2017 Arizona collector auctions post big numbers, but it wasn't ultra-high-end spenders driving sales - Mercedes Benz SLK Forum
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#1 Old 01-24-2017
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2017 Arizona collector auctions post big numbers, but it wasn't ultra-high-end spenders driving sales

At $7,370,000, this 1963 Jaguar E-Type Lightweight was Bonhams' priciest lot -- and the top seller for the entire week of Arizona collector car auctions.

The 2017 Arizona collector car sales are behind us, and while the whopping $259.8 million overall sales figure -- the second largest in the sales week’s history -- is sure to grab headlines (including our own), there’s a bit more to it than that. For one, the average sale price was down substantially, from $115,729 to $89,601, with a greater number of cars sold making up the difference.

That’s not exactly a surprise for this collection of Arizona events, which have traditionally been about (relatively) attainable cars flying across the auction block at a machine-gun pace. What it means for the market is tougher to say -- between the Monterey sales in August, spring sales in Auburn and Mecum’s seemingly endless stream of high-volume events throughout the year, to say nothing of European sales, there’s always something for prognosticators to mull over. So we’ll suggest taking these results as one more point on a trend line rather than an outright predictor of what the next 12 months will hold.

Our friends at Hagerty were once again on the ground watching each lot cross each block, giving us a solid top-to-bottom look at the action. Read past the big overall figure, and the trends are similar to what we saw in Monterey last August: Expensive and exclusive cars continue to sell well, sales in what Hagerty deems the “upper-middle market’ -- that’s the $250,000 - $1 million range -- continue to soften, and folks are snapping up most everything $100,000 or less at a healthy clip.

Because that last category makes up the overwhelming majority of the cars sold in Arizona each January, and this year saw a whopping 3,486 vehicles change hands, overall sales totals were up despite that 11 percent decline in average sale price.

RM Sotheby's showed up in Arizona with a solid catalog, but apparently it wasn't what freshly exuberant muscle-heads with an extra $50,000-$100,000 to burn were looking for -- hence another substantial slide, from $62.8 million to $53.7 million, brought about by a precipitous drop in average sale price. Top sales were a 1939 Mercedes-Benz 540K Special Roadster ($6.6 million), a 1969 Ferrari 365 GTS Spider ($3,602,500) and a 1995 Ferrari F50 Coupe ($3.135)

Depending on your perspective, and/or how gloomy you're feeling at this particular moment, this either means that the top of the market is more or less saturated (save for those one-of-a-kind lots) while the "entry-level" buyers are finally enjoying enough prosperity to get back in the game -- or that the smart money is placing their assets elsewhere ahead of a massive collector-car market crash and everyone else is just too dumb to see it.

Or, maybe, it's some mix of both. However you slice it, here's what happened in Arizona.

clicky clicka below for the rest of the story

Read more: 2017 Arizona collector car auction results with top 10 sales and analysis from Barrett-Jackson, RM Sotheby?s, Gooding & Co. and more
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