The Market


Stop press from the 2024 Paris sales: RM Sotheby’s

Stop press from the 2024 Paris sales: RM Sotheby’s 31st January 2024

RM was the first to conduct an auction during Rétromobile Week and successfully sold the headlining 1960 Ferrari 250 GT SWB Berlinetta Competizione for €10,158,125 all-in. Working on provisional figures pending after-sales the event grossed some €34.4m at 82% sold by number.

The dollar conversion on the night puts the car bought at around $11m: more than was anticipated for a lower-tier Comp’ Short Wheelbase; a positive sign for big-ticket Ferraris in 2024, contradicting some of the downbeat signals coming out of Arizona last week.

It went to a phone bidder for “just one more bid” of only €25k, small change when the underbidder held all the cards at €9m but did not fight back.

Although some of the modern supercars failed to fire, on metrics alone – sold-by-number and hammer price performance against estimates – this evening’s auction was an improvement on the same event in 2023. Credit for that goes to a well-put-together catalogue of nearly new and in-vogue classics with little unsaleable pre-War ‘filler’, a great central Paris venue, and an earlier start time that allowed everyone to move on to dinner after the SWB crossed the block.

At a glance (provisional):

* Gross, motor cars: €34,437,101 (2023, €50,441,600)
* Percentage sold by number: 82% (2023, 78%)
* Top-selling car: 1960 Ferrari 250 GT SWB Berlinetta Competizione €10,158,125 gross, €9,025,000 net (est. €9m to €11m)
* Well sold? Bidding was relentless on the Oak Green, with matching interior, 1993 Porsche 911 Turbo 3.6 (est. €175k to €225K). It was eventually bought for €511,250, probably a 50% premium for the colour alone
* Well bought? She’s a big old lady, and this one’s seen some action, but who does not like a ‘Queen Mary’ Ferrari 365 GT 2+2. Someone paid €175,375 for one tonight

The focus of pre-sale viewing was on the modern hypercars, much of which from young Instagrammers, but there’s no denying that this sector of collectable cars is here to stay. Had the Canadians packed the catalogue with more entries such as the 1920 Rolls-Royce 40/50 HP Silver Ghost Tourer and its ilk – est. €350k to €450k, with reserve, sold for €218.5k – tonight’s results could have looked very different.

The 1966 275 GTB/6C Alloy was the other big Ferrari of the evening. The owner had curiously decided to abandon the car’s original colours inside and out for its mid-2000s restoration. Considering this, and the replacement transaxle, it sold well for €3.21m, say $3.5m, nothing-special four-cam territory.

Other results of note (all prices gross):
* 1961 Jaguar E-Type Series I 3.8 Roadster, €184,000. Attractive early ‘E’, well restored at cost of £182k, but revealed in a saleroom notice to have an overstamped engine number.
* 1980 BMW M1, €522,500. Nice original M1 with 21,142km.
* 2022 Ford GT Carbon Series, €792,500. Bought just under low estimate tonight alongside another four or five other cars by youthful bidder in the room.
* 1973 Ferrari Dino 246 GTS, €635,000. Impressive Polish restoration in Marrone, one of THE Dino colours, only lacking a 100% Made in Italy pedigree and (pending) Ferrari Red Book. Not catalogued as a ‘Chairs and flares’ car, though coming with Daytona-style seats.
* 2003 Ferrari Enzo, Not Sold. Any accident damage punishes these cars – an 'off' on low-key rally in March 2009 has proved expensive.
* 1971 Ferrari 365 GTB/4 ‘Daytona’, €533,750. Punchy money for unloved red, flip-up-light car on wires down to its original spec of Viola Dino metallizzato with special White Connolly hide. Budget €350k for a proper Italian restoration.
* 1958 Fiat 500 Spiaggina Boano, €370,625. Charismatic runaround first owned by Gianni Agnelli beat upper estimate by €45k. Next stop, tyre dealer for studs for The ICE in St Moritz.
* 1996 Porsche 911 GT2, Not Sold. Modified car in non-original colour once “partly dismantled” and “the subject of an aborted restoration” received no meaningful bids. Wonder why.

All in all, a good sale for RM well conducted by Sholto Gilbertson, this time without the assistance of Will Smith, his regular ‘introducer’. Let’s see what the others do on Thursday and Friday.

RM Sotheby’s in Paris, 31 January 2024 – provisional results (2023)

Total gross cars: €34,437,101 (€50,441,600)
Number of cars not sold: 13 (19)
Number of cars withdrawn: 2 (2)
Total number of cars: 73 (85)
Number sold: 60 (66)
Percentage cars sold by number: 82% (78%)
Percentage by value average low/high estimate: 55% (74%)
Percentage of cars sold below low estimate: 38% (68%)
Percentage of cars sold not met avge of estimates: 73% (88%)
Percentage of cars sold met/exceeded top estimate: 17% (6%)
Average value of cars sold: €573,952 (€764,267)
Average year of cars offered: 1982 (1977)
Percentage of cars offered at No Reserve: 49% (22%)

All prices include buyer’s premium

Photos by K500