RM Auctions Art of the Automobile sale
RM Auctions Art of the Automobile sale

RM Auctions New York City 2013 – Auction Report

RM Auctions New York City 2013 – Auction Report Page Two

1959 Porsche 356 A Carrera 1600 GS Coupe
Lot # 116 1959 Porsche 356 A Carrera 1600 GS Coupe, Body by Reutter; S/N 108399; Engine # 93126; Silver Metallic/Blue leather; Estimate $550,000 – $650,000; Recent restoration, 2- condition; Hammered Sold at $550,000 plus commission of 10.00%; Final Price $605,000. – 1,587cc/105hp, sunroof, Blaupunkt multi-band radio, clock, wind wings, luggage rack, bumper overriders, braced rollbar, 80-liter tank – Excellent paint, panel fits, chrome and interior. Chassis is dusty and a little used, upholstery is lightly creased. Porsche Certificate of Authenticity shows matching chassis and, miraculously, engine numbers. – No longer fresh but still in exceptional condition, this Porsche is one of the most satisfying cars in RM’s NYC sale. Displayed in an area with the Ferrari 250GT Cab II, two 300SLs and the XKE, it attracted little interest. ‘Just another Porsche coupe’ the jaded New Yorkers probably thought. That’s the new owner’s good fortune as it brought only a modest premium over what it might have elsewhere.
1936 Delahaye 135 Competition Court Teardrop Coupe, Body by Figoni and Falaschi
Lot # 117 1936 Delahaye 135 Competition Court Teardrop Coupe, Body by Figoni & Falaschi; S/N 47242; Black/Red leather and ostrich; Estimate $3,000,000 – $4,000,000; Older restoration, 1- condition; Hammered Sold at $2,200,000 plus commission of 10.00%; Final Price $2,420,000. – RHD. Removable roof panel, chrome wire wheels, opening windshield, Marchal head and fog lights, skirts, blackwall Michelin tires, chrome wire wheels, Michelin blackwalls, Marchal head and fog lights, trafficators, dual filler tank, oil cooler – Excellent older cosmetic restoration with sharp paint, chrome, engine and interior. The balance is well preserved and largely original, an unusual combination of cosmetic (and mechanical) restoration with sympathetic preservation. Engine is the proper competition configuration, but was not with the car when found, just ‘in the area’. – It’s hard to figure the estimate on this Delahaye. Yes, it’s a short chassis, yes, it has the competition engine, yes, it’s a Figoni & Falaschi teardrop. It even has headlights integrated into the fender catwalks for better aerodynamics and driver’s visibility. But the estimate is extremely optimistic. The same can’t be said for the price it brought, although it is generous even at 3/4 of the low estimate, a third more than RM got for a similar but long chassis teardrop at Arizona earlier this year, s/n 60112 at $1,540,000. The result was obviously sufficiently attractive to the sellers, even $800,000 under the low estimate.
1997 Ferrari F310 B Formula 1
Lot # 118 1997 Ferrari F310 B Formula 1; S/N 179; Red/; Estimate $750,000 – $950,000; Competition car, original as-raced, 2- condition; Not sold at Hammer bid of $630,000 $630,000. – – Michael Schumacher’s second season at Ferrari, driven by Schumacher only in practice for Spa, later driven by Eddie Irvine at Monza (8th) and Austria (dnf). Corse Clienti history a few years ago and in excellent, but not track ready, condition. Ferrari Classiche certified. – Purchased at RM’s Maranello auction in 2008 for $771,761 (Euros 495,000), it is no surprise the owner of this F310 B declined taking a $160,000 loss five years later, particularly when the Euros bid is 467,700.
1970 Plymouth Road Runner Superbird Hemi
Lot # 119 1970 Plymouth Road Runner Superbird Hemi 2-Dr. Hardtop; S/N RM23R0A170172; Alpine White, Black vinyl roof/Black vinyl; Estimate $400,000 – $500,000; Recent restoration, 2+ condition; Hammered Sold at $330,000 plus commission of 10.00%; Final Price $363,000. – 426/425hp Hemi, 4-speed, Rallye wheels with trim rings, F60-15 Polyglas GT tires, buckets and console, Hurst pistol grip shifter, pushbutton radio, Tic-Toc-Tach – 16,359 miles from new, restored in 2002 to better than showroom condition and still better than perfect without being overdone. Excellent paint, bright chrome and stainless, fresh upholstery. Represented as the original drivetrain. Documented with original window sticker, broadcast sheets, IBM and warranty cards. – This is a prodigious price in today’s market but it bought not only a beautifully and sympathetically restored Superbird but also one with just 16,359 known miles and a rare (one of 58) with the 4-speed stick. It is, however, not so prodigious as the price it brought at RM’s (now Auctions America’s) Ft. Lauderdale auction in 2007, $529,200, when it had just 17 fewer miles on its odometer, but better than the $318,000 it brought at Mecum Indy two years later in May 2009, $318,000. Mopars aren’t what they once were, at least in collectors’ pantheon. This is ample money for this one despite its transaction history and all the good things in its favor.
1955 Mercedes-Benz 300 SL Gullwing
Lot # 120 1955 Mercedes-Benz 300 SL Gullwing; S/N 1980405500695; Light Green Metallic/Red leather; Estimate $1,300,000 – $1,500,000; Cosmetic restoration, 2+ condition; Hammered Sold at $1,150,000 plus commission of 10.00%; Final Price $1,265,000. – Becker Mexico radio, tilt steering wheel, belly pans, reproduction fitted luggage, original owner’s manual, parts catalog, service book and California plate – Represented as never fully restored, the evidence of eye finds the distinction impossible to perceive. This Gullwing is like new, has excellent cosmetics and is fresh and sharp throughout. – Some might consider this Gullwing less than brilliantly presented, without the flash and bright finishes that transform so many Gullwings into parodies of their real, fast, utilitarian selves. A no sale at Gooding’s Pebble Beach auction in 2010 at a reported high bid of $470,000 only highlights the exponential increase in Gullwings’ values in just three years. It puts these value in perspective, and a not particularly appealing perspective, but this result is entirely appropriate in today’s market. Whether today’s Gullwing market is appropriate is another question entirely.
1955 Ferrari 250GT Europa Coupe
Lot # 121 1955 Ferrari 250GT Europa Coupe, Body by Pinin Farina; S/N 0407GT; Silver-Grey/Orange leather, Grey cloth; Estimate $2,250,000 – $2,750,000; Concours restoration, 1 condition; Hammered Sold at $2,200,000 plus commission of 10.00%; Final Price $2,420,000. – 3953/220hp, 4-speed, orange dashboard, chrome spoke Borranis, dual rear wipers, folding rally clipboard, Marchal head and fog lights, transmission tunnel mounted thermometer – Restored in 2006 and still better than new. Displayed at Pebble Beach in 2006, Platinum and Excellence Cup winner at Cavallino Classic the same year, Class winner at Amelia Island in 2008. Great interior colors and materials although the Ferrari Heritage Certificate’s description of ‘Pelle Connolly’ is sufficiently vague (i.e., Connolly leather) to encompass almost anything … except this combination of leather and cloth. – Maybe the ultimate expression of the 3-liter Lampredi ‘long block’, with its integral cylinder heads, this 250GT Europa got raced at least once, at Shelton airbase in the Pacific Northwest in 1960, enough to tick the box for historic events. Its price is magnanimous, even considering the quality of the restoration, for a car that was dismissed just a few years ago and will get a Mille Miglia invitation only after documented MM participants’ applications are exhausted. It’s no 250 GT SWB or TdF, but neither is it eight figures, if that’s any consolation.
1938 Talbot-Lago T150C SS Cabriolet
Lot # 122 1938 Talbot-Lago T150C SS Cabriolet, Body by Figoni & Falaschi; S/N 90111; Ivory/Cream leather; Beige cloth top; Estimate $8,000,000 – $10,000,000; Recent restoration, 1 condition; Hammered Sold at $6,500,000 plus commission of 10.00%; Final Price $7,150,000. – RHD. Polished wheel discs, Marchal head and fog lights Louis Vuitton luggage – Original coachwork. First owned by Michael Dassonville, who miraculously retained the car, and his business, through the German occupation of France until he decamped to Brazil at the end of WWII. Show quality everywhere, 2011 Pebble Beach class winner. In a thoughtful touch the Louis Vuitton suitcases are moderately aged. A superlative automobile of the highest quality and beauty. – While the Ferrari 250LM was the highlight of RM’s and Sotheby’s New York auction this brilliant Talbot-Lago was the ‘Art of the Automobile’ star, with flowing teardrop fenders, rear wheel skirts and wheel discs. Positioned in its own alcove in the 10th floor display area in front of a blown up reproduction of its original concept drawing it had even jaded New Yorkers agog at its artistry. RM pushed the marble with its estimate but the bidders handicapped the hype and presentation with reality at this price which still surpasses any other Talbot-Lago by nearly a factor of two. A New York price, where even a reasonable dinner for one costs $100.
1941 Cadillac 41-62 Custom Limousine 'The Duchess'
Lot # 123 1941 Cadillac 41-62 Custom Limousine ‘The Duchess’; S/N 8363211; Black/Tan cloth; Estimate $500,000 – $800,000; Recent restoration, 2- condition; Not sold at Hammer bid of $415,000 – Large hubcaps, trim rings, wide whitewalls, skirts, lavishly appointed rear compartment with drinks cabinet and appointments – Specially built by General Motors under Alfred P. Sloan’s supervision for the Duke and Duchess of Windsor. The engine may be a 1941 Series 62, but there is nothing standard Cadillac about the body or appointments. Competently but not particularly impressively restored. Paint is good but erratically finished. The interior, though, is better than perfect. it’s lush. Chrome is bright. Grille was rechromed without fully filling pits. More imposing than beautiful. – This Cadillac may have attracted more attention than any other car in the RM Auctions display at Sotheby’s where its connection with the Windsors made it a star … at least until it came time to buy it. Listed in the catalog as Without Reserve but changed by Saleroom Notice to reserve status. Even this generous price was declined by the consignor. A car more significant for its celebrity history than for its design or presentation, the reported high bid should have seen it sold.

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Show Comments (8)

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  1. Thank you for capturing the magic. The crowd in the days before the auction was a funny mix of plutocrats and humble types (like me) with their children, and every one of us ogled the cars. Come back, Mr. Carey, and I’ll buy you a superb dinner with wine that will run under $50 a head. Promise. That’s the joy of New York.

  2. Rick , I also remember Arlan Ettinger’s Guernseys Auction House holding classic car sales in Manhattan , one in 1989 ( ? ) at the Jacob Javits Centre and another in the early 90s on ( I think ) pier 94 ….alway enjoy reading your posts

  3. Rick, the photographs are awesome. And, as you inspect the cars, you report on the ‘niggling’ details that bother you, or aren’t right. I call your attention to your description of Lot 114 – the Auburn Speedster, where you say some dust was left in ‘hard to reach prices’. Perhaps a Freudian slip?

    1. Tom,
      A slip, but not Freudian.
      I use a Windows slate computer with handwriting recognition and sometimes it slips in a word Windows likes better than what I intended. I don’t always catch them in the editing. I’ll ask Jamie to correct it when he has a chance.

  4. Funny I have one of those Ferrarina’s, was a gift to my wife new some 55 years ago. Guess my 3 year old grandson better be careful driving that thing!

    1. As the grandfather of three boys under 4 years old I cannot imagine anything, I mean ANYTHING, better than seeing any of them wail on a Ferrarina that’d been in the family for 55 years. Your grandson can’t really hurt it, just add kid-patina.
      Turn him loose. It’s just a ‘thing’ that is made better by the YouTube videos. Painted, polished, chromed and waxed it is only wall decor, a waste of the grampa experience.
      Rick

      1. Thank you Rick, also if at any point you’d like to get the skinny on the real story about these cars I’d be happy to help. I had the good fortune of meeting Enzo Monari who made them years later with my father in-law at his home in Modena Italy. As an aside the cars where actually produced by his company named Savigini Monari in Modena and they had serial number plates riveted onto the bodies with both chassis and motor numbers stamped into them which ours retains

        1. Hello Victor, thanks for sharing this great information about your father in law. I am doing some research on these Ferrarina cars. I noticed on a brochure I found that the logo of the company is MS Modena Italy. Tese Two letter MS could stand for Morani Savigni. I would love to gather more information. If you feel like sharing some let me know, here is my contact: [email protected] thanks, Aurélien