The Globe and Mail says the Arizona classic car auctions were up slightly in 2017 from 2017 with the total rising to $259m from last year’s $250.8m. More lots sold even if the top end prices were softer. Of the 3486 lots offered at six auction houses, 2900 sold or 83% sell through. The average price was $89,601.
The year before the sell through was 75% and the average price was $115,729.
The Globe and Mail’s overall take was that the classic car market, like the art market, has shifted focus to pursuing middle market objects. In the car world, that means low six-figure cars often of American makes. Or, as the Globe and Mail put it: “Collectors in the sub-$250,000 estimate range were bidding like America was great again.”
As well, RM Sotheby’s claimed the best sell-through rate at 89 per cent, even as the average price of its cars slipped to $378,248 from $497,994 in 2016.
Gooding’s two-day total eroded from $43-million to $33.3-million, its average shrinking from $443,390 to $317,492.
Bonhams, the British auction house founded in 1793, fared best year-to-year, totaling $36.3-million in its one-day sale against $18.2-million in 2016. Bonhams sold fewer cars than its rivals, 86, but its standard was such that it averaged $422,736, highest of the Arizona auctions and more than double its $190,198 in 2016.
Arizona auction headliners sell for less than estimates (The Globe and Mail)