Sporty 1990s Coupes Bring Big Money at 2019 RM Sotheby’s Amelia Island Auction
1994 Toyota Supra Turbo fetches $173,600, 1994 BMW 850 CSi hits $184,800.
If you've been wanting to add a low-mileage, collector-grade fourth-generation Toyota Supra to your garage, you might want to check your bank balance again. At RM Sotheby's 2019 Amelia Island auction, a 1994 Supra Twin Turbo Targa with just over 11,000 miles on the odometer found a new home for a healthy $173,600 including commission. The price paid isn't a new world record (that honor goes to the 1993 Supra Turbo as used in the "Fast and the Furious" movie franchise which sold at Mecum's 2015 Indianapolis auction for $199,800), but it is the runner up for most valuable Supra sold at auction.
The MkIV Supra, with a 0 to 60 mph time of 5.6 seconds was a serious challenger to other Japanese sports car efforts in the 1990s, an era where supercar levels of performance were expected. The Supra made 321 hp and 315 lb-ft of torque from a twin-turbocharged, 3.0-liter inline-six which was enough in its day to go head-to-head with more expensive rivals, such as Porsche's 964-series 911, Chevrolet's C4 Corvette, and Acura's NSX.
Though when new, Supra pricing was only slightly more expensive than Nissan's 300ZX Twin-Turbo and Mazda's RX-7, the Supra has taken a clear lead in value in recent years. This was noted in RM's auction, where a 13,000-mile 1993 RX-7 sold for 50,400 and a sub-3,000-mile 1996 300ZX Twin-Turbo sold for $53,200. All this said, driver-condition Supras with typical modifications, high mileage, or accident history are worth far less than the price paid at this auction, with average cars hovering around the $50,000 mark.
Another strong result came to RM's 1994 BMW 850 CSi, which sold for $184,800—we believe this to be a new world record price for the model. The original 8 Series is another model that we've been seeing renewed interest for and commensurate rising prices, and the CSi is the most desirable spec to most buyers. Its 5.6-liter V-12 was retuned for 375 hp, a six-speed manual transmission supplanted the more common automatic, a stiffer suspension was installed along with larger brakes, and the wheels and aero bits were all unique to the CSi model. This car had traveled just 11,000 miles in its life and looked it. It is also one of just 1,510 CSi models ever built. As with the Supra, lower-grade cars are worth far less than this museum-quality example, but rest assured, there are more pristine 850 CSis out there to find.
RM's top selling car of the weekend was the 1965 Ferrari 275 GTB at $2,205,000, a strong result for a "standard" 275 GTB accounted for by its 2018 Cavallino Platinum Award win and a prior quality restoration. The Ferrari still had the matching-numbers engine it left the factory with and Ferrari Classiche "red book" certification was said to be pending.
In all, RM sold 117 of the 141 vehicles that crossed the block between Friday and Saturday for a grand total of $38,050,640 in sales and a healthy 83-percent sell-through rate. That accounted for over $10,000,000 more in sales than 2018's Amelia Island auction, though sell-through was down two percent.