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Monterey, 21st August, 2023

RM Sotheby's wrapped up its 26th annual Monterey auction, achieving an impressive $164 million in sales with an 86% sell-through rate. Bidders hailed from over 40 countries for the three-day event, with a notable 20% being first-time registrants, a strong indicator of continued growth and interest in the collector car marketplace. The final sales total ranks as the third most successful result RM Sotheby's has achieved at its Monterey venue. As a cap to an incredible weekend, the company’s restoration wing, RM Auto Restoration, achieved its second consecutive Best of Show win at the Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance with the stunning, impeccably restored 1937 Mercedes-Benz 540 K Special Roadster.

Of particular interest throughout the weekend was the performance of late model cars from the late 80s and beyond, demonstrating a marked desire for these highly optioned cars, with many models achieving final results well above estimate.

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Buyers could not get enough of the iconic German marque Porsche, and reimagined models such as the 1997 Porsche 911 Remastered by Gunther Werks commanded $1.5M and the 1991 Porsche 911 Reimagined by Singer – Classic Study sold at $1.4M—both over their estimates. The highly original 1988 Porsche 959 Komfort sold for $1.7M, a staggering more than half million over its high estimate.

Porsches aside, a stunning white 2012 Lexus LFA broke a world record, selling over estimate at $1.1M. Not surprisingly, the Italian marque of Ferrari saw high demand, with a 2011 Ferrari 599 GTO selling for $1M, and a 2005 Ferrari Superamerica selling for $978K—both over high estimates. Overall, these figures highlight the insatiable demand for younger and later model sports cars. The rise of nostalgia for the late '80s and '90s era, coupled with the scarcity of well-maintained examples, also contributes to their appeal, which was evident throughout Monterey Car Week.

Certainly the talk of the weekend was the presentation of the barn-find Lost & Found Collection, with results that reaffirm the allure of rare, significant Ferraris remains undiminished. Notably, the 1954 Ferrari 500 Mondial Spider Series I by Pinin Farina, a battle-scarred gem, fetched an astonishing $1,875,000, while the legendary 1965 Ferrari 275 GTB/6C Alloy by Scaglietti commanded an eye-popping $3,305,000. Additionally, the 1956 Ferrari 410 Superamerica Coupe Series I by Pinin Farina, showcasing its timeless beauty beneath the wear and tear, changed hands for a substantial $2,810,000.

Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance Best of Show Win

Following an exhaustive 11-month restoration that took the entirety of 2022, RM Auto Restoration unveiled the stunning 1937 Mercedes-Benz 540 K Special Roadster on the concours field this past Sunday. The result was an unprecedented win with Best of Show honors, marking the team's second consecutive Best of Show win at the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance for a total of eight.

"Following last year’s incredible success in Monterey, we are quite pleased with our team’s ability to source an incredible group of cars, ranging from pre-war classics through to modern day hypercars. The results speak for themselves, with final sales totals ranking this year’s auction as the third most successful in our company’s history. It was great to see the reaction to the presentation of the Lost & Found Collection, and even greater to see incredible prices realized for these important Ferraris. The feather in the cap this weekend was certainly winning Best of Show at Pebble Beach for the second consecutive year. The team at RM Auto Restoration continues to prove their incredible craftsmanship, with eight Best in Show wins and victories back to back—a true testament to the entire team's efforts. I truly feel our team at RM Sotheby's is shaping the future of car collecting, and we're having fun doing it. We have so much more to offer this fall, so stay tuned.” –Gord Duff, Global Head of Auctions.

“This 540 K balances strength with sweeping lines and style, and its history is unique. In talking with Jim about this car, I was impressed by the time and thought invested in this restoration. Every piece of this beautiful Mercedes-Benz was researched so carefully to honor its history.” – Concours Chairwoman Sandra Button.

Top 10 Lots

Consolidated Monterey Auction Results