Pharrell Williams’ ‘Joyride’ car auction features Kenny Scharf, Michael Strahan’s BMW

    The seventh Joopiter auction is dedicated to luxury automotives, bridging old and new collectors in the realm of booming car customization.
    The 2008 BMW 328i “Karbombz!” by Kenny Scharf being auctioned on Joopiter. Photo: Joopiter
      Published   in Hard Luxury

    The seventh sale by Pharrell Williams’ digital-first auction house Joopiter went live yesterday.

    Under the gavel is a collection of 12 rare and custom automobiles curated in partnership with New York-based acquisition advisors Morton Street Partners and sponsored by Cart DPT and publishing company No More Rulers.

    Pharrell Williams at the Joopiter ‘Joyride’ auction launch event in New York. Photo: Joopiter
    Pharrell Williams at the Joopiter ‘Joyride’ auction launch event in New York. Photo: Joopiter

    It arrives against a backdrop of luxury car brands gaining recognition as cultural innovators, with a growing number of fashion and art collaborations showcasing the extent of their multifaceted approach to luxury.

    “There’s a broad trend towards car collecting generally from individuals who likely wouldn’t consider themselves to be ‘car people.’ It's one of the goals of this sale to offer collector grade automobiles, but in a way that is intentionally facing toward this broader audience,” says Morton Street Partners co-founder Jake Auerbach.

    After all, you don’t need to be a car fanatic to appreciate the boldly vibrant 2008 BMW 328i “Karbombz!” model by world-renowned American artist Kenny Scharf, or the Daniel Arsham-designed Porsche 911 Turbo 930A, both of which are up for sale.

    The Daniel Arsham-designed Porsche 911 Turbo 930A. Photo: Joopiter
    The Daniel Arsham-designed Porsche 911 Turbo 930A. Photo: Joopiter

    Sports fans might be interested in TV personality and former Giants football player Michael Strahan’s 1991 BMW 850i Dinan from the early days of his partnership with BMW. Another highlight is the 2017 Mitsubishi Fuso Canter 4x4 Camper Teahouse Truck kitted out with speakers by renowned hi-fi designer Ojas, also known as Devon Turnbull.

    Elite rides#

    Each of the vehicles being auctioned showcase various layers of automotive craftsmanship, and the customization that drives high-end value in the industry today.

    Bespoke requests are particularly prevalent in the China market, where Gen Z is driving the high-end automotive industry to climb at a CAGR of 3.35% from 2024 to 2029 to $181.49 billion. Chinese consumers born in the 1990s and noughties are characterized by their adoration of selecting customized features that reflect their personality, tastes, and interests.

    And for many of the world’s most esteemed manufacturers, like Maserati and Bentley, China is home to their largest Gen Z consumer base.

    The 2017 Mitsubishi Fuso Canter 4x4 Camper Teahouse Truck. Photo: Joopiter
    The 2017 Mitsubishi Fuso Canter 4x4 Camper Teahouse Truck. Photo: Joopiter

    The models up for sale in the week-long Joopiter auction, which runs until May 8, hail from renowned brands such as Porsche, Ferrari, BMW, Mitsubishi, Lancia, Mercedes-Benz, and Nissan, sourced from collectors, including Strahan, and restaurateur Scarr Pimentel, Devon Turnbull, and British photographer Phil Toledano.

    Auerbach says high-end vehicles’ investment potential is fueling the popularity of automotive collecting.

    “Cars are in many ways unique among collectibles in that they can be ‘used’ by their owners over and over without diminishing their status as precious objects,” he explains.

    1993 Porsche 968 Club Sport. Photo: Joopiter
    1993 Porsche 968 Club Sport. Photo: Joopiter

    From modern to classic#

    Previous Joopiter sales have reflected its dedication to championing the arts, and how they infiltrate luxury. Pharrell established the digital-first auction house in 2022 as a platform for contemporary collectors, curators, and creators, dedicated to celebrating unique cultural treasures.

    The platform’s partnerships and collaborations have succeeded thanks to its goal – preserving and championing contemporary culture.

    For example, November 2023 saw the “From Me to You” sale of Japanese fashion designer Nigo’s personal archive. Other auction highlights include Takashi Murakami and Pharrell's The Simple Things sculpture (2008-2009), and the Son of a Pharaoh auction, which starred some of Pharrell’s treasured pop culture favorites like the N.E.R.D. brain chain or his Billionaire Boys Club Letterman jacket from 2014.

    In the process of combining pieces that celebrate pop culture moments and the arts with Pharrell’s vision behind each auction, Joopiter is winning over a new generation of collectors. Simultaneously, including traditional auction items like luxury cars, connects the old and new collector cohorts.

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