RM Auctions posts a spectacular US$95-million in sales at 2012 Monterey Weekend

This superb 1962 Ferrari 250 GT SWB California Spyder led a host of million-dollar-plus Ferraris at the 2012 RM sale in Monterey (credit: Stephen Goodal © 2012 courtesy RM Auctions)

RM Auctions, the world’s largest collector car auction house for investment-quality automobiles, continued its strong track record on the August Monterey, California week of car festivities, realizing a spectacular US$95.7-million in total sales, with 89 per cent of all lots sold.

The impressive results represent the highest individual auction tally in RM’s history and, significantly, an almost 20 per cent increase on last year’s record US$80-million Monterey sale.

This year’s sale featured an elite, handpicked selection of 120 of the world’s finest automobiles compared to 144 motor cars offered at the 2011 sale, with as many as 20 vehicles realizing million-dollar-plus results and five lots achieving individual prices exceeding US$5-million.

Exclusive video highlights from the weekend are available online here: http://bit.ly/Nl5YCH.

The record setting 1968 Ford GT40 Gulf/Mirage Lightweight Racing Car sold for US$11-million (including 10 per cent buyer’s premium) during RM’s Friday sales session in Monterey, August 2012 (credit: courtesy RM Auctions)

“We are absolutely delighted with the results from our Monterey sale, which not only reflect our best performance to date but demonstrate the continued strength of the collector car market and high global demand for investment-quality automobiles, said Rob Myers, chairman and founder, RM Auctions. “The sale truly captured the attention of the world’s elite collectors, and the results once again prove that RM continues to set the standard for collector car auctions with its high-caliber consignments, impeccable presentation, unparalleled client service, and accurate estimates provided by our expert team of car specialists. We look forward to continuing the momentum with our upcoming fall auctions in Hershey, Dallas, and London.”

The event’s top seller was a 1968 Ford GT40 Gulf/Mirage Lightweight Racing Car, P/1074, achieving a new world record for an American automobile sold at auction with a remarkable sales price of US$11-million (pictured above). The first, by serial number, of several lightweight GT40s built for the J.W.A./Gulf team, this exceptional racing car was completed in 1968 and carries an incredible history from new. Finished in the Gulf team colours of Powder Blue with a Marigold stripe, it raced extensively throughout 1968 from Daytona to Le Mans, as well as the Le Mans trials at the hands of Jacky Ickx, before it was sold to Solar Productions in 1970 and used as a camera car in Steve McQueen’s Le Mans. Providing one of many thrilling auction moments across the two-day sale, the GT40 spurred a lively bidding war in the room; its world record price earning a standing ovation from the crowd.

Additional lots surpassing the $5-million mark included a magnificent trio of Ferraris, including a hugely desirable 1962 Ferrari 250 GT SWB California Spyder, chassis 3319 GT (pictured), for $8,580,000; an exceptional 1955 Ferrari 410 S Berlinetta, chassis 0594 CM, which set a new world record for a closed Ferrari at $8,250,000; and a coveted 1956 Ferrari 250 GT LWB Berlinetta ‘Tour de France’, chassis 0585 GT, which fetched $6,710,000. Rounding out the group of $5-million-plus sales, the supremely elegant, Pebble Beach ‘Best of Show’ winning 1938 Horch 853A Erdmann & Rossi Special Roadster achieved a strong $5,017,000, to set a new world record for an Horch sold at auction.

“The results indicate a particularly strong market for 1950s and 1960s sports and racing cars, with many new records achieved within this category across the Monterey weekend,” said Shelby Myers, managing director, RM California. “Whether this reflects a change in existing collector tastes is unknown, however it certainly shows that interest in makes such as Ferrari, Aston Martin and other post-World War II sports cars is at an all-time high. It is important to note the trend was not only evident in the multi-million-dollar bracket, but Best of Category examples across all levels.” 

Other notable auction results include:

  • a race bred 1960 Aston Martin DB4GT, the fourth DB4GT produced, exceeded its pre-sale estimate, selling for a strong $2,035,000;
  • a 1953 Bentley Continental R-Type Fastback Sports Saloon set a new world record for its model, achieving a superb $1,622,500;
  • a highly original 1965 Shelby 289 Cobra Mk II, just one lady owner from new, well-surpassed its pre-sale estimate, selling for $792,000;
  • a 1974 Ferrari Dino 246 GTS ‘Chairs and Flares’ attracted fierce bidding, realizing a world record price of $467,500; and
  • a perfectly preserved, delivery-mileage 1989 Ferrari Testarossa doubled its pre-sale estimate to enter the history books with a world record price of $264,000.

Reflecting RM’s global clientele, the strong results were generated by registered bidders from 25 different countries on the telephone, over the Internet, and assembled in the standing-room-only venue.

RM Auctions’ 2012 Monterey Million-Dollar-Plus Sales:

Lot 139 1968 Ford GT40 Gulf/Mirage Lightweight Racing Car $11,000,000
Lot 240A 1962 Ferrari 250 GT SWB California Spyder $8,580,000
Lot 117 1955 Ferrari 410 S Berlinetta $8,250,000
Lot 231 1956 Ferrari 250 GT LWB Berlinetta ‘Tour de France’ $6,710,000
Lot 133 1938 Horch 853A Special Roadster $5,170,000
Lot 214 1955 Aston Martin DB3S Sports Racing Car $3,685,000
Lot 226 1967 Ford GT40 Mark I $2,860,000
Lot 121 1938 Talbot-Lago T23 Teardrop Coupe $2,640,000
Lot 233 2001 Bentley Speed 8 Le Mans Prototype Racing Car $2,530,000
Lot 228 1960 Aston Martin DB4GT $2,035,000
Lot 229 1929 Duesenberg Model J Disappearing Top Convertible Coupe $1,897,500
Lot 212 1953 Bentley Continental R-Type Fastback Sports Saloon $1,622,500
Lot 239 1967 Ferrari 275 GTB/4 Berlinetta $1,485,000
Lot 249 1967 Ferrari 275 GTB/4 ‘Competizione Speciale’ $1,485,000
Lot 114 1965 Shelby 427 Competition Cobra $1,485,000
Lot 240 1964 Shelby 289 Competition Cobra $1,320,000
Lot 221 1965 Ferrari 275 GTB $1,182,500
Lot 250 1955 Mercedes-Benz 300SL ‘Gullwing’ Coupe $1,171,500
Lot 140 1998 Mercedes-Benz CLK GTR $1,100,000
Lot 137 2001 Audi R8 Le Mans Prototype Racing Car $1,034,000

*All figures are reported in U.S. dollars and include the 10 per cent buyer’s premium

In addition to RM’s strong auction performance, the company’s restoration division, RM Auto Restoration, continued its track record for excellence on the show field at the Pebble Beach Concours on Sunday, with the 1931 Duesenberg J Derham Tourster owned by Joseph and Margie Cassini, of West Orange, New Jersey, judged Best in Class and a Best of Show Nominee, and the 1937 Talbot-Lago T150C Figoni & Falaschi Cabriolet, owned by The Patterson Collection in Louisville, Kentucky, also receiving Best in Class honours.

In addition, a 1930 Cadillac 452 Fleetwood Roadster, owned by Bob and Brigette Thayer of Atlanta, Georgia, and also restored by RM Auto Restoration, was judged second in its class.

RM Auctions continues its 2012 calendar in Hershey, Pennsylvania, October 11–12, 2012, closely followed by the presentation of The Charlie Thomas Collection, October 20, near Dallas, Texas, and its annual London sale at Battersea Evolution, October 31.

For further information on upcoming events, along with complete official results from RM’s 2012 Monterey sale, visit www.rmauctions.com.

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