On the night of a chilly open-air auction in front of Villa Erba, the 1953-built factory racer made ??for a heated bidding war. Auctioneer Max Girardo presided over the three-way battle in his usual animated way, his cheeky and charming manner coaxing bids from two potential buyers on the floor, and another on the phone.
With offers heading upwards in increments of EUR 50,000, the 7.5 million mark was promptly surpassed, even the eloquent Girardo himself seeming a little surprised when bidding finally came to rest at EUR 8,800,000 (result including buyer's premium: EUR 9,856,000) – accompanied by a round of applause from those in attendance.
It had early on become clear that bidders were willing to part with good money – one example being the white 300 SL Roadster, the bidding for which levelled out at EUR 1,114,400. Prior to reaching this impressive figure – a price region usually associated with the more sought-after coupé variants – the audience was amused by an unintended EUR 850,000 'bid' that almost proved a very expensive way of greeting a friend for one embarrassed visitor.
But it was the Italian marque which continued to dominate chatter throughout the night, with many selling above their estimates. Girardo’s hammer fell at EUR 420,000 (result including buyer's premium: EUR 470,400) for a 1989 F40, shattering its forecasted high of EUR 380,000. Meanwhile, the strikingly beautiful 400 Superamerica SWB Aerodinamico achieved EUR 2,184,000.
Despite an impressive EUR 1.3 million bid for the 1905 Fiat 60HP, the car went unsold after failing to reach its reserve.
Photos: Jan Baedeker