Something different: The 2019 Amelia Island sales
Amelia Island is never dull nor predictable. The concours field divides into two: one side has the Brumos Porsches, NART Ferraris and Trans-Am saloons, the other is all brass cars and lace bonnets. This year’s auction catalogues veer towards the latter.
You can download a complete lot list sorted by make and model HERE.
If Scottsdale is reverting to its blue-collar roots, many of this year’s Amelia offerings turn the clock back to a time when a vintage car was recognisable to the man in the street without recourse to a copy of Forbes. The friendly, old-school venue suits the genre.
Only one car is estimated at more than $5m (RM’s 1937 Bugatti Type 57SC) and the Big Three’s bumper, 342-car catalogues list a massive 61% at No Reserve. There are no big Ferraris, another sign that cautious vendors are waiting for Monterey week before testing the market.
Bonhams, 7 March 2019
At a glance (2018):
109 cars, 64% at No Reserve (101, 53%)
Average year of cars offered: 1950 (1965)
Average mid-estimate price of car: $218k ($218k)
2018 gross: $13,000,969 at 86% sell-through
The Brits lead the charge on the opening day with a predominantly pre-War catalogue that includes 27 cars and automobilia from the estate of Brass Era connoisseur Don C. Boulton.
Away from the oldies, Bonhams has a 1962 Lancia Flaminia Coupé (good fun as an events car for $35k to $45k), a 1949 Jaguar XK120 Alloy Roadster (pictured above, in the zone at $300k to $350k) and a 1964 Shelby Cobra 289. At $900k to $1.1m, the latter might need some negotiation to sell for $1m all-in – today’s market price – though known ownership from new is a plus.
One to watch? The alloy XK120, not seen at auction for a while.
Gooding & Co, 8 March 2019
At a glance (2018):
91 cars, 67% at No Reserve (83, 62%)
Average year of cars offered: 1979 (1973)
Average mid-estimate price of car: $378k ($621k)
2018 gross: $35,937,250 at 95% sell-through
Those looking for modern machinery should head to David Gooding’s familiar white tent at the Omni Plantation. Like last year, the Santa Monica firm majors on Porsche road and racing cars, with just over a third of the 91-car catalogue from Stuttgart. In 2018 that was a whopping 44%.
Pick of the bunch is the ex-Otis Chandler, late-production 1979 935. Raced just once in period, its originality is a plus, yet it lacks a well-known livery and further competition history. Gooding sold the ex-Paul Newman Le Mans car for $4.84m in August 2016. Artcurial’s modified and well-used 1977 example went for a bargain $1.4m in July that year – though it must have cost a fortune to put back on the track to its original spec. At $2.55m to $3m, this one’s priced down the middle.
Of the Big Three, Gooding probably has the most ‘international’ look to its catalogue, with the usual boxes ticked: Dino 246 GTS; 1973 Carrera RS 2.7 Lightweight; 289 Cobra; Lancia B24S Spider America; (the inevitable) Ferrari 575 Superamerica; Maserati Vignale Spyder; Ferrari 275 GTS.
One to watch? The for-restoration 1960 Ferrari 250 GT Pininfarina Coupé (above), the final car built, delivered with Dunlop disc brakes, overdrive, and an outside-plug Tipo 128F engine. Est. $350k to $450k, a great spec and historically interesting. Two years and c.$400k on an Italian restoration would have it done.
RM Sotheby’s, 8-9 March 2019
At a glance (2018):
142 cars, 55% at No Reserve (87, 55%)
Average year of cars offered: 1966 (1962)
Average mid-estimate price of car: $456k ($369k)
2018 gross: $27,539,720 at 85% sell-through
The Canadians, as official auction partner of the Amelia Island Concours, best reflect the overall mix of the event. Joining the many $500k+ homegrown ‘Great Gatsby’ classics is the most valuable car of the week, a 1937 Bugatti Type 57SC Tourer by Corsica, pictured above.
As an ‘S’ – surbaisse, ‘lowered’ in French – Roadster, it’s the one to have and the supercharger (a later addition in period, as most were) is the icing on the cake. Against this is less-fashionable four-seat Tourer coachwork by British firm Corsica and a showy, “I like it that way” older US restoration. As comparison, take the one-off Type 57SC Vanden Plas Tourer sold by Bonhams at Amelia two years ago for $9,735,000. That car looked a little homely, but after a proper restoration it wowed the crowds at Pebble Beach last August.
On that basis, at $6m to $7.5m, this one should sell.
Like Gooding, RM’s catalogue includes some standards. The two-day sale has both a 300 SL ‘Gullwing’ (a repaint in Strawberry Red metallic with tan leather won’t appeal to all) and 300 SL Roadster in dazzling non-original white. Even with matching numbers, in the current market, lacking interesting back-stories or colours, these look expensive.
Modern supercar fans are catered for with the McLaren P1 ($1.4m to $1.6m) and $1.35m to $1.6m Bugatti Veyron ‘Sang Noir’. Life in the showroom-fresh, extreme performance market has been tough recently: these now carry more approachable estimates.
One to watch? The ex-Compiano 1992 Ferrari F40. Bought in Milan for the equivalent of $1.16m in November 2016, the modded car with 26,800km on the clock will be offered without reserve for $900k to $1.1m next week. Want to own an F40 ‘driver’? This might be your chance.
Amelia Island 2019 auction schedule:
Bonhams – Thursday 7 March. Auction at 12:00. Bonhams Pavilion at the Fernandina Beach Golf Club. See www.bonhams.com
Gooding & Co – Friday 8 March. Auction at 11:00. Racquet Park, Omni Amelia Island Plantation, 6800 First Coast Hwy, Amelia Island, FL 32034 (one mile south of Amelia Island Parkway). See www.goodingco.com
RM Sotheby's – Friday 8 March at 17:00, Saturday 9 March at 11:00. The Ritz-Carlton, 4750 Amelia Island Parkway, Amelia Island, Florida 32034. See www.rmsothebys.com
Photos copyright and by kind permission of the auction houses – top photo courtesy Alamy/United Archives GmbH