Report by Rick Carey, Auction Editor
Okay, so I like alliteration, but that headline is no stretch at all in the case of the 2010 Monterey auctions. RM Auctions, Gooding & Company, Bonhams & Butterfields and Mecum Auctions reported a combined $164,231,617 in sales in nine selling sessions held over a span of just four days, a frantic Thursday-Sunday that set new records in almost every sense.
The record total is largely attributable to one simple fact: thirty-two cars brought successful hammer bids of a million dollars or more, total successful bids of $72,400,000, $83,417,000 with commission, just over half the week’s record total sale.
It’s probably best to get all the facts on the table, in this table.
|Monterey Auctions 2010|
|Auction||Cars Offered / Cars Sold||Sale %||% < Low Est||% > High Est||Average Sale||Total Sales||Chg from prior year|
|Bonhams & Butterfields - 2010||102 / 79||77.5%||55.10%||16.70%||$228,224||$18,029,690||37.03%|
|Bonhams & Butterfields - 2009||103 / 60||58.3%||56.7%||13.3%||$219,292||$13,157,529||-36.73%|
|Bonhams & Butterfields - 2008||77 / 43||55.8%||63.4%||9.8%||$483,647||$20,796,800|
|RM Auctions [3-day] - 2010||224 / 204||91.1%||54.4%||10.8%||$323,564||$66,007,100||87.6%|
|RM Auctions [3-day] - 2009||239 / 205||85.8%||57.6%||8.3%||$171,676||$35,193,500||-20.2%|
|RM Auctions - 2008||173 / 147||85.0%||61.9%||8.2%||$299,955||$44,093,450|
|Gooding & Company - 2010||135 / 106||78.5%||59.4%||8.9%||$609,361||$64,592,300||27.3%|
|Gooding & Company - 2009||159 / 128||80.5%||71.9%||7.8%||$396,514||$50,753,850||-20.98%|
|Gooding & Company - 2008||140 / 112||80.0%||61.1%||14.8%||$573,467||$64,228,300|
|Mecum Auctions - 2010||428 / 208||48.6%||--||--||$75,013||$15,602,627||9.8%|
|Mecum Auctions - 2009||234 / 104||44.4%||--||--||$136,653||$14,211,895|
|Bonhams, RM, Gooding and Mecum|
|2010||889 / 597||67.2%||--||--||$275,095||$164,231,717||44.9%|
|2009||735 / 397||67.6%||--||--||$228,002||$113,316,774||-12.24%|
|2008 (No Mecum)||390 / 302||77.4%||--||--||$427,545||$129,118,550|
While RM’s heavily promoted Ferrari 250 Testa Rossa failed to sell after reaching a bid of $10.6 million, the top sale still sent to a Ferrari, Gooding & Company’s 250 GT Long Wheelbase California Spider at $7.6 million. The cars that followed it in the list of million-dollar transactions were nothing if not eclectic, a directory of great marques and models from Alfa Romeo and Aston Martin to Talbot-Lago and Tucker.
Conclusions from this cacophony of collecting commercialism are many, not least that the market for high end cars is strong, even stronger than the market for the less expensive, broad base of the car collecting hobby. Monterey soundly topped this year’s Arizona auctions’ total sale of $120.8 million and posted more dollars in the sale column than any previous Arizona auctions total while doing so with less than half as many cars.
Monterey has become the battleground for the big guns in collector car auctions. They leave no lead uncovered in their attempts to marshal the best, most exotic, rare, beautiful and valuable collector cars onto the auction dockets at Monterey. It is a duel of giants, particularly between RM and Gooding where in 2010 RM recaptured its place as the most successful Monterey auction, doing so by the slim – by Monterey standards – margin of just $1.4 million, 2.2%.
In their move to the top of the market the big guns have left much of the collector car hobby out of their field of fire. Mecum Auctions has seized that opportunity with its consignment sale at the Hyatt. They made their mark last year with the sale of the Cobra Daytona Coupe for $7,685,000, and chose not to try to duplicate it this year. Instead Mecum made several more modest consignments closer to the core it its client base (Ferrari 250 GT Tour de France coupe, Daytona Spider, ’67 L88 Corvette) and achieved surprising success with a sparkling array of antique wood-hull speedboats. Its opportunistic positioning adds a needed element to the Monterey auction scene, provides an outlet for consignors unwilling to deal with the major catalog auction houses (or unable to meet their demanding criteria) and will over time, Dana Mecum says, bring a new segment of customers, Mecum’s established core of buyers and sellers, to join the Monterey experience. Was it a success? They more than doubled the total sale, deducting the Cobra Daytona Coupe from last year’s total.
For starters we’ll cover some of the million dollar cars and get to the individual auctions in later reports. That’s more than enough information and intrigue for one month (and we have over 200 cars to write up, which takes a while to do right.)
[Russo and Steele is yet to issue detailed numbers for its sale at the Marriott downtown, but claimed in a post-sale release to have $7 million in sales, a number that is consistent with its 2007 and 2008 Monterey sales of $9 million plus each year. Their data will be reported later, after receiving a full, detailed results list.]
Monterey Auctions 2010 Report – Million Dollar Sales
[Source: Rick Carey]