17 May 2009

Big Weekend in the Collector Car World Sees Record Set For Automobile Sold at Auction.

In spite of the economic uncertainty, in Maranello, Italy, at its Leggenda e Passione sale, RM Auctions broke the world record for an automobile sold at auction with the sale of a 1957 Ferrari 250 Testa Rossa. The hammer price of the Ferrari was $11,275,000. With the 10% buyer’s premium, the total sale price was $12,402,500.

The black Ferrari was an example of the particularly rare and desirable pontoon-fender variant of the Testa Rossa of which only 21 were built. The car’s rarity and extensive racing history were what attracted bidders. According to Rob Meyers, CEO and founder of RM Auctions, "The 250 TR is a rare, highly desirable and extremely sought after racing Ferrari. As a result, its value is amongst the highest of any car. 0714TR in particular had an impeccable history and provenance which contributed to its record-breaking sale price today."

Previous high sales were a 1931 Bugatti Royale sold by Christie’s in 1987 for £5,500,000 ($9,870,000) and a 1961 Ferrari 250 GT California Spyder, formerly the property of actor James Coburn which RM sold last year at the same auction for $10,894,900.

A continent and a half a way, the spotlight was on the Mecum Auction Company which held its Spring Classic Auction in Indianapolis. The big car at Mecum was the 1965 Cobra Daytona Coupe—it failed to sell in spite of a high bid of $6.8 million. Nevertheless, Mecum did hit seven figures for two other Shelbys with a pair of 1966 Shelby 427 Cobra roadsters breaking one million dollars.

The quality of cars at the Mecum sale was uniformly very high and bidding was active on the less pricey lots with a collection of vintage Toyotas from the late Jack Safro, a Milwaukee area Toyota dealer doing surprisingly well considering the muscle car character of the sale. One particular lot, a 1966 Toyota Corona sedan with 8,768 miles which sold in Arizona for $16,740 in January of 2007 was re-sold here (with just one more mile on it) for $36,000. Not a bad return in two years particularly when one considers what the other markets have done in that time period.

Dave Kinney and Rob Sass were on the ground in Maranello and Indianapolis, respectively. For an in-depth look at the weekend’s highlights, check out their blogs. To read Dave’s blog from RM, click here. To read Rob’s from Mecum, click here.

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