Wouldn’t you just hate to work for RM Auctions? Each May, on an alternating basis, you face having to travel either to picturesque Lake Como in northern Italy or to the Principality of Monaco on the shores of the Mediterranean.
Of course, there’s a lot of work to do while you’re there, organizing a major international classic car auction. This year, that auction is at Monaco on May 10 in conjunction with the Grand Prix de Monaco Historique vintage racing weekend.
“This is our third year in Monaco,” said Gord Duff, one of RM’s car specialists. “It’s been hugely successful for us, exceeded our expectations.
“Obviously,” he added, in keeping with the venue, “it’s very driven toward sports cars and race cars.
“And it makes it more special that it’s every other year.”
The biannual sale at Lake Como is held in conjunction with the annual Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este, which takes place this year — for the 85th year — from May 23-25. As its name indicates, the main event is one of the world’s most prestigious concours d’elegance, which this year focuses on cars of the period of The Great Gatsby.
In addition to the various classes for cars, the event at Lake Como includes for the fourth year the Concorso di Motociclete for two-wheel vehicles. Thirty-five classic motorcycles will be on display after making a police-escorted parade along the lakeshore road.
From RM’s perspective, both are amazing venues, but Monaco provides room for about 90 lots to be sold, while the grounds at Villa d’Este can accommodate only around 40 vehicles.
“We’re right around 90 cars this year,” Duff said, “and there are some fantastic things.”
At Monaco, for example:
- A 1966 Ferrari Dino 206S first raced in hill climbs by Italian nobleman Eduardo Lualdi Gabardi, who won overall or in class 22 times, and which has had the same ownership for some 40 years;
- A 1968 Ferrari 275 GTB competition car that Duff said is one of 12 and perhaps the most original remaining, having never been in an accident or restored, just maintained and repainted when needed;
- A 1959 Ferrari 250 GT Series I cabriolet, one of the last — the 36th of 40 — built and freshly restored;
- “The James Hunt car,” or as Duff put it, “a piece of history,” the 1974 Hesketh 308 Formula One racer driven by F1 champions James Hunt in 1974 (yes, it’s the car made famous by Hunt’s late-race pass in the Silverstone International Trophy Race) and Alan Jones in 1975;
- A 1956 Maserati 450S prototype by Fantuzzi that has had only three owners since new after being the works entry driven by Stirling Moss in the Mille Miglia;
- A 1966 Ferrari 275 GTB/C with Scaglietti bodywork that was the ninth of only 12 built;
- A 1989 Ferrari F1-89 F1 racer that was John Barnard’s first design for Ferrari and was raced by Gerhard Berger;
- The 1966 Brabham-Repco BT20 that won the 1967 Monaco Grand Prix;
- A 1954 Bentley R-Type Continental fastback that is 1 of 3 with bodywork by Franay;
- A 1957 Porsche 356 A Carrera 1500 GS/GT coupe by Reutter;
- A 1955 Lancia Aurelia B24S Spider America by Pinin Farina;
- The “Via,” a 1958 Riva Tritone originally owned by Prince Ranier III of Monaco and Grace Kelly;
- The “Swift II,” a 1964 Ariston that also was used along the French Riviera.
The age range of vehicles goes from a 1926 Bugatti Type 35B Grand Prix racer to a pair of 2012 models — a Ferrari 599 GTO and a Ferrari 599 SA Aperta.