Arizona Auction Week Recap

Even with fewer cars and fewer auctions than pre-COVID days, Arizona’s Auction Week concluded on Jan. 30 with record-breaking results. During the week, the auction houses collected a cool $275 million with results still trickling in. In total, over 2,100 vehicles were hammered sold at six auction houses.

There were only thirteen days of physical auctions spread over six auction tents, and several auction houses opted to forgo on-site activities and participate virtually. While Gooding & Company had the cars in Scottsdale, Arizona, the company elected to have an online-only event. Russo and Steele, headquartered in Scottsdale, Arizona, also chose to sit this one out, as did Leake Auction.

RM Sothebys had a one-night sale and took the prize for the highest-selling car with an “alloy” 1955 Mercedes-Benz 300SL Gullwing, which sold for $6,825,000. The auction house also sold a 1931 Duesenberg Model J for $3,415,000. The top ten cars from the sale all topped $1 million each. (All prices in this article include a buyer’s premium which is generally 10% of the final bid price).

Worldwide Auctioneers also had a night sale with almost $10 million changing hands. A 1929 Duesenberg Model J sold for a hefty $2,260,000 and a 1935 Delahaye coupe sold for $1,435,000.

Gooding’s online auction brought in almost $7 million, but only had 56 vehicles available to bid on. Among those sold was a 1963 Split Window Corvette that fetched $335,000, proving the C3 sports cars are still in demand.

Nearly 100 vehicles in the Bonhams catalog sold for a total of over $11 million. A 1949 Buick Roadmaster used in the Tom Cruise movie, “Rain Man” sold for $335,000.

Barrett-Jackson sold all of its vehicles, over 1,800 without a reserve, totaling nearly $200,000,000. Over the seven days of live auctions, drawing large crowds and many bidders, with live television coverage adding to the draw. The first 2023 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 sold for $3.7 million with the proceeds going to charity.

The Mecum auction, held earlier in January, also sold over $217 million worth of cars, suggesting that the prices of collector cars are rising and the market is still strong. The week of the Arizona auctions often forecasts what the rest of the year will look like, so the balance of 2022 might be an exceptional year for classic cars.

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