Arizona Biltmore Resort & Spa
17 - 18 January 2019


RM Sotheby's kicked off its 2019 auction calendar with the company's 20th annual Arizona sale, 17–18 January, at the Arizona Biltmore in Phoenix. The two-evening auction totaled $37 million in sales, with 85 percent of all lots finding new homes. The top sale of the week was a fresh-to-market, 2,900-mile 1985 Ferrari 288 GTO, which drew enthusiastic bidding from several parties on Thursday night before selling for a final $3,360,000 (Estimate: $3,200,000–$3,600,000).

Additional top sale highlights from the auction cover the spectrum of the collector car market, from American Classics in high demand through high-performance modern collectibles, illustrating strong collector interest in several segments. Thursday evening also saw a Classiche-certified 1967 Ferrari 330 GTS by Pininfarina offered from nearly 20 years of single ownership bring a strong $2,012,500 to become the second-highest sale of the auction. Adding to Ferrari highlights for Thursday night, a one-off 1971 Ferrari 365 GTB/4 Daytona NART Spider with intriguing design by Michelotti sold for an above-estimate $670,500 (Estimate: $600,000–$650,000), while a highly optioned, 280-mile 2017 Ferrari F12tdf attractively finished in Grigio Titanio over a two-tone blue interior sold for $1,006,000 (Estimate: $950,000–$1,100,000). Modern collectibles also drew strong interest in the form of a one-of-50 2012 Lexus LFA Nürburgring Package, which sold for a final $885,000 (Estimate: $850,000–$1,100,000).

Friday evening also resulted in stand-out individual prices, most notably for motor cars from three private collections offered without reserve on the night. First up was the Torque Collection, which included a selection of Porsche 911 models that drew strong bidding activity across the board. The final and most unique lot of the collection was a rare, fully restored 1951 Spartan Royal Mansion trailer, which brought a final $351,500, soaring past estimate (Estimate: $200,000–$250,000).

Final offerings from the Calumet Collection were next on the block, a single-owner group of British luxury automobiles ranging from 1923 to 2012. With enthusiastic interest across the unique Rolls-Royce and Bentley models on offer, highlights included the final $252,000 for a truly one-of-a-kind, coachbuilt 1987 Rolls-Royce Carmargue Retractable Hardtop with only 987 actual miles after a back and forth bidding battle (Estimate: $100,000–$150,000), as well as the $246,400 for what is believed to be the very first 2000 Bentley Continental SC (Estimate: $150,000–$200,000).

Finally, selections from the Richard L. Burdick Collection went under the hammer, demonstrating the high demand for exceptional American Classics in today's market. Highlights include a 1930 Cadillac V-16 Sport Phaeton by Fleetwood, one of just 18 surviving examples and wearing an award-winning restoration, which began a long bidding contest between bidders on the phone, with a bidder in the room jumping in at the end and bringing the car home at a final $940,000 (Estimate: $750,000–$900,000).

"We were thrilled to bring an exceptional, high-quality offering of blue-chip collector cars to our 20th Arizona sale," said Gord Duff, Global Head of Auctions, RM Sotheby's, following the auction. "We received fantastic feedback on the catalogue of cars, and while we certainly witnessed a continued shift in collecting interests, we saw strong prices achieved for fresh-to-market motor cars from several segments of the market, most notably for great American Classics and for late-model collectibles. There was an enthusiastic atmosphere throughout our preview hours, and high energy and a packed house inside the tented auction area on both sale evenings, with the strongest bidder turnout we've seen at Arizona in more than five years, signaling new interest in the hobby."