RM Auctions Arizona 2013 – Auction Report

RM Auctions, Arizona Biltmore, Phoenix, Arizona, January 18, 2013

Report and photos by Rick Carey, Auction Editor

RM Auctions took a different tack in Arizona in 2013, cutting its sale back to just Friday and loading up on high value cars.

They moved into the big ballroom at the Biltmore and put together one of the finest displays ever seen at any auction, placing the headline cars on white carpeted platforms with white backgrounds that made the cars pop like fine jewelry. It was spectacular and the cars were easy to view and photograph as well as being right there for bidders to consider during the auction.

There were other subtle amenities, like ample seating and a secluded food court adjacent to the ballroom for quiet discussions.

Did it work? Oh, yes, with the total sale up 41.9% from last year and 17.5% from 2011. Even with only a one-day sale the consignment was down only slightly, from 129 cars in 2011 and 118 in 2012 to 104 this year. The consignment’s quality is evident from the sale’s average transaction, $571,700, and median, $193,600.

Thirty-five of the 118 cars in RM’s Arizona auction are described here.

RM Auctions Arizona 2013 – Auction Report

1955 Porsche 356 Speedster
Lot # 111 1955 Porsche 356 Speedster; S/N 80745; Black/Black leather; Black cloth top; Estimate $160,000 – $200,000; Recent restoration, 2 condition; Hammered Sold at $155,000 plus commission of 10.00%; Final Price $170,500. Silver steel wheels, hubcaps, Talbot outside mirror. — Very good paint, chrome, interior and top. Not original engine. Gauges could be better but overall a very good car with a fresh restoration. Originally red, later white and finally this triple black. The unauthentic colors probably color the bidders’ reception of this Speedster, but it’s nothing if not menacingly attractive in this color scheme. It’s been seeking home since Bonhams Greenwich sale last June where it brought a price of $194,000 and fell way short at Quail in August at a reported bid of $135,000. It’s a sound value at today’s price.
1968 Ferrari 365 GT 2+2 Coupe
Lot # 112 1968 Ferrari 365 GT 2+2 Coupe, Body by Pininfarina; S/N 11853; Fly Yellow/Black leather; Estimate $110,000 – $130,000; Visually maintained, largely original, 3 condition; Hammered Sold at $135,000 plus commission of 10.00%; Final Price $148,500. No Reserve. Blaupunkt cassette stereo, chrome spoke Borrani wire wheels, Michelin XWX tires, P/W, P/S. — Superficially cosmetically redone with decent paint and interior but little attention elsewhere. Door fits are decent, chrome is lightly scuffed. Looks good on the block, but not up close. A very ordinary Ferrari sedan, but more than ordinary in Giallo Fly. It’s easy to see why the bidders’ juices were stirred in the presence of this Queen Mother. It’s an heroic price for Ferrari’s executive sedan, but one of the few Enzo-era V-12s around that isn’t creeping into prohibitive prices. Enjoy it.
1953 Allard JR Le Mans Roadster
Lot # 115 1953 Allard JR Le Mans Roadster; S/N 3403; BRGreen/Black; Estimate $350,000 – $450,000; Competition restoration, 3+ condition; Hammered Sold at $550,000 plus commission of 10.00%; Final Price $605,000. Silver-Grey wire wheels, Dunlop Racing tires, full width windshield, Bluemels Brooklands steering wheel. Large supply of spare and original parts including nose. — Allard factory entry at Le Mans in 1953 driven by Zora Arkus-Duntov and Ray Merrick. Known history from new with a long vintage racing history. Sound but used cosmetics. A usable vintage race car that is eligible for just about anything. The object of much attention in the preview, attention that was rewarded with this over-estimate price. Its auction history is informative: $115,500 at RM Monterey in 2001, then $341,000 in 2007, also at RM Monterey. The value curve is very steep, but this is a car that will get its new owner into just about any event, and do it with big, lusty American V-8 power.
1933 Auburn 8-105 Retractable Hardtop Cabriolet
Lot # 118 1933 Auburn 8-105 Retractable Hardtop Cabriolet; S/N GU37651; Silver, Metallic Grey fenders and accent/Grey leather; Chrome top; Estimate $275,000 – $375,000; Concours restoration, 1 condition; Hammered Sold at $400,000 plus commission of 10.00%; Final Price $440,000. Chrome plated retracting hardtop, chrome wire wheels, enclosed rear spare, rumble seat, whitewalls. — One-off 30’s modification by Conrad Jobst with roll-top desk like sliding hardtop with stowable sides. Ingenious, practical and attractive. Restored by RM in 2005-6. Still all but freshly restored and in concours condition. A unique, practical and good-looking car, top up or down, this is the pinnacle of Auburns, a Salon Eight with period coachwork. The Biltmore bidders accorded it singular recognition with this price, but it is a singular automobile.
1967 Shelby Cobra 427 Roadster
Lot # 122 1967 Shelby Cobra Roadster; S/N CSX 3045; Metallic Blue, White stripes/Black leather; Estimate $1,400,000 – $1,700,000; Competition restoration, 2- condition; Hammered Sold at $1,825,000 plus commission of 10.00%; Final Price $2,007,500. Centerlock 6-spoke alloy wheels, Radial T/A tires, silver side exhausts, chrome paperclip roll bar. — A Shelby-built S/C, not an upgraded 428 street Cobra, with 18,330 miles. 427/485hp engine, known history, excellent provenance including a meticulous restoration for John Mozart in the late 80’s. Very good paint and interior. Clean, orderly and apparently race-ready. 1,227 more miles on the odometer than when it sold here in 2007 for $1,430,000 then it showed little use since the restoration. The same cannot be said any longer, even though it’s still crisp and fresh, and this over-estimate price impressed the audience at the Biltmore.
1956 Austin-Healey 100M Roadster
Lot # 124 1956 Austin-Healey 100M Roadster; S/N BN2L/230129; Red, Black/Red leather; Black leatherette top; Estimate $130,000 – $160,000; Recent restoration, 2+ condition; Not sold at Hammer bid of $115,000. Silver painted wire wheels, blackwall bias ply tires, 4-speed with overdrive. — Restored like new with excellent paint, chrome and interior. Decklid twisted but other than that it is better than new. A factory 100M, U.S. delivered but without any period race history. The restoration is gorgeous, and the trunk is easily un-tweaked. This is more car than today’s money.
1938 Delahaye 135 Coupe, Body by Figoni and Falaschi
Lot # 125 1938 Delahaye 135 Coupe, Body by Figoni & Falaschi; S/N 60112; Engine # ;/; Estimate $1,000,000 – $1,400,000; Concours restoration, 1 condition; Hammered Sold at $1,400,000 plus commission of 10.00%; Final Price $1,540,000. RHD. Rumble seat, silver wire wheels, Marchal headlights and fog lights in the front of the fenders, trafficators in the top sail apnels, tri-color grille. — 1938 Paris Salon show car. Discovered in 1964 by Antoine Raffaelli who finally managed to acquire it in 1985. Restored by Conforti Freres in 1987. Acquired from the Dragone brothers in 1998 by Peter Kaus. Re-restored more recently by Tessier with consultation by Claude Figoni for John O’Quinn and essentially flawless. Great paint, interior and chrome. Chassis done like new. A quality restoration and a very attractive car that looks better in person than in photos. Sold by Bonhams in 2006 before restoration for $1,712,000, then offered by RM at Villa d’Este in 2011 with a high bid of $1,176,276. It was time for it to go away, and this price is a reasonable compromise between its presence and outstanding restoration. Mark this point: this is a more attractive car in person than in photos.

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Show Comments (7)

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  1. Rick , thank you another great article , one thing , Lot 112 the Ferrari 365 GT 2+2
    the correct nick name for these cars is Queen Mary as in the Ship ,( due to its size when new ) NOT Queen Mother , a very common mistake , makes sence if you think about it

    1. Mmmm, I don’t agree. I’ve never heard anyone refer to a 356 GT 2+2 as a Queen Mary, not even Bard Wolfe, who was for years the Prince Consort of the Queen Mothers, i.e., he was the master at making them look great.
      Across the pond in the UK (from which we Americans are, after all, separated by a common language) that may be the case, but not here in the U.S.

  2. Hi rick,

    I really enjoyed reading this article. It’s very complimentary and extremely well written. A strange request but is there anyway I can get a paper version of this article? Kind regards

  3. So Rick , what you are saying is we Europeans nicknamed the 365 gt 2+2 the ” Queen Mary ” after the largest most powerful moving object in the world and you Americans named it after a little old lady who happen to be the Queens Mother ?

    1. We colonials have always been prone to speaking our minds, haven’t we.
      But revenge will be yours eventually — when the Duchess of Cambridge becomes “Queen Mother.” Maybe then we’ll have to change our minds on the 365 GT 2+2’s nickname, cuz it sure isn’t as svelte as Kate.

  4. Mr. Carey, how many Lamborghini 350 GT’s have you restored? Have you ever driven one? Have you ever restored a car?

    1. Roscoe,
      These are open-ended and non-specific rhetorical questions.
      If you are taking a position or have an observation to make about the report on the 350 GT, please state it.