The Market


RM in Munich 2022: BMW bonanza boosts total to €22m+

RM in Munich 2022: BMW bonanza boosts total to €22m+ 27th November 2022

Last night, the Canadians bucked the trend of not-always-easy classic car auctions in central Europe. Some of the prices achieved for relatively modern BMWs at the Munich event were extraordinary.

Unsurprisingly, the Swiss-registered (so liable to taxes if remaining in the EU) 1991 Ferrari F40 with 9,400km came out as top seller. Estimated at €2.3m to €2.6m, it was hammered away at €2.05m. That’s €2,311,250 with RM’s split 15%/12% premium, or an on-the-day ca. $2.4m all-in – market average in late-2022.

RM played it straight this time, leaving the Vaudeville of recent sales behind. On the rostrum were London man Will Smith announcing the lots and Sotheby’s Geneva MD Gareth Jones wielding the gavel. The combination was clear and businesslike, matching the serious mood of the packed Motorworld München venue.

Interestingly, a significant proportion of bids for the modern cars came over the internet, almost making this a hybrid live/online event. Factory fresh supercars, Porsches and BMWs have flocked to virtual selling platforms since the pandemic.

At a glance:
* Gross, motor cars: €22,571,500
* Percentage sold by number: 86%
* Top-selling car: 1991 Ferrari F40 €2,311,250 gross, €2,050,000 net (est. €2.3m to €2.6m)
* Well sold? Too much to choose from, but what about a forward-thinking investor paying €201,250 for an albeit rare €30k to €40k 1985 BMW 745i saloon?
* Well bought? Everyday red-red over black, and the most numerous variant, the Ferrari 512 BBi that was snapped up for €184,000. In the context of mass-produced modern BMWs sold later that day, it was something of a bargain

The collection of BMW cars and motorbikes, a pair of Minis and one pre-War Rolls numbered 32 lots and the motor cars generated €7,606,675. All were consigned at No Reserve from a Far Eastern BMW dealer who had amassed them to support his retail business in China. All were non-EU and imported on a temporary bond. So, each one is liable to tax and customs duties, plus recommissioning costs to put it back on the road. Which makes the prices all the more exceptional.

Finding a 1990s-2000s M3 in good condition that has never seen a McDonald's car park is never easy. From the catalogue description, these cars appeared well presented and were rare examples with low mileage. Whether that can justify €286.25k for the 1997 BMW M3 Evolution (2,752km, est. €20k to €40k) or the even more fantastic €325.63k paid for the 2003 BMW M3 CSL (4,698km, est. €30k to €50k) only time will tell.

The grey BMW M1 road car (pictured, top) was formerly owned by BMW Motorsport boss Jochen Neerpasch, has a special brown interior and prize-winning history at Villa d’Este. It sold for a strong €792,500. The 1975 CSL ‘Batmobile’ attracted much interest pre-sale. A second series (only 57 cars) example, it rocketed through its upper estimate of €200k to sell for €578,750 gross – and the catalogue carried a note: “Additionally, it is believed that this vehicle is fitted with a replacement engine.”

Other results of note (all prices gross):

* 1958 BMW 507 Roadster Series II, €1,917,500. Sold on lower estimate, non-original but nice colour (was Dolomite Grey) and matching numbers.
* 1989 Ferrari 328 GTS, €184,000. Big price for a red car but only 3,322km and three owners from new.
* 1950 Jaguar XK 120 Alloy Roadster, not sold. An unfashionable end of the market today.
* 1969 Ferrari Dino 206 GT 'Project', €303,125. Strong result for a restoration project but possibly boosted by first ownership in the name of the much-missed Alain de Cadenet.
* 2017 Ferrari F12tdf, €1,208,750. Sold at lower end of a strong estimate but achieved €340k more than its companion 599 GTO.
* 2018 Ford GT, €815,000. Pragmatic owner cut it loose below its €800k to €900k guide.
* 1938 Mercedes-Benz 540 K “Special Roadster”, €2,007,500. Supercharged price for a flashy silver replica based on a regular 540K Cabriolet B.
* 2001 McLaren MP4-16, not sold. GP-winner and ex-Coulthard, but one of scores of similar-looking F1 cars and lacking Maranello magic.
* 1955 Porsche 356 Pre-A Speedster by Reutter, €432,500. Solid figure for well-restored Speedster with hard-to-find matching engine.

Expect to see many more rare BMW performance cars at auctions over the next few months; the results will prove if this is a trend or a blip. Whatever, this was an impressive performance by RM, backed up by a strong 86% percentage sold by number, a figure that includes the modern supercars, most of which were offered at punchy estimates. The main casualties were the inevitable non-selling red ‘Daytona’ and early 1950s sports cars such as the XK.

RM Sotheby’s in Munich, 26 November 2022 – results

Total gross cars: €22,571,500
Number of cars not sold: 9
Number of cars withdrawn: 1
Total number of cars: 66
Number sold: 57
Percentage cars sold by number: 86%
Percentage by value average low/high estimate: 81%
Percentage of cars sold below low estimate: 21%
Percentage of cars sold not met avge of estimates: 39%
Percentage of cars sold met/exceeded top estimate: 51%
Average value of cars sold: €395,991
Average year of cars offered: 1979
Percentage of cars offered at No Reserve: 53%

Photos by K500