RM Auctions Villa d’Este 2013 – Auction Report

RM Auctions, Concorso Villa d’Este, Villa Erba, Cernobbio, Italy, May 25, 2013

Report by Rick Carey, Auction Editor

It’s a confusing name change, but RM’s auction at Villa Erba is Villa d’Este by an adjacent property’s name. It didn’t change the sale’s dynamic, or the quality of the consignments, which never went below six figures (even in Euros), averaged just over $1.1 million per transaction and had a median value of $550,343.

An auction of headline vehicles in a headline location where even the runaway top seller, Ferrari 340/375MM s/n 0320AM, sold for $12,733,952, a third of the auction’s $35 million total, only complemented without outshining the other consignments.

Nine cars were bid to $1 million or more on the block, eight of them sold, an 88.9% sale rate that was better even than the auction’s overall sale.

The strength of both the consignments and the sale rate at Villa Erba foreshadows what is likely to be the Monterey experience in 2½ months.

RM Villa d'Este
Cars Offered / Sold
Sale %
Sold < Low Est.
Sold > High Est.
Average Sale
Median Sale
Total Sales
40 / 32
$550,343 [49.9%]
32 / 24
$888,868 [64.2%]

Photos are courtesy RM Auctions and copyright © by their various photographers including Tim Scott, James Mann, Simon Clay, Darin Schnabel, Pawel Litwinski, Henri Thibault, Bernard Canonne, Cymon Taylor, Tom Wood, Hardy Mutschler, Teddy Pieper and Guido Bissattini.

RM Auctions Villa d’Este 2013 – Auction Report

2009 Maserati Bellagio Fastback, Body by Touring
Lot # 101 2009 Maserati Bellagio Fastback, Body by Touring; S/N ZAMFD39B000036271; Dark Green/Beige leather; Estimate $103,360 – $155,040; Unrestored original, 2- condition; Hammered Sold at $135,660 plus commission of 12.00%; Final Price $151,939. – 4,244cc dohc V-8/395hp, 6-speed paddle shift automatic, Borrani ‘Bimetal’ alloy wheels, shotgun compartment, dog barrier, refrigerator, folding rear seats – Built for former Ducati owner Dr. Carlo Bonomi, one of four like it on the Maserati Quattroporte chassis, the Radford of Maseratis. Little used and nearly like new. – Surprisingly attractively packaged with plenty of rear room for the dogs and hunting gear even if the special Borrani wheels are a little cheesy. Got the bidders’ attention and achieved a healthy result.
1962 Ferrari 250 GTE 2+2
Lot # 102 1962 Ferrari 250 GTE 2+2; S/N 3827GT; Engine # 3827GT; Dark Grey/Black leather; Estimate $180,880 – $245,480; Visually maintained, largely original, 3 condition; Hammered Sold at $271,320 plus commission of 12.00%; Final Price $303,878. – Chrome spoke Borrani wire wheels, blackwall tires, fog lights – Ferrari Classiche certified numbers matching. Good older paint and new upholstery. Orderly engine compartment. A sound and well maintained 250 GTE. – If the prices of 250 GTEs keep escalating like this it will soon become an Italian cottage industry re-converting Testa Rossa replicas with 250 GTE chassis back into their 2+2 configurations.
1955 Porsche 356 pre-A 1500 Speedster
Lot # 103 1955 Porsche 356 pre-A 1500 Speedster; S/N 80208; Red/Beige cloth; Beige cloth top; Estimate $206,720 – $258,400; Recent restoration, 2 condition; Hammered Sold at $219,640 plus commission of 12.00%; Final Price $245,997. – Body color steel wheels with hubcaps, whitewall tires, later 1500 Super engine – Documented with a Porsche Certificate of Authenticity and Kardex copy. Freshly restored and impeccable. – This is almost a modest result for a pre-A Speedster, even with the later engine. The whitewalls are a nice touch, and appropriate to the car.
1957 BMW 503 Cabriolet, Body by Bertone
Lot # 104 1957 BMW 503 Cabriolet, Body by Bertone; S/N 69146; White/Blue leather, White piping; Blue cloth top; Estimate $335,920 – $439,280; Recent restoration, 2 condition; Not sold at Hammer bid of $310,080. – 3.2 liter/140hp V-8, 4-speed, Rudge centerlock wheels, blackwall tires – Restored a while ago and recently freshened, updated and engine rebuilt so it’s arguably better than new. Not to everyone’s taste, but for those to whom it appeals it is an important and rare piece of BMW history. – Sold by RM in Arizona in 2007 for $165,000, then given a reported $80,000 comprehensive service, engine rebuild and attention to cosmetic details that had been overlooked in the earlier restoration. A BMW 507, with the same engine rated at only 10 more horsepower, is a million bucks, but this doesn’t look like a 507 and it might have been let go at this bid with only minimal reservations.
1965 Ferrari 275 GTB, Body by Scaglietti
Lot # 105 1965 Ferrari 275 GTB, Body by Scaglietti; S/N 07743; Engine # 07743; Blue Azzuro/Dark Grey leather; Estimate $969,000 – $1,098,200; Older restoration, 2- condition; Hammered Sold at $1,292,000 plus commission of 12.00%; Final Price $1,447,040. – Chrome spoke Borranis. – Shown at Frankfurt in 1965. Later modified to long nose in the U.S. Restored by Hietbrink in 2008 to original short nose configuration and exterior color with grey leather upholstery. Sharp, fresh and better than new outside. – Sold by RM in London in 2010 for $848,440, which is illustrative of 275 GTB values in the ensuing two and a half years.
1929 Bugatti Type 40 Roadster Luxe
Lot # 106 1929 Bugatti Type 40 Roadster Luxe; S/N 40845; Engine # 769; Black, Red/Black leather; Black cloth top; Estimate $323,000 – $387,600; Cosmetic restoration, 3+ condition; Hammered Sold at $374,680 plus commission of 12.00%; Final Price $419,642. – RHD. 1,496cc sohc 45hp four, 4-speed, black wire wheels, blackwall tires, rumble seat, golf bag door, rear-mounted spare, folding windshield – Represented as original chassis frame, engine and Jean Bugatti-designed Roadster Luxe coachwork. Same owner for the last three decades and presented in excellent touring condition. – A sharp contrast with comparable bodied US roadsters of the period, this Type 40 offers quick, precise handling and lightness while its American (and many British) counterparts emphasized bulk and torque. One of 13 of its type and coachwork known to survive, it is responsibly but generously priced.
1929 Rolls-Royce Phantom I Tourer, Body by Barker
Lot # 107 1929 Rolls-Royce Phantom I Tourer, Body by Barker; S/N 82OR; Engine # ZG95; Yellow, Polished Aluminum bonnet and fenders/Green leather; Estimate $439,280 – $542,640; Older restoration, 2- condition; Hammered Sold at $310,080 plus commission of 12.00%; Final Price $347,290. – RHD. Polished wheel discs, dual sidemounts, blackwall tires, dual windshields, green leather covered luggage trunk, spotlight – Restored some years ago in its original configuration and livery, Lucius Beebe Trophy winner at Pebble Beach in 1999 and still good enough to show almost anywhere. Resident in Mombasa, Kenya in the Fifties. Everything a PI should be and gracefully aged so it can be driven. – The catalog recounted a charming story from one of its Mombasa owners who described how they padlocked the radiator shutters closed. ‘If the car would be stolen, it would overheat after a mile or two and not get very far.’ How reliable is a PI? Enough so it could lock up from overheating, then recover with a little fresh coolant and continue as if nothing happened. That’s Rolls-Royce reliability. Exceptional coachwork and a lovely restoration, this PI is a very good value at this price.
1962 Mercedes-Benz 300SL Roadster
Lot # 108 1962 Mercedes-Benz 300SL Roadster; S/N 19804210003044; Engine # 19898010003112; White (DB050), White hardtop/Burgundy leather; Burgundy cloth top; Estimate $839,800 – $1,033,600; Modified restoration, 2 condition; Hammered Sold at $1,285,540 plus commission of 12.00%; Final Price $1,439,805. – Two tops, disc brakes, Becker Mexico radio, power antenna, 3.25 rear axle, electronic ignition (original included), EasyDrive variable assist electric power steering, alternator, electric fan, cockpit insulation, polished alloy wheels, blackwall tires – The last iron block 300SL built. Extensively modified to make it a comfortable, relaxed high speed touring car with modern amenities and power assists. Flat panels, flush fits and even gaps, a 300SL to be proud to own and drive. – Sold by Bonhams at Geneva in 2002 for $181,015 before its extensive restoration and modifications. The result here reflects not only the exponential increase in 300SL values but also the many subtle but important enhancements built into this car that makes it one of the best of its kind. The appeal of driver-friendly cars is apparent in this 300SL. It’s not a ‘resto-mod’ but it’s close.