This is a follow-up from last week’s Monday Reading, where I mentioned a story from Hemmings about two Mercedes Gullwings that were coming up for auction in Arizona.
Both are 1956 Mercedes Benz 300SL Gullwings. Both are black with red leather interiors. Both highly desirable. One was completely original right down to its faded paint, frumpy old seats and scars from years of use and storage. The other had been lovingly restored ‘to concours condition’ and looked as fresh as a spring daisy.
The Goodings auction was held in Arizona over the weekend and the results are in:
The restored Gullwing (Lot 122) sold for $1,402,500
The original Gullwing (Lot 42) sold for $1,897,500
I’m sure the owner of the restored car is pretty happy getting nearly a million-and-a-half in the family bank account. But I wonder if he/she is smarting just a little at being out-done by $495,000 – more than 33% – by a car sharing the same specs and vintage?
I’ve not experienced it for myself, but I’m willing to bet the classic car auction world is a competitive one (sort of like dog shows but without the big hair).
Other interesting results from the Gooding & Company auction….
This 1937 Cord 812 Beverly sold for $79,500. It’s old enough, rare enough and fancy enough to look like it should go for more.
This 1985 Ferrari 288 GTO sold for more than $1.4million, proving that Ferrari prices continue to go up and up.
Lest you think (like me) that it’s just a Magnum PI car with a slightly different badge….. The 288 was a limited edition built for homologation purposes. It was based on the 308 and ended up as a stillborn racing model when the FIA dumped the racing class it was built for. It has two turbochargers and produces around 400hp. As it was an homologation car, only 200 models had to be built (there were 272 by the time Ferrari finished), hence the exclusivity and high price.
This Lotus (Ford) Cortina from 1966 sold for $107,250
This 1977 Aston Martin V8 sold (without reserve) for more than $20K under the estimate, fetching $118,250
This Renault Alpine A110 sold for $302,500 and is probably the most desirable car at the auction for me.
Symmetry sale: this Jaguar XJ220 sold for $220,000
This 1971 Alfa Romeo Montreal sold for $176,000 – a price that makes the $50,000 Montreal you can buy in Australia right now look very attractive.
Either that or someone got really carried away at the auction.
This Lancia B24S Aurelia sold for $1,815,000. That’s a figure remarkably close to the un-restored Gullwing and yet I bet there’d be ten people who’ve heard of a Gullwing for every one who’d heard of the Aurelia.
Hemmings note that a similar Aurelia sold for $825,000 last January, so someone made some serious money on the weekend.
This 1983 Toyota FJ40 LandCruiser sold for $41,800. It’s notable mainly because it was the last model year for the original FJ40 and has a new coat of paint. If that doesn’t convince you there’s only vague logic in the world of car auctions, nothing will.
The full list of results from the Gooding & Company auction is available here. There are some outstanding cars there to see and many of them fetched amazing prices.