RM at Amelia Island 2019: Two-day sale set to gross $37m+

RM at Amelia Island 2019: Two-day sale set to gross $37m+ 9th March 2019

Running at quite a clip – 20 lots per hour at times – regular RM auctioneer Maarten ten Holder conducted a lively two-day sale for the official partner of the Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance.

As we have already seen at Bonhams, pre-War cars – a home market phenomenon – did well, though many sold below estimate. The exceptions were the Earlies, a dazzling display of highly polished brass, which once again proved popular.

The headlining Bugatti Type 57 SC by Corsica was bid up to the high $5ms and no more. Expect the renowned RM machine to go into overdrive to get this away before the weekend is out. In the metal, it was crying out for a proper restoration to today’s standards and would make a lovely Blue Riband concours entry.

At a glance from provisional figures before post-sales:

* Gross: $37,117,340 (2018, $27,539,720)
* Percentage sold by number: 82% (2018, 85%)
* Top-selling car: 1965 Ferrari 275 GTB, $2,205,000 gross, $2,000,000 net (est. $2.2m to $2.4m)
* Well sold? The 1931 Rolls-Royce Phantom II Henley Roadster by Brewster was the subject of a fierce bidding battle in the room and on the phones, before it was finally hammered at $510k ($566k gross). Est. $225k to $325k
* Well bought? $505.5k inc. premium for the staid but event-eligible 1949 Maserati A6 1500/3C Berlinetta by Pinin Farina was a bargain
* One to take away? We liked the well-restored 1968 Iso Grifo GL S1. At $362,500 all-in, someone now owns a super-stylish Italian GT in a lovely combination of silver with beige

Friday night’s sale centred on more modern machinery. The Youngtimer crowd liked the $179,200 gross, 1989 Mercedes-Benz 560 SEC AMG 6.0 'Wide-Body', while the ex-Compiano ‘driver’ Ferrari F40 sold for $1.1m with premium. That’s around €980k: the car was bought for €1,030,400 in November 2016.

The Saturday lot list majored on the higher-value entries.

From a K500 market perspective, it was the old story of the best (not very evident at any of the Big Three's auctions) selling, the rest moving on below low estimate or going home. No stranger to the auction tent, the blue 1960 Ferrari 250 GT Pin’ Cab’ was in the latter camp, as were the silver Ferrari ‘Daytona’ and strawberry red Mercedes 300 SL ‘Gullwing’. Liberace might have liked it, the punters didn’t. The dazzling white 300 SL Roadster went well under low estimate for $1,077,500 all-in. Perhaps its new owners will christen it ‘Hotpoint’.

The expensive DB5 Vantage Convertible was a RHD car converted to LHD. It also had a replacement block, and Peony Red isn’t for all. Consequently, it’s on the Cars Still For Sale page of RM’s website right now.

Two big-block Cobras crossed the block today. A model that’s been stalling at auction recently, the ex-British racing team comp’ car (pictured, above) did not sell. The red car – a genuine 427 – had documented history from new and found a new home at $1,792,500 with premium, today’s market value.

Overall, it was a solid performance by RM, as you’d expect. None of the Big Three had ‘the car of the week’, but each did well in its own way, the Canadian selling machine marching on as usual.

RM Sotheby’s Amelia Island, 8-9 March 2019 – Provisional Results (2018)

Gross: $37,117,340 ($27,539,720)
Number of cars not sold: 25 (15)
Number of cars withdrawn: 1 (0)
Total number of cars: 141 (102)
Number sold: 116 (87)
Percentage of cars sold by number: 82% (85%)
Percentage by value average low/high estimate: 52% (66%)
Percentage of cars met or sold below low estimate: 62% (62%)
Percentage of cars sold below avge of estimates: 76% (78%)
Percentage of cars sold met/exceeded top estimate: 15% (14%)
Average price of cars sold: $319,977 ($316,549)
Average year of cars offered: 1966 (1962)
Percentage of cars offered at No Reserve: 55% (55%)

Photos by K500