Auctions America ‘live’ online sale tops $1.1 million

A 1960 AC Bristol roadster in 'barn-find' condition was a top sale at auction | Auctions America
A 1960 AC Bristol roadster in ‘barn-find’ condition was a top sale at auction | Auctions America

Auctions America’s first online collector-car auction, a one-day “live-virtual” sale in which all the bidding was done over the Internet, exceeded $1.1 million, the company reported, adding that it already is planning additional online-only auctions in the future.

The BidAnywhere auction held November 21 featured a live auctioneer calling the action while potential buyers placed their bids remotely from anywhere in the world. Sixty-five vehicles were offered, with more than 20 sold and some other sales pending, Auctions America said Tuesday.

As expected, the top-seller was an award-winning 1937 Cadillac V16 Custom Imperial that was used by MGM Studios to transport movie stars of the era, including Clark Gable and Vivian Leigh during the filming of Gone with the Wind. The Cadillac reached $206,250, just above its low estimate (all sales figures include buyer’s auction fees).

A historic 1937 Cadillac V16 Custom Imperial topped the sale | Auctions America
A 1937 Cadillac V16 Custom Imperial topped the sale | Auctions America

The next two high sales were for British sports cars in “barn-find” condition – a 1960 AC Ace Bristol roadster that sold for $176,000 and a 1953 Aston Martin DB2 coupe that reached $94,600 – each of which sold well above expectations and continued the recent fascination from buyers with distressed original vehicles just out of long-term storage.

Other high sales included a 1987 Buick GNX for $90,000, a 1953 Packard Caribbean at $88,550 and a 1987 Porsche 911 Carrera coupe, reportedly in “like new” condition, that brought $82,500.

An interesting facet of the BidAnywhere sale was that none of the auction vehicles were available for inspection before or during the sale, with bidders relying on descriptions and photos that appear on the Auctions America website. The descriptions include first-person condition reports from Auction America specialists who have inspected each car and truck, and who were available online to answer questions.

A 1987 Porsche 911 Carrera coupe is described as “like-new” | Auctions America
The “like-new”  1987 Porsche 911 Carrera coupe  | Auctions America

“We’ve received positive feedback on the convenience offered by the online format, and the condition reports, published by our specialists in advance of the sale, were well-received,” said Amy Christie, spokesperson for Auctions America and its parent company, RM Auctions. “The sale attracted high levels of new interest and first-time clientele, with the barn-find and project cars in particular attracting strong interest and results.”

The sale was conducted through an exclusive bidding platform created by Proxibid, the online marketplace that specializes in high-value merchandise.

All-Internet collector-car auctions are seen as a possible wave of the future by collector-car experts, who note the highly successful virtual sale by auction veteran Rick Cole during Monterey’s classic car week in August. In that auction, the cars were presented for inspection in a hotel ballroom but all the bidding took place remotely.

“Based on the positive feedback, it is a format that we do plan to do again, focusing on themed collections and unique offerings,” Christie added.

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