February 6, 2013, 1:31 p.m.
With the dust just settling from a record-setting week of auctions in Scottsdale, Ariz., the classic car community is already looking forward to the next event on the calendar: the Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance.
The event is held annually in March, in the Florida coastal resort town just on the Georgia border. In addition to the Concours car show, RM Auctions and Gooding & Co. each hold auctions featuring millions of dollars of rare collectors cars. This year will be no different.
RM is the official auction house of this Concours event, and will have numerous rare cars expected to fetch north of $1 million each during the March 9 sale.
The highlight for RM will undoubtedly be a 1935 Duesenberg Model SJ Walker-LaGrande Convertible Coupe, which has a pre-sale estimate of $3.5 million to $5 million. RM says the car is one of only three made, and the only model with a supercharged version of the straight eight-cylinder engine. The car has 320 horsepower — a king’s sum for the day, and a three-speed manual transmission. This SJ also features a “semi-automatic” folding softtop which the driver could fold with the turn of a crank, a rarity for this era.
Another pre-war highlight of RM’s auction will be a 1930 Cord L-29 Sport Cabriolet. It’s one of three Cords RM is offering from an esteemed private collection. The car features coachwork built by a German company, making it the only surviving L-29 with a European body, RM said. The car’s pre-sale estimate is available only to registered bidders, but if it sells, it could top the $1 million mark.
RM’s other offerings expected to top $1 million include a 1939 Alfa Romeo 6C Sport Superleggera Berlinetta, a 1970 Porsche 908/3 race car, a 1954 Pegaso Z-102 Series II Cabriolet, a 1965 Ferrari 275 GTB, and a 1955 Mercedes-Benz 300SL Gullwing that’s been owned by a single family since it was bought new.
Meanwhile, rival auction house Gooding & Co. will also be bringing its share of pricey eye candy for auction on March 8.
One of the highlights of the Santa Monica-based company’s auction will be a 1928 Bentley 4 ½ liter Semi LeMans Tourer. This non-supercharged car was upgraded to racing specifications similar to the Bentleys of the era that were racing in the then-nascent 24 Hours of LeMans endurance race. Gooding’s pre-sale estimate is $2 million to $2.5 million.
The company will also offer a gorgeous 1953 Fiat 8V Supersonic. This particular model is the first of only 12 made and won Best in Class at the 2011 Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance. Gooding says it features its original engine with only 20,000 miles on it, the original paint, interior and even the Pirelli tires. The car’s pre-sale estimate is $1.1 million to $1.4 million.
Other highlights of Gooding’s auction will include a 1965 Aston Martin Short Chassis Volante, a 1966 Ferrari 275 GTS, and a 1949 Jaguar XK120 Alloy Roadster.
Both auction companies say they’ll be releasing additional cars in the weeks leading up to the Amelia auction, so check back with Highway 1 for more updates, include a ride-along in a very unique offering.