With $292.8 million in sales, another record year for the Scottsdale collector car auctions

The 1950 GM Futurliner bus and the 1954 Pontiac Bonneville Special Motorama concept. The Futurliner is the big red one; it sold for $4,000,000. The Bonneville Special pulled $3,300,000. Bother were part of the Ron Pratte Collection and crossed the block at Barrett-Jackson. Photo by Barrett-Jackson

Ferraris dominate; GM Futurliner brings $4,000,000

The final hammer has fallen at the 2015 Scottsdale collector car auctions, and the results are in: With $292.8 million in sales from six different auctions, it’s been another record January in Arizona.

That’s a significant increase over 2014’s $248.6 million. But the overall total wasn’t the only thing that was up. Hagerty’s auction-watchers, who follow each and every sale as it happens, report that 2,532 lots were sold of 2,939 lots offered — an 86-percent sell-through rate, compared to last year’s 82 percent. Average prices were up, too: last year, the average lot price was $107,096. This year, it was $115,729.

This year’s top sale, a 1964 Ferrari 250 LM coupe, went for $9,625,000. Photo by Darin Schnabel/RM Auctions

Does that indicate an overall increase in the price of collector cars? Without taking a deep dive into the sales data, it’s tough to say. But a cursory examination seems to suggest that a significant part of the average price increase — as well as the increase in the overall total — was driven by high-dollar European collector cars and the rare blue-chip American offering, not the relatively attainable domestic steel that fills the bulk of the auction catalogs.

RM Auctions, for example, sold $63.7 million this year, compared to $45.6 million in 2014. Nearly $10 million of that came from one car: a 1964 Ferrari 250 LM coupe, the top overall sale this year. Barrett-Jackson also saw a huge jump in overall sales — $131.9 million compared to $107.8 million. Much of that boost came from the Ron Pratte Collection, which included big-ticket items like the 1966 Shelby Cobra 427 “Super Snake” and the legendary GM Futurliner Parade of Progress bus. Those two items sold for $5,115,000 and $4,000,000, respectively, with the latter sale benefiting the Armed Forces Foundation.

This 1966 Shelby Cobra 427 “Super Snake,” sold for an impressive $5,115,000 — actually slightly less than Ron Pratte paid for it several years ago. Photo by Barrett-Jackson

Other auctions houses didn’t see such huge gains, and Russo and Steele’s bottom line actually took a hit this year: $17.2 million to last year’s $19 million. Further average sale price for the muscle-heavy RS catalog barely budged: $41,612 (2015) to $41,761 (2014), with many top sales coming from European cars. Indeed, the top sale was a 1957 Mercedes-Benz 300SL roadster at $1,430,000, with two Porsches and a Jaguar also making the Russo and Steele top ten list.

We’re still sifting through the results of the most recent Arizona extravaganza, and looking solely at the cream of the crop doesn’t necessarily tell you everything about where the collector car hobby is heading. We’ll be taking a closer look at some of the most interesting cars from the auctions in the coming days. For now, here’s the list of the overall top sales:

1. 1964 Ferrari 250 LM Coupe, $9,625,000 (RM)
2. 1966 Ferrari 275 GTB Competizione Coupe, $9,405,000 (Bonhams)
3. 1959 Ferrari 250 GT LWB California Spyder, $7,700,000 (Gooding)
4. 1966 Shelby Cobra 427 “Super Snake,” $5,115,000 (Barrett-Jackson)
5. 1962 Ferrari 400 Superamerica Series I Aerodinamico Coupe, $4,070,000 (Gooding)
6. 1950 General Motors Futurliner Parade Of Progress Tour Bus, $4,000,000 (Barrett-Jackson)
7. 1967 Ferrari 275 GTB/4 Coupe, $3,657,500 (RM)
8. 1973 Ferrari 365 GTS/4 Daytona Spyder, $3,300,000 (RM)
8. 1954 Pontiac Bonneville Special Motorama Concept, $3,300,000 (Barrett-Jackson)
10. 1966 Ferrari 275 GTB/2 Longnose Coupe, $2,750,000 (RM)
10. 1984 Ferrari 288 GTO Coupe, $2,750,000 (RM)

~By Graham Kozak | Autoweek January 19, 2015

Graham Kozak – Graham Kozak drove a 1951 Packard 200 sedan in high school because he wanted something that would be easy to find in a parking lot. He thinks all the things they’re doing with fuel injection and seatbelts these days are pretty nifty too. See more by this author»