Vintage cars are the star at Arizona Auction Week

The firstnew Mustang Bullitbuilt sold for $300,000 at Barrett-Jackson. Photo courtesy Ford Motor Company.

NAIAS Detroit and Scottsdale events dominate the car world headlines this week

By Vince Bodiford

Two of the auto world’s top events are in January – the Detroit Auto Show (NAIAS) and Arizona Auction Week – the collection of annual vintage car auctions in Scottsdale. Both shows are coming to a close this week. analysts provided us with data from the major sales and found mixed results, with top-flight European classics failing to hit estimates while muscle cars and entry-level collector cars continued to climb to new highs. Their team of experts covered all the auctions gavel-to-gavel, analyzing the results and market trends.

“Over the past 18 months, we saw the market flatten out and grow stale on entry and mid-level collector cars,” explained’s East Coast Editor and Analyst Andy Reid. “The rush on the car market ended, leaving only savvy investors and true enthusiasts bidding. This week, mid and entry-level cars began to pick back up, now reaching reserve much more often than in the past year. What is new is the number of no-sale cars at the top of the market. We may now be seeing the beginning of a correction for multi-million-dollar cars, possibly due to the fact that many who wanted those cars already have them, and those who are still looking are reluctant to pay the premium required to do so.”

Overall Top 10 Sales from all auctions:

1. 1965 Ferrari 275 GTB Speciale Coupe sold for $8,085,000 (Gooding & Company)
2. 1958 Porsche 550A Spyder sold for $5,170,000 (Bonhams)
3. 1954 Ferrari 500 Mondial Spider sold for $4,455,000 (Gooding & Company)
4. 1931 Bugatti Type 55 Roadster sold for $4,070,000 (Gooding & Company)
5. 1966 Shelby Cobra 427 S/C Roadster sold for $2,947,500 (RM Sotheby’s)
6. 1972 Ferrari 365 GTS/4 Daytona Spider sold for $2,640,000 (Bonhams)
7. 1967 Ferrari 330 GTS Spider sold for $2,530,000 (Gooding & Company)
8. 2017 Ford GT Coupe sold for $2,500,000 (Barrett-Jackson)
9. 2014 PaganiHuayra Coupe sold for $2,090,000 (Gooding & Company)
10. 1948 Tucker 48 Sedan sold for $1,792,500 (RM Sotheby’s)


The anchor of Arizona Auction Week as well as the largest and most well attended of the auctions, Barrett-Jackson benefitted from huge attendance numbers along with a variety of interesting cars on the block. Ford Motor Company featured the sale of the very first 2019 Bullitt Mustang (just days after the vehicle debuted at the Detroit Auto Show), which sold for an $300,000 benefitting Boys Republic.


Only two of the top-ten selling car prices came from the Bonham sale – one of the most exceptional 1958 Porsche 550A Spyders in existence ($5,170,000), and near-perfect 1991 Ferrari F40 that sold for just over $1.5 million, well above market average even for a car of its quality. Bonhams had an 86 percent sell-through rate – though post sales could change that number.

Gooding and Company

Gooding & Company finished its two-day sale some $16 million ahead of its 2017 Arizona sale. Not only did it post the high-sale of the week, but a 1931 Bugatti Type 55 roadster sold for $4.07 million and a 1967 Ferrari 330 GTS brought $2.53 million. Gooding secured the week’s single-biggest sale, netting just over $8 million for a 1965 Ferrari 275 GTB Speciale – a one-off car built for Batista Pininfarina himself.

RM Sotheby’s

After a par-for-the-course auction 12 months ago, RM hoped to begin the new year with significant results. The show’s headliner, a 1954 Jaguar D-Type, failed to sell despite a high bid of $9.8 million—well short of its pre-sale estimate of $12 to $15 million. However, the 1948 Tucker 48 personally owned by Preston Tucker netted $1,792,500, exceeding its estimate by $300,000.

Other auctions were also conducted by Russo & Steele, and World Wide Auctioneers. Compared with 2017, the week generated improved results for the middle- and bottom-of-the-market, while the highest-priced vehicles crossing the block netted inconsistent results. For more tips and information on collector car investments, visit

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