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Collector cars get top dollar

By Tara Baukus Mello ·
Thursday, January 26, 2012
Posted: 4 pm ET

There's yet another sign that the economy is picking up -- numerous collectible cars pulled in top dollar at the recent collector car auctions held throughout Phoenix this past weekend, setting auction records.

The largest of the auctions was Barrett-Jackson's 41st Annual Scottsdale Auction which saw record-breaking attendance as well as sales. The auction house reported 270,000 attendees, a 16 percent increase in attendance over last year, and $92 million in gross sales of cars it auctioned, a 32 percent increase over 2011.

The most expensive car auctioned off was a 1955 Mercedes-Benz 300SL Gullwing, which sold for $4.62 million under Gooding & Company's gavel. The car was one of just 29 Gullwings with an alloy body, making it worth even more than the higher-production steel-bodied versions. Another classic drawing a record-setting amount was a 1948 Tucker Torpedo, which sold for $2.915 million (a world record for a Tucker) through Barrett-Jackson's auction.

Barrett-Jackson also noted that more than half of its bidders were new registrants, indicating a possible increased interest in the collector car market in general.

Tara Baukus Mello writes the cars blog as well as the weekly Driving for Dollars column, providing both practical financial advice for consumers as well as insight into the latest developments in the automotive world. Follow her on Facebook here or on Twitter @SheDrives.

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