RM’s 2022 Guy Fawkes night sale: damp squib or firecracker?
Yesterday evening in the historic heart of London, RM put 50 cars on the auction block, 18 of which were from the same well-known British owner. In a busy temporary tent under rainy skies, some £27m changed hands and a new expression entered the lexicon of supercar dealing: “Has it been farmyarded?” a reference to the popular videos on social media showing some of the supercars being thrashed by the owner’s son on dirt roads around the family estate.
The seller of the ‘Gran Turismo Collection’ is a shrewd businessman known for his impeccable timing, having parted with the high street estate agents he founded at the absolute pinnacle of that market in 2007 – read what you will, if anything, into his decision to part with his supercar and rally collection today.
After that sale in May 2007, he had commented: “If you remember, there was a rampant market... I did think this is roughly the right time and if you're going to go, go now. I'm absolutely not a genius.”
At a glance (on the day):
* Gross, motor cars: £27,194,125 (2021, £7,474,025)
* Percentage sold by number: 78% (2021, 60%)
* Top-selling car: 2022 Bugatti Chiron Super Sport 300+ £4,195,625 gross, £3,725,000 net (est. £4m to £4.5m)
* Well sold? A great result for charity to benefit victims of the Ukrainian war. The 1974 Rolls-Royce Silver Shadow once belonging to Queen star Freddie Mercury achieved £286,250 gross. Estimate: £20k to £30k
* Well bought? If you want a driver and don’t mind a story, well-respected 2.7 RS guru Josh Sadler’s orange car, with various non-original components, was a well-sorted 1973 RS owned by one of the best in the business. For the enthusiast, £342,500 was well spent
The majority of the ‘Gran Turismo Collection’ was bought in the early 2010s, so will have shown its owner a healthy return, even if at a significant discount to ‘bubble wrapped’ equivalents.
Two of the open modern Ferraris had been colour-changed to his preferred yellow. The generally accurate estimates reflected this, the odd fender-bender (or two), the high mileage on some cars and their condition. All but one entry in the collection sold below the lower guide.
RM Sotheby’s ‘Gran Turismo Collection’ in detail (all prices gross):
* 2000 Ferrari 550 Barchetta Pininfarina, sold for £218,500 One owner, red-to-yellow colour change with 4,753 miles.
* 1991 Ferrari F40, sold for £1,411,250. 8,851km, three-owner Euro F40 with new front and rear clamshells following crash(es).
* 1984 Lamborghini Countach LP5000 S, sold for £477,500. Double-white, ‘Wolf of Wall Street’ spec with 52,432km covered from new. Bought at Coys in the old days, scruffy and generated massive interest pre-sale. Best-performing car in the collection.
* 1996 Bugatti EB110 Super Sport, Not Sold. The one everyone wanted this year – but not at £2.5m to £3m in November 2022. White over blue but unusually not a Far East car – delivered new to Monaco, with 24,467km.
* 2003 Ferrari Enzo, sold for £1,917,500. At 71,937km, to box-ticking collectors recently arrived on the scene this red car has gone to the moon and back – though sometimes taking a shortcut through farmland, as Instagram videos show.
* 1993 Jaguar XJ220 S, sold for £933,125. Rare homologation special and liable to duties if imported to UK.
* 1985 Audi Sport quattro S1 E2 Group B Works, sold for £1,805,000. Struggled, but finally went under low estimate. Woolly hat not included.
* 2006 Ferrari Superamerica, sold for £189,750. Another open Ferrari changed to yellow, this time from from grey, a regular paddle-shift RHD car, one of 63.
* 1993 Bugatti EB110 GT, sold for £1,411,250. 11,202km and originally destined for the Middle East in safe Blu Bugatti.
* 1985 Ferrari 288 GTO, Not Sold. Ferrari Classiche certified but with a fair distance under its belt (23,609km) and a chunky, £3.25m-£4m estimate.
* 1985 Lancia Delta S4 Group B Works, sold for £1,636,250. Fabulous history as winner of the 1986 Rallye Monte-Carlo, another Gp B car sold below low estimate.
* 1991 Jaguar XJR-15, sold for £972,500. A bubble leaking air?
* 2014 Ferrari LaFerrari, sold for £1,973,750. With 24,233 miles on the odometer, surely one of the most well-travelled LaFerraris in the world.
* 1971 Lamborghini Miura SV, sold for £2,058,125. Originally red and to North American side-marker/smog equipment specification – the least favoured; an average car sold to the London trade accordingly for ca. $2.4m. Add €350k for a proper Italian restoration and you’ll have a nice red US-spec SV.
* 2011 Ferrari 599 SA Aperta, sold for £1,085,000. Yellow from new this time, left-hand drive and only 8,670 miles.
* 1982 Lancia 037 Group B Works Evolution 1, sold for £1,045,625.
* 1997 Ferrari F50, Not Sold. One of the three post-production Brunei cars, but never actually shipped or crazily modified. Ferrari Classiche Red Book status not enough to tempt buyers at £3.25m to £4m.
* 2022 Bugatti Chiron Super Sport 300+, sold for £4,195,625. A big result for one of these at auction.
The Grand Turismo Collection grossed £21,330,750 on the day at 83% percentage sold by number.
Other highlights included the DB5 ‘Project’ described by extravagant Sotheby’s auctioneer Harry Dalmeny as the UK’s “second most exciting restoration project after our economy” for £426,875. The other, far shinier ’5 failed to sell*. The Ferrari BB 365 might look cheap at £218,500 but it was red, with a non-original interior and engine. The ‘Daytona’ did not sell*.
The venue was impressive, so too was the number of London trade and international movers and shakers present. The line-up of Brighton Run cars (RM Sotheby’s is a sponsor) outside in the rain reminded those inside of the origins of the modern supercar. Perhaps the subdued performance and a few non-sales of recently in-vogue 1980s and ’90s supercars yesterday mirrors interest waning for new speculator watches from Rolex and Patek. That too was a “rampant market” until it cooled this summer.
*The restored DB5 and 'Daytona' were announced 'Sold after Auction' for undisclosed amounts. This raises the percentage sold by number to 82%.
RM Sotheby’s in London, 5 November 2022 – provisional results
Total gross cars: £27,194,125 (£7,474,025)
Number of cars not sold: 11 (16)
Number of cars withdrawn: 1 (0)
Total number of cars: 49 (40)
Number sold: 38 (24)
Percentage cars sold by number: 78% (60%)
Percentage by value average low/high estimate: 57% (34%)
Percentage of cars sold below low estimate: 66% (67%)
Percentage of cars sold not met avge of estimates: 82% (83%)
Percentage of cars sold met/exceeded top estimate: 13% (13%)
Average value of cars sold: £715,635 (£311,418)
Average year of cars offered: 1982 (1976)
Percentage of cars offered at No Reserve: 20% (25%)
Photos by James Brown for K500