5th June 2003 - Auction Review - Christie's at Rockefeller Centre New York

- by Steve Wakefield

“Today’s sale was led by the stunning world auction record price for the 1952 Abarth 1500 Biposto Coupe, which soared to nearly $300,000, tripling pre-sale expectations,” said Miles Morris, International Head of Christie’s Motor Cars. “The saleroom was filled to capacity with bidders from around the world who actively vied for the sale’s top lots. Buyers recognized quality and rarity in the sale, as seen by the solid prices realized for the 1939/46 Delage D8/120, the 1933 Alfa Romeo Tipo 6C-1750, and the highly original and unrestored ex-Frank Sinatra Lamborghini Miura.”

The 1999 Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance Class winning Delage was the top seller at $656,500 but the 1933 Alfa Romeo 6C-1750 was right up there at $436,500. The Sinatra Miura’s price was a reasonable one considering the number of these cars on the auction market at the moment and taking into account its provenance. Christie’s helpfully provide the destination of their big ticket items (the Delage went to a US Private bidder) but the Miura’s new owner prefers to remain ‘anonymous’.

Some very big prices were achieved for very fine ‘US Restoration’ English classics. The 1956 Jaguar XK140 MC DHC achieved a very respectable $128,500 while the 1965 Aston Martin DB5 $139,500 and the 1960 Austin Healey 3000 Mk I 2+2 Roadster $68,150 were strong figures.

The ‘barn find’ Abarth Biposto Coupe deserved its $293,500 – a really unique piece of motoring history that will earn its place at Goodwood and Monterey in years to come.

My preview favourite, the 1965 Fiat 500 Giardiniera? Sold for $7,050 to a lucky person who will no doubt treat it better than a feckless 18 year-old Sixth Former did in 1976. Happy days.

Don't forget Christie’s next sale in London on 16th June, at their familiar Jack Barclay location with a nice selection to choose from including a McLaren F1 and very original Bugatti Type 37.

For a full listing, see the Provisional Auction Results.