Now that we have a little distance from January’s Scottsdale auction activity, a clearer picture is emerging about what transpired. And the news is very good for the most part. As we have reported elsewhere, the overall sales total exceeded $183 million, smashing last year’s $158 million despite almost 300 fewer cars being offered.
Barrett-Jackson can be declared the big winner, and not solely because it once again had the highest sale total of the week — that honor is a near lock simply by virtue of the sale’s size. Instead, the notable development was that the auction house successfully reintroduced a lineup of star cars that wouldn’t have been out of place on the cover of any Arizona auction catalog. Not only were premier cars consigned, but they sold. Of the 32 cars in the Salon Offering Collection that ran on Saturday night, 30 sold, with eight vehicles exceeding a million dollars (including record auction prices for a Tucker and a steel-bodied Mercedes-Benz 300SL, among others). In general terms, the rest of Barrett’s lineup also did well, with prices typically exceeding expectations.
Gooding & Company once again grabbed the high sale of the week, and made a splash by selling all of its consignments on Friday and all but two of the Saturday cars. The 2012 event marked the company’s highest Scottsdale total out of five sales, and a reported 13 world records were set in the process (among those, highest price for a 300SL, a Ferrari 275 GTS, a Maserati Ghibli Spyder, and an Iso Grifo).
Russo and Steele also set a few records of its own, including a 1968 Chevrolet Corvette L88 roadster that traded for an unprecedented $687,500. RM Auctions sold nearly $26 million at its two-day sale, and Bonhams carved out a toe-hold in Arizona for the first time.
For industry observers, Amelia Island will serve as the next market barometer. Gooding & Company and RM Auctions will return to Florida with their high-line sales, and both already have announced some terrific consignments. For RM’s part, it will be selling a lovely one-off Cord L-29 and one of only two remaining Packard Twelve Convertible Victorias by Dietrich. Gooding, meanwhile, has consigned a Fiat 8-V and a 1973 Porsche 911 Carrera RS.
Brian Rabold is the editor of Hagerty Price Guide.