Report by Rick Carey, Auction Editor
RM Auctions held its inaugural Sporting Classics of Monaco event on 1st May, 2010 at the Grimaldi Forum in Monaco. RM’s beachhead in Monte Carlo was, like all good military campaigns, conducted with overwhelming force and superiority of numbers and logistics.
Taking a year off from Maranello where RM had demonstrated its ability to put on a show, assemble a crowd and the cars that made them get excited in the last three years, the transition to Monaco was more than seamless, it was extensive. The sale, at $50.25 million (assuming a modest undisclosed post-block result for the BMW 328 MM “Bügelfalte”) was 10% more than the previous best one-day sale, RM’s 2007 Maranello auction at $45.1 million.
I have a little inside experience with RM from writing a few catalog descriptions for them and watching most of their auctions firsthand. Their secret isn’t secret. It’s preparation, accuracy and assiduous cultivation of sellers and bidders. RM has a competent, intelligent, caring, involved organization that goes deep into the depths behind the scenes and involves every single person in the organization to listen, respond and facilitate. Problems never provoke anger, just solutions. Responsibility is delegated, but so is authority to deal with it.
It’s a model for efficient, intelligent management. From Rob Myers, Mike Fairbairn and Dan Warrener through Ian Kelleher there are dozens of others I could – and should – name … but it would make this intro too long.
Read the list of contacts in the RM Monaco catalog, then multiply it by three and apply it equally to everyone you encounter at an RM auction. It is a competent, dedicated, proud, efficient, effective group of bright, smart, hard working individuals.
Monaco 2010 won’t be RM’s last one-day record sale, but for the moment it’s a pretty important accomplishment.
RM has one last bogey to beat, the highest average transaction.
Monaco’s $558,654 was a big number. RM’s Maranello sales in 2007, 2008 and 2008 came perilously close to the record at $1.4, 1.3 and 1.0 million respectively, but it was set by Christies’ (under Robert Brooks’ hammer) at Royal Albert Hall in 1987 where the Bugatti Royale Kellner Coupe (s/n 41141) at $9.8 million among just six sold cars among ten offered totaling $10.8 million drove the average to $1,802,957.
Whether that record is beaten or not, it’s something special to watch RM’s success.
Sporting Classics of Monaco Detailed Auction Report – RM Auctions