All posts by Dawn Antestenis

RM Sotheby’s Ferrari auction generates more than $75 million

It was Ferrari’s 70th birthday party, but RM Sotheby’s took home a nice present this past weekend as well with its Leggenda e Passione all-Ferrari auction at the historic Fiorano test track generating €63,068,110 ($75.15 million) in sales. That figure was produced by the sale of a mere 38 of the 42 cars offered, a 90 percent sell-through rate.

The average sales price per vehicle for the auction was an amazing $1.977 million.

“It has been a fantastic experience to return to Maranello and to conduct a sale in the company’s 70th anniversary year,” RM Sotheby’s car specialist Augustin Sabatie-Garat was quoted in the auction company’s post-sale news release.

“The atmosphere throughout the whole weekend has been incredible and it was clear that buyers were keen to secure the very cars that we had on offer.

“The sale exceeded all our expectations and the enormous sum raised for charity through the sale of the 2017 LaFerrari Aperta was a wonderful way to end the evening.”

That last lot of the auction was a recently announced addition to the docket — a one-off and yet-to-be-built Aperta to be sold to benefit the Save the Children charity. As many as a dozen collectors bid on the car, which finally sold for €8,300,000 ($10,043,000), not only the high sale of the auction, but a world record for a car produced this century, RM Sotheby’s noted.

And all of that money goes to the charity; RM Sotheby’s did not add its usual buyer’s fee to the sales price.

The car will be the 210th Aperta and will wear unique livery in Rosso Fuoco with a double Bianco Italia racing stripe. The interior will feature black Alcantara with red leather inserts in the seats, red stitching and black carbon fiber trim.

The sale was the second major charity effort by RM Sotheby’s and Ferrari in recent months. In December, at a Ferrari event in Daytona Beach, Florida, the 500th and last LaFerrari brought $7 million at a special auction to raise money for the reconstruction of central Italy after a series of earthquakes.

California Spider crosses the block
California Spider crosses the block

But while saving the best for last, there were plenty of other highlights through the sale. For example, there had been a lot of pre-auction interest in a barn-found 1969 F365 FTB/4 Daytona, the only road-going, alloy-bodied car of its ilk, discovered after 40 years of storage in Japan.

After what RM Sotheby’s termed “spirited bidding,” the car sold for €1,807,000 ($2,186,470) , making it the highest-riced Daytona coupe ever sold at public auction (and that price, as well as the others reported, includes the buyer’s premium.)

Another car causing pre-sale pricing speculation was the manually shifted 1983 400i coming from the collection of rocker Keith Richards. The Rolling Stones legend had owned the car since new and had kept it in what RM Sotheby’s called “exceptional, original condition,” showing only 3,267 kilometers driven. The car sold for €345,000 ($417,450), which, RM Sotheby’s noted, was a world-record for that model.

'Green Jewel' 488 Spider is on the block
‘Green Jewel’ 488 Spider is on the block

Yet another special offering was the 2016 “Green Jewel” 488 Spider, offered by the Ferrari factory as an as-new car in special livery. Again, after a bidding battle, the car sold for another model-record price — €1,090,200 ($1,319,142).

The sale also included a 1959 250 GT LWB California Spider, a standard among collector cars. The car, chassis No. 1503 GT and the 35th of 50 produced, was originally sold to a young Venezuelan socialite and doctor, who was robbed and murdered and left behind the wheel of his sports car.

The car was repaired and reconditioned and imported to the U.S., where it underwent a complete restoration in the late 1980s, won class honors at Pebble Beach and Meadow Brook. The car sold at the auction for €7,855,000 ($9,504,550).

Top 10 sales, RM Sotheby’s Leggenda e Passione 2017:

1. 2017 LaFerrari Aperta, €8,300,000 ($10,043,000)
2. 1959 Ferrari 250 GT LWB California Spider by Scaglietti, €7,855,000 ($9,504,550)
3. 1958 Ferrari 250 GT Cabriolet Series I, €4,719,000 ($5,709,990)
4. 1955 Ferrari 750 Monza, €3,375,000 ($4,083,750)
5. 1985 Ferrari 288 GTO, €3,263,000 ($4,958,340)
6. 1966 Ferrari 275 GTB Alloy, €2,927,000 ($3,511,742)
7. 1953 Ferrari 250 Europa Coupé, €2,871,000 ($3,474,920)
8. 1973 Ferrari 365 GTB/4 Daytona Spider, €2,479,000 ($2,999,590)
9. 2004 Ferrari Enzo, €2,311,000 ($2,796,310)
10. 2017 Ferrari LaFerrari Prototype, €2,129,560 ($2,576,767)

(Prices 2-10 include buyer’s fees.)


Pick of the Day: 1966 Dodge Coronet Hemi

The Pick of the Day is a 1966 Dodge Coronet with a genuinely historic back story, a piece of motorsports lore that should make any Mopar fanatic sit up and take notice.

According to its advertisement on, this Dodge was modified and campaigned on the streets of Detroit by none other than Tom Hoover, the renowned engineer widely known as “the godfather of the 426 Hemi engine.”

The Coronet looks like an understated performance sleeper

Hoover, who died in 2015 at the age of 85, led the “skunkworks” team of fellow Chrysler engineers that developed the big-block Hemi for racing and street performance. Starting in April 1963, they took the automaker’s existing hemispheric-head V8 and transformed it into the powerful and durable 426cid Hemi in less than a year.

The Hemi dominated the 1964 Daytona 500, taking the top three spots with legendary NASCAR driver Richard Petty coming in first after setting a speed record and lapping the entire field. The 426 Hemi became Chrysler’s signature performance engine, and is still used in today’s cars, trucks and SUVs.

Hoover also was a founding member of the Ramchargers drag-racing team of Chrysler engineers and earlier had helped create Mopar’s mighty Max Wedge big-block V8.

Tom Hoover signed the dashboard

The Auburn Hills, Michigan, dealer selling the Coronet makes no bones about the historic significance of the dark-green coupe.

“This is the purpose-built street racer that gave Mopar its winning street exposure and credibility,” the ad says. “The car is fully documented with everything from the original Protecto-Plate to the hand-written diary of Tom Hoover that documents how the car was maintained.

“The car has all types of performance enhancements that were designed to make this the fastest car on the road. This included special carburetors, camshaft, aluminum A990 heads, intake modifications, Hooker headers, roller rocker arms, special adjustable suspension and transmission modifications.

The 426 Hemi is fed by a specially made pair of fresh-air ducts

“They even specially ducted the cold-air intakes from the sides of the grill by removing the parking lights and to keep it legal, they took a 1967 prototype Coronet bumper that had a provision for parking lights and installed it on the car.”

The interior also was modified for performance, with lightweight seats and brackets, deletion of the back seat, low-mounted tachometer (to avoid police detection), trunk-mounted battery and a racing floor shifter.

“The car has been in the same ownership for the past 30 years,” the dealer notes. “When the current owners rescued the car and began the restoration, they wanted to be certain that every detail was correct to the way Tom Hoover built it. They accomplished this by getting Tom Hoover himself to supervise the restoration!”

The interior also has been performance modified

The seller does not include an asking price for the car, so that any prospective buyer would need to call the dealership to find out. Just don’t expect this important hunk of Hemi history to be any kind of bargain. It should bring quite a premium.

To view this listing on, see Pick of the Day

Spend your tax return on a classic car investment fit for the whole family


Recent trends in the classic car market have illustrated that returns on investments are better than ever with sales at the high end of the market offering up to a 500 percent ROI for smart investors. Trends are heating up at the entry level end of the market with more modest cars beginning to appreciate in value. With Tax Day just around the corner, our experts have some suggestions as to how you can invest your money in something tangible that you can enjoy with your family for years to come – an entry-level classic car.

Based on extensive research, our experts have compiled a list of 10 vehicles that can be bought for less than $10,000 and that will continue to appreciate in the future. What sets the vehicles on this list apart is that these cars are modern enough keep up with traffic, are relatively affordable to maintain and allow owners to enjoy their purchases on the road.
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Why park when you can play: Classics meant for winter driving

Phoenix, Ariz. (February, 2017) – For most classic car owners, when the temperatures drop it’s time to tuck away and protect their classic cars. However, knowing which classics are best suited for blustery winter months can help lower storage costs and provide year-round enjoyment rain or shine. The vehicles listed below represent a collection of the best classics for winter driving:

• 1992 Subaru SVX – Introduced to the U.S. in 1992 as a grand touring coupe, the SVX is known for its sure-footed winter driving capabilities. This vehicle not only looks good with its curvy lines, but its powerful EG33 model 3.3L boxer engine combined with four-wheel drive, over-rev protection, fuel injection and ignition monitoring makes this classic perfect for slick driving conditions.

• 1984-1987 Saab 900 – The first generation or “Classic” Saab 900 is well recognized in the motorsports industry for its rally car pedigree. Featuring front-wheel drive and a double wishbone suspension design, it’s no surprise this iconic classic dominated in rally racing so it will have no trouble overcoming the winter elements in your neighborhood.

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Hidden treasures and explosive sales redefine the collector car market

Phoenix, Ariz. (January, 2017) – Collector car experts at – Bob Golfen, Larry Edsall and Andy Reid – share their expert opinions about what is happening in the collector car world after attending the seven auctions of Arizona Car Week. With more than $250 million in preliminary sales figures, a significant increase from the previous year, it became apparent that a new generation of car collectors has been established. New research and on-site observations suggest a changing landscape for collectible car buyers.

Associate Editor Bob Golfen observed that vintage classics from the 1930s sold for less than he had anticipated. “I was chagrinned to see so many really nice old cars from the 1930s selling for a relative pittance,” Golfen said. “Though not cheap, it was still a lot less than I thought they deserved. This is reflective of the latest trends in the collector car marketplace, where a gorgeously restored 1934 Ford roadster went for $52,800 and an exceptional 1941 Cadillac convertible coupe sold for $60,500.” Golfen also observed that modern exotics and cars of the ’80s and ’90s were definitely on the rise, classic muscle car prices continued their strength and ’50s pickup trucks sold for strong prices as well.
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Rare ’57 Porsche Speedster Leaves ‘The Barn’ After More Than 50 Years

Phoenix, Arizona (July 2015) – Classic car “barn finds” represent one of the hottest segments in the hobby, as desirable vehicles coming out of long-term storage become increasingly valuable.  Here’s the latest gem: a 1957 Porsche 356 Speedster recently uncovered after more than 50 years by, and now for sale on the website.

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Poll results: What do you do to get your classic ready for winter weather?

The Question of the Week for the week of October 13th , 2014 asked you what do you do to get your classic ready for winter weather?

Mouse over or tap on each slice to learn what you told us:




“Move it to Florida.”

“Drive it!”

“Make sure its covered and in a garage.”

“Pay someone to do it all.”

“Nothing, I live in Florida / CA/ Sand Diego / AZ / … ”

“Start it up weekly.”


This poll is closed but you can participate in the current Question of the Week poll.

Poll results: What is the spookiest vehicle from TV and movies?

The Question of the Week for the week of October 6th , 2014 asked you what is the spookiest vehicle from TV and movies?

Mouse over or tap on each slice to learn what you told us:



This poll is closed but you can participate in the current Question of the Week poll.

Poll results: Which of these vehicles do you think should be acclaimed 2014 Car of the Year by the International Historic Motoring Awards program?

The Question of the Week for the week of September 29th, 2014 asked you what which vehicle you think should be acclaimed 2014 Car of the Year by the International Historic Motoring Awards program?

Mouse over or tap on each slice to learn what you told us:



This poll is closed but you can participate in the current Question of the Week poll.