Auction Recap: RM Sotheby’s Monterey 2015


In its first Monterey sale since becoming RM Sotheby’s, RM brought together a group of 150 cars of mostly spectacular quality and in some cases serious historical significance and was able to bring the highest ever total for a collector car auction at $172.9 million, including three cars that sold for undisclosed amounts after the auction. This is a healthy jump over last year’s $143.4 million, although the sell-through rate was down a bit from 91 percent to 86 percent. A grand total of 36 cars sold for over a million dollars, and four of these were over $10 million. Six of the top 10 sales in Monterey were from RM, while the other four were from Gooding.

The sale gained a day this year to become a three-day auction thanks to the much-anticipated Pinnacle Portfolio, a 25-car collection of top-tier classics and modern exotics that were all offered on Thursday night. 23 of these cars sold for a total of $75.4 million, making it a record for a single-day, single-vendor car auction. The collection’s 1964 Ferrari 250 LM took the top spot of the sale and indeed the entire week at $17,600,000, including buyer’s premium, but perhaps even more telling of the quality of the  Pinnacle Portfolio is that 16 of the 23 cars sold for more than a million dollars, and the cheapest offering of the group was a 1956 Porsche 356 Speedster at $330,000.

The two biggest no-sales of the auction were also from the Pinnacle Portfolio. The collection’s 1960 Ferrari 250 GT SWB was bid to $13,250,000, and an alloy-bodied 1955 Mercedes-Benz 300SL Gullwing remained unsold at a high bid of $4.5 million. The collection’s 1959 Ferrari 250 GT LWB  California Spider was a no-sale on the block at a high bid of $8 million, but was reported sold post-block at $8.5 million. Another notable no-sale was the Chevrolet CERV I experimental single seater, which caused plenty of excitement when it roared onto the block but disappointingly hammered not sold at $800,000.

Two other highly important results from this sale were the 1998 McLaren F1 LM and the 1953 Jaguar C-Type Works Lightweight that was campaigned by Ecurie Ecosse and finished in the Scottish team’s gorgeous light blue color scheme. Both brought record prices at over $13 million, with the McLaren being the most expensive British car sold at auction and the C-Type being the most expensive Jaguar sold at auction.

Top 10:

  1. 1964 Ferrari 250 LM sold for $17,600,000
  2. 1998 McLaren F1 LM sold for$13,750,000
  3. 1953 Jaguar C-Type Works Lightweight sold for $13,200,000
  4. 1956 Ferrari 250  GT Berlinetta Competizione TdF sold for $13,200,000
  5. 1959 Ferrari 250 GT California Spyder LWB (open headlight) sold for $8,500,000
  6. 1950 Ferrari 275S/340 America Barchetta sold for $7,975,000
  7. 2005 Ferrari Enzo sold for $6,050,000
  8. 1931 Bentley 4 1/2-Litre Supercharged Two-Seater Sports sold for $4,015,000
  9. 1966 Ferrari 275 GTB/2 Alloy sold for $3,960,000
  10. 1994 Ferrari F40 LM sold for $3,300,000
  11. 1967 Ferrari 275 GTB/4 sold for $3,300,000

RM Sotheby’s next collector car auction is right around the corner in London on September 7 in conunction with the Concours of Elegance. Its next American sale will be held during the annual AACA Eastern Division Fall Meet in Hershey, Pennsylvania.


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