1925 Bugatti Type 35 Grand Prix
Lot # 22 1925 Bugatti Type 35 Grand Prix; S/N 4487; Engine # 43; Blue/Black leather; Estimate $2,600,000 - $3,200,000; Visually maintained, largely original, 3+ condition; With Reserve; Hammered Sold at $3,000,000 plus commission of 10.00%; Final Price $3,300,000 – RHD. Alloy wheels, single sidemount, single aeroscreen. – Original everything right down to the body undertrays, one of the original series of 'Lyon' Type 35s. Bought new by Wallace Bird, acquired from the Bird estate in 1962 by Henry Austin Clark, Jr. (for $1,750) and by the present owner from Clark. Restored in 2004 with all due sympathy to its originality and as good as it gets. Includes the original fuel tank, leather gearbox cover, road equipment and the original ARCA dash plate. – It helps to have a guide and in this case it was Scott Sargent who has maintained this Bugatti as well as the Williamsons' peerless collection. He could not have been more effusive in his praise for this Type 35's originality and completeness as well as the care it has received in the hands of its three owners. It is a marvelous piece of history, but it runs and drives, by all available evidence, superbly, lightly and with alacrity. This is a record price for a Type 35 and it deserves to be.

Gooding and Company Scottsdale 2017 – Auction Report

Gooding & Company, Fashion Square, Scottsdale, January 20-21, 2017

Pride of place at Gooding & Company’s Scottsdale auction in 2017 went to its two top-selling cars, the impressively original and well preserved ex-Wallace Bird Bugatti Type 35 and the impressively beautiful and sleek Ferrari 500 Superfast. At $3.3 and $2.915 million respectively they were the cream that rose to the top.

The sell-through was a respectable 84.1%. The sale total was the lowest since 2009 — in the wake of the financial crisis — and the reason was apparent in the modest presence of seven-figure cars on offer. While in 2016 there were fifteen cars with low estimates of $1 million or more and nine of them sold, in 2017 there were twelve, with seven sold.

Gooding proudly displayed one of the headline lots for Amelia Island, taking place a scant six weeks after Scottsdale, a Porsche 911 GT1 Strassenversion, and has announced that it also will offer a Jaguar XK SS (XKSS 716/XKD 575) there, two eight-figure cars. Either of them would have made a huge difference in the Scottsdale total. That neither of these were consigned to Scottsdale suggests that the makeup of the January Arizona audience is changing. In fact, none of the 2017 Scottsdale auctions had a car that was sold in eight-figures.

Is this, then, the new normal for Scottsdale? On the available evidence it would seem to be so as the available supply of high dollar consignments is spread over more, and bigger, auctions.

Even with that proviso, though, there was a tentful of wonderful, diverse, intriguing cars at Gooding & Company, including one, the ex-Dave Garroway SS100 that had special significance for me. Any one of them kept bidders’ eyes riveted on David Gooding and auctioneer Charlie Ross on the podium.

Here are the numbers:

Gooding Scottsdale
Cars Offered / Sold
Sale %
Sold < Low Est
Sold > High Est
Average Sale
Median Sale
Total Sales
2017
126 / 106
84.1%
67.0%
9.4%
$315,047
$148,500 [47.1%]
$33,395,000
2016
113 / 97
85.8%
77.9%
6.3%
$443,412
$178,750 [40.5%]
$43,011,050
2015
126 / 113
89.7%
58.0%
16.1%
$450,749
$176,000 [39.1%]
$50,934,600
2014
117 / 110
94.0%
50.0%
14.6%
$449,510
$143,000 [31.8%]
$49,446,095
2013
106 / 101
95.3%
23.8%
36.3%
$571,700
$193,600 [33.9%]
$57,741,695
2012
118 / 116
98.3%
72.4%
8.6%
$343,827
N/A
$39,883,900
2011
129 / 121
93.8%
54.6%
6.6%
$289,098
N/A
$34,980,900
2010
125 / 114
91.2%
57.9%
13.2%
$298,186
N/A
$33,993,250
2009
101 / 84
83.2%
69.1%
4.9%
$386,226
N/A
$32,442,950
2008
93 / 86
90.1%
65.0%
8.3%
$328,589
N/A
$21,029,700

Andrew Newton contributed some of the on-site observations and photographs; final comments are the responsibility of the editor.

Gooding and Company Scottsdale 2017 – Auction Report

1980 Ferrari 512 BB Berlinetta, Body by Pininfarina
Lot # 8 1980 Ferrari 512 BB Berlinetta, Body by Pininfarina; S/N 30401; Red, Black sills/Black leather; Estimate $300,000 – $350,000; Visually maintained, largely original, 3+ condition; With Reserve; Post-block sale at $254,545 plus commission of 10.00%; Final Price $280,000 – Pioneer cassette, Borletti air conditioning, Cromodora wheels, Michelin XWX tires, power windows, full tool kit, jack and wheel wrench. – Sound largely original paint, good original interior with minor stretching of the driver’s seat. An impressively maintained largely original carbureted Berlinetta Boxer with a 2014 engine rebuild and some subsequent attention. – It should be a joy to drive, and isn’t too good that it can’t be enjoyed with confidence and pride. The post-block result is moderate and a sound value for the new owner.
1967 Lancia Flaminia Super Sport Coupe, Body by Zagato
Lot # 10 1967 Lancia Flaminia Super Sport Coupe, Body by Zagato; S/N 826232002121; Engine # 8262002112; Newmarket Grey/Red leather; Estimate $275,000 – $325,000; Cosmetic restoration, 3 condition; With Reserve; Hammered Sold at $225,000 plus commission of 10.00%; Final Price $247,500 – Steel wheels with hubcaps and trim rings, floor shift, woodrim steering wheel. – Flawed repaint blistered and lifting in the body creases. Sound older upholstery and interior trim. Orderly chassis, underbody and engine compartment. A competent older cosmetic restoration to presentable touring condition that will soon need a repaint. – Sold by RM at Amelia Island in 2013 for $192,500 in essentially the same condition as it appeared here but with $100,000 in receipts for mechanical work since then. An attractive, usable lightweight Lancia bought at a fair price with little regard for the paint job it needs.
1955 Mercedes-Benz 300SL Gullwing
Lot # 18 1955 Mercedes-Benz 300SL Gullwing; S/N 1980405500098; Engine # 1989805500077; Red/Red plaid; Estimate $900,000 – $1,100,000; Unrestored original, 4 condition; With Reserve; Hammered Sold at $1,325,000 plus commission of 10.00%; Final Price $1,457,500 – Blaupunkt multiband radio, underdash 8-track, hubcaps, curb feelers, hinged steering wheel, overhead aircraft style chronometer, rear view mirror with altimeter and thermometer. – Bought new (or nearly new) by Sig Nyquist, a marine engineer and pilot, and retained by him and his family ever since. Original paint crackling on the fender tops, deck lid, hood and roof. Torn and tattered original interior. Dirty original engine and chassis. Sound body. Needs a lot before it ventures out in public. – This is better than many 300SL barn finds recently unearthed but still needs much attention, not least to the torn upholstery and the engine which doesn’t run, before it can be used. It’s really a solid restoration candidate and when it is done and after the expenditure of six figure money and great effort it will be worth about what it brought here. It makes little sense, but dirt is what collectors want today.
1969 Ferrari 365 GTC Coupe, Body by Pininfarina
Lot # 20 1969 Ferrari 365 GTC Coupe, Body by Pininfarina; S/N 11989; Engine # 11989; Red/Black leather; Estimate $700,000 – $800,000; Visually maintained, largely original, 3- condition; With Reserve; Not sold at Hammer bid of $600,000 – Blaupunkt multiband radio, power windows. – New tires, paint and upholstery, Thin chrome window trim, good major chrome. Oily, road grimy chassis. Superficially detailed engine. An auction car. – A desirable car, but one that is seriously let down by its age and the lack of preparation for its presentation at the auction. It’s surprising it brought even this bid, which the seller should have given very careful consideration.
1965 Jaguar XKE SI 4.2 Roadster
Lot # 21 1965 Jaguar XKE SI 4.2 Roadster; S/N 1E11193; Engine # 7E4641-9; Red/Black leather; Black cloth top; Estimate $180,000 – $220,000; Recent restoration, 2 condition; No Reserve; Hammered Sold at $160,000 plus commission of 10.00%; Final Price $176,000 – Chrome wire wheels, blackwall tires, CD stereo. – Restored like new at a cost of some $250,000 and still impeccable. – Sold by Gooding at Amelia Island fresh from restoration in 2012 for $123,750 and it is hard to justify $50,000 or so more for it today.
1925 Bugatti Type 35 Grand Prix
Lot # 22 1925 Bugatti Type 35 Grand Prix; S/N 4487; Engine # 43; Blue/Black leather; Estimate $2,600,000 – $3,200,000; Visually maintained, largely original, 3+ condition; With Reserve; Hammered Sold at $3,000,000 plus commission of 10.00%; Final Price $3,300,000 – RHD. Alloy wheels, single sidemount, single aeroscreen. – Original everything right down to the body undertrays, one of the original series of ‘Lyon’ Type 35s. Bought new by Wallace Bird, acquired from the Bird estate in 1962 by Henry Austin Clark, Jr. (for $1,750) and by the present owner from Clark. Restored in 2004 with all due sympathy to its originality and as good as it gets. Includes the original fuel tank, leather gearbox cover, road equipment and the original ARCA dash plate. – It helps to have a guide and in this case it was Scott Sargent who has maintained this Bugatti as well as the Williamsons’ peerless collection. He could not have been more effusive in his praise for this Type 35’s originality and completeness as well as the care it has received in the hands of its three owners. It is a marvelous piece of history, but it runs and drives, by all available evidence, superbly, lightly and with alacrity. This is a record price for a Type 35 and it deserves to be.
1953 Fiat 1100 Cabriolet, Body by Allemano
Lot # 24 1953 Fiat 1100 Cabriolet, Body by Allemano; S/N 019195; Engine # 019485; Metallic Blue/Red vinyl; Beige cloth top; Estimate $275,000 – $325,000; Recent restoration, 2 condition; With Reserve; Not sold at Hammer bid of $185,000 – Red tinted sun visors, body color wheels with hubcaps and trim rings, whitewall tires. – Paint, chrome and interior are done to very high standards. The underbody was done like new and now shows some miles. Displayed at Pebble Beach in 2016 – A rather strange design with back-slanted split grille and protuberant parking light nacelles at the front of the fenders with matching taillights at the rear, the condition is exceptional but the design has limited appeal. Sometimes ‘rare’ and ‘unusual’ don’t translate into ‘desirable’ and this Michelloti-designed Fiat embodies that problem.
1973 Porsche 911S 2.4 Coupe
Lot # 25 1973 Porsche 911S 2.4 Coupe; S/N 9113301340; Engine # 6332043; Black/Black leather; Estimate $200,000 – $250,000; Cosmetic restoration, 3+ condition; No Reserve; Hammered Sold at $170,000 plus commission of 10.00%; Final Price $187,000 – Air conditioning, Blaupunkt AM-FM, sliding sunroof, power windows, polished, Fuchs wheels, Pirelli P6000 tires. – Indifferent quality repaint, occasionally scuffed bright trim. Good original upholstery. Orderly but not restored engine compartment; underbody has a recent squirt of undercoat. No evidence of any significant body filler but if it is there it will be uncovered when the present paint receives a needed redo. – This is a generous result for a mediocre 911S. The car has apparently lived a good life with regular care and attention to its needs, but this price should have bought one with a similar history in better condition.