The Scottsdale Auctions 2019

17th January 2019

The Scottsdale Auctions 2019


We found ourselves mid-January once again at the industry season opener in sunny Arizona and as always there were large numbers of collectors, dealers and enthusiasts in attendance to buy, sell, see friends and generally gauge the marketplace and well, try to enjoy the simply vast array of automobiles on offer.

Bonhams kicked off the big three auction house sales as usual with their Thursday sale at the Westin Kierland location, their auction finally tallying a $14m turnover, but they just couldn’t find new homes for their star lots. We feel for them since they had produced a simply fabulous single-car catalog for the 1954 Ferrari 500 Mondial Spyder chassis #0438MD but it didn’t sell despite their faultless marketing.

Gooding & Co turned in the best results after their two-day sale on the Friday/Saturday with a $48.2m turnover. Biggest sale of the weekend was Lot 121, the 1963 Ferrari 250GT Short Wheelbase, chassis #4037GT which sold for $7.595m including the buyer’s premium. A good result for the car and as David Gooding pointed out from the rostrum immediately after Charlie Ross’s hammer fell, it was “comforting to know that the market remains active for any doubters out there”. Quite!

Next highest, in turnover numbers at least, were RM Sotheby’s with their two-day Thursday/Friday sales held at the Arizona Biltmore hotel and where they sold a solid $37m from a mixed bag of entries which included two smaller private collections.

Our take, and really also that of many others, is that while the auction house sell-through rates remained reasonably positive, prices are definitely soft.  Notably at the very top end of the market several 7 digit sales did not materialize. So owners just have to face some reality and adjust their thinking.

Our Favourite Moment: the Citroen Maserati at Gooding which reared up, and then up and up again…….

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