RM Sotheby's diverse roster of blue-chip collector cars spanning pre-war American classics through iconic European sports cars and high-performance modern collectibles powered its 19th annual Arizona sale to a final $36,523,620 with 88 percent of all lots sold at the Arizona Biltmore, 18–19 January.
Following a very well-attended outdoor preview, the packed auction room saw high energy and spirited bidding across the two-day event, with top sale honors going to the 1966 Shelby 427 Cobra 'Semi-Competition,' CSX 3040. Offered from an esteemed private collection and just four owners from new, CSX 3040 is one of the finest semi-competition examples in existence and has benefitted from a restoration by leading Cobra expert Mike McCluskey. The matching-numbers Cobra eventually soared past its pre-sale estimate of $2,000,000–$2,400,000 to bring a final $2,947,500.
RM Sotheby's is the auction house of choice for important private collections, and this week's sale featured two single-owner groups, highlighted by A Century of Sports Cars; 11 automobiles focused on great Italian sports and GT cars and offered entirely without reserve. Results for the collection were highlighted by the beautifully restored and maintained 1964 Ferrari 250 GT/L Berlinetta Lusso at $1,682,500, a 1960 Ferrari 250 GT Cabriolet Series II offered from just two owners over the last 30 years at a final $1,407,500, and an award-winning 1955 Alfa Romeo 1900C SS Speciale by Boano at $1,270,000.
A selection of pre- and post-war American Classics offered entirely without reserve from a private collection on Thursday evening elicited numerous above-estimate results, undeniably led by the 1948 Tucker 48, chassis no. 1029, the personal car of visionary builder Preston Tucker himself until 1955. Star of the 1948 promotional film Tucker: The Man and the Car and presented with exhaustive documentation, the Tucker achieved a final $1,792,500 (Estimate: $1,250,000–$1,500,000). Also fetching a strong price was the 1935 Auburn Eight Supercharged Speedster, retaining its original chassis, engine, and body, which well surpassed pre-sale expectations at $769,500 (Estimate: $500,000–$650,000).