In a few days two prophetic auctions will take place that collectors of Corvettes will want to keep their eyes on whether they plan to bid at these auctions or not. The two biggest sellers of collector Corvettes in the country, Mecum and Barrett-Jackson will be holding their second important collector auctions of 2014. The reason these auctions are important is because after some mixed and difficult to interpret first quarter Corvette auction results, we should get a better read on the Corvette collector market and where it is headed for this year. After a spectacular 2013 which saw new records set on “blue chip” Corvette prices, and while the Corvette segment of the collector market was strong for most rare and well optioned cars, at this point it is difficult determine whether last year’s strong market tends will continue for 2014.
1967 427 3 2bbl fully restored car crossing block Saturday Lot 1278 – Photo courtesy of Barrett Jackson
Traditionally Thursday at Barrett-Jackson’s eight day collector car auction is a transitional day that bridges the gap between the early “bargain days” where many entry level, “small cap” collector cars are featured and the more expensive “blue chip” high dollar cars which cross the block on Friday through Saturday. This year has proved to be the strongest start to Barrett-Jackson’s auction extravaganza where over 1300 cars will cross the block over the course of the auction.
The list of significant Corvettes being offered at the January auctions next month continues to grow. Next up is this very rare red on red 1971 LS6 convertible which will be crossing Russo and Steele’s auction block in January. It is believed that this car is the only red on red LS6 roadster ever built.
Dana Mecum’s favorite car has to be the Chevrolet Corvette, especially if solely based on the number of outstanding high dollar cars that were hammered down during the last four days of his third Dallas auction.
It was clearly evident that Corvettes carried the four-day auction and were the car of choice for collectors where a new record price was paid for a Corvette ($3.2M, a 1967 L88, fully documented former NHRA record holder and the only ’67 L88 to retain its original body panels).
Of the 172 Corvettes that crossed the block 106 were sold, a 61% sell through rate, for a combined hammer price of $9.106M. Though some buyers were able to grab some excellent bargains during the first two days of the sale, the last two days saw spirited bidding and prices well above average. Almost twenty Corvettes were hammered down above $100K. It seemed as though most restored second generation cars were selling between $100K to $150K and if the car had any rare options it was selling close to or above $200K.
Dana Mecum’s spectacular annual Spring Indy Auction is now history and though the auction set pricing records with two Mustangs that sold for over a million dollars each, it was more of a “mixed bag” when it came to Corvettes.
It was really no surprise to see the 200 quality Corvettes Mecum uncovered and offered for sale just prior to his Bloomington Gold Events which is totally Corvette focused. And it was the quality level of Corvettes which accounted for the good and bad news.
When the final car crossed the block in Kissimmee, Florida at Mecum’s 2013 event and the totals were in, the stage was set to determine the winner of the “Superbowl” of auctions. Over the last several weeks it was hard to avoid all of the auction coverage that took place in Scottsdale, Arizona, headlined with the extravaganza staged by Barrett-Jackson, and the east coast contender, Mecum. To many readers it may have seemed a bit confusing as to just what was the “premier” auction event in January, Barrett-Jackson or Mecum. I’m not sure that we can designate which auction was “best” since that is a subjective evaluation and dependent on individual tastes. But for those of you who have a penchant for numbers, we can provide you with a numbers comparison to help you decide the destination of your 2014 plane ticket.
As the holidays draw to a cold and snowy close, being an avid Corvette lover, your thoughts wander to the Daytona Sunset Orange Metallic coupe safely tucked away under the custom car cover in your garage and wander briefly what color the new C7 will be when it is unveiled on January 13th in Detroit. Like many Corvette “car guys” you’ve thought about several details of what the new generation of cars would look like and how they would perform compared to your C6. More than once you cursed yourself for being too late to purchase one of the hundred and fifty $995 tickets the National Corvette Museum sold to be one of the privileged few at the formal introduction of Chevrolet’s halo car to the media.
All eyes of the collector car world are focused on California this week as Monterey Week 2012 gets underway. Each year thousands of collector car enthusiast head west to participate in the weeks’ activities which culminate at the esteemed Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance. Included in the car shows, race car reunions, and road rallies are 5 high-end collector car auctions. Mecum, RM, Russo and Steele, Gooding and Company, and Bonhams all are holding events this week. Our handy guide to those Monterey auctions awaits you after the jump.
Paul Newman’s last competitive car – a 2002 Corvette racer adorned with patriotic red, white and blue paint – made it past the low end of the pre-auction estimates at a Florida sale over the weekend – but not by much.
The famous actor’s car brought $275,000 at RM Auctions’ sale in Amelia Island on Saturday, March 10, just above the bottom of the range of $250,000 to $350,000 that had been estimated by experts in the weeks before the sale.
Our final preview at the January collector car auctions will focus on the activities at Gooding and Company’s and RM Auctions’ camps. You already know about 1953 VIN #5 crossing the block at RM, but they’ve also got an early Pilot 1954 in addition to an original Monaco Orange 1969 L88 Coupe up for grabs at Gooding and Company.
RM and Gooding only have a total of 9 Corvettes combined on their dockets, but what they lack in quantity, they make up for in quality.