The RM group of companies — RM Sotheby’s and Auctions America — reported a 2015 year-end auction sale total of $593 million. Eclipsing the company’s 2014 performance by 26 percent, the total was generated by the sale of 2,962 vehicles and select memorabilia at 15 events on two continents.
“2015 has been one for the books for the RM group of companies, with a great deal to celebrate,” said Rob Myers, Chairman and Founder. “Kicking the year off with the announcement of RM Auctions’ partnership with Sotheby’s was a milestone highlight and has enabled us to build a truly global platform for collector cars. Overall, the results speak for themselves. They not only reflect a continued healthy market but also our unwavering commitment to offer only the highest quality of product, backed by extensive research. They also reflect our commitment to deliver an exciting client experience through not only our creative, out-of-the-box presentations but also via a level of service that is unmatched in the industry. I’m proud of our team, grateful to our clients, and excited to see what 2016 has in store.”
Of the combined tally, RM Sotheby’s was responsible for $525 million in auction sales with an annual sell-through of 90 percent. The results were generated by the sale of 784 vehicles and select nostalgia at 10 separate auctions across four countries. A total of 113 automobiles generated million-dollar-plus results, of which 15 surpassed $5 million and six garnered prices exceeding $10 million.
The season was highlighted by the announcement in February of a new strategic partnership between RM Auctions and Sotheby’s, which saw the latter acquire a 25 percent ownership stake in the company and led to the rebranding of RM Auctions to RM Sotheby’s. Approximately 20 percent of bidders at RM events in 2015 represented new clientele, with active participation by Sotheby’s clients. Entries were picked from 29 countries, with bidders hailing from 57 countries. While North America and Western Europe remained key markets, RM reported growing interest by collectors in South America, Asia, and Russia.
From a sales perspective, RM secured 15 of the top 25 most valuable automotive auction sales globally in 2015. The list was crowned by the ex-Works, ex-Fangio 1956 Ferrari 290 MM, which commanded $28.05 million at the company’s December 10 ‘Driven by Disruption’ sale in New York City, ranking it not only as the top automotive auction sale of 2015 but also the most valuable car sold in RM’s history.
The company’s flagship Monterey sale during the Monterey Classic Car Week generated $172.9 million to set a new record as the highest grossing collector car sale of all time. The three-day auction was highlighted by the Pinnacle Portfolio — a private collection of 25 post-war sports cars — which realized $75.4 million to set a record for a single-day, single-vendor automobile auction. In total, RM was responsible for six of the top 10 sales at this year’s Monterey week, including the top sale, a 1964 Ferrari 250 LM for $17.6 million. The weekend was made all the more rewarding for the RM team with the 1924 Isotta Fraschini Tipo 8A F. Ramseier & Cie Worblaufen Cabriolet owned by The Patterson Collection and restored by RM Auto Restoration, judged Best of Show at the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance. The win represents RM’s sixth ‘Best of Show’ at Pebble Beach in the new millennium.
Beyond Monterey, RM Sotheby’s posted its strongest performances to date in Arizona, Paris, Amelia Island, Hershey and New York. The Amelia Island sale launched the new RM Sotheby’s partnership with $60.3 million in sales, a result that represents not only the highest ever total for a sale held during the Amelia Island week but also exceeded the combined tally of all other auctions held during the week. A 1964 Ferrari 250 LM sold for $9.6 million at RM’s Arizona Biltmore sale to secure the title as the most valuable automobile sold in Arizona Auction Week history, while a 1960 Ferrari 400 Superamerica SWB Cabriolet brought $6.38 million to claim the top sale of this year’s Amelia Island week. Another standout was the presentation of the Paul and Chris Andrews Collection, which garnered $53.8 million during the May sale.
Most recently, RM Sotheby’s rounded out its 2015 calendar with an exhibition and results in New York City. The ‘Driven by Disruption’ event drew thousands of enthusiasts to preview its exhibition in Sotheby’s 10th floor galleries, before the selection of 31 vehicles and select memorabilia went under the gavel December 10, generating $73.5 million in sales.
“It’s been another thrilling year for the RM team, with the honor of selling some of the world’s greatest cars and partnering with some of the world’s leading automotive events and brands, including BMW’s Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este,” said Max Girardo, Managing Director of RM Sotheby’s Europe and Chief Auctioneer. “For me personally, the privilege of selling six of the top 10 automobiles at auction this year, including the most valuable car in RM history, was particularly exhilarating. We remain incredibly positive heading into 2016 and look forward to bringing more great automobiles and single-vendor collections to market.”
RM Sotheby’s 2015 – Top Five Auction Results
1. 1956 Ferrari 290 MM – $28,050,000 (New York City)
2. 1964 Ferrari 250 LM – $17,600,000 (Monterey)
3. 1962 Aston Martin DB4GT Zagato – $14,300,000 (New York City)
4. 1998 McLaren F1 ‘LM-Specification’ – $13,750,000 (Monterey)
5. 1956 Ferrari 250 GT Berlinetta Competizione Tour de France – $13,200,000 (Monterey)
5. 1953 Jaguar C-Type Works Lightweight – $13,200,000 (Monterey)
RM Sotheby’s 2015 – Video Summary
Auctions America’s total auction sales for 2015 exceeded $67.5 million, with an annual sell-through of 72 percent for all lots. These results were generated by the sale of some 1,343 vehicles and assorted automobilia at five separate events. Bidders represented 21 countries in addition to 49 states, with 46 percent of bidders representing new clientele.
The top result of Auctions America’s 2015 season was shared by a 2004 Ferrari Enzo and a 1938 Mercedes-Benz 540K Special Roadster, which both achieved $1.87 million at the company’s California sale in July.
Auctions America 2015 – Top Five Auction Results
1. 2004 Ferrari Enzo – $1,870,000
2. 1938 Mercedes-Benz 540K Special Roadster by Nawrocki – $1,870,000
3. 1967 Ferrari 330 GTS – $1,622,500
4. 1929 Duesenberg Model J Convertible Coupe by Murphy – $1,402,500
5. 1959 Ferrari 250 GT Coupe – $715,000