Every January, classic car collectors and lovers alike visit Phoenix to partake in a world-renowned series of events that focus on the buying and selling of some of the most exclusive and expensive classic, collector, exotic and specialty automobiles on the planet. Due to its location on the calendar, Arizona Car Week 2023 not only sets the bar for the marketplace for the upcoming calendar year, but between all its unique events, allows anybody with a passion for great cars to see and experience some of history’s most exciting and memorable automobiles up close and personal.
Darin Roberge, president of Motorwerks Marketing and host of Sports Car Market Magazine’s Buy, Sell, Hold Podcast and YouTube show, selects and discusses 10 of Arizona Car Week 2023’s most fabulous…..
1967 Ferrari 275 GTB/4 Berlinetta (RM Sotheby’s)
Benefiting from 45 years of single-family ownership and in largely original condition, this 1967 Ferrari 275 GTB/4 Berlinetta remains one of Enzo Ferrari’s most intoxicating designs. The 203rd example of 330 produced, it shows stunningly in Grigio Argento over a Nero Vaumol Connolly leather interior. Highly desirable and hopelessly stylish, the 1967 275 GTB/4 was Ferrari’s most dynamic road car of the time and featured Gioacchino Colombo’s six Weber Carburetor fed short-block, 3.3-liter V-12 engine. Documented by Ferrari historian Marcel Massini and benefitting from a 2017 engine rebuild completed by Restoration & Performance Motorcars of Vermont, this example presents exceptionally, in original condition thanks to fastidious attention by its caretakers with a sizeable file of paperwork to prove it. This 275 GTB/4 is a highly desirable example of Maranello’s celebrated late-1960’s Berlinetta and is ideal for enthusiasts searching for a well-preserved example benefitting from a minimal ownership chain, offering the potential for concours presentation or touring enjoyment.
Why it’s fabulous: Ferrari has certainly made a lot of beautiful road cars during its history and the 1967 275 GTB/4 is undeniably near the top of anyone’s list during Arizona Car Week 2023. Not only is it one of the most visually appealing, but as a driver’s car, it’s also one of the most viscerally engaging. Complex and incredible noises from the V-12 up front mixed with an operatic exhaust note out back create a 360-degree symphony of noises, that when being conducted through your hands and your feet, create an experience worth well beyond the multi-million dollar trading price that these models command. Additionally, the various “Grigio” Ferrari paint iterations, in my opinion present the best and the stunning originality of this example make it a bona fide star of Arizona Car Week 2023. No serious collection is complete without a 275 GTB/4 and it would be hard to find a more desirable example.
1966 Ferrari 500 Superfast Series II (RM Sotheby’s)
Initially coined for a series of show cars and concepts, Ferrari’s “Superfast” nomenclature was first applied to a production vehicle with the introduction of the 500 Superfast in 1964. Designed from the start to be a luxurious, exclusive grand tourer that would more than live up to its evocative name, the new model was in many ways the ultimate development of Ferrari’s flagship Superamerica model, wearing an evolution of the sleek Aerodinamico coupe coachwork that had graced the 400 SA model before it. The Superfast’s 4,963-cubic-centimeter Tipo 208 V-12 was an extremely unique engine for Ferrari, combining elements of the Lampredi-designed tall-block racing engine and the long-running Colombo-designed short-block employed in a majority of the grand touring models and berlinettas. The new engine carried the cylinder dimensions of the Lampredi-based Superamerica engine, but its architecture was derived from the Colombo motors. Capable of developing 400 horsepower, this engine was one of Ferrari’s most powerful of the time. According to the research of marque authority Marcel Massini, this example is the 34th of 36 total examples built, though numerically it is the ninth of 12 second-series examples, and the fourth-from-last car built, making it extremely rare and desirable.
Why it’s fabulous: While most Ferraris of the era were designed to fast and be exciting to drive, 500 Superfasts were designed to be fast, exciting to drive and to be smooth and luxurious. Exceptionally difficult to acquire and eye-wateringly expensive when new, these were not cars sold to the general public and like many modern top end Ferraris today, you really had to be somebody in order for Ferrari to consider selling you one. The effort was worth it however, as the 500 Superfast was essentially the pinnacle of what Ferrari was capable of, on road at the time. Picture this: 3 a.m., the A6 Motorway between Geneva and Paris, a cold wind coming through a slightly cracked window and sensational V-12 sounds coming through the dash, as you blast into the night at triple digit speeds with complete control and confidence in total luxury. That’s what the 500 Superfast is for and as such, it’s one of my personal favorite roadgoing designs of all time.
1969 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray ZL-1 Convertible (RM Sotheby’s)
This ultra, ultra-rare, Bloomington Gold Certified, one of two factory-produced 1969 Chevrolet Corvette ZL-1, is truly a mythical machine among Corvette aficionados. Featuring a fire-breathing, factory-correct, date-coded all-aluminum, CanAm Racing derived 560 horsepower ZL-1 427 cubic inch V-8 engine, these were not only the most powerful Corvettes up to that point but were also the most expensive. Having to first select the also legendary, $1,032 RPO L88 option before adding the $3,000 RPO ZL-1, power-assisted, heavy-duty brakes came standard, as did the heavy-duty suspension package, a Positraction rear axle, and transistorized ignition. The list of what you didn’t get was equally impressive: no radio, heater, air conditioning, power windows, and power steering. Even the fan shroud was omitted because it interrupted airflow. Simply put, the ZL-1 is all about performance and at $4,718, the outrageous supplementary price of the all-aluminum ZL-1 package and its required speed accoutrements more than doubled the base price of a new Corvette. The recipient of an exquisite 2014 restoration by specialist Kevin Mackay of Corvette Repair, Inc., this example was refinished in its factory-correct Monaco Orange paint and black vinyl interior and is further accompanied by documents from the original owner, including its original tank sticker, sales invoice and historic imagery. Representing a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, this sale marks the first time that a factory ZL-1 has been offered publicly in 30 years and more importantly, the first time that the ZL-1 Convertible has ever been offered publicly.
Why it’s fabulous: We talk a lot on Sports Car Market Magazine’s Buy, Sell, Hold about how underappreciated C3 generation Corvettes are and how fantastic they remain. While the former may not apply here, the latter certainly does. If you are a Corvette fan, there is no example of Chevrolet’s most important offering that is more desirable than a ZL-1. Just to see one out in the wild is an event. The chance to buy one is even light years beyond that. As stated, this opportunity is once in a lifetime and that alone is a pretty fabulous thing to behold during Arizona Car Week 2023.
1971 Lamborghini Miura P400 SV (RM Sotheby’s)
The Spanish bull referred to as the Miura may have first entered the pop culture lexicon with the publication of Ernest Hemingway’s enduring 1926 classic The Sun Also Rises. Hemingway’s disaffected expatriates travel to Spain to watch the bullfights, and there they are impressed by the brutal capabilities of the Miura, a creature that is muscular, powerful, lithe and menacing. Forty years later, Ferruccio Lamborghini introduced his automotive interpretation of the Miura and in every way the new model lived up to the values of its namesake. Replete with all the grace and power of Pamplona’s bulls, the Miura P400 was a revolutionary sports car in every sense, from its transversely positioned mid/rear-mounted V-12 engine, to the sinewy and voluptuous coachwork designed by Bertone’s Marcello Gandini. True to form, this 1971 Lamborghini Miura P400 SV is one of only 150 SV examples built, and it retains its matching numbers engine, chassis and body. Desirably equipped with air conditioning and split-sump lubrication system, it was reportedly fully restored over a four-year period by Bobileff Motorcar Company, including engine rebuild by the noted expert Bob Wallace. Quite simply, this beautifully presented Miura is one of the finest examples of the P400 SV to be offered in recent memory.
Why it’s fabulous: Widely regarded as the first supercar, Miuras are raucous, sexy and dangerous – just like raging bulls are supposed to be. This said, the refinements of later examples are appreciated and this one essentially has them all (air conditioning matters here!). Additionally, the slightly more subtle Blu Notte over light gray color combination serves this car well, as does its extensive history of work preformed by the marques most knowledgeable hands. The presence of a Miura in a serious collection is almost a requirement and this one is pretty hard to beat.
2008 Spyker C8 Spyder (RM Sotheby’s)
One of only 121 produced, this Dutch-built 2008 Spyker C8 Spyder is a bespoke supercar with several desirable factory options. Showing just over 800 miles on the odometer, it is one of only four examples finished in striking yellow over optional quilted black leather with yellow stitching. Furthering its unique specification, this Spyker Spyder is one of 15 examples factory equipped with the unusual periscope rear view mirror. Other factory options include 19-in. “aeroblade” alloy wheels, four dashboard air-conditioning vents, side-window reinforcement bars and a Spyker-branded oil filler cap. The car has been fitted with a desirable four-spoke Spyker propeller steering wheel, purchased from Spyker specialist Jasper den Dopper. The original steering wheel accompanies the sale, along with a service invoice detailing recent overhaul of the air-conditioning system at a cost of over $2,000. From its quilted leather to its exposed shifter mechanism, billet machined pedal box and optional features, this C8 Spyder exudes absolute precision.
Why it’s fabulous: This is quite likely my favorite modern supercar on offer during Arizona Car Week 2023. Spykers are incredibly interesting cars. Largely styled around an aerospace theme, they also present all kinds of fascinating metal interior surfaces with raw steam punk style details throughout. The exposed shift gate and optional periscope rear view mirror are awe inspiring and unusual and further add the C8’s unique lure. On road, this car is powered by a highly capable, 400 horsepower 4.2 liter Audi sourced V8 engine (as seen in popular R8 supercars from the same period), with a race-bred, double wishbone, fully independent suspension and six-speed Getrag transaxle, making it just as fun to drive as it is to look at. Furthermore, Spyker’s slogan is “Nulla tenaci invia est via,” which translates to “For the tenacious, no road is impassable” and it’s impossible not to love that.
A Collection of Mid-Century Chrysler Ghia Case Study Cars (Bonhams)
Headlining the prestigious Ramheads Collection sale at Bonhams, this trio of Ghia sculpted, Chrysler concept cars were designed as featured attractions at some of the world’s most historically important new car shows, including New York, Torino and more. Since then, they have spent their lives gracing the lawns at prestigious classic car events around the globe, and they bring a wonderful taste of mid-century futurism to Arizona car week. The 1962 Chrysler Ghia L6.4 (left rear) 1957 Chrysler Ghia Super Dart 400 (right rear) and 1954 Chrysler Ghia GS-1 Coupé (front) are one-of-a-kind classics that ask the question, what would George Jetson drive to work if he were real?
Why they are fabulous: Ok, so I’m cheating a little bit here. These are three separate cars and being sold as such, but honestly, I really think that if you are going to have one, you have to have them all. These are not only amazing cars, from a glamourous and important time in American design and innovation, but they also carry the badge of being extraordinarily rare and being show-stopping stars on some of automotive history’s brightest stages. Want to be at the front of every valet line everywhere you go? It doesn’t matter what else is in the lot, these will definitely get you there.
1958 BMW 507 Series II Roadster (Bonhams)
Just one of 253 examples produced, this 1958 BMW 507 Series II Roadster is one of the most important and iconic BMW models of all time. It was also one of the most expensive. Originally built to compete with Mercedes-Benz’s incredible 300SL, this was a no expense spared project for BMW, that blew by every conceivable target price, producing a final product that was more than double the cost of a Chevrolet Corvette or a Jaguar XK150. The effort was worth it however, as its gorgeous lines and 150 horsepower, 3,168cc OHV 90-degree Alloy V-8 Engine with two Twin-choke Zenith Carburetors remains legendary, even today. This example, the 110th produced, shines in “Silbergrau” metallic silver and is presented with optional hardtop, Rudge wheels, front disc brakes, BMW Classic Expertise Book, tool kit, owner’s manual, and period literature and is eligible for all of the most prestigious events around the world.
Why it’s fabulous: Highly coveted by celebrities and serious auto enthusiasts in period, model owners included the likes of Elvis Presley, motorcycling World Champion John Surtees, film stars Alain Delon, David Carradine and Ursula Andress, skiing champion Toni Sailer, Prince Rainer of Monaco, King Constantine II of Greece and the Aga Khan and more. These are stunningly beautiful, great driving cars that are a golden ticket to some of the most exclusive events and experiences on earth.
Carroll Shelby’s 1968 Ford Mustang EXP500 CSS “Black Hornet” (Barrett-Jackson)
Documented in the Shelby Registry, this beautiful, triple-black 1968 Ford Mustang was transformed by American racing legend Carroll Shelby into the “Black Hornet” and it remained in his personnel collection for 40 years. The car was produced as a tribute to the Green Hornet comic hero and features a 428 Cobra Jet big-block V8 engine, independent suspension, high-volume fuel pump, Holley carburetor, aluminum intake and heads, Mallory ignition, Griffin radiator and EFI fuel delivery system. Also adorned with Shelby goodies galore, this Mustang is also equipped with Shelby 10-spoke wheels and many other upgrades. The car is in mint condition and has only 564 miles on the odometer. It comes with original California license plate and Carroll Shelby’s signature on a Transfer of Ownership. A Certificate of Authenticity signed by Shelby is also included, as is a toy diecast of the car.
Why it’s fabulous: 2019’s “Ford v Ferrari” movie starring Matt Damon and Christian Bale made Carroll Shelby a household name and solidified Shelby’s legacy as Americas most important and iconic performance car marque. The Black Hornet is a truly fascinating component of that legacy and demonstrates several unique looks into Carroll Shelby’s personal tastes as a collector and enthusiast. Guaranteed to be a showstopper whatever you do and wherever you go, you know that nobody else is going to have one.
Rod Stewart’s 2001 Ferrari 550 Barchetta (Barrett-Jackson)
Previously owned by rock legend and well-known supercar aficionado Rod Stewart, this very low-mile 2001 Ferrari 550 is No. 92 of just 448 Barchetta (convertible version) 550s produced. Finished in dazzling Argento Nürburgring with a Nero Black leather interior, it’s powered by a 5.5-liter V12 engine producing 485hp and 420 ft/lbs of torque. Freshly performed dealer service in 2022 included a complete check-over and service, new engine mounts, a new left-side valve cover gasket, a timing cover gasket and an air-conditioning expansion valve. New tires were installed in July 2022. Features include multi-piece 18-in. Speedline wheels, yellow-painted brake calipers, leather-trimmed roll hoops, carbon-fiber bucket seats and interior trim and air conditioning. Ferrari racing helmets, factory tool kit and books with a leather pouch are included in the sale.
Why it’s fabulous: Celebrity/enthusiast ownership (the enthusiast element being very important on cars like this) aside, these next generation supercar collectibles are wonderful, wonderful appreciating future classics. Serving as an end of an era marking for Ferrari’s iconic front engine, naturally aspirated, manual transmission, V-12 legacy, these cars do absolutely everything well. Comfortable, rare, fast, beautiful, reliable, you name it. These are the top of the heap from the brand’s most recent series of “golden years” and remain as good as it gets for modern Ferraris. If you want one, get one now, because they will never cost less than they do today!
1969 Chevrolet Camaro COPO (MAG Auctions)
When you see the letters C-O-P-O (which stands for Central Office Production Order), you know that you are looking at something exciting. Chevrolet COPOs were specially ordered, low-production vehicles, which were intended to exploit loopholes not listed on dealer option sheets for Chevy’s performance cars. The result were powerful, barely street-legal, racing-oriented machines that are now highly coveted among collectors. This one of only two Azure Turquoise example is no exception. Featuring an ultra-powerful, COPO authentic and date code correct L72 427 cubic inch, 425hp V8 engine, it is also believed to be one of the last produced.
Why it’s fabulous: These are special cars and this example has lots of special things about it. Shown in interesting and exotic colors, in order to get your hands on something like this initially, you kind of had to know somebody. Ordered by many for motorsports purposes, most were purchased with four-speed gearboxes. However, this example is one of just 193 M40 Turbo 400 automatic transmission equipped cars–and that makes it the ultimate cruising Camaro. Couple that with its older restoration and this means rather than hide it away in a museum, you can also actually use and enjoy it! Put your arm around your honey, put the car in drive and ride off into the Arizona sunset. It doesn’t get any better than this.