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Italian elegance aplenty at RM’s Villa Erba sale

RM’s Villa Erba sale this weekend will see 36 cars – many of which would be worthy of a spot on the neighbouring concours lawn – go under Max Girardo’s well-weathered hammer…

Glamourama on the shoreline

Headlining the sale is (surprise, surprise) a pair of golden-era Ferraris: a 1961 open-headlight SWB California Spider, and a 212 Export Barchetta from 1952. The former, estimated to fetch €11m - €13m, was restored in recent years by Ferrari Classiche and has the certificate to prove it – although the decision to paint it in a non-original colour scheme might prove to be a costly one for the current owner. Meanwhile, the 212 has good period competition credentials and offers eligibility for a wide range of historic events; perhaps the recent media coverage of the Mille Miglia will help nudge bids towards the upper echelons of the €5.5m - €7m estimate.

Now to choose a land tender for the Riva...

As you might expect, Ferraris make up a good percentage of the rest of the lotlist, with sub-headliners including a Series II 250 GT Cabrio (estimate €1.5m - €2m), a 195 Inter Berlinetta by Ghia (€1.25m - €1.65m), a stunning ‘Pino Verde’ 250 GT Lusso (€1.8m - €2.2m)  and the yellow 250 SWB Berlinetta Competizione (estimate on request) so often seen mixing it at the Revival in recent years. There’s a (completely understandable) Italian bias to the rest of the lotlist, too; Lancia is represented by a Stratos Stradale the factory originally intended for competition use (€350,000 - €450,000), as well as a Zagato Flaminia Sport that’s modestly estimated at €250,000 - €320,000 due to the less-desirable open headlights. But our favourite Italian is lot 132: the only Fiat ‘Otto Vu’ cabriolet made by Vignale (€1.1m - €1.4m), and perhaps the perfect land tender for the ex-Bardot Riva Florida – now the only Riva in the sale (€80,000 - €120,000) as the Aquarama Special has been withdrawn. Oh, and how could we forget the 1949 Alfa Romeo 6C 2500SS Villa d’Este (€600,000 - €700,000), the very example we proposed might be the most elegant classic car ever last time it was up for sale?

From the non-domestic contingent, highlights include a one-off BMW-Glas 3000 V8 coachbuilt by Frua (€380,000 - €480,000), a two-tone Lagonda V12 Drophead Coupé (€185,000 - €250,000), and an Austin-Healey 100S (estimate €900,000 - €1,100,000).

Photos: RM Sotheby’s

RM’s 2015 Villa Erba sale takes place on Saturday 23 May 2015, and you can find the full lotlist in the Classic Driver Market.