Ferraris shine as collectors snap up $134m in classic cars

1961 Ferrari 250 GT SWB California Spider by Scaglietti

A few coveted Ferraris helped offset weakness in other models at a classic cars auction at Amelia Island, Florida, at the weekend.

The auction companies, including Gooding & Co. and RM Sotheby's, racked up a total of $134 million in the sales, held in conjunction with the Amelia Island Concours D'eElegance, according to Hagerty, the collectible-car insurance company.

The total topped last year's $115 million in sales, showing that while growth may be slowing for collectible-car prices, there was still strong demand for the highest quality vehicles.

The average sales price for a car jumped to $437,834 from last year's $324,466.

Granted, some of the results were mixed; Of the 468 cars being auctioned off, about a third failed to sell. Yet Gooding & Co. made total of $60.2 million in sales, while RM Sotheby's total was $38.7 million.

Gooding & Co. total includes $22.2 million brought in by comedian Jerry Seinfeld's cars, compared to a $28 million to $32 million estimate. Three of Seinfeld's cars were among the top 10 for the Amelia Island sales.

The break-out star of the weekend was a 1961 Ferrari 250 GT California SWB Spider that was sold by Gooding & Co. for $17.2 million, well above the estimate. The price set a record for the most expensive car ever auctioned at Amelia Island as well as the most expensive car ever auctioned by Gooding & Co. (The car may look familiar to Ferris Bueller fans, since it's similar to the one used in the movie.)

"We are delighted with our auction results and are proud of the new auction records we have set, which demonstrates that there is strong demand for high quality cars," David Gooding, president of Gooding & Co, said.

The other big seller was a 1962 Ferrari 400 Superamerica LWB Coupe Aerodinamico, which blew past its estimate to fetch $4.4 million at RM Sotheby's. The auction house said bidders from 20 countries helped push several lots above their estimates.

"The solid result was driven by active participation from many of America's leading collectors as well as bidders new to the hobby," said Gord Duff, car specialist with RM Sotheby's.

Here are the top 10 sellers over the weekend:

1. 1961 Ferrari 250 GT California SWB Spider (closed headlight) sold for $17,160,000 (Gooding & Company)

2. 1937 Bugatti Type 57 SC Sports Tourer sold for $9,735,000 (Bonhams)

3. 1955 Porsche 550 Spyder sold for $5,335,000 (Gooding & Company)

4. 1962 Ferrari 400 Superamerica Coupe sold for $4,400,000 (RM Sotheby's)

5. 1966 Ford GT40 Mk I Coupe sold for $3,300,000 (Gooding & Company)

6. 1973 Porsche 917/30 Can-Am Spyder sold for $3,000,000 (Gooding & Company)

7. 1937 Mercedes-Benz 540K Cabriolet A sold for $2,970,000 (Bonhams)

8. 1959 Porsche 718 RSK Roadster sold for $2,860,000 (Gooding & Company)

9. 1967 Ferrari 275 GTB/4 Coupe sold for $2,750,000 (Bonhams)

10. 1931 Duesenberg Model J Murphy Convertible Coupe sold for $2,640,000 (Gooding & Company)

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