May 28, 2024

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Gooding & Co. Sets New Record Price for a Pre-1930s Car in Amelia Island

Gooding & Company’s Amelia Island sale has become a cornerstone of the American auction scene, where top-level lots come to market and set record prices when they sell. 

This past weekend, Gooding & Company continued this trend with the sale of the most valuable pre-1930s car at auction, the 1903 Mercedes-Simplex 60 HP ‘Roi des Belges.’  This incredibly well-preserved and historic automotive artifact sold for $12,105,000 — and that makes it the first antique car to surpass $10,000,000 at auction. 

Throughout the course of its two-day sale, Gooding & Company grossed $67,342,270, achieving an 87% sell-through rate with 111 of 127 lots sold. The average price per lot sold was $606,687, and 14 lots sold for figures over $1,000,000. 

The 1903 Mercedes-Simplex 60 HP ‘Roi des Belges’ became the most valuable pre-1930s car at auction when it sold for $12,105,000. Photo copyright and courtesy of Gooding & Company. Image by Hanna Yamamoto

All 10 of the highest valued lots at the Amelia Island Auctions found new homes, led by the ex-Alfred Harmsworth 1903 Mercedes-Simplex 60 HP ‘Roi des Belges’ ordered new by the founder of the Daily Mail. The Mercedes steadily climbed to a hammer price of $11 million, ultimately being sold for an all-in price of $12,105,000. 

The 1954 Ferrari 500 Mondial Series I Spider sold for $3,995,000, and the 1961 Porsche RS61 became the most valuable RS61 at auction when it sold for $3,100,000. 

The stunning 1972 Ferrari 365 GTB/4 Daytona Spider finished in vibrant Verde Bahram over an unrestored tan leather interior also set a new record for the 365 GTB/4 model when it achieved $3,635,000, exceeding pre-auction estimates.

The 2015 Porsche 918 Spyder Weissach finished in specially ordered, factory-applied Gulf Oil livery also sped past all estimated values, selling for $3,525,000 after an in-room bidding war. Porsche was well represented among the event’s top sellers, including the 1973 Porsche 911 Carrera RS 2.7 Homologation, which achieved $1,985,000, and the 1990 Porsche 964 Carrera 4 Reimagined by Singer ‘Classic Study,’ which brought in $1,160,000. 

Additionally, the Deep Sea Green over Dark Green leather 1990 RUF BTR III set a new record for the BTR when it sold on the block for $830,000. All three lots also sold from the Porsche 991 Motorsport Collection, led by the as-new condition 2019 Porsche 935 that went for $1,517,500. 

Highlights from the Amelia Island Auctions also included pre-war offerings, such as the 1938 Bugatti Type 57C Atalante which sold for $2,260,000, in addition to the recently unearthed 1931 Duesenberg Model J Disappearing-Top Convertible Coupe that garnered $2,645,000. The 1967 Ferrari 275 GTB/4 first owned by legendary racing driver Jo Siffert, found new ownership for $2,920,000, and lastly, the factory Rudge-wheel 1957 Mercedes-Benz 300SL Roadster made $2,012,500. 

Selections from the Mullin Collection consisted of twenty French and European lots. 100% of those on offer sold, led by the 1925 Bugatti Type 35C Grand Prix which achieved $582,500. Several lots from the collection sold well above estimate, such as the 1965 Citroën DS19 Majesty ($207,200), the 1931 Bugatti Type 49 Berline ($390,000), and the Chapron-bodied 1948 Delahaye Type 135 MS Cabriolet ($390,000). 

Further, 100% of the Ferrari lots from the Iannelli Family Collection sold, with the leading 2011 Ferrari 599 GTO selling for $907,000. 

“We are overwhelmed by the success of our Amelia Island Auctions this year, especially with the historic, never-to-be-repeated sale of the ex-Harmsworth Mercedes-Simplex 60 HP that effectively became the new benchmark for all antique, pre-1930s automobiles,” said Gooding & Company President and Co-Founder, David Gooding. “Amidst a market seemingly in flux, our team focused on compiling a catalogue comprising the highest quality of offerings, and with this emphasis on selection, we were able to forge ahead. As indicated by our industry-defining Amelia sale, the collector car trade is very much alive and well, and there is certainly much more to look forward to in 2024.”

Lots Sold Over $1 Million:

  • Lot 128 – 1903 Mercedes-Simplex 60 HP ‘Roi des Belges’, sold for $12,105,000
  • Lot 30 – 1954 Ferrari 500 Mondial Series I Spider, sold for $3,995,000
  • Lot 36 – 1972 Ferrari 365 GTB/4 Daytona Spider, sold for $3,635,000
  • Lot 43 – 2015 Porsche 918 Spyder Weissach, sold for $3,525,000
  • Lot 132 – 1961 Porsche RS61, sold for $3,100,000
  • Lot 121 – 1967 Ferrari 275 GTB/4, sold for $2,920,000
  • Lot 34 – 1931 Duesenberg Model J Disappearing-Top Convertible Coupe, sold for $2,645,000
  • Lot 20 – 1938 Bugatti Type 57C Atalante, sold for $2,260,000
  • Lot 24 – 1957 Mercedes-Benz 300 SL Roadster, sold for $2,012,500
  • Lot 28 – 1973 Porsche 911 Carrera RS 2.7 Homologation, sold for $1,985,000
  • Lot 139 – 1955 Mercedes-Benz 300SL Gullwing, sold for $1,765,000
  • Lot 116 – 1929 Bentley 4 1/2 Litre Le Mans Sports Tourer, sold for $1,545,000
  • Lot 22 – 2019 Porsche 935, sold for $1,517,500
  • Lot 33 – 1990 Porsche 964 Carrera 4 Reimagined by Singer ‘Classic Study’, sold for $1,160,000

New World Auction Records:

  • Lot 128 – 1903 Mercedes-Simplex 60 HP ‘Roi des Belges’, sold for $12,105,000 (a world record for all pre-1930 cars, world record for all antique cars)
  • Lot 36 – 1972 Ferrari 365 GTB/4 Daytona Spider, sold for $3,635,000 (a world record for the model)
  • Lot 132 – 1961 Porsche RS61, sold for $3,100,000 (a world record for the model)
  • Lot 120 – 1990 RUF BTR III, sold for $830,000 (a world record for the model) 

See the complete results here.

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