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Wilson's Auto Restoration Blog

Scottsdale Auctions Show Promise for the 2017 Classic Car Market

Each year the biggest names in automobile auctions all gather in Scottsdale, Arizona during January to battle with bidders over the price of some of the most collectable classic cars known to man. It really can be a keen insight as to how the rest of the year will go. 2017 is indicating that it is going to make the classic car market great again. 2017 is going to be huge! Believe me! (couldn’t resist)

Many people know about the Barrett-Jackson auction in Scottsdale. It is heavily publicized and televised. The turn out of massive public attendance has made it more of an entertainment event than it is an auction.

A lot of big name celebrities also are in attendance each year and this year was no different. Steven Tyler of Aerosmith was there to auction off his ultra-rare 2012 Hennessey Venom GT Spyder (Lot #3003). Justin Bieber was also in attendance on Saturday night and auctioned off his super cool Frozen Blue 2011 Ferrari 458 Italia (Lot #1372). Boxing legend Floyd Mayweather also took a stab at selling his 2011 Bugatti Veyron (Lot #1372.1), but was unable to get the 2.3 million dollar reserve on the car.

Barrett Jackson isn’t the only game in town during January either. Many other heavy hitters were in town to auction off classic collector cars. Sotheby’s, Bonhams and Gooding & Company were all here during the same week. It makes sense for all the large auction houses to come at the same time. It creates good competition for the dollars that wealthy bidders will be spending.

All together a total of 3,486 vehicles were auctioned off this January in Scottsdale. More than $260 million in sales were tallied across all the different auctions. The total topped last year’s $251 million and was the second-highest ever for the Scottsdale auctions. Many believe that these numbers point to a promising year in the classic car market. It is a really good sign considering the Scottsdale auctions posted a 15 percent decline last year.

The average price per car may have fallen from $115,729 in 2016 to $89,601 this year, but there were many other variable that point out the classic car market is thriving. First was the number of vehicles that went for more than $1 million. This year 35 broke that boundary compared to 32 last year. The top seller was a 1963 Jaguar E-Type Lightweight sold by Bonhams for $7.37 million.

There was also an insurgence of younger buyers this year. Millennial buyers are starting to make their presence known in the entry-level market (under $100,000). They are starting to swoop up the late 1980 – early 1990 American made cars and trucks they remember as children. This just helps to solidify that the classic car market is alive and well and likely to be around and thrive for many years to come.

If you are curious, here are the top 10 highest priced vehicles sold at the Scottsdale auctions. Surprisingly, Barrett-Jackson didn’t make the list.

1. 1963 Jaguar E-Type Lightweight — $7.37 million (Bonhams)

2. 1939 Mercedes-Benz 540K Special Roadster — $6.60 million (RM Sotheby’s)

3. 1952 Ferrari 340 America Competizione Spider — $6.38 million (Bonhams)

4. 1928 Mercedes-Benz Typ S Sports Tourer — $4.81 million (Bonhams)

5. 1969 Ferrari 365 GTS Spider — $3.60 million (RM Sotheby’s)

6. 1925 Bugatti Type 35 Grand Prix Roadster — $3.30 million (Gooding & Company)

7. 1995 Ferrari F50 Coupe — $3.14 million (RM Sotheby’s)

8. 1961 Ferrari 400 Superamerica Coupe — $3.08 million (RM Sotheby’s)

9. 1965 Ferrari 500 Superfast Series I Coupe — $2.92 million (Gooding & Company)

10. 1931 Alfa Romeo 6C 1750 Gran Sport Spider — $2.80 million (Bonhams)

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