7 cars to watch at RM Sotheby’s expanded online auction this May
There are so many collector car owners eager to move past the health crisis and stretch their legs, minds, and wallets that RM Sotheby’s has expanded its upcoming online auction. Bidding in RM Sotheby’s Driving into Summer event is scheduled to begin on May 21 at 1 p.m. ET, with staggered closures on lots now extended to two days—starting May 28 at 11 a.m. ET and continuing May 29—due to “significant consignor interest.”
Topping a diverse lineup of more than 100 motor cars, plus automobilia, are an early production 1995 Ferrari F50 and a rare 1985 Ferrari 288 GTO.
Hagerty auction editor Andrew Newton says collectors obviously haven’t lost their enthusiasm during the worldwide COVID-19 pandemic and are ready to return to some semblance of normalcy. In the meantime …
“Given recent activity on established online auction platforms, like Bring a Trailer and Hemmings, as well as the successful pivot to online sales from traditional auction houses, it’s clear that people are still interested in buying and selling collector cars, even if they have to do so in a modified form,” Newton says. “We’re particularly interested in seeing how the seven-figure Ferraris (288 GTO and F50) will do, since in an online setting, cars at that price point are somewhat uncharted territory.”
Here are seven—ranging from supercars and luxury automobiles to muscle cars, Japanese sports cars, and oddballs—that we’ll be keeping an eye on.
1966 Autobianchi Bianchina Panoramica
Estimate: $30,000–$40,000 (no reserve)
HPG #2 (Excellent) value: N/A
Yes, this is a minicar, but it comes from perhaps the most-upscale microcar brand. Riding on Fiat 500D chassis with 499-cc engine, the Autobianchi Bianchina Panoramica is surprisingly spacious for a vehicle of its size. Painted in two-tone red over white, it underwent a recent full-body restoration and is accessorized with period stickers, roof rack, and picnic basket. It’s a sweet treat that will definitely brighten your neighborhood—even if your neighbors can’t yet come over and get a closer look.
1972 Datsun 240Z
HPG #2 (Excellent) value: $42,100
When introduced 1969, the Datsun 240Z immediately changed the reputation of Japanese cars—in a positive way. Beautiful styling, a smooth 2.4-liter, overhead-cam straight-six engine, and independent rear suspension made the Z a solid all-around sports car. And its top speed of 125 mph was better than the Porsche 911T and Jaguar E-Type of the day—for about half the price.
1964 Rolls-Royce Phantom V Touring Limousine by James Young
HPG #2 (Excellent) value: $169,000
Originally owned by country music legend Roy Clark, this ’64 Rolls-Royce limousine is one of 217 Phantom V models with James Young coachwork. Clark owned the Rolls from 1977 until his death in 2018, so it seems appropriate that it is monogrammed with his initials. With more than $30,000 in service completed by Austin’s Luxury Auto Works in 2019 and ’20, the estimate seems awfully low. A bargain in the making, perhaps?
1970 Pontiac Trans Am
HPG #2 (Excellent) value: $74,800
Even if bidding reaches the high estimate for this 1970 Pontiac Firebird Trans Am, its new owner will still be thousands of dollars ahead, considering that $120,000 has already been invested in the stunning muscle machine. One of 1769 Trans Ams equipped with a Ram Air III engine and manual transmission in 1970, it has been driven only 789 miles since undergoing a rotisserie restoration by Trans Am Depot.
2002 Ferrari 575 Maranello
HPG #2 (Excellent) value: $248,000 ($123K + $125K premium for manual)
Delivered new to Canada and one of only 246 to leave the factory with North American specifications, this first-year 575 Maranello packs a 485-hp, 5.5-liter V-12 and is fitted with the highly desirable Fiorano Handling Package and six-speed manual transmission. Resplendent in Giallo Modena paint, the Maranello currently displays less than 15,000 kilometers. (If older Ferraris are more your speed, a 1964 Ferrari 330 GT 2+2 Series I by Pininfarina is also available.)
1985 Ferrari 288 GTO
HPG #2 (Excellent) value: $2,350,000
The first of Ferrari’s incredible series of supercars, the highly anticipated, race-bred 288 GTO was built to impress. It is equipped with a 2.8-liter V-8 engine with twin IHI turbochargers, pumping out a monstrous 400 hp with 366 ft-lb of torque, and has a top speed of 189 mph.
One of just 272 produced, this 288 GTO was purchased new by well-known Ferrari collector Hartmut Ibing and has had only four owners from new. It is also one of the few examples originally equipped with optional air-conditioning and power windows.
1995 Ferrari F50
Hagerty Price Guide #2 (Excellent) value: $2,100,000
The second production model of 349 F50s produced, this matching-numbers F50 was displayed at the 1995 Frankfurt Motor Show and shows only 3371 miles. Intended as an early celebration of the marque’s 50th anniversary, the F50 split the difference between raw Ferraris of the past and the high-tech future, as its 512-hp, 4.7-liter V-12 stretched the limits of natural aspiration and its shapely body was created from carbon fiber. Of note: The F50 production prototype hammered not sold at a $2.5M high bid at Worldwide Auctioneers’ Scottsdale event this past January.
Which car will you be eyeing among this eclectic mix, come May 28?