Replicas Show Value at Amelia Island

Posted March 20, 2017

Story and Photos by Dean Larson

It was easy to get overwhelmed when walking the countless rows of invaluable automobiles at Amelia Island. Even more so when a $15 million dollar Jaguar XKSS passed by on the street, or when Elvis Presley’s BMW 507 pulled up to the Ritz. We expected high-caliber cars such as these at Amelia and went in with our eyes peeled to see where replicas would fit in the event and what value bidders would place on new-old classics.

The biggest story from the weekend was without a doubt this 1957 Jaguar XKSS offered by Gooding and Company. A nicely restored example with racing history and no major accidents on its record, XKSS 716 was definitely a crowd favorite. The Jag was estimated to sell for between $13 and $16 million, which would have made it the most expensive car sold during the weekend, and not by a little. The XKSS came close with a high bid of $11.9 million, but did not sell. 

There was one seller at Amelia who was able to capitalize on the XKSS excitement, and it clearly wasn’t the owner of XKSS 716. An XKSS replica sold by RM Sothebys brought an impressive $280,500 including premium. Built in 2005 by the Tempero Coach and Motor Company of New Zealand, this XKSS was a well-done recreation skinned in riveted aluminum. The XKSS replica was based on an E-Type chassis and powered by a 4.2-liter twin-cam six-cylinder engine with triple Webers.

Two Jaguar C-Type replicas were also present on the island. The first was a fiberglass replica built in the 1990s using a ‘60s Jaguar donor. The car brought $67,100 including premium at the Bonhams auction, well sold for a car that was showing some age. The second C-Type was a brand new Proteus shown by Lawrence Baxter of Bespoke British Sports Cars. The highly detailed, full-alloy car stopped a lot of people at the show who mused aloud about the car’s value and assumed it to be the real thing. Watch for a feature on the Proteus in an upcoming issue. 

Amelia Island 2017 Recap31

Geoffrey Hacker of Forgotten Fiberglass was present on the concours greens with his 1956 Bangert Manta Ray. The car is a recently restored example originally built on a custom tubular chassis. Between 20 and 30 Manta Ray bodies and cars were built in the 1950s and only four are know to exist today. 

The last auction of the weekend, the Motostalgia event, featured a number of replica and tribute lots we were interested in. While some of these cars did not sell at the auction, high bids came close to the reserve prices and the cars were almost sold. A 1958 Maserati 450S replica, Race Car Replicas GT40 and the Delahaye USA Bugatti Pacific came close to reserve prices, proving Amelia bidders placed value on these cars.

We also found it interesting to compare some replica and tribute builds to original cars sold at Motostalgia. Bidding on VW-based Porsche Speedster and Spyder replicas reached nearly $20,000, likely to hit reserve prices, before stalling. An original Porsche 914 sold at the event with a winning bid of $9,500. One of our favorites, an Alfa Romeo GTAm tribute car, sold for $42,350 including premium. Compare that to this original Alfa GTV, which recently sold for just $24,500 on a auction, reflecting a value of nearly double placed on the tribute build. Strong numbers for replicas at a venue where buyers have a discerning taste for the real thing, is certainly a good thing.

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