American marques shine in Amelia Island auctions
Gorgeous pre-World War II examples from defunct luxury American automakers dominated the $55 million auctions.
The annual auctions and Concours d'Elegance on Florida's northernmost coast may be a fraction of those seen at Pebble Beach and Scottsdale, yet it attracts a considerable -- and wealthy -- international following. Lamborghini flew its one and only 1968 Miura Roadster from Switzerland for display.
Many of the impressive lots from Gooding & Co. and RM Auctions were storied American marques. A cranberry 1935 Duesenberg Model SJ Walker-LaGrande, one of only three made, sold for $4.51 million.
More famous American cars were on display, such as a 1933 Stutz DV32 Convertible Victoria (pictured above) which sold for a record $1.51 million and a trio of Cord L-29s, plus three more 810 and 812 models, which featured some of the earliest pop-up headlight designs. A maroon 1948 Tucker 48 -- one of just 51 and once owned by filmmaker George Lucas -- saw a high bid of $1.47 million but didn't reach its reserve.
This 1948 Tucker 48, one of 51 ever made, was too ahead of its time. (RM Auctions)
Two 1970s muscle cars saw six-figure price tags: a 1971 Oldsmobile 442 W-30 Convertible sold for nearly $190,000 and a 1973 Pontiac Firebird Super Duty 455 went for $165,000.
Four pristine pedal cars, including one modeled after a 1949 Austin and three more based on 1932 Fords, sold for a combined $24,725. A 108-year-old electric car from Switzerland, the Tribelhorn Electric Brougham, sold for $77,000. A dark green Le Mans-spec 1928 Bentley 4 1/2 liter, perhaps the mightiest of all European cars from the 1920s, went off the floor for $2.75 million.
This children's toy sold for more than $12,000 -- without an engine. Take that, Power Wheels. (RM Auctions)
A few modern cars, such as a 1995 Ferrari F50 -- a predecessor to the LaFerrari unveiled in Geneva -- went for $1.37 million, more than double its original price. Five more Ferraris sold for more than $1 million each, an unsurprising occurrence like that at Scottsdale in January.
On the lawn, judges awarded a 1968 Ford GT40 in full Gulf racing livery that beat Ferrari in the 1968 and 1969 24 Hours of Le Mans as "Best in Show Concours de Sport." A 1936 Duesenberg SJN took the "Best in Show Concours d'Elegance."
The next great classic car show, the Villa d'Este Concorso d'Eleganza, runs in Italy from May 24-26.
See the full list of auction sales, with photos, in the links below.
[Source: Gooding & Co., RM Auctions]
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