Recap shows $403.2 million in auction sales at Monterey

David Gooding and auctioneer Charlie Ross on the block with a 1961 Ferrari 250 GT SWB California Spider | Gooding photo by Jensen Sutta
David Gooding and auctioneer Charlie Ross on the block with a 1961 Ferrari 250 GT SWB California Spider | Gooding photo by Jensen Sutta

With Mecum and Bonhams each reporting more $40 million in sales, with Gooding at $128 million and RM Sotheby’s soaring to $172.9 million, the top-end of the collector car auction action on the Monterey Peninsula was very strong again this year. And that strength could be reinforced once Rick Cole Auctions reports the results of its bid-by-smartphone sale.

According to Hagerty, which not only insures classic cars but tracks their value (in part by monitoring in person each auction venue in January in Arizona, in March at Amelia Island and in August at Monterey), previously tabulated all auction sales on the peninsula last week as totaling some $396.8 million.

But that figure is for what Hagerty called “publicly known sales.”

Late this week, Hagerty revised its total figure for Monterey auctions upward to some $403.2 million based on final figures from Bonhams, which reported $1 million more in sales than the initial Hagerty number, and on “private sales” reported by RM Sotheby’s after bidding closed on the auction block.

Remarkably, that $403.2 million figure exceeds $402.6 spent last year at the Monterey auctions (excluding Cole’s belated numbers last year and this). And that most recent number becomes even more impressive when you consider that a year ago, a single vehicle, a 1962 Ferrari GTO, accounted for $38.1 million of that overall figure when it sold at Bonhams.

Writing the Monterey auction recap for the Hagerty Weekly News(letter), Rob Sass noted that, “Rationality continues to be the watchword at the high end with bidding that was described by several onlookers as ‘disciplined’.”

“For the moment, this much is apparent:” Sass wrote, “The long-awaited stabilization in the market appears to be under way, albeit not unambiguously.”

Sass suggested as well, “that the results of 2014 and 2015 can possibly be assigned to dialed-in owners timing sales before the realization that the upward momentum of the market was petering out became common knowledge.”

Ferraris continued to dominate the overall top-10 sales at Monterey, accounting for seven of the 10 spots on that list as well as eight of the top-10 at RM Sotheby’s, seven of the top-10 at Gooding & Company and five of the top-10 at Bonhams. Russo and Steele and the new JR Auctions event each had a pair of Ferraris among their top-10.

Seven cars sold for eight-figure totals at Monterey. Four of them were Ferraris.

The scene outside the RM Sotheby's sale | RM Sotheby's photo by Darin Schnabel
The scene outside the RM Sotheby’s sale | RM Sotheby’s photo by Darin Schnabel

Among the auction houses, RM Sotheby’s posted the largest numbers with overall sales of $172.9 million representing a 20.65 percent increase compared with 2014. The “average” sale at RM Sotheby’s this year was for $1.338 million, a figure certainly helped by offering the Pinnacle Portfolio of 25 extraordinary cars from a single collection, which took the sale to three days instead of the usual two.

“We’ve certainly reached new heights with this year’s Monterey sale, setting multiple new benchmarks,” Ian Kelleher, managing director of RM Sotheby’s West Coast Division, was quoted in a post-auction news release. “The results truly speak for themselves and reflect our commitment to bringing not only the best to the market, but backing our product by extensive research and documentation.

“Bidders hailed from 31 countries, 20 percent represented first-time clientele, and we welcomed increased participation from collectors in the 30-40 age bracket.”

And it wasn’t only at the auction in downtown Monterey that RM Sotheby’s excelled. Sunday at Pebble Beach, a 1924 Isotta Fraschini Tipo 8A F. Ramseier & Cie Worblaufen cabriolet recently restored by RM Auto Restoration claimed best of show at the concours d’elegance. It was the sixth time a car restored by RM had won the top honor at Pebble Beach.

“It was definitely a weekend for the history books, and to cap it off with a Best of Show win at the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance made it all the more thrilling and memorable,” Kelleher added.

Gooding & Company also again topped $100 million in total sales at Monterey ($128.1 million) and also posted an average sale price in excess of $1 million (nearly $1.114 million).

“New benchmarks were set and our company hit a new record for highest two-day sale,” David Gooding said in a news release. “Our clients understand we selectively consign vehicles of quality and provenance, which is why we consistently have one of the highest sell-through percentages and prices realized in the industry.

“To hit $128 million in just two days with just 129 cars is a real achievement.”

Although its sales totals were far from year-ago numbers, Bonhams nonetheless posted more than $46.7 million in sales, claimed a 90 percent sell-through rate and an eclectic set of world auction record prices for vehicles as varied as a 1922 Bugatti Type 29/30 oval-tank racer, a 1952 Siata 300BC sport spider, a 1949 Lea Francis 2.5-liter sports and a 1949 Veritas Scorpion cabriolet.

Bonhams’ Monterey auction last years was boosted by a group of 10 cars from the Maranello Rosso Collection, including that Ferrari GTO. A year ago, Bonhams’ average sale at its auction at The Quail was $1.03 million; this year it was just less than $500,000.

Nonetheless, “We’re very pleased with our results,” James Knight, Bonhams group motoring director was quoted in a news release. “Our strong sell-through rate, the numerous records achieved, and the increased interest from worldwide bidders — not just from America and Europe but from Asia and the Middle East as well — demonstrate the continued strength of the collector car market and demand for the finest examples.”

The biggest surge in sales for 2015 occurred at Mecum Auctions’ sale, which was up 32.23 percent compared with year-ago numbers. Not only did Mecum post more than $44 million in sales, but it had eight cars selling for $1 million or more and recorded a 58 percent sell-through after doing only 49 percent last year.

And the Mecum top-10 ran the gamut of vehicles makers — Lamborghini, Plymouth, Porsche, Maserati, Ferrari, Shelby Cobra, Toyota and Chevrolet.

“The level of quality offerings at the Daytime Auction continues to increase year after year,” Dana Mecum said in a news release. “With one of the deepest, most diverse dockets ever offered, the $10-million increase in sales is a testament to this trend, and we are looking forward to raising the bar once again in 2016.”

After doing $9.6 million in sales in 2014, Russo and Steele posted $10.2 million this year on a greatly improved sell-through rate — 62 percent this year compared with 44 percent last year — and sales of 130 lots compared with 81 a year ago. However, the average sales price fell from more than $118,000 to $78,716, according to Hagerty figures.

In a post-auction news release, Russo and Steele pointed to “record crowds and white hot, rapid fire bidding action on the block” and to a staff that was successful in “once again egging on several intense exchanges: often times long after the reserve had been pulled.”

Meanwhile, JR Auctions made its debut selling only 23 of 133 lots (17 percent sell-through) and posting total sales of just $624,000.

While the top end of the market was very strong at Monterey, the bottom end appears to have fallen out on the peninsula.

Hagerty reports overall Monterey sales from all auction companies

Cumulative total: $403.2M (with RM Sotheby’s reported private sales)
873/1,387 lots sold: 58 percent
Average sale price: $460,656
Median Sale Price: $93,500

2014 Cumulative results
Cumulative total: $402.6M
745/1,227 lots sold: 61 percent
Average sale price: $540,366

Overall Top 10 Sales from all auctions:

  1. 1964 Ferrari 250 LM Coupe sold for $17,600,000 (RM Sotheby’s)
  2. 1961 Ferrari 250 GT California SWB Spyder (closed headlight) sold for $16,830,000 (Gooding & Co.)
  3. 1962 Ferrari 250 GT SWB Coupe sold for $16,500,000 (Gooding & Co.)
  4. 1998 McLaren F1 LM Coupe sold for $13,750,000 (RM Sotheby’s)
  5. 1953 Jaguar C-Type Works Lightweight Roadster sold for $13,200,000 (RM Sotheby’s)
  6. 1956 Ferrari 250 GT TdF Coupe sold for $13,200,000 (RM Sotheby’s)
  7. 1982 Porsche 956 Coupe sold for $10,120,000 (Gooding & Co.)
  8. 1959 Ferrari 250 GT Interim Coupe sold for $8,525,000 (Bonhams)
  9. 1959 Ferrari 250 GT California LWB Spyder (open headlight) sold for $8,500,000 (RM Sotheby’s)
  10. 1950 Ferrari 275 S/340 America Barchetta sold for $7,975,000 (RM Sotheby’s)

 

Individual sales by company

Bonhams
Overall total: $45.7M
96/109 lots sold: 88 percent
Average sale price: $476,048
Median Sale Price: $198,000
Overall Top 10 Sales:

  1. 1959 Ferrari 250 GT Interim Coupe sold for $8,525,000
  2. 1971 Ferrari 365 GTS/4 Daytona Spyder sold for $2,640,000
  3. 1985 Ferrari 288 GTO Coupe sold for $2,365,000
  4. 1951 Ferrari 212 Inter Cabriolet sold for $2,200,000
  5. 1955 Lancia Aurelia B24 Spider America sold for $1,952,500
  6. 1953 Fiat 8V Ghia Supersonic Coupe sold for $1,815,000
  7. 1987 Porsche 959 Komfort Coupe sold for $1,457,500
  8. 1990 Ferrari F40 Coupe sold for $1,237,500
  9. 1954 Mercedes-Benz 300SL Gullwing Coupe sold for $1,166,000
  10. 1957 Mercedes-Benz 300SL Roadster sold for $1,144,0002014Cumulative results

Total: 106.5M
104/117 lots sold: 87 percent sell-through rate
Average sale price: $1,030,807
Median Sale Price: $192,500

 

Gooding & Company
Cumulative total: $128.1M
115/129 lots sold: 89 percent
Average sale price: $ $1,113,896
Median Sale Price: $440,000
Overall Top 10 Sales:

  1. 1961 Ferrari 250 GT California SWB Spyder (closed headlight) sold for $16,830,000
  2. 1962 Ferrari 250 GT SWB Coupe sold for $16,500,000
  3. 1982 Porsche 956 Coupe sold for $10,120,000
  4. 1960 Porsche RS60 Spyder sold for $5,400,000
  5. 1957 Ferrari 410 Superamerica SII Coupe (open headlight) sold for $5,087,500
  6. 1967 Ferrari 275 GTB/4 Coupe sold for $3,877,500
  7. 1934 Packard Twelve-Series 1108 Dietrich Sport Sedan sold for $3,630,000
  8. 1965 Ferrari 500 Superfast Series I Coupe sold for $3,025,000
  9. 1966 Ferrari Dino 206 S Spyder sold for $2,310,000
  10. 1998 Ferrari 333 SP Roadster sold for $2,090,000

2014 Cumulative results
Total: $106.2M
106/121 lots sold: 86 percent sell-through rate
Average sale price: $996,903
Median Sale Price: $411,125

JR Auctions
Cumulative total: $624K
23/133 lots sold: 17 percent
Average sale price: $27,122
Median Sale Price: $26,950
Overall Top 10 Sales:

  1. 2005 Ferrari F430 Coupe sold for $70,400
  2. 1964 Alfa Romeo 2600 Spider sold for $63,250
  3. 1965 Shelby Cobra Replica sold for $63,250
  4. 1966 Mercedes-Benz 230SL Roadster sold for $45,100
  5. 1999 Ferrari 456 GTA Coupe sold for $44,000
  6. 1952 Riley RDM Drop Head Coupe sold for $44,000
  7. 1962 BMW Isetta Coupe sold for $37,400
  8. 1966 Chevrolet Chevy II Nova SS Sold for $33,000
  9. 2000 Bentley Arnage Red Label Sedan sold for $29,700
  10. 1954 Volkswagen Beetle Sedan sold for $27,500

 

Mecum Auctions
Cumulative total: $44.6M
380/657 lots sold: 58 percent
Average sale price: $117,418
Median Sale Price: $48,400
Overall Top 10 Sales:

  1. 1969 Lamborghini Miura P400 S Coupe sold for $2,530,000
  2. 1970 Plymouth Cuda 426/425 Convertible sold for $2,475,000
  3. 1976 Porsche 911 Carrera Turbo Coupe sold for $2,145,000
  4. 2005 Maserati MC12 Coupe sold for $1,732,500
  5. 1989 Ferrari F40 Coupe sold for $1,265,000
  6. 2005 Porsche Carrera GT Coupe sold for $1,100,000
  7. 1963 Shelby Cobra 289 R&P Roadster sold for $1,100,000
  8. 1967 Toyota 2000GT Coupe sold for $1,017,500
  9. 2005 Porsche Carrera GT Coupe sold for $852,500
  10. 1969 Chevrolet Corvette 427/430 Convertible sold for $825,000

 

2014 Cumulative results
Total: $33.5M
374/650 lots sold: 49 percent sell-through rate
Average sale price: $100,295
Median Sale Price: $44,820

 

RM Sotheby’s
Cumulative total: $172.7M (RMs reported totals including three “private” sales)
129/150 lots sold: 86 percent
Average sale price: $1,338,760
Median Sale Price: $429,000
Overall Top 10 Sales:

  1. 1964 Ferrari 250 LM Coupe sold for $17,600,000
  2. 1998 McLaren F1 LM Coupe sold for $13,750,000
  3. 1953 Jaguar C-Type Works Lightweight Roadster sold for $13,200,000
  4. 1956 Ferrari 250 GT TdF Coupe sold for $13,200,000
  5. 1959 Ferrari 250 GT California LWB Spyder (open headlight) sold for $8,500,000
  6. 1950 Ferrari 275 S/340 America Barchetta sold for $7,975,000
  7. 2005 Ferrari Enzo Coupe sold for $6,050,000
  8. 1931 Bentley 4 1/2-Litre Two-Seater Sports sold for $4,015,000
  9. 1966 Ferrari 275 GTB/2 Longnose Alloy Coupe sold for $3,960,000
  10. 1967 Ferrari 275 GTB/4 Coupe sold for $3,300,000
  11. 1994 Ferrari F40 LM Coupe sold for $3,300,000

2014 Cumulative results
Total: $143.3M
118/129 lots sold: 91 percent sell-through rate
Average sale price: $1,193,745
Median Sale Price: $462,000

 

Russo and Steele
Cumulative total: $10.2M
130/209 lots sold: 62 percent
Average sale price: $78,716
Median Sale Price: $47,850
Overall Top 10 Sales:

  1. 2005 Porsche Carrera GT Coupe sold for $781,000
  2. 1971 Mercedes-Benz 280SE 3.5 Convertible sold for $440,000
  3. 1958 Dual-Ghia Hemi Convertible sold for $412,500
  4. 1966 Ferrari 330 GT SII Coupe 2+2 sold for $404,250
  5. 1972 Ferrari 365 GTC/4 Coupe Sold for $330,000
  6. 1966 Shelby GT350 Fastback sold for $313,500
  7. 1989 Lamborghini Countach Coupe sold for $300,000
  8. 1959 Porsche 356A Cabriolet Sold for $250,000
  9. 1994 Porsche 911 Carrera Turbo sold for $245,000
  10. 1977 Porsche 911 Carrera Turbo Coupe sold for $214,500

2014 Cumulative results
Total: $9.6M
81/185 lots sold: 44 percent sell-through rate
Average sale price: $118,379
Median Sale Price: $61,600

2 thoughts on “Recap shows $403.2 million in auction sales at Monterey”

  1. Larry, Why hasn’t anyone posted the Rick Cole Auction results and the results of the L** Corvette. None of the sites have published a thing about the Cole auction and I am curious as to why. Since you usually “call it like you see it” and try to exclude the auction houses BS I thought I’d see something from you on Coles results.

  2. We will share Rick Cole Auctions’ results as soon as the auction house makes them available. But since bids are made by smartphone and not in a public forum, we have to wait until Cole releases the results. We were told we’d have them last Tuesday but now we’re told it will be sometime this coming week.

Share your comments