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Due to construction at the event venue, the RM sale strategically presented a smaller offering this year (a
total of just 100 cars versus the 150 vehicles presented in 2015, including 25 from the Pinnacle Portfolio),
though the quality of entries remained at an all-time high, with 21 vehicles commanding million-dollar-plus
results, including three vehicles achieving eight-figures. In total, eighty-two percent of auction vehicles
exchanged hands with continuing interest in the auction cars and several post-block transactions pending.
“This year’s Monterey auction once again reinforced the notion that if you offer some of the most special and
unique motor cars in the world, on the global stage at RM’s flagship event during the Pebble Beach weekend,
anything can happen and records will be broken,” says Ian Kelleher, Managing Director, RM Sotheby’s West
“The depth of interest and enthusiasm for quality automobiles and the collector car hobby as a whole, remains
at an all-time high. Both of our sale sessions attracted standing-room-only audiences, complemented by high
volumes of telephone bidders. As our results show, collectors remain willing to pay a premium for exceptional
vehicles, specifically those exhibiting fantastic restorations, those offered fresh-to-the-market, and those
presenting ‘once in a generation’ ownership opportunities.”
One of the most exciting auction moments of the weekend came when the 1956 Le Mans-winning Jaguar
D-Type, XKD 501, roared onto the stage before a packed audience during the Friday (August 19) sale
session. The first D-Type supplied by Jaguar to a privateer team, XKD 501 was sold new to the famed
Scottish racing team, Ecurie Ecosse, who campaigned it to victory at the grueling 1956 24 Hours of Le Mans.
Offered in Monterey following almost two decades in one of America’s leading collections, the coveted Jaguar
was the subject of an intense and passionate 15-minute bidding contest between four determined collectors
before selling for a final $21.78 million. The impressive result not only ranks the car as the most valuable
vehicle sold during this year’s Monterey auctions, but represents a world record price for any British car sold
at auction, eclipsing the previous record by more than $7 million.
The sale of the legendary D-Type was closely followed on Friday by an American legend: CSX 2000, the very
first Shelby Cobra. One of the most anticipated lots of this year’s Monterey week—and indeed, offered in
recent memory—the iconic Shelby was constructed and kept from new by Carroll Shelby and never left his
care. Offered in Monterey by the Carroll Hall Shelby Trust, it entered the auction room on Friday (driven by
Carroll Shelby’s grandson, Aaron Shelby) to a sea of camera flashes and loud applause, before climbing to a
strong $13.75 million—a new benchmark for an American car at auction.
The energy continued in the RM auction tent on Saturday evening, led by the presentation of the 1939 Alfa
Romeo 8C 2900B Lungo Touring Spider from the esteemed Sam & Emily Mann Collection. A symphony
of fabulously intricate engineering, thrilling power and sinful beauty, chassis no. 412041 was the first Alfa “2.9”
to be offered for public sale this century, an occasion that captured the attention of some of the world’s
leading collectors. Dazzling under the auction lights, bidding on the stunning Alfa opened at $14 million,
quickly jumping in $500,000 increments before selling for a final $19.8 million (inclusive of buyer’s premium).
The second highest price paid for an automobile during this year’s Monterey auctions, the remarkable result
represents a record for any pre-war automobile at auction and, along with the D-Type, secures the Alfa a spot
on the list of most valuable cars ever sold at auction.
Kelleher adds, “We were honored to have been the auction company of choice not only for a selection of
motor cars from the prestigious Sam & Emily Mann Collection, but also to have had the distinction of offering
what is now, the most notable and important British car ever sold at auction, as well as the most valuable
American car ever sold at auction. All in all, it was a great weekend for both our auction and restoration
teams, and we thank our clients from around the world for helping make it so memorable.”
Additional notable sales from RM Sotheby’s two-day Monterey sale included:
· a 1955 Ferrari 750 Monza Spider, driven by the big three of American racing in period: Phil Hill, Carroll
Shelby and Jim Hall, and offered by Jim Hall for the first time in 60 years, commanded $5,225,000 to
establish a new auction record for the model;
· a rare and exquisite left-hand drive 1954 Bentley R-Type Continental Fastback Sports Saloon, soared
past high estimate, realizing an impressive $1.87 million;
· the 1966 AAR Eagle Indianapolis #31, the very first Indy 500 Eagle, offered from the Riverside International
Automotive Museum, garnered $962,500—a record price for an AAR Eagle Indy car at auction;
· a 1930 Cadillac V-16 Roadster, exhibiting a multiple concours award-winning restoration by RM’s own RM
Auto Restoration, exceeded expectations at $1,457,500 (an auction record for a Cadillac V-16 Roadster); and,
· a meticulously restored 1967 Ferrari 330 GT 2+2 Series II achieved a remarkable $737,000 against a
pre-sale estimate of $350/450,000.
Beyond the auction excitement, RM Auto Restoration once again enjoyed great success on the show field at
the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance (August 21), providing a wonderful finale to an exciting weekend for
the RM group of companies. All three cars expertly prepared by the RM team for the event were judged Best
in Class, including: Judge Joseph and Margie Cassini’s 1931 Stutz DV-32 LeBaron Convertible Victoria; Jim
Patterson’s 1958 BMW 507 Series II Convertible; and the 1937 Bugatti Type 57SC Gangloff Coupé from the
Rare Wheels Collection. In addition, the Cassini’s Stutz was awarded Most Elegant Car on tour and
shortlisted as a runner up to Best of Show.
From California to London, England, RM Sotheby’s continues its 2016 calendar of events with its 10th
anniversary sale in the British capital, September 7. The official auction of the UK’s Concours of Elegance,
the sale will shine a spotlight on an eclectic group of more than 80 automobiles.
Images ... Peter Singhof
... Consolidated 2016 Auction Results sorted by Price descending >>>
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