Auburn Fall 2021 – Strong Results

Auburn Fall 2021 - How'd Our Picks Do?

The bidders have spoken at RM Auctions’ Auburn Fall event and we’re going to take a look at the ten cars we highlight before the auction to see how they did. All the prices we list include applicable commissions and fees, to accurately portray what the purchasers ended up paying.

This modern gullwing sold well within the estimate, with a final sale price of $189,750 – right in the middle of what was expected at RM’s Auburn Fall 2021 sale. It went for a good deal more than the SLS AMG Roadster that preceded it on the block – that solid roof and those doors added more than $20,000 to the cost of this coupe.

But, considering the last 2012 Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG Coupe we saw sell at auction went for $235,200 – it was at the Elkhart Collection in 2020 – we’d argue that this is almost well-bought. Not quite there, but given a few more years the underbidder on this may look back and wish they’d put up that one extra bid. Plus that red paint and beige leather interior really pop and with just over 16,000 miles on the odometer, this car should have a long life ahead of it.

This one’s interesting. While it did sell within the estimate of $150,000 to $200,000, it just barely made it with an all-in price of $156,750. Interestingly, there was another 1968 Shelby GT500 KR Convertible on offer the same day at Worldwide Auctioneers and that one went for $173,600, so a case can be made that this example was rather well-bought.

Just last month we witnessed Mecum sell an Acapulco Blue ’68 GT500 KR Convertible for $231,000. This may be a case of someone being at the right auction at the right time and getting a great deal as we’ve been seeing more and more of these selling upwards of $200,000 and we don’t really expect that trend to reverse anytime soon. So kudos to the new owner!

The estimate on this ’85 Lamborghini Jalpa was $90,000 to $120,000 and it didn’t quite reach that, selling for a final price of $83,600. At first glance that’s a bit surprising, considering the options this car had – factory air, power windows, power disc brakes – along with the slightly more subtle red finish, compared to some of the other red Italian cars we see.

The thing is, since Lamborghini only built 410 Jalpas and this specific example has more than 60,000 km on the odometer, this was always going to be a difficult car to put a value on. Sure, a bit of that is the eternal question regarding mileage affecting a car’s worth, but most of it is down to how few there are and how infrequently we see them at auction. To put that into perspective, we have records of six sales of Jalpas – including this one – dating back to 2017. And only one sale between 2018 and this past weekend!

Having taken all of that into consideration, while we aren’t going to declare this to be well-bought, it certainly wasn’t a bad deal for the new owner. These have been slowly rising in value over the past five years and we expect interest in the Jalpa to increase in the next five to ten years as more people enter the collector car market and become aware of the value packed into one of these. It may not be too long before we see one breaking six-figures.

This freshly restored Land Cruiser fell short of the estimate at Auburn Fall 2021 – $65,000 to $75,000 – and part of the reason for that might actually be down to the upgrades done during the restoration. Although this price isn’t unreasonably low for a 1968 Toyota FJ40 Land Cruiser, it seems this wasn’t the car for the Land Cruiser purist – it has a modern stereo, power brakes, and digital instrumentation, in addition to an upgraded suspension.

While there’s definitely a segment of buyers who would enjoy those features, the ones who are willing to spend top dollar for a 1968 Toyota FJ40 are more likely looking for examples restored as close to original as possible. For many collectors – arguably most – that’s where they see the safe investment. But this should provide the new owner with lots of enjoyment on or off the road.

This 1992 911 Carrera RS N/GT, finished in Grand Prix White, failed to sell at Auburn Fall 2021. The high bid of $150,000 was definitely too low for the seller to even consider lifting the reserve, with a pre-auction estimate of $190,000 to $220,000. Honestly, we can understand holding onto the car with that being the high bid.

Porsche only built 290 of these and it’s pretty much a turnkey solution for someone looking to get into club racing. So we have to concede that the seller did the right thing by not taking a low bid and we think we’ll see this car change hands sometime in the not too distant future.

It seems a deal was struck on this ’71 Maserati Ghibli SS 4.9 Coupe. When we looked at it on Saturday it hadn’t sold, but according to RM Sotheby’s we can now report that it sold for a respectable $182,500. When you think about the cars this went up against, such as the Ferrari 365 GTB/4, dollar for dollar this is the better deal. It’s pretty close to the Daytona in terms of speed, but when it comes to comfort Ferrari had nothing on this Maserati.

Add to that the fact that there were only 425 of the 4.9 liter SS Coupes built and we’re going to call this one well-bought. Especially considering the long-term ownership history, matching numbers engine and factory-equipped air conditioning. We’re certain the new owner will have a blast driving this!

Someone got a great car when they bought this 1972 Datsun 240Z. Compared to the auction estimate of $50,000 to $60,000, the final price seems downright reasonable. RM Sotheby’s previously sold a ’72 Datsun 240Z in 2020 at the Elkhart Collection and that example went for $92,400 – but that is, by far, an outlier when it comes to the value of a 240Z.

Perhaps that exception sale lead to the higher estimate, but this is more of a driver than a show car, although that should take nothing away from how nice this example looks. The red exterior and black leather interior just click, and really none of the upgrades it’s received take much away from its value. While not exactly well-bought, it wasn’t “well-sold” either – this is in line with what past sales taught us to expect.

This somewhat unique Mustang – only 96 of these 1970 Mach 1 “Twister Specials” were built by Ford – continues the trend of muscle cars with automatic transmissions that we’ve been seeing so much lately. Selling for a final price of $82,500, not quite within the estimate of $85,000 to $100,000, this seems like a fair deal for both the buyer and seller. Although another example sold back in March for $99,000, that one had undergone a complete restoration so it’s understandable that it sold for a higher price.

Perhaps if Ford had built more of these, if they hadn’t been limited to their Kansas City sales district dealers more people would know about the “Twister Special” and it might bring more at auction. But, as we said, $82,500 is a reasonable price for a Mach 1 with a 351 Cleveland V8 paired with an automatic transmission. Especially considering it’s still rocking the original Grabber Orange paint. This should turn some heads at the next cruise night!

Sure, sure, this has all the cool things that Superbirds have. The huge wing, the angled nose, recessed headlights, and of course a 440 cubic inch V8. But what really interests us about this is that this 1970 Plymouth Superbird sold for $220,000 – well above the auction company’s estimate of $150,000 to $175,000.

We’ve seen Superbirds sell in that range in the past, but what sets this one apart is the automatic transmission. There are plenty of reasons we can think of that a bidder might be more interested in an automatic than a manual, but traditional wisdom tells us that automatics just don’t pull the same money that manuals do. So maybe this is the story of the Superbird market heating up – since January 2021 every Superbird we’ve seen sell at auction went above the pre-auction estimates.

Whether or not this trend will continue is hard to say. It could be that the seller of this particular car got in at just the right time and the market is about to be saturated with Superbirds. Or this could be a genuine spike in the long-term value of Superbirds. We’re going to have to keep an eye on these in the coming months to see how this plays out.

This ’93 Ferrari 348 ts is another car we have to measure the odometer in kilometers rather than miles, which we’ve seen a surprising number of times at Auburn Fall 2021. That said, 42,500 km isn’t too high – it’s about 25,000 miles – and the car appears to be in great condition. So it’s understandable that the estimate on this Ferrari was $35,000 to $40,000. And it’s even more understandable that the bidding went above that, with a final price of $48,400.

Being a no-reserve car definitely helped the 348 ts pull in some more bids. Knowing that a car is definitely going to sell can be a strong motivating factor for any bidder. Add to that the gated five-speed manual transmission and the timeless sound of a Ferrari V8, and it’s no surprise to us that this sold above the auction company’s estimate. We’re even going to call this “well-bought” as it’s the lowest selling price for one of these we’ve seen at auction. So props to the new owner for a solid deal on what should be a very enjoyable car.