These Are The High-Dollar Dream Rides That’ll Hit The Block At The Amelia Island Auctions This Weekend
How much do you want it? Time to put your money where your mouth is!by Jonathan Lopez, on
While those of us residing at higher latitudes and altitudes are still feeling the chill of winter (we just got 3 feet of fresh snow up here in Northern California), the weather is starting to warm up further south at sea level. As such, some folks are bringing out the metal for a little show and shine action, starting with the Amelia Island Concourse d’Elegance in Florida. Scheduled to take place March 9th through the 12th, 2017 marks the 22nd running of the event, and includes several top-dollar lifestyle events, celebrity appearances, parties, and of course, the associated elegance competition. However, one of the biggest draws for car collectors is the incredible line-up of high-end auctions, with some of the most rare, beautiful, and downright expensive autos in existence hitting the block to exchange hands for vast quantities of money. Watching the hammer fall on some of these machines could be considered a spectator sport, like a battle of the bank accounts where he with the most zeroes wins.
To find each of these entries, we looked to the catalogues of Bonhams, Gooding & Company, and RM Sotheby’s for some of the most enticing, elusive, and cash-crushing rides we could find. But we wanna know – given the opportunity, which would you have, and why do you think they’re worth so damn much?
Continue reading for the full story.
1955 Ferrari 250 Europa GT Alloy – Lot 144
It should come as little surprise that heading the list of lots at Bonhams is a 12-cylinder Ferrari form the ‘50s. The auction house describes this machine by saying that “without exaggeration, [this car is] the ultimate performing example of the handsome Europa GT.”
As a means of bringing race-bred 12-cylinder performance from the track to the street, the 250 is considered the Prancing Horse’s first real Grand Turismo model. This one in particular was made for the ’55 Mille Miglia road rally, making it just one of two models bearing competition gear from the factory. Although built specifically to compete in the ’55 event, this particular example never saw the green drop, as it was not completed by the time the race got underway. However, it finally did make it to the Mille Miglia in 1999 thanks to its owners at that time.
The exterior bodywork, made from alloy and thus the name, was crafted by Pininfarina, while the color used is called Blu Fiat 8V. This particular example also boasts a matching block, body, and chassis, while the engine was carefully rebuilt by Patrick Ottis.
Specs include a SOHC 3.0-liter V-12, topped by 3 Weber carbs and making 240 horsepower. Routing the power rearwards is a four-speed manual gearbox, while independent suspension in front and a live rear axle in rear helps it handle. Making it stop are Alfin drum brakes in each corner.
Estimated value – $2,300,000 to $2,600,000
1927 Bentley 4.5 Liter Tourer – Lot 121
Produced for just four short years, Bentley offered the 4.5 Liter as a means to enjoy more power than could be had with its 3.0-liter model, but without not stepping up to the more expensive 6.5-liter model. As such, the automaker bored out the original 3.0-liter, then entered the result into the crucible of completion. After taking the win at Le Mans in 1928, the prewar legend was born.
Specs include four overhead valves per cylinder, with 110 horsepower created at 3,500 rpm. A four-speed transmission handles the cogs, while leaf springs handle the turns and drum brakes handle the stops. The coachwork was done by Vanden Plas, and is finished in British Racing Green, although it was originally done in grey. Meanwhile, the interior is black leather.
This particular example is noted for its impressive working order, which makes it eligible not only for elegance competition, but a slew of classic motoring events as well.
Estimated value – $750,000 to $900,000
1911 Pierce-Arrow Model 48 Touring – Lot 180
Pierce-Arrow was known for doing things its own way, including retaining control over coachwork construction, and not relying on customer feedback to refine its products. This allowed Pierce-Arrow to enjoy a particular high caliber of clientele, becoming the automaker of choice for many high-profile individuals, including the President of the United States.
Bonhams says this particular example “must be among the best restored examples in existence,” which isn’t surprising when you consider it was previously owned by a former president of the National Pierce-Arrow Society.
Specs include a T-Head inline six-cylinder engine with one carburetor and mated to a four-speed manual transmission. Output is rated at 48 horsepower at 1,500 rpm. Stopping it are mechanical drum brakes.
Estimated value – $550,000 to $750,000
Gooding & Company
This is one very pricey kitty cat. The XKSS is the road-legal iteration of the D-Type, the model that took top honors at Le Mans three times for Jaguar. Offering an advanced aluminum monocoque chassis and bodylines that are reminiscent of a high-speed airplane, the D-Type and XKSS are outright legends. Jaguar was originally intent on building 25 XKSS models from leftover D-Type chassis that never saw competition, but when a fire broke out at the factory in 1957, nine of the unfinished XKSS models were toast, leaving just 16 remaining.
This particular example, chassis number XKSS 716, is one of those original 16. Its history includes entry and victory in a number of events, including elegance competitions and racing. It was originally outfitted with a 3.4-liter inline six-cylinder engine sporting double overhead cams and three Weber carbs, producing 250 horsepower. Output is routed through a four-speed manual transmission, while four-wheel disc brakes, a double-wishbone front suspension, and a live rear axle help it handle. Top speed when new clocked in at nearly 150 mph, while the 0-to-60 mph sprint was completed in 5.2 seconds.
XKSS 716 is currently outfitted with a 3.8-liter engine, as the 3.4-liter unit was replaced in the early ‘80s in order to offer more performance on the track. JLR has said it will offer the new owner a 3.4-liter XKSS block if originality is a major concern.
Gooding & Company says “this car is among the very best examples of the original XKSS, […] one of the most successful and important models in the history of endurance racing,” adding, “A decade has passed since an XKSS was last offered for sale at a public auction, with most examples now jealously guarded in private collections. When the next example might become available is anyone’s guess, but it will almost certainly pale in comparison to XKSS 716.”
Estimated value – $13,000,000 to $16,000,000
Well, wouldn’t ya know it, but there’s another 12-cylinder Ferrari near the top of the lot list, although this one is slightly more modern compared to the 250 Europa over at Bonhams. Yep, it’s the Ferrari squared, draped in an eye-searing shade of yellow called Giallo Triplo Strato. It’s also only got 130 miles on the odometer, and it’s got a long list of options on board as well – about $124,000 worth, to be exact.
Making this Ferrariest of all Ferraris go is a 6.3-liter V-12 with Formula One-derived hybrid tech, which combine to produce a whopping 949 horsepower and 664 pound-feet of torque at the rear wheels. Paired with bleeding edge aero tech and a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission, and this Maranello-born tour de force can propel its pilots to 60 mph in less than three seconds, while topping out at more than 217 mph.
Estimated price – $3,800,000 to $4,500,000
1977 Porsche 934/5 – Lot 056
The 934 hails from the FIA Group 4 racing series of the ‘70s. Essentially the competition-spec for the 930 street mobile, the 934 was a force to be reckoned with in the world of sports car racing, racking up a huge number of competition victories. This model you see here is one of 10 examples produced, and the only model sold as new in Europe. Mounted in the rear is the car’s original engine – a turbocharged 3.0-liter flat six-cylinder, air-cooled. It produces roughly 600 horsepower through a four-speed manual gearbox, with four-wheel disc brakes and independent coilover suspension to keep it handling.
Estimated price – $1,400,000 to $1,600,000
The Ferrari 250 GT SWB is among some of the most highly desirable and collectible Prancing Horses in the world. Built as a means to offer customers the option for both on-road presence and a bid in motorsport events, Ferrari created 89 examples with a street-ready spec sheet. However, each example was still rather potent, coming equipped with standard four-wheel disc brakes from Dunlop, as well as high-performance shock absorbers in every corner. Then, of course, you have the powerplant – a 3.0-liter Colombo V-12, an engine capable of raising the dead with its pleasingly sonorous exhaust note.
Output when new was rated at 235 horsepower, with features like a single overhead cam and three Weber carbs contributing. 150 mph was possible at the top end, while 0-to-60 mph occurred in roughly five seconds. The rest of the drivetrain includes a four-speed manual gearbox, while underpinning it is an independent front suspension and solid rear axle.
It also looks amazing, thanks to the Pininfarina-designed exterior, as put together by Scaglietti. This particular example is one of 165 SWB models produced, and the 83rd built in the line. It also comes with matching numbers and a long list of courcours achievements.
Estimated price – $9,000,000 to $10,000,000
1937 Bugatti Type 57S Cabriolet by Vanvooren – Lot 232
Originally designed by Jean Bugatti, son of Ettore, the Type 57 mated a potent 3.3-liter straight-eight engine with a racing-bred chassis. Boasting high-performance dynamics and an aerodynamic front end, the resulting Bugatti was quite the formidable sports car for its time. To prove as much, the model successfully campaigned in various racing events, collecting numerous wins and records over the years.
The Type 57S was both lower and shorter than its supercharged 57C counterpart. Under the hood was a 3.3-liter inline eight-cylinder engine producing 170 horsepower thanks to double overhead cams and an updraft carburetor. A four-speed manual gearbox handled the cogs, while a live axle suspension handled the heft and four-wheel drum brakes handled the stops.
This particular example is rather rare, offered as one of 42 Type 57S models built, and one of just four Type 57S cabriolets produced by Vanvooren, only three of which still exist. Standout features include the original chassis, body, engine, and gearbox, as well as an impressive record of previous owners that can be traced back to the day it was delivered.
Estimated price - $8,500,000 to $10,000,000
The original Mille Miglia was one of the most harrowing road races on Earth, but Ferrari was no stranger when it came to taking outright victory. As a means of acknowledging this success, Ferrari introduced the 166 MM, essentially a new version of the popular 166 Corsa. The body was simplified and lightened, and after cementing its position in motorsports history with a 1-2 finish at the Mille, the 166 went on to win at Le Mans and Spa, providing future inspiration to some of Ferrari’s most celebrated models.
Making it go is 140 horsepower from a 2.0-liter V-12, featuring a single overhead cam and three Weber cams. Sending the power rearwards is a five-speed manual gearbox, with an independent front suspension, a rigid rear axle, and four-wheel drum brakes equipped in the handling department.
Incredibly, this particular Ferrari 166 MM Barchetta is the third lot at RM Sotheby’s threatening to eclipse the eight-figure mark at Amelia this year. It’s one of 32 built, and the 23rd of 25 Touring Barchettas produced. Its previous owners include Scuderia Ferrari driver Eugenio Castellotti, and it was raced at the Mille Miglia in ’51 and ’53, as well as the Pebble Beach Road Races. Topping it off is a long list of concours wins and honors
Estimated price - $8,000,000 to $10,000,000