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

1962 Ferrari 400 Superamerica Cabriolet Pininfarina SWB - sold for 2,800,000 euros

Making an astonishing debut in Monaco, RM Auctions grossed 33,235,917 euros at its Grimaldi Forum sale. This could well be one of the most successful collectors’ motor car auctions in history.

Top seller, one of five cars surpassing the two million euro mark, was the 1962 Ferrari 400 Superamerica Cabriolet Pininfarina SWB, chassis 3309 SA, achieving a new world record for a Superamerica when it sold for 2,800,000 euros. Those ‘in the know’ were at one in their opinion of the black convertible: it was superb, as near to perfect as you could get.

Other ‘two-million club’ cars were the 1962 Ferrari 250 GT SWB Berlinetta (2,632,000 euros); the 1960 Maserati Tipo 61 ‘Birdcage’ (2,464,000 euros); the 1957 Ferrari 250 GT LWB Tour de France (2,352,000 euros), and another of British TV and radio personality Chris Evans’s cars, the green 1959 Ferrari 250 GT LWB California Spyder (2,072,000 euros).

1930 Alfa Romeo 6C 1750 Zagato Spider - Sold for 879,200 euros

Interestingly, all these big-hitting results were of Italian origin, proving that the worldwide demand for truly limited-edition Ferraris and quality, competition-history Maseratis is as strong as ever. And let’s add Alfa Romeo to that list, too, as the 1930 6C 1750 GS by Castagna achieved 560,000 euros while, towards the end of the sale, the 1930 6C 1750 GS by Zagato sold for 879,200 euros.

Both the latter figures were a touch under estimate, but such is the tenacity of the RM operation that you just know Rob Myers will never leave a buyer or seller unsatisfied, cutting the deal as necessary. Truly, the 'RM way'.

The 1972 AC 428 Frua Coupé (100,800 euros) maintained this model’s recent rise in value, while 576,800 euros for the immaculate 1968 Mercedes-Benz 600 Pullman Landaulet put last year’s Battersea sale barn find’s £308,000 into perspective.

1934 Rolls-Royce 40/50 hp Phantom II All Weather Cabriolet 'Star of India' - sold for 644,000 euros

Come Lot 225 and it was time for the celebrated Zach Collection of Rolls-Royce motor cars. Auctioneer Max Girardo had been hard at it since one o’clock but, one by one, the generally older cars were efficiently sold. As we’ve given extensive coverage to this collection in the past, I’m sure readers will be delighted to know that the ‘Star of India’, a 1934 Rolls-Royce 40/50 hp Phantom II All Weather Cabriolet will have a new owner, achieving 644,000 euros. However, another Zach favourite, the self-styled ‘Aluminium Sculpture’ 1926 Rolls-Royce 40/50 hp Phantom I Open Tourer by Windover, was bid to 170,000 euros but failed to sell.

1965 Ferrari 275 GTB/6C Alloy Berlinetta - Sold for 784,000 euros

1960 Maserati Tipo 61 'Birdcage' - Sold for 2,464,000 euros

1970 Aston Martin DBS V8 - Sold for 112,000 euros

1970 Ferrari 365 GTB/4 Daytona Gr. IV - Sold for 537,600 euros

Zach apart, the sale’s other older cars included the magnificent 1937 Lagonda LG45 Rapide Sports Tourer (a mid-estimate 560,000 euros) and a ‘Pebble Beach’ car by anyone’s standards, the 1933 Rolls-Royce Phantom II Special Town Car by Brewster, which sold for a walloping 1,456,000 euros. Lot 260, the 1938 Delahaye 135 MS Competition Cabriolet by Figoni & Falaschi, which we enjoyed driving recently, went for 1,792,000 euros – yet another seven-figure result.

1981 Lola T600 Sports Prototype - Sold for 117,600 euros

1954 Connaught B Type Racing Car - Sold for 252,000 euros

1950 Aston Martin DB2 Vantage Saloon - Sold for 291,200 euros

1970 McLaren M14A Formula 1 Racing Car - Sold for 308,000 euros

Looking at some of the post-War GTs, there was much talk in the Grimaldi Forum venue when the 1950 Aston Martin DB2 Vantage sold for 291,200 euros - more than 100,000 euros over its top estimate. This, together with the DB2/4 Mk III (134,400 euros) and the two LHD Astons (1965 DB5 Vantage, 436,800 euros; 1970 DBS V8, 112,000 euros) goes to prove that the market’s current enthusiasm for the great British marque remains unabated.

The DBS V8 price might come as a surprise but it was manual, left-hand drive and in the perfect ‘Northern European’ colour combination of metallic grey with tobacco leather.

1968 Mercedes-Benz 600 Pullman Landaulet - Sold for 576,800 euros

Several racing cars were in the catalogue and two British premier dealers were locked in a bidding battle over the 1970 McLaren M14A Formula 1 car, which eventually sold for 308,000 euros; the perfect entry for the 2012 Monaco Historics. The 1970 Ferrari 365 GTB/4 Daytona Gr. IV sold well at 537,600 euros, while the red-black, Mille Miglia-eligible 1952 Ferrari 212/225 Sport Coupé by Vignale was a good buy for someone at 644,000 euros.

Non-sellers were rare but included the 1980 BMW M1 and the 1973 Porsche 911 RSR 2.8. I think both these cars suffered a little as being competition-prepared - but not to ‘in-period’ standard. The fine-looking 1971 Porsche 911 ST was bid to 275,000 euros but failed to sell, too. Perhaps it’s a Porsche thing?

RM’s catalogue cover car, the 1937 BMW 328 MM ‘Buegelfalte, was bid the 4.3m euros on the night but failed to find a buyer; however, RM has conducted a successful post-auction sale on the car for an undisclosed sum. RM’s Monaco sale’s 86 per cent sell-through rate saw 88 of the 105 catalogue cars sold.

1993 Jaguar XJR-15 - Sold for 106,400 euros

1974 BMW 3.0 CSL 'Batmobile' - Sold for 128,800 euros

Max Girardo, Managing Director, RM Europe, speaking after the event said: “RM’s inaugural Monaco sale has set a new standard for collector car auctions, not only for the high quality of cars but also for its impeccable presentation and client experience. Two world record prices, and seven lots achieving in excess of one million euros, aptly illustrate this achievement.

“Our Monaco sales results underscore RM’s undisputed leadership position in the investment-grade segment of the collector car market.”

1959 Ferrari 250 GT LWB California Spyder - Sold for 2,072,000 euros

Please click here for full results including $US conversion.

Text: Steve Wakefield
Photos: Classic Driver

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