The highest price in history paid for a car at an auction was a restored 1962 Ferrari 250 GT SWB California Spider that sold in 2008 for $12 million.
Some of the other top sellers at Gooding’s included a 1937 Talbot-Lago Teardrop Coup for $3.52 million, a 1932 Daimler Double Six Sport Saloon for $2.97 million US, a 1929 Duesenberg Model J Dual Cowl Phaeton for $1.37 million, a 1937 Bentley Fixed Head Sport Coupe for $1.32 million, a 2003 Ferrari Enzo for $1.26 million and a 1933 Isotta Fraschini for $1.08 million.
Russo & Steele held its ninth auction in a corner of the Sonoran desert, at Scottsdale Road and the Loop 101 Freeway. This year, the 22,300 square meter of tents protected the cars and bidders from the sun instead of the rain as in years past. This was the first year Drew Alcazar offered vehicles for sale exclusively with a reserve.
Just 262 of the 597 vehicles consigned sold, for a total of $17,527,120. Last year, 298 out of 490 vehicles consigned sold for $19,144,455. Nevertheless, Russo & Steele did not experience as large a drop in sales as RM and Barrett-Jackson.
The highest price paid was for a 1955 Mercedes 300SL Gullwing Coupe, at $660,000. Runner-up was a 1970 Plymouth Hemi Barracuda owned by actor Nicholas Cage. Previous examples of the latter have sold for almost $300,000, but Cage’s ownership added a considerable cachet, with the gavel falling at $440,000.
A 1962 Pontiac Catalina Super Duty, one of the most documented cars raced in the US, sold for a stagerring $412,500. Another record sale was the $401,500 paid for a 1937 Cord 812 Supercharged Phaeton; the 2008 average for this model was $290,125.
Silver’s Auction only managed to sell 45 percent of the vehicles consigned. Their auction is a combination of reserve and no-reserve consignments. This year the total sales amounted to $3.3 million, half of last year’s $6,694,647.
It looks like 2009 will be one of the most interesting years since the collector-car hobby gathered momentum some 20 years ago.
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