Sales and prices at the classic car auctions in Scottsdale, Arizona, have gotten off to a fast start, suggesting the car market remains strong despite the instability in global financial markets.
The Scottsdale sales, part of a multiday car-a-palooza that attracts thousands of fans and wealthy collectors, are expected to top $285 million this year, according to Hagerty, a collectible car insurance company.
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Much of the attention is on muscle cars, which have been slow to recover from the recession but have surged in price over the past year. But all makes of American cars and European racers have been selling at strong prices.
At Barrett-Jackson, a 1969 Chevrolet Camaro COPO 427 sold for $330,000, which was above its estimate.
RM Auctions sold a 1966 Shelby Cobra 427 for $990,000—right at its low estimate. A 1970 Chevrolet Chevelle SS 454 LS6 Convertible, which had a starting estimate of $225,000, sold for $225,500 with commission.
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A group of cars owned by legendary collector Ron Pratte have fetched strong prices. A 1969 Chevrolet Chevelle Yenko 427 that he owned sold for $275,000—right in line with the estimate.
The top sellers by price so far are Ferraris, of course. A 1966 Ferrari 275 GTB Competizione Coupe sold $9.4 million by Bonhams. RM sold a 1966 Ferrari 275 GTB/2 Coupe for $2.75 million and a 1984 Ferrari 288 GTO Coupe sold for $2.75 million.
There were also some more surprising successes, especially in trucks. A 1940 Ford Boyd Coddington Pickup sold for $374,000, while the custom-made truck for the "Beverly Hillbillies" TV show sold for $275,000.