Auctions America by RM, Broward County Convention Center, Fort Lauderdale, Florida, March 16-18, 2012
Report and photos by Rick Carey, Auction Editor
This year marked RM’s tenth year in South Florida with a sale that has become one of the anchors of the annual auction calendar. After beginning on the polo field in Boca Raton (where the sand is like polishing compound) this sale took off when it moved to the Convention Center in Fort Lauderdale in 2007.
2012 had the most cars ever, an auctioneering test of 566 cars across the block on top of plentiful automobilia starting each day, held the weekend after RM’s Amelia Island catalog auction.
Florida’s emergence as a center for collector car auctions parallels the RM consignment sale (we’ll call it that to encompass the two locations and corporate names under which it has operated). Prior to that Dave Rupp’s early January auction, long held with the now-defunct Kruse Auburn operation (to distinguish it from Daniel Kruse’s Texas-based Kruse-of-a-Different-Color company), was pretty much the one-and-only consignment sale of consequence in the Sunshine State. Now Auctions America, Barrett-Jackson and Mecum flood the state in the year’s first quarter with thousands upon thousands of collector cars at auction while RM and Gooding skim the cream (and in many cases bring the cream from here, there and everywhere) at Amelia Island.
Auctions America’s Fort Lauderdale auction demonstrates what a collector car consignment sale should be: a largely unscripted assemblage of just about everything and a delightful, intriguing assortment of, “Wow, I’ve never seen one of those before.” Riley Nine Lincock Coupe. Three Chrysler Airflows. Citroen B2 Phaeton. Panhard X73 Panoramique Sedan. Berkeley Excelsior SE 492 Roadster. Barn-find Packard 443 Roadster. 1903 (i.e., London to Brighton eligible) Cadillac.
It was a feast, even for those jaded by hundreds of collector car auctions.
Here are the numbers, and below them are details on 99 of the 566 cars on-site, 17.5% of the consignment.
A quick note on an obscure statistic. In the Median Sale (half sold for more, half for less) column there’s a percentage in square brackets. That’s the ratio of the Median Sale to the Average, a reflection of the value composition of the cars in the auction. If there are a lot of Big Money Cars pushing up the sale total this ratio will decline. At RM’s Amelia Island catalog sale the prior weekend it was 43.7%, reflecting a number of seven-figure cars in the “Sold” column.
The Median/Average ratio rarely exceeds 100% (indicating that [relatively] inexpensive cars greatly overshadowed the more expensive consignments) or falls below 40% (indicating that expensive consignments overshadowed the bulk of the cars offered.) Read it in concert with the dollar amounts for Average and Median sales in the table to get a sense of the sale’s value distribution and the ebb and flow of the consignments that they attract.
The RM Florida consignment sale’s ratio of Median/Average sales has climbed steadily from a low of 54.6% in its second year to a high of 79.5% in 2009 indicating a consistently affordable consignment of cars, in its case, in the median sale range of $19,000 in 2004 to $41,040 in 2007.
Auctions America by RM Fort Lauderdale 2012 – Auction Report