RM | AUCTIONS
Los Angeles, the epicenter of car culture, proved its viability as a collector-car auction destination for a second consecutive year over the weekend, as Auctions America's second annual California sale bested the company's 2013 results in every category. Held 31 July–2 August at the Los Angeles Marriott Burbank Airport Hotel, the multi-day auction presented more than 400 quality vehicles plus rare memorabilia before a packed house, generating more than $17.5 million in total sales.
An eclectic mix of automobiles representative of diverse Southern California tastes offered something for every car enthusiast, from the entry-level collector to the veteran hobbyist. Cars that crossed the block ran the gamut from hot rods to rare 4 x 4s to European roadsters. Appropriate to the sale's Los Angeles setting, several vehicles boasted celebrity provenance. The Hollywood influence even extended to the live broadcast on NBCSN, with car-collecting comedian Jay Leno providing broadcast commentary on Friday, while “Storage Wars” reality TV star Barry Weiss offered his unique insights on Saturday.
The sale's standard-bearer was a 1960 Mercedes-Benz 300SL Roadster finished in the iconic color combination of red over tan with a tan top. The thoroughly restored Mercedes-Benz was in remarkable condition, exemplified by its $1,155,000 price tag. Another eye-opener was a rare Ferrari 333 SP engine, which commanded $310,500.
Examples of future collectibles included a 1988 BMW E30 M3 for $56,100 and a 1989 Porsche 911 Carrera, which garnered $181,500. Also notable was a 1969 DeTomaso Mangusta at $214,500. The Hollywood aura helped a low-mileage 1981 DeLorean DMC-12 sell for $55,000 on an auction block located a few miles from where “Back to the Future” was filmed.
High-profile customs included a 1935 Ford pickup built by legendary hot-rodder Gene Winfield, who watched his creation sell for $143,000. The “Unknown Roadster,” a barn-find 1931 Model A-based rod with undocumented provenance, realized $78,100.