The 25 biggest-selling cars at the 2020 Amelia Island auctions

With the auction action now over, we have compiled the 25 cars that made the most money in Florida this year.

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By John Redfern, Motoring Research

Counting the cost – 2020 Amelia Island results

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With hundreds of impressive cars spanning three major auctions, the 2020 Amelia Island events saw a host of impressive machinery on offer. Expectations were high, and estimates priced accordingly.

With the auction action now over, we have compiled the 25 cars that made the most money in Florida this year.

All sale prices here reflect the final value inclusive of fees where relevant.

$731,000 – 2016 Ferrari F12 Tdf

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That the cheapest car on our list sold for in excess of $700,000 should be an indicator as to just how much money changed hands in Florida.

Secured at the Gooding & Company sale, this 2016 Ferrari F12 Tdf is powered by a 769 horsepower V-12 engine. Despite low mileage and recent servicing work, this example fell slightly short of the pre-sale estimated price.

$753,000 – 1972 Maserati Ghibli 4.9 SS Spider

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Another car sold at the Gooding & Company auction, this is one of only 30 examples of the Maserati Ghibli SS Spider made for the American market. Making it even rarer is the fact it happens to be one of the 24 fitted with a manual transmission.

Owned by various collectors across the United States and Europe, the Maserati returned to the U.S. in 2010. Although the final price may appear impressive, again this was another car falling short of the pre-auction estimate.

$758,500 – 1957 Mercedes-Benz 300 SL Roadster

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The 2020 Amelia Island auctions included a host of Mercedes-Benz 300 SL Roadsters, demonstrating their continuing desirability. Based upon the iconic 300 SL Gullwing, the Roadster version proved to be more popular with contemporary buyers.

This example sold at the RM Sotheby’s auction is one of the earliest production models of the 300 SL Roadster. A recent engine rebuild and accompanying documentation will have helped enhance the value of this car.

$786,000 – 2004 Porsche Carrera GT

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Powered by a V-10 engine originally developed for Le Mans racing, the Carrera GT has a formidable reputation. A lightweight carbon fiber monocoque chassis, mated to the sonorous 5.7-liter V-10 with an output of 605 horsepower, allows for a top speed of 200 mph.

Having covered only 766 miles since leaving the factory, this example is described as being in ‘as new’ condition. This car has passed through the hands of several collectors, before the most recent sale by RM Sotheby’s.

$797,000 – 1939 Bugatti Type 57C Stelvio

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Part of the Keith Crain Collection sold by RM Sotheby’s, this Bugatti Type 57C features cabriolet bodywork by Gangloff. Fitted with hydraulic brakes and telescopic shock absorbers, this is one of the latest examples of the Type 57C.

Imported into the United States in 1959, this car has been owned by notable collectors. A comprehensive restoration was undertaken after the car was acquired by Keith Crain in 2006. Appearances at events have included the 2007 Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance.

$802,500 – 1930 Cadillac V-16 Sport Phaeton

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Another car from the Keith Crain Collection sold by RM Sotheby’s, this Cadillac has been featured in numerous books and magazines. Owned by one owner from 1952 until 1995, the V-16 was subjected to restoration work in the late 1990s.

Widely respected in classic car circles, the considerable price paid for this rare Sport Phaeton should not be a surprise. It represents just one of seventeen examples of this model still known to be in existence. 

$808,000 – 2009 RUF CTR3

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Almost as rare as the Cadillac, but decidedly more powerful, this is one of 30 examples of the RUF CTR3. Featuring a 754 horsepower turbocharged engine in a mid-engined layout, do not mistake this for a Porsche Cayman wearing a body kit.

With only a handful of examples imported to the United States, finding a similar car would be almost impossible. The final sale price at the Gooding & Company auction saw the RUF achieve its pre-auction estimate.

$852,000 – 1931 Invicta S-Type Low Chassis

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As a former Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance class winner, expectations were understandably high for this rare vintage Invicta. With examples of the British-built machine particularly uncommon in North America, this car made the trip across the Atlantic in the late 1950s.

Curiously, despite being originally sold to a British owner, the car was delivered in left-hand drive configuration. Sold by Bonhams, the impressive history of this car will have helped contribute to the final sale price.

$967,500 – 2017 Ford GT

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Recent auctions have seen third-generation Ford GTs achieve considerable sums of money. This car continued the trend at the Gooding and Company auction, coming close to topping the $1 million mark.

What made this car particularly special, along with the Ingot Silver paintwork and costly carbon fiber exterior package, was having only 16 miles on the odometer. We wonder if the new owner will be brave enough to add more to that figure.

$978,500 – 2019 McLaren Senna

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Like the Ford GT, this McLaren Senna is another low-mileage supercar with incredible performance. A turbocharged 3.8-liter V-8 engine delivers 789 horsepower, and a potential top speed of over 211 mph.

Limited to 500 units, this example came loaded with options. In particular, the Black Amethyst exterior package was one of 23 options that took the original sale price to more than $1.3 million. With only 88 miles on the odometer, this car fell slightly short of its estimate at the Gooding and Company auction.

$995,000 – 1957 Mercedes-Benz 300 SL Roadster

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The second of three 300 SL Roadsters making the top 25, this example was sold at the Gooding and Company auction. This car was originally made for Princess Ashraf ol-Molouk Pahlavi, the twin sister of the last Shah of Iran.

Later owned by an American family from 1961 through to 1996, the car was used for rally competitions. Having such an interesting backstory, plus the unique modifications for motorsport use, contributed to the desirability. 

$1.02 million – 1958 Mercedes-Benz 300 SL Roadster

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Demonstrating that the values for 300 SL Roadsters were pleasingly consistent at Amelia Island is this car. Delivered to a European buyer when new, it moved to the United States later in its life. It actually appeared in a 2011 Super Bowl advert for Mercedes Benz.

An engine-out service was undertaken in 2014, with a new exhaust system also being fitted. 2015 would see the car be driven by Sir Stirling Moss at the Pebble Beach Tour d'Elegance. This will have undoubtedly helped the car achieve its final sale price at the Bonhams auction.

$1.05 million – 1987 Porsche 959 Komfort

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Having been upgraded by Canepa Designs, and converted to be road-legal in the United States, makes this Porsche 959 desirable. Work undertaken included the fitment of HID headlights, a new suspension system, a roll cage, plus upgraded wheels and tires.

Being one of just 343 examples produced, this 444 horsepower supercar is rare at the best of times. In such impressive condition, and being ready to use in the U.S., will have attracted bidders at the RM Sotheby’s sale.

$1.13 million – 1930 Duesenberg Model J Convertible

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Also from the Keith Crain Collection sold by RM Sotheby’s, this Duesenberg had a notorious early owner. It was originally bought by Jake “the Barber” Factor, half of the Max Factor cosmetics company. Jake became embroiled in stock scams, and faked a kidnapping to avoid being extradited to the United Kingdom.

Factor only owned the car for a short period of time, but his ownership adds to the history of this Duesenberg. For many years it resided in the Miller Museum in the Midwest, before passing into private ownership. Only a handful of miles have been added to the car since restoration work. 

$1.32 million – 1932 Duesenberg Model J Stationary Victoria

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With custom bodywork by Rollston, this Model J is truly a unique example of the classic Duesenberg. The build process was fully documented at the time, including photographs from when the car was originally delivered.

The car made an appearance at the 2018 Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance, and took part in the 2018 Duesenberg Tour. RM Sotheby’s will have had little difficulty in finding bidders keen to own a genuinely bespoke Duesenberg.

$1.35 million – 1961 Ferrari 250 GT Cabriolet Series II

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Ferrari 250 GT models are extremely desirable to collectors and investors. The later Series II version of the 250 GT Cabriolet saw only 200 examples produced, with this being the 131st car made. Wearing bodywork by Pininfarina, the car was shipped to a Californian buyer from new.

Finished in Grigio Fumo paintwork, the car has recently made appearances at 2019 Cavallino Classic, 2019 Cincinnati Concours d’Elegance and the prestigious 2019 Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance.

Such high-profile show features, and Ferrari Classiche certification, will have encouraged bids at the RM Sotheby’s auction.

$1.38 million – 1976 Porsche 934

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Based on the Porsche 930 road car, the 934 was a turbocharged racer with its engine output boosted to 485 horsepower. Custom bodywork, a stripped out interior, and BBS center-lock wheels were part of the racing conversion.

Noted as being the very first 934 off the Porsche production line, the car competed in numerous sports car races between 1976 and 1979. This included an entry to the Le Mans 24 Hour.

Restoration work in the 2000s returned the 934 to its original condition, and will allow the winning bidder from the Gooding and Company auction to enter classic motorsport competitions.

$1.47 million – 1969 Lamborghini Miura P400 S

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Described as being of the finest examples of the Miura, this is aided by its original condition, having never been subjected to restoration work. It still wears the original Rosso Alfa Acrilico paintwork, whilst the drivetrain is the same one it left the factory with.

Adding to the value of this 370 horsepower V-12 supercar is that it has had just three owners from new. They have added 17,500 miles to the odometer of the Miura, whilst recent work saw the suspension, brakes, and fuel system reconditioned. These factors contributed to the car achieving its pre-auction estimate at the Gooding and Company sale.

$1.47 million – 1967 Ferrari 330 GTS

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Advertised as one of the headliners at the Bonhams sale, this is the 28th of the 100 Ferrari 330 GTS examples made. Wearing coachwork by Pininfarina, this car was delivered new to the United States wearing Grigio Fumo paintwork.

A bare metal restoration was undertaken in 2013, including a respray in the current Oro Chiaro color. This helped the car net a Platinum Award at the 22nd Cavallino Classic in 2013. Despite the provenance, and impressive sale figure, the car actually fell short of the RM Sotheby’s pre-sale estimate.

$1.6 million – 1963 Ferrari 250 GTL Berlinetta Lusso

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Believed by some to be the best version of the Ferrari 250 GT series, the Lusso model added extra luxury to the formula. An upgraded interior, combined with bodywork by Scaglietti, were matched with upgraded brakes and suspension.

With lengthy ownership tenures, and recent refurbishment work, this is a desirable example of an already collectible classic Ferrari. Appearances at major events have helped its standing in the collector car world, resulting in the price achieved at the RM Sotheby’s sale.

$1.65 million – 1938 Bugatti Type 57 Cabriolet

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One of two vintage Bugattis in the top five, this is said to be the only Type 57 wearing bodywork in a three-seater Aravis-inspired body design. Created by D’Ieteren of Belgium, the Bugatti wears unique features to suit the original owner of the car.

Despite being owned by numerous collectors, the car has retained its original engine, chassis, and bodywork. Factory build sheets, a period photo album by D’Ieteren, plus tools and luggage were also included with the car. RM Sotheby’s will have found this Bugatti appealing to many collectors.

$2.2 million – 1914 Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost Torpedo Phaeton

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Delivered to an owner in Portugal when new, this Rolls-Royce remained in the country until the early 2000s. The vendor of the car at the Gooding and Company auction had managed to find the original bodywork for this car in 2012, restoring the car to its original configuration.

An appearance at the 2015 Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance celebrated the completion of the work. The car has subsequently appeared at the Concours d’Elegance of America in 2017, where it won the Chairman’s Trophy. Being one of 26 Silver Ghosts built in 1914, plus the unique history of this model, were still not enough for the car to hit the pre-auction estimate.

$2.7 million – 2003 Ferrari Enzo

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One of the high-profile cars seen in the lead up to the 2020 Amelia Island sales, this Enzo proved to be the biggest earner at the RM Sotheby’s auction. Ferrari made only 339 examples of the Enzo, with this car having covered 1,700 miles from new.

Most of those miles were added by the original owner, who collected the car from Wide World of Cars in Spring Valley, New York. Part of the Lingenfelter Collection since 2005, a Tubi Extreme exhaust system was also added for extra sound.

Not making use of the 651 horsepower V-12 will have taken substantial restraint, but has helped increase the value of this rare Ferrari hypercar.

$3.3 million – 1907 Renault AI Vanderbilt Racer

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The second-most expensive car sold at the 2020 Amelia Island auctions also happens to be one of the oldest. Commissioned by the famed William K. Vanderbilt for racing in the United States, this car is powered by a 7.5-liter four-cylinder engine producing an estimated 65 horsepower. Vanderbilt Renault racers successfully competed in early American motorsport.

This car was lost for several decades, before being rediscovered in 1946. Ownership by collectors culminated in restoration work during 2016. This was done ahead of an appearance at the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance event.

Given that most of the Vanderbilt Renaults reside in museum collections, the Bonhams sale was a rare chance for a private owner to acquire one.

$7.1 million – 1932 Bugatti Type 55 Super Sport Roadster

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We have reached the top-selling car from the 2020 Amelia Island auctions, with this Bugatti achieving a huge price at the Bonhams sale. Ordered new by Victor Rothschild, later the 3rd Baron Rothschild, this is one of eleven surviving examples of the Jean Bugatti-designed Super Sport model.

Powered by a 2.3-liter supercharged eight-cylinder engine, the 130 horsepower Super Sport was also fitted with a four-speed manual transmission. Bugatti’s distinctive eight-spoke alloy wheels are also present.

Later owned by Dean Edmonds Jr. for some 35 years, the Type 55 has been present at numerous prestigious events such as the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance. The provenance of this car would allow it to enter the Le Mans Classic and Mille Miglia if desired.

Given that Dean Edmonds Jr. purchased the car for $440,000, it makes the price achieved in Amelia Island a substantial return on this ultra-rare Bugatti.


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Automotive Magazine: The 25 biggest-selling cars at the 2020 Amelia Island auctions
The 25 biggest-selling cars at the 2020 Amelia Island auctions
With the auction action now over, we have compiled the 25 cars that made the most money in Florida this year.
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