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Hello,

I have an interesting piece of Automobilia that I need to sell. It is a pedal car with about 25-30 autographs of 50’s and 60’s era Grand Prix and Indy drivers, Shelby, Moss, Gurney, Fitch, Brabham, Unsers, etc,etc.  Authenticated by JSA. I have Barrett Jackson, Mecum, and Goldin auction house wanting to sell it. B.J. And Goldin won’t do reserve, Mecum will, at a cost. 
I also have a place in the UK and Richmond auctions. Richmond auctions says it might be better to sell it at a concours event as opposed to an auction which makes sense since it’s actually artwork that needs a certain buyer. Any suggestions or experiences from those of you who might know?

Thank you!

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Edited by Crash
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Any of the major auction houses can sell that for you.   The venue matters more than the auction house.  One that is associated with a major racing event would make the most sense.   Also, you didn't say what your location which makes a big difference.

 

There is going to a cost associated with auctioning that cannot be avoided.  Picking the auction house based costs is a mistake.

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I second Bring A Trailer. You can set a reserve and the cost to you is less than other auction companies.

 

You have to be accepted, however, and put up with a lot of stupid questions by people who never bid. Have a professional take a plethora of photos (BAT will send you one), suffer the fools, answer questions quickly and politely and you should end up with more money than your other options.

Edited by RansomEli (see edit history)
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Just another idea...   the pedal car seems to be exclusively badged "Ferrari"...    Have you considered approaching Ferrari about selling to them?    Now they may already have as much historical stuff in their corporate museums as they want or need - but - maybe not, and maybe they could see a 'reason' for wanting to acquire it.  Due to age, there is less of a "fan" pool available that still remembers and cares for those famous race names --- that may be a significant factor on where and how you sell it.

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Thanks for all the answers. I live in Los Angeles, and most of the signatures were obtained up at Laguna Seca Monterey Historics. I literally brought this to the racing venues every year for 15 years and carried it through the pits hoping to run into the drivers. Almost all are deceased now. I haven’t been up there in 8 years. 

Most of the auction houses want me to freight the car to them. I can drive it safely up to Mecum in Monterey CA, or Barrett Jackson in Scottsdale Arizona. 
I’ve never heard of BAT but I will look into it  as well. I just picture this hanging on a wall of some collectors garage as a talking piece. That was my intention when I was younger but sometimes life doesn’t give you that opportunity. 

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Thank you for the RM auctions suggestion as well.  I’ve never heard of them and they are located in my own city! I sent the photos and request to Sotheby’s  but was denied. But that was not RM, maybe I sent to the wrong branch of Sothebys? I did resubmit to RM Sotheby’s as I sent it to the antiques division before. I also sent a note off to Ferrari corporate as suggested. Who knows?

Edited by Crash
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7 hours ago, old car fan said:

How about BAT auctions. Seems to bring good money. 

I just looked into Bring a Trailer. It looks like a great site. The problem is in order to find my pedal car someone would have to type in pedal car. I did that and none were autographed but the non autographed cars were $2500-$5000. So essentially the only audience I would get for the car is the people looking for pedal cars. I have no idea how I would attract a larger audience. I typed in “autographed” and “signed” but didn’t find very much. The same holds true with Mecum and Jackson. The car would be sitting next to other pedal cars in the Automobilia category. I feel it needs exposure or it will just be pedal car collectors who view it. 

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1 hour ago, Crash said:

I just looked into Bring a Trailer. It looks like a great site. The problem is in order to find my pedal car someone would have to type in pedal car. I did that and none were autographed but the non autographed cars were $2500-$5000. So essentially the only audience I would get for the car is the people looking for pedal cars. I have no idea how I would attract a larger audience. I typed in “autographed” and “signed” but didn’t find very much. The same holds true with Mecum and Jackson. The car would be sitting next to other pedal cars in the Automobilia category. I feel it needs exposure or it will just be pedal car collectors who view it. 

My perception of BaT is that people who frequent the site look at the list of all the auctions. The reason your car may do well is there's a large number of really wealthy buyers looking for unusual stuff. Just having it on that site will get you some good exposure.

 

Another auction house that might be worth a call is Kraft Auctions in Valparaiso IN. They have a spring auction that features pedal cars and also do a few motorsports themed sales. This past spring the auction featured items from Bobby Unser's estate and Johnny Rutherford's Indy Pace Car. 

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Thanks again guys,

I submitted to BAT Today but I was rejected! I guess I didn’t answer the questions correctly on submission. One says engine. I answered “none”. Or it’s because I put my reserve too high in their eyes for my car. But I honestly don’t know the value for this, nobody does actually. So it’s hard to put a reserve, especially if it’s too low. It seems the submission form is only for real cars. Frustrating

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10 hours ago, Crash said:

Thank you for the RM auctions suggestion as well.  I’ve never heard of them and they are located in my own city! I sent the photos and request to Sotheby’s  but was denied. But that was not RM, maybe I sent to the wrong branch of Sothebys? I did resubmit to RM Sotheby’s as I sent it to the antiques division before. I also sent a note off to Ferrari corporate as suggested. Who knows?

Just to take my idea one step further...  Ferrari Corporate might reply...  But, if you live in LA, there are major Ferrari dealerships in major cities who might want something interesting on their sales floor?   The other related idea are the Grand Prix and Indy car race venues/tracks - who might like a piece in one of their trophy cases or exhibition halls...   I don't know if there are any Clubs for Grand Prix and Indy car fans... Just think you need to put the car in front of people who care about the race names - otherwise all it is is an exceptionally nice pedal car

Edited by classiclines
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You are exactly right. I probably need to get my act together and get it up to Laguna Seca in Monterey CA this August for the Mecum auction. There will be people going through that auction coming from both venues, Monterey Historics and Pebble Beach concours de elegance. 

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That’s just it. I have no idea. Unsigned cars that are the exact same are selling for $2500-$5000.  But I have signatures all over mine. 30+. Authenticated by JSA. So I’m not sure how much that would add.   Just like baseball cards certain drivers fetch a  higher price Stirling Moss, John Fitch, even Gurney or Hill. But the race car fans are nowhere near as large as baseball fans, so the names aren’t as recognizable. 

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It will cost you some $$, but get it appraised by a professional appraiser?  Some here will warn you about that with questions about the expertise of some of the appraisers. You do have a starting point with the unsigned cars, but probably no comps for the signed car that you have. If you do auction it off, the market ( auction bidders) will ultimately set the valuation of the pedal car

Edited by CChinn (see edit history)
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7 hours ago, Crash said:

Thanks again guys,

I submitted to BAT Today but I was rejected! I guess I didn’t answer the questions correctly on submission. One says engine. I answered “none”. Or it’s because I put my reserve too high in their eyes for my car. But I honestly don’t know the value for this, nobody does actually. So it’s hard to put a reserve, especially if it’s too low. It seems the submission form is only for real cars. Frustrating

BAT would be a good place but they are selective on a number of details.  Reserve being one of them.  All of the auction houses will negotiate a reserve they think they can make or they reject the car/item.   Having no-sales is not something they want to see.

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4 hours ago, CChinn said:

It will cost you some $$, but get it appraised by a professional appraiser?  Some here will warn you about that with questions about the expertise of some of the appraisers. You do have a starting point with the unsigned cars, but probably no comps for the signed car that you have. If you do auction it off, the market ( auction bidders) will ultimately set the valuation of the pedal car

 

I'm not sure about the professional appraiser.   The feedback on the reserve number from the auction houses will tell you what they think it is worth and any of the larger houses know what they doing.  Probably more so than 90% of the appraisers. 

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

BAT would be a good place but they are selective on a number of details.  Reserve being one of them.  All of the auction houses will negotiate a reserve they think they can make or they reject the car/item.   Having no-sales is not something they want to see.

This ^^.
 

A lot people, including many on this forum and thread, seem to be under the misconception that any or most auction houses, including BAT or other online platforms will allow consigner/seller set an reserve at their will.

That’s not how it works.

All auctions houses are in the business of selling stuff and if a potential consignor/seller requests/wants a reserve the house thinks is prohibitive to make the sale, they simply just won’t take it on.

 

There are exceptions, of course, but most reserve listings usually appear to come from their preferred associate clients, i.e. brokers, dealers and other high volume/repeat consignors, etc.

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RMSotheby's auction a lot of Ferrari's and will also have an auction in Monterey.  They normally have a healthy auction of memorabilia and you can see what the pedal cars have done in previous auctions.  Ferrari type cars do well. I would be surprised if the4y did not want this one. Send me a PM if you are having difficulty hooking up with them or want to.

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2 hours ago, Steve Moskowitz said:

RMSotheby's auction a lot of Ferrari's and will also have an auction in Monterey.  They normally have a healthy auction of memorabilia and you can see what the pedal cars have done in previous auctions.  Ferrari type cars do well. I would be surprised if they did not want this one. Send me a PM if you are having difficulty hooking up with them or want to.

Thank you very much for the help. I did send off an email with pictures to RM Sotheby’s yesterday. If I don’t hear from them I will definitely contact you. 
thanks again for the help

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Cool piece.

 

But it is a "niche" piece which isn't going to appeal to a large audience, it isn't like you can buy it for a a kid or grand kid to use if you want the signatures to survive.

 

I am not convinced that all those signatures will add much value as they will significantly reduce the target audience of potential buyers. Additionally, not sure the market for pedal cars is very strong and it may be a struggle just to sell a restored pedal car now days for more than restored costs let alone getting more for the signatures.

 

I think Ebay might be your lowest cost way of selling it.

 

Wish you well in selling it.

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Pedal cars have been doing real well, still!  Look at the results with RM.  Kraft auctions in Indiana have a huge pedal car auction each year (sometimes two) and the prices are way up there.  It only takes two that want it and anything Ferrari seems to be off the charts these days.  You also may want to reach out to the folks at the Speedway Motors Museum in Nebraska as they seem to be buying up anything racing related.

 

If you Google Ferrari pedal car you will find plenty that have sold.  I quickly saw the same model minus the autographs that went for over $3,000 but think RM sold one last week at their Dare to Dream sale that might have been more.

 

Wish you luck and hope it finds a good home.

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I seem to have read that youincluded a reserve when applying to BAT.

 

That’s your starting point, as that figure was in your head as an acceptable price.

 

Publish that figure and advertise it,if nothing else you may get a good offer, but with no starting point, difficult for a would be buyer to even make an offer.

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Thank you for the input. I’m not really trying to appeal to the pedal car audience as much as the signature collectors interested in historic racing. Sort of like a 3D piece of art for a collector to hang in his garage or house to display the signatures. 

Edited by Crash (see edit history)
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29 minutes ago, Crash said:


 

 

Thank you for the input. I’m not really trying to appeal to the pedal car audience as much as the signature collectors interested in historic racing. Sort of like a 3D piece of art for a collector to hang in his garage or house to display the signatures. 

Don't over think this too much.  It doesn't matter who the end buyer is, you are trying to maximize your return and you need exposure to all of those markets.  The biggest mistake will be to pigeon hole who you think the buyer with the deepest pockets will be.  The truth is that the end buyer could come from any one of those areas, or one that you aren't thinking of at all.  You want the platform/auction house that is going to give the car exposure in as many markets as possible.  I buy and sell all sorts of things and my underlying method of finding the best deals is to find them for sale where they don't belong.  Don't take the risk of listing it for sale where it doesn't belong.  Good luck, I think it's a great piece!  BTW you have already succeeded in marketing to several thousand people so that has already stirred interest.  Where ever you decide is the correct place please let us know, who knows, maybe your buyer is here.  

Edited by 3macboys (see edit history)
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Thank you to everyone for the help. It took about 20 years of blood and sweat carrying this around historic races and pits to find the drivers I idolized. After meeting Stirling Moss I even ended up making a painting of his win at Monaco, the best I could. I ended up bringing that to him to sign as well. Redman was very gracious, as well as Bell and Vic Elford. Unfortunately almost all are deceased now but at least I had the thrill to talk to these men. 

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6 hours ago, Steve Moskowitz said:

Pedal cars have been doing real well, still!  Look at the results with RM.  Kraft auctions in Indiana have a huge pedal car auction each year (sometimes two) and the prices are way up there.  It only takes two that want it and anything Ferrari seems to be off the charts these days.  You also may want to reach out to the folks at the Speedway Motors Museum in Nebraska as they seem to be buying up anything racing related.

 

If you Google Ferrari pedal car you will find plenty that have sold.  I quickly saw the same model minus the autographs that went for over $3,000 but think RM sold one last week at their Dare to Dream sale that might have been more.

 

Wish you luck and hope it finds a good home.

Let me know if you reach out to Speedway Motors Museum. I have a car on loan to them. I drop it off in 2015..

 

I may be able to help..

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1 hour ago, nick8086 said:

Let me know if you reach out to Speedway Motors Museum. I have a car on loan to them. I drop it off in 2015..

Thank you. Kraft and Speedway both seem to be excellent choices. Goldin Auctions wanted me to ship it but I’m actually a little scared to crate it up and trust a shipping company unless it was a car transport. I will definitely check into Kraft and Speedway Tomm. Thanks again!

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On 6/10/2024 at 11:45 AM, Steve Moskowitz said:

RMSotheby's auction a lot of Ferrari's and will also have an auction in Monterey.  They normally have a healthy auction of memorabilia and you can see what the pedal cars have done in previous auctions.  Ferrari type cars do well. I would be surprised if the4y did not want this one. Send me a PM if you are having difficulty hooking up with them or want to.

Steve, 

I am not allowed to PM  you as I’m new to this forum. If you know of someone at RM Sotheby’s I’d appreciate it. 
Thanks

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2 hours ago, Crash said:

Steve, 

I am not allowed to PM  you as I’m new to this forum. If you know of someone at RM Sotheby’s I’d appreciate it. 
Thanks

Crash, when you get to 14 posts you can pm. You’re at 12 by my count. Good luck with your sale

Edited by CChinn (see edit history)
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On 6/10/2024 at 4:39 PM, prewarnut said:

You could consider Bonhams or Christies too. The latter has 85 examples of past sales of pedal cars (can't seem to find relevant past sales for Bonhams but I assume they must have sold one or two).

Thanks. I did reach out to Bonhams but didn’t hear anything. I also checked Speedway Motors Museum but it links me to a city agriculture site somehow?  

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On 6/9/2024 at 7:26 PM, Crash said:

Thanks again guys,

I submitted to BAT Today but I was rejected! I guess I didn’t answer the questions correctly on submission. One says engine. I answered “none”. Or it’s because I put my reserve too high in their eyes for my car. But I honestly don’t know the value for this, nobody does actually. So it’s hard to put a reserve, especially if it’s too low. It seems the submission form is only for real cars. Frustrating

Whenever you’re selling anything, its value is actually very easy to establish. 
Value is always established by the buyer(s), i.e. whatever they’re willing to pay at that given moment.
Having an asking price or reserve doesn’t equate to value of something or mean it's actually worth that to potential buyer(s).
More often than not, asking price or "reserve" is just an unrealistic dream or expectations.

 

To put this ^^ in very basic/simple terms: An item, be it a car, toy or real estate, is offered for sale with an asking price or a reserve at an auction, lets say $100, but nobody at that auction (or on any other marketing/selling platform) is willing pay more than $38 means the value of that item is $38. Not $100, not $62 or $23.

I mean, I understood this already in my early teens without a need of higher education in economics and for life of me have never been able to understand how or why any adult/grownup can't see that. 

 

 

Edited by TTR (see edit history)
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On 6/10/2024 at 11:45 AM, Steve Moskowitz said:

RMSotheby's auction a lot of Ferrari's and will also have an auction in Monterey.  They normally have a healthy auction of memorabilia and you can see what the pedal cars have done in previous auctions.  Ferrari type cars do well. I would be surprised if the4y did not want this one. Send me a PM if you are having difficulty hooking up with them or want to.

Thank you Steve. 
Rebecca contacted me and is suggesting their RM Sothebys Hershey Penn auction coming up in October. 

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