Prepare for a youthquake of epic proportions at RM Sotheby’s in Essen

An ultra-significant and remarkably original 1937 Mercedes-Benz 540K Cabriolet A estimated at over 2m euros might spearhead the inaugural RM Sotheby’s Essen sale, but we’re fairly sure it’s the remainder of ‘The Youngtimer Collection’ that will fill the saleroom come 11–12 April…

Some 190 collector cars will cross the block over two days during the Goliath Techno Classica fair in Essen next month, a large proportion of which are intriguing modern classics from a mega Swiss collection RM Sotheby’s consigned late last year. We’ve already seen cars from the collection perform very well at the Canadian auction house’s Paris and Amelia Island sale, though it’s arguably saved the best for Essen. 

But first, let us tell you what else tickles our fancy in the catalogue beginning with what you could argue is the ‘Holy Trinity’ of road-going Lancia rally cars. The 1975 Stratos HF Stradale (est. 480,000–520,000 euros), 1982 037 Stradale (350,000–400,000 euros), and 1985 Delta S4 Stradale (450,000–550,000 euros) are all low-mileage, highly-original, and very well looked after cars. It’ll be sad to split them up! 

If you missed out on – or simply weren’t in a position to afford – a Lamborghini Diablo SE30 back in 1996, fear not. RM is selling a Titan Silver Metallic example that’s covered a scarcely believable 450km since new and genuinely looks like it just rolled out of the factory in Sant’Agata. Naturally, its estimate is what can only be described as handsome: 395,000–495,000 euros, to be precise. But if your budget is greater still, we have to admit that the specification on the Bugatti Veyron Vitesse – the 2013 Geneva show car, no less – is truly beautiful (1.5–1.7m euros). 

Despite having a bit of a bent chassis due to an on-set altercation with a certain Mr Bond, the 2015 Land Rover Defender SVX that starred in Spectre is arguably one of the coolest cars from the silver screen in recent years. It’s estimated at 175,000–225,000 euros, though RM admits it’s probably not in a drivable condition after that tumble high in the Austrian mountains. 

We rather like the idea of owning a prototype of the 993-generation Porsche 911 Turbo. The 1994 black-over-red car RM is selling (295,000–395,000 euros) is one of the earliest 993 prototypes surviving and, after completing its testing and development duties at Weissach, was sold to its original owner without its then-secret engine and gearbox. Fortunately, they were later reunited, making this a genuinely unique Porsche 911 – not something you can say very often! 

Now, let’s move onto the main event: The Youngtimer Collection. The beauty here is in the diversity of the cars offered, from an opulent Daimler Super Eight limousine with a lower estimate of just 15,000 euros (a hell of a lot of car for the money) to one of just 17 1987 Alpina B7 Turbo Coupe/3s that’s expected to garner 140,000–160,000 euros. 

For us, the standout cars are as follows. Firstly, there’s Rolls-Royce Silver Seraph by Park Ward, a super-saloon that embodies the quintessential British luxury of a Roller and has covered a mere 6,300 miles. Best of all, it’s estimated at just 30,000–35,000 euros. It’s a similar story with the pristine 1991 Bentley Turbo RL (25,000–30,000 euros), though it’s the coupé Continental T from 1997 that’s our favourite car from Crewe in the sale (70,000–80,000 euros). 

If you’re a fan of the original BMW 8 Series shape, then there’s arguably not a better model than Alpina’s B12 5.0 – a veritable ’Bahnstormer with the svelte looks of a supercar. RM’s 1992 example had a generous pre-sale estimate of 100,000–120,000 euros, but then only 97 were ever produced. Though the 1994 Porsche 928 GTS from The Youngtimer Collection is undeniably desirable, we’re not sure it’s quite as cool as the wild Koenig-bodied example that’s offered elsewhere in the catalogue, complete with in-car Mobira telephone (50,000–60,000 euros). Gordon Gekko eat your heart out! 

The car for which we’d raise our paddle more than any other, however, is probably the car you’ve already drooled over elsewhere on the Internet. It’s the outrageous 1979 Mercedes-Benz 500 TE AMG, a full-fat estate-shaped Hammer from Affalterbach. The complete lack of early history is probably why the pre-sale estimate is only 60,000–70,000 euros, but we reckon the bidding war on this particular car will be intense come 12 April. In fact, we wouldn’t be at all surprised if it becomes the most expensive car sold in the entire collection. Now wouldn’t that be something for RM Sotheby’s to write about? 

Photos courtesy of RM Sotheby’s © 2019 

You can find the entire catalogue for the RM Sotheby’s Essen 2019 sale, taking place on 11–12 April at Techno Classica, listed in the Classic Driver Market.