RM Sotheby’s, Amelia Island, Florida, March 12, 2016
Amelia 2015 was an anniversary for RM Sotheby’s, a year since the strategic partnership between them debuted at this auction. After a highly successful first year RM Sotheby’s Amelia Island auction was a successful start to the second year.
The total sale was down significantly from last year’s blockbuster result but 2015 was a hard act to follow and the $38.7 million total in 2016 continues the trend of earlier years. In fact, by any measure other that last year in all except the sale rate the 2016 Amelia Island numbers were healthy.
Strength was spread throughout collecting areas. Just among the nine million dollar lots there were two late model supercars, a Ferrari 288 GTO and nearly brand new Pagani Huayra and two classics, a ’32 Packard Twin Six and lovely ’31 Stutz DV-31 Convertible Victoria, balancing Ferraris, Bentley and Cobra from the ‘50s and ‘60’s.
Outstanding transactions included the 1954 Bentley R-Type Continental Fastback. Estimated at $1.2-1.4 million it hammered sold at $1,650,000, a quarter million dollars over its high estimate. And not to be overlooked (which isn’t hard since it was no bigger than a gnat’s splat) was the Peel P50, a sub-microcar not much bigger than a motel room fridge, that was estimated at $75-100,000 and sold on a hammer bid of $160,000.
There is no doubt, however, that prices are being adjusted and there is less willingness among buyers to splurge on something that suits their fancy on the spur of the moment, something that also is being seen in the art market. RM appears to have adjusted its estimates, and often the expectations of its consignors, with some success to reflect the evolving market.
There was one sad note. Max Girardo wasn’t on the auction block for RM, his father having died just days before the sale. Eli Rodriguez from Sotheby’s stepped in on short notice and did his homework. He looked like Max (right down to the 5 o’clock shadow) and sounded like Max although without the accent or seamless transition among languages. Our most best wishes go out to Max.
RM Amelia Island
Cars Offered / Sold
Sold < Low Est
Sold > High Est
93 / 82
101 / 99
91 / 88
88 / 81
116 / 102
103 / 99
114 / 98
Andrew Newton contributed many of the on-site observations; the editor remains responsible for the final content and comments.