A subdued affair for RM Sotheby’s in London

In the same room that saw Porsche pandemonium reach its pinnacle last year, all was far calmer in Battersea last night. It may have been the Stuttgart wonders that dominated last year’s sale, but this year’s talking points were different altogether… 

On the money

With the usual cocktail of collectors and dealers, RM Sotheby’s annual London sale was, as always, something of a who’s who of the UK scene, with the car park once again decorated with exciting cars. From the beginning, it was clear that canny bidders could take advantage of a cooler market than previous years, with a few lots sneaking through at enticing price points. Days after the 20th anniversary of the model’s introduction, the 2003 Porsche 911 GT3 RS, one of just 140 right-hand-drive examples, was hammered at a just-below-low-estimate 110,000 GBP, while the 1991 Lancia Delta Integrale HF Evoluzione 1 was sold for 26,000, despite an estimate of 40,000–60,000.

Movie star turned auction star

Of course, it was no surprise that the menacing black 1996 Porsche 993 GT2 sold for less than the Riveria Blue example that had jaws on the floor last year, hammering at an in-estimate 685,000, with its sibling 1998 Turbo S selling on low estimate at 260,000. One Porsche did surprise: the ex-John Fitzpatrick 1971 911 E, hammering at 110,000, against an estimate of 70,000–90,000, after being driven onto the block by the racing legend himself. Both at the previous day’s preview and on the night of the sale, two very different cars were talked about more than most. The unique 2004 Ferrari Enzo, resplendent in gorgeous Blu Tour de France, sold at an on-estimate 1.6m, while the Spectre star 2014 Land Rover Defender SVX soared to 50,000 above high estimate, hammering at 200,000. There may not have been world records or shocking prices on the shore of the Thames this year, but realistic estimates and an acceptance of a cooler market kept RM Sotheby’s on track.

*Please note – all prices stated are hammer exclusive of buyer’s premium, unless stated otherwise.

Photos: Robert Cooper for Classic Driver © 2017