Gooding & Company Amelia Island 2013 – Auction Report

Gooding and Company, Amelia Island Plantation, Amelia Island, Florida, March 8, 2013

Report and photos by Rick Carey, Auction Editor

Don’t let Gooding & Company’s 2013 sale total, down nearly $8 million, 21.9%, from 2012, fool you.

Last year’s sale was dominated by the Drendel Family collection of turbocharged Porsches. It attracted every Porsche-centric collector on the planet, and not a few added Porsche lots, including the 550/1500 RS Spyder (s/n 0062) that knocked the socks off its $2.2-2.6 million estimate range with a price of $3,685,000.

The Drendels’ 917/30 Can-Am Spyder (s/n 004) sold with a hammer bid of $4 million, equaling its high estimate, an all-in price of $4.4 million, an important part of the Porsche popularity that dominated last year’s Gooding Amelia auction

In 2013 there was no similar themed collection, but there were six cars sold for hammer bids of $1 million or more, topped by the 1928 Bentley 4 ½ Liter Semi-Le Mans Tourer (s/n MF3153) that sold on a hammer bid of $2.5 million, $2,750,000 with commission.

There were some exceptional results, but none more remarkable than the Springfield Rolls-Royce Phantom I with Brewster Derby 4-Seat Speedster coachwork (s/n S158FR) which more than doubled its high estimate of $850,000 with a buying bid of $1.8 million, $1,980,000 with commission.

Here are the numbers for the last four years:

Gooding & Co. Amelia Island
Cars Offered / Cars Sold
Sale %
Sold < Low Est
Sold > High Est
Average Sale
Total Sales
2013
72 / 69
95.8%
46.4%
13.0%
$408,167
$28,163,500
2012
77 / 70
90.9%
54.3%
15.7%
$515,111
$36,057,800
2011
85 / 70
82.4%
66.7%
7.3%
$255,422
$17,879,550
2010
71 / 58
81.7%
72.4%
2.5%
$278,353
$16,144,500

It was plain throughout the sale that, in common with other recent auctions, the bidders’ willingness to step up to big prices for exceptionally rare, beautiful, fast and historic cars was greater than the willingness – or resources – of bidders to stretch values to acquire more common and less costly cars.

There still remain, however, a significant number of astute collectors of more modest means who recognize the value implicit in immaculately, meticulously restored cars, as the buyers of the beautifully restored TR3, 190SL and Nash Metropolitan proved. There is value and satisfaction in buying the best, even if it isn’t an alloy bodied 275 GTB.

Gooding and Company Amelia Island 2013 – Auction Report

1955 Jaguar XK 140MC Roadster
Lot # 3 1955 Jaguar XK 140MC Roadster; S/N S811059; Engine # G2212-8S; Red/Biscuit leather; Tan cloth top; Estimate $125,000 – $150,000; Older restoration, 3+ condition; Hammered Sold at $125,000 plus commission of 10.00%; Final Price $137,500. No Reserve – Chrome wire wheels, blackwall 6.00 V16 bias ply tires, JDHT Certificate – Excellent paint, chrome and interior. Underbody repainted over old undercoat and road grime. Shortened shift lever and odd tower and boot. An attractive driver recently freshened and serviced after sitting a while. – Based on seeing this car at Kruse Auburn in 1992 (where it was a no-sale at a reported bid of $75,000) freshly restored it’s safe to say this restoration is at least two decades old, which means it was done to good standards and has been well maintained if little used since. It would be nice to know what was done to the transmission to warrant that odd hump, though. This is a decidedly generous price for the condition.
1958 Nash Metropolitan Coupe
Lot # 7 1958 Nash Metropolitan Coupe; S/N E41104; Blue, White/Black houndstooth, White vinyl; Estimate $25,000 – $35,000; Recent restoration, 2+ condition; Hammered Sold at $32,000 plus commission of 10.00%; Final Price $35,200. No Reserve – Radio, heater, whitewall tires, open rear spare – Excellent paint, chrome and interior. Freshly and meticulously restored to like new appearance with better cosmetics and attention to detail. As good as it gets. – This is a modest automobile, but with a premium restoration that fully warranted the price it brought. When someone asks what auction guys mean when they talk about buying ‘the best car you can afford’ this Metropolitan should be Exhibit A.
1966 Ferrari 275 GTS
Lot # 12 1966 Ferrari 275 GTS; S/N 08005; Engine # 08005; Red/Black leather; Black cloth top; Estimate $850,000 – $1,100,000; Older restoration, 2- condition; Hammered Sold at $1,025,000 plus commission of 10.00%; Final Price $1,127,500. Chrome spoke Borranis, Blaupunkt multiband, Michelin XWX tires – Good paint, chrome and interior. Underbody shows some age and use. Engine is dry and orderly. No longer fresh and like new but very good. – In 2001 this very same car, in essentially the same condition, with 2,666 fewer miles on its odometer, sold for $147,700 at Bonhams Quail Lodge auction. There is no explanation, rationale or even justification for buyers’ willingness to pay nearly an order of magnitude more for it twelve years later. Even at the low estimate it would be no more than a sound value.
955 Cadillac Eldorado Convertible
Lot # 17 1955 Cadillac Eldorado Convertible; S/N 556263611; Silver-Grey/Black leather; Black vinyl top; Estimate $150,000 – $180,000; Recent restoration, 2+ condition; Hammered Sold at $155,000 plus commission of 10.00%; Final Price $170,500. Mirror-polished Sabre wheels, Autronic eye, wide whitewalls, remote spotlight and more, no tools – One family owned with 63,338 miles from new. Excellent paint, chrome and interior. Restored like new with better cosmetics. Chairman’s Award at Hilton Head in 2007, class winner at the 2008 AACA National Winter Meeting. The intervening five years are not visible anywhere on this beautiful Eldorado. – Even the often faulty ribbed chrome door top moldings are sharp and crisp, an indication of the quality of the car the restorer started with and maintained throughout the restoration process. As good as it is, and as appropriate as the price is in the current market, this is still an exceptionally attractive and satisfying Cadillac for the price.
1959 Alfa Romeo Giulietta Spider
Lot # 18 1959 Alfa Romeo Giulietta Spider, Body by Pinin Farina; S/N AR149505617; Red/Grey, Red piping; Black cloth top; Estimate $90,000 – $120,000; Recent restoration, 1 condition; Hammered Sold at $127,500 plus commission of 10.00%; Final Price $140,250. No Reserve – silver wheels, Vredestein blackwall tires, 4-speed, Pinin Farina radio blank plate – Sharp, clean, fresh restoration with better than new fits and finishes outside, inside and underneath. AACA National First Prize winner. Replacement (1958) block (original included.) – Some Alfisti regard the early 750-series short wheelbase Giuliettas as the best of the series. They’re light, responsive, quick and lively. The new owner of this ’59, along with the underbidder, must be of that persuasion because this would be a generous price for a pristine, freshly and accurately restored Veloce, and this Normale is only a lower case veloce. Even at the low estimate it would be fully priced at retail.
1960 Chrysler 300F GT Special 2-Dr. Hardtop
Lot # 19 1960 Chrysler 300F GT Special 2-Dr. Hardtop; S/N 8403110398; Engine # P41-1231; Black/Tan; Estimate $225,000 – $275,000; Visually maintained, largely original, 3+ condition; Hammered Sold at $215,000 plus commission of 10.00%; Final Price $236,500. Long runner dual quad cross-ram engine, Pont-A-Mousson 4-speed, 2.93:1 rear axle, pushbutton radio, wheel covers, whitewalls, swivel front seats, P/W, original Daytona tires included (but not mounted) – One of six built with 413 cubic inch 400 hp engine and four-speed manual. All original with 11,311 miles from new, in long term storage until being completely mechanically checked in 2009. Documented ownership from its racing days to the present. Driven by Gregg Ziegler to set a NASCAR flying mile record on the Daytona Beach sand in 1960 at 144.927mph. Extensively documented. – Offered at Mecum’s Monterey auction in 2010 with a high bid of $275,000, then by Worldwide in Atlantic City with a slightly lower bid of $240,000. Finally found a new owner here at an even lower high bid. Its odometer shows just nineteen more miles since it was offered at Monterey. An historic automobile that begs to be displayed at concours and preservation events as well as anywhere really fast, successful cars are celebrated, or maybe driven to the amazement of owners of present-day high performance cars. Its history and preservation alone are worth this price.
1957 Triumph TR3 Roadster
Lot # 20 1957 Triumph TR3 Roadster; S/N TS19396L0; Engine # TS20038E; White/Blue, White piping; Black leatherette top; Estimate $55,000 – $75,000; Recent restoration, 1 condition; Hammered Sold at $50,000 plus commission of 10.00%; Final Price $55,000. No Reserve – Chrome wire wheels – Brilliant, fresh restoration with fabulous paint, drama and interior. Way better than new. Judged 99.3 out of 100 points by the Triumph Register of America in 2011, the only deductions must have been for over-restoration. – Another ‘buy the best car you can afford’ example, expensive (very expensive) for a TR3 but no one is going to be disappointed owning, driving and showing this meticulously restored and presented TR3. Open the hood and knock ’em dead.
1995 Ferrari F50
Lot # 21 1995 Ferrari F50; S/N ZFFTG46A9S0103289; Red/Black leather, Red cloth inserts; Estimate $900,000 – $1,100,000; Unrestored original, 2 condition; Hammered Sold at $1,250,000 plus commission of 10.00%; Final Price $1,375,000. A/C, factory hardtop and carbon fiber crate, owner’s books, tool kit, luggage. Assembly # 20331 – One of 56 US-spec F50s. As delivered and essentially unblemished and unused with [well] under 1,000 miles from new still with its original Goodyear tires. – In some sense it is tragic that cars like this F50 don’t get driven – and at prices like this they never will. It’s just so perfect for winding up Route 1 from San Luis Obispo to Monterey, and yet no one will ever have the chance to enjoy the experience Ferrari spent so much treasure and intellectual creativity to translate into light alloy and composite. At prices like this it is a useless artifact doomed to careful cruising to car events, mumbling pointlessly through traffic, a waste of so much technology and history. Something is wrong.

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