Review of RM Sotheby’s London Auction

Tom Gidden © 2015 Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s
Tom Gidden © 2015 Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

Monday September 7th saw the return of the excellent RM Sotheby’s sale to London’s Battersea. The excitement and fanfare that they bring to their auctions is unrivaled and European Managing Director Max Girardo always injects some fun into the proceedings.

“Last night represented our ninth consecutive sale in Battersea Park and it turned out to be another great success. The market is seeing that real quality is still commanding strong money, and it doesn’t come much better than the Ferrari 250 Tour de France which headlined Monday’s sale,” says Max Girardo, Managing Director of RM Sotheby’s Europe. “To achieve in excess of £16.6 million* in sales demonstrates that the market still has a lot to offer, and RM Sotheby’s is definitely leading the way. We welcomed bidders from 26 countries, of which 23 percent were new clients to RM Sotheby’s. It was particularly fantastic to welcome so many Sotheby’s clients to the sale, further demonstrating how the partnership is working to build a truly global platform for collector cars.”

Cymon Taylor 2015 © RM Sotheby’s
Cymon Taylor 2015 © RM Sotheby’s

As always it was extremely hard to predict how the evening would unfold. A seemingly low hammer price of £56,000 for the 1965 Porsche 911 – almost £10,000 under its lowest estimate – can probably be attributed to its non-standard setup with larger engine and race prepped interior.

Pieter E. Kamp ©2015 Courtesy of RM Sotheby's
Pieter E. Kamp ©2015 Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

But the gorgeous Lancia Flavia Sport by Zagato really was a bargain, selling for just £33,600. The little Lancia is ready to go racing having been prepared by Carlo Facetti who has decades of experience in setting the cars up. At over £10,000 under its lowest reserve this really was a great purchase.

Remi Dargegen ©2015 Courtesy of RM Sotheby's
Remi Dargegen ©2015 Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

Beating its highest reserve and causing a mini bidding war was the fun looking Ferves Ranger. This unusual car has a little 499cc engine putting out just 18bhp! Perhaps what helped generate a bit of interest in the car was that the name Ferves come from an abbreviation of Ferrari Veicoli Speciali and was designed by Carlo Ferrari. It’s certainly quirky to look at, but legendary designer Philippe Starck thought it was cool and is listed as one of the previous owners. After a battle of the bids the hammer finally fell at £29,120, £3,000 over its highest estimate.

Tom Gidden © 2015 Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s
Tom Gidden © 2015 Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

Once again though, Ferrari topped the top ten sales. Stealing the show was an early single-louvre bodied 1958 Ferrari 250 GT Berlinetta Competizione ‘Tour de France’ with covered headlights. Sitting comfortably within its estimate at £4,760,000.

Tim Scott ©2015 Courtesy of RM Sotheby's
Tim Scott ©2015 Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

The F40 continues to strengthen in price, it really is hard to believe these cars were as low as £150,000 a few years ago. A hammer price of £845,000 was again nicely within in its estimate and they will just keep rising, a true landmark supercar that is always a good investment.

RM Sotheby’s London: Top 10 Sales

Lot 172 – 1958 Ferrari 250 GT Berlinetta Competizione ‘Tour de France’ £4,760,000
Lot 162 – 1964 Ferrari 250 GT/L Berlinetta ‘Lusso’ £1,232,000
Lot 168 – 1992 Ferrari F40 £845,600
Lot 170 – 1965 Aston Martin DB5 Vantage 784,000
Lot 171 – 1995 Bugatti EB110 Super Sport £627,200
Lot 124 – 1964 Maserati Mistral 3.7 Spyder £526,400
Lot 125 – 2006 Porsche Carrera GT £448,000
Lot 146 – 1929 Bentley 4½-Litre Tourer £420,000
Lot 163 – 1962 Porsche 356 Carrera 2 Coupé £386,400
Lot 129 – 1968 Ferrari Dino 206 GT £347,200

Complete results from the London sale are available at www.rmsothebys.com.

*RM Sotheby’s London results are listed in GBP and inclusive of 12% buyer’s premium for automobiles and 17% for all other lots. Results tally includes post-auction sales.

About the Author:

Tim Hutton has been involved in the automotive industry for 18 years, creating ideas and content for premium brands. When not writing about cars, you will find him driving them all around the world. Having learned to drive at seven in a racing car, petrol is very much in his veins.