2,000 Wheels has the sound of a Mecum Auctions mega event. All at no reserve sounds more like Barrett-Jackson. But , , which is Italian for 2,000 Wheels, is an auction scheduled for November 25-27 by RM Sotheby’s, which says this sale will be the largest of a single private collection in European history.
The anonymous collector of this array of more than 800 lots is offering more than 430 cars, 150 motorcycles, 60 boats, a hundred or so each of signs and bicycles, as well as a handful of bobsleds, a few engines, and some other stuff — all at no reserve. The sale is timed and co-located with the Milano AutoClassic classic car show in the very fashionable city in northern Italy.
The star of the collection, and long-hidden from public view, is one of only seven long-nose 1966 Ferrari 275 GTB/6C models built with alloy bodywork, half a dozen carburetors and torque tube. Pre-sale estimated value of the car is just shy of $3 million.
The collection also includes a 2004 Maserati MC12, a 1994 Bugatti EB110 GT, a 25th anniversary Lamborghini Countach, a 2005 Porsche Carrera GT and a 1988 959 “Komfort,” a 1969 Ferrari 365 GTB/4 Daytona Berlinetta “Plexi” and a 1992 F40, as well as a 1991 Lancia-Ferrari Le Mans race car.
But this is an eclectic collection to say the least, what with Lot 948 being a 1991 Pontiac Trans Sport SE minivan estimated at to be worth $3,000 at the most.
Instead of its traditional glossy and fact-packed auction catalog, RM Sotheby’s has produced a tabloid-style newsprint catalog with mostly thumbnail photos, the lot number, vehicle year make and model and pre-sale estimated price. The accompanying website includes more photos of some lots and allows you to enlarge them to see more details, but still generally lacks on the usual information.
Take, for example, eye-catching Lot 623, being offered as a replica of a 1946 Alfa Romeo 412 Spider Vignale. We’re told the car is built on chassis No. 913346 with engine No. 923886, but it is indeed a replica of a car that (some web-searching reveals) Vignale rebodied for the 1951 Mille Miglia and is being sold with a pre-sale estimated value of around only $34,000.
I’ve gone through the 64-page newspaper-style catalog twice and my personal tastes are as eclectic as the collectors:
RM Sotheby’s photos by Jeremy Malcolm, Eugene Robertson and Tom Wood