European sports cars reign at Gooding & Company’s Florida auction at Amelia Island, including a rich collection of 17 Porsches and 15 Ferraris, as well as Lamborghinis, Jaguars, Maseratis and MGs, plus an Austin Healey BN7, an Alfa Romeo Guilia Spider and a Sunbeam Tiger powered by a Ford V8.
Two of the auction stars are a gloriously original 1956 Maserati 200 SI sports racer that has survived unscathed with its factory engine and bodywork and a 1953 Fiat 8V Coupe with a streamlined body by Vignale.
Gooding’s sale attracted a strong crowd of spectators and potential buyers to the preview Thursday. Among them were the enjoyable twin brothers Leigh and Leslie Keno of Antiques Roadshow fame, who told me about their strong desire to see original cars being kept in preserved condition rather than erasing their histories by restoring them.
“Our cause célèbre in life is to raise awareness about protecting and preserving these historic cars,” said Leslie Keno, who will be joining his brother in helping to judge the preservation class, naturally, at the Amelia island Concours d’Elegance on Sunday.
The auction includes a number of preserved and “barn-find” vehicles that have been rising in desirability and value in recent years, including a 1967 Ferrari 275 GTB/4 that wears a rich patina of age, a Ferrari Dino coupe with paint that is mottled and crazed, and a 1959 Porsche 356 coupe still layered with crusty dirt after being pulled from a California garage where it had been stored since 1971.
The auction, which takes place today at Omni Amelia Island Resort’s Racquet Park, starts at 11 a.m. with 87 cars crossing the block.
Here are my personal favorites: