RM Auctions, in association with Sotheby’s, held its second annual Automobiles of London auction event at Battersea Evolution, Battersea Park, London on October 29th.
RM Auctions’ 2nd annual Automobiles of London auction produced another great assortment of motor cars, as they amassed 100 considerable automobiles to cross the block.
Interestingly, among several significant offerings – 1938 Horch 853 Special Roadster, 1938 Bugatti Type 57C Atalante, 1959 Ferrari 250 GT Tour de France, 1963 Ferrari 250 GT SWB California Spyder, 1964 Ferrari 250 LMB – an automobile barely 10 years old turned out to be the one that left everyone’s head shaking in disbelief.
Indeed a 1997 McLaren F1, one of the world’s fastest and most capable road cars, sold for a very stout $4,149,200, shattering previous records and doubling the pre-sale estimates. This particular McLaren, a former Park Lane showroom model, was offered for the first time since new.
Max Girardo, Managing Director of RM Auctions European Division, said, “The $4.1 million sale price redefined the market for these superb vehicles. The McLaren F1 is quite simply one of the most contemporary cars ever produced and tops a sale that has again shown that great cars attract great prices.”
RM Auctions offered 100 automobiles for sale, with 69 finding a new owner, reflecting a 69% sales rate. The total sales volume was $24,266,998, inclusive of buyer’s premiums. While total sales were down from last year’s inaugural auction, records were still broken and a sizable amount of money was exchanged.
And it goes without saying that these respectable results came in the face of the current destruction of very nearly all asset classes. The collector car market is definitely feeling the world economic pain, although the best of the best are still capable of garnering top dollar bids.
Full auction results can be found at RM Auctions’ completely updated website: www.rmauctions.com.
(Note: All prices are inclusive of buyer’s premium and converted from GBP to USD at £1.00 = $1.64).
2008 Automobiles of London Auction Highlights:
1997 McLaren F1 – Sold for $4,149,200 versus pre-auction estimate of $1,804,000 – $2,296,000. This stunning result cements the F1 as the ultimate supercar of the modern era, if not all time. Whereas other period Ferrari and Porsche supercars languish, the McLaren has become the must-have modern piece for any serious collection.
1963 Ferrari 250 GT SWB California Spyder – Not Sold at high bid of $4,305,000 versus pre-auction estimate of $4,920,000 – $5,740,000. This SWB California Spyder was high bid for the auction, but not enough to reach the seller’s reserve. We have to wonder if the seller had unrealistic hopes based upon the record-breaking SWB Cal Spyder sale from last May.
1938 Horch 853 Special Roadster – Sold for $1,849,100 versus pre-auction estimate of $2,460,000 – $3,280,000. One of the jewels of the London sale was the very rare and luxurious 1938 Horch 853 Special Roadster with coachwork by Erdmann & Rossi.
1964 Ferrari 250 LM Berlinetta – Sold for $3,698,200 versus pre-auction estimate of $4,100,000 – $4,592,000. Another star attraction of the London sale was the 1964 Ferrari 250 LM Berlinetta (chassis number 6173). The 27th of just 32 total examples produced, this 250 LM enjoyed an early and successful racing history with Scuderia Sant’Ambroeus, winning its class in the 1965 Targa Florio.
1938 Bugatti Type 57C Atalante – Sold for $1,082,400 versus a pre-sale estimate of $984,000 – $1,312,000. This black and primose yellow supercharged 1938 Bugatti Type 57C Atalante began life as a Stelvio cabriolet before an early owner – who also had an Atalante coupé – exchanged the two car bodies for one another in an effort to mate the more powerful supercharged engine with the rarer coupé body (not an uncommon practice in that period). Adding to its history, this example was formerly owned by John W. Straus, grandson of Isidor Straus – the man credited for transforming American-based R.H. Macy’s into a retail colossus. After years of driving pleasure, Straus parked the car in his New York Garage in 1962, where it remained for 45 years before being recently uncovered, delicately cleaned and brought to proper running order. A barn find in the truest sense, the car was purchased by its current owner in 2007.
1924 Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost Torpedo – Sold for $396,880 versus pre-sale estimate of $492,000 – $656,000. Another highlight was the elegant and well-documented 1924 Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost Torpedo with coachwork by Million-Guiet. Prepared for and displayed at the 1924 Paris Auto Show, this example was originally purchased by a Mr. Dutasta of Paris in 1925, before finding its way into Ettore Bugatti’s collection. Mr. Bugatti and his family owned the car from 1926 to 1963. Other illustrious former owners include: French racing driver and vintner, Maurice Trintignant; champagne heir, Count Frederic Chandon de Briailles; and F1 racing champion, Jean Alesi.
1959 Ferrari 250 Tour de France – Sold for $3,698,200 versus pre-auction estimate of $2,984,800 – $3,608,000. Another significant Ferrari was this outstanding 1959 Ferrari 250 Tour de France that was delivered new to Luigi Piotti, who subsequently raced the car at Monza before it was exported to the United States in the late 1960s. 1385 GT’s previous owner actively campaigned the car from 1999 to 2004 in the Shell Ferrari Maserati Historic Challenge, before treating it to a complete restoration, which was finished in 2006. Beautifully presented, it received 1st place at Ferrari’s 60th Anniversary Concours in Maranello.
Other highlights include:
1924 Bentley 3/8 Litre – Sold for $779,000 versus pre-auction estimate of $984,000 – $1,115,200.
1953 Bentley R-Type Continental – Sold for $505,120 versus pre-auction estimate of $533,000 – $615,000.
1950 Talbot-Lago Type 26 Grand Sport Coupe – Sold for $512,500 versus pre-auction estimate of $533,000 – $615,000.
1949 Alfa Romeo 6C 2500 SS Villa d’Este – Sold for $405,900 versus pre-auction estimate of $410,000 – $480,000.
1931 Packard Model 840 Deluxe Eight Roadster – Sold for $144,320 versus pre-auction estimate of $147,600 – $328,000.
1965 Lamborghini 350 GT – Sold for $193,930 versus pre-auction estimate of $180,400 – $246,000.
[Source: RM Auctions]