RM Auctions: 35 Years in the Making

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When Rob Myers incorporated his one-man RM Auto Restoration shop in Chatham, Ontario, in 1979, it must have been difficult to envision where his company would be today.

Now with 140 employees, the RM Group of Companies is still in full swing. The restoration arm is internationally recognized and has been responsible for four Pebble Beach Best of Show winners since 2002. Meanwhile, RM Auctions, launched in 1992, has now hosted 217 auctions, selling more than 18,000 classic cars in the process, including an amazing 380 for more than $1 million. And Auctions America, headquartered in Auburn, Ind., came about in 2010 as a venue for regional sales across the U.S., populated by a mix of high-quality drivers and just enough six-figure cars to keep auction-goers on their toes.

Particularly with its auction arm, RM has always been quick to seize new opportunities, and longtime partnerships with concours like Meadow Brook (since 1994, now called Concours of America) and Amelia Island (since 1999) helped establish the firm’s brand as a classic car mainstay. More recently, RM has plied its trade in Europe, with great success, and regular sales in Monaco, Paris and London help to anchor and already-busy calendar, which also includes private collection sales.

With Myers still manning the helm and his team continuing to do all the things it does best, the future is even brighter for RM.

Ten Eye-Popping RM Auction Results:

  1. 1967 Ferrari 275 GTB/4*S N.A.R.T Spider — $27,500,000, Monterey 2013
  2. 1964 Ferrari 275 GTB/C Speciale — $26,400,000, Monterey 2014
  3. 1964 Ferrari 250 LM — $14,300,000, Art of the Automobile 2013
  4. 1953 Ferrari 340/375 MM Berlinetta Competizione — $12,812,800, Villa Erba 2013
  5. 1957 Ferrari 250 Testa Rossa — $12,402,500, Maranello 2009
  6. 1964 Ferrari 250 LM — $11,550,000, Monterey 2014
  7. 1968 Ford GT40 — $11,000,000, Monterey 2012
  8. 1961 Ferrari 250 GT SWB California Spyder — $10,894,400, Maranello 2008
  9. 1967 Ferrari 275 GTB/4 — $10,175,000, Monterey 2014
  10. 1937 Mercedes-Benz 540K Spezial Roadster — $9,680,000, Monterey 2011

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RM Auctions: 35 Years in the Making

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RM Auctions secured top honors on the Monterey peninsula with its 2013 auction in the Portola Hotel, held Aug. 16-17. In fact, the two-day sale set a record for the highest-grossing collector car auction in history at $ 125.1M, including buyer’s premium, and was 33% higher than the company’s 2012 total. In all, 105 of 120 lots sold for an 88% sell-through rate and an average price of nearly $1.2M.

Setting every public auction record save for one (namely, the record for most expensive car ever sold at auction, which was set in July by Bonhams with the sale of a Mercedes-Benz W196R) was the 1967 Ferrari 275 GTB/4*S NART Spyder, which sold for $27.5M. This single-owner NART was one of 10, had a great story, and was expertly marketed. Bidding opened at $10M, jumped to $16M, and swiftly moved up to the $25M hammer price. Admirably, the family is donating all of the money to a host of charities.

Three more cars topped the $5M mark, including a 1953 Ferrari 375 MM Spyder ($9.075M) and last year’s Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance Best In Show-winning 1928 Mercedes-Benz 680S Saoutchik Torpedo Roadster.

Aside from the 26 million-dollar sales, prices overall were incredibly strong. A 1961 Mercedes-Benz 190SL convertible sold for $269,500 — pushing the ceiling for this once-neglected model ever skyward — an alloy-bodied 1965 Bizzarrini 5300 GT Strada coupe set a public record for the model at $693,000, and a 1969 Alfa Romeo 1750 Veloce Spider astonished at $121,000.

Overall Top 10 Sales:

  1. 1967 Ferrari 275 GTB/4*S NART Spyder sold for $27,500,000
  2. 1953 Ferrari 375 MM Spyder sold for $9,075,000
  3. 1928 Mercedes-Benz 680S Saoutchik Torpedo Roadster sold for $8,250,000
  4. 1939 Mercedes-Benz 540K Special Roadster sold for $7,480,000
  5. 1955 Ferrari 750 Monza Spyder sold for $4,070,000
  6. 1955 Jaguar D-Type Roadster sold for $3,905,000
  7. 1954 Ferrari 500 Mondial SI 3.8 Spyder sold for $3,520,000
  8. 1974 McLaren M16C Indianapolis Race Car sold for $3,520,000
  9. 1950 Ferrari 166 MM Barchetta sold for $3,080,000
  10. 1961 Ferrari 400 Superamerica SWB Aerodinamico Coupe sold for $2,750,000

Next up for RM is its annual London auction, now held a month earlier than usual on Sept. 8-9, 2013. The company’s next North American sale will be held Oct. 10-11, 2013, in Hershey, Penn.

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