Amelia Island Auctions: Promising signs for the collector car market

Amelia Island Auctions: Promis...
Just two of the usual three big auction houses fronted at Amelia Island this year with Gooding & Company electing to continue its Geared Online auction development, while market-leader RM-Sotheby's (pictured) and Bonhams elected to do both in-person and online.
Just two of the usual three big auction houses fronted at Amelia Island this year wit Gooding & Company electing to continue its Geared Online auction development while market-leader RM-Sotheby's (pictured) and Bonhams elected to do both in-person and online.
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This 1948 Talbot-Lago T26 Record Sport Coupe de Ville by Saoutchik was passed in at RM-Sotheby's Amelia Island Auction on May 22, 2021
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This 1948 Talbot-Lago T26 Record Sport Coupe de Ville by Saoutchik was passed in at RM-Sotheby's Amelia Island Auction on May 22, 2021
This 1965 Shelby Cobra 289 R&P Roadster sold for $967,500 at RM-Sotheby's Amelia Island Auction on May 22, 2021
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This 1965 Shelby Cobra 289 R&P Roadster sold for $967,500 at RM-Sotheby's Amelia Island Auction on May 22, 2021
This 1966 Lamborghini 400 GT 2+2 BY TOURING sold for $522,000 at RM-Sotheby's Amelia Island Auction on May 22, 2021
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This 1966 Lamborghini 400 GT 2+2 BY TOURING sold for $522,000 at RM-Sotheby's Amelia Island Auction on May 22, 2021
This 1936 Packard Twelve Sport Phaeton sold for $600,000 at RM-Sotheby's Amelia Island Auction on May 22, 2021
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This 1936 Packard Twelve Sport Phaeton sold for $600,000 at RM-Sotheby's Amelia Island Auction on May 22, 2021
This 1992 Ferrari F40 Coupe sold for $2,040,000 at RM-Sotheby's Amelia Island Auction on May 22, 2021
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This 1992 Ferrari F40 Coupe sold for $2,040,000 at RM-Sotheby's Amelia Island Auction on May 22, 2021
This 1947 Delahaye 135M Convertible was passed in at Bonhams' Amelia Island Auction on May 20, 2021
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This 1947 Delahaye 135M Convertible was passed in at Bonhams' Amelia Island Auction on May 20, 2021
This 1906 Stanley 30Hp "Vanderbilt" was passed in at Bonhams' Amelia Island Auction on May 20, 2021
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This 1906 Stanley 30Hp "Vanderbilt" was passed in at Bonhams' Amelia Island Auction on May 20, 2021
This 1886 Benz Patent-Motorwagen Replica sold for $84,000 at RM-Sotheby's Amelia Island Auction on May 22, 2021
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This 1886 Benz Patent-Motorwagen Replica sold for $84,000 at RM-Sotheby's Amelia Island Auction on May 22, 2021
This 1886 Benz Patent-Motorwagen Replica sold for $84,000 at RM-Sotheby's Amelia Island Auction on May 22, 2021
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This 1886 Benz Patent-Motorwagen Replica sold for $84,000 at RM-Sotheby's Amelia Island Auction on May 22, 2021
This 1958 F.M.R. TG 500 ’T’iger sold for $89,600 at RM-Sotheby's Amelia Island Auction on May 22, 2021
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This 1958 F.M.R. TG 500 ’T’iger sold for $89,600 at RM-Sotheby's Amelia Island Auction on May 22, 2021
This 1958 F.M.R. TG 500 ’T’iger sold for $89,600 at RM-Sotheby's Amelia Island Auction on May 22, 2021
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This 1958 F.M.R. TG 500 ’T’iger sold for $89,600 at RM-Sotheby's Amelia Island Auction on May 22, 2021
This 1933 Chrysler Imperial Model Cl Dual Cowl Phaeton was passed in at Bonhams' Amelia Island Auction on May 20, 2021
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This 1933 Chrysler Imperial Model Cl Dual Cowl Phaeton was passed in at Bonhams' Amelia Island Auction on May 20, 2021
This 1959 Fiat 500 Jolly By Ghia sold for $106,400 at RM-Sotheby's Amelia Island Auction on May 22, 2021
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This 1959 Fiat 500 Jolly By Ghia sold for $106,400 at RM-Sotheby's Amelia Island Auction on May 22, 2021
This 1958 Mercedes-Benz 300SL Roadster sold for $923,500 at RM-Sotheby's Amelia Island Auction on May 22, 2021
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This 1958 Mercedes-Benz 300SL Roadster sold for $923,500 at RM-Sotheby's Amelia Island Auction on May 22, 2021
This 1959 Fiat-Abarth 750 Gt 'Double Bubble' Coupe Zagato sold for $123,200 at RM-Sotheby's Amelia Island Auction on May 22, 2021
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This 1959 Fiat-Abarth 750 Gt 'Double Bubble' Coupe Zagato sold for $123,200 at RM-Sotheby's Amelia Island Auction on May 22, 2021
This 1981 Toyota Fj43 Land Cruiser Hardtop sold for $179,200 at RM-Sotheby's Amelia Island Auction on May 22, 2021
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This 1981 Toyota Fj43 Land Cruiser Hardtop sold for $179,200 at RM-Sotheby's Amelia Island Auction on May 22, 2021
This 1980 BMW M1 sold for $417,500 at RM-Sotheby's Amelia Island Auction on May 22, 2021
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This 1980 BMW M1 sold for $417,500 at RM-Sotheby's Amelia Island Auction on May 22, 2021
This 1980 BMW M1 sold for $417,500 at RM-Sotheby's Amelia Island Auction on May 22, 2021
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This 1980 BMW M1 sold for $417,500 at RM-Sotheby's Amelia Island Auction on May 22, 2021
This 2012 Lexus LFA sold for $720,000 at RM-Sotheby's Amelia Island Auction on May 22, 2021
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This 2012 Lexus LFA sold for $720,000 at RM-Sotheby's Amelia Island Auction on May 22, 2021
This 1960 Chevrolet Corvette LM sold for $758,500 at RM-Sotheby's Amelia Island Auction on May 22, 2021
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This 1960 Chevrolet Corvette LM sold for $758,500 at RM-Sotheby's Amelia Island Auction on May 22, 2021
This 1908 Simplex 50Hp "Speedcar" sold for $610,000 at Bonhams' Amelia Island Auction on May 20, 2021
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This 1908 Simplex 50Hp "Speedcar" sold for $610,000 at Bonhams' Amelia Island Auction on May 20, 2021
This 1935 Auburn 851 Supercharged Boattail Speedster sold for $456,000 at Bonhams' Amelia Island Auction on May 20, 2021
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This 1935 Auburn 851 Supercharged Boattail Speedster sold for $456,000 at Bonhams' Amelia Island Auction on May 20, 2021
This 1928 Mercedes-Benz 630 K 'La Baule' Torpedo Transformable was passed in at Bonhams' Amelia Island Auction on May 20, 2021
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This 1928 Mercedes-Benz 630 K 'La Baule' Torpedo Transformable was passed in at Bonhams' Amelia Island Auction on May 20, 2021
This 1935 Godsal Sports Tourer by Corsica sold after the auction for an undisclosed amount at Bonhams' Amelia Island Auction on May 20, 2021
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This 1935 Godsal Sports Tourer by Corsica sold after the auction for an undisclosed amount at Bonhams' Amelia Island Auction on May 20, 2021
This 1912 Stutz Bearcat Roadster sold for $643,000 at Bonhams' Amelia Island Auction on May 20, 2021
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This 1912 Stutz Bearcat Roadster sold for $643,000 at Bonhams' Amelia Island Auction on May 20, 2021
This 2015 Porsche 918 Spyder Roadster sold for $1,182,000 at RM-Sotheby's Amelia Island Auction on May 22, 2021
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This 2015 Porsche 918 Spyder Roadster sold for $1,182,000 at RM-Sotheby's Amelia Island Auction on May 22, 2021
This Mountain Touring Coach by Boccardi E Alessio of Turin sold for $162,575 at Bonhams' Amelia Island Auction on May 20, 2021
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This Mountain Touring Coach by Boccardi E Alessio of Turin sold for $162,575 at Bonhams' Amelia Island Auction on May 20, 2021
This 1909 Rolls-Royce 40/50Hp Silver Ghost Open Drive Landaulette was passed in at Bonhams' Amelia Island Auction on May 20, 2021
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This 1909 Rolls-Royce 40/50Hp Silver Ghost Open Drive Landaulette was passed in at Bonhams' Amelia Island Auction on May 20, 2021
This 1929 Duesenberg Model J Murphy Torpedo Convertible Coupe sold for $5,725,000 at RM-Sotheby's Amelia Island Auction on May 22, 2021
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This 1929 Duesenberg Model J Murphy Torpedo Convertible Coupe sold for $5,725,000 at RM-Sotheby's Amelia Island Auction on May 22, 2021
This 1929 Duesenberg Model J Murphy Torpedo Convertible Coupe sold for $5,725,000 at RM-Sotheby's Amelia Island Auction on May 22, 2021
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This 1929 Duesenberg Model J Murphy Torpedo Convertible Coupe sold for $5,725,000 at RM-Sotheby's Amelia Island Auction on May 22, 2021
This 1929 Duesenberg Model J Murphy Torpedo Convertible Coupe sold for $5,725,000 at RM-Sotheby's Amelia Island Auction on May 22, 2021
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This 1929 Duesenberg Model J Murphy Torpedo Convertible Coupe sold for $5,725,000 at RM-Sotheby's Amelia Island Auction on May 22, 2021
This 1929 Duesenberg Model J Murphy Torpedo Convertible Coupe sold for $5,725,000 at RM-Sotheby's Amelia Island Auction on May 22, 2021
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This 1929 Duesenberg Model J Murphy Torpedo Convertible Coupe sold for $5,725,000 at RM-Sotheby's Amelia Island Auction on May 22, 2021
This 1961 Ferrari 250 GT Cabriolet Series II sold for $1,490,000 at RM-Sotheby's Amelia Island Auction on May 22, 2021
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This 1961 Ferrari 250 GT Cabriolet Series II sold for $1,490,000 at RM-Sotheby's Amelia Island Auction on May 22, 2021
This 1934 Mercedes-Benz 500K Sindelfingen Roadster sold for $4,900,000 at Bonhams' Amelia Island Auction on May 20, 2021
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This 1934 Mercedes-Benz 500K Sindelfingen Roadster sold for $4,900,000 at Bonhams' Amelia Island Auction on May 20, 2021
This 1934 Mercedes-Benz 500K Sindelfingen Roadster sold for $4,900,000 at Bonhams' Amelia Island Auction on May 20, 2021
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This 1934 Mercedes-Benz 500K Sindelfingen Roadster sold for $4,900,000 at Bonhams' Amelia Island Auction on May 20, 2021
This 1995 Ferrari F50 Coupe sold for $3,772,500 at RM-Sotheby's Amelia Island Auction on May 22, 2021
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This 1995 Ferrari F50 Coupe sold for $3,772,500 at RM-Sotheby's Amelia Island Auction on May 22, 2021
This 1968 Ferrari 275 GTB/4 Coupe sold for $2,810,000 at RM-Sotheby's Amelia Island Auction on May 22, 2021
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This 1968 Ferrari 275 GTB/4 Coupe sold for $2,810,000 at RM-Sotheby's Amelia Island Auction on May 22, 2021
This 1935 Mercedes-Benz 500K Sindelfingen Special Roadster sold for $1,600,000 at RM-Sotheby's Amelia Island Auction on May 22, 2021
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This 1935 Mercedes-Benz 500K Sindelfingen Special Roadster sold for $1,600,000 at RM-Sotheby's Amelia Island Auction on May 22, 2021
This 1935 Mercedes-Benz 500K Sindelfingen Special Roadster sold for $1,600,000 at RM-Sotheby's Amelia Island Auction on May 22, 2021
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This 1935 Mercedes-Benz 500K Sindelfingen Special Roadster sold for $1,600,000 at RM-Sotheby's Amelia Island Auction on May 22, 2021
This 1935 Mercedes-Benz 500K Sindelfingen Special Roadster sold for $1,600,000 at RM-Sotheby's Amelia Island Auction on May 22, 2021
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This 1935 Mercedes-Benz 500K Sindelfingen Special Roadster sold for $1,600,000 at RM-Sotheby's Amelia Island Auction on May 22, 2021
This 1971 Ferrari 365 GTS/4 Daytona Spider sold for $2,452,500 at RM-Sotheby's Amelia Island Auction on May 22, 2021
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This 1971 Ferrari 365 GTS/4 Daytona Spider sold for $2,452,500 at RM-Sotheby's Amelia Island Auction on May 22, 2021
This 1913 Mercer Type 35K Runabout sold for $2,425,000 at Bonhams' Amelia Island Auction on May 20, 2021
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This 1913 Mercer Type 35K Runabout sold for $2,425,000 at Bonhams' Amelia Island Auction on May 20, 2021
This 1934 Bugatti Type 57 Franay Cabriolet sold for $1,325,000 at Bonhams' Amelia Island Auction on May 20, 2021
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This 1934 Bugatti Type 57 Franay Cabriolet sold for $1,325,000 at Bonhams' Amelia Island Auction on May 20, 2021
This 1933 Duesenberg Model J LaGrande Dual Cowl Phaeton sold for $1,655,000 at Bonhams' Amelia Island Auction on May 20, 2021
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This 1933 Duesenberg Model J LaGrande Dual Cowl Phaeton sold for $1,655,000 at Bonhams' Amelia Island Auction on May 20, 2021
This 1928 Mercedes-Benz 630 K 'La Baule' Torpedo Transformable was passed in at Bonhams' Amelia Island Auction on May 20, 2021
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This 1928 Mercedes-Benz 630 K 'La Baule' Torpedo Transformable was passed in at Bonhams' Amelia Island Auction on May 20, 2021
This 1933 Chrysler Imperial Model Cl Dual Cowl Phaeton was passed in at Bonhams' Amelia Island Auction on May 20, 2021
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This 1933 Chrysler Imperial Model Cl Dual Cowl Phaeton was passed in at Bonhams' Amelia Island Auction on May 20, 2021
This 1908 Simplex 50Hp "Speedcar" sold for $610,000 at Bonhams' Amelia Island Auction on May 20, 2021
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This 1908 Simplex 50Hp "Speedcar" sold for $610,000 at Bonhams' Amelia Island Auction on May 20, 2021
This 1935 Auburn 851 Supercharged Boattail Speedster sold for $456,000 at Bonhams' Amelia Island Auction on May 20, 2021
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This 1935 Auburn 851 Supercharged Boattail Speedster sold for $456,000 at Bonhams' Amelia Island Auction on May 20, 2021
This Mountain Touring Coach by Boccardi E Alessio of Turin sold for $162,575 at Bonhams' Amelia Island Auction on May 20, 2021
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This Mountain Touring Coach by Boccardi E Alessio of Turin sold for $162,575 at Bonhams' Amelia Island Auction on May 20, 2021
This Mercedes-Benz CLK DTM AMG sold for $472,500 at RM-Sotheby’s Amelia Island Auction on May 22, 2021
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This Mercedes-Benz CLK DTM AMG sold for $472,500 at RM-Sotheby’s Amelia Island Auction on May 22, 2021
This 1975 BMW 2002 Turbo sold for $140,000 at Bonhams’ Amelia Island Auction on May 20, 2021
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This 1975 BMW 2002 Turbo sold for $140,000 at Bonhams’ Amelia Island Auction on May 20, 2021
This 2007 Ferrari 599 GTB Fiorano sold for $692,500 at RM-Sotheby’s Amelia Island Auction on May 22, 2021
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This 2007 Ferrari 599 GTB Fiorano sold for $692,500 at RM-Sotheby’s Amelia Island Auction on May 22, 2021
This 1995 Ferrari F50 Coupe sold for $3,772,500 at RM-Sotheby's Amelia Island Auction on May 22, 2021, which represents a $550,000 increase in value for the car in just 15 months. The car sold previously for $3,222,500 at Gooding & Company's Scottsdale 2020 sale
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This 1995 Ferrari F50 Coupe sold for $3,772,500 at RM-Sotheby's Amelia Island Auction on May 22, 2021, which represents a $550,000 increase in value for the car in just 15 months. The car sold previously for $3,222,500 at Gooding & Company's Scottsdale 2020 sale

This 1971 Ferrari 365 GTS/4 Daytona Spider sold for $2,452,500 at RM-Sotheby's Amelia Island Auction on May 22, 2021
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This 1971 Ferrari 365 GTS/4 Daytona Spider sold for $2,452,500 at RM-Sotheby's Amelia Island Auction on May 22, 2021
This 1968 Ferrari 275 GTB/4 Coupe sold for $2,810,000 at RM-Sotheby's Amelia Island Auction on May 22, 2021
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This 1968 Ferrari 275 GTB/4 Coupe sold for $2,810,000 at RM-Sotheby's Amelia Island Auction on May 22, 2021
This 1929 Duesenberg Model J Murphy Torpedo Convertible Coupe sold for $5,725,000 at RM-Sotheby's Amelia Island Auction on May 22, 2021
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This 1929 Duesenberg Model J Murphy Torpedo Convertible Coupe sold for $5,725,000 at RM-Sotheby's Amelia Island Auction on May 22, 2021
This 1929 Duesenberg Model J Murphy Torpedo Convertible Coupe sold for $5,725,000 at RM-Sotheby's Amelia Island Auction on May 22, 2021
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This 1929 Duesenberg Model J Murphy Torpedo Convertible Coupe sold for $5,725,000 at RM-Sotheby's Amelia Island Auction on May 22, 2021
This 1992 Ferrari F40 Coupe sold for $2,040,000 at RM-Sotheby's Amelia Island Auction on May 22, 2021
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This 1992 Ferrari F40 Coupe sold for $2,040,000 at RM-Sotheby's Amelia Island Auction on May 22, 2021
This 1958 Mercedes-Benz 300SL Roadster sold for $923,500 at RM-Sotheby's Amelia Island Auction on May 22, 2021
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This 1958 Mercedes-Benz 300SL Roadster sold for $923,500 at RM-Sotheby's Amelia Island Auction on May 22, 2021
This 1935 Mercedes-Benz 500K Sindelfingen Special Roadster sold for $1,600,000 at RM-Sotheby's Amelia Island Auction on May 22, 2021
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This 1935 Mercedes-Benz 500K Sindelfingen Special Roadster sold for $1,600,000 at RM-Sotheby's Amelia Island Auction on May 22, 2021
Just two of the usual three big auction houses fronted at Amelia Island this year with Gooding & Company electing to continue its Geared Online auction development, while market-leader RM-Sotheby's (pictured) and Bonhams elected to do both in-person and online.
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Just two of the usual three big auction houses fronted at Amelia Island this year wit Gooding & Company electing to continue its Geared Online auction development while market-leader RM-Sotheby's (pictured) and Bonhams elected to do both in-person and online.
Just two of the usual three big auction houses fronted at Amelia Island this year wit Gooding & Company electing to continue its Geared Online auction development while market-leader RM-Sotheby's (pictured) and Bonhams elected to do both in-person and online.
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Just two of the usual three big auction houses fronted at Amelia Island this year wit Gooding & Company electing to continue its Geared Online auction development while market-leader RM-Sotheby's (pictured) and Bonhams elected to do both in-person and online.
This 2012 Lexus LFA sold for $720,000 at RM-Sotheby's Amelia Island Auction on May 22, 2021
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This 2012 Lexus LFA sold for $720,000 at RM-Sotheby's Amelia Island Auction on May 22, 2021
This 1991 Lamborghini Diablo sold for $274,400 at RM Sotheby's Amelia Island Auction on May 22, 2021
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This 1991 Lamborghini Diablo sold for $274,400 at RM Sotheby's Amelia Island Auction on May 22, 2021
This 1935 Godsal Sports Tourer by Corsica sold after the auction for an undisclosed amount at Bonhams' Amelia Island Auction on May 20, 2021
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This 1935 Godsal Sports Tourer by Corsica sold after the auction for an undisclosed amount at Bonhams' Amelia Island Auction on May 20, 2021
This 1912 Stutz Bearcat Roadster sold for $643,000 at Bonhams' Amelia Island Auction on May 20, 2021
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This 1912 Stutz Bearcat Roadster sold for $643,000 at Bonhams' Amelia Island Auction on May 20, 2021
This Mountain Touring Coach by Boccardi E Alessio of Turin sold for $162,575 at Bonhams' Amelia Island Auction on May 20, 2021
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This Mountain Touring Coach by Boccardi E Alessio of Turin sold for $162,575 at Bonhams' Amelia Island Auction on May 20, 2021
One of the bargains of the Amelia Island auctions this year was this 1908 Simplex 50Hp "Speedcar" that sold for $610,000 at Bonhams' on May 20, 2021. The car has completed the Pebble Beach Tour d'Elegance and the Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance several times.
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One of the bargains of the Amelia Island auctions this year was this 1908 Simplex 50Hp "Speedcar" that sold for $610,000 at Bonhams' on May 20, 2021. The car has completed the Pebble Beach Tour d'Elegance and the Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance several times.
One of the bargains of the Amelia Island auctions this year was this 1908 Simplex 50Hp "Speedcar" that sold for $610,000 at Bonhams' on May 20, 2021. The car has completed the Pebble Beach Tour d'Elegance and the Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance several times.
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One of the bargains of the Amelia Island auctions this year was this 1908 Simplex 50Hp "Speedcar" that sold for $610,000 at Bonhams' on May 20, 2021. The car has completed the Pebble Beach Tour d'Elegance and the Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance several times.
View gallery - 69 images

The collector car auction marketplace returned to something resembling normality at Amelia Island, with RM-Sotheby’s and Bonhams returning to live audience auctions, and both delivering promising results.

Just RM-Sotheby’s and Bonhams held auctions with live audiences at Amelia Island this year, with Gooding & Co sitting it out.

Comparing last years stats for those two live auctions with this year’s stats showed some appreciable and quite positive differences (such as 2021 grossing $61.3 million, up from the $57.2 million in 2020) , but so much has changed in the total marketplace that we’re not sure attempting to compare this year’s Amelia Island auctions with 2020 offers any tangible insights.

Needless to say, there will always be a marketplace for in-person auctions, but the world is a large place, and the inevitability of the online auctioning of all goods has been dramatically catalyzed by the pandemic.

The success of online collectible car auction site BringaTrailer over the last 12 months since the last Amelia Island is probably the greatest single influence in the changes taking place in the marketplace.

Instead of roughly 25 percent of the value of a sale going to the auction house, transacting the entire process online significantly reduces the frictional losses. The maximum a seller pays, including professional photos) is $350, and if you win an auction on BringaTrailer, you pay the hammer price plus a 5 percent buyers premium that is capped at $5,000.

Those changes to the “normal” process are massive. If your car hammers for $1,000,000 at a traditional auction, you’ll get $875,000 and the purchaser will pay $1,125,000. On BringaTrailer, the same scenario will see you getting $999,501 and buyer would pay $1,005,000. That represents an economic imperative whose time has come.

Whereas buyers fees are a relatively recent addition to the auction process, auction houses will be very reluctant to reframe their fees and … that’s what happens when a disruptive technology comes along and disintermediates the major players of the previous era.

Massive change is afoot, and as we have known for a century and a half, the species that survives is the one that is able best to adapt and adjust to the changing environment in which it finds itself.

As usual, we’ve cherry-picked the most important and interesting cars that changed hands at Amelia Island and abbreviated their story, as well as providing all the links you might need for a deeper dive.

$5,725,000 | 1929 Duesenberg Model J Murphy Torpedo Convertible Coupe

This 1929 Duesenberg Model J Murphy Torpedo Convertible Coupe sold for $5,725,000 at RM-Sotheby's Amelia Island Auction on May 22, 2021
This 1929 Duesenberg Model J Murphy Torpedo Convertible Coupe sold for $5,725,000 at RM-Sotheby's Amelia Island Auction on May 22, 2021

RM Sotheby's | Auction Description
Estimate: $3,500,000 to $4,000,000
Walter M. Murphy is one of history’s great coach builders, and the “Disappearing Top” Convertible Coupe is his most celebrated design. In total, just 25 such “Disappearing Top” Convertible Coupes were built, with six of the even more dramatic “Disappearing Top” Torpedo Convertible Coupes. This car is one of the torpedo coupes and was delivered new 92 years ago with bare aluminum coachwork, a one-off tail, the stonking DOHC, four-valve, 420 cubic inch Duesenberg Straight-8 engine, and a top speed of 120 mph.

This 1929 Duesenberg Model J Murphy Torpedo Convertible Coupe sold for $5,725,000 at RM-Sotheby's Amelia Island Auction on May 22, 2021
This 1929 Duesenberg Model J Murphy Torpedo Convertible Coupe sold for $5,725,000 at RM-Sotheby's Amelia Island Auction on May 22, 2021

After selling for $3,000,000 at Scottsdale in 2016, the car was the recipient of a meticulous concours restoration by RM Auto Restoration, making its second “debut” at the 2019 Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance where it was judged Second in Class against formidable competition. It went on to appear at the 2020 Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance, where it achieved Best in Class, and has only ever been shown on those two occasions. A worthy winner of the most valuable car sold at a major auction cluster, and living testimony to the value of a quality restoration.

$4,900,000 | 1934 Mercedes-Benz 500K Sindelfingen Roadster

This 1934 Mercedes-Benz 500K Sindelfingen Roadster sold for $4,900,000 at Bonhams' Amelia Island Auction on May 20, 2021
This 1934 Mercedes-Benz 500K Sindelfingen Roadster sold for $4,900,000 at Bonhams' Amelia Island Auction on May 20, 2021

Bonhams | Auction Description
Estimate: $4,500,000 to $5,000,000
It is some time since a Mercedes Benz Special Roadster has sold for so little – indeed, the last time a Special Roadster sold for less than this was the same car when it was acquired by the vendor for €3,105,000 (US$4,224,973) at Bonhams’ inaugural 2014 Mercedes Benz Sale in Stuttgart . Other recent 540K Special Roadster sales have seen $6,600,000 in 2017, $9,900,000 in 2016, $7,480,000 in 2013, $11,770,000 in 2012 and $9,680,000 in 2011. This car is a 500K Special Roadster that was upgraded to 540K spec by the factory in period. It was discovered as a dismantled barn-find in 1970s Poland, making it one of the most valuable barn find cars of all-time, and was lovingly restored to spectacular condition by an owner who kept it for 40 years. The entire history of the car is in the auction description and worth reading.

$3,772,500 | 1995 Ferrari F50 Coupe

This 1995 Ferrari F50 Coupe sold for $3,772,500 at RM-Sotheby's Amelia Island Auction on May 22, 2021, which represents a $550,000 increase in value for the car in just 15 months. The car sold previously for $3,222,500 at Gooding & Company's Scottsdale 2020 sale
This 1995 Ferrari F50 Coupe sold for $3,772,500 at RM-Sotheby's Amelia Island Auction on May 22, 2021, which represents a $550,000 increase in value for the car in just 15 months. The car sold previously for $3,222,500 at Gooding & Company's Scottsdale 2020 sale

RM Sotheby's | Auction Description
Estimate: $3,400,000 to $3,800,000
Debuting at the 1996 Geneva Motor Show, the Ferrari F50 was the culmination of everything Ferrari had learned in 50 years as the apex performance car predator. The $475,000 F50 offered state-of-the-art aerodynamics and a lightweight carbon-fiber tub, and the naturally-aspirated 4.7 liter V-12 engine was derived from the 3.5 liter V12 used in the 1990 Ferrari 641 Formula One car.

Another trick Ferrari learned along the way was to keep the numbers down in order to build the demand/supply ratio and reward its followers with forever appreciating assets. Ferrari built just 349 examples of its F50 supercar, and of those, only 55 were sold new in the U.S. Those U.S.-spec cars are always going to be the most valuable of the F50s at auction, and this car is from that same batch and is now the most valuable F50 ever sold at auction.

The $3,772,500 fetched by this car exceeded the $3,135,00 fetched by the first F50 to exceed the $3 million mark in Scottsdale in 2017, and the $3,222,500 it fetched by Gooding & Co at Scottsdale in 2020. The F50 had only crested the $2.0 million mark for the first time at Scottsdale one year prior in 2016, when the car from the 1996 Geneva show went up for sale at Gooding & Company. Quite clearly, Ferrari’s 50th anniversary car offers far better appreciation than bank interest, along with its many other alluring qualities.

$2,810,000 | 1968 Ferrari 275 GTB/4 Coupe

This 1968 Ferrari 275 GTB/4 Coupe sold for $2,810,000 at RM-Sotheby's Amelia Island Auction on May 22, 2021
This 1968 Ferrari 275 GTB/4 Coupe sold for $2,810,000 at RM-Sotheby's Amelia Island Auction on May 22, 2021

RM Sotheby's | Auction Description
Estimate: $2,500,000 to $2,800,000
One of 330 examples produced between 1966 and 1968, the Ferrari 275 GTB/4 is one of the most purposeful-looking and effective sports cars of its era. This car has been under same stewardship since 1973, having recently benefitted from a full restoration by leading specialist Bob Smith Coachworks. Presented in Giallo Solare paint with Campagnolo alloy wheels, the car sold for $2,810,000, matching its pre-sale high estimate. The Ferrari 275 GTB/4 has been selling in the $2,500,000 to $3,500,000 range for the best part of a decade now, and even near perfect examples seem unable to surpass the $4 million mark.

$2,452,500 | 1971 Ferrari 365 GTS/4 Daytona Spider

This 1971 Ferrari 365 GTS/4 Daytona Spider sold for $2,452,500 at RM-Sotheby's Amelia Island Auction on May 22, 2021
This 1971 Ferrari 365 GTS/4 Daytona Spider sold for $2,452,500 at RM-Sotheby's Amelia Island Auction on May 22, 2021

RM Sotheby's | Auction Description
Estimate: $2,200,000 to $2,800,000
This 1971 Ferrari 365 GTS/4 Daytona Spider was the 1972 New York International Automobile Show car, and has always been coveted and lightly used. The depressed value of the 365 GTS/4 Daytona Spider is difficult to fathom as extraordinary examples such as this one are now selling for nearly a million dollars less than they were more than five years ago. The model is one of Ferrari’s most spectacular performers in period (it is known as the Daytona thanks to the new 365 GTB/4 coupe taking a famous 1-2-3 win at the 24 Hours of Daytona in 1967) and only 121 examples were built. This Ferrari Classiche Certified car has matching numbers, is finished in its original colors of Giallo Fly over Pelle Nera and has covered 13,500 miles in exactly 50 years.

$2,425,000 | 1913 Mercer Type 35K Runabout

This 1913 Mercer Type 35K Runabout sold for $2,425,000 at Bonhams' Amelia Island Auction on May 20, 2021
This 1913 Mercer Type 35K Runabout sold for $2,425,000 at Bonhams' Amelia Island Auction on May 20, 2021

Bonhams | Auction Description
Estimate: $1,000,000 to $1,500,000
Mercers were effectively the first American “supercar” and became one the household names of American board track racing more than a century ago. As one of the most famous and revered American automobiles of the Brass Era, Mercers became one of the very first collectible cars. This car is the only surviving 1913 Type 35 Runabout, with external gearshift and 4-speed transmission and it shares all the mechanicals of the famous Raceabout that won countless races a century ago. As one of about 35 1911-1914 T-head Mercers still in existence, this rare Brass Era performance car went within $105,000 of the Marque auction record, currently held by a 1911 Mercer Type 35R Raceabout at $2,530,000.

$2,040,000 | 1992 Ferrari F40 Coupe

This 1992 Ferrari F40 Coupe sold for $2,040,000 at RM-Sotheby's Amelia Island Auction on May 22, 2021
This 1992 Ferrari F40 Coupe sold for $2,040,000 at RM-Sotheby's Amelia Island Auction on May 22, 2021

RM Sotheby's | Auction Description
Estimate: $1,800,000 to $2,200,000
The most expensive example of Ferrari’s 40th anniversary car ever sold at auction, this car is one of just 213 examples specified (with air-conditioning and catalytic converters) and delivered to North America from the entire model run of 1315 cars. This car is certified by Ferrari Classiche as a numbers-matching example retaining all of its major components, and has driven just 3300 miles in 29 years. The F40 was the last Ferrari developed under Enzo Ferrari. The previous auction record for an F40 was $1,710,000 achieved by RM-Sotheby’s at Monterey in 2018, and the prior record was $1,622,500 set by Gooding & Co at Amelia Island in 2015. This is the first F40 (other than an F40 LM model), to sell for more than $2.0 million.

$1,655,000 | 1933 Duesenberg Model J LaGrande Dual Cowl Phaeton

This 1933 Duesenberg Model J LaGrande Dual Cowl Phaeton sold for $1,655,000 at Bonhams' Amelia Island Auction on May 20, 2021
This 1933 Duesenberg Model J LaGrande Dual Cowl Phaeton sold for $1,655,000 at Bonhams' Amelia Island Auction on May 20, 2021

Bonhams | Auction Description
Estimate: $1,000,000 to $1,200,000
Just 12 examples of this iconic Gordon Buehrig body design were created. Known as the "Sweep Panel" Dual-Cowl Phaeton, the body was produced by the Union City Body Company, also owned by E.L. Cord, but like other "in-house" bodies was crowned with the pseudonym of LaGrande. Each example was delivered to Duesenberg "in the white," and finished by the factory's own highly skilled craftsmen before being mounted to a chassis and delivered to its owner. This car is certified Category 1 by the Auburn Cord Duesenberg (ACD) Club and has been a regular award-winner in concours competition for 70 years.

$1,600,000 | 1935 Mercedes-Benz 500K Sindelfingen Special Roadster

This 1935 Mercedes-Benz 500K Sindelfingen Special Roadster sold for $1,600,000 at RM-Sotheby's Amelia Island Auction on May 22, 2021
This 1935 Mercedes-Benz 500K Sindelfingen Special Roadster sold for $1,600,000 at RM-Sotheby's Amelia Island Auction on May 22, 2021

RM Sotheby's | Auction Description
Estimate: $1,000,000 to $1,500,000
Like most pre-war Mercedes-Benz cars, the supercharged eight-cylinder 500 K models of the late 1930s were all almost entirely fitted with coachwork from the manufacturer’s own Sindelfingen coachworks. Of the 342 chassis produced for the 500 K chassis, only 41 were sold “outside” to be clothed by other coachbuilders, and around ten are thought to have received bodies by British coachbuilders. This is one such car, having been created as a one-off body by the renowned old British firm of Windovers for wealthy young Brit William “Willie” Henry Rhodes-Moorhouse. Willie always had the best, driving a 90HP Grand Prix Fiat to and from his studies at Eton, obtaining his pilot’s license at the age of 17 and inheriting his father's estate of over £250,000 at the age of 19. At 21, Willie specified this car, enjoying it until the outbreak of war in 1939 when he joined the Royal Air Force. Willie won the Distinguished Flying Cross in 1940, but met his end during the Battle of Britain just a few months later. The car could easily be mistaken for the work of Figoni et Falaschi and is in extraordinary condition. A rare car and an excellent buy.

$1,490,000 | 1961 Ferrari 250 GT Cabriolet Series II

This 1961 Ferrari 250 GT Cabriolet Series II sold for $1,490,000 at RM-Sotheby's Amelia Island Auction on May 22, 2021
This 1961 Ferrari 250 GT Cabriolet Series II sold for $1,490,000 at RM-Sotheby's Amelia Island Auction on May 22, 2021

RM Sotheby's | Auction Description
Estimate: $1,000,000 to $1,500,000
Though this Ferrari Classiche certified car sold at the top end of its estimate, the price reflects the general malaise of post-war Ferrari prices at present, with the car having sold for $1,842,500 against an estimate of $1,800,000 to $2,200,000 at Gooding & Company’s Pebble Beach Auction in 2016. The car previously went to auction at RM's 2013 Villa Erba auction where it fetched €834,400 ($1,079,288). During the first collector car boom before Japan’s asset price bubble collapsed in1991, this car sold at auction in November 1990 for $532,000.

No sale | 1909 Rolls-Royce 40/50HP Silver Ghost Open Drive Landaulette

This 1909 Rolls-Royce 40/50Hp Silver Ghost Open Drive Landaulette was passed in at Bonhams' Amelia Island Auction on May 20, 2021
This 1909 Rolls-Royce 40/50Hp Silver Ghost Open Drive Landaulette was passed in at Bonhams' Amelia Island Auction on May 20, 2021

Bonhams | Auction Description
Estimate: $1,300,000 to $1,500,000 | High Bid: $980,000
The Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost model was the origin of Rolls-Royce's claim of making the "best car in the world" – a phrase coined by the prestigious publication Autocar in 1907. This car is one of oldest and most original Silver Ghosts in existence, being the third oldest Silver Ghost to retain its original body, which is Open Drive Landaulette coachwork by Barker. Though it didn’t even come close to its low estimate with a high bid of $980,000, it achieved one of the highest bids ever made for a Rolls-Royce 40/50hp Silver Ghost. The auction description is exceptionally well-written and is worth a read.

$1,325,000 | 1934 Bugatti Type 57 Franay Cabriolet

This 1934 Bugatti Type 57 Franay Cabriolet sold for $1,325,000 at Bonhams' Amelia Island Auction on May 20, 2021
This 1934 Bugatti Type 57 Franay Cabriolet sold for $1,325,000 at Bonhams' Amelia Island Auction on May 20, 2021

Bonhams | Auction Description
Estimate: $800,000 to $1,000,000
This is indeed a rare beast, being the only one of the 710 Bugatti Type 57 produced that was bodied by French coach builder, Franay. The car was ordered and delivered new to German movie star Hella Hartwich who was dating Austrian-American film director, producer and screenwriter Billy Wilder.

Having such a distinctive car, combined with two A-list celebrities living together in Paris with the car means that imagery of the car in period is all over the internet (try here, here, here, here, here, here, here, and here), and the provenance and unicorn status means it has been well documented in its travels since, which includes further movie association as part of the collection of famed French filmmaker Jean Rouch.

Perhaps the provenance made all the difference, or maybe it was the recent $650,000 restoration of the vehicle, but it sold well above its high estimate.

No sale | 1928 Mercedes-Benz 630 K 'La Baule' Torpedo Transformable

This 1928 Mercedes-Benz 630 K 'La Baule' Torpedo Transformable was passed in at Bonhams' Amelia Island Auction on May 20, 2021
This 1928 Mercedes-Benz 630 K 'La Baule' Torpedo Transformable was passed in at Bonhams' Amelia Island Auction on May 20, 2021

Bonhams | Auction Description
Estimate: $1,100,000 to $1,200,000 | High Bid: $850,000
It might be worth understanding exactly what this model designation means to help understand the gravity of this automobile. The engine was developed by none other than Ferdinand Porsche and is a 100 horsepower, SOHC 6240cc supercharged six-cylinder running through a four speed gearbox and the model was produced by Daimler (DMG) as the 24/100/140 before Daimler merged with Benz & Cie in 1926 to become Mercedes-Benz. In the 24/100/140 nomenclature, the 24 refers to the tax horsepower, the 100 refers to the standard actual horsepower and the 140 refers to the engageable supercharged horsepower. The coachwork is design patented by legendary coach builder Jacques Saoutchik featuring a three-position top that could be set fully open, fully closed, or with only the driver's compartment closed for formal use. The result was the fastest production touring car in the world with a factory claimed top speed above 90 mph. The history of the car is equally as impressive as the Porsche/Saoutchik design team – it was for many years in the Craven Foundation then spent decades in the famous Blackhawk Collection, but it also spent at least a decade as part of the Pacific Auto Rentals fleet, which supplied automobiles to the Hollywood film studios, and has at least one movie to its credit.

$1,182,000 | 2015 Porsche 918 Spyder Roadster

This 2015 Porsche 918 Spyder Roadster sold for $1,182,000 at RM-Sotheby's Amelia Island Auction on May 22, 2021
This 2015 Porsche 918 Spyder Roadster sold for $1,182,000 at RM-Sotheby's Amelia Island Auction on May 22, 2021

RM Sotheby's | Auction Description
Estimate: $1,000,000 to $1,200,000
Porsche’s 918 Spyder hybrid supercar produces 887 hp and 944 ft-lb of torque via two electric motors and a V8 motor. Just 918 were made between 2013 and 2015 and the queue was much longer than the 918 cars produced, adding an aftermarket premium to the original $929,000 Weissach version and the $845,000 standard versions, that still hasn’t seen the second-hand price drop below the new price, even six years later. Highly collectible, capable of putting a quarter mile behind it in less than 10 seconds, and Porsche’s first hybrid supercar. The Weissach version price record at auction stands at $1,980,000 set at Indianapolis in 2019, and the non-Weissach record was set at $1,842,500 by RM-Sotheby’s at Monterey in 2017.

$967,500 | 1965 Shelby Cobra 289 R&P Roadster

This 1965 Shelby Cobra 289 R&P Roadster sold for $967,500 at RM-Sotheby's Amelia Island Auction on May 22, 2021
This 1965 Shelby Cobra 289 R&P Roadster sold for $967,500 at RM-Sotheby's Amelia Island Auction on May 22, 2021

RM Sotheby's | Auction Description
Estimate: $850,000 to $950,000
This Shelby 289 Cobra (CSX 2547) was initially used at a Shelby American demonstrator between September 1964 and January 1965 and is one of very few Shelby Cobras ordered specifically for exhibition and demonstration purposes. It should be pointed out that a 289 Cobra took 7th place in the 1963 24 Hours of Le Mans, and Dan Gurney went on to be the first U.S. driver to win an FIA race in an American car at the Bridgehampton 500 KM in September of the same year. The following year at Le Mans, the Shelby Cobra won 4th place overall and 1st in the GT class. This particular car had a complete nut-and-bolt restoration by noted Cobra authority and restorer Mike McCluskey of Torrance, California, documented in an extensive photo album that accompanied the sale.

$923,500 | 1958 Mercedes-Benz 300SL Roadster

This 1958 Mercedes-Benz 300SL Roadster sold for $923,500 at RM-Sotheby's Amelia Island Auction on May 22, 2021
This 1958 Mercedes-Benz 300SL Roadster sold for $923,500 at RM-Sotheby's Amelia Island Auction on May 22, 2021

RM Sotheby's | Auction Description
Estimate: $800,000 to $1,000,000
Mercedes-Benz 300SL Roadsters have declined in value since COVID, but it’s highly unlikely that trend will continue in the long term, so now appears to be the ideal time to get your hands on one. This car is formerly of the famous Blackhawk Collection, and presents well in Fire Engine Red over Cognac leather, complete with matching Cognac luggage, Becker Mexico radio and set of color-matched steel wheels shod in wide whitewall tires. Last restored in the late 1990s.

$758,500 | 1960 Chevrolet Corvette LM

This 1960 Chevrolet Corvette LM sold for $758,500 at RM-Sotheby's Amelia Island Auction on May 22, 2021
This 1960 Chevrolet Corvette LM sold for $758,500 at RM-Sotheby's Amelia Island Auction on May 22, 2021

RM Sotheby's | Auction Description
Estimate: $900,000 to $1,300,000
This is a barn find with a twist - it is one of the most important Chevrolet Corvettes in existence, but it has a tale as intriguing as any John le Carré novel. Though it is in need of a complete restoration, it began its life in spectacular fashion as the Number One car in a Briggs Cunningham assault on the 1960 Le Mans 24 Hour race, developed with clandestine assistance by a General Motors team under Corvette lead Zora Arkus-Duntov. Indeed, Arkus-Duntov was listed as this car’s co-driver alongside Briggs Cunningham until GM intervened – Arkus-Duntov was far too important to the company to be risked in competition. This car crashed and burned at Le Mans, though one of its stablemates won the GT-5.0 class and finished 8th overall. The special engine provided by GM was removed and the car was sold after the race, subsequently being stolen and moving through countless hands before being spirited away in a barn for 37 years. When it was rediscovered in 2012, it became the subject of significant litigation which eventually decided that the car should be sold with ownership split three ways. Hagerty Insider reports that this car was purchased by a member of the Cunningham family, bringing it full circle from 1960 to the present. It will be restored to perfection and you will see this car again, proving that total redemption is indeed possible.

$720,000 | 2012 Lexus LFA

This 2012 Lexus LFA sold for $720,000 at RM-Sotheby's Amelia Island Auction on May 22, 2021
This 2012 Lexus LFA sold for $720,000 at RM-Sotheby's Amelia Island Auction on May 22, 2021

RM Sotheby's | Auction Description
Estimate: $425,000 to $500,000
Jeremy Clarkson described the Lexus LFA as “the best car I have ever driven,” whilst Motorsport Editor Andrew Frankel remarked, “Like the McLaren F1, it was made with no apparent regard for cost, just to be the best it could be…a landmark car, [whose] like we will not see again.” Very few Japanese cars have ever sold for more than a million United States dollars with the Toyota 2000GT the only road car to have done so, though the Lexus LFA blessed with the Nürburgring Package has gone close ($918,500, $885,000, $825,000 and $770,000) and will undoubtedly be the next model to do so. Lexus built just 500 LFA models, with 178 cars coming to the U.S. More importantly, just 50 of them received the limited-edition Nürburgring Package to celebrate the LFA’s Nürburgring production car lap record. Until now, all the high sales of the LFA have been limited to LFA Nürburgring packages, with the highest price fetched by a non-Nürburgring LFA being $428,125 in Abu Dhabi by RM-Sotheby’s in 2019. This car is a non-Nürburgring LFA and it sold for $720,000, indicating that perhaps the true significance of the car is finally being acknowledged at auction. It’s a model record … and then some.

$692,500 | 2007 Ferrari 599 GTB Fiorano

This 2007 Ferrari 599 GTB Fiorano sold for $692,500 at RM-Sotheby’s Amelia Island Auction on May 22, 2021
This 2007 Ferrari 599 GTB Fiorano sold for $692,500 at RM-Sotheby’s Amelia Island Auction on May 22, 2021

RM Sotheby's | Auction Description
Estimate: $500,000 to $650,000
One of only 30 six-speed manual transmission 599 GTB Fioranos, and just 20 that were delivered to North America. Having been driven under 3,200 miles from new, the rarity of this 599 GTB is matched only by its exceptional cosmetic and mechanical condition. Service documents accompanying the sale of this car reveal consistent maintenance from new; this continued under the care of the current private collector and consignor, who acquired the car in 2016. In addition to regular servicing to ensure optimal driving performance, the car’s switchgear was recently treated to remedy the widely known “sticky switch” issue affecting Ferrari interiors of this era. The result of this upkeep regimen is a stunning 599 GTB that presents in original, practically “as-new” condition inside and out—as well as under the hood. This sale represents a new model record for the Ferrari 599 GTB Fiorano, exceeding the previous model record of $682,000 set at the same RM-Sotheby’s Amelia Island auction in 2015.

Undisclosed Price | 1935 Godsal Sports Tourer by Corsica

This 1935 Godsal Sports Tourer by Corsica sold after the auction for an undisclosed amount at Bonhams' Amelia Island Auction on May 20, 2021
This 1935 Godsal Sports Tourer by Corsica sold after the auction for an undisclosed amount at Bonhams' Amelia Island Auction on May 20, 2021

Bonhams | Auction Description
Estimate: $750,000 to $950,000
This car was sold after it had been passed in with a high bid of $620,000. No doubt the final price for this landmark sportscar was somewhere between the $750,000 low estimate and the $620,000 high bid, but it was certainly well beyond the $203,500 paid when this car last went to auction at the same Bonhams' Amelia Island Auction in March 2017. Following its acquisition in 2017, the car was treated to a complete nut-and-bolt restoration which was documented in an episode of Chasing Classic Cars. In 2020 the Godsal was entered into the 2020 Amelia Island Concours D'elegance in the pre-war sports car class where it won "best in class". Awww ... we love a happy ending.

No sale | 1948 Talbot-Lago T26 Record Sport Coupe de Ville by Saoutchik

This 1948 Talbot-Lago T26 Record Sport Coupe de Ville by Saoutchik was passed in at RM-Sotheby's Amelia Island Auction on May 22, 2021
This 1948 Talbot-Lago T26 Record Sport Coupe de Ville by Saoutchik was passed in at RM-Sotheby's Amelia Island Auction on May 22, 2021

RM Sotheby's | Auction Description
Estimate: $600,000 to $700,000 | High Bid: $500,000
With a high bid of $500,000, this would have been a magnificent buy if the bid had been accepted. In 1948, this car would have unquestionably one of the fastest road cars in the world. One of approximately 35 examples of the rare Record Sport model, this car uses the T26 Grand Sport engine. The same base car, albeit with a streamlined body, finished 1-2 outright in the 1950 24 Hours of Le Mans, 2nd and 4th outright in 1951 and was pushed to ninth outright in 1952, not far behind such legendary vehicles as a pair of Mercedes-Benz W194 Silver Arrows, a 4-liter Healey Nash, a Cunningham C4-R, an Aston Martin DB2 and a Ferrari 340 America. So this is actually a supercar-of-the-day clothed by one of automotive design’s pantheon, Carrosserie de Luxe J. Saoutchik, as a rare two-door coupé de ville, a car destined for the Paris Salon.

$643,000 | 1912 Stutz Bearcat Roadster

This 1912 Stutz Bearcat Roadster sold for $643,000 at Bonhams' Amelia Island Auction on May 20, 2021
This 1912 Stutz Bearcat Roadster sold for $643,000 at Bonhams' Amelia Island Auction on May 20, 2021

Bonhams | Auction Description
Estimate: $650,000 to $850,000
Stutz Motor Company got its start when Harry C. Stutz built a car in five weeks to compete in the inaugural Indianapolis 500, finishing 11th. The outrageous feat catalysed a new company that began building replicas of the racecar (which had been nicknamed “bearcat”), adding fenders and lights and selling them as the Stutz Bear Cat in 1912, and subsequently as the Stutz “Bearcat.” This particular Bearcat is the oldest extant Stutz, being made in the first full year of manufacture of what was, perhaps, the most genuine “racecar for the road” in history – in 1912, the Stutz Bearcat was entered in 30 races, winning 25 of them. Despite being the oldest known Stutz, this Bearcat didn’t take the model record of $770,000 set by RM-Sotheby’s at its famous “Art of the Automobile” Auction in New York in November 2013.

No sale | 1933 Chrysler Imperial Model Cl Dual Cowl Phaeton

This 1933 Chrysler Imperial Model Cl Dual Cowl Phaeton was passed in at Bonhams' Amelia Island Auction on May 20, 2021
This 1933 Chrysler Imperial Model Cl Dual Cowl Phaeton was passed in at Bonhams' Amelia Island Auction on May 20, 2021

Bonhams | Auction Description
Estimate: $550,000 to $675,000 | High Bid: $480,000
This car was tailor-made for Marjorie Merryweather Post, one of the wealthiest people in American history. Her Palm Beach Island home Mar-a-Lago, is now best known as one of the jewels owned by Donald Trump. Writing in The Classic Car during Spring of 2012, Robert D. Adams states that she was very fond of her 1931 Imperial CG Le Baron Dual Cowl Phaeton, such that when the 1933 Imperial series CL was offered and the closest style to this was a Dual-Windshield version, she simply had the body moved from the earlier car to the later model. Correspondence from Post's office in the 1950s confirms the switch, which they state was carried out by Simons-Stewart Company Inc. in New York, who were of course the Chrysler agents. The cost of the project is understood to have been $6,000, a huge sum of money at the time. A piece of history as much as a motor car.

$610,000 | 1908 Simplex 50Hp "Speedcar"

One of the bargains of the Amelia Island auctions this year was this 1908 Simplex 50Hp "Speedcar" that sold for $610,000 at Bonhams' on May 20, 2021. The car has completed the Pebble Beach Tour d'Elegance and the Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance several times.
One of the bargains of the Amelia Island auctions this year was this 1908 Simplex 50Hp "Speedcar" that sold for $610,000 at Bonhams' on May 20, 2021. The car has completed the Pebble Beach Tour d'Elegance and the Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance several times.

Bonhams | Auction Description
Estimate: $600,000 to $800,000
Believed to be the oldest surviving Simplex, a massive and imposing machine and one of the best performing cars of the brass-era. The car sports a large T-head 600 ci (9.832 l) four cylinder engine, becoming one of the largest four-cylinder engines ever to power a production automobile. This car has had a very public persona since it was acquired and completely rebuilt around 20 years ago. A series of owners actively toured and enjoyed the car and it was shown at the 2007 Amelia Island Concours and then later that year completed the Pebble Beach Tour d'Elegance and graced the lawn at the Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance.

One of the bargains of the Amelia Island auctions this year was this 1908 Simplex 50Hp "Speedcar" that sold for $610,000 at Bonhams' on May 20, 2021. The car has completed the Pebble Beach Tour d'Elegance and the Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance several times.
One of the bargains of the Amelia Island auctions this year was this 1908 Simplex 50Hp "Speedcar" that sold for $610,000 at Bonhams' on May 20, 2021. The car has completed the Pebble Beach Tour d'Elegance and the Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance several times.

After numerous events, a complete restoration was undertaken (detailed in an episode of Wayne Carini's show Chasing Classic Cars), it was displayed at the Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance and it sold at Mecum during Monterey Car Week for $1,900,000. By comparison with its price of just nine years ago, this car represents amazing value.

$475,000 | 2005 Mercedes-Benz CLK DTM

This Mercedes-Benz CLK DTM AMG sold for $472,500 at RM-Sotheby’s Amelia Island Auction on May 22, 2021
This Mercedes-Benz CLK DTM AMG sold for $472,500 at RM-Sotheby’s Amelia Island Auction on May 22, 2021

RM-Sotheby's | Auction Description
Estimate: $325,000 to $375,000
This 2005 Mercedes-Benz CLK DTM was sold by RM-Sotheby’s for $472,500, well above its $375,000 high-estimate, and representing a new record for the model, with previous high sales being $451,000 at Pebble Beach 2015 and $407,000 at Pebble Beach 2016, both with Gooding & Co.

$456,000 | 1935 Auburn 851 Supercharged Boattail Speedster

This 1935 Auburn 851 Supercharged Boattail Speedster sold for $456,000 at Bonhams' Amelia Island Auction on May 20, 2021
This 1935 Auburn 851 Supercharged Boattail Speedster sold for $456,000 at Bonhams' Amelia Island Auction on May 20, 2021

Bonhams | Auction Description
Estimate: $600,000 to $800,000
It's not often that a car sells at auction 25 percent down on its lower estimate, and it is even rarer when that car is an Auburn 851 Supercharged Boattail Speedster. This car is one less than 10 examples originally built with right-hand-drive, has a known ownership history since 1947, and was the subject of a restoration by marque specialist John Ehresman, albeit a well-maintained restoration from 25 years ago. At the time of the restoration, the car achieved a Primary First and Best of Show at the ACD Club Eastern Spring Meet in early 1998, 100 points and a Primary First Prize at the CCCA Eastern Grand Classic that spring, and a Senior First at the ACD National Reunion that autumn. Further, the car was awarded ACD Club Category 1 Certification. This appears to be a steal.

$274,400 | 1991 Lamborghini Diablo

This 1991 Lamborghini Diablo sold for $274,400 at RM Sotheby's Amelia Island Auction on May 22, 2021
This 1991 Lamborghini Diablo sold for $274,400 at RM Sotheby's Amelia Island Auction on May 22, 2021

RM Sotheby's | Auction Description
Estimate: $200,000 to $250,000
The Lamborghini Diablo replaced the ground-breaking Countach in 1990, becoming the first production Lamborghini capable of exceeding 320 km/h (200 mph). The first year model has not been highly sought at auction compared to its later developments, the GT, SE30, SE30 Jota, SV, VT, VT 6.0, VT 6.0 SE and VT Roadster, but that appears to have now changed with this sale.

This sale price of $274,400 is a model record for the original first-model Lamborghini Diablo. The previous model auction record was €202,640 ($225,984) set by Artcurial at Retromobile in 2016. The best results for the model since then have been $217,250 by Gooding & Co and $190,400 by RM-Sotheby’s, with both sales occurring in Scottsdale in January, 2018. Remarkably, the $190,400 sale in 2018 was this same car (Chassis No. ZA9DU07P0MLA12283), meaning it has appreciated 44 percent in three years for a gain of $84,000 in value.

No sale | 1906 Stanley 30Hp "Vanderbilt"

This 1906 Stanley 30Hp "Vanderbilt" was passed in at Bonhams' Amelia Island Auction on May 20, 2021
This 1906 Stanley 30Hp "Vanderbilt" was passed in at Bonhams' Amelia Island Auction on May 20, 2021

Bonhams | Auction Description
Estimate: $225,000 to $275,000 | High Bid: $170,000
Given the automotive and environmental significance of this vehicle, it seems remarkable that it wasn't snapped up for the price. 120 years ago, the dominance of the internal combustion engine as the prime automotive force was by no means a certainty and both electric and steam were very viable alternatives.

The famous "Vanderbilt" Stanley was designed to compete in the Vanderbilt cup race in Long Island. The Stanleys had already proven the huge speed potential of their propulsion system by setting a new World Land Speed Record at 127 mph on Daytona Beach, Florida in 1906. The Vanderbilt racers were not ready in time for the road race but did achieve an unrivaled record of success in other competitions. Up and down the east coast, the Stanley Vanderbilts were nearly undefeated in hill climb contests. Both of these cars were lost many years ago.

This particular Vanderbilt replica was built in 1994 by noted Stanley expert Robert J. "Bud" Boudeman to be the ultimate Stanley racer and nothing was held back by using both a massive 34" boiler (four inches larger than the original Stanley 30hp) and modified Bryan engine. Buck Boudeman pioneered using these engines in his Vanderbilt Cup Racer Replicas, replacing most of the moving parts with titanium parts and boring out the piston valves to their maximum to improve the breathing. Rough estimates are that this engine can produce 300 hp. When tested on a dynamometer under Bensons ownership a torque figure of 1000 ft/lbs was achieved, along with brief horsepower figures nearing that 300 hp mark. This startling potential was way beyond any gas automobile of the period.

$179,200 | 1981 Toyota FJ43 Land Cruiser Hardtop

This 1981 Toyota Fj43 Land Cruiser Hardtop sold for $179,200 at RM-Sotheby's Amelia Island Auction on May 22, 2021
This 1981 Toyota Fj43 Land Cruiser Hardtop sold for $179,200 at RM-Sotheby's Amelia Island Auction on May 22, 2021

RM Sotheby's | Auction Description
Estimate: $110,000 to $140,000
You only get one chance to make a first impression, and Toyota’s FJ Series was the world’s first experience of Toyota. Britain’s Land Rover and America’s Jeep might have been in the desert, tundra and mountains of the world first, but the numbers don’t lie: Toyota is what people choose when they are in hostile work environments and require the most reliable, long-lasting and trustworthy vehicle. The FJ Land Cruiser’s reliability was the foundation stone of the Toyota brand and the first emissary of Japanese engineering. That reliability has generated a collectibility rating for FJ-Series Toyotas that defies traditional collectible genres, with values rising over many years as people seek to obtain perfect specimens of their long, lost “friend.” It wasn’t all that long ago that records were simply not even kept for Toyota FJ sales at auction because they were so plentiful and had such high mileage that they were viewed commercially as near worthless. They were seen as working vehicles and highly unlikely collectibles.

Not any more! Events such as the Copperstate Overland (applications here) are helping to drive prices in the same way that vintage car and motorcycle racing have driven prices for vintage racing machinery (that for many years was considered too old, too slow and no good), but if friendship is a cocktail of affection, loyalty, love, mutual respect, similar interests and trust, our best guess is that those who have used a Toyota FJ-43 series in the past, are the people driving prices forever skyward. In an environment where people stop and talk and compare notes on their trials by mother nature, the Toyota FJ became the unofficial vehicle of the tribe.

The $179,200 fetched by this vehicle is the highest price ever paid for a Toyota FJ-43 Series vehicle at auction, netting the owner a near perfect 1981 Toyota FJ43 medium-wheelbase Land Cruiser Hardtop and nudging out the $176,000 paid for the prior model record price holder at Gooding & Company’s Pebble Beach 2016 auction, and the $173,600 paid for a 1981 Toyota FJ43 medium-wheelbase Land Cruiser Hardtop at RM-Sotheby’s Elkhart Collection Sale in October 2020.

$162,575 | Mountain Touring Coach by Boccardi E Alessio of Turin

This Mountain Touring Coach by Boccardi E Alessio of Turin sold for $162,575 at Bonhams' Amelia Island Auction on May 20, 2021
This Mountain Touring Coach by Boccardi E Alessio of Turin sold for $162,575 at Bonhams' Amelia Island Auction on May 20, 2021

Bonhams | Auction Description
Bespoke design and exceptional craftsmanship were synonymous with the coachbuilders of the first half of the twentieth century who clothed the chassis of the most expensive cars, but in almost all cases, these automotive couturiers evolved from the coachbuilders of the previous century, who crafted horse-drawn carriages such as this one, built by Boccardi E Alessio of Turin. Bonhams’ image gallery for this Mountain Touring Coach is well worth a look.

$140,000 | 1975 BMW 2002 Turbo

This 1975 BMW 2002 Turbo sold for $140,000 at Bonhams’ Amelia Island Auction on May 20, 2021
This 1975 BMW 2002 Turbo sold for $140,000 at Bonhams’ Amelia Island Auction on May 20, 2021

Bonhams | Auction Description
Estimate: $110,000 to $140,000
Produced for the 1973/74 season only, the legendary BMW 2002 Turbo was Europe's first turbocharged production car. The Turbo's top speed was 130 mph, making it the fastest and most exciting medium-sized sports saloon of its day, and just 1672 were produced.

This top-of-the-range model had been introduced following a successful racing program that saw a works entered, turbocharger equipped 2002 win the 1969 European Touring Car Championship in the hands of Dieter Quester.

The road version was a compact package, with minimal turbo lag, 170 hp and staggering performance. This particular car is well preserved and highly original and was appreciated far more this time around at auction, having fetched $112,200 at the same auction four years ago. The BMW 2002 Turbo is definitely an appreciating asset at this time, with four other specimens having sold for more than this car already this year, and the model record achieved on Bringatrailer just 5 weeks ago at $193,100.

$123,200 | 1959 Fiat-Abarth 750 GT 'Double Bubble' Coupe Zagato

This 1959 Fiat-Abarth 750 Gt 'Double Bubble' Coupe Zagato sold for $123,200 at RM-Sotheby's Amelia Island Auction on May 22, 2021
This 1959 Fiat-Abarth 750 Gt 'Double Bubble' Coupe Zagato sold for $123,200 at RM-Sotheby's Amelia Island Auction on May 22, 2021

RM Sotheby's | Auction Description
Estimate: $100,000 to $125,000
While a collectible car powered by a 72 hp, 981-cc OHV inline-four cylinder engine might not sound like the stuff of dreams, there is much to commend the Fiat-Abarth 750 GT Zagato. Though the car is based on the Fiat 600 platform, it is heavily modified by Abarth, then sleekly bodied in aluminum by Zagato. It weighs just 1,180 lbs, and with 50 bhp on tap and razor-sharp handling, it is both agile and fast. The highest price at auction that we can find for an Abarth 750 Zagato is €160,920 (US$182,065) achieved by Artcurial at Rétromobile in 2015, and it is obvious that prices vary considerably due to condition, as getting one back to concours can be frightfully expensive.

$106,400 | 1959 Fiat 500 Jolly By Ghia

This 1959 Fiat 500 Jolly By Ghia sold for $106,400 at RM-Sotheby's Amelia Island Auction on May 22, 2021
This 1959 Fiat 500 Jolly By Ghia sold for $106,400 at RM-Sotheby's Amelia Island Auction on May 22, 2021

RM Sotheby's | Auction Description
Estimate: $60,000 to $80,000
There are numerous examples of the Fiat Jolly selling for above $100,000, partly due to its scarcity, partly because it is the ideal car for warm climates, but mainly because of the number of celebrities who drove them in the late 1950s and 1960s at a time when the paparazzi were just beginning to supply candid shots of the rich and famous to photo magazines.

Regularly photographed in their Jollys were President Lyndon B. Johnson, Mae West, Aristotle Onassis, Yul Brynner, John Wayne, Grace Kelly, Henry Ford II, Mary Pickford, Gianni Agnelli, and President Tito of Yugoslavia. So although it isn't a surprise to see a Jolly fetch six figures, given that the base car was not a luxury car, it still is an astounding result in its own right.

Just for the record, the record for a Jolly 500 at auction is held by Bonhams at € 100,000 ($118,160), set at the Zoute Sale in Belgium on 11 October, 2020. There’s an even more valuable version of the Jolly with a 600cc engine, and the model record for the Jolly 600 is held by Gooding & Co which sold a 1960 Fiat Jolly for $170,500 in Scottsdale in 2015.

$89,600 | 1958 F.M.R. TG 500 'Tiger’

This 1958 F.M.R. TG 500 ’T’iger sold for $89,600 at RM-Sotheby's Amelia Island Auction on May 22, 2021
This 1958 F.M.R. TG 500 ’T’iger sold for $89,600 at RM-Sotheby's Amelia Island Auction on May 22, 2021

RM Sotheby's | Auction Description
Estimate: $125,000 to $165,000
Every marketplace has its “Holy Grail” and in the post-WW2 micromobility collector marketplace, that’s the FMR (Messerschmitt) TG500 Tiger. Forbidden to make aircraft after WW2, the innovative company created micromobility machines of the highest order. In 1957, Messerschmitt’s automotive branch was purchased by the German Government and renamed FMR. The company’s last model was the TG500 Tiger. The Tiger was aptly named as it became the ultimate performance variant of the entire microcar market. Where most such cars had anaemic 125cc to 200cc engines that would struggle to pull the skin off a rice pudding, the TG500 Tiger ran a 500cc two-stroke twin cylinder engine that could accelerate it briskly to 80 mph (129 km/h). That’s why this particular lot is the steal of the entire auction, as the model record for the Tiger is a staggering $322,000, and there are many of these cars that have sold for more than $100,000.

We did a feature article on this car last year.

$84,000 | 1886 Benz Patent-Motorwagen Replica

This 1886 Benz Patent-Motorwagen Replica sold for $84,000 at RM-Sotheby's Amelia Island Auction on May 22, 2021
This 1886 Benz Patent-Motorwagen Replica sold for $84,000 at RM-Sotheby's Amelia Island Auction on May 22, 2021

RM Sotheby's | Auction Description
Estimate: $60,000 to $80,000
This baby changed the world, being the invention that the entire next century (“The Century of the Automobile”) was named after. It took a while to catch on, mind you, and only 25 were built between 1886 and 1893, but it really did change the world in ways we couldn’t have imagined when the original was built. The very first Benz Motorwagen is in the Mercedes-Benz museum, but around 20 years ago, John Bentley Engineering of Batley, Yorkshire, England built a series of exacting recreations. The most authentic replicas of their kind, they are accurate in every way—although unlike the original, these were designed to run on white gas, rather than the archaic petroleum product called ligroin. This example, painted in green, was acquired by the consignor directly from Mr. Bentley. Such was the quality of Mr. Bentley’s work that approximately 100 of these Patent-Motorwagen recreations (painted in black) were commissioned by Mercedes-Benz Classic around the turn of the millennium. This is the highest price we have seen for one of these replicas, though we’re not certain it is a model record.

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Crimsontiger6
Gee I'm glad rich ppl are getting their lives back to normal. Must be a real strain when your $200000 car doesn't reach reserve.