Hot off the press: RM Sotheby’s at Villa Erba 2015, news from the sale

Hot off the press: RM Sotheby’s at Villa Erba 2015, news from the sale 23rd May 2015

With the final lot only just safely tucked away for the evening, and attendees in the packed auction grandstand still at their restaurant dinner tables, we can report a likely gross figure of around 26 million euros for RM’s 2015 Villa Erba event, with 31 of the 37 lots finding buyers on the night. That’s a good 84 per cent sold by number.

The highest price on the evening was achieved by the 1952 Ferrari 212 Export Barchetta by Touring (above) that was hammered away for 6,000,000 euros. Significant non-selling cars included two 250 GT SWB Ferraris: the Comp’ Berlinetta and the open-headlamp California Spider.

Makes a nice photo but failed to make headlines on the night
Makes a nice photo but failed to make headlines on the night

The sale was marked by healthy prices for the F40 (1,008,000 euros gross), Enzo (1,260,00 euros gross) and 288 GTO (1,904,000 euros gross) and another over-estimate figure for a manual 599 GTB, a red example that achieved 320k euros hammer versus its 300k upper estimate. With premium, that’s 358,400 euros, or $400k.

We’ll allow the original limited-edition genuine supercars their day, but are yet to be convinced of the long-term prospects for froth such as the ‘stick’ 599, let alone the 460k hammer price for the 458 Speciale A.

As we previewed, many entries in the customarily superbly presented catalogue lacked true star appeal. The Comp’ SWB just needed too much explaining (non-matching engine, wrong and unattractive colour, UK historic racing hot-rod stance and a body that failed to convince) and was bid to 9.1m euros. As an open-headlamp car, the California Spider was discounted anyway, but should have sold at 10.25m euros – potential trade buyers and K500 subscribers knew that car had been on the market for a while, and many were unhappy with the profile of the nose; it looked a little full in the face.

After so long on the market perhaps it's developed an eating disorder?

The Ghia-bodied 195 Inter was stolid, but was reasonably priced and was another that could well be moved on after the event.

Ex-motor show Enzo sells well for over 1.25m euros hammer
Ex-motor show Enzo sells well for over 1.25m euros hammer
Many cars were sold to telephone bidders
Many cars were sold to telephone bidders

We'd agree with most that the stand-out cars of the sale were the 212 Touring Barchetta (for condition - we'd still say the market prefers a 166 MM), the Villa d’Este Alfa Romeo (sold to an East Coast collector for 700k euros hammer), the lime green Stratos (sold for 395k euros hammer) and the Lancia Flaminia Sport by Zagato. The latter was in ‘just right’ condition, neither too shiny nor uncared for. Its price of 250k euros hammer was at the lower end of estimate, though as a model it’s neither an early car with faired-in lights nor a later Super Sport with the most powerful engine.

Think average Aston DB6 or Ferrari 250 GTE, though, and it makes sense.

Unremarkable P400S Miura sells for so-so 910k hammer. How better it would have looked in its original 'Bronzo'
Unremarkable P400S Miura sells for so-so 910k hammer. How better it would have looked in its original 'Bronzo'

The Carrera RS lightweight wasn’t the best on the market and, at 900k euros, duly sold for under its lower estimate. Auctioneer Max Girardo was right when he said “well bought!” to the successful bidder on the 1938 Fiat 1500 Berlinetta, a miniature – if quirky – Touring-bodied Alfa 6C. The 250 GT Lusso was a bit tired – and represented as such, though in the guise of 'originality' – selling for 1.8m euros hammer. Its colour might have seemed a good idea in the catalogue, but, certainly no fans of 'resale red', maybe these off-piste shades are better suited to Dinos? (Simon says, "No, we like green Ferraris!" by the way.)

Likewise (colour apart), the 1960 Ferrari 250 GT Cabriolet Series II, an example ill-presented by its vendor with a clearly visibly deep graze on the leather from an ill-fitting hood among other signs of lack of love. Poor stuff, and for the sake of a few thousand the eventual selling price of 1.4m euros might have been more.

The 1958 Mercedes-Benz 300 SL Roadster will probably just squeeze over the $1m mark when the results are published with premium, while the 1959 Bentley Continental Flying Spur was something of a buy at 200k euros hammer, considering its excellent condition and rare alloy bodywork.

As usual, we stress that these results must be regarded as unofficial and strictly provisional.

Carrera RS and Ferrari 330 GT 2+2 - both sold
Carrera RS and Ferrari 330 GT 2+2 - both sold
A corner of Italy that is forever England
A corner of Italy that is forever England
The Ghia 195 Inter's shape might grow on you
The Ghia 195 Inter's shape might grow on you
The colours of Italy - except one's German
The colours of Italy - except one's German
The view from the ex-Brigitte Bardot Riva which sold for 125k euros hammer
The view from the ex-Brigitte Bardot Riva which sold for 125k euros hammer

RM Sotheby's at Ville Erba 23 May 2015 - unofficial hammer prices in euros

1992 BMW K1 Motorbike 9,000
Bugatti Type 35 Sculpture 55,000
1959 Riva  Florida "Nounours" 125,000
1973 Porsche  911 S 2.4 Targa 170,000
1958 Lancia  Aurelia B24S Convertible by Pinin Farina 280,000
1985 Ferrari  288 GTO 1,700,000
1991 Ferrari  F40 900,000
2002 Ferrari  Enzo 1,125,000
1996 Ferrari  F50 1,100,000
2015 Ferrari  458 Speciale A 460,000
1952 Ferrari  212 Export Barchetta by Touring 6,000,000
1963 Lancia  Flaminia Sport 3C 2.8 by Zagato 250,000
1973 Porsche  911 Carrera RS 2.7 Sport Lightweight 900,000
1939 Talbot-Lago  T23 Major 4-Litre Cabriolet 225,000
1975 Riva  Aquarama Special "Shaheen" Withdrawn
1973 Ferrari  365 GTB/4 Daytona Berlinetta by Scaglietti 650,000
1939 Lagonda  V-12 Drophead Coupé 250,000
1938 Fiat  1500 B Berlinetta by Touring 145,000
2006 Ferrari  575 Superamerica 370,000
1968 De Tomaso  Mangusta by Ghia 210,000
1963 Ferrari  250 GT/L Berlinetta 'Lusso' by Scaglietti 1,800,000
1955 Austin-Healey  100S Not Sold, high bid of 850
1950 Ferrari  195 Inter Berlinetta by Ghia Not Sold, high bid of 1,150,000
1949 Alfa Romeo  6C 2500 SS Villa d’Este Coupé by Touring 700,000
1960 Ferrari  250 GT SWB Berlinetta Competizione by Scaglietti Not Sold, high bid of 9.1m
1959 Mercedes-Benz  190 SL 180,000
1958 Mercedes-Benz  300 SL Roadster 850,000
1930 Minerva  AL Cabriolet by Van den Plas Withdrawn
1965 Ferrari  330 GT 2+2 by Pininfarina 220,000
1971 Lamborghini  Miura P400 S by Bertone 910,000
1961 Ferrari  250 GT SWB California Spider by Scaglietti Not Sold, high bid of 10.25m
1974 Lancia  Stratos HF Stradale by Bertone 385,000
1953 Fiat  8V Cabriolet by Vignale 1,000,000
1960 Ferrari  250 GT Cabriolet Series II by Pinin Farina 1,400,000
2007 Ferrari  599 GTB HGTE 320,000
1962 Rolls-Royce  Silver Cloud II Drophead Coupé Adaptation by H.J. Mulliner Not Sold, high bid of 340k
1984 Ferrari  512 BBi 290,000
1967 BMW-Glas  3000 V8 Fastback by Frua Not Sold, high bid of 250k
1964 Jaguar  E-type Series 1 3.8-Litre Roadster 110,000
1959 Bentley  S1 Continental 'Flying Spur' Sports Saloon by H.J. Mulliner 200,000
1969 Ferrari  365 GT 2+2 220,000

All photos by K500