogued chassis issues aside – has generated interest. The 1951 Ferrari 212 Inter Cabriolet (below) looks a little out of place. It was last sold for $2.2m all-in by Bonhams in August 2014. Now it’s estimated at $2m to $2.4m. Prices overall have been in reverse since then, with enthusiasm for these significant but joyless-to-drive early 1950s Ferraris suffering. A charismatic, of-the-period car, we wish it well tomorrow.
One of Scottsdale’s three Miuras sits in the Scottsdale sun. It doesn't need a close inspection to reveal it requires total restoration, so expect it to sell at a price reflecting the c.$500k needed to fix it.
RM Sotheby’s at The Arizona Biltmore
Back in their traditional position in the ballroom, with second-tier cars in the garage and the rest outside, the Canadians have a spring in their step. The menacing 1937 Mercedes-Benz 540K Coupé (above) has probably topped pre-sale enquiries, while elsewhere in the ballroom the strawberry 300 SL Roadster caught our eye, as did the two top Ferraris, the 250 GT Pinin Farina Cabriolet S1 (below) and the 275 GTB 6C short-nose. Both are ‘retail red’ from older restorations rather than in their more interesting original colours, but they present well.
The grey 330 GTS is another highlight but, like Gooding’s, will need flexibility on its $1.8m to $2.2m estimate to sell. The Rudge-wheel (from new?), silver 300 SL Gullwing looks smart – pity about the change from far more interesting as-delivered Medium Blue (DB350).
Outside, priced to sell and with most at No Reserve, there's a broad range of cars. Some, such as the Healey 100-4, are quite appealing – there should be some bargains.
Gooding & Co at Scottsdale Fashion Square
Last stop was David Gooding’s big white tent, this year moved a few hundred metres from its usual position in Fashion Square. In keeping with the well-measured catalogue, no headlining lot sits in the lobby under the chandelier, and saleroom visitors are first met by the yellow Ferrari 330 GTS and a line of other cars (pictured, top) headed by the ex-Onassis Ferrari 1967 330 GTC. A red car from new, when seen in the metal the largely original car from Maranello has period charm. Expensive, but one to watch.
Condition-wise, the yellow Miura P400 S (above) is the best of the three on offer this week. It will be interesting to see the difference in price between this restored car and Bonhams’ project. The rest of the catalogue looks good – there might be no $5m+ car listed, but the rest (such as the teasingly priced BMW 328, pictured above) more than make up for it.
In other news…
RM announced today it will be offering a 230-car collection, almost all at No Reserve, on 1-2 May at Elkhart, Indiana. Highlights include a Miura, a 1953 Fiat 8V Supersonic by Ghia and a 1963 Jaguar E-type Lightweight Continuation. Some cars had been bought within the last 18 months.
Photos by K500
January 2020 Scottsdale Auction Schedule:
Click here for a complete lot listing sorted by make and model
Barrett-Jackson – event from Saturday 11 January to Sunday 19 January. Sales from Monday 13 January to Sunday 19 January. Gates open at 08:00. 16601 N. Pima Rd, Scottsdale, AZ 85260. See www.barrett-jackson.com
Worldwide Auctioneers – sale Wednesday 15 January at 17:00. Viewing from 09:00. Event address: Singh Meadows, 1490 E. Weber Drive, Tempe, AZ 85281. See www.worldwide-auctioneers.com
Leake – sales Thursday 16 January to Sunday 19 January. Gates open at 08:00. Event address: Salt River Fields, 7555 N. Pima Rd, Scottsdale, AZ 852585. See www.leakecar.com
Russo & Steele – sales Thursday 16 January to Sunday 19 January. Gates open at 09:00. Event address: 101 Freeway and Scottsdale Road, 18601 N Scottsdale Road, Scottsdale, AZ 85255. See www.russoandsteele.com
Bonhams – sale Thursday 16 January at 11:00. The Westin Kierland Resort & Spa, 6902 East Greenway Parkway, Scottsdale AZ 85254. See www.bonhams.com
RM Auctions – sales Thursday 16 January and Friday 17 January. Auctions at 17:30. Arizona Biltmore Resort & Spa, 2400 East Missouri Avenue, Phoenix, AZ 85016. See www.rmsothebys.com
Gooding & Co – sales Friday 17 January and Saturday 18 January. Auctions at 11:00. Scottsdale Fashion Square, 4700 N. Scottsdale Road, corner of N. Scottsdale Road and E. Highland Ave, Scottsdale, AZ 85251. See www.goodingco.com