Postcard from RM Auctions London

Fresh from its success in Hershey and Grapevine, Texas - Canadian company RM Auctions held its final European sale of the year, on Wednesday October 31st. Returning to central London for the sixth time, and the Battersea Evolution, with a catalogue of 92 collectors cars, 2 motorbikes and 1 quad-bike  - the 4.5 hour auction delivered an 84% sale through rate, and revenues of almost £14.2 million.
The spacious exhibition venue, allows all cars to be displayed internally, with an Aston Martin DB4 and Alfa Romeo 1750 greeting attendees in the reception, and the 3 stars of the sale – the Ferrari 250 Tour de France, Mercedes 300 SL (alloy body) and 300SL Roadster, on the auctioneers rostrum.

A full copy of the results in sterling (including buyers premium) can be viewed here, these were my highlights…

  • One of my favourite, current supercars is the Bugatti Veyron. One of just three hundred units produced, and ordered new by the vendor in mid 2008, the consigned car had an odometer reading of just 669kms, supposedly completed exclusively by the Bugatti service team(!). With a planned production of just three hundred units and an £890k delivery price, the car was offered at “no reserve”, from the Wim Zegwaard Collection, selling at £579k – a very healthy discount over “list”. 

  • Of the ten Ferrari’s offered, six have new owners; with the 250 Tour de France achieving the auction's top figure - £1.96 million. A restored, left-hand-drive 365 GTB Daytona…complete with Classiche certification, achieving a very healthy £319.2k, a 1958 Ellena - excellent value at £235k, and the ex Michael Schumacher/Eddie Irvine F300 F1 test car, £400k. Completing the sales were two road cars, a UK trade consigned, tired 250GTE (£140k) and a direct contrast - a superbly restored, 1974 Dino 246 GTS, "chairs not flares" (£224k)

  • For devotees of alternative Italian marques - a very early production (1973), freshly restored, Lancia Stratos Stradale has a new custodian, paying £249.2k; a similarly early, right-hand-drive 1951 Lancia Aurelia B20GT was ready for the road and FIVA rallies, at £78.4k - whilst its drophead equivalent, the 1956 B24S, realised £173,600. The best presented car of the auction - a stunning 1970 Lamborghini Miura P400S achieved a "market correct" £397k and if you wanted a Fiat alternative, to the aforementioned Aurelia, the "Doubble bubble" Zagato designed 750GT, sold at exactly the same price. 

  • "My" car of the evening, was the superb Ferrari Daytona Competition conversion - chassis #13381. Converted from a standard coupe during the mid-eighties in France, with FIA papers and an extensive historic racing history since… in its current ownership, the car had been repainted by Carrozzeria Zanasi (Modena) and an engine rebuild at Tony Auto (Maranello) and was ready for action…sadly a "no-sale", with a high-bid of £210k.  

With more than 500 attendees, telephone bidders from 33 countries and the sale broadcast “live” via the internet, RM Europe’s latest auction attracted much media attention immediately prior, and post sale. Auction prices confirm the continued interest in the market as an enjoyable, rewarding and relatively “safe” haven for private collectors cash, as well as dealers having the opportunity to replenish depleted stock, with attractively priced inventory.

Me…I kept my hands in my pockets…..I have a plan!!!