The Market


RM’s May 2020 online sale grosses $16m+

RM’s May 2020 online sale grosses $16m+ 2nd June 2020

Selling two out of the Holy Trinity of Ferrari supercars wasn’t bad, and no one could argue with a fine total of over $16m – we crunch the numbers behind RM’s latest internet-only event.

We’re in uncharted territory; it’s early days for big online sales and hard to call the results when reviewing them. The mood of the saleroom, level of attendance, individual auctioneers’ style: all are missing and time will tell if this really matters. Early indications suggest that for some cars it probably does.

At a glance:

* Gross (motor cars): $16,330,910
* Percentage sold by number: 60%
* Top-selling car: 2003 Ferrari Enzo $2,640,000 gross, $2,400,000 net (est. $2.6m to $2.9m)
* Well sold? The 1964 Fiat 500 Jolly Conversion. Estimated at $35k to $45k, it sold for $77k all-in, the stuff of ‘too many Martinis at 8pm on Saturday night in Monterey’
* Well bought? The elegant 1958 Ferrari 250 GT Coupé by Ellena (pictured, top), a good all-rounder with the evocative ‘250 GT’ title won for $671k incl. 10% across-the-board buyer’s premium
* One to take away? The 250 GT Ellena

The sell-through of 60% is low by the Canadians’ usual standards, particularly for a North American-centric catalogue that would normally be up in the 80%s. Given the novelty of proceedings and just 18% at No Reserve, though, it’s understandable.

The Enzo sold at medium market price, while bidding on the 288 GTO (est. $2.2m to $2.4m) closed at $2.1m and the car was bought for $2.31m all-in, probably a fair price all round. Activity on most cars closed on time, with few last-minute battles. RM reports “an increased average of 19.6 bids per lot, up to a total of 56 bids on a single lot”. That’s not so different from a traditional sale when only two buyers slug it out to the finish (and one might be the auctioneer pulling the price up to reserve).

Vendors of the 250 GT Ellena had offered it throughout 2019 at a US dealer for $615k, then with Bonhams at the Quail (an uncertain $750k to $950k, not sold), finally moving it on this time at a hammer price of $610k, maybe $550k net to them. On the right side of ‘old school’, this is the perfect car for marque events and road trips such as the Colorado Grand.

Modern, showroom-fresh cars are well-suited to online sales: there’s no inspection needed, it is what it is. Two such were the 2020 Ferrari 488 Pista Spider (est. $525k to $625k, sold for $550k net/$605k gross) and the 2017 Ford GT, estimated at $850k to $950k but taking a tumble at $836k sold with premium.

Next (virtual) stop for RM is a mostly No Reserve online sale of cars that would have been offered at Essen Techno Classica, to start on 3 June and finish 11 June. The sell-through will be better. And the prices? Stay tuned to K500 to find out.

RM Sotheby’s Driving Into Summer online auction, 21-29 May 2020 – results

Total gross cars: $16,330,910
Number of cars not sold: 78
Number of cars withdrawn: 7
Total number of cars: 193
Number sold: 115
Percentage cars sold by number: 60%
Percentage by value average low/high estimate: 52%
Percentage of cars sold below low estimate: 64%
Percentage of cars sold not met avge of estimates: 83%
Percentage of cars sold met/exceeded top estimate: 12%
Average value of cars sold: $142,008
Average year of cars offered: 1979
Percentage of cars offered at No Reserve: 18%

Photo by RM Sotheby’s (Juan Martinez © 2020)