RM Auctions has successfully held a classic car sale alongside the storied Monaco Grand Prix F1 race since 2010, but this year's installment, held May 10 at Le Sporting Monte-Carlo, raised the bar by being the biggest European collector car auction ever held. Bigger than RM’s 2010 sale in London that saw James Bond's Aston Martin sell for $4.6 million. And bigger than any of RM’s three events staged at the Ferrari factory in Maranello. In all, 79 of 85 vehicles sold for $56.8 million including buyer's premium, besting the previous European high of $53.6 million set by Bonhams at Goodwood, July 2013.
As big as this number is, it isn't really a surprise. The top of the market is as hot as any time in recent memory, and RM did well to stock the run list with exceptional examples of some of the most desirable cars in the current market. Ferraris in particular took the four top spots on the day, with the two highest sales being a very rare 275 GTB/Cs that sold for $7.86 million, and a beautiful and much-evented 1959 250 GT Series I Cabriolet that changed hands for $6.47 million.
Even with 17 individual cars exceeding $1 million (Ferrari F50, Lamborghini Miura S, Porsche Carrera Speedster, Toyota 2000GT, etc.), prices weren’t contrary to the prevailing market winds. And a few even found new homes at reasonable prices. A 1956 Facel Vega FV2B traded for $146,412, a Jaguar SS100 2.5L roadster sold for $400,705, and a 1953 Chrysler Ghia Thomas Special went for $462,353.
The only real miss of the day was the ex-Sir Stirling Moss 1956 Maserati 450S prototype that was bid to $4.8 million, which was a little more than $500,000 short of the car’s low estimate. For some market watchers, this is as positive a sign as any, illustrating that there is still some degree of restraint among buyers.
- 1966 Ferrari 275 GTB/C sold for $7,859,998
- 1959 Ferrari 250 GT Series I Cabriolet sold for $6,472,939
- 1967 Ferrari 330 GTS Spyder sold for $2,928,234
- 1967 Ferrari Dino 206 S Spyder sold for $2,851,176
- 1968 Alfa Romeo Tipo 33/2 Daytona sold for $1,733,823
- 1958 Lister-Jaguar “Knobbly” Prototype sold for $1,618,235
- 1966 Brabham-Repco BT20 Formula One sold for $1,502,647
- 1997 Ferrari F50 Coupe sold for $1,248,353
- 2003 Ferrari Enzo Coupe sold for $1,194,411
- 1969 Lamborghini Miura P400 S Coupe sold for $1,155,882
RM will conduct its next sale at the Inn at St. John’s in Plymouth, Mich., on July 26, 2014. Again held in conjunction with the Concours of America, a 1936 Mercedes-Benz 540K Special Cabriolet is among the cars that will take the spotlight.