The collector vehicle market began 2022 on a high note, with Mecum Auctions’ stunning performance at its annual New Year Kissimmee auction, which greatly increased the world record gross for a single automotive auction event to US$217 million. In 2015, RM Sotheby’s staged a three-day auction during Monterey Car Week that generated $172.9 million, including the $75.4-million Pinnacle Portfolio, four cars over $10 million, three cars over $5 million, and a total of 36 million-dollar autos. A 1964 Ferrari 250 LM sold for $17,600,000, followed by a 1998 McLaren F1 ‘LM-Specification’ for $13,750,000, a 1956 Ferrari 250 GT ‘Tour de France’ for $13,200,000, and a 1953 Jaguar Lightweight Works C-Type for $13,200,000.
RM SOTHEBY’S MONTEREY 2015 RESULTS:
A new benchmark for collectible auto auctions. Before that record, RM Auctions (the Sotheby’s merger was finalized before Monterey 2015) had established a new threshold for sales at Monterey in 2014 with $143.4 million. 35 lots sold for $1 million or more, topped by the 1964 Ferrari 275 GTB/C Speciale ($26.4 million), the 1964 Ferrari 250 LM ($11.5 million), and the ex-Steve McQueen 1967 Ferrari 275 GTB/4 for a record $10,175,000.
Before that, the record was held by Gooding & Co, which grossed $113.7 million at its 2012 Pebble Beach Auction, where it sold 24 cars for over $1 million, led by the legendary 1936 von Krieger Mercedes-Benz 540 K Special Roadster ($11,770,000), which set a world record for a Mercedes-Benz and another for a pre-war car at auction. A couple of expensive goods are typically required to achieve a world record gross, and a 1960 Ferrari 250 GT LWB California Spider sold at the same auction for $11,275,000, setting a world record for a California Spider.
Consequently, Mecum’s performance is all the more commendable. The final amount of car sales for the 11-day event in Kissimmee was $213 million. Another $2.66 million in road art sales contributed to the total, but what was most amazing was the composition of the $217 million, which accounted for about two-thirds of the $343 million in total sales at Monterey Car Week in 2021, based on the results of all auction houses.
The 1965 Shelby GT350R Prototype topped the list with a price tag of $3.75 million, just edging out the 2020 McLaren Speedtail, which sold for $3,300,000.
The majority of the $217 million comprised mid-range collectible automobiles, with 2,954 vehicles selling at a 90 percent sell-through rate. Since the Mecum Kissimmee sale’s inception, the average price of an automobile in Kissimmee has climbed a year, but in 2021, the average price rose from $49,112 to $74,213. That is also the most automobiles ever sold at a single auction.