RM Sotheby’s reaches $31.2 million at Monaco auction

A 1951 Ferrari 340 America Touring Barchetta was the high seller at $12.6 million | RM Sotheby's photos
A 1951 Ferrari 340 America Touring Barchetta was the high seller at $12.6 million | RM Sotheby’s photos

By most measures, RM Sotheby’s spring auction in Monaco was a solid success, scoring €27.5 million (nearly $31.2 million at the current exchange rate) as 114 cars crossed the block during Monte Carlo’s famous historic-racing weekend.

The fourth of the biannual Monaco sales (the auction house alternates yearly between Monaco and Villa Erba during the Villa d’Este concours in Italy) boasted seven cars selling for more than $1 million each, topped off by a 1951 Ferrari 340 America Touring Barchetta that achieved €7.28 million ($8.23 million). All sales results include auction fees.

The Le Sporting Monte Carlo auction was packed
The Le Sporting Monte Carlo auction was packed with bidders and spectators

But last weekend’s sale was off considerably compared with the last time RM (before its partnership with Sotheby’s) held an auction at Monaco in 2014. That sale totaled $56.7 million for 90 cars at a 92 percent sell-through rate, an astounding result that RM called its best-ever European auction.

The sell-through rate for the recent Monaco auction was 72.8 percent, with 83 cars sold out of the 114 that crossed the block.

The results of the recent sale were dinged by the failure of the event’s marquee car to meet reserve. That car, a 1968 Ferrari 275 GTS/4 NART Spider that was one of just 10 built, was expected to reach around €19 million, or $21.59 million, but bidding stalled at about €17 million ($19.2 million) and the car was pulled as a no sale.

The Monaco sale was actually two RM Sotheby’s auctions held in one day, starting in the afternoon with 37 cars from the Quattroruote Collection, highlighted by a 1939 Bugatti Type 57 Cabriolet that sold for €660,800 ($746,700). That sale was followed by the customary Le Sporting Monte Carlo auction.

The 1997 Porsche 911 GT1 Evolution is the only road-registered example
The 1997 Porsche 911 GT1 Evolution is the only road-registered example

The second-highest seller of the day was a spectacular 1997 Porsche 911 GT1 Evolution, chassis GT1 993-117, that is the only known road-registered example and one of only 14 GT1 racers in private hands. With extensive competition history and following a recent restoration, the Porsche sold for €2.772 million ($3.13 million).

Other highlights of the Monaco sale include a 1948 Tucker 48, sold for €1.344 million ($1.518 million); the auction-record sale of a 1995 Lamborghini Diablo SE30 Jota at €672,000 ($760,000); a 1973 Porsche 911 Carrera RS 2.7 Touring, €610,400 ($690,000); and a luxury-classic 1930 Hispano-Suiza H6B Coupé Limousine, €106,400 ($120,000).

Two 21st Century cars that scored major results were a 2004 Aston Martin DB AR1, sold for an auction-record €336,000 ($380,000), and a 2001 Ferrari 550 Barchetta Pininfarina, sold above its high estimate at €504,000 ($570,000).

The top 10 sales for RM Sotheby’s 2016 Monaco auction were:

1.     1951 Ferrari 340 America Barchetta, €7.280 million ($12.6 million)
2.     1997 Porsche 911 GT1 Evolution, €2.772 million ($3.13 million)
3.     1966 Ferrari 275 GTS, €1.792 million ($2 million)
4.     1948 Tucker 48, €1.344 million ($1.518 million)
5.     1955 Mercedes-Benz 300 SL Gullwing, €1.232 million ($1.4 million)
6.     1952 Ferrari 212 Inter Cabriolet, €1.176 million ($1.33 million)
7.     1988 Porsche 959 ‘Komfort’ Stage II, €896,000 ($1 million)
8.     1995 Lamborghini Diablo SE30 Jota, €672,000 ($760,000)
9.     1939 Bugatti Type 57 Cabriolet, €660,800 ($746,700)
10.   1973 Porsche 911 Carrera RS 2.7 Touring, €610,400 ($690,000)

(All results include auction fees)

RM Sotheby’s hosts its annual Motor City sale in Detroit on July 30 and its flagship Monterey, California, auction from August 19-20 during the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance week.

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