RM Auctions, Arizona Biltmore, Phoenix, Arizona January 16-17, 2014
Report and photos by Rick Carey, Auction Editor
The revised schedule overcame some of the marathon aspects of prior years, ending in time for a civilized meal or even a visit to one of the other venues running full bore well into the evening.
It proved commercially successful as well with the two day sale total of $45.6 million up 25% from last year’s one-day 84 lot auction and up 77.6% from the 140 lot two-day auction in 2012, seemingly demonstrating that ‘less is more’ especially when quality is maintained.
RM is juggling an ever-expanding auction schedule with its first auction during the week of the Rétromobile show in Paris following Arizona by only three weeks. Yet even at this fast pace each auction has an exemplary consignment of important cars and a good distribution of affordable ones [although how ‘affordable’ a six-figure Fiat Jolly is may be open to debate.] Here in Arizona the headliner — as it would be anywhere — was the Ferrari long wheelbase California Spider s/n 1055GT. At $8 million hammer, $8.8 million with commission, it set the Arizona standard this year, and an all-time Arizona auction record, beating last year’s LWB Cal Spider s/n 1073GT at Gooding & Company by $550,000.
Jaguar XKE prices are on a roll, and people brought truckloads of Toyota FJ40 Land Cruisers to Arizona. There were at least 23 of them at the various Arizona auctions, with the top value going to RM’s at an eye-watering $101,750 with commission. The FJ40 phenomenon is understandable, but the prices some of them bring defies comprehension.
Andrew Newton assisted with this auction report but it is the editor who takes the blame (or the credit?) for its content.