Classic Auction Review

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1955 D Type sells for $6m in Arizona, where RM Sotheby’s sell 89% of cars for $35m and 50% of bidding was on-line

The D Type Jaguar purchased new in in 1955 from Bernie Ecclestone by the late Peter Blond, who successively raced it in period, but who succumbed sadly to Covid in an Oxford hospital only very recently, was sold to a telephone bidder at the RM Sotheby’s Friday 22 January at Scottsdale for a within guide $6,000,000 (£4,380,000).
Our thanks to the auctioneers for the supply of the illustrative image (taken by Patrick Ernzen, who we are pleased to credit) of this year’s top priced Scottsdale car which heads this Review.
It was at the wheel of XKD 518 that Privateer Blond achieved second and first place finishes at Snetterton in June 1956, followed by another win at the Norfolk circuit in September. During hectic 1956 and 1957 seasons, car and driver also raced at Aintree, Silverstone, Oulton Park and Goodwood, where Blond finished ninth in the Goodwood Trophy.
The well documented car was sold by Blond to Jonathan Sieff in 1957, raced by Jean Bloxham in 1961, and subsequently owned by John Coombs and, later, by Led Zeppelin manager Peter Grant.
Retaining many of its original components, and in BRG for a while, the car had then been returned to the ex-factory Bright Red with matching interior, one of only a very few of the production D Types to have been turned out in this colour combo at the old Browns Lane works in the once Coventry Motown.
A great car, with super and uninterrupted history, which duly set the 2021 price in public auction at $6m (£4.4m) for a privateer D Type. Not a works or Ecurie Ecosse team car, sure, but car and back story would tick most collector-driver boxes. And eligible for everything, everywhere too.
Second in the RM Sotheby results at Scottsdale this year was a 1937 Bugatti T57SC Tourer, one of eight to have been bodied by Corsica, only two of which were four-seaters. Retaining original chassis, engine, gearbox differential and body, the elegant automobile had been in the Judge North and General Lyons collections before transacting here for £4,735,000 (£3,456,550), the lower estimate with premium.
The final place on the webcast valuations podium was occupied by a 2020 vintage McLaren Speedtail, the first of the most technically advanced and fastest McLaren road models to have sold in public auction.
With central driving position and three-seat configuration, and one of only 106 produced (in tribute to the 106 McLaren F1s), 1035hp 250mph Speedtail ‘Number 36’ flew into new ownership for $3,227,500 (£2,356,075) with premium.
Premium price hunters for any of the other 105 Speedtails however will be only too aware that $3,500,000-4,500,000 (£2,555,000-3,285,000) had been sought for the highly MSO-optioned, only 20 mile supercar auctioned.
Whereas a 2019 McLaren Senna, the 95th of 500 produced with bodywork in ‘Dramatic Visual Carbon Fiber’, and just 450 miles on the odometer, had been catalogued at $1,000,000-1,300,000 (£730,000-949,000), but sold to another absentee bidder for $1,044,000 (£762,120).
A Ford GT in ‘Lightweight’ option spec meanwhile, also new in 2019 and estimated to cost a bidder $900,000-1,200,000 (£657,000-876,000), did achieve the $967,500 (£706,275) suggested though.
The at least $2,600,000+ (£1,898,000) sought for a 2019 Koenigsegg Regera, like the Speedtail, the first to chance its chances at auction, and with fewer than 200 miles on the odo, ran out of interest in public with $2,240,000 (£1,635,200) on the bids screen. According to their website, $2,700,000 (£1,971,000) would buy it post-sale.
Another big bucks headliner to run out of road after an insufficient $2,200,000 (£1,606,000) bid had been called in Arizona was a 2003 Ferrari Enzo in Giallo with 11,400 miles under-wheel, for which $2,250,000-2,500,000 (£1,642,500) had been sought.
A 1954 New York World Motor Sports and Geneva Motor Show exhibited Ferrari 375 America however, one of three of the 4.5 V12 powered Coupes bodied by Vignale, sold for a within guide $2,557,000 (£1,866,610).
While one of 14 Ferrari 250 GT Coupes to have been alloy-bodied by Carrozeria Boano between 1956 and 1958 had all numbers still matching and the reassurance of Classiche certification. Forecast to fetch $1,200,000-1,400,000, it sold for a close to top estimate $1,352,500 (£987,325).
$1,066.500 (£777,450) bought a 1957 Mercedes-Benz 300SL Roadster on repro Rudge wheels. Recently reunited with its original motor and with benefit of discreetly installed power-steering, it had been estimated to cost the next owner $1,000,000-1,200,000 (£730,000-876,000).
A pair of pre-WW2s made strong money, a CCCA Full Classic 1932 Cadillac V16 Convertible Coupe by Fisher with spare wheel on the back, one of only 14 built, of which only four survive, surpassed its top estimate of $850,000 (£620,500) to sell for $1,022,500 (£746,425).
Another CCCA Full Classic, a multi-award winning 1933 Packard Twelve Individual Custom Convertible, a completely matching numbers example and one of only two left, brought in $819,000 (£590,570).
A rare sighting on the road or at auction was a $600,000-750,000 (£438,000-547,500) estimated 1993 Geneva Salon stand shown Cizeta V16T. Styled by Marcelo Gandini and one of nine completed, this one had been ordered new by the acquisitive Royal Family of Brunei and, with 983k on the clock, was valued by the next owner at $665,000 (£485,450) with premium.
Another car to exceed the $525,000-575,000 (£383,250-419,750) forecast, and by a long way too, was a 1998 RUF 911 Type 993 Twin-Turbo R 3.6 490bhp AWD, which rocketed to a final $764,000 (£557,720).
By the time the rostrum lights had been turned off at the Otto Club in Scottsdale, RM Sotheby’s had sold 71 or 89% of the 80 consigned cars on their website for $35,000,000 (£25,550,000) with premium, an average of $492,958 (£359,859) being spent per car bought.

For the very latest insider take on the ever-changing and increasingly internet-dependent auction scene, best advice has to be to click onto ‘More News’ below (or select ‘News’ on the menu-bar options) and scroll-down to scan all our recent posts. RH-E



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Welcome to truly independent market analysis that is refreshingly free from advertiser influence. A one-stop site that aims to do exactly what it says in the title. Review classic auctions to highlight which cars are selling, for how much and, most importantly, why. But also do so entirely free of charge.

For unlike most of the terminal-bound media, C.A.R. comment aims to be far better informed from physically checking out the metal in the field. For before pressing any keys, we drive the miles to provide consumers with a fake news free take on market reality.

Wandering mice will find no ‘asking prices’ that are not necessarily being achieved here. Only regular on-line reviews (both latest and previously published ones) reporting and commenting on market movement in independently monitored public auctions. In short, the only reliable valuations resource in the UK for potential buyers and vendors as well as all those in the auctions, funding and litigation business.

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    Classic Auction Review congratulate Ben Mitchell on winning the Carl Hamer Trophy Final for Historic Formula Fords in the WPR run 1971 Merlyn Mk20 during the season end Walter Hayes Meeting at rain lashed Silverstone.

    Driving the C.A.R. supported 1999 Van Diemen RF99/JL14, Wayne Poole Racing’s front running Josh Fisher won his heat, finished third in one of the Semis and started the Grand Final from the third row. Having led the leading trio briefly, the car was winged in combat before the race was red-flagged.

    While Josh did well to make the restart and bring home the by now even more damaged Van Diemen seventh in the most competitive FF1600 race of the year, Ben qualified the 40 year old Merlyn in 36th spot on the back row and went on to finish ahead of 23 rain lights in twelfth place overall, winning the Neil Cunningham Trophy in the process.

    Van Diemen RF88 owner-drivers James Colborn and Steve Bracegirdle (a regular C.A.R. surfer who carried the website's decals for his four Class C wins at Combe this season, for which our thanks) both survived all their races intact, which was no mean achievement in itself in diabolic conditions.

    Congratulations, too, to the WPR crew for sterling work on pit wall and in garage. Take a bow, Principals Wayne and Lynn Poole, technicians Rob Clayton (Josh’s race engineer), George Lutuska (Ben’s engineer), Anthony ‘Chopper’ Dowsing, Jack Mathews, Nathan ‘Dave’ Sutton, Ian Bendall, and retiring catering magicians Rita and Pete Diccox. RH-E

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