(A Few) Ferraris Return to Amelia
Volume 46 Issue 12
Jun 5, 2021
Rick Carey reviews the Amelia Island RM Auction Ferraris.
The 2020 Amelia Island Concours and events surrounding it were the last events (aside from Mecum’s auction in Glendale, Arizona) before Coronavirus and COVID-19 shut down everything. It was only fitting that The Amelia marked, for car people and – even if they don’t realize it – the world at large the beginning of the Great Reopening.
It was a bold step when The Amelia announced in December 2020 the rescheduled date for Amelia 2021 as May 23. Vaccines were bruited but not yet approved. Travel in any conventional sense was still restricted and online-only auctions had barely six months history in which to show their effectiveness.
But it happened. Bonhams (who didn’t offer a single Ferrari) and RM Sotheby’s (only nine Ferraris) sucked it up and plunged forward. It all came together under sunny and warm skies.
It was a celebration of friendships, acquaintances and automobiles. The Amelia Concours car count was reduced (“to support social distancing” by the official account, although also likely affected by uncertainty from collectors farther afield who were reticent about early commitment of cars, owners and support staff for an uncertain date). Even the pretense of “social distancing” disappeared on the concours field Sunday. It may not have been as crowded as in the past but there was a deluge of spectators when the gates opened.
The sense of relief was tangible, universally expressed and enthusiastically endorsed. There were only smiles.
The auctions were remarkably successful with Bonhams selling 82.1% of the lots offered and RM Sotheby’s 95%, both near-records for Amelia sales.
As for Ferraris, there were only nine, all at RM Sotheby’s (not counting a lone Fiat Dino 2.0 coupe). The numbers may have been small but they all sold, including five for over $1 million. Their total including commission was $14,482,300, accounting for 34.5% of RM’s $41,991,940 total.
Only one of the Ferraris sold on a hammer bid under its low estimate, the 365 GTS/4 Daytona Spyder S/N 14863, and it was only a rounding error $25,000 under the $2 ¼ million estimate. None of the other eight Ferraris achieved hammer bids over their high estimates, although out of the 181 vehicle lots sold between the two auctions, 31 brought hammer bids over the high estimates, a strong 17.1% of the total lots sold.
Online auctions are now well-established and recognized as an effective way to sell even valuable cars to a worldwide audience of remote bidders. Amelia, however, showed that there is no substitute for gathering together to put hands and eyes on cars, for discussing cars with friends and colleagues and soliciting opinions and observations from informed (or opinionated) acquaintances.
It was a Great Reopening, and the results proved it worked.
For those curious about results other than Ferraris, 113 of the 205 vehicle lots offered at Amelia will be described in detail at www.rickcarey.com.
250 GT PF CABRIOLET SERIES II, S/N 2533 (1961). Grigio Conchiglia with blue leather. Estimate $1.2 million to $1.4 million. Older restoration, 2- condition. Hammered sold at $1.35 million plus commission of 10.37 percent = final price of $1.49 million. Hard and soft tops, Borrani wire wheels, Michelin Defender tires, Autovox radio, power antenna, grille-mounted fog lights, Marchal headlights, tool roll, spare, manuals. Restored in the teens in its original colors. Classiche Red Book certified. Very good repaint and interior other than small scrapes on the seat back piping and a tarnished ashtray cover. Scuffed windshield frame chrome. Clean older restored chassis and underbody. The engine compartment is orderly and done to reasonable standards without being made into jewelry. The hood stands high on the right rear corner. A buyer at Brooks Gstaad auction in 1998 picked up this Ferrari (then in Resale Red) for $130,336. It’s had much attention since then and is an exceptionally handsome and well-preserved older restoration today that makes a statement in its original colors and brought a healthy but realistic price. Lot # 186.
275 GTB/4, S/N 10987 (1968). Giallo Solare with black leather. Estimate $2.5 million to $2.8 million. Cosmetic restoration, 2 condition. Hammered sold at $2.55 million plus commission of 10.20 percent = final price of $2.81 million. Campagnolo alloy wheels, Michelin XWX tires, Talbot outside mirror. 48 years continuous ownership by Alan K. Pray, represented as the original engine and gearbox and showing 92,678 kilometers. Excellent chrome and paint with some polishing swirl. Very good upholstery. Old undercoat in the wheel wells and on the chassis. 2019 mechanical restoration by Bob Smith Coachworks. Spotless fully and accurately restored engine compartment. Right wind wing frame chrome needs attention but nothing else does. The present Giallo Solare livery is at least the third color change from 10987’s original Celeste blue and is both attractive and subtly distinctive from the more common Giallo Fly. Considering the scope (and likely the expense) of the recent mechanical restoration the result here is realistic for the seller and a sound value for the new owner. Lot # 136.
365 GTS/4, S/N 14863 (1971). Giallo Fly with black leather. Estimate $2.25 million to $2.75 million. Visually maintained, largely original, 3+ condition. Hammered sold at $2.225 million plus commission of 10.22 percent = final price of $2.45 million. Veglia air conditioning, power windows, Borrani wire wheels, Michelin XWX tires, MOMO steering wheel, Marelli ignition modules, painted nose panel, popup headlights, manuals, tool roll. 1972 New York Auto Show display car. Classiche Red Book certified, 2008 Cavallino Platinum winner. 13,447 miles. Very good paint in the original color, and major chrome. Some trim chrome is lightly scratched and thin. The engine compartment is dusty and has a bit of oily residue. The cosmetics are very good and the rest of the car has been looked after without needing restoration. A factory Daytona Spyder that has always been a collector car, had continuous ownership by informed and caring Ferrari owners and never needed restoration while accumulating scant miles during fifty years of life. There are a few condition issues, but they are of little importance or significance. This is a result that should satisfy both the seller and the new owner. Lot # 176.
365 GTB/4, S/N 16553 (1972). Red with tan leather, black stripes. Estimate $500,000 to $600,000. Older restoration, 2- condition. Hammered sold at $500,000 plus commission of 11 percent = final price of $555,000. Veglia air conditioning, Borrani wire wheels, Michelin XWX tires, Becker Mexico cassette stereo, tool roll, painted nose panel, popup lights. Good paint with three small nose stone chips. Very good upholstery with light driver’s seat creasing. Good engine compartment and clean underbody. Not like new, but more than good enough. This Daytona has covered just under 5,000 miles since it was sold at the Dutch government’s sale of drug smuggler Charles Zwolsman’s collection in 2001 after it was seized in 1993. It was sold there in neglected condition (the collection had been stored under government control and neglect for seven years) for $68,543 and has been extensively redone since then. The new owner should be pleased with the Daytona and satisfied with the price paid for it. Lot # 149.
F50, VIN ZFFTG46A5S0103922 (1995). Red with black leather, red cloth. Estimate $3.4 million to $3.75 million. Unrestored original, 2- condition. Hammered sold at $3.425 million plus commission of 10.15 percent = final price of $3.772 million. PZero Corsa tires, shields, books, tools, suitcase. Number 48 of 349 F50s built and only 55 US market cars. Represented with three owners and scant miles from new. Serviced in 2018. Lightly scratched headlight covers. Soiled seats. Clean engine compartment, serviced in June 2018. Sold by Gooding & Company at Scottsdale in 2011 for $814,000 after long ownership by Benny Caiola, then last year at the same venue for $3.222 million, the most expensive transaction in Scottsdale last year before COVID-19 shut everything down. This result is a curve-setter, just as last year’s Scottsdale result was, but it bought a meticulously preserved low mileage F50. Lot # 181.
SUPERAMERICA F1, VIN ZFFGT61AX50142607 (2005). Argento Nürburgring with beige leather. Estimate $225,000 to $275,000. Unrestored original, 2- condition. Hammer sold at $240,000 plus commission of 12 percent = final price of $268,800. Fiorano Handling package, Daytona seats, modular alloy wheels, Bridgestone tires, red calipers, climate control, CD stereo, red tach. 15,005 miles, belt service five months ago. Chipguarded nose. Slightly stretched upholstery. Chassis has road dirt appropriate to the 15,005 miles. Good Revocromico roof without visible defects. Interior buttons refinished five months ago along with new tires. Little used and well-maintained. The effect that a few miles has on recent cars like this Superamerica is amazing and the result here shows the cost of actually using, even sparingly, such a vehicle. It could have brought a price well over $300,000 with 4-digit mileage but even at only a thousand miles a year and evidently with appropriate maintenance and a good roof it took a hundred thousand dollar hit on the block. If, however, it is as good as its recent maintenance suggests, the new owner should find it satisfying to drive and to own at this price, a solid value. Lot # 116.
599 GTB FIORANO, VIN ZFFFC60A970150861 (2007). Grigio Silverstone with black leather, gray stripes. Estimate $500,000 to $650,000. Unrestored original, 2 condition. Hammered sold at $625,000 plus commission of 10.80 percent = final price of $692,500. 5-spoke alloy wheels, PZero tires, yellow calipers, Daytona seats, shields, carbon ceramic brakes, Bose CD-changer stereo, manuals, books, tools, battery charger, documented with the original invoice. Represented as 3,200 miles and looks like it. No nose chips. Unblemished interior. One of just 30 6-speed 599 GTB Fioranos built. Sticky switches refinished. Like new. The passion for six-speed manual transmission modern Ferraris, where there are any to be found, is exemplified by this exalted result, a premium of more than 100% over the original $312,613 sticker price (which includes almost $50,000 in options.) This is a $200,000 car with the F1 gearbox and a nearly half-million-dollar premium for the 6-speed. Lot # 152.
246 GTS, S/N 04284 (1972). Red with black vinyl. Estimate $350,000 to $400,000. Older restoration, 2- condition. Hammered sold at $360,000 plus commission of 11.39 percent = final price of $401,000. Cromodora Dino wheels, Michelin XWX tires, open headlights, Borletti air conditioning, power windows. Good older paint and interior. Engine is very orderly. Good window seals, barely used upholstery. Good major chrome but some weak trim. The engine has been resealed and is clean and dry. Better than it was in 2012. Offered by Bonhams at Quail Lodge in 2012 where the odometer showed 39,279 miles, only 183 miles less than the 39,462 on the odometer here at Amelia Island in 2021 and failed to sell on a reported high bid of $185,000, a realistic offer at the time. That oversight was rectified today with a result that reflects recent Dino Spider values, although it might have brought more in the original distinctive livery of Nocciola (Hazelnut) over Tobacco. Lot # 130.
F40, VIN ZFFMN34A0N0093103 (1992). Rosso Corsa with red cloth. Estimate $1.8 million to $2.2 million. Unrestored original, 2- condition. Hammered sold at $1.85 million plus commission of 10.27 percent = final price of $2.04 million. SF shields, air conditioning. Classiche certified. Good original paint and upholstery. There is some paint loss in the engine compartment, probably from servicing, otherwise in condition appropriate to the 3,317 miles showing. Belt and major service in November 2020. While this is an expensive F40 by usual standards, it also is a very good, fastidiously maintained, low miles F40 in well-preserved original condition that has just had a boatload of money spent on it. These are expensive cars to own even if they’re not driven and this one seems to have had exceptional and recent care, a car that can be bought with confidence even at this price. Lot # 151.