The largest classic car auction of the year just wrapped up in Scottsdale, Arizona, with more than 2,600 cars selling for a combined $248 million.
While there was strong bidding for muscle cars and vintage trucks, bids for the top-priced Jaguars and Ferraris were more subdued.
Of the 3,176 classic cars offered up for sale by the various auction companies at the 2018 Arizona Collector Car Auctions, 2,668 sold, for a sales rate of 84 percent — about even with last year. But the sales total of $247.8 million was down 5 percent from 2017, according to Hagerty, the classic car insurance and research company.
Yet almost all of the weakness was at the very top of the market. Two Jaguar D-Types that were the most expensive cars offered for sale at Scottsdale failed to sell at auction, missing their minimum bids. The 1954 Jaguar D-Type offered by RM Sotheby's, which had been raced by famed racing driver Stirling Moss, topped out at a top bid of $9.8 million, well below the estimate of $12 million to $15 million. A 1956 D-Type being sold by Gooding & Co., which was once owned by the manager of Led Zeppelin, reached a high bid of $8.85 million, just below its estimate of $10 million to $12 million.
Analysts say that while the surging stock market and tax cuts are helping the wealthy and boosting their spending confidence, prices for the top cars were so high in 2014 and 2015 that they were bound to return to earth.