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Jim Weed

Volume 49 Issue 02

Jan 28, 2024

Mecum Auctions Kissimmee has wrapped up. Some very special Ferraris passed through the stage. The sale prices were fair; the real story was from the no-sale prices for a couple rare Ferraris.

    Mecum has wrapped up its massive Florida auction in Kissimmee. This multi-day auction offered vehicles and memorabilia covering a wide range guaranteed to scratch whatever itch of automotive history that turns you on.

    If it is automotive related, chances are you can find it in Kissimmee.

    Want an autographed photo of Mario Andretti to hang on your wall? Someone won that item with a bid of $236.

    Bargan? I think so, if you need to add one more special picture to your man cave or garage shrine.

    Are you into NASCAR memorabilia? A front hood from Jeff Gordon’s Chevrolet with a large DuPont logo and flames will be on someone’s wall after $3,540 changed hands.

    Don’t like Gordon? There were hoods from almost every team so there were lots of choices, again to scratch that itch.

    Neon and porcelain signs could also be had. Everything from manufacturer and dealer signs to oil and Bar-B-Q.

    Can’t live without a vintage gas pump or oil can dispenser in your garage? Yes, they had that, also.

    Cars, boats, motorcycles, and tractors are also available. No matter what turns you on, it was on display waiting for a bidder’s paddle to be held high.

    But we want to know about Ferraris, and there were a number of Ferrari automobiles waiting for new owners.

    The Ferrari selections ranged from a 3.2 Mondial Cabriolet that sold for under $50,000 to a 250 GT SWB Spyder California that went for $17.9 million.

    The amazing thing was the 250 GT was not the most expensive offering as there was also a NART Spyder AND a 275 GTB Competizione Speciale available.

    Now, if either one of those had sold, I would have led with that news!

    The sale of the California confirms that this 250 GT model has arrived in this rarefied price territory. With the Gooding Amelia Island sale last year of S/N 3099 GT at $18 million, the result here cements the value at a known dollar amount.

    The NART Spyder is more difficult to identify with a value. There were only ten real 275 GTS/4 NART Spyder made. Needless to say, they don’t come up for auction or even change hands often.

    The last public sale was in 2013 when S/N 10709 was sold by RM Sotheby’s at Pebble Beach. This NART was a one owner car purchased new by Eddie Smith and the family was donating the proceeds to charity.

    When charitable causes come into play, real value can go out the window. It appeared the $27.5 million sale was an astounding write-off, in addition to purchasing a very special car.

    Mecum’s Kissimmee offered S/N 10749 and it was a no-sale at $23.5 million. The website is showing sale-pending so the price/value of NART Spyders appear to be right in that quarter of $100 million.

    Value is always difficult to define. Clearly, anything is worth what someone is willing to pay. This is the beauty of an auction setting in general.

    Typically, there are two, sometimes more, people who feel the need/want/desire to own the displayed object. Each must determine how much they need/want/desire said object and ultimately the price/value is determined by the winning bid.

    With rare objects it is difficult to predict where the final result will land.

    Which brings me to one of the rarest Ferraris to come to auction, the 275 GTB Competizione Speciale.

    Ferrari built three cars with all the tricks to compete in GT racing. These cars had lighter frames and alloy bodywork. Higher-performance dry-sump engines and many other special touches.

    So radical were these cars from their production variant, racing organizers refused to homologate the model and forced it to compete as a prototype instead of production model.

    Of the three cars Ferrari built, only one was actually raced in period. The car offered at Mecum’s Kissimmee was not that one, but S/N 6701, a sister car with all the same features.

    The Competizione Speciale was bid to $23 million and not sold. While this car is easily the next generation of the legendary 250 GTO, I believe it should be worth much more than the high bid here.

    They say value is in the eye of the beholder. With that, it has been widely accepted that Competizione Speciale S/N 6885, the Preston Henn car, has been touted to be the first $100 million Ferrari.

    With the result for 6701, regardless of Le Mans winning history, I find it difficult to believe S/N 6885 would bring anything close to $100 million.

    Then again, that would depend on the need/want/desire of a couple, or more, buyers.

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