Auction Editor Rick Carey reported from dozens of auctions in 2015, starting with the Scottsdale and Kissimmee sales, moving quickly into the Amelia Island sales and continuing throughout the rest of the year.
Ferraris — the unquestioned epicenter of the collector car market — were a huge focus of Carey’s reports, with no less than 178 of Maranello’s finest methodically examined in 2015. They ranged from modern variants you wouldn’t wish upon your worst enemy to the otherworldly 1956 Ferrari 290 MM.
The biggest sale in dollars of 2015 occurred when RM Sotheby’s sold the 1956 Ferrari 290 MM (s/n 0626) for $28,050,000 at their New York City auction, besting the $18,500,000 Artcurial garnered for the ex-Baillon Collection 1961 Ferrari 250 GT SWB California Spider at their Retromobile event.
From Auction Editor Rick Carey:
Ferraris in 2015 were barely predictable.
The allure of dirt, however, was consistently a factor, otherwise how did Artcurial sell Jacques Baillon’s 250 GT SWB California Spider (s/n 2935GT) in ratty, dirty, dented, dinged condition in Paris for $18.6 million at Retromobile in February and Gooding get $16.8 million for a similar covered headlight SWB Cal Spider (s/n 3095GT) at Pebble Beach. Dirt also powered two 250 GTEs to a near record prices, one (s/n 2919GT) starting off the year at Gooding’s Scottsdale auction where it brought $423,500 and another at Pebble Beach, the even dirtier s/n 2927GT, which sold for $418,000. But that paled beside the $797,500 that Gooding got for the beyond-perfectly restored s/n 2651GT at Pebble Beach. That’s over 3/4 of a million dollars … for a 250 GTE, a 2+2.
Maybe all these buyers have young families and need the back seat for the toddlers?
At the top of the Ferrari market occasional bursts of enthusiasm brought seriously eye-watering results, although none was more startling than RM Sotheby’s sale of Enzo s/n ZFFCZ56B000141920 from the Pinnacle Portfolio in Monterey for $6,050,000 (the $550,000 buyer’s commission was enough to buy one of those dirty, driven, dilapidated over-priced GTEs). Yes, it was the last Enzo built and, yes, had been given by Ferrari to Pope John Paul II. It was sold for what was then an extraordinary price of €1,055,000 ($1,282,987 at the time) at Sotheby’s auction at Maranello in 2005 with the proceeds to benefit victims of the SE Asia tsunami. Later brought into compliance with US (but not California) regulations. Two bidders fought from $3.7 million for the privilege of paying as much as humanely possible in a bidding contest more usually encountered when the proceeds go to charity. In this case they went to enhance Pinnacle’s ROI.
Six Ferraris sold on hammer bids of $10 million or more and they made up six of the top ten sales of the year. 51 of the top 100 transactions were Ferraris; the top 100 cutoff was $1,732,500 (a Porsche 959, not a Ferrari).
Speaking of bursts of enthusiasm it would be remiss not to mention the 6-speed 599 GTB sold by RM at Amelia for $682,000, two and one-half times its high estimate, double its original sticker price, and said to shift like a truck.
Listed in chronological order, Rick Carey’s reports on the 178 Ferraris analyzed in 2015: