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2020 Scottsdale Auctions by the Numbers: Biggest Sellers, Trends + More

$244.1 million in total sales represents a small drop from previous year.

The gavels have fallen, the snowbird enthusiasts have headed back to their wintry climes, and the cars sold are being transported to their new garages. It's time to take a look at where the chips fell and how this year's Scottsdale auctions played out before we head to Amelia Island, Florida this March for round two of the 2020 collector-car auction triple crown.

Total sales: $244.1 million

Total sales in Scottsdale this year were down a few percent compared with 2019's $250.9 million total, and also down compared to the $247.8 million sold in 2018, though only incrementally so. Many collectors who don't feel an immediate need to sell their cars are choosing to wait out this softened market in hopes a rise will come in the not-too-distant future.

Sell-through across all auctions: 77 percent

Despite more cars than ever being offered in no-reserve format (meaning the high bid seals the deal, regardless of price) sell-through was down this year with just 77 percent of the 3,867 vehicles offered actually resulting in a sale. That means that 23 percent of this year's Scottsdale inventory went back to the garages from which they came, with their sellers not willing to let them go for the prices bid. This is a decline over the rates of 81 percent in 2019 and 84 percent in 2018.

Top seller: 1995 Ferrari F50 | $3,222,500

Interestingly, this year's top seller wasn't a rare 1950s or '60s motorsports icon or a flashy prewar car with best-in-show aspirations at the world's finest concours events. Instead, a 15-year-old Ferrari supercar took top honors. The F50, once the black sheep of the Ferrari supercar club, finally has the market respect it deserves. With just 349 examples made, only the 288 GTO is rarer, while there were 1,315 F40s, 399 Enzos, and 499 LaFerraris produced. The F50 is also the last Ferrari supercar produced with a manual transmission and the car that sold in Scottsdale is one of just 55 U.S.-spec models built and shows just 5,200 miles from new.

Average vehicle sales price: $81,534

We also witnessed a decline in average sales price in Scottsdale this year. In both 2018 and 2019, the average car sold was worth nearly $93,000. This year, that figure is down by double digits, a product of two factors: a glut of relatively less expensive vehicles this year and a lack of ultra-high-dollar cars selling. In fact, there were some 25 percent fewer million-dollar cars offered than in 2019 and the most valuable car sold failed to break $5 million for the first time since 2012 when the market was steadily strengthening.

World records

There were several world-record auction prices for various models this year, the most talked about possibly being the ex-Paul Walker BMW M3 Lightweight. The top-selling, 4,600-mile 1995 BMW M3 Lightweight sold for a whopping $385,500 which is a more than $200,000 bump over the high bid for a 100-mile example on the online auction platform Bring a Trailer in early 2017. The other four Lightweights on offer from Walker's collection each sold for more than $200,000. Meanwhile, Gooding & Company set a new world record for the lowly Porsche 914, with a rare factory 914/6 GT race car that won its class at Daytona selling for a huge $995,000. Elsewhere, Bonhams sold the very first production Dodge Viper RT/10 roadster (owned from new by recently deceased Lee Iacocca) for $285,500. Another indicator that "young-timer" classics are on the rise: Barrett-Jackson sold an immaculate, sub-100-mile 1990 Toyota Supra Turbo (a third-generation car) for $88,000, and Gooding & Company sold a 1974 Volkswagen Karmann-Ghia with ultra-low miles for a staggering $86,800.

Notable No-Sales

Several star cars—those which auction houses heavily primped and primed for a big-number sale in the desert—failed to sell despite big-dollar bids. For RM Sotheby's, that car was their 1958 Ferrari 250 GT Series 1 Cabriolet which stalled on the block at $5.5 million against a presale estimate of $6 million to $7 million. Supposedly, that deal was close but no cigar. Bonhams had no luck with a 1932 Alfa Romeo 8C 2300 Cabriolet with an unsuccessful high bid of $8,700,000. No estimate was offered on that car, but likely the less-sporty Figoni bodywork and a nonoriginal engine sealed its fate.

Top sales by auction house: Barrett-Jackson $137.1 million

Barrett-Jackson wins again with top sales for the week at $137.1 million worth of cars, including those sold at exaggerated prices for charity. Even without the high-buck charity bids, B-J crushed the competition with $129.7 million in sales. The Scottsdale-based auction house sold more than 1,900 vehicles in nine days, all except one being offered without reserve. Gooding & Company represented the best of the rest at $35.8 million (and representing half of the top-10 sales), RM Sotheby's sold $30.3 million, first-time Scottsdale auction participant Leake brought in $16.6 million, Bonhams sold $8.4 million, Russo and Steele $8.0 million, Worldwide $6.1 million, and Mag auctions finished with $1.7 million.

Top 10 sales at the 2020 Scottsdale Collector-Car Auctions

  1. 1995 Ferrari F50 Coupe | $3,222,500 (Gooding & Company)
  2. 2020 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray Coupe | $3,000,000 (Barrett-Jackson, charity sale)
  3. 1932 Hispano-Suiza J12 Dual Cowl Phaeton | $2,425,000 (Gooding & Company)
  4. 2018 Pagani Huayra Roadster | $2,370,000 (RM Sotheby's)
  5. 1948 Tucker 48 Sedan | $2,040,000 (Gooding & Company)
  6. 2021 Lexus LC500 Convertible | $2,000,000 (Barrett-Jackson, charity sale)
  7. 1967 Ferrari 330 GTS Spider | $1,985,000 (Gooding & Company)
  8. 1972 Ferrari 365 GTS/4 Daytona Spider | $1,930,000 (Gooding & Company)
  9. 1951 Ferrari 212 Inter Cabriolet | $1,930,000 (Bonhams)
  10. 1967 Ferrari 330 GTS Spider | $1,710,000 (RM Sotheby's)