8 January 2015

Auction Preview: Arizona 2015 $1 million-plus cars

Seven figures doesn’t have the same ring to it that it has had in years past, but it is still a natural demarcation line to identify top-tier auction cars. With the Scottsdale auctions being the Scottsdale auctions, there is no shortage of million dollar-plus cars in the catalogs, but these are some of the more notable cars on offer that we will be following.

1966 Ferrari 275 GTB Competizione
Presale estimate: not listed
Hagerty Price Guide: N/A
Top-notch 12-cylinder Ferraris typically top the list at high-end auctions, and this year in Scottsdale will likely be no exception. This 275 GTB consigned by Bonhams has pretty much everything going for it. An aluminum-bodied car built as a Competizione for racing at the factory, it was run by Swiss team Scuderia Filipinetti and took class wins at Imola, Spa and, most notably, the 24 Hours of Le Mans. The only real strike against it is that the bodywork had to be replaced after a garage fire in the mid-1980s. Even so, its race history and rarity make it the car to watch.

1971 Lamborghini Miura SVJ
RM Auctions
Presale estimate: $2,000,000-$2,600,000
Hagerty Price Guide: N/A
The original Miura SVJ was a one-off intended to show the Miura’s potential for racing. Lightened, stiffened, better balanced and given more power, the SVJ was the ultimate development of the Miura from a performance standpoint. Unfortunately, the original car was wrecked and no Miuras ever ended up racing in anger, but the concept was popular enough that around five Miuras were converted to SVJ specs in period. This is one of them. Originally constructed as a standard Miura SV in 1971, it had been converted to SVJ specifications at the factory by 1974. It was then given a $225,000 restoration that began in 2007, and in 2010 RM sold it in London for slightly more than $1.15M. We’ll see what five years has done to the market for these extremely rare super cars.

1968 Chevrolet Corvette L88 Race Car
Presale estimate: not listed
Hagerty Price Guide: N/A
A genuine L88 race car with a history would be a star in any collection. This example was converted from a stock 435 convertible to L88 specs by Don Yenko to be campaigned by the Sunray DX Oil Company. Driven by the likes of Pedro Rodriguez and Peter Revson, it set a GT lap record at Sebring and won a regional title in the SCCA. Barrett-Jackson sold another L88 racer, a 1969 example, at this sale in 2014 and it brought $2,860,000. It’s big money, yes, but this is Corvette royalty.

1964 Shelby 289 Cobra
Gooding & Company
Presale estimate: $1,000,000-$1,400,000 (no reserve)
Hagerty Price Guide: $817,000-$1,150,000
It’s hard to believe that there are still barn find Cobras out there, but Gooding has found a handsome, complete 289 that has reportedly been under the same ownership for 40 years. Even in rough shape, these cars get bidders clamoring at auction, and there’s no reason not to expect the same from this car.

1953 Bentley R-Type Continental Sports Saloon
RM Auctions
Presale estimate: $1,500,000-$1,700,000
Hagerty Price Guide: $930,000-$1,350,000
R-Type Continentals possess everything: performance, agility, luxury and stunning good looks with H.J. Mulliner coachwork, including one of the most attractive rear three-quarter views that can be found on an automobile. They also have a price tag. In 1953, it was $18,000. In 2015, it’s well over a million. Just how much over a million is what we will find out when RM’s well-restored black example crosses the block.

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