2020 Paris sales: RM likely to top €16m

2020 Paris sales: RM likely to top €16m 5th February 2020

Based on provisional figures, we predict that earlier this evening RM Sotheby’s sold at least 67% of its 78-car Rétromobile Week catalogue.

Top seller by a whisker from the €1,917,500 Porsche 904 GTS was the €1,996,250 BMW 507 Series II Roadster. Before the inevitable post-sale deals, we forecast a gross of at least €16,069,088 – half RM’s 2019 impressive total. The event was held in a single big tent and was well attended until Parisian dinner time.

The failure of the big-ticket lots to sell on the night took a big chunk out of the possible gross; the Canadians’ formidable post-sale operation will be grinding away as you read this right now. It worked well for them last year.


At a glance from provisional figures:

* Gross: €16,069,088 (2019, €32,035,838)
* Percentage sold by number: 67% (2019, 75%)
* Top-selling car: 1958 BMW 507 Series II Roadster €1,996,250 gross, €1,770,000 net (est. €1.75m to €2.25m)
* Well sold? The 1969 Mercedes-Benz 300 SEL 6.3 'Red Pig' Replica that rootled its way well over top estimate to €432,500 gross
* Well bought? Aston experts rated the LHD DB5, snapped up for €623,750 with premium (around $686k). “Far too cheap,” remarked a pre-eminent UK specialist
* One to take away? Maybe the Swedish-delivered silver ‘Gullwing’, that just beat low estimate for €1,073,750. Not perfect, with a non-original interior colour, but an affordable entry to the 300 SL club


The D-type was bid over the ’phone to €5.4m – a figure that should have bought it. There seemed little genuine interest in either the spoilered-up open Lamborghini or the ‘retail red’ Euro-spec Ferrari ‘Daytona’ Spider. The latter really should go back to Italy now for a proper restoration to Rosso Dino with Beige. Its RHD berlinetta cousin – also Rosso Corsa, but first delivered in more attractive Rosso Bordeaux – sold for €522.5k, a fair price on the night.

The latter was part of the imaginatively named Poster Car Collection, classics bought over a period of time as an investment portfolio from the now defunct JD Classics and offered in the trade right up to the day RM announced their consignment. Of these, only the ex-Alan Clark R-Type Continental failed to sell, but overall the non-European buyers’ ‘investment’ might not have turned out quite as well as promised.

As usual, it was a professional performance by RM handicapped by few truly unique entries and persisting softness in the European market for less-than-exceptional cars.

Full results to come from K500, with a comprehensive listing of cars sold at Paris this year ranked by marque and model.

RM Sotheby’s in Paris, 5 February 2020 – provisional (2019)

Gross: €16,069,088 (€32,035,838)
Number of cars not sold: 26 (21)
Number of cars withdrawn: 1 (1)
Total number of cars: 78 (83)
Number sold: 52 (62)
Percentage cars sold by number: 67% (75%)
Percentage by value average low/high estimate: 36% (58%)
Percentage of cars met or sold below low estimate: 54% (63%)
Percentage of cars sold below avge of estimates:  71% (76%)
Percentage of cars sold met/exceeded top estimate: 19% (21%)
Average price of cars sold: €309,021 (€516,707)
Average year of cars offered: 1973 (1978)
Percentage of cars offered at No Reserve: 32% (16%)

Photos by K500