RM Auctions Monterey 2012 – Auction Report

RM Auctions, Portola Hotel, Monterey, California, August 17-18, 2012

Report and photos by Rick Carey, Auction Editor

RM scored two of the epic transactions in Monterey this year. The first was the Mirage/Ford GT40 for a cool $10 million hammer, $11 million with commission, a Friday evening result that reset expectations across the Monterey auction blocks by vastly exceeding it $7.4 million reserve in a bidding contest between two bidders in the Convention Center. Many necks were stiff and sore on Saturday morning after twisting and craning trying to make out who the bidders were, a question that is still unresolved for most.

The other was less momentous in dollars but if anything even more exceptional, the ‘Chairs and Flares’ 246 GTS Dino that brought $425,000 hammer, $467,500 with commission, also Friday evening. While Mirage/Ford GT40 values are subject to a large discretionary range based on many subtle, subjective factors, 246 GTS Dinos are (and were in the Monterey auctions) everywhere, with plenty built and most surviving. For one to sell for 41.7% over its low estimate – probably 50% over its reserve – was unprecedented.

Those weren’t the only exceptional results at RM, but they contribute to imparting the flavor of the two day sale.

There were a lot, I mean a lot, of cars at Monterey and it takes a while to compile them all for presentation on Sports Car Digest. We’ve taken the expedient course of presenting then in two tranches as batches of cars in various auctions are completed. This is the first group of RM cars and the rest will be added soon.

The numbers for the RM Auctions Monterey 2012 sale are presented below; the overall stats for the other Monterey auctions can be found here.

RM Monterey
Cars Offered / Cars Sold
Sale %
Sold < Low Est
Sold > High Est
Average Sale
Total Sales
Chg from prior year
119 / 106
144 / 123
224 / 204
239 / 205
173 / 147

RM Auctions Monterey 2012 – Auction Report

1955 Ferrari 410S Berlinetta
Lot # 117 1955 Ferrari 410S Berlinetta, Body by Scaglietti; S/N 0594CM; Engine # 0594CM; Ivory/Blue leather; Competition restoration, 3+ condition; Hammered Sold at $7,500,000 plus commission of 10.00%; Final Price $8,250,000 — RHD. Silver painted Borrani wire wheels, 6.00L-16 Dunlop Racing tires, Plexiglas sliding side windows, left fender scoop, covered headlights, Marchal driving lights in grille, outside fuel filler, no bumpers. One of four 410 Sports built, one of two with single ignition heads and 345hp engines. The only Scaglietti bodied coupe, and one of Scaglietti’s first independent designs, a particularly aggressive and purposeful design. First owned by Michel Paul-Cavallier, later owned by Pierre Bardinon and John Bosch. Good older restoration with a more recent high quality repaint. Interior shows age and use. Exterior has a few small door edge nicks. Wire wheels are grimy at the hub and rim. Bright aluminum trim is scuffed and dull. Engine and underhood are very clean and orderly. A great driving machine. Not as glamorous as a California Spider, but an epic example of Ferrari history with several singular attributes, most notably its big 4,962cc Lampredi engine and one-off Scaglietti coachwork. When rarity and performance are factored into the value equation this should have been the most valuable Ferrari in Monterey this week. The fact that it wasn’t reflects not at all on the car, and makes its result something of an opportunistic purchase.
1938 Talbot-Lago T23 Teardrop Coupe, Body by Figoni and Falaschi
Lot # 121 1938 Talbot-Lago T23 Teardrop Coupe, Body by Figoni & Falaschi; S/N 93064; Lago Blue/Red leather; Estimate $2,500,000 – $3,500,000; Recent restoration, 1- condition; Hammered Sold at $2,400,000 plus commission of 10.00%; Final Price $2,640,000 — RHD. Body color wire wheels, blackwall tires, Marchal headlights and fog lights, sliding sunroof, skirts, chrome rear fender gravel shields. The only Figoni & Falaschi ‘Jeancart’-style teardrop built on the T23 2,950mm wheelbase chassis. Restored in the mid 00’s for John O’Quinn in France, later updated in the UK. Very good paint, chrome, upholstery, interior trim and wood. Chassis is restored but not to the same standard. Sold to John O’Quinn by RM at Amelia in 2006 in neglected older cosmetically restored condition for $2,145,000, then to the seller here after the French restoration at RM’s London auction in 2010 for $2,828,135. Bidding here opened at $1 million, then jumped immediately to $2 million on the phone. A particularly pretty automobile which brought a representative price. consistent with its history.
1932 Packard Twin Six Sport Phaeton Dietrich
Lot # 125 1932 Packard Twin Six Sport Phaeton, Body by Dietrich; S/N 900331; Dark Violet/Taupe leather; Grey cloth top; Estimate $1,100,000 – $1,400,000; Concours restoration, 1- condition; Hammered Sold at $860,000 plus commission of 10.00%; Final Price $946,000 — Chrome wire wheels, dual enclosed sidemounts, Pilot-Rays, rollup rear windshield with large windwings front and rear. An original 1932 Twin Six Dietrich Sport Phaeton. 1932 body installed on a new 1938 Twelve chassis, then mounted on this 1932 chassis for Bob Bahre, completed by Dick Dewey and toured for many years. Restored by RM for Lee Herrington and a Gwen Graham award winner at Pebble Beach. CCAA National First Prize number 2039; AACA Junior and Senior. Chassis paint is cracked at joints and on the springs. Body paint, chrome and interior are still excellent. John M. O’Quinn estate. Sold by RM at Amelia to O’Quinn for $1,650,000, the restoration is starting to age in detail and the bidders siezed upon its shortcomings to acquire one of only two known examples of this coachwork on the Twin Six chassis for an opportunistic price. It is a good value, even with the cracking paintwork.
1931 Cadillac 452 V-16 Special Dual Cowl Phaeton
Lot # 126 1931 Cadillac 452 V-16 Special Dual Cowl Phaeton, Body by Fleetwood; S/N 702677; Engine # 702677; Ochre/Tan leather; Tan cloth top; Estimate $650,000 – $850,000; Older restoration, 1- condition; Post-block sale at $422,727 plus commission of 10.00%; Final Price $465,000 — Chrome spoke wire wheels, dual side whitewalls, dual enclosed sidemounts with mirrors, dual windshields, windwings, Pilot-Rays, trunk rack, radiator stoneguard. Concours quality older restoration done by Harrah’s in the 80’s with good paint that unfortunately is cracking and touched up along the beltline molding. Chrome is generally good but some is starting to age. Good interior. Documented history since the 1950’s, one of three Fleetwood dual cowl phaetons on the 452 V-16 chassis. Bid to $495,000 on the block but closed later at $465,000 all-in. It will be a splendid tour car, with a long, happy life before it until it becomes a candidate for another restoration. The new owner should be very happy with the value of this car at this price.
1991 Ferrari F40
Lot # 132 1991 Ferrari F40; S/N ZFFMN34A2M0089441; Red/Red cloth; Estimate $650,000 – $725,000; Unrestored original, 2- condition; Hammered Sold at $650,000 plus commission of 10.00%; Final Price $715,000 — Assembly #7866. 4-point competition belts, factory belts removed but included. 4,810 miles and four owners from new. Interior virtually unused. Engine nearly like new and only a little dusty. Good original paint and interior. There are so many ‘no miles’ F40’s around that this 4,810 mile car seems almost used. Its interior, though, has avoided the frequently seen bolster abrasion and it appears to be exceptionally well maintained. This is a representative price for Enzo’s last supercar.
1938 Horch 853A Special Roadster
Lot # 133 1938 Horch 853A Special Roadster, Body by Erdmann & Rossi-J.Neuss; S/N 854275; Silver, Light Grey/Blue-Grey leather, Brown alligator; Grey cloth top; Estimate $6,000,000 – $8,000,000; Concours restoration, 1 condition; Hammered Sold at $4,700,000 plus commission of 10.00%; Final Price $5,170,000 — Dual spotlights, louvered rear wheel skirts, enclosed rear spare inset in the rear deck, chrome wire wheels, blackwall tires. 2004 Pebble Beach Best of Show winner followed by Best of Shows at New York City, Meadow Brook, Glenmore, Ault Park and Greenwich, the last earlier this year. Beautifully liveried and complemented by a fabulous interior accented by elaborately figured Circassian walnut trim. A worthy competitor to its competitors from Mercedes-Benz let down only in detail by its 120hp 5-liter engine. For sale at $4.4 million, a big gap from its estimate. Nothing, however, should detract from its presence, a car that was singularly attractive when seen for the first time after its restoration in the chill mists of the 2004 Pebble Beach Tour d’Elegance and still stands as one of the outstanding cars of the Classic era.
1968 Ford GT40 Gulf Lightweight Racing Car
Lot # 139 1968 Ford GT40 Gulf/Mirage Lightweight Racing Car, Body by ; S/N P/1074(M.10003); Gulf Blue, Orange stripes/Black cloth; Competition restoration, 2- condition; Hammered Sold at $10,000,000 plus commission of 10.00%; Final Price $11,000,000 — RHD. Orange centerlock alloy wheels, sliding side windows, 289 Ford with Gurney-Weslake heads and Weber carburetors. Built as a 1967 Mirage, then converted to GT40 specs in 1968, retaining several significant Mirage attributes. Raced by Jacky Ickx and Dr. Dick Thompson to win at Spa, later won at Montlhèry. As a GT40 it won Monza (Hawkins/Hobbs) then second at Watkins Glen. Roof removed in 1970 to serve as a camera car for ‘Grand Prix’. Finally returned to GT40 configuration for Sir Anthony Bamford in 1972 but with inconsistent details. Re-restored by Harley Cluxton in 2002. Includes the original Mirage body. Very good paint and interior. Engine and chassis clean and fresh. Rear body corners chipped. Windshield delaminating and not securely glued. A car with many lives, seemingly all of them in one aspect or another represented in its present configuration. Bidding opened at $4 million. Reserve off at $7.4 million. Two bidders in the room put on a breathtaking display of determination that brought an exceptional, even huge, result. As the reserve indicates, this is a decidedly generous price, a third above the reserve, particularly for a car that is a Ford, or is it a Mirage?
1929 Duesenberg Model J Sport Sedan
Lot # 142 1929 Duesenberg Model J Sport Sedan, Body by Murphy; S/N 2132; Engine # J-151; Dark Blue, Blue leather padded roof/Grey leather; Estimate $800,000 – $1,000,000; Concours restoration, 1- condition; Hammered Sold at $900,000 plus commission of 10.00%; Final Price $990,000 — Chrome wire wheels, blackwall tires, Blue leather trunk, rear side window and rear window pulldown shades. Excellent paint, chrome, upholstery, interior trim and wood. Firewall #2132, front frame stamping not visible. Sharp and clean underhood with only the barest fuel and oil seepage. A concours Duesenberg with the barest hint of age and use despite being restored in the 1980’s. Owners include the Norris family from new until 1985, then John Mozart, Jerry Moore and Dr. Joseph Murphy. An exceptional example of Murphy design with steeply raked vee windshield and close coupled passenger compartment. Offered by Christie’s at Pebble Beach in 1991 where it no-saled at $484,000, sold by RM at Amelia in 2000 for $522,500. It’s had lots of mechanical attention from Brian Joseph since then, contributing to a sense of security for the bidders who pushed it to nearly double its price a dozen years ago. A beautiful, early J that is fully priced for its closed coachwork.