‘Blue chip’ cars always seem to do well at auction- that’s a given. But a 54% appreciation in less than 2 years is fairly astonishing.
Mecum Auctions sold Ford GT40 chassis 104 at their April 2014 Houston auction for $7m on the hammer- $7,650,000 with 8% buyer’s premium.
The same car was sold by Gooding & Company in August 2012 at their Pebble Beach sale for a not unrespectable $4,950,000 (including 10% buyer’s premium).
So are all Ford GT40s worth 54% more than they were in 2012? Not very likely. What happened here was the fortunate re-offering of an extraordinary car in a short period. This GT40 was a part of the first team sent to LeMans to wrest glory from Ferrari and later was part of the first podium group.
When Louis B. Mayer boasted that his Hollywood studio, MGM, had “More stars than there are in heaven”, he could also have been referring to the list of left seat occupants of this car. Ken Miles, Bob Bondurant, Bruce McLaren, Phil Hill, Chris Amon, Richie Ginther… and that’s a partial list.
It’s no surprise to me that this car would bring such a lofty price and I would dare say that if it had been a Ferrari with a similar history there would have been several million added to the total. This is not an example of ‘market exuberance’- it’s a case of ‘find another if you can.’ Let’s hope the new owner keeps it a bit longer than the last.