Surf’s up for RM Sotheby’s in $9.3 million Santa Monica sale

The Mercedes-Benz 300 SL during bidding, with the Ferrari F40 on deck | RM Sotheby's photos
The Mercedes-Benz 300 SL during bidding, with the Ferrari F40 on deck | RM Sotheby’s photos

With a diverse lineup of cars spanning the Southern California collector car hobby, RM Sotheby’s held its fifth annual Santa Monica auction for the first time in partnership with sister company Auctions America, reaching more than $9.3 million in total sales.

The one-day “boutique” auction offered 175 cars and an array of automobilia, with 111 cars sold for a 63 percent sell through, and 80 percent of the 68 automobilia pieces selling. The auction was held Saturday at the historic Barker Hangar.

The Cadillac V16 roadster is auctioned
The Cadillac V16 roadster is auctioned

The top 10 sales comprised vintage sports cars, pre-war classics and several modern exotics, including a 2005 Mercedes-Benz SLR McLaren that sold for $264,000 (all auction results include buyer fees).

The highest seller was a vintage Mercedes, a 1960 300 SL roadster. The perennial favorite went unsold on the podium but scored an after-block sale of $1.1 million, the only seven-figure result at Santa Monica. It was followed on the top-seller list by an ultra-exotic 1992 Ferrari F40, which went for $957,000.

A pair of American classics offered at no reserve from a single collection were the next highest sales. A well-preserved 1929 Duesenberg Model J Convertible Berline by Murphy that was delivered new in nearby Pasadena reached $880,000, and an “authentic” 1930 Cadillac V16 Fleetwood roadster, still wearing its original two-seater body, roared past the pre-sale high estimate with a sale of $797,500 after lively bidding.

The Santa Monica sale was well-attended
The Santa Monica sale was well-attended

Fifth-highest sale was for a high-performance 1995 Porsche 911 Carrera RS 3.8 that achieved $434,500.

The cars at auction represented a wide range of values, with buyers able to pick up some interesting cars for four and low-five figures. One interesting sale was that of a 1970 Mercedes-Benz 250 C, still owned by its original buyer, actress-singer Michelle Phillips of the Mamas and the Papas. The celebrity Mercedes sold for $28,050.

“We’re thrilled with the strong results for our fifth annual Santa Monica sale,” Alexander Weaver, car specialist for RM Sotheby’s said, in a news release. “The new single-day format proved a success, with the busiest auction room we’ve seen yet.

“Our top 10 results also illustrate the appeal of the Southern California venue for the sale of a number of collector car segments, from American classics to late-model Porsches, icons of 1960s European motoring and modern collectibles.”

The top 10 sellers at RM Sotheby’s Santa Monica auction were:

  1. 1960 Mercedes-Benz 300 SL Roadster, $1.1 million
  2. 1992 Ferrari F40, $975,000
  3. 1929 Duesenberg Model J Convertible Berline by Murphy, $800,000
  4. 1930 Cadillac V-16 Roadster by Fleetwood, $797,50
  5. 1995 Porsche 911 Carrera RS 3.8, $434,500
  6. 1966 Aston Martin DB6 Vantag, $341,000
  7. 2005 Mercedes-Benz SLR McLaren, $264,000
  8. 1997 Porsche 911 Turbo S, $220,000
  9. 1936 Bentley 3½-Litre Sedanca Coupe by Windovers, $200,750
  10. 1960 Porsche 356 B 1600 Roadster by Drauz, $170,500

(Results include auction fees)

RM Sotheby’s next auction is its flagship sale Monterey, California, held August 18-19 during Pebble Beach Concours week.

For information about RM Sotheby’s auctions, visit the company website.

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