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 Four

1912 Stutz Model A Bearcat
Lot # 133 1912 Stutz Model A Bearcat; Engine # A730; Red, Black fenders/Black leather; No top; Estimate $800,000 – $1,200,000; Older restoration, 3+ condition; Hammered Sold at $700,000 plus commission of 10.00%; Final Price $770,000. – RHD. Gray & Davis acetylene headlights, kerosene sidelights, Warner speedometer, Jones tach, Dragon bulb horn, trunk, single rear spare, electric starter added – A marvelous old thing with an older restoration in remarkable shape despite considerable miles. Sound and orderly in every significant respect, just driven and cared for. Known history since 1949 and claims abundant physical and documentary evidence for being a correct 1912 Bear Cat (properly two words this year only) since delivered new in California. – I’ve never experienced a Bearcat (or a Bear Cat for that matter) but have been a passenger in a Mercer Raceabout and it is a life-changing experience. The power and torque of these big fours is prodigious. The handling on the skinny tires is surprising and the brakes are terrifying. This is ‘The Art of the Automobile’ of a completely different character from swoopy Figoni & Falaschi teardrops, svelte one-off Ferraris and Maseratis or extravagant show car dreams, but it is still art and is more importantly an indispensable piece of automobile history, the very beginnings of the concept of a ‘sports car’. It is fully valued at this price, but not extravagant.
1955 Maserati A6G/2000 Spyder
Lot # 134 1955 Maserati A6G/2000 Spyder, Body by Zagato; S/N 2101; Engine # 201; Metallic Blue/Grey leather; Estimate $3,500,000 – $4,500,000; Older restoration, 2- condition; Hammered Sold at $4,050,000 plus commission of 10.00%; Final Price $4,455,000. – Mirror polished chrome spoke Borrani wire wheels, blackwall tires – The only Zagato-bodied Maserati A6G/2000 Spyder, displayed at Geneva in 1955 and Paris in 1958. Restored in 2003, shown at Pebble Beach, class winner at The Quail and Best of Show at Concorso Italiano in 2005. Sound paint, interior and chrome. Dull aluminum bumpers. Orderly underbody but shows age even if only a little use. – A beautiful but unusually restrained car coming from Zagato, with five chrome strakes across the fender side vents, a Maserati trident of epic size in the large oval grille and a wraparound windshield without wind wings that gives it a Lancia Spider America profile. Beautifully restored in handsome colors, it caught the New York bidders’ attention and achieved a magnanimous price for its style, rarity and performance that is to all intents and purposes double any previous A6G/2000 auction result … but none of them were spyders by Zagato.
1967 Toyota 2000GT Coupe
Lot # 135 1967 Toyota 2000GT Coupe; S/N MF1010093; Solar Red/Black leather; Estimate $700,000 – $1,000,000; Visually maintained, largely original, 3+ condition; Hammered Sold at $880,000 plus commission of 10.00%; Final Price $968,000. No Reserve – Dark Grey painted alloy wheels, Yokohama blackwall tires, pushbutton radio – Repainted assembled with some masking oversights and overspray inside doors. Scuffed stainless trim. Good original upholstery. Cracked console wood varnish. Documented with original warranty card, purchase invoice, registration, window sticker, service book and owner’s manual. A sound and well maintained cosmetically freshened 2000GT. – Originality counts for a lot, and this is a very original 2000GT even if the paintwork is less than meticulously applied. Ever since RM got $1,155,000 for Don Davis’s 2000GT earlier this year a million dollars is the new 2000GT normal and this result fits the pattern.
1959 Ferrari 250 GT SWB Berlinetta Speciale Bertone
Lot # 136 1959 Ferrari 250 GT SWB Berlinetta Speciale, Body by Bertone; S/N 1739GT; Silver-Grey, Brushed Stainless roof and sills/Red leather; Estimate $6,500,000 – $8,500,000; Older restoration, 1 condition; Hammered Sold at $6,400,000 plus commission of 10.00%; Final Price $7,040,000. – Polished centerlock alloy Borrani wheels, fitted luggage, brushed stainless roof and sills – Commissioned by Dr. Enrico Wax, Johnnie Walker scotch importer and designed by a very young Giugiaro with many unusual features including the ergonomically-shaped shift handle, competition engine, prepared suspension and red cam covers, the only known Ferrari GT with that feature. 1960 Turin Motor Show display car. Pebble Beach “most elegant” winner in 1983. A concours restoration that is no longer fresh but still is exceptional. – Offered by RM in Maranello in 2009 with a high bid of $2,166,260 (Euros 1.6 million at the time) this is a prodigious result equal (with commission) to Euros 5,226,400 today. That’s 3x in dollars on the hammer bid. It is an important car not only because of its unique coachwork but also on account of its SWB Competition underpinnings and engine. And it needs its immense Ferrari hood badge because without it onlookers will easily mistake it at a distance for a Maserati 3500 or Lamborghini 350GT.
1914 Flying Merkel Model 471 Motorcycle
Lot # 137 1914 Flying Merkel Model 471 Motorcycle; S/N 10339; Orange/Brown leather saddle; Estimate $200,000 – $250,000; Recent restoration, 2+ condition; Hammered Sold at $165,000 plus commission of 10.00%; Final Price $181,500. – Acetylene headlight, luggage carrier, exhaust cutout, rear coaster brake, chain drive – Restored some years ago, never run since then and resplendent in gorgeous Merkel orange paint and nickel brightwork. – A fabled motorcycle. There are, relatively speaking, many Harleys and Indians but Flying Merkels are few and far between. It’s almost a shame that this one has never been run since it was restored. But if anything at RM’s ‘The Art of the Automobile’ auction is art it’s this magnificent old Flying Merkel and it brought a reasonable price.
1966 Jaguar XKE SI 4.2 Roadster
Lot # 138 1966 Jaguar XKE SI 4.2 Roadster; S/N 1E11911; Engine # 7E6555-9; Black/Black leather; Black cloth top; Estimate $225,000 – $325,000; Recent restoration, 2+ condition; Hammered Sold at $425,000 plus commission of 10.00%; Final Price $467,500. – Becker Mexico radio, chrome wire wheels, blackwall tires – Excellent paint, chrome and interior. Fresh and clean with very little use. Three times judged 100 points by JCNA, National Champion and chosen by Jaguar as a feature element of its 2013 Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance corporate display. Beyond perfect, but without going too far. – Displayed between two gorgeous 300SLs, one car away from a Ferrari 250 GT Cabriolet Series II, this fabulous Classic Showcase restored XKE sucked the attention right away from its neighbors. The attention continued when its Michael Furman picture came onto the Sotheby’s auction block under Max Girardo’s hammer. The result is breathtaking, a bit of auction theater where two determined bidders abandoned reason in their determination to ‘win’. One of them won the car but the underbidder is the more fortunate. Tom Krefetz will build him one like it for a lot less.
1964 Chevrolet CERV II
Lot # 139 1964 Chevrolet CERV II; S/N P-3910; White, Dark Blue/Blue vinyl, Grey cloth; Estimate $1,400,000 – $1,800,000; Competition car, original as-raced, 3+ condition; Hammered Sold at $1,000,000 plus commission of 10.00%; Final Price $1,100,000. – 427 cubic inch aluminum V-8, 4-barrel carburetor, 500+hp, two speed manual transaxles with Powerglide torque converters driving front and rear wheels, zoomie exhausts – One of the legendary vehicles in Chevrolet competition history, a full-on high tech sports racer quashed by GM’s 14th Floor before it could demonstrate its amazing all wheel drive, aluminum 427 V-8 potential. History is unbroken from GM through the Briggs Cunningham Museum, Collier collection, John Moores, Scripps Institute and the consignor. Sound older repaint but otherwise as tested by GM. – Without question this is historically the most important automobile in RM’s ‘The Art of the Automobile’ auction. It isn’t beautiful like the Figoni Talbot-Lago, luxurious like ‘The Duchess’ or fabulous like the Ferrari 250 LM, but the butt prints on its seats go right back to the advanced work going on at Chevrolet in the Sixties that might have moved the needle forward by years had they been green-lighted by GM management. CERV II’s importance was probably lost on the trend-following New Yorkers, a lack of comprehension the new owner can only thank for acquiring a milestone in automobile development for a paltry [sic] million dollars.
1964 Ferrari 250 LM Sports Racer
Lot # 141 1964 Ferrari 250 LM Sports Racer, Body by Scaglietti; S/N 6107; Red/Blue cloth; Estimate $12,000,000 – $15,000,000; Competition car, original as-raced, 3- condition; Hammered Sold at $13,000,000 plus commission of 10.00%; Final Price $14,300,000. – RHD. 3.3 Liter/320hp, Borrani wire wheels – Delivered new to Steve Earle with aluminum Scaglietti bodywork and used, as Ferrari disingenuously maintained to the FIA, as a street car by Earle and the next owner, Chris Cord. Then sold to Ecuadoreans Guillermo Ortega and Fausto Merello who race prepared it and finished 8th overall, first in class, in the 1968 Daytona 24 Hours. Later raced at Sebring and the 1969 Daytona 24 and subsequently in Ecuador. Restored for Steve Pilkington in the 70’s but unraced. Owned for many years in Japan and recently freshened. Represented as the original engine. A neat, orderly but used old race car. Some paint cracks, discolored painted wheel rims with old Tape a Weight glue, peeling centerlock nut chrome. Good upholstery. No seat or shoulder belts. Vinyl graphics. Surface rusty chassis. Not ready for prime time and not close to track ready. – This is an incredibly pure, matching numbers, largely original 250 LM with documented racing history. Its survival relatively unblemished by accidents and engine destruction is astounding. One of just 31 built it is more rare than a GTO, faster, pretty and, as Steve Earle and Chris Cord demonstrated, able to be driven (cautiously) on the street. The best recent price for a 250 LM was s/n 6173 at RM Maranello in 2008 for $7,031,604. At one-third the price of a GTO and barely half the price of the NART Spider at RM Monterey it is a real value and could have brought 1/3 more without straining credibility.

[Source: Rick Carey

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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.

      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