Automobiles of Amelia Island

Automobiles of Amelia Island March 2009
The 11th annual Automobiles of Amelia Island auction presented by RM Auctions had a very impressive 83% sales ratio with total sales over $12.5 million. The single day auction offered 107 significant motor cars and a selection of vintage memorabilia to a wide audience of collector car enthusiasts. The overflowing auction room was standing room only for nearly the entire event, plus attracting a large volume of Internet and telephone bids.
The Amelia Island vintage car weekend is a permanent and popular fixture on the automotive calendar, and enjoyed national and international attendance,' said Ian Kelleher, President and Chief Operating Officer of RM Auctions.

'Results from our Amelia auction indicate the market remains stable for quality collector cars with continued passion for the hobby from around the world,' he added.

The highest sale of the day was for the 1930 Duesenberg Model J Murphy Convertible Coupe which broke the magical million dollar mark at $1,072,500. The second highest sale went to the Packard Panther-Daytona Roadster Concept Car which fetched $700,000. The 1941 Chrysler Newport DC Phaeton sold for $687,500 and a 427 AC Cobra went for $675,000.

A series of nine classic Fords from the private collection of Mr. Grant Oakes changed hands for a total of $700,000. The most impressive sale of the collection was the 1932 Ford Model 18 Deluxe Three-Window Coupe with the winning bid nearly doubling the original estimated selling price. It was estimated to sell as high as $90,000 and bidding had begun at $30,000. After 15 bids, the high bid had reached $100,000. Eleven bids later, it had reached its pinnacle at $165,000.

Due to construction at the Ritz Carlton Hotel (the home of the Amelia Island Auction), the auction tent was in a new location. Since this new location did not afford the same amount of space as the regular location, the cars were not driven 'over the block.' Rather, three large screens displayed photographs of the vehicle. Though a departure from the normal setting, the auctioneers and staff handled the change rather well and it did not seem to diminish the appeal of the automobile. Truth be told, we were hoping to see if the Buick Regal Winston Cup Race Car (which sold for $14,300) would have torn up the carpet just as a similarly styled stock car from a few years ago.

There were 107 vehicles offered for sale with 89 finding new ownership. 35 vehicles were listed without a reserve which was considerably lower than last years 60%. Last year saw nearly $4 million more in sales with the average sale price being $164,295. This year the average sales value was slightly lower, at $140,769. Last year had four vehicles over the million dollar mark earning $7.8 million in total. Only one vehicle crossed that magical mark this year.

31 vehicles, accounting for nearly 30-percent of the cars offered for sale, were in the six figure range. Nearly 80-percent of the vehicles sold were within their estimated value and there was an 83-percent sales rate. Considering that both buyers and sellers are hesitant due to the current economical climate, these figures are very impressive. RM was able to bring the cars and attract the right buyers to become the vehicles new caretakers.

This auction added strength to the belief that the collector car market is still strong and a viable investment, especially for the 'good' cars.



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