2005 Ferrari Superamerica
SOLD AT $225,500
SN ZFFGT61A550145401. Rosso corsa with glass top over beige leather interior. 532-hp, 5.7-liter V-12; six-speed automated manual transmission. Fewer than 200 miles from new, which means that the paint, trim, wheels, tires, and everything cosmetic on the exterior is as-new. Interior is as-new as well; no wear visible on the Daytona-style seats.
THE STORY BEHIND THE SALE
Introduced in 2005 and designed by Pininfarina, the Superamerica featured an innovative (some would say overcomplicated) "Revocromico" electrochromic roof panel that could be darkened at the twist of a dial and rotated rearward onto the deck lid when retracted.
The Superamerica was a convertible version of the 575M Maranello, which itself was an upgraded version of the 550 Maranello. Marketed by Ferrari as the world's fastest convertible, it had a top speed of 199 mph.
Ferrari built just 559 Superamericas, including 170 for the U.S. market. While most five- to ten-year-old Ferraris continually drop $100 bills on the ground, this one has a chance of maintaining, if not improving, its value.
The Ferrari "Crystal Ball of Future Values" is out of order again (it caught fire while sitting unused, but that's a different story), but if it were working, it would likely say the Superamerica is one of the few late-model production cars to bet on. Just remember, if you crack the glass roof panel, its replacement will cost as much as a new compact car. On the plus side, you can practice saying Revocromico in a sentence.
GOODING & COMPANY
1. 1960 Austin-Healey 3000 Mark I BN7
SOLD AT $70,400
SN HBN7L894. Diamond black with white hard top over red leather. 124-hp, 2912-cc in-line six; four-speed manual. Nicely presented, with very well-done paint and crisp brightwork. Excellent red interior with black piping. Detailed trunk includes jack and tool kit. Black soft top also included.
This car's recent best-in-class and best–Austin-Healey awards look to be well deserved. It has traveled 4000 miles since a frame-off restoration in 2011. The seller provided a very complete info sheet detailing the car's history and restoration. The roadster no longer has its original engine, which kept the final price down. A very lovingly done big Healey for a reasonable price.
2. 1955 Jaguar XK140 MC roadster
SOLD AT $137,500
SN S811059. Red over biscuit Connolly leather. 210-hp, 3442-cc in-line six; four-speed manual. Concours restored in the 1980s. Excellent older paint. Chrome and all brightwork show well. Under the hood is top-notch, as is the leather and the dash.
The MC model means that this car came from the factory with Jaguar C-type cylinder heads, giving it a horsepower boost. There's a line of thinking that says you should always buy a well-done show car that the owner has put a number of miles on; outside of using a time machine, it's the closest you can get to buying an almost-new used car.
3. 1962 MGA Mark II 1600 roadster
SOLD AT $33,000
SN GHNL2/105738. Savannah beige with tan top over tan vinyl. 90-hp, 1622-cc four-cylinder; four-speed manual. Very good paint. Panel gaps aren't perfect but still are likely better than new. Well-done brightwork. Hairline crack in the windshield. Nicely trimmed interior. Engine compartment is clean but not show detailed.
More pleasant than perfect, this is a nice example of an MGA from its final year of production. The catalog describes a comprehensive engine and transmission rebuild in 1985. The headline here is "Nice MGA sells for nice price" -- in other words, market-correct.
5. 1957 Porsche 356A Speedster
SOLD AT $280,500
SN 83592. Black with black top over red vinyl. 60-hp, 1582-cc flat-four; four-speed manual. 72,000 miles. Excellent paint. Reportedly one of 141 Speedsters originally painted black. A high-point restoration on a desirable car.
Described as a numbers-matching example, this car looked completely correct and in tip-top shape. After the Shelby Cobra, the Porsche Speedster is perhaps the most popular car for replicas, but the real thing always costs, and is worth, more. If you're looking for a good long-term investment, you could do worse than to buy one of these.
6. 1928 Bentley 4½-litre sports tourer
SOLD AT $2,750,000
SN MF3153. Green over green leather. 130-hp (est.), 4398-cc four-cylinder; four-speed manual. Right-hand drive. Excellent paint and trim. Some period Le Mans–spec enhancements. Claimed to have all of its original components, which is very important to the value of older Bentleys.
In the years just before Bentley was merged with Rolls-Royce, it built some spectacular racing-bred automobiles. It also built quite a few four-doors that have somehow lost their original bodies and become sports tourers. This car is not a rebody; it's the real thing. This is what you want if you have millions to spend and can't find a Blower Bentley.
RM Auctions BEST BUY
7. 1912 Ford Model T roadster
SOLD AT $35,750
SN 170301. Off-white with black top over black leather. 22-hp, 177-cubic-inch four-cylinder; two-speed manual. A nicely preserved older restoration with paint that's still good, excellent brass that hasn't lost its high polish, and very good leather. Buffalo brand wire wheels, an upgrade over the regular Ford wooden wheels.
Model Ts are harder to drive than you might think. Don't expect to find the clutch pedal on the left, accelerator on the right, and brake pedal in between. This car sold at the low end of its presale estimate. For somewhere around the price of a midlevel new car, the buyer got a 101-year-old piece of automotive history -- driving lesson not included.
8. 1953 Allard K3
SOLD AT $110,000
SN K33198. Red over red leather. 250-hp (est.), 331-cubic-inch Cadillac V-8; three-speed manual. Much older repaint. Not a barn find, but a car with lots of patina picked up early on. Some dullness and pitting in the chrome. Interior follows suit with newer but not new leather upholstery and cloudy gauge faces.
The old-car world still goes crazy for everything original, but "period correct" is becoming the next best thing. Sometimes called "day two" cars, they are examples of the way owners would modify their cars when they were almost new. Shiny is nice, but to a growing number of enthusiasts, this is at least as good or better. This sale at the top of the estimate still represents a good value.
9. 1965 Mercedes-Benz 220SE cabriolet
SOLD AT $82,500
SN 111.023.12.082595. Gray beige over tan leather. 134-hp, 2.2-liter in-line six; automatic. Good panel gaps, good paint and chrome. Very nice but not to exacting show-car standards.
While no one was looking, 220SE cabriolets leapt in value in recent years. They offer substantial European top-down motoring, generally for less than $100,000, something that is getting harder and harder to find. This car sold for $2500 more than its high estimate, and it's doubtful that anyone in the audience was shocked.
10. 1947 Delahaye 135MS coupe
SOLD AT $330,000
SN 800490. Silver over black leather. 160-hp, 3557-cc in-line six; four-speed manual. Right-hand drive. 14,000 indicated miles, said to be original. Very good paint. Brightwork is all excellent. Good attention to detail. Interior appears largely original but is still very good. Described in the catalog as "one of the most original Delahayes extant."
Let's change that "original" to "period correct," as this car was first completed by the Swiss coachbuilder Langenthal as a cabriolet. When the owner complained of wind noise and poor visibility, Langenthal is said to have responded by making a removable hard top. When the hard top proved unwieldy, the owner had Langenthal make the hard top, or a version of it, permanent. It's no wonder Langenthal quit working on passenger cars.