RM Auctions - Automobiles of London 31st October 2007 - Preview

RM did a wonderful job last May at Maranello, with the all-Ferrari auction grossing $US46 million. Its next sale in Europe later this month may equal that, including as it does three significant collections and entries such as this Mercedes-Benz 540K Special Roadster estimated at £3,250,000 - 4,000,000.

The Mercedes is just one of several pre-War exotics entered from the Bernie Ecclestone Collection. The man behind modern Formula 1, Ecclestone is well-known for his hard negotiating and brilliant business sense; skills honed earlier in his life when selling used motor vehicles. He’s never lost his enthusiasm for cars - or making money - and over the years has assembled one of the world’s finest collections that also includes much priceless racing machinery, sadly not included in the Sale.

The pre-War Mercedes include among their number three SS or SSK sports cars of the type that competed at Le Mans, the Targa Florio and the Mille Miglia, as well as several of the dramatic Type K (for ‘Kompressor’) luxurious sports cars of the mid-thirties.

1935 Mercedes-Benz Type K 500K Special Cabriolet - £750,000 - 1,000,000

1928 Mercedes-Benz Type S SSK - £1,000,000 - 1,500,000

1933 Marmon 16 Victoria Coupe - £125,000 - 175,000

1934 Lagonda 16/80 Special Tourer - £70,000 - 90,000

There are also many American cars from this period, such as the rare 1933 Marmon 16 Victoria Coupé at £125,000 - 175,000, a 1931 Chrysler Imperial CG Dual Cowl Phaeton for £75,000 - 100,000, and a 1931 Packard Deluxe Eight Sport Phaeton (£90,000 - 110,000). Older British cars include an attractive navy blue 1934 Lagonda 16/80 Special Tourer at £70,000 - 90,000, and there’s also an ex-Benito Mussolini 1938 Lancia Astura Lunga Torpedo Ministeriale for £200,000 - 300,000. This is a car specially constructed for Il Duce after the Italian dictator returned from a visit to Germany, mightily impressed with the giant Horch and Mercedes limousines used by the Nazi party.

Immediately the Ecclestone lots finish the next entry would find a place in your author’s garage, the 1966 Ford GT 40 estimated at £800,000 - 1,000,000. Finished in its original colour of Azure Blue, this is a car with a well-documented history and a recorded mileage of just 4,500 miles. I wouldn’t say no.

The second group of cars is a selection from the collection of the Italian enthusiast Giuseppe Prevosti. Predominantly of Italian manufacture, the entries include a 1966 Ferrari 275 GTB/4, £475,000 - 575,000, two Bizzarrinis - a 1966 5300 Strada for £190,000 - 220,000, and a 1965 5300 GT BA4 America race car at £280,000 - 350,000 - and several Porsches.

One of the more unusual listings is the pretty, dark-red 1949 Maserati A6 1500 GT Berlinetta with coachwork by Pininfarina. This carries an estimate of £140,000 - 165,000 and is one of the Italian company’s very first road cars when under the ownership of the Orsi family.

1967 Iso Grifo - £60,000 - 75,000 'No Reserve'

1968 Ferrari 330 GTC - £90,000 - 120,000

The collector Abraham ‘Abba’ Kogan, one of the early arcade games developers and responsible for popular games such as ‘Space Invaders’, has built up a collection of cars that combine advanced design with beauty and is ‘reshaping’ the number of cars in it in order to further his interest in motor racing. Kogan’s entries in the RM London sale are breathtaking. For example there is a 1985 Ferrari 288 GTO for £225,000 - 275,000, a 1936 Delage D6-70 at £500,000 - 700,000, and one of the highlights of the whole event, the ex-Delage team, Louis Chiron, Robert Senéchal, Earl Howe, Richard Seaman, Prince Chula and RRC Walker 1927 Delage 15-S-8 Grand Prix Car carrying an estimate of £1,200,000 - 1,800,000.

This was the car that a young Dick Seaman drove so brilliantly in 1936, his exploits in voiturette racing bringing him to the attention of the Mercedes-Benz Grand Prix team, and earning him a drive in 1937. A piece of motor racing history.

Of the other lots, many would form the centrepiece of other sales but such is the overall quality of the forthcoming Battersea auction that it’s easy to overlook some of the remaining entries. For example there are two ‘No Reserve’ cars, the 1976 Ferrari 365 GT4 BB estimated at £50,000 - 65,000, and an ex-George Harrison 1964 Aston Martin DB5 for £120,000 - 150,000.

1966 Ferrari 275 GTB/4 - £475,000 - 575,000

1956 Maserati A6 A6G/56 GT 2000 Allemano - £140,000 - 180,000

1954 Porsche 356 1300 S Pre A Cabriolet - £55,000 - 70,000

1955 Mercedes-Benz 300 SL Gullwing - £225,000 - 275,000

Oh, and the sale also has a 1960 Ferrari 250 GT Nembo Spyder with an estimate of £717,000 - 917,000. It’s funny how you can overlook one of these highly desirable cars when confronted with an abundance of quality entries elsewhere.

Prior to the motor cars there will be a small number of selected items of automobilia that includes a Bugatti Type 35 Scupture by Francois Chevalier estimated at £26,000 - 30,000

To see a full lotlisting of entries to the October 31st 'Automobiles of London' auction please CLICK HERE.

To see all the entries to the October 31st 'Automobiles of London' auction in the Classic Driver car database please CLICK HERE.


October 31, 2007
4:00 PM - 11:00 PM

October 30, 2007
11:00 AM - 5:30 PM
October 31, 2007
10:00 AM - 4:00 PM

October 30, 2007
7:00 PM - 11:00 PM
By invitation only.

Admission to this event requires the purchase of an official auction catalogue available for £50.00 GBP or $100 US (plus S&H). The catalogue admits two and must be presented at the entrance to the sale to be granted entry.

Battersea Park
The British Genius Site, Battersea Park
London, SW11 4NJ UK

RM Auctions in association with Sotheby's
34-35 New Bond Street
London W1A 2AA

UK Telephone: +44 (0)207 293 6336
Fax: +44 (0)207 293 6337

North America Telephone: +1 519 352 45 75

Website: www.rmauctions.com

Email: [email protected].

Text: Steve Wakefield
Photos: RM Auctions

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