Auctions America, Hilton Head, South Carolina, November 5, 2016
It is nothing short of amazing that four weeks after Hurricane Matthew pummeled Hilton Head Island with 100 mph winds and ten or more feet of storm surge on October 8, the Hilton Head Motoring Festival and Auctions America’s Hilton Head Island Auction took place.
Residents who (wisely) evacuated ahead of Matthew were barred from returning until well into the week after the storm blew itself out. What they found upon returning was a mass of limbs, brush and trees, many of them snapped like matchsticks and others uprooted from the island’s sandy soil. The Port Royal Golf Club, site of the Motoring Festival, and adjacent Westin Hilton Head Island Resort and Spa where Auctions America put on its show were especially hard hit. It took grit, determination, dedication and nearly ceaseless effort to clean up the devastation and put on the events.
During the Festival week there were as many tree crews and double-bottom trailers of brush and logs on the Hilton Head roads as there were Festival participants. The roads were lined with stumps peering out from piles of branches and stacks of logs that had blocked the roads only a few weeks before and had yet to be hauled off the island to be ground up into mulch.
The Hilton Head Motoring Festival has grown into a major event with a week-long calendar that culminates with Auctions America’s sale on Saturday and the Concours on Sunday. It was Auctions America’s second Hilton Head event and presented an eclectic mix of new, old and in between. The cars were generally driver caliber but ranged from freshly and accurately restored to dusty, grimy barn finds.
The latter included the star of the show: The 1957 Porsche 356A Speedster barn find that brought $665,500, triple its low estimate and nearly double the price fetched by another barn find 356A Speedster at RM’s Hershey auction a month before.
Here are the numbers:
Although the sell-through was down from 2015, the average sale (boosted by the Speedster, a post-block sale of a 2005 Porsche Carrera GT for an eye-opening $800,000 after it died on the block at $650,000 and a rebodied, modified 427 Cobra for $726,000) was up substantially. Even with the lower sell-through the total was up moderately and, if anything, attendance was hampered by concern over the effects of Hurricane Matthew. Several people I talked with on-site had decided to come to Hilton Head only a day or two before they arrived; how many others decided to stay home?
Auctions America Hilton Head 2016 – Auction Report