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Big auction overseas...4 cars sold


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This is interesting, the big auction in the Middle East is over, and only 4 cars sold......auction company had to lose money on this one, I received the catalog and it was huge, in two languages...

 

https://www.automobilemag.com/news/worldwide-collector-car-auction-saudi-arabia-safari-ferrari-lamborghini-countach-more/

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Wow, that really stings. They lobbied me HARD to send my two Power Wagons over there and I seriously considered it, but after the Saudis started cutting off heads and catching bombs lobbed by Yemen I decided against it.

 

The deal on the auction was that the House of Saud (the ruling family of Saudi Arabia) was paying to ship all the cars over there and paying for one person per car to attend the event. In exchange, they were taking $30,000 per vehicle sold, regardless of commission, sale price, or reserve. The auction house, to counter this, simply raised everyone's reserve by $30,000, which quite likely had an effect on sales. Of the cars highlighted in that article, I see at least three that should have sold for the final bid and someone was either being greedy, assuming the Arabs are fools, or trying to work around the $30,000 vig, or some combination of all three.


There was also a "Salon" area where cars were simply parked with a sale price, with the Saudis again taking $30,000 per. I'd be curious to see how those sold as well.

 

I don't know who is responsible for shipping cars back home, either. I had serious concerns about the ability of dock workers and guys with no experience moving collector cars. Coming home will likely be even worse since nobody has to care anymore.

 

I don't regret not going, even without knowing these results. I think many people misjudge the willingness of Middle Eastern buyers to simply be stupid, which they often do with anyone with significant resources. This time, however, it appears that the auction house misjudged worst of all, which probably means there won't be a "Second Annual" auction in Saudi Arabia. Someone's going to lose a sh*tload of money here, and it ain't the Saudis...

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One of the richest men I've been associated with in my life was a penny pincher.  Don't get me wrong, he spent money, but the money he spent had to have the corresponding value to back it up.  And, he tracked money spent very closely, every car he had, he could tell you exactly what he had in purchase, transportation, maintenance, storage, et. al.

 

As Matt says, just because you have a lot of money doesn't mean you spend foolishly (with the exception of, it seems, just about every big lottery winner in the world....).

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I agree, I have had the pleasure of having rather lengthy conversations with a couple of billionaires on more than one occasion and they do not frivolously spend money.

They know where their money goes and they can give you a run down of everything they spend money on.

Maybe that is one of the reasons that they still have billions and continue to grow their money, while people like professional athletes are broke in less than 10 years.

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It seems to me that the people who planned this event thought that you can sell very, very expensive cars on impulse sales. No matter what you net worth, no one wakes up one days and says “I want to drop millions of dollars on my first collector car. High end cars are an acquired taste..........one works their way up the hobby, learning as you go. In the auction scope of things, any car that has a expected selling price of under 500k isn’t worth the time......unless your selling cars in quantity, the high hundreds or thousands where the numbers kick in and the dollar figures work out. 

Edited by edinmass (see edit history)
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5 hours ago, edinmass said:

No matter what you net worth, no one wakes up one days and says “I want to drop millions of dollars on my first collector car. High end cars are an acquired taste..........one works their way up the hobby,

 

"working their way up"  is known as foreplay or drinking heavily in other analogous situations.

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To my mind, the the entire event has greed written all over it.... and the presumption of stupidity on the part of some very shrewd operators (i.e. the potential buyers).  I'm not surprised it failed and couldn't care less if the auction company lost its shirt.

Edited by JV Puleo (see edit history)
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When we moved to Lexington KY 18 + years ago we would go to the Keeneland yearling horse sales. The second or third year we watched the shake of Dubai spend 41 million on one year old thoroughbred horses in less than three days. They spend money on their hobbies when they want too and see potential to make more off of it. 

Dave S 

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Given the locality known for its less than average consumption of intoxicating liquid beverages, perhaps the myth of drunken, TV show bidders paying idiotically exorbitant prices was not appropriately applicable for this venue.

 

I've always gotten a good chuckle from people wondering why "X" didn't sell for the given bid if that bid was above, in or near perceived "market value"(whatever-that-means???).

If anything, it just seem to reaffirm my belief that those people likely don't have a slightest clue of all possible shenanigans auction houses and their affiliates can (and often appear) resort to. 

Years ago I used to think anyone old enough no longer believing in Santa Claus, Unicorns or Tooth Fairies could easily see through the "smoke and mirrors" of classic/collectible car auction business, but apparently my assumption is continually proven inaccurate.  Or perhaps those aforementioned characters actually do exist ?

Edited by TTR (see edit history)
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I looked at the whole catalog and was surprised at the cars someone decided to sell there. I'm not an expert on the international car market, but some questionable reasoning must have been used, like going on an assumption that what sells at an American auction will therefore sell at a Saudi American auction. A lot of the autos that may do well here were packed up and sent over there. Are we trying to convert them to a Mustang, Camaro, muscle-car nation? Also, scale might have helped....starting at an informal hotel-sponsored event with 1 or 2 dozen cars....then gradually increase it as time goes by and there's a tradition going.

 

Look at some of the vehicles that were for sale.

 

Mustangs (5); Custom Chevies 49, 49, 52, 54, 57, 55, 57, 52; Buicks 54, 87; Cadillacs 57, 62; 57 Desoto; AMC 69; Chevrolets 55, 57, 57, 57, 57, 57, 57, 57, 60;  Ferraris (10); Corvettes(16); 60s/70s Dodges (9); 62 Chevrolets (5); 84 Jeep; 60s/70s Pontiacs (7); 1970 Oldsmobile; late model Dodges(5); and 25 Camaros. [guesstimate, not certified by Arthur Anderson]

 

Selling the above at one of the big American car gatherings in Sweden or Norway would have been better, I think, except for the Ferraris. Those might sell in Saudi Arabia. I admit hindsight gives us an unfair advantage, and if there had been a 95% sell-through, we would be saying different things. They at least tried to pull this off. You never know when a condition #5 1911 Olds is going to sell for a million dollars, or that the Porsche 356 is going to be in demand.

 

  

 

Edited by jeff_a (see edit history)
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13 hours ago, jeff_a said:

I looked at the whole catalog and was surprised at the cars someone decided to sell there. I'm not an expert on the international car market, but some questionable reasoning must have been used, like going on an assumption that what sells at an American auction will therefore sell at a Saudi American auction. A lot of the autos that may do well here were packed up and sent over there. Are we trying to convert them to a Mustang, Camaro, muscle-car nation? Also, scale might have helped....starting at an informal hotel-sponsored event with 1 or 2 dozen cars....then gradually increase it as time goes by and there's a tradition going.

 

Look at some of the vehicles that were for sale.

 

Mustangs (5); Custom Chevies 49, 49, 52, 54, 57, 55, 57, 52; Buicks 54, 87; Cadillacs 57, 62; 57 Desoto; AMC 69; Chevrolets 55, 57, 57, 57, 57, 57, 57, 57, 60;  Ferraris (10); Corvettes(16); 60s/70s Dodges (9); 62 Chevrolets (5); 84 Jeep; 60s/70s Pontiacs (7); 1970 Oldsmobile; late model Dodges(5); and 25 Camaros. [guesstimate, not certified by Arthur Anderson]

 

Selling the above at one of the big American car gatherings in Sweden or Norway would have been better, I think, except for the Ferraris. Those might sell in Saudi Arabia. I admit hindsight gives us an unfair advantage, and if there had been a 95% sell-through, we would be saying different things. They at least tried to pull this off. You never know when a condition #5 1911 Olds is going to sell for a million dollars, or that the Porsche 356 is going to be in demand.

 

  

 

Nordic countries mentioned above along with U.S..domestic market already have high quantities of these types of vehicles so trying to dump/unload portion of that excess into some other (untested) regions in hopes of creating a new marketplace and/or preventing values falling may have seemed like a good idea, but apparently didn’t pay off (pun intended).

I wouldn’t be surprised if some auction houses are day dreaming of China next.

Edited by TTR (see edit history)
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