Gooding & Company sells the most valuable pre-1930s car of all time for over $12 Million at 14th Annual Amelia Island Auctions

Gooding & Company sells the most valuable pre-1930s car of all time for over $12 Million at 14th Annual Amelia Island Auctions


The 1903 Mercedes-Simplex 60 HP ‘Roi des Belges’ became the most valuable pre-1930s car at auction when it sold for $12,105,000. 

Photo copyright and courtesy of Gooding & Company. Image by Hanna Yamamoto.

Amelia Island, Fla. In recent years, Gooding & Company’s Amelia Island sale has become one of the pinnacle events of the auction cycle, where the transaction of some of the world’s most important vehicles continues to take place. This past weekend, Gooding & Company continued this trend with the sale of the most valuable pre-1930s car at auction, the 1903 Mercedes-Simplex 60 HP ‘Roi des Belges.’ Undoubtedly among the most significant cars to come to market in recent memory, this incredibly well-preserved and historic automotive artifact sold for $12,105,000, becoming the first antique car to surpass $10,000,000. Throughout the course of its two-day sale, Gooding & Company grossed $67,342,270, achieving an 87% sell-through rate with 111 of 127 lots sold. The average price per lot sold was $606,687, and 14 lots sold for figures over $1,000,000.

All 10 of the highest valued lots at the Amelia Island Auctions found new homes throughout the weekend, led by the clear star of Florida auction week, the ex-Alfred Harmsworth 1903 Mercedes-Simplex 60 HP ‘Roi des Belges’ ordered new by the founder of the Daily Mail. With an audience consisting of a fully packed auction tent, countless international phone bidders, and the collective attention of the global automotive community, the Mercedes steadily climbed to a hammer price of $11 million, ultimately being sold for an all-in price of $12,105,000. The 1954 Ferrari 500 Mondial Series I Spider sold for $3,995,000, and the 1961 Porsche RS61 became the most valuable RS61 at auction when it sold for $3,100,000. The stunning 1972 Ferrari 365 GTB/4 Daytona Spider finished in vibrant Verde Bahram over an unrestored tan leather interior also set a new record for the 365 GTB/4 model when it achieved $3,635,000, significantly exceeding pre-auction estimates.

The 2015 Porsche 918 Spyder Weissach finished in specially ordered, factory-applied Gulf Oil livery also sped past all estimated values, selling for an astonishing $3,525,000 after a spirited in-room bidding war. The Porsche marque was well represented among the event’s top sellers, including the 1973 Porsche 911 Carrera RS 2.7 Homologation, which achieved $1,985,000, and the 1990 Porsche 964 Carrera 4 Reimagined by Singer ‘Classic Study,’ which brought in $1,160,000. Additionally, the resplendent Deep Sea Green over Dark Green leather 1990 RUF BTR III set a new record for the BTR when it sold on the block for $830,000. All three lots also sold from the Porsche 991 Motorsport Collection, led by the as-new condition 2019 Porsche 935 that went for $1,517,500.

Highlights from the Amelia Island Auctions also included elegant prewar offerings, such as the 1938 Bugatti Type 57C Atalante which sold for $2,260,000, in addition to the recently unearthed 1931 Duesenberg Model J Disappearing-Top Convertible Coupe that garnered $2,645,000. Yet another exciting garage find was the 1967 Ferrari 275 GTB/4 first owned by legendary racing driver Jo Siffert, rehoused for an impressive $2,920,000. Lastly, the rare, factory-Rudge wheel 1957 Mercedes-Benz 300 SL Roadster took home $2,012,500.

Attention was directed towards selections from the Mullin Collection, consisting of twenty French and European lots from the prized assemblage of one of the world’s greatest automotive collectors. 100% of the lots within this collection were sold, led by the 1925 Bugatti Type 35C Grand Prix which achieved $582,500. Several lots from the collection sold well above estimate, such as the 1965 Citroën DS19 Majesty ($207,200), the 1931 Bugatti Type 49 Berline ($390,000), and the Chapron-bodied 1948 Delahaye Type 135 MS Cabriolet ($390,000). Further, 100% of the Ferrari lots from the Iannelli Family Collection sold, with the leading 2011 Ferrari 599 GTO selling for $907,000.

Lots Sold Over $1 Million:

Lot 128 – 1903 Mercedes-Simplex 60 HP ‘Roi des Belges’, sold for $12,105,000Lot 30 – 1954 Ferrari 500 Mondial Series I Spider, sold for $3,995,000Lot 36 – 1972 Ferrari 365 GTB/4 Daytona Spider, sold for $3,635,000Lot 43 – 2015 Porsche 918 Spyder Weissach, sold for $3,525,000Lot 132 – 1961 Porsche RS61, sold for $3,100,000Lot 121 – 1967 Ferrari 275 GTB/4, sold for $2,920,000Lot 34 – 1931 Duesenberg Model J Disappearing-Top Convertible Coupe, sold for $2,645,000Lot 20 – 1938 Bugatti Type 57C Atalante, sold for $2,260,000Lot 24 – 1957 Mercedes-Benz 300 SL Roadster, sold for $2,012,500Lot 28 – 1973 Porsche 911 Carrera RS 2.7 Homologation, sold for $1,985,000Lot 139 – 1955 Mercedes-Benz 300 SL Gullwing, sold for $1,765,000Lot 116 – 1929 Bentley 4 1/2 Litre Le Mans Sports Tourer, sold for $1,545,000Lot 22 – 2019 Porsche 935, sold for $1,517,500Lot 33 – 1990 Porsche 964 Carrera 4 Reimagined by Singer ‘Classic Study’, sold for $1,160,000

Noteworthy record holders:

Lot 128 – 1903 Mercedes-Simplex 60 HP ‘Roi des Belges’, sold for $12,105,000 (a world record for all pre-1930 cars, world record for all antique cars)Lot 36 – 1972 Ferrari 365 GTB/4 Daytona Spider, sold for $3,635,000 (a world record for the model)Lot 132 – 1961 Porsche RS61, sold for $3,100,000 (a world record for the model)Lot 120 – 1990 RUF BTR III, sold for $830,000 (a world record for the model)

Looking Ahead
This April, Gooding & Company will conduct the Selections from the Mullin Collection Auction at the Mullin Automotive Museum in Oxnard, California, presenting the revered collection of respected visionary Peter Mullin and his wife Merle, offered entirely without reserve. The live auction event will take place at the beloved museum, offering enthusiasts and collectors alike one final opportunity to visit the official residence of one of the greatest collections of French and European cars to ever be compiled. Interested parties are encouraged to contact our team members for inquiries regarding available lots, auction logistics, or travel suggestions for the sale in Oxnard. Additionally, later this spring, Gooding & Company will host Geared Online | Motorcycles from May 8 to May 17. Consignments for this online-only, motorcycle focused sale are still open; contact the auction house as soon as possible, as space is limited.

Selections from the Mullin Collection Auction
Date: Friday, April 26 at 11:00am PST
Location: Mullin Automotive Museum, 1421 Emerson Ave, Oxnard, CA
Public Preview: Wednesday, April 24 through Friday, April 26
Online Catalogue: The catalogue will be available in early April
General Admission: $40, includes admission for one to the viewing and the auction
Bidder Registration: www.goodingco.com/register
Live Auction Broadcast: www.goodingco.com
Facebook: www.facebook.com/GoodingandCompany
X: @goodingandco
Instagram: @goodingandcompany
YouTube: www.youtube.com/user/GoodingandCompany
Phone: +1.310.899.1960

About Gooding & Company
Gooding & Company is celebrated for its world-class automotive auctions, private brokerage, and unparalleled service in the international collector car market, achieving over $2.75 billion in sales since the company’s inception. The auction house continues to deliver market-leading results through both its live auctions and Geared Online platform, setting new trends and world records with best-of-category cars across numerous verticals. Gooding & Company consistently presents the highest quality consignments while operating with openness and integrity, providing the company a reputation of trust and respect unmatched in the industry. Offering a wide range of services including private and estate sales, appraisals and collection management, the auction house is ready to assist you with numerous collector car services.

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