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Record car sales reveal strength of collector automobile market

October 03, 2012|By Jerry Hirsch
  • A 1936 Mercedes-Benz 540 K Special Roadster auctioned by Gooding & Co. for a record $11.8 million.
A 1936 Mercedes-Benz 540 K Special Roadster auctioned by Gooding &… (Gooding & Co. )

Here’s an example of just how hot the collector car market has become this year.

Santa Monica auction house Gooding & Co. has completed its 2012 auction season and reported sales of $189.6 million, an average of $640,635 for each of the 296 cars sold. The total is 44% higher than last year’s results, which also included 296 cars.

The auction house said the increase demonstrates the rising demand for collector cars as well as the selection of coveted vehicles compiled by Gooding this year.

“Our 2012 auctions attracted an unprecedented level of international spectators and new collectors, which shows us that there continues to be a growing demand all over the world for blue chip cars,” says David Gooding, president of the company. 

He expects collectors in 2013 will show more interest in historic prewar cars and post-World War II European sports cars.

The auction house’s top two sales this year were the 1936 Mercedes-Benz 540 K Special Roadster that sold for $11.8 million, a record for both a Mercedes-Benz and a prewar car at auction, and the 1960 Ferrari 250 GT LWB California Spider Competizione that sold for $11.3 million, a record for a Ferrari California Spider at auction.

Both cars were sold at the Pebble Beach Auctions in August, in association with the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance, and rank as the world’s top two most valuable cars sold at auction to date this year.

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