This year’s Pebble Beach classic car auctions gave a strong signal that the classic car market has recovered from the slump that came after its 2014 peak. RM Sotheby’s made that statement with a 1962 Ferrari 250 GTO that made an auction record for a Ferrari—or any other classic car—of $48.4m. The Master, Judd Tully, has more details on the sale and its similarities to the marquee art auctions:
A rare and race winning 1962 Ferrari GTO, one of only 36 produced between 1962-64, sold for a record $48.4 million on Saturday evening in Monterey California at RM Sotheby’s premier car auction. The sleek, Sergio Scaglietti designed, red-hued racing machine with its extended roofline and fearsome V-12 engine, became the most expensive car to sell at auction, shattering the mark set by another 1962 GTO at Bonham’s Quail Lodge auction in August 2014 when it fetched $38.1 million Not surprisingly, the Ferrari marque holds eight of the top ten prices for automobiles sold at auction. It was also no surprise that the iconic car sold within its $45-60 million pre-sale estimate since it was backed by an otherwise undisclosed financial guarantee.
This year, according to Hagerty results, preliminary sales totals reached $368 million—a 12 percent increase from last year. All told, across three days and six auction houses, 1,341 vehicles sold with a median price of $95,200 (up $5,000 from a year earlier) and a sell-through rate of 61 percent (vs. 59 percent in 2017—a healthy change). While the total sales number is significantly more than last year, beating estimates of $342 million, it fell short of 2014’s high-water mark of $428 million.