In a frantic bidding war at the Grimaldi Forum in Monaco on May 12, the one-off, 2018 Lamborghini Huracán, gifted by Automobili Lamborghini to His Holiness Pope Francis, sold for an incredible €809,375 (est. €250k – €350k) at RM Sotheby’s biannual Monaco auction during the Grand Prix de Monaco Historique. The exclusive sale totaled €23,317,290, drawing global interest from bidders representing 36 countries.
Offered without reserve, all proceeds from the sale of the uniquely customized supercar are being donated by Pope Francis, who will allocate them accordingly to the Vatican’s preferred charitable organizations. A large number of bidders who were present in the room, online and on the telephone lines, were eager to secure this special and completely unrepeatable car, which pays tribute to the colors of the flag of the Vatican City, painted in Bianco Monocerus with Giallo Tiberino. Lamborghini unveiled the one-off car in the Vatican during a special ceremony on November 15 in the presence of Pope Francis, who signed the bonnet of the car.
Without a doubt, the Bugatti Veyron has secured its place in history as a modern automotive icon, which was reinforced by the fact that the example offered in Monaco, a 2015 Bugatti Veyron 16.4 Grand Sport Vitesse, was the night’s second most valuable car, bringing €1,720,625 (est. €1.2m – €1.5m). Featuring numerous unique Transformers-themed modifications, the light blue example with contrasting blue carbon fiber, is the ultimate incarnation of the supercar, and was ‘as new’ having only covered 840kms.
Sale highlights extended well beyond modern supercars. Proving that blue-chip thoroughbreds from the 1960s are still highly prized, the exceptionally restored, euro-spec 1966 Ferrari 275 GTB, though not quite meeting reserve on the block, was sold almost immediately in the room for €2,142,500 (est. €2.0m – €2.2m). One of 88 long-nose, steel body, triple-carburettor examples and equipped with a torque-tube driveshaft and its matching-numbers engine, the well-known car is ideal concours and rallies. The stunning 1962 Ferrari 250 GT Cabriolet Series II rightfully rounded out the top three sales to find a lucky new owner. With Ferrari’s legendary Colombo V-12 nestling under the bonnet and with its beautiful convertible styling, the matching numbers car was impeccably restored in Italy and is Classiche certified. Exceeding its high estimate, the car made an impressive €1,692,500 (est. €1.4m – €1.6m).
Porsche has been the marque-of-the-moment for some time, and two fascinating and very different examples were notable sales in Monaco. First up was the 1973 Porsche 911 Carrera RS 2.7 Lightweight, an historic car which was factory-built for Finnish racing and rally driver, Leo Kinnunen. Wearing a number of unique features, the car is one of only two 2.7 RS coupes constructed with ST wheel arches and is the only 1973 car fitted with a 1974 Carrera 3.0 RS rear spoiler. With an impeccable documented history, the car realized €1,242,500. Bringing things right up to date was the incredible 2018 RUF CTR3 Clubsport, one of only three built, and the actual car which appeared on the company’s 2018 Geneva Motor Show stand. Although a Porsche at the heart of its DNA, the car is in fact altogether different, with RUF having produced what is a completely unique supercar of its own design with truly bespoke engineering. Considered to be RUF’s wildest creation, this 236mph beast was presented in ‘as-new’ condition and made an amazing €1,107,500 (est. €800k – €900k).
The sale also witnessed a number of incredible world record auction prices. Most notable was the 2006 Ferrari 575 Superamerica, one of just 599 examples built and only one of 43 with a manual gearbox. Also featuring the HGTC package and with less than 10,000 kms on the clock, the car achieved €860,000 (est. €550k – 650k), proving the premium that can be commanded for modern-era Ferraris fitted with rare manual transmissions. The first automobile lot of the night was a 1960 Chevrolet Corvette, a beautifully restored car and the winner of a prestigious concours award. With a pre-sale estimate of €90,000-€120,000, the car smashed all expectations and sold for a record-breaking €331,250.
Finally, on the same weekend as the 2018 Spanish Grand Prix, it seemed appropriate that the stunning 1992 Benetton B192 that Michael Schumacher took to 2nd place in the same event, should sell very well. The car, which also came to Monaco in 1992 as the team’s spare, returned to the Principality to be sold, and was offered in outstanding condition and with the correct specification LPE Ford HB engine. It achieved €815,000 against a pre-sale high estimate of €750,000.