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My Thoughts on the Gooding Auction, Aug. 20, 2022


Twisted Shifter
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I was rather disappointed with the Gooding and Co. auction I watched on the internet Saturday afternoon. I "tuned in" when it was already in progress and turned it off after about an hour. That brief encounter may not have been enough to fairly judge the presentation, but I was not impressed.

 

Sure, the cars that rolled down the runway were, for the most part, spectacular (especially if you love gray or black foreigh sports cars), and the purchase prices, even more spectacular. However, my big disappointment was the auctioneer and his sidekick, as well as the visual presentation.

 

I have attended many different auctions over the years (admittedly few top-end collector car auctions), but the level of excitement of today's Gooding auction was not that different than that of a New York or London Art House selling priceless paintings to museums - or even worse, attending an English wake!

 

A printed paragraph of descriptive information about the car on the block was read by the sideman and, immediately, the auctioneer opened bidding, usually well in excess of a few hundred thousand dollars. The cameras moved slowly around the car, homing in on a detail or an interior shot.  Other than the rather hum-drum monitone of the auctioneer calling for bids and acknowledging them (all off camera), no other visual or audio interruptions (or items of interest) broke the flow. Upon acknowledging the sale, the process repeated itself, ad nauseum.

 

I guess I was prepared to watch the one percenters in the bidding gallery jostling for a better view, excitedly waving at the auctioneer with one hand, and holding a beer or other libation in the other, and then, happily celebratiog their special purchase. For the hour plus that I watched, the only human activity presented was of the two Gooding employees sitting calmly behind the dias, and stone-still drivers behind the wheel of each vehicle.

 

Is this the way it is nowadays? Are bidders not to be seen or heard? Do most auctioneers sit calmly checking off sales of multi-million dollar sales? Where's the thrill and excitement? Are these auctions just another business transaction, to be repeated now and again moving investment money about without passion? If so, I am sorely out of tune with the direction car collecting has gone.

 

Unless someone can convince me transactions like the one I watched today are not the norm, that there are people with blood (maybe gas or oil) in their veins who can generate a little interest and passion along with buy and sell activities, I'll figure that I'm an old fossil, living in the past, and that the future lies in investments and chasing the almighty dollar. Maybe I should dig out the old stamp collection...

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5 hours ago, Twisted Shifter said:

Unless someone can convince me transactions like the one I watched today are not the norm, that there are people with blood (maybe gas or oil) in their veins who can generate a little interest and passion along with buy and sell activities, I'll figure that I'm an old fossil, living in the past, and that the future lies in investments and chasing the almighty dollar. Maybe I should dig out the old stamp collection...

I dunno, some people seem to enjoy an auction - personally doesn't matter how it goes I don't like them regardless of what it is 

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I believe OP is confusing an auction of high end collector items for a circus/TV freak shows a la B-J,  Mecum, R-S, etc. 

While ALL classic car auctions are and have always been “just another (used car sales) business” venues, some cater for more established and serious buyers/collectors who often don’t attend nor even follow the proceedings, while others cater to those into glitz, glitter and desire to be “seen on the scene” and their off-site followers (through TV, etc) who like to live vicariously through their “heroes”(?), be they Housewives, Kardashians or some banging/cursing/sparks producing pretenders on fake/scripted drama about car rebuilding/restoration.


 

Edited by TTR (see edit history)
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The difference you see in entertainment value has to do with how the auction company is generating its income.

 

Gooding is not counting on general admission tickets from the public that are not going to buy a car. They are focused on making a transaction.

 

on the audience side, most buyers have coldly calculated what they’re going to pay, and excitement or adrenaline will have nothing to do with it.


The more “exciting” auctions are generating a lot of their income from the public. You can see that difference when you walk around.

 

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4 minutes ago, alsancle said:

The difference you see in entertainment value has to do with how the auction company is generating its income.

 

Gooding is not counting on general admission tickets from the public that are not going to buy a car. They are focused on making a transaction.

 

on the audience side, most buyers have coldly calculated what they’re going to pay, and excitement or adrenaline will have nothing to do with it.


The more “exciting” auctions are generating a lot of their income from the public. You can see that difference when you walk around.

 

Just billionaires filling out their tangible assets portfolio. 

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I think Charlie Ross did a masterful job of keeping things a little lively while not going overboard in the past. 

 

I am unsure, in the space Gooding operates in, how much that may influence a buying decision, but it isn't clerical work either, kind of an intangible value add but definately a ceratian talent is involved.  I don't think his services come cheap.  

Edited by Steve_Mack_CT (see edit history)
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I did not see the auction at discussion but did see a bit of it last year. I completely agree with the OP. It doesnt need to be the circus that BJ puts on, but Paleeze! the arrogance is overwhelming. 

My curiosity watching all of the auctions, selling one million dollar car after another. What is the thought process buying these machines? Is it so and so has one and I need one also, I am bored with the one I  have, time to sell and get another. Are these cars owned long enough to actually appreciate in value or sold within a couple of years on a whim. It seems to me like the elitist version of trading baseball cards.

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It is somewhat interesting to think about how some people can amass a million dollars in "play money", are their lessons to share and advice to young collectors? There were undervalued cars that will hit the general market in future months, more that will be on the market to replenish the "play money" accounts. Car haulers, restoration shops, storage facilities will continue to be busy. Looking forward to the Sunday show photos. 

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I mentioned this a few years ago, but in light of your comment of Million $ , "play money " situations it seems pertinent. Quote from my now deceased , reasonably wise father. " If you has spent 1/2 as much time learning about how to make money as you spent learning about cars, all your car problems would have been solved long ago."

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I’ve followed the Gooding Auctions for a number of years because of its availability on You Tube (which I Chromecast to the big screen). They generally have an interesting selection of high end cars, both foreign and domestic. This year was a bit disappointing as it seemed they were overloaded with “rare” Porsches. In all fairness, Inhave never been a big fan of Porsche. 
 

Gooding, like all the other auctions, fit into a specific niche. If you are very interested in muscle cars, stick with Mecum. If you like way overpriced cars sold en masse, you know who to watch. Gooding, RM and Bonham’s offer a wide variety of high end classic collectible cars. I will never be able to afford anything that crosses their auction blocks, except the occasional TC, but it is fun to watch and plan for when I win Powerball.

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2 hours ago, 1912Staver said:

I mentioned this a few years ago, but in light of your comment of Million $ , "play money " situations it seems pertinent. Quote from my now deceased , reasonably wise father. " If you has spent 1/2 as much time learning about how to make money as you spent learning about cars, all your car problems would have been solved long ago."

My problem was getting in the hobby at age 10, I think the Million Dollar Car Buyers got in the hobby once they had the funds to buy the truly Great Cars. 

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I was watching one particular car at Goodings and when I searched results it sold for 50% more than the low estimate and 20% more than the high number.  Not good for me, there is a similar car I am wanting to buy and it is likely out of my means.  Bummer.

 

Regards, Gary

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This one wasn't at Goodings sale. Rather at Bonhams Quail Lodge sale on Friday the 19 th. At Carmel, so part of Car Week.

A bit of an underappreciated year for Cadillac , 1923. But here is a very presentable Cadillac roadster for Model A Ford money. $26,880.00 including premium.

A one off, very low result  ?, or is there perhaps hope yet ?

 

https://www.bonhams.com/auction/27509/lot/137/1923-cadillac-type-61-v8-roadster-engine-no-20819/Image

 

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by 1912Staver (see edit history)
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I can't speak for the Gooding auction, but in another

collectible realm I follow, most bidders are not present.

That's far different from years ago, when the auction

room was crowded.  People are bidding by telephone

or internet.

 

And from what I've seen, the truly wealthy are just as

enthusiastic as any of us with a car purchase.  It's not

for exhibitionism or for merely filling out a portfolio.

No matter how much money one has, there is always

something to take it--so be thrifty, be selective, be grateful!

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