The latest Arizona auction week came to a close with what can probably be called subdued excitement. As always, the cars were thrilling, some of the prices staggering, and classic car enthusiasts were left begging for more. Over the seven day period, 3,486 cars crossed the block with nearly $260 million trading hands. When compared to 2016, there were more cars available and consequently, more sold, to the tune of $9 million more. Big numbers but that’s where excitement can be tempered a little. There was about a 12 percent increase this year in the number of cars available. The average sale price actually fell about 11 percent compared to 2016.
The rarified air was crossed by Bonhams with its sale of a 1963 Jaguar E-type lightweight for $7.37 million. RM Sotheby’s followed it up with the sale of a 1939 Mercedes-Benz 540K Special Roadster for over $6.5 million. Doing its best to not be outdone, Gooding & Co hammered a $3.3 million sale price for a 1935 Bugatti Type 35 Grand Prix car, pictured above. All very rare and beautiful cars.
One segment that proved strong is with vehicles in the low $100,000 range where most buyers reside. Trucks, such as Dodge Power Wagons and Ford Broncos, were particularly popular with nearly all going to new owners. And to get even more specific, early 1970s muscle cars such as Chargers and Challengers on up to 1980 icons like the Corvette, Mustang and Firebird, all saw higher prices than what was expected.
And the cars selling in that sub-$100K range at least seems somewhat affordable to enthusiasts. These are the classic cars we love. We either know the cars from our childhood or teenage years and would love to own one now. With that in mind, classic car fans should plan at least one trip to Scottsdale. Even if not to buy, at least take in the excitement of Arizona auction week.
All images copyright and courtesy of Gooding & Company. Photos by Mike Maez and Jensen Sutta.