The Market


€2.4m Miura SV tops RM’s 2021 €7.65m Paris sale

€2.4m Miura SV tops RM’s 2021 €7.65m Paris sale 16th February 2021

Of course, it was not actually ‘Paris’. The cars were dotted around Europe, and the event could have been conducted live just about anywhere, but until Covid restrictions are lifted some time later this year, this is the way things are.

With RM’s multi-lingual Dutch auctioneer and head of department Maarten ten Holder off to pastures new (K500 hears it’s to another European firm), Sotheby’s man Mark Grol handled the Canadians’ ‘Paris’-branded sale live, taking bids from the internet and RM staffers handling the telephones. Standing in front of an atmospheric black backdrop, we expected one of the dark-suited team to break into Bohemian Rhapsody at any moment. No bidders were in the room.

At a glance (on the day)*:

* Gross: €7,652,000 (2020, €16,544,588)
* Percentage sold by number: 58% (2020, 71%)
* Top-selling car: 1971 Lamborghini Miura P400 SV (pictured, top) €2,423,750 gross, €2,150,000 net (est. €2.1m to €2.5m)
* Well sold? The unusual 1993 Isdera Commendatore 112i (est. €400k to €600k) that went for €1,113,125 including RM’s 15%/12.5% split premium
* Well bought? If Bond is your thing, the No Reserve 2010 Land Rover Defender SVX ‘Spectre’, at €87,400 all-in. The estimate was €150k to €200k

Coming out at around $2.9m, the red Miura SV sold well considering its less-fancied colour and decades in Germany sporting a snowplough, Jota-type spoiler and other go-faster mods. The car had been restored five years ago to ‘as delivered’ with mixed success in the metal, though mechanical work supervised by experts Top Motors is a plus. As the 1971 vinyl/cloth interior was long gone, during this process the owner chose to retrim the car in leather. Understandable, perhaps, but proof once again that original is best.

The ex-Rod Stewart Countach LP400 had suffered all sorts of indignities in its life including conversion to a Targa and a right-hand to left-hand-drive conversion. Now back to standard, but still LHD, it sold under low estimate for €775,625 with premium.

The catalogue was sprinkled with notes advising bidders to be aware of ‘Monaco registration’, ‘Guernsey registration’, ‘UAE registration/Temporary import (EU)’ and more. All quite normal, but it made it hard for buyers, unable to see the cars in one place with knowledgeable RM personnel on hand to consult, to make an informed decision. The implications of Brexit – the possibility of 20% VAT applied to younger classics in and out of the EU – was also highlighted. This has yet to be tested and it’s a subject K500 will address in the future.

A bidding battle later in the day drove the price on the 1994 Ferrari 348 GT Michelotto Competizione (est. €250k to €290k) ever upwards until the hammer dropped at €315k. That’s €359.4k all-in, though VAT could well be due on the car that had covered only 2,685km from new. More catalogue notations.

Non-sellers on the day included the 1979 Bizzarrini P538 and 2009 Ferrari 599 GTZ Nibbio Spyder by Zagato. Labelling either ‘classic’ or ‘collectable’ is questionable, and surely both were entered in hope rather than expectation.

RM’s next two auctions in February and March are online-only, with a glimmer of reality returning on 22 May when it plans to hold a conventional sale at Amelia Island.

* RM sold three cars post-sale: 1965 Alfa Romeo Giulia Sprint GTA (€270k), 1968 Lamborghini Espada S1 (€173k) and 1952 Porsche 356 Coupé (€460k). All prices include premium. This brings the gross up to €8,555,000 at 65% sold by number.

RM Sotheby’s Paris auction, 13 February 2021 – results (2020 Paris sale)

Gross: €7,652,000 (€16,544,588)
Number of cars not sold: 17 (23)
Number of cars withdrawn: 1 (1)
Total number of cars: 40 (78)
Number sold: 23 (55)
Percentage cars sold by number: 58% (71%)
Percentage by value average low/high estimate: 49% (37%)
Percentage of cars met or sold below low estimate: 48% (56%)
Percentage of cars sold below avge of estimates: 83% (73%)
Percentage of cars sold met/exceeded top estimate: 9% (18%)
Average price of cars sold: €332,696 (€300,811)
Average year of cars offered: 1987 (1973)
Percentage of cars offered at No Reserve: 35% (32%)

Photo by RM Sotheby’s