RM Auctions - 'Sporting Classics of Monaco' 1 May 2010 - Preview

1962 Ferrari 250 GT SWB 2,500,000 - 2,950,000 euros

The catalogue is at the printers and now, with exciting last-minute entries just confirmed, we can take a look at RM’s first Monaco sale: a 105-car auction to be held on the Saturday of the Grand Prix de Monaco Historique weekend.

Last May, attention was centred on the Canadian company’s all-Ferrari sale at Maranello. For 2010 (it's yet to be confirmed whether this will now happen every year), the Italian event has been swapped for a similarly impressive one just over the border in Monaco.

As a backdrop, instead of the Mille Miglia retrospective, attendees will have historic Grand Prix and sportscars competing in the biennial, classic racing weekend on the Monegasque street circuit.

This, together with RM’s customary slick presentation, should provide a heady mixture to entice the world’s collectors to Monaco.

Together with a top-notch catalogue, of course.

1975 Ferrari 365 GT4 BB - 100,000 - 130,000 euros

It may be Monte Carlo, rather than Maranello, but the famous Italian marque still provides some headlining entries. Sixteen Ferraris are catalogued, ranging in price from a 1987 Ferrari 328 GTS for 30,000 - 40,000 euros to one of the ‘greats’, a ‘street’ 1962 Ferrari 250 GT SWB carrying an estimate of 2,500,000 - 2,950,000 euros.

This is one of two late entries, both from the collection of the British radio and TV personality Chris Evans, whose name is inextricably linked with RM’s May auctions after he bought the ex-James Coburn Ferrari 250 GT Spyder California for 7,040,000 euros in 2008. His other car in Monaco this year is also a ‘Cal Spyder’, a long-wheelbase, closed headlamp 1959 car in Verde Pino estimated at 1,800,000 - 2,200,000 euros.

1957 Aston Martin DB2 2/4 Mk III - 90,000 - 120,000 euros

1963 Shelby Cobra Roadster Le Mans Racing Car - 700,000 - 800,000 euros

1987 Porsche 959 - 160,000 - 190,000 euros

1952 Lancia B20 GT Works Racing Car - 100,000 - 140,000 euros

The other Ferraris tick all the boxes (including, as they do, an original 365 GTB/4 'Daytona' Spyder, a 275 GTB/4 and a 288 GTO) and also number everyone’s idea of a ‘Monaco car’ - the 1962 400 Superamerica Cabriolet Pininfarina (1,950,000 - 2,450,000 euros). There’s also the collection we previewed previously on Classic Driver, with its 1958 250 GT LWB ‘Tour de France’ at 2,000,000 - 2,500,000 euros and 1952 225 Sport Vignale Berlinetta for 600,000 - 800,000 euros.

Ferraris apart, a sizeable proportion of the sale is the Zach Collection of Rolls-Royces. Hans-Günter Zach’s name will be very familiar to Classic Driver readers, and it was something of a coup for RM to be entrusted with selling the German collector’s cars. The most famous will be the ochre and silver 1934 Rolls-Royce Phantom II All Weather Cabriolet – more commonly referred to as the ‘Star of India’.

The estimate of 450,000 - 600,000 euros may not make it the ‘most valuable car in the world’ but it is certainly one of the most celebrated.

1949 Delahaye 135 M Replica Roadster by Crailville - 175,000 - 225,000 euros

1968 Mercedes-Benz 600 Pullman Landaulet - 550,000 - 850,000 euros

1925 Rolls-Royce Phantom I Cabriolet by Manessius - 125,000 - 175,000 euros

1937 Lagonda LG 45 Rapide Sports Tourer - 450,000 - 650,000 euros

Also in the Zach Collection are other ‘Maharaja cars’, including the 1929 Rolls-Royce Phantom I Open Tourer by Windover: Zach’s beloved ‘Aluminium Sculpture’ (250,000 – 300,000 euros). It’s not all pre-War in this part of the sale as, among other later Rolls, there are two Corniche convertibles (a 1976 Corniche I for 40,000 - 60,000 euros and a 1989 Corniche II at 60,000 - 80,000 euros), as well as a 1958 Silver Cloud I Empress Saloon by Hooper for 50,000 - 70,000 euros.

1965 Aston Martin DB5 Vantage - 330,000 - 400,000 euros

Zach aside - but also on the pre-War front – of the older cars, in addition to the supremely elegant (and potent) 1938 Delahaye 135 MS Competition Cabriolet by Figoni et Falaschi (1,700,000 - 2,000,000 euros) that we drove recently, there are several more Delahayes, two Type 57 Bugattis (a 1937 Stelvio by Gangloff at 420,000 - 480,000 euros and a 1935 Ventoux for 300,000 - 360,000 euros) and British inter-war style at its very best: the 1937 Lagonda LG 45 Rapide Sports Tourer.

The latter is estimated at 450,000 - 650,000 euros and RM’s catalogue description of it being the “epitome of a 1930s British sports-tourer” cannot really be improved upon.

1930 Alfa Romeo 6C 1750 GS by Zagato - 1,200,000 - 1,400,000 euros

There’s some serious (and desirable) competition machinery in RM’s May 1 sale. The Shell Ferrari Historic Challenge may be no more, but if you own a ‘Birdcage’ Maserati there’s any number of top events (Goodwood, Monterey Historics or the Le Mans Classic) to choose from. The 1960 Maserati Tipo 60/61 carries an estimate of 2,400,000 - 2,600,000 euros and, like so many, was originally delivered to the USA, this time for laid-back banker Jack Hinkle.

As to its more recent history, when in Lord Alexander Hesketh’s ownership in the early 70s it was driven by Charles Lucas to great effect. This, the Lagonda and the 250 GT SWB would do me. How many times have I said that? One day.

It’s difficult with catalogues such as these to pick out cars to highlight; in reality, every entry is interesting and worthy of greater study. However, highlight we must and before we go, let’s have a look at some other ‘stand-out’ cars that will be sold ‘the RM way’ in May.

1973 Porsche 911 RSR 2.8 - 330,000 - 380,000 euros

1951 Bugatti Type 101 Coupé by Van Antem - 500,000 - 750,000 euros

Historic racers will like the 1970 McLaren M14A Formula One (250,000 - 300,000 euros), the 1965 McLaren Elva Mk 1A (140,000 - 180,000) and the racing (from new) 1952 Lancia B20 GT ‘Works Racing Car’ for 100,000 - 140,000 euros.

There are just two price 'On Request' cars at Monaco: the 1937 BMW 328 Mille Miglia 'Buegelfalte' and the 1933 Rolls-Royce Phantom II Special Town car by Brewster.

1955 Fiat 8V Berlinetta by Zagato - 390,000 - 450,000 euros

1980 BMW M1 - 90,000 - 120,000 euros

Finally, all eyes will be on Lot 214, the 1968 Mercedes-Benz 600 Pullman Landaulet delivered new to the magnificently named President Omar Bongo of Gabon.

Recalling RM’s last London sale, when a car requiring total restoration (considered by one marque expert to approach one million euros...) sold for £308,000, the estimate of 550,000 - 850,000 euros represents good value.

In the rarefied world of Monte Carlo, that is.

1962 Ferrari 400 Superamerica Cabriolet Pininfarina - 1,950,000 - 2,450,000 euros

Prior to the motor cars, RM will auction 45 lots of automobilia including one of the Classic Driver office’s favourites: a yellow gold Ferrari watch by Girard-Perregaux, ‘No Reserve’ and carrying an estimate of 5000 – 7000 euros.

To see a full lotlisting of entries to the May 1 'Sporting Classics of Monaco' auction please CLICK HERE.

To see all motor car entries in the Classic Driver car database please CLICK HERE.

Admission to this event requires the purchase of an official auction catalogue for 70 euros. The catalogue admits two and must be presented at the entrance to the sale to be granted entry. Catalogues can be ordered online from www.rmauctions.com.

Auction schedule

May 1 1:00 PM - 7:00 PM
(viewing starts at 10:00 AM)

April 30 10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
May 1 10:00 AM - 5:00 PM

April 30, 2010 6:30 PM - 8:30 PM

The Grimaldi Forum
10, Avenue Princesse Grace
98000, Monaco

RM Auctions in association with Sotheby's
46a Carnaby Street

UK Telephone: +44 (0)20 7851 7070
Fax: +44 (0)20 7851 7079

North America Telephone: +1 800 211 4371

Website: www.rmauctions.com

Email: [email protected].

Text: Steve Wakefield
Photos: RM Auctions in Association with Sotheby's / Actual Photo

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