The Market


2024 Florida sales – RM opens its account in Miami

2024 Florida sales – RM opens its account in Miami 2nd March 2024

The wait is over. But was RM’s decision to split from the other established Amelia Island auctions, moving 100s of miles away to set up a new event in Miami, worth it? On the face of the first day’s provisional results, a qualified ‘yes’. Of the 60 cars offered, 48 sold and the gross exceeded $22m.

At only a 20-minute Uber ride from Miami international airport, everyone agreed the new venue at the Coral Gables Biltmore was a considerable improvement on getting to and from Amelia Island. As visitors started to arrive on Thursday evening and Friday morning, the concours field temporary buildings and general vibe of the site was one a little of a work in progress, but things are looking good for the weekend. The more relaxed and less stressed aspect of the whole event is a fresh change from the booked-out hotels, restaurants and parking lots of similar big-league happenings. Uber was king.

The ability to chat with friends in a casual atmosphere was the main plus – we can see this event growing.

RM had its auction cars displayed outside on grass, either in a large, anonymous, temporary structure or in the sun – which rarely flatters them. The sale was conducted in a smaller room than normal in the main hotel building. RM’s regular US-sale auctioneer Mike Shackleton played to a moderately busy audience, with interest in the cars on offer lasting to the late-afternoon finish, well in time for pre-dinner cocktails. Entries were ‘driven’ across a ‘virtual block’ big-screen display.

At a glance (on the day, provisional):

* Gross, motor cars: $22,224,360
* Percentage sold by number: 80%
* Top-selling car: 1990 Ferrari F40 $3,360,000 gross, $3,050,000 net (est. $2.8m to $3.1m)
* Well sold? The one-off special show car Bugatti Veyron which took a long time to sell – the bids just did not stop. At $3.085m it’s the second most expensive example showing in the K500 Index
* Well bought? Less fashionable today, but still ‘the original’. A 1964 Lamborghini 350 GT sold for $566,000. Est. $600k to $700k 

There was little meaningful bidding on the headlining 1967 365 California, a super-luxury Ferrari with presence that could have done with the raised dais, lobby and chandelier treatment. So top billing went to the one-owner, European-specification, ‘non-cat, non-adjust’ F40. The highly original car with much-valued ‘visible weave’ nearly reached top estimate and was bought for $3.36m in line with current values.

Other results of note (all prices gross):

* 1964 Shelby 289 Cobra, Not Sold. Gooding did not sell its 289. Nor did Broad Arrow its 427 S/C. It’s not been a good week for Cobras.
* 1966 Porsche 906 Carrera 6, $2,205,000. Good price for a model in a notoriously picky market.
* 1989 BMW M3 Convertible, $190,400. Very low (sub-4,000km) miles covered and superb condition gave this one a boost.
* 1976 Lamborghini Countach LP 400 'Periscopica', Not Sold. And neither did the 1988 Countach 5000 QV. Blame colour (red) and after-market conversion to carbs on the latter and – perhaps – a replacement interior on the former.

RM Sotheby’s holds its second day of sales in Miami on Saturday, 2 March 2024 at 13.00 EST. One of the top lots is #230, the 1953 Ferrari 250 Europa Coupe ($4.5m to $5.5m).

All quoted prices include buyer’s premium.

Photos by K500