RM Sotheby’s, the official auction house of the esteemed Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance, returned to the Ritz-Carlton, 8–9 March, for the company’s 21st annual Amelia Island sale, achieving more than $38.1 million in total sales with 84 percent of all lots sold. The total represents the strongest auction house performance during the 2019 Amelia Island Concours week. Bidders at RM Sotheby’s Amelia Island sale hailed from 28 countries around the world, with 20 percent representing first-time RM Sotheby’s clientele.
RM Sotheby’s saw strong attendance throughout the Thursday and Friday previews on the oceanfront lawn, which translated to a lively auction room energy during the first sale session on Friday evening. Additional lots from the highly anticipated single-owner Youngtimer Collection opened the sale to tremendous interest, with the very first lot, a 1993 Mazda RX-7, bringing an above-estimate $50,400 to set a record for the model at auction. Also from within the Collection, a 1996 Nissan 300ZX Twin Turbo sold for $53,200, a 1989 Mercedes-Benz 560 SEC AMG 6.0 “Wide-Body” reached $179,200, and a 1994 BMW 850 CSi achieved $184,800, all eclipsing or reaching the top end of high estimate. The most exciting moment during the Youngtimer cars arose when a highly original 1994 Toyota Supra Twin Turbo Targa, showing less than 11,200 miles from new, incited a contest between numerous bidders in the room and on the phones, eventually selling for a final $173,600.
With spirited bidding from start to finish on Friday evening, additional modern collectibles outside of the private collection were in high demand. A single-owner, 1,600-mile 2004 Porsche Carrera GT exceeded expectations at $775,000, a Euro-spec 1992 Ferrari F40 achieved $1,017,000, and a recently serviced, 750-mile 2015 McLaren P1 sold for a strong $1,490,000. Immediately following the Friday sale, the 2010 Bugatti Veyron 16.4 ‘Sang Noir’ was successfully sold for $1,500,000 (Estimate: $1,350,000–$1,600,000).
RM Sotheby’s Saturday sale session was led by the top sale of the entire week, a 1965 Ferrari 275 GTB, which sold for a final price of $2,205,000. Meticulously restored by Motion Products, Inc., the award-winning 275 GTB retains its original, matching-numbers engine and is an ideal concours or rally competitor. Additional sports and racing highlights from Saturday include an incredibly authentic 1966 Shelby 427 Cobra with a mere 1,900 original miles, which sold for a final $1,792,500 to become the most valuable non-competition spec 427 Cobra ever sold at auction.
The remainder of the Saturday sale was highlighted by American and European Classic and Brass Era motor cars, a segment of the market which continues to bring healthy prices for exceptional examples. The 1930 Duesenberg Model J ‘Sweep Panel’ Dual-Cowl Phaeton, featuring a concours-quality restoration by the renowned Fran Roxas, was sold just after it crossed the auction podium for a final $1,650,000, while a stunning 1934 Packard Twelve Individual Custom Convertible Sedan brought a strong $1,325,000. European classics also performed well in Amelia Island, with an elegant 1926 Hispano-Suiza H6B Cabriolet Le Dandy achieving $1,353,500, and a highly attractive 1931 Rolls-Royce Phantom II Henley Roadster prompting a 10-minute bidding contest between multiple bidders in the room and on the phone before selling at a final $566,000 (Estimate: $225,000–$325,000). Pre-war motor cars offered from the Richard L. Burdick Collection also brought significant interest on Saturday, with a unique wicker-bodied 1911 Napier 15 HP Victoria tripling its pre-sale estimate at a final $156,800 to great excitement from the packed auction room (Estimate: $40,000–$60,000), while a 1924 Bentley 3-Litre Sports Two-Seater, a perennial winner of the Great American Race, also soared past estimate to $434,000 (Estimate: $200,000–$300,000).