The RM Sotheby’s Arizona 2016 sale was staged January 28-29 at the Arizona Biltmore Resort in Phoenix, resulting in $62,747,250 in total sales and an 85 percent sell-through rate. RM’s 17th annual Arizona Auction Week event attracted bidders from 20 countries with a selection of 149 automobiles.
The top result at the 2016 RM Sotheby’s Arizona sale — and the entire Arizona Auction Week — was a 1937 Mercedes-Benz 540 K Special Roadster, chassis 130894, which crossed the stage during Friday’s sale session. An original U.S.-delivery car with known history from new, the high door, long tail and factory left-hand drive Special Roadster was offered fresh to the market, following 26 years in single ownership. Bidding opened at $5 million before quickly climbing to a final $9,900,000. The price ranks the vehicle as the most valuable automobile sold in Arizona Auction Week history, breaking the previous record set by RM in 2015. The result also ranks the Special Roadster as one of the most valuable pre-war automobiles sold at auction.
The 540 K led a string of 17 individual million-dollar-plus sales and various new auction benchmarks at this year’s RM sale. Among record-setting lots, a 1962 Maserati 5000 GT Coupe commanded $1,540,000 during Thursday’s sale session to set a new auction record for the model, while a 1952 Cunningham C3 Coupe, the only Vignale-bodied C3 actively raced in period, sold for an above-estimate $1,210,000 to set a new auction record for the model. Also entering the history books was a 1939 Jaguar SS 100 2 1/2-Litre Roadster, offered from long-term ownership, which set a new record for a SS 100 sold at auction at $1,402,500.
“We are thrilled with the sales result from this week’s Arizona auction. Though we did not witness significant price increases, we were very encouraged to see the strong sell-through rate, which indicates continued interest in the hobby,” said Ian Kelleher, Managing Director, RM Sotheby’s West Coast Division. “The auction was anchored by several notable world records, with numerous lots attracting highly competitive bidding from an enthused audience. There remains a healthy appetite for high-quality, fresh-to-market consignments, and with this week’s results on par with the strong success of last year’s Arizona sale, we expect continued interest, attendance and participation at our upcoming events.”
A trio of Shelbys also thrilled collectors at this week’s RM Arizona event. Leading the charge, a 1965 Shelby 427 Competition Cobra, the only 427 Cobra to win championships in two countries, powered to a final $2,255,000 on Thursday, while an original 1964 Shelby 289 Cobra commanded a final $1,072,500 on Friday. Rounding out the group, a 1963 Shelby 289 Cobra ‘Dragonsnake’ — the winningest Dragonsnake — was driven onto stage by Bruce Larson, the driver behind much of its success, before selling for a final $990,000.
Additional notable sales at RM’s 2016 Arizona auction included:
1929 Duesenberg Model J Disappearing Top Torpedo Convertible Coupe, one of six original examples built, for $3,000,000;
1971 Lamborghini Miura P400 SV, one of five single-sump SVs sold new to the U.S., garnered $2,000,000;
1933 Packard Twelve Convertible Victoria, offered publicly for the first time, surpassed estimate at a final $660,000;
1957 Chevrolet Bel Air ‘Fuel Injected’ Convertible achieved $176,000 against a pre-sale estimate of $100,000 – $125,000;
1959 Cadillac Eldorado Biarritz also exceeded estimate at $390,500;
1989 Mercedes-Benz 560 SEC 6.0 AMG ‘Wide Body’ presented in original condition garnered $154,000;
2015 Porsche 918 Spyder with less than 1,500 miles, sold for an upper-estimate $1,595,000; and,
1959 Austin-Healey Sprite Mk 1 “Think Pink”, one of 12 automobiles offered from the Craig McCaw Collection, and sold to benefit charity, realized $60,500.
RM Sotheby’s Arizona 2016 – Top Ten Auction Results
1. 1937 Mercedes-Benz 540 K Special Roadster (Chassis 130894) – $9,900,000
2. 1929 Duesenberg Model J Disappearing Top Torpedo Convertible (Chassis 2199) – $3,000,000
3. 1965 Shelby Cobra 427 Competition Roadster (Chassis CSX 3010) – $2,255,000
4. 1965 Ferrari 275 GTB Coupe (Chassis 07053) – $2,117,500
5. 1972 Lamborghini Miura P400 SV Coupe (Chassis 4912) – $2,000,000
6. 1965 Ferrari 275 GTS (Chassis 07935) – $1,760,000
7. 1960 Ferrari 250 GT Pinin Farina Cabriolet Series II (Chassis 2153 GT) – $1,650,000
8. 2015 Porsche 918 Weissach Spyder (Chassis WP0CA2A13FS800804) – $1,595,000
9. 1962 Maserati 5000 GT Allemano Coupe (Chassis AM103 040) – $1,540,000
10. 1953 Cadillac Series 62 Coupe (Chassis 536253053) – $1,430,000
From the Arizona desert to the City of Light, the RM Sotheby’s team heads directly to Paris for its 2016 sale during the Retromobile week, February 3. Held at Place Vauban, the Paris auction will lift the gavel on 61 motor cars from both pre- and post-war periods. The digital Paris catalogue is available here.