RM Sotheby's. Prosperous Florida

  • 23 March 2024
  • 4 min read
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RM Sotheby's. Prosperous Florida image

Photo credit: RM Sotheby’s

Move and counter-move: RM's historic auction in Amelia could no longer take place since the competition had passed into the hands of Hagerty, the insurance company that created its own Broad Arrow auction house. RM did not give up and relocated to Miami, 250 kilometres from Amelia to Moda Miami. What was the result? A double victory: Broad Arrow as seen last week can make a full house. RM, however, is no different. This means that the US market, beyond the commercial bickering, is booming.

The numbers are magnificent: 77% of cars sold (84 out of 109), $48,148,960 in sales that changed hands. Admittedly the estimate was $74,950,000 but the competition was fierce this year and the average price of $573,202 was higher than at the Broad Arrow auction.
RM Sotheby-s, Miami, 2nd March 2024
Also the cars can be considered as a series of records.

Starting with the top lot, a 1953 Ferrari 250 Europa. One of three units of the model designed by Michelotti with coachwork from Vignale and one of two with the 3-litre "Colombo" engine and not the subsequent and better known "Lampredi". It was in fact the first road car to be equipped with the 250 engine that would later make the Ferrari name famous. Presented at the 1953 Paris Motor Show, exhibited at Pebble Beach, Villa d'Este, Salon Privé and Best of Show at Cavallino Classic Middle East, it was restored by Patrick Ottis and certified by Ferrari Classiche. What more could you want? Obviously a high estimate: $4,500,000-5,500,000. The $4,295,000 however set a new record: The previous record was almost a million below at $3,300,000.

RM Sotheby's. Florid Florida - 1 1953 Ferrari 250 Europa Vignale sold for $4,295,000 (€3,940,515)

This is followed by a 1930 Duesenberg Model J Convertible Coupe by Murphy at $3,855,000 (the estimate was $3,500,000-4,000,000) and a 1990 Ferrari F40 with 1,200 km which was sold at $3,360,000 (estimate of $2,800,000-3,400,000).

Let's move on to the 2010 Bugatti Veyron 16.4 Grand Sport "Sang Bleu", a one-off used to celebrate the brand's 100th anniversary, with a mere 2793 miles and only two previous owners. The $1,700,000-2,000,000 estimate seemed ambitious given that no Veyron has ever exceeded $1.6 million. How did it turn out? After a bidding war the Veyron went for $3,085,000, almost double of its previous record.

RM Sotheby's. Florid Florida - 2 2010 Bugatti Veyron 16.4 Grand Sport "Sang Bleu" sold for $3,085,000 (€2,830,375)

While a 1966 Porsche 906 Carrera 6 (ex-Sepp Greger, 1966 European Hillclimb Championship) also set a new model record at $2,205,000 - compared to $2,040,000 previously - it was a 1998 RUF Turbo R that impressed. White with acid green brake calipers, engine boosted to 560bhp, lightweight specification with added four-wheel drive, carboceramic brakes, integrated roll cage and carbon seat shell. In other words, over the top. The asking price was $1,517,500, much higher than the million that is usually paid. Again, a new record.

RM Sotheby's. Florid Florida - 3 1998 RUF Turbo R sold for $1,517,500 (€1,392,250)

Just last month, RM itself sold a 199 Porsche 911 (964) 3.6 Turbo in Paris for € 511,000. A new record for this model. In Miami it immediately blew up. This unit had only 15,273 miles and is identical to the one in the film Bad Boys, with American specification and total black, all original paint. Estimated at $450,000-550,000, it went for $593,500.

RM Sotheby's. Florid Florida - 4 1994 Porsche 911 Turbo 3.6 sold for $593,500 (€544,515)

Mercedes also celebrated a couple of new records with two AMGs. First, a Mercedes-Benz 300TE 6.0 AMG Wagon - a 1988 peppery little car produced in a limited edition of just two and nicknamed "The Mallet" - blew everyone away. Estimated at $300,000-400,000, it went for $467,000, probably the highest price for any station wagon ever sold.

RM Sotheby's. Florid Florida - 5 1988 Mercedes-Benz 300 TE 6.0 AMG "The Mallet" sold for $467,000 (€428,450)

Just two lots later a 1999 SL73 AMG made a big impression. 7.3 litre engine, the one based on the Pagani Zonda, only 35,000 km, sold new in Japan with left-hand drive, conservatively estimated at $250,000-450,000, it fetched $610,000. A magnificent new record.

RM Sotheby's. Florid Florida - 6 1999 Mercedes-Benz SL 73 AMG sold for $610,000 (€559,650)

RM also set not one but two new records for BMW. The first was the 1990 BMW M3 Sport Evolution, the "holy grail" for bimmers. With 26,700 miles, a decidedly high estimate of $250,000-280,000, it went for $268,800, while a less desirable Cabriolet set the new record twice in one day. Almost simultaneously Broad Arrow placed one for $179,200 while RM, a few minutes later, sold one with just 3980 km for $190,400.

RM Sotheby's. Florid Florida - 7 1989 BMW M3 Convertible sold for $190,400 (€174,685)

Back to Ferrari with two unexpected records. The 355, chassis 104074 and only 988 miles, in a beautiful a black color with tobacco interior, manual gearbox and wing badges, estimated at $175,000-225,000, it went for $240,800. Interestingly enough, the previous record at $224,000 was set in January 2022 by this very same car when it had only 880 miles.

RM Sotheby's. Florid Florida - 8 1995 Ferrari F355 Spider sold for $240,800 (€220,925)

The other car was even more surprising. Even though it was a rare "Sessanta" produced to commemorate the Cavallino's 60th anniversary, you wouldn't have bet a penny on the Ferrari 612 Scaglietti. Only 3038 km and estimated at $125,000-175,000 ("normal" units can be found for under $100,000), the hammer dropped at $456,000. This auction matches Gooding's sale of another special piece at $467,000.

RM Sotheby's. Florid Florida - 9 2007 Ferrari 612 Sessanta sold for $456,000 (€418,365)