5 car auction houses in Arizona sell 2,100 cars for $266.7 million

Fewer classic cars were sold during Arizona Car Week than in previous years, but some 2,100 vehicles changed hands and the five auction houses raised $266.7 million this year.

That total sales value is the second highest on record, behind only 2016’s record high of $307.3 million, according to the Michigan-based Hagerty Price Guide, which compiles data for the collector car industry.

Total sales this year exceeded Hagerty’s forecast of $211 million, a sign the company attributes to an “overheated” collector car market.

Barrett-Jackson was the week’s top seller, auctioning off 100% of its 1,841 cars for a total of $195.5 million. The auction house also sold the second most expensive car of the week.

The 2023 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 sold for $3.6 million, breaking Barrett-Jackson’s best-selling charity car record. Proceeds from the sale will benefit Operation Homefront, a Texas and Virginia-based nonprofit that helps military families.

Arizona’s total live auctions enjoyed appreciation, resulting in a 33% increase in the average car price, the share of cars under $50,000 falling 9%, and the share of more expensive vehicles, between $50,000 and $250,000, increasing by 10%, according to Hagerty.

Sales are at the top even as one of the state’s leading auction houses, Russo and Steele, canceled its auction this year. Company CEO Drew Alcazar said he plans to hold the event in 2023.

Figures include sales recorded by auction houses Barrett-Jackson, RM Sotheby’s, Bonhams, Worldwide Auctioneers and Gooding & Co.

Bestsellers at Barrett-Jackson

Barrett-Jackson raised $8.8 million for charity at the company’s 50th anniversary celebration at WestWorld of Scottsdale.

In addition to the 2023 Chevrolet Corvette Z06, cars auctioned for charity included:

  • A 1968 Ford Mustang Custom Fastback has sold for $1 million and will benefit the STARS Foundation.
  • A 2022 Toyota Tundra Capstone Hybrid Crewmax pickup and a 2022 Toyota Tundra TRD Pro Crewmax pickup were sold for $700,000 and $550,00, respectively, and will benefit the Toyota U.S. Paralympic Fund
  • Pitbull’s 2022 Karma GS-6 EV “305 Edition” sold for $500,000 and will benefit the Selfless Love Foundation and SLAM Foundation
  • 1973 De Tomaso Pantera by Bret Michaels sold for $155,000 to benefit the Barrow Neurological Foundation
  • Bret Michaels’ 2007 Bentley Continental GT sold for $126,500 and will benefit his nonprofit Life Rocks Foundation

Apart from charity cars:

  • A 2004 Porsche Carrera GT Coupe sold for $1,980,000
  • A 1955 Mercedes-Benz 300SL Gullwing coupe sold for $1,870,000
  • A 2015 Porsche 918 Spyder Roadster sold for $1,815,000

Three vehicles featured in the “Fast and Furious” series, including a 1956 Ford Fairlane, 1949 Chevrolet Fleetline, and 1987 Buick Grand National, sold for $27,500, $38,500, and $60,500, respectively.

David Spade’s 1968 Chevrolet Chevelle was sold for $374,000.

Top sellers in other auctions

Two of the top three bids came from RM Sotheby’s and one from Barrett-Jackson. The top sellers were:

  • $6,825,000 on a 1955 Mercedes-Benz 300SL aluminum butterfly coupe at RM Sotheby’s.
  • $3,700,000 on a 2023 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 Coupe at Barrett-Jackson.
  • $3,415,000 on a 1931 Duesenberg Model J Derham Tourster at RM Sotheby’s.

Worldwide Auctioneers also sold two million-dollar reserve cars, a 1929 Duesenberg Model J Derham Sedan for $2,260,000 and a 1935 Delahaye 135MS Competition Drophead Coupe for $1,435,000.

The top sale for Bonhams went to a 1958 AC Ace Roadster, which sold for $516,500.

The highest sale at Gooding & Co. was a 1961 Maserati 5000GT Touring Coupe which fetched $924,000.

Contact the reporter at rclo@arizonarepublic.com or 480-267-4703. Follow her on Twitter @renataclo.

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