RM Auctions, Portola Hotel and Monterey Convention Center, Monterey, California, August 16-17, 2013
Report and photos (unless noted) by Rick Carey, Auction Editor
It took a while but RM Auctions regained the top auction total in Monterey in 2013 helped along (far along) by the tongue-wagging highlight of the Monterey auctions, the sale of Ferrari 275 GTB/4 NART Spider s/n 10709 for $27.5 million.
That result is: 1) 22% of RM’s record-setting $125 million Monterey auction total; 2) A reported commission ($2,750,000) that by itself was sufficient to buy any of the cars sold in Monterey except the top two dozen; 3) Only $4 million less than the entire sale totals for Bonhams ($31,186,950) or Mecum ($31,570,450); 4) Over four times Russo and Steele’s sale total. The list could go on from there, but these are enough to portray the magnitude and significance of this transaction.
It’s no wonder that tongues wagged in the wake of the NART Spider transaction.
Twenty-five lots hammered sold on bids of $1 million or more, 24% of the 109 lots sold. Two more were bid to $1 million or more but didn’t meet reserve bringing the seven-figure or more total to twenty-seven, 22.7% of the 119 lots offered. That’s heavy money overload, even for an auction week where seven-figure cars are traditionally plentiful.
There were more surprises than the NART Spider, though. Some exceptional results are scattered throughout the auction. $3,520,000 for Johnny Rutherford’s Indy 500 winning 1974 McLaren M16C was an expectation-shifting result for an Indy Car. $253,000 for a 1967 Jaguar XKE Series I 4.2 Roadster wasn’t an anomaly, with both Bonhams and Gooding getting comparable prices for similar cars, but it does make Series I 4.2s the latest fad to take off. And no one can explain the $121,000 price for a beautifully restored but essentially undistinguished ’69 Alfa 1750 Spider.
The Alfa was the next-to-last car in the sale. Maybe two bidders were determined to go home with something. In this case the winner was the loser.
Another indication of the ebullience at RM is that 22.1% of the cars sold were on hammer bids over the high estimate.
It was edifying and a credit to the market power and intense effort of RM Auctions and its staff.
Here are the numbers: