5 sweet bargains from RM’s London auction
The annual RM Sotheby’s London auction on October 24, at the Olympia Exhibition Centre in West Kensington, UK, featured the usual mix of mouth-watering classics, sports cars, exotics, and race cars, plus a bunch of nifty memorabilia. The highlight was a barn-find 1969 Lamborghini Miura P400S that brought £1,248,125 ($1.6M), while an amazing Group B era RAC Rally-winning 1985 Lancia Delta S4 sold for £764,375 ($981,40) and a 1961 Ferrari 250 GTE finished surprisingly strong at £404,375 ($519,200).
Several cars, however, flew under the radar and sold for prices that buyers must have been pleased to have scored. Here are five of the best deals that we spotted.
Sold for £69,000 ($88,590)
Any clean ’68 Mustang fastback should be enough to charm most car fans, no matter which side of the Atlantic you live on, but a matching-numbers 428 Cobra Jet car in Acapulco Blue is even more exciting. Introduced in April 1968 as a $434 option (that’s $3200 today), the 428 Cobra Jet, rated at a laughably underrated 335 horsepower, mainly appealed to drag racers who saw the advantage of massive power and torque in the lightweight Mustang platform. According to RM, just over 1000 buyers opted for the engine in 1968, so these cars are rare anywhere, but in the UK they’re about as scarce as a 5-foot-tall high jumper.
Despite a well-documented history, desirable options like factory air conditioning and GT equipment, plus a mostly original presentation other than a repaint and mechanical overhaul, this car sold for $14K under its low estimate and nearly $5 grand less than its condition #2 (Excellent) value. At this price, it could be shipped back to the States at a very palatable cost.
Sold For £66,125 ($84,899)
The last Maserati of the Citroën era, the Khamsin features Bertone bodywork that may not win any beauty contests but is definitely distinctive. (Especially with that rear glass that stretches across the entire tail and carries a pair of floating taillights.) Like other classic Maseratis, the Khamsin is somewhat undervalued compared to other Italian thoroughbreds, particularly from Ferrari, but it has gotten more expensive over the past few years and even in #4 (Fair) condition, the Khamsin is a six-figure car. Maserati built barely 400 examples from 1974–82 and far fewer in right-hand drive, like this one. While it isn’t perfect, the car shows only 24,500 km (15,223 miles) and just received a £29,000 ($37,200) service this summer, so it seems like a much better car than the price it brought.
Sold for £41,400 ($53,154)
After peaking at the height of Porsche-mania in 2015–16, prices for the 930 Turbo have been gradually slipping and are down anywhere from 15–25 percent over the past three years. That said, the best examples tend to buck the trend and continue to command strong prices.
That’s why this result was surprising—the car has a lot going for it. A rare Cabriolet model with just two owners from new, it is also a hard-to-find right-hand drive model and finished in the unusual-but-handsome color scheme of Diamond Blue Metallic over Cashmere Beige. The odometer reads 26,524 miles and it is all-original, but it sold for barely half its low estimate—and just a tad over our condition #4 (Fair) value. A similarly clean right-hand drive 1989 930 Targa (Lot #121) also sold for a relatively weak £74,750 ($95,973) earlier in the day.
Sold for £12,650 ($16,241)
The final (FD) generation RX-7 is among the best-looking cars of the 1990s and is packed with high-tech goodies under the hood. It was also more expensive and sold in far fewer quantities than the earlier RX-7s. The 1.3-liter 13B rotary engine received two turbochargers for 255 horsepower, enough to make the 2800-pound coupe a quick little car even by today’s standards. Like other high-tech Japanese sports cars from the ’90s, like the Toyota Supra, Acura NSX, and Nissan 300ZX Turbo, the FD RX-7 has gotten a lot more expensive than it used to be, with particularly clean one selling earlier this year for $50,400.
This car is a bit different in that it is a U.S.-market car (which is less desirable in the UK) with about 48,000 miles on it, plus it has a replacement engine and aftermarket suspension. That said, it’s a two-owner RX that otherwise looks solid, yet it sold for less than our current #4 (Fair) value.
Sold for £94,875 ($121,811)
BMW’s first-ever turbocharged model, the 2002 Turbo took the already potent mechanical fuel-injected four from the 2002tii and boosted it by 40 horses to a total of 170 dangerously turbo-lagged horsepower. Rounding out the Porsche-beating package were riveted-on fender flares, loud graphics, and reverse “2002 Turbo” script on the front air dam to let the casual Autobahn cruisers checking their mirrors exactly who was bearing down on them. A high sale price and an oil crisis didn’t help the Turbo’s cause, so despite the savage speed and the cool factor just 1672 total 2002 Turbos left the factory in 1973–74, all with left-hand drive.
Over the past three years, the 2002 Turbo has more than doubled in value, as good examples continue to sell for prices well into six-figure territory. One sold in Scottsdale last year for $145,600, another sold at Amelia Island last year for $192,500, and another sold in Monterey for $170,500.
This car in London looks as good as any of them and wears a fresh restoration, retains its matching numbers drivetrain, and came out of the highly publicized Youngtimer Collection, sales from which have broken several world records. That’s why this result, which is about $20 grand less than the car’s low estimate and nearly $30 grand less than its #2 value, was so unexpected.