An ex-works 1958 Porsche 550A Spyder that once finished second in class at the 24 Hours of Le Mans hit the Bonhams auction block yesterday and despite having a little trouble getting the car started for its moment in the Arizona sun, it still commanded a healthy $5.17 million dollars. That result is right in the middle of the car’s estimated selling price of $4.5 million to $5.5 million.
Other Bonhams highlights included a 1982 Lancia Rally 037 Stradale, which sold at a very strong $451,000, well above the $250,000 or so that these Group B homologation specials typically command.
Why such a strong result? While it’s true that 037s have been undervalued for some time, often bringing half the values of the later Lancia Delta Integrale S4 and the earlier Dino-engined Lancia Stratos, it’s likely that this car’s recent “nut and bolt” restoration by a well-known 037 expert helped propel it past other 037s that are often found in well-used condition.
Other Bonhams notables included a 1995 Ferrari F50 with 60,000 miles on the odometer and a salvage title from a front-end collision in 2013.
Despite a well-traveled and checkered history, the F50 presented like a far lower-mileage car and sold for perhaps half what a low-mileage, no-stories example would have bought, at “just” $1,155,000.
An Israeli-built 1962 Sabra Sport, a real oddity in the U.S. and carrying just 700 miles from new, seemed a relative bargain at $40,700.
Meanwhile, the restored 1973 Range Rover Classic, a very early model from a time before Range Rovers were imported to the U.S., made $62,700.
A 2006 Ford GT owned by Carroll Shelby himself, achieved a very strong $489,500 and you can bet at least $100,000 of that price was the Shelby ownership premium.
During RM Sotheby’s first of two days, the star of the sale was the 1948 Tucker 48 which had belonged to Preston Tucker in-period. Perhaps the ultimate example of the ill-fated Tucker production run, bidding went long and tense, with the car finally being sold for $1,792,500, well over the high estimate of $1.5 million.
A highly original 1966 Shelby Cobra 427 S/C was RM Sotheby’s highest seller of the night, at $2,947,500.
Stay tuned to Automobilemag.com for more Scottsdale auction week coverage.
Photos courtesy of Bonhams and RM/Sotheby’s.