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Wealthy car collectors are feeling more confident, as Scottsdale auctions rake in $260 million

This 1963 Jaguar E-Type Lightweight Competition sold for $7.37 million at Bonhams’ Scottsdale auction.
Source: Bonhams
This 1963 Jaguar E-Type Lightweight Competition sold for $7.37 million at Bonhams’ Scottsdale auction.

The classic car market is regaining some of its shine, as the latest round of auctions in Scottsdale, Arizona, racked up sales of $260 million.

A total 3,486 cars were sold at the auctions last week by Barrett-Jackson, Gooding & Company, RM Sotheby's and others, according to Hagerty, the collectible-car insurance and valuation firm.

The total topped last year's $251 million and was the second-highest ever for the Scottsdale auctions, which kick off the year and often set the tone for the collectible car market.

Last year, the classic car market slowed, and the Scottsdale auctions posted a 15 percent decline from 2015. That had marked the auctions' first decline since 2010.

Now, with the stock market near record highs, 83 percent of the cars offered at this year's auction were sold. The average price per car fell from $115,729 in 2016 to $89,601, though demand was strongest for the most expensive cars. A total of 35 cars sold for $1 million or more, up from 32 last year.

"The rarest and most exclusive cars continue to see strong interest," Hagerty CEO McKeel Hagerty said.

The top seller was a 1963 Jaguar E-Type Lightweight sold by Bonhams for $7.4 million.

Along with the top of the market, the entry-level market (under $100,000) was also strong, as younger buyers start developing a taste for classic cars.

"We are particularly excited to see the momentum from younger buyers continue," Hagerty said. "Specifically, vintage trucks and SUVs, along with late 1980s and 1990s American cars, were consistently bid to well above current market prices."

Several celebrity cars were sold with mixed results. Boxer Floyd Mayweather failed to sell his gleaming white 2011 Bugatti Veyron, as bids did not meet his reserve price of $2.3 million. But Justin Bieber was able to sell his blue Ferrari 458 Italia F1 edition for $434,000.

Floyd Mayweather’s 2011 Bugatti Veyron Grand Sport failed to sell at the Scottsdale auctions.
Source: Barrett-Jackson
Floyd Mayweather’s 2011 Bugatti Veyron Grand Sport failed to sell at the Scottsdale auctions.

Here are the top 10 sellers from the Scottsdale auctions by price.

1. 1963 Jaguar E-Type Lightweight — $7.37 million (Bonhams)

2. 1939 Mercedes-Benz 540K Special Roadster — $6.60 million (RM Sotheby's)

3. 1952 Ferrari 340 America Competizione Spider — $6.38 million (Bonhams)

4. 1928 Mercedes-Benz Typ S Sports Tourer — $4.81 million (Bonhams)

5. 1969 Ferrari 365 GTS Spider — $3.60 million (RM Sotheby's)

6. 1925 Bugatti Type 35 Grand Prix Roadster — $3.30 million (Gooding & Company)

7. 1995 Ferrari F50 Coupe — $3.14 million (RM Sotheby's)

8. 1961 Ferrari 400 Superamerica Coupe — $3.08 million (RM Sotheby's)

9. 1965 Ferrari 500 Superfast Series I Coupe — $2.92 million (Gooding & Company)

10. 1931 Alfa Romeo 6C 1750 Gran Sport Spider — $2.80 million (Bonhams)