RM Sotheby’s posts strong $59.8 million in sales at Amelia Island auction

1960 Ferrari 400 Superamerica tops Amelia Island auction cars at $6.38 million | Andy Reid photos
1960 Ferrari 400 Superamerica tops Amelia Island auction cars at $6.38 million | Andy Reid photos

Preliminary results from the RM Sotheby’s auction Saturday at Amelia Island show sales of $59.8 million. Ninety eight of 101 lots sold on the block, led by a 1960 Ferrari 400 Superamerica cabriolet that brought $6.38 million. Continue reading

What I’d like to take home from Gooding auction

This gleaming 1953 Fiat 8V Coupe is a one of the auction stars | Bob Golfen
This gleaming 1953 Fiat 8V Coupe is a one of the auction stars, and one of my favorites | Bob Golfen photos

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. Continue reading

Reborn 1955 Jaguar D-type headed to RM Sotheby’s auction at Amelia Island

1955 Jaguar D-Type chassis number XKD 530 has an intriguing back story |RM Sotheby’s
1955 Jaguar D-Type chassis number XKD 530 has an intriguing back story |RM Sotheby’s

An evocative 1955 Jaguar D-type race car with a history of frozen-lake ice racing in Finland, a historic victory in the former Soviet Union, and a troubling split identity that was made whole again, is headed to auction this month at RM Sotheby’s Amelia Island sale. Continue reading

Preserved 1930 Cord L-29 Town Car joins Bonhams’ Amelia Island auction

The 1930 Cord L-29 is in remarkable condition for an 86-year-old unrestored survivor | Bonhams photos
The 1930 Cord L-29 is in remarkable condition for an 85-year-old unrestored survivor | Bonhams photos

Bonhams has landed an exceptional true classic for its inaugural auction in March at Amelia Island, Florida: A rare 1930 Cord L-29 Town Car that recently was rediscovered after more than 55 years of private ownership, during which it only rarely was seen in public.

The Cord is in all-original, unrestored condition, according to Bonhams, and is one of just four known survivors that were bodied as chauffeur-driven town cars. This one with dramatic coachwork by Murphy and Company of California is the sole short-wheelbase version.

The Cord also has apparent Hollywood provenance, believed to have been owned by early film star Dolores Del Rio, a Mexican-born actress who appeared in major motion pictures alongside such legends as Jimmy Stewart, Bette Davis, Sophia Loren, Anthony Quinn, Omar Sharif, Orson Welles and Elvis Presley. The car is known as the Dolores del Rio Cord, although the connection has never been definitively determined.

The Cord boasts a reputed Hollywood connection
The Cord boasts a reputed Hollywood connection

Bonhams’ first auction held in conjunction with the Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance takes place March 12 at the nearby Fernandina Beach Golf Club in Fernandina Beach, Florida. The 20th annual Amelia Island Concours will be held on Sunday, March 15.

The Cord L-29 was introduced in 1929 as the brand’s first production automobile, a highly innovative luxury machine boasting the first front-wheel-drive system in a U.S. passenger car, just beating front-drive rival Ruxton to market.

Long and low, the L-29 created a sensation when it debuted in June, but the timing for a pricey luxury car was unfortunate as the stock-market crash that would usher in the Great Depression happened just five months later. Production of the L-29 ceased at the end of 1931, with a total of around 5,000 cars sold in a number of configurations, including the small number with coachbuilt bodies.

Cord is best-remembered today for its later revival effort that produced the groundbreaking 810 and 812 models of the late 1930s, with strikingly modernistic styling that included concealed headlights and so-called “coffin-nose” hood and grille. The Cord Corporation, which included the iconic Auburn and Duesenberg brands, did not survive the Depression years.

Only four Cord L-29s were bodied as custom town cars
Only four Cord L-29s were bodied as custom town cars

But in its day, the L-29 reigned as one of the era’s most glamorous and forward-looking American cars, and the Murphy-bodied Town Car at Bonhams is among the most special of Cords.

The Cord comes from the estate of Jay Hyde, a Pacific Northwest collector who obtained the car in 1959, then carefully preserved it and only sparingly took it out of the garage. Its most well-known appearance was at the 1987 Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance, where it was shown in a featured class of custom-bodied Cords.

Hyde died in 2014, after which the Cord was consigned to Bonhams for its Amelia Island sale. The Cord L-29 Town Car, expected to achieve a seven-figure sale, is among the premier offerings at Bonhams’ Florida auction.

Among the other top Bonhams cars are:

A 1930 Rolls-Royce Phantom I Transformable Phaeton originally owned by actress Marlene Dietrich.

A 1911 EMF Model 30 Factory Racer.

A 1908 American Underslung 50HP Roadster.

A 1934 Mercedes-Benz 500K four-passenger tourer.

A 1936 Wanderer W25K Roadster.

A 1932 Stutz DV32 Super Bearcat Convertible.

A 1962 Mercedes-Benz 300 SL roadster.

A 1992 Ferrari F40, the last U.S.-spec F40 built.

Bonhams announced in July that it would establish a new auction during the events preceding the famed Amelia Island Concours. The British auction house joins RM-Sotheby’s on March 14 at the Ritz Carlton resort and Gooding & Company on March 13 at the Omni Amelia Island Plantation in presenting an upscale selection of collector cars for sale.

Hollywood Wheels holds its second Amelia Island auction March 13-14 at the Omni Plantation, with an all-Porsche sale on the first day.

Rare Fiat 8V Vignale Coupe featured at Gooding auction

The 1953 Fiat 8V Coupe at Gooding was styled by coachbuilder Vignale | Gooding & Company
The 1953 Fiat 8V Coupe at Gooding was styled by coachbuilder Vignale | Gooding & Company

One of the stars of the 1952 Geneva Motor Show was something new and innovative from Fiat, the 8V Coupe, a car that boasted the Italian automaker’s first eight-cylinder engine combined with an advanced-design body and chassis.

Named the 8V, or Otto Vu in Italian – Ford already had dibs and a copyright on the term V8 – the exotic new Fiat soon made its presence known on European race tracks and succeeded in launching the mass-market automaker into the upper echelon of Italian specialty cars.

Just 114 of the 8V Coupes were produced, with 34 of them styled with bodies created by such famed Italian coachbuilders such as Zagato, Pinninfarina, Ghia and Vignale.

One of those coachbuilt 8Vs, a streamlined 1953 coupe styled by Vignale, will be offered by Gooding & Company at its Amelia Island auction in March. Vignale built handmade bodies for nine of the 34 special-bodied 8V Coupes, and the one offered for sale is in gleaming two-tone blue that shows off the designer’s signature look, which carries into the dashboard and interior.

The 8V engine remains the heart of the Fiat coupe. The jewel-like 2-liter engine was designed in aluminum alloy by Fiat engineer Dante Giacosa with a narrow 70-degree V configuration to provide more power from a compact, lightweight package. The engine was originally intended for Fiat production vehicles, but it never made it beyond competition and specialty sports cars.

The engine was rated at 110 horsepower in standard form, and it was competitive in racing trim, providing Fiat with many successes in the 2-liter class.

Gooding puts the rare Fiat’s estimated value at $1.6 million to $2 million for the auction, scheduled for March 13 at the Omni Amelia Island Plantation on Amelia Island, Florida, during the classic car weekend that culminates in the Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance on March 15.

Historic ‘time capsule’ Maserati racer to Gooding sale

The 1956 Maserati sports racer retains its original factory engine and bodywork | Mathieu Heurtault/Gooding
The 1956 Maserati sports racer retains its original factory engine and bodywork | Mathieu Heurtault/Gooding

A groundbreaking 1950s Maserati sports racing car driven by some of the greatest names in motorsport history headlines Gooding & Company’s classic car auction in March at Amelia Island, Florida.

The 1956 Maserati 200 SI, the first car built on the 200S chassis, has an illustrious competition history as a works development car and factory team racer.

Gooding describes the Maserati as being in “time capsule” original condition.

The purity of this 200 SI race car is unparalleled for this era.”

“Boasting an outstanding racing record, chassis 2401 participated in all the great European and South American events during its racing career, capturing podium finishes at Nurburgring, Napoli, Caracas and Bari,” Gooding says in a news release. “It has competed in many renowned races, including the Cuban Grand Prix, Mille Miglia, Monza, Targa Florio, Grand Prix of Rome, and driven by famed racing drivers Stirling Moss, Jean Behra, Guiseppe Musso, Luigi Bellucci and Piero Taruffi.”

In more-recent years, the Maserati has competed successfully in key vintage racing events as well as concours showings; it won best in class at the 2010 Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance.

Despite all that track activity through the years, the Maserati remains in essentially original condition, Gooding says: “Retaining its factory-delivered engine, chassis and bodywork, the purity of this 200 SI race car is unparalleled for this era.”

The pre-auction value estimate for the Maserati is available on request from Gooding, but judging by the soaring values for such historic competition cars from Europe, the bidding should go well into seven figures.

“With substantial and thorough documentation, extensive competition history, beautiful, purposeful patina and its distinctively exposed original bodywork, this 1950s two-liter racing car will be a coveted offering among all Amelia Island auctions,” Gooding states.

The Gooding auction starts at 11 a.m. on March 13 at the Omni Amelia Island Plantation. For more information, see goodingco.com.

 

Rare 1960 Ferrari 400 Superamerica cabriolet being sold for charity at RM’s Amelia Island auction

The 1960 Ferrari 400 Superamerica short-wheelbase cabriolet is one of just seven built | RM Auctions photos
The 1960 Ferrari 400 Superamerica short-wheelbase cabriolet is one of just seven built | RM Auctions photos

One of the most valuable automobiles ever offered at an Amelia Island, Florida, auction – a rare 1960 Ferrari 400 Superamerica short-wheelbase cabriolet – highlights RM Auctions’ sale March 14 of 90 classic cars. But most significantly, proceeds from the sale of the beautiful V12-powered sports convertible will be donated to the current owner’s foundation for the education of children.

The matching-numbers Ferrari cabriolet (chassis number 1945 SA) with coachwork by Pinin Farina is the third of only seven short-wheelbase Superamericas built and it has been fully restored by a Ferrari specialist. RM estimates its value as between $6 million and $7 million.

The 1931 Alfa Romeo 6C 1750 Spider is another auction star
The 1931 Alfa Romeo 6C 1750 Spider is another auction star

“It’s an absolute privilege to have been entrusted with the sale of 1945 SA at our upcoming Amelia Island sale,” Gord Duff, RM car specialist, said in a news release. “As our recent Arizona sale showed, there’s a continued strong appetite for great open-top Ferraris, and this 400 SA is certainly among the best of its breed.

“The true definition of sporting elegance, 1945 SA combines stunning design with high performance. Visually, it is beautiful in every respect.”

RM says its Florida auction, which takes place the day before the Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance, boasts “a field that represents RM’s finest offering in the event’s 17-year history.”

Among the cars offered for sale are a Zagato-bodied 1931 Alfa Romeo 6C 1750 Spider valued between $2.3 million and $2.6 million, a highly original 1970 Aston Martin DB6 Mk II with Vantage specification estimated at $650,000 to $850,000, and a “condo find” single-owner 1971 Ferrari 365 GTB/4 Daytona estimated at $600,000 to $750,000.

For more information about the RM Amelia Island auction, see rmauctions.com.

 

Stirling Moss reunites with Mille Miglia-winning 300SLR at Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance

Driver Stirling Moss and navigator Denis Jenkinson during the 1955 Mille Miglia | Mercedes-Benz archive
Driver Stirling Moss and navigator Denis Jenkinson during the 1955 Mille Miglia | Mercedes-Benz archive

The Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance celebrates the 60th anniversary of one of the greatest racing victories in history – the record-breaking 1955 Mille Miglia run by Stirling Moss driving a Mercedes-Benz 300SLR – by reuniting the world-champion driver with the winning sports car at its March 2015 event.

The 20th annual Amelia Island Concours will feature a special class of 20 race cars that Moss drove during his illustrious career. Moss, considered to be one of the greatest drivers of all time, will be the honored guest at the concours; he was the event’s first such honoree when the concours was launched in 1996.

The 300SLR has been fully restored | Amelia Island Concours
The 300SLR has been fully restored | Amelia Island Concours

The showing of the fully restored 300SLR, the No. 722 car that Moss drove throughout 1955 to clinch the World Sports Car Championship for Mercedes-Benz, will be highlighted in the class of his Grand Prix racers and sports cars. Moss is expected to drive the SLR roadster during the concours.

“We intend to make the 20th anniversary Amelia Concours an unforgettable event,” Bill Warner, founder and chairman of the Amelia Island Concours, said in a news release. “Sir Stirling will be reunited with the 722 on our 20th anniversary field on Sunday morning, March 15, 2015. This will be the first time in more than a decade that Sir Stirling will drive 722 in America.”

 Moss and Jenkinson in the race-battered 300SLR | Mercedes-Benz archive

Moss and Jenkinson in the race-battered 300SLR | Mercedes-Benz

In 1955, a 25-year-old Moss – accompanied by motorsports journalist Denis Jenkinson as navigator – roared through the challenging 1,000-mile Mille Miglia course on Italian back roads with a resounding record run that was never equaled (the race was discontinued a short time later).

They completed the grueling lap in about 10 hours at an average speed of nearly 100 mph, a remarkable feat for a race held on public roads. The event has since come to be referred to as “The Greatest Race.”

During that same year, Moss won his first Formula 1 World Championship race at his home Grand Prix in Aintree, England, driving a Mercedes-Benz W196. The 60th anniversary of that accomplishment also will be honored at Amelia.

The 2015 Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance, which has taken its place as one of the world’s great classic car events, is scheduled for March 13-15 at the Golf Club of Amelia Island at the Ritz-Carlton. For information, see www.ameliaconcours.org.