RM Auctions Amelia Island 2012 – Auction Report

RM Auctions, Ritz-Carlton, Amelia Island, Florida, March 10, 2012

Report and photos by Rick Carey, Auction Editor

This year marked RM Auctions’ fourteenth year at the Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance. The $23,102,000 total sale, RM’s fourth Amelia Island auction over $20 million, brought the total sold at the venue to over $200 million, $213,888,175 to be exact.

Five lots brought over a million dollars headlined by the Cord Front Drive L-29 “Hayes Coupe” which sold for $2.2 million, more than twice its last auction appearance. Three Ferraris and a beautifully presented Aston Martin DB5 Vantage Volante made up the balance of the million dollar sellers.

RM set a number of auction records including $990,000 (with commission) for one of their two 300SL Roadsters and $258,500 (with commission) for a steel bodied XK 120SE Roadster, a price that put it firmly among the early alloy-bodied XK 120s. Both were black which made both cars look particularly menacing and purposeful, but had less to do with their value than did their meticulous restoration, preparation and presentation.

The RM Auctions podium team of Max Girardo and Peter Wellman are refining their presentation and moved efficiently through the sale, selling all 116 vehicles (and Ele Chesney’s complete collection of Lalique mascots) in under six hours.

On a less happy note, notable by their absence from Amelia Island were Jack and Kathy Boxstrom. Their home was consumed in a fire the week before the sale taking Jack’s archives and, more importantly, the family cats with it. Jack and Kathy barely escaped and good wishes for their prompt recovery from this disaster were widespread among the RM Auctions crowd. It’s a reminder of how tenuous our possessions and our histories are. Scan everything precious and save it in “the cloud” – but even that won’t save the cats.

Here are the numbers from RM Amelia. Nearly 50 of the 116 lots were reviewed in detail with the invaluable assistance of Ed Lenahan.

RM Auctions Amelia Island
Cars Offered / Cars Sold
Sale %
Sold < Low Est
Sold > High Est
Average Sale
Total Sales
116 / 102
103 / 99
114 / 98

RM Auctions Amelia Island 2012 – Auction Report

1914 REO Depot Truck for sale
Lot # 113 1914 REO Depot Truck; S/N 2124; Wood, Black, Red/Black leather; Estimate $40,000 - $50,000; Rebodied or re-created, 2+ condition; Hammered Sold at $37,500 plus commission of 10.00%; Final Price $41,250 -- Very good older paint and varnish. Electric starter/generator. Sharp older restoration with a new body. Ex-John McMullen. No Reserve This is an elemental commercial vehicle from a period when much more modern vehicles like Ford's Model T were taking over the market. It's too big to be cute, but is archaic enough to be quaint and is beautifully presented.
1925 Buick Master Six Sport Roadster for sale
Lot # 114 1925 Buick Master Six Sport Roadster; S/N 1277279; Light Olive, Black fenders and accent/Black leather; Black cloth top; Estimate $45,000 - $55,000; Older restoration, 3+ condition; Hammered Sold at $47,500 plus commission of 10.00%; Final Price $52,250 -- Dual rear spares, rumble seat, varnished wood spoke wheels, whitewalls, wooden steering wheel, windshield visor. Good older paint, chrome and interior. Puffy right door and golf bag door, driver's door gaps taper. A sound, usable, presentable older restoration that hasn't been used in 40 years. No Reserve. A rare example of a classic Buick with open coachwork, it is good enough to be driven on tours and events, although the age of its restoration and long display suggests it will need plenty of attention before it can be described as reliable. It brought a healthy price appropriate to its rarity and generally sound and well preserved condition.
1920 Stutz Model H 7-Passenger Touring for sale
Lot # 115 1920 Stutz Model H 7-Passenger Touring; S/N 8035; Red, Black fenders/Tan leather; Black cloth top; Estimate $60,000 - $80,000; Older restoration, 3 condition; Hammered Sold at $47,500 plus commission of 10.00%; Final Price $52,250 -- RHD. Body color centerlock wire wheels, whitewalls, spotlight, dual sidemounts, jump seats, black leatherette covered trunk with fitted luggage. A well used and tired old restoration, but the 80hp 361 cubic inch T-head Stutz engine gives it great performance on the road. No Reserve. Reported sold at Auburn Fall in 2004 for $32,400, then at RM Hershey in 2009 for $49,500, it is a good value at today's price and will be an exhilarating tour ride for an entire family.
1966 Rolls-Royce Silver Cloud III Drophead Coupe for sale
Lot # 122 1966 Rolls-Royce Silver Cloud III Drophead Coupe, Body by Mulliner Park Ward; S/N LCSC77C; Black/Black leather; Black cloth top; Estimate $225,000 - $300,000; Cosmetic restoration, 2 condition; Hammered Sold at $180,000 plus commission of 10.00%; Final Price $198,000 -- Automatic, P/B, P/S, A/C, Blaupunkt AM/FM cassette deck, tools, cocktail cabinet, Spirit of Ecstasy, polished color-matched hubcaps, fog lights. Chinese Eye. Wooden dash and wood veneer cockpit surround in excellent refurbished condition, underside clean and well detailed, engine clean but not overly so with some very minor dirt here and there, paint and chrome fantastic, new top and leather interior. A great car for display in local shows and cruising on sunny days. Last sold at RM's Meadowbrook sale in 2003 for $95,700. Despite its massive size and built in cocktail cabinet, this Rolls Royce looks understated. Credit its all black color combination and recent visual restoration. Nevertheless, bidders weren't overly excited by it and it sold for an appropriate price in today's market, despite the generous estimate.
1973 Ferrari 246 GTS Dino for sale
Lot # 127 1973 Ferrari 246 GTS Dino; S/N 05820; Yellow, Black roof panel/Black leather; Estimate $250,000 - $325,000; Recent restoration, 2- condition; Hammered Sold at $330,000 plus commission of 10.00%; Final Price $363,000 -- Campagnolo alloy wheels, A/C. Restored to like new condition with excellent paint and chrome but new leather upholstery and an odd dash top covering. Very clean and orderly engine compartment. An originally US-delivered 'chairs and flares' Dino with wide Campagnolo wheels. Very attractive and well maintained with only a little age and use separating it from showroom condition. Sold at Rick Cole's Monterey auction in 1996 for $56,180 and then after restoration at Barrett-Jackson in 2002 for $88,560 (with a set of tacky chrome wire wheels.) Its condition hasn't changed since then with just 534 more miles showing on the odometer than there were in 2002. But at least the ugly wheels are gone, no doubt accounting for the enhanced price -- Uh, not really. This is a great example of the rapid escalation of Dino prices, particularly in the last few months. GTS Dinos were expensive in Scottsdale, but this is a curve-setter by a large margin.
1969 Chevrolet Corvette Race Car for sale
Lot # 129 1969 Chevrolet Corvette Race Car; S/N 194379S720117; Red/Orange cloth; Estimate $75,000 - $125,000; Competition car, original as-raced, 3 condition; Hammered Sold at $34,000 plus commission of 10.00%; Final Price $37,400 -- A race car since 1972 with an impressive dossier of entries in the Daytona 24 and Sebring 12 Hours with drivers including Jerry Thompson and Don Yenko. Greenwood style wide body, immense slicks. Now prepared for vintage racing with fuel cell and freshened driveline. Endurance racing equipped with lights and wipers. Dull, faded paint. A real race car on a budget. No Reserve. There's much more performance here than the money it brought. It's a bargain.
2002 Chevrolet Corvette Riley and Scott Endurance Racing Car, Paul Newman
Lot # 130 2002 Chevrolet Corvette Riley & Scott Endurance Racing Car; S/N J001; Red, white, blue/Black cloth; Estimate $250,000 - $350,000; Competition car, original as-raced, 3+ condition; Hammered Sold at $250,000 plus commission of 10.00%; Final Price $275,000 -- 346ci, 700hp V8, 6-speed, tubular chassis, BBS modular wheels, Goodyear racing slicks, fiberglass Corvette silhouette bodywork, fixed rear wing, massive front splitter. Bodywork and livery new with no signs of use. Interior as raced with numerous small paint chips, worn suede on steering wheel, and worn fabric on race seat. Originally campaigned by Butch Leitzinger in Trans Am racing, the Corvette was purchased in 2003 by actor Paul Newman and raced in SCCA nationals through 2007 at which time age (82 years, give or take) and illness kept Newman from competing. A fine 20 year old Trans Am racer with history, this Corvette's value derives from its history with Paul Newman. And though its historic significance and value will likely result in its careful storage, it could still be a fine track day toy for anyone capable enough to pilot it safely.
1938 Lincoln-Zephyr Convertible Sedan for sale
Lot # 131 1938 Lincoln-Zephyr Convertible Sedan; S/N 86H62727; Beetle Green/Tan leather; Beige cloth top; Estimate $150,000 - $200,000; Older restoration, 2+ condition; Hammered Sold at $100,000 plus commission of 10.00%; Final Price $110,000 -- Hubcaps, wide whitewalls, skirts, 2-speed axle. Restored like new by Hibernia with excellent paint, chrome, interior and top. One of only 461 built of which about 10 survive. A beautiful, rare car with recent mechanical and cosmetic work after long display. Eugene Beardslee estate. No Reserve. This is a beautiful example of late 30's design, combining aerodynamic influences with some particularly attractive Machine Age design elements to make a visual statement that still stands out three-quarters of a century after it was unveiled. It is more car than money at this price.
1929 Cord Front Drive L-29 Special Coupe for sale
Lot # 132 1929 Cord Front Drive L-29 Special Coupe, Body by Hayes; S/N 2927005; /; Estimate $1,500,000 - $2,000,000; Older restoration, 2- condition; Hammered Sold at $2,200,000 plus commission of 10.00%; Final Price $2,420,000 -- Dual sidemounts with Beige cloth covers, wheel covers, wide whitewalls, rumble seat, Delco radio, rollup oval rear window. Excellent older restoration with quality paint, interior and wood showing some age but little use. One of the great examples of American coachwork designed by Alexis de Sakhnoffsky, winner of multiple concours awards in Europe in 1930. Later owned by Brooks Stevens. Best in Class, Co-Chairmen's Trophy and People's Choice winner at Pebble Beach in 1987. A-C-D Category 1. A beautiful automobile with a wonderful history, very clean but showing some age. Sold at Gooding's Pebble Beach auction in 2008 for $1,078,000, the "Hayes Coupe" was more than a winner today, topping its already generous high estimate by 10% on the hammer. A legendary design that takes full advantage of the low-slung Cord Front Drive chassis and deserves every penny of its extraordinary price today at the Ritz Carlton Amelia.
1958 Fiat 500 Jolly for sale
Lot # 133 1958 Fiat 500 Jolly; S/N 110032738; Celeste Blue/Wicker; Blue, White surrey top; Estimate $40,000 - $60,000; Recent restoration, 2- condition; Hammered Sold at $62,500 plus commission of 10.00%; Final Price $68,750 -- 479cc OHV two cylinder, 4-speed, wicker seats, blue and white cloth top with fringe, white wall tires, Abarth floor mats. Good paint and chrome, wicker interior solid, white walls separating from the tires, top dingy. Engine is tidy but not show quality. No Reserve. It's hard not to love Fiat Jollies. With their saccharin sweet looks, wicker seats and multicolored Bimini tops they elicit smiles and waves from practically everyone. They are also Fiat 500s and 600s at heart, and this price is far too large a premium for cuteness but RM has a record of getting extraordinary prices for Jollys at Amelia.
1963 Alfa Romeo 2600 Spider for sale
Lot # 134 1963 Alfa Romeo 2600 Spider, Body by Touring; S/N 10601191503; Dark Blue/Dark Blue leather; Black cloth top; Estimate $50,000 - $70,000; Visually maintained, largely original, 3- condition; Hammered Sold at $55,000 plus commission of 10.00%; Final Price $60,500 -- Silver steel wheels, 155R400 Michelin X blackwalls, hubcaps, fog lights, Becker Europa II AM-FM. Poor old repaint, sound but aged interior. Aged original interior chrome trim, right window handle missing. A tired old cosmetically redone car that is a barely acceptable driver. No Reserve. Proceeds to benefit the National Road Safety Foundation. A restoration project for which a full price was paid. Values of Alfa 2600 Spiders have been increasing, but this price is at least in part attributable to its charity beneficiary.
1928 Avions-Voisin KE Sport Roadster for sale
Lot # 135 1928 Avions-Voisin KE Sport Roadster; S/N KE 27188; Blue/Black, Red leather; Estimate $400,000 - $500,000; Older restoration, 2+ condition; Not sold at Hammer bid of $330,000 -- RHD. Black wire wheels, vee individual. A couple of tasty Deco details but largely devoid of the imaginative elements which make Voisins so appealing. Good paint, interior and brightwork. An older restoration to better than new condition but not overdone. The coachwork history is unknown but is described as a special, likely assembled from parts long ago to a specific customer's design. Part of the Walter Grell collection for many years. In the absence of an accurate history and without the idiosyncratic details characteristic of Voisins it's not surprising the Amelia bidders didn't rise to the occasion and perpetuate the recent interest in the automobile vision of Gabriel Voisin. Finding a home for this Voisin special is going to be a challenge.
1955 Porsche 356 Pre-A Coupe for sale
Lot # 136 1955 Porsche 356 Pre-A Coupe; S/N 54126; Silver metallic/Blue leather; Estimate $100,000 - $150,000; Older restoration, 2 condition; Hammered Sold at $117,500 plus commission of 10.00%; Final Price $129,250 -- Sliding sunroof, dual exhaust, beehive taillights, bent windshield, Telefunken radio, silver steel wheels, chrome hubcaps, partial tool kit. Very good paint, chrome and glass. Interior as new. Engine shows use, minor scratches. Air cleaner assembly discolored in places. A Pre-A for touring and local shows. This Porsche 356 Pre-A enjoyed a revolving crowd of admirers the evening before RM's auction and many remarked that its solid, older restoration begged to be driven. Those same admirers quickly bid the Coupe to a price within the estimate, a reasonable value for an unusual and handsomely presented early Porsche with many desirable features.
1957 Chevrolet Bel Air FI Convertible for sale
Lot # 138 1957 Chevrolet Bel Air FI Convertible; S/N VC57L139902; Black/Red, Silver vinyl; Black cloth top; Estimate $100,000 - $140,000; Recent restoration, 2 condition; Hammered Sold at $90,000 plus commission of 10.00%; Final Price $99,000 -- 283/283hp according to the catalog, 3-speed, spinner wheelcovers, whitewalls, pushbutton radio, heater, no P/S or P/B. Restored like new. Excellent paint, chrome and interior. Even gaps and flush fits except hood. Bel Air Fuelie convertibles were rare when new, the convertible's extra weight more than offsetting the FI engine's output. More have been built since 1957 utilizing a variety of parts and in the absence of rock-solid documentation any car offered is first assumed to be non-original. This car had no documentation and even a sketchy catalog description, thus accounting for the modest price. It is beautifully done, however, and will bring its new owner much pleasure at a realistic price.
1983 Ferrari 512 BBi for sale
Lot # 139 1983 Ferrari 512 BBi; S/N ZFFJA09B000044231; Engine # 00355; Red, Black sills/Tan leather; Estimate $120,000 - $140,000; Visually maintained, largely original, 3 condition; Hammered Sold at $102,500 plus commission of 10.00%; Final Price $112,750 -- A/C, Pioneer cassette stereo, TRX wheels and tires. Decent repaint, otherwise a clean but visibly used old car with shiny original leather and a dusty engine and chassis. Fresh belt service. Comes with tools and books and shows 16,913 miles from new on the odometer. Freshly serviced but aged and used, the seller should be very happy with the price this BBi brought. With this few miles on it, even with a fresh Gary Bobileff belt service and hopefully some appropriate mechanical attention the years of sitting can't have done it any good.
1956 Ferrari 250 GT Coupe Speciale for sale
Lot # 141 1956 Ferrari 250 GT Coupe Speciale, Body by Pinin Farina; S/N 0465 GT; Engine # 0465 GT; Metallic Grey, Black roof/Tan leather; Estimate $1,300,000 - $1,600,000; Older restoration, 2 condition; Hammered Sold at $1,300,000 plus commission of 10.00%; Final Price $1,430,000 -- Chrome spoke Borranis, 185P16 Michelin X blackwall tires. Restored like new in attractive colors. Driver's seat cushion stretched, very tidy underhood. Excellent bodywork and panel fits. Originally built as one of four 250 GTs bodied by Pinin Farina and delivered to a member of the Agnelli family, Emmanuele Nasi. Restored from a pretty nasty relic by David Carte. Won its class at Pebble Beach and the FCA annual meet in 1992 and the GT Ferrari Cup at Cavallino in 1993. Ferrari Classiche certified, although possibly with a long ago restamped block. A Platinum Award winner and Most Elegant Ferrari at Cavallino this year. Pretty coachwork. 'Pretty coachwork' hardly credits the good looks of this body with its haunchy rear fenders, diminutive fins, plain front fender flanks and subtle black roof. It is far more attractive than its contemporaries from Boano and as its recent show history indicates is essentially perfect. A million-four is a lot of money, but not too much for such a classic Ferrari in today's market, a particularly rare and distinctive car among its contemporaries.

RM Auctions Amelia Island 2012 – Auction Report Continued