RM Auctions Arizona 2012 – Auction Report

RM Auctions Arizona 2012 – Auction Report Page Three

1958 Ferrari 250 GT Ellena Coupe

Lot # 226 1958 Ferrari 250 GT Berlinetta, Body by Ellena; S/N 0861GT; Engine # 0861GT; Black/Black leather; Estimate $450,000 - $525,000; Older restoration, 3+ condition; Not sold at Hammer bid of $400,000 -- Chrome spoke Borranis, 6.00-16 Excelsior tires, Simpson belts. Clean and orderly older restoration completed in 2002 that has been used. Big paint crack at right front hood corner. Wiper scratched windshield. Lightly used and eligible for many events including the MM Retro. RM has established something of a monopoly on Ellenas in recent years but the best prices they've brought has been in Europe (0819GT at Maranello in 2008) with Ferrari Classiche certification, which this one hasn't bought. The bloom is off the rose and this car could have been sold without regret if there was money at this bid. It's the Ferrari insider's secret, a real MM-eligible 250 GT Berlinetta for medium six-figures, and has upside in today's market.

1957 Ferrari 410 Superamerica Scaglietti Coupe

Lot # 232 1957 Ferrari 410 Superamerica Coupe, Body by Scaglietti; S/N 0671SA; Engine # 0671SA; Dark Red/Tan leather, Dark Red piping; Estimate $1,750,000 - $2,250,000; Recent restoration, 2+ condition; Hammered Sold at $1,650,000 plus commission of 10.00%; Final Price $1,815,000 -- Chrome spoke Borranis, engine turned stainless steel roof and fins, chrome sills, chrome fender vents, Jaeger clock, Marchal fog lights, Carello headlights. black wrinkle dashboard, foglights in grille, 5- or 5.1-liter engine with three 4-barrel Weber carbs. A singular design by Sergio Scaglietti for Dottore Enrico Wax, Genoa importer of Johnnie Walker whisky and Connolly leather. Extravagantly embellished with stainless steel roof, angular engine-turned rear fender fins and polished sill molding. Chassis and drivetrain were discovered on a farm in Oregon having been stripped of the original body by a thief. Restored with new coachwork for Greg Garrison in Italy by the same Scaglietti craftsmen who had built the original body. Pebble Beach class winner in 1990. Still in Pebble Beach condition. It's hard not to see this 410 Superamerica as a caricature of Fifties' design, with its engine turned fins, bulbous nose and faux California lakes pipes vented sills. That aside, it's the precursor to Sergio Scaglietti's coming Testa Rossas and all the subsequent designs this intuitive master created. This car, with its re-created body and salvaged chassis, is a bit of a stretch, yet its history of construction by the original craftsmen authenticates its extravagant appearance. It was sold from Greg Garrison's collection by Gooding at Pebble Beach in 2007 for $1,320,000 and is no less valuable here five years later. Its close to 400 hp is nothing less than prodigious and it deserves to travel more than the 173km its odometer has recorded since 2007. Its value as determined by the Biltmore bidders is at the lower end of 410 Superamerica values, giving little effect to its importance in Ferrari coachwork history.

1963 Maserati 3500 GT Spider Vignale

Lot # 242 1963 Maserati 3500 GT Spider, Body by Vignale; S/N AM1011457; Black/Black leather; Black top; Estimate $300,000 - $375,000; Cosmetic restoration, 3+ condition; Hammered Sold at $270,000 plus commission of 10.00%; Final Price $297,000 -- Weber carbs, chrome spoke Borrani wire wheels, BFG Silvertown radial blackwall tires, Blaupunkt multi-band radio. Good older paint, chrome and interior. Clean, orderly engine. Chassis and underbody redone with black underseal over little prep. No Reserve. Sold by Worldwide at Hilton Head in 2008 for $211,200 and treated to some badly needed attention to some of its most egregious shortcomings, an effort which brought a better price. Maserati prices haven't kept pace with its counterparts from Ferrari and this is a sound innate value in performance, style and rarity even though the price is appropriate to the marque and model.

1954 Allard K3 Roadster

Lot # 244 1954 Allard K3 Roadster; S/N K33261; Powder Blue/Red; Black cloth top; Estimate $85,000 - $125,000; Older restoration, 3+ condition; Post-block sale at $52,273 plus commission of 10.00%; Final Price $57,500 -- 331ci Cadillac V8, automatic transmission, louvered hood, flip-up fuel caps in left and right rear fenders, side exhaust, chrome wire wheels, narrow whitewall all season tires. An older restoration that looks to have been driven little. Neat car. No Reserve. Sydney Allard's creations may not possess the sophistication or beauty of other English sportscars, but ask anyone who's driven one and they'll likely tell you they don't care. The K3's envelope body possessed neither style nor the gruff aggression of the cycle fendered J2 and J2X. The good news is that the new owner isn't likely to come across another on the road any time soon, almost all parts are easy to come by and cheap, and an early build date will likely allow this K3 to participate in most rally and touring events. The automatic transmission probably hurt this K3's value but will make it a comfortable companion on tours.

1932 Auburn V-12 Speedster

Lot # 246 1932 Auburn V-12 Speedster; S/N 1973E; Black, silver/Red; Estimate $325,000 - $400,000; Concours restoration, 2+ condition; Hammered Sold at $390,000 plus commission of 10.00%; Final Price $429,000 -- 391/160hp L-head V-12, three speed manual transmission, two-speed electric overdrive, chrome wires, wide whitewall tires, twin sidemount spare tires, dual spotlights, dual cowl lights, dual driving lights. Excellent paint, chrome, and interior. A barely-aged restoration. There's a lot to like about Auburn V-12 Speedsters. Built by American legend E. L. Cord, advanced for their time, and beautiful, they are included in any discussion of American cars of the classic age. This one had been a no-sale at Bonhams' 2011 Quail offering when the bidding stalled at a fair $400,000. It brought $10,000 less on the hammer here at a much reduced and more reasonable pre-sale estimate, pointing out once again that the first offer is frequently the best offer. It is a lot of car for the money.

1931 Marmon Sixteen Convertible Coupe

Lot # 248 1931 Marmon Sixteen Convertible Coupe; S/N 16144722; Grey/Teal leather, Grey cloth top; Estimate $475,000 - $650,000; Concours restoration, 1- condition; Not sold at Hammer bid of $450,000 -- Dual enclosed sidemounts with chrome bands, Blue wire wheels with full chrome wheel discs, golf bag door, rumble seat. Concours restoration. CCCA Premier # 2259. AACA 2000 National First Prize and Senior, Best in Class at Amelia in 2011. Chassis and engine show a little fluid leaking but nothing that can't be cleaned up easily to return the car to nearly concours condition. One owner 1931 until the 80's. Number 16 of 22 believed built. Sold by RM at Hershey in 2009 for $517,000 and offered here at a reasonably reduced estimate, but one the bidders couldn't bring themselves to reach. The Marmon Sixteen is a fabulous automobile both in its mechanical specification and in its clean, distinctive design by Walter Dorwin Teague, Jr. It might have been a good idea to take the money.

1952 Ferrari 342 America Coupe Speciale

Lot # 249 1952 Ferrari 342 America Coupe Speciale, Body by Pinin Farina; S/N 0246AL; Engine # 0246AL; Black/Light Green leather; Estimate $800,000 - $1,000,000; Cosmetic restoration, 3+ condition; Hammered Sold at $575,000 plus commission of 10.00%; Final Price $632,500 -- Chrome spoke outside laced wire wheels, 185R15 Michelin X tires. Displayed at the 1953 Geneva Motor Show and rallied in period in the Rallye Soleil-Cannes. Later modified by Pinin Farina with the present one-piece rear window. Sound older paint, chrome and interior (in a wonderful period color.) Chassis and underbody not done to the same standard and showing use and road dirt probably left over from its 2011 participation in the Colorado Grand. Offered by Bonhams at Gstaad in 2003 at a high bid of $350,458, then by Gooding at Palm Beach in 2006 at a high bid of $560,000 and at Scottsdale in 2008 with an even higher reported bid of $650,000, the estimate is going up faster than the market's appetite for this car with its disappointing condition. It will be a wonderful driver and would be more attractive with the three-piece wraparound window as it was displayed at Geneva. It is a great value at this price.

1962 Lotus 23B Sports Racer

Lot # 254 1962 Lotus 23B Sports Racer; S/N 23S80; BRGreen/Red; Estimate $175,000 - $225,000; Competition restoration, 2+ condition; Not sold at Hammer bid of $130,000 -- RHD. Lotus-Ford engine, Hewland Mark IV transaxle, yellow wobbly wheels, Avon race tires, grey driver's rollbar, two seats. Freshly restored and far better than new, at least in appearance. Sold by Gooding at Amelia Island in 2011 for $203,500 and still in nearly comparable condition, so it's not surprising the consignor didn't jump at the chance to eat $70,000.

1956 Aston Martin DB 2-4 Mk I Coupe

Lot # 256 1956 Aston Martin DB 2/4 Mk I Coupe; S/N LML/951; Engine # VB6J477; Peony Red/Black; Estimate $135,000 - $175,000; Cosmetic restoration, 3- condition; Hammered Sold at $135,000 plus commission of 10.00%; Final Price $148,500 -- Three liter, 140bhp DOHC straight six cylinder, four speed manual transmission, LHD, chrome wire wheels, wood rim steering wheel. Glossy paint, newer tires. fresh looking black overspray in wheelwells. Scuffed chrome on driver's side window surround, scratches in quarter window glass, bare metal visible around rear quarter windows, black sealant squirted in drip rails. Part of the collection of Gene Young in Pasadena, California for many years and recently mechanically gone through and recommissioned as needed. While DB4s, 5s and 6s have witnessed skyrocketing prices in recent years, DB 2/4s haven't had the same luck. Call it the James Bond effect. Whatever the case, no one seemed to tell the bidders of this DB 2/4, who bid this car to $135,000 before commission, according its California history and originality great value. This is concours money for a car that shined quite well, but only in places. There was more than enough visible on this car for a buyer to wonder what else lay beneath, and at this price there's no way to fix the issues without heading underwater in a manner much worse than Mr. Bond's Lotus Elite submarine car.

1991 Ferrari F40 Berlinetta

Lot # 258 1991 Ferrari F40 Berlinetta; S/N ZFFMN34A7M0087345; Red/Red cloth; Estimate $650,000 - $750,000; Unrestored original, 2 condition; Hammered Sold at $710,000 plus commission of 10.00%; Final Price $781,000 -- Like new, aside from a lightly stretched driver's seat cushion covering. Assembly number taped over. U.S. spec version first owned by Lido Anthony Iacocca with 284 miles from new and freshly serviced. This is healthy money for an F40, even one so carefully preserved as this with a significant ownership history. The F40 is one of the first Ferraris built to be collected rather than driven, a technique that Ferrari has now turned into a business plan.

1955 Chevrolet Corvette Roadster

Lot # 259 1955 Chevrolet Corvette Roadster; S/N VE55S001009; Gypsy Red/Beige; Beige cloth top; Estimate $150,000 - $250,000; Recent restoration, 2+ condition; Hammered Sold at $160,000 plus commission of 10.00%; Final Price $176,000 -- 265/195hp, Powerglide, WonderBar radio, wheel covers, wide whitewalls. The ninth '55 Corvette built. Restored two decades ago and still better than new with excellent cosmetics. Bloomington Gold and Special Collection, NCRS Top Flight and Triple Crown, Gold Spinner. Needs nothing. '55 Corvettes occupy a special place in Corvette history: the first with V-8 power and the last with roadster bodies. This one has stood up amazingly well and two decades after its restoration was completed is still show-ready. As such, it fully deserves the premium price it achieved here at the Biltmore.

1957 Maserati 3500 GT Berlinetta Touring body

Lot # 260 1957 Maserati 3500 GT Berlinetta, Body by Touring; S/N AM101058; White/Burgundy leather; Estimate $170,000 - $200,000; Visually maintained, largely original, 3 condition; Hammered Sold at $150,000 plus commission of 10.00%; Final Price $165,000 -- Borrani alloy disc wheels, Denon modern stereo. 1958 Paris Show car, one of the first 3500 GTs built. Fair repaint, good major chrome but thin trim, sound interior. Clean unrestored chassis and underbody. Erratic panel fits. Usable and presentable but unimpressive although recently its early history has been extensively documented and a large file of documents comes with it. Provenance includes Alfredo Brener and Kasumoto Sasaki. No Reserve. This is a really interesting and attractive Maserati with an intriguing history. It won't win show trophies, but it will win the admiration of most onlookers, a wonderful opportunity at a modest price.

RM Auctions Arizona 2012 – Auction Report Page Four


  1. Ronald Sieber says

    Once again you have submitted a great report on the prevailing auction landscape and the beasts that roam within it. Thanks for doing that.

    Many of us in the Porsche 356 world were blown away by the price of the Speedster as you reported. It will be interesting to see where their prices go if the Asian market (the people with all of our money) ever discovers that any Porsche collection of worth needs to have at least one 356 Speedster, even an example with only the ‘Normal’ engine. There are several great collections across that pond. Hmmm…

    • Rick Carey says

      Thanks for the compliment, which should also be extended to Ed Lenahan. Even as a newbie to this arcane field Ed did a marvelous job of helping me cover all the Arizona auctions.
      As to China, it’s a puzzle. Some prescient figures like Don Williams have been present in China since just after the doors started to crack open and I think they’ll lead the Chinese wealthy into the collecting world. If their view is influential it will be classics first. Classics are the safest sell to newcomers, and safety is still an important factor in Chinese investment. As an adviser you don’t want to raise your clients’ expectations early, and good early experiences are core to building a lasting car collecting culture.
      It’s an evolving story that has intriguing implications but, as we’ve seen again and again, the tides of international collecting ebb and flow. Remember all those cars that got vacuumed up into Japan in the early 90’s? Many if not most have come back to the U.S. and Europe. Russia was sopping up cars like bread soaking up gravy a few years ago; that trade has slackened dramatically. And Greeks bought cars, too. No more.
      Don’t put much faith in bubbles. It’s OK to take advantage of them, but be ready to cut and run at the first sign of unsustainable surface tension. At 1/3 of a million dollars the Speedster bubble is stretched very thin.

  2. Ken Smith says

    Rick – Once again many thanks for your auction coverage. I look forward to all of them and enjoy them very much. Great work!!

  3. says

    “The penultimate in 4-cylinder Healeys…” = the next to last, so my question is which one do you consider the best, or ultimate? I had a ’60 3000 I bought used and a ’62 ditto I bought new. Should have kept that one, of course..

  4. says

    Of the 59 Griffith 400’s built for the entire world has one ever been sold at an auction? It’s the only car that could beat Shelby AC Cobras! See the light blue one on 2011 Silverstone, Gentlemen Drivers, race on U-tube. Those 400’s were really race cars built for the streets. About 400 to 500 lbs. lighter than a Cobra and running the same 289 Cu. inch Ford Hi-Po engine. Also, it had unequal wishbone suspension all around with four shocks and springs in the rear.

    Jack A. Griffith is up in age, however, he did built a car that Shelby AC Cobras hate to see on the track. Take a look at the 2013 Old Timer Grand Prix and you’ll see the McInerney Griffith 400 catch and pass the fastest of the Cobras. It’s on U-tube.

  5. Rick Carey says

    Hi, Charles.
    There are two Griffiths in my auction data as follows:
    s/n 6000006A, the 273 Plymouth-powered prototype with automatic transmission reported sold at RM Amelia in 2004 for $28,600, offered at the Kruse Auburn Fall auction later that year with a high bid reported of $32,500 and sold by RM at Boca Raton in February 2005 for $27,820.
    s/n 2004000 with 289 Ford, dual quads and 4-speed which no-saled at the Rupp auction in Ft. Lauderdale in January 2008 with a reported high bid of $37,000, then at Mecum’s Monterey auction in 2009, cosmetically freshened and painted Re-sale Red, with a $60,000 reported high bid.
    I haven’t seen or heard of one at auction since, which is unfortunate but not surprising since Griffith owners have a high opinion of the cars’ significance and value that is canceled by the Griffiths’ obscurity and the lamentable fact that the car is to all outward appearances a re-engined TVR.

    • says

      Rick: Sources from England including the London Financial Times had an article to hold on to your Griffith if you owned one because they were highly sought after, especially the Series 400. One British car authority stated that an original Griftith 400 could be worth 200,000 pounds and that’s a lot of American dollars.

      So, why the price difference in the US? I believe my wife and I saw that Griffith 600 at Amelia Island in 2011. It had a heavy steel body with the Chrysler 273 cubic inch engine and was a poor handeling car. In Europe we haven’t seen that many Griffith 200’s in races. Jack Griffith announced in 1962/3 that with the Hi-po 289 a Griffith 200, and they made about 200 of them, could do 0 to 60 in 3.8 seconds! And that started the Griffith craze in the US.

      Did you have the opportunity to see the videos I recommended re. the McInerney Griffith 400 against some of the fastest Shelby AC Cobras in the continent. Maybe more Americans should view those videos. Those who do are astonished that an obscure mark of an automobile could beat Cobras, Corvettes, Porsche 904, 911’s, lightweight Jaguars as well as regular E Jaguars, Aston Martins, Ferrari’s, and swift Lotus Elans. Of course this is in the historical racing events for cars of the sixties (2011 Silverstone, Gentlemen Drivers, race and 2013 Old Timers Grand Prix; U-tube).

      Where are the 59 Griffith 400’s? One writer states that the sheiks have most of them in their collection. For after the London Financial Times wrote about the future value of the Griffith 400’s it seem, and as you stated, that one cannot find an original Griffith 400.

      My best,

  6. Rick Carey says

    There’s a difference between hype and reality.
    The Financial Times, reputable resource though it may be for financial news, has bupkus credibility in the collector car market. “One writer states that the sheiks have most of them” is hardly credible.
    Let’s be clear. Griffiths are fast. They’re rare. They’re also obscure.
    They’re re-engined TVRs. “[P]rice difference in the US?” They are US cars, built for the US market. If American collectors and vintage racers don’t appreciate them, who does?
    Are you trying to create a legend for Griffiths with your persistence?
    Good luck.
    It isn’t going to happen.
    Does a Griffith represent good performance value compared with a 289 Cobra? Yes, but it isn’t ever, in my opinion, going to close the gap in value. Like Italias (which are actually pleasing to look at), Panteras and Isos, they’re blips on the graph of automotive history.
    Thanks for your observations.


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