(Editor’s note: Arizona Auction Week is very different in 2021. Barrett-Jackson and Russo and Steele have postponed their sales until March. Gooding & Company is doing an online sale and Worldwide Auctioneers are back home in Indiana doing an auction. Leake Auctions is in hiatus. MAG has postponed with a date TBA.
That leaves RM Sotheby’s and Bonhams staging collector car auctions in Scottsdale. Writer/photographer Howard Koby attended the RM Sotheby’s preview, accompanied by his 9-year-old grandson. The following is their report.)
Last March, life changed around the world. Covid-19 put an abrupt stop on all social activities. Among those activities was Monterey Car Week.
We hoped things would get back to normal, or at least the new normal, in 2021, but Arizona Auction Week 2021 is just a shadow of what it has been, with only two of the auction houses having cars on the ground this week in Scottsdale.
When the ClassicCars.com Journal asked me to photograph the cars at those sites, I mentioned that my 9-year-old grandson, Ash Koby-Hirschmann, was visiting the US from his home in England. Ash already is a real car guy, and helped me when I covered the London to Brighton Veteran Car Run in the UK a couple of years ago.
“Great,” said editor Larry Edsall, “let’s have Ash share his view of the cars.”
So off Ash and I went, to see the cars being offered for sale January 22 at RM Sotheby’s. Usually, that auction is held at the fabulous Arizona Biltmore resort complex. But with concerns about the virus, this week the venue is the OTTO Car Club and storage facility. OTTO was founded by Eli Kogan and is a jaw-dropping establish in its own right with 47,000 square feet of purpose-built structure.
The 87 cars on the auction docket range from a 1972 Ford Bronco custom to a superb 1955 Jaguar D-type that is expected to sell for more than $5.75 million.
I was impressed with the variety and quality of the lots consigned to the auction. I’d love to tell you about the 1937 Bugatti Type 57 SC Tourer by Corsica or the 2020 McLaren Speedtail, but now it’s Ash’s turn.
The minute we entered the OTTO, Ash hurried to the 1963 Austin Healey 3000 MK II BN 7, and then to the stable of Ferraris that included a ’54 375 America coupe by Vignale, a ’56 250 GT Alloy, a 512 BBI and a bright yellow Enzo Ferrari.
A 1954 Buick Skylark convertible, a one-year-only design, appeared to impress Ash with its massive chrome bumpers and luxurious red quilted interior. He spoke to one equally impressed bidder, who told Ash, “The design is magnificent with this vanilla cream exterior and beautiful red shades in the fender wells.”
Ash hopes that bidder gets the car.
Finally, Ash settled on four vehicles he considered to be his favorites. Here they are, with his words about them:
My Number 4 favorite car is a 1956 Chevrolet Bel Air Convertible (Estimate $60,000 to $70,000). This award-winning classic car from the ’50s is a beautiful example of a prize-winning automobile. What stood out to me was the classic design ,orangey red color with interior and a striking hood ornament.
My Number 3 favorite car is a 1958 Lister Jaguar “Knobbly” (Estimate $900,000 to $1.2 million). I love everything about this car, especially the deep blue color and the streamline design.
My Number Two favorite car is a 1991 Lamborghini Diablo. (Estimate $140,000 to $160,000). This example of a “Raging Bull” in jet black color with an aerodynamic body had an interior that looks like it was built for racing, although it needed some touch-up work according to an RM expert.
My Number One favorite car is a 1955 Jaguar D-type (Estimate $5.75 million to $7.5 million). This British race car is a beautiful example of a distinctive factory correct sports racer. What I like about this Jaguar is it’s pure red color and its tail fin which gave the car more stability, although I think that this car has been very well sorted. Therefore, I think it very much deserves this multi-million-dollar hammer price. This beautiful car is featured on the cover of the RM auction catalog.