1937 Mercedes-Benz 540 K Special Roadster (photo: Darin Schnabel)
1937 Mercedes-Benz 540 K Special Roadster (photo: Darin Schnabel)

RM Sotheby’s Arizona 2016 – Auction Preview

The RM Sotheby’s Arizona 2016 sale will be held January 28-29 on the grounds of the Arizona Biltmore Resort and Spa in Phoenix. RM Sotheby’s kicks off its 2016 collector car season will nearly 150 collector cars, including 30 with pre-sale estimates exceeding $1 million.

The 17th annual RM sale held during Arizona Auction Week includes everything from pre-war classics to sports and racing cars, late-model supercars and emerging collectibles. This year’s sale is headlined by a 1937 Mercedes-Benz 540 K Special Roadster expected to bring eight figures.

“In the world of luxury automobiles, the 540 K is a car with few peers and effortlessly checks all the boxes when it comes to collectability, namely extreme beauty, power and rarity,” said Ian Kelleher, Managing Director, RM Sotheby’s West Coast Division. “These cars are held in esteemed collections and rarely come to public market— when they do, few rival the provenance of the Sinclaire 540 K. The fact that it is coming to market for the first time in decades makes its offering all the more special and sets the scene for a very exciting auction at the Biltmore.”

The 540 K Special Roadster on offer, chassis 130894, is one of the earliest of the breed, and built in the configuration of high doors, long tail and factory left-hand drive. An original U.S.-delivery car with known history from new, the first owner of 130894 has long been believed as Reginald Sinclaire of Larkspur, Colorado, heir of Henry Purdon Sinclaire, one of the founders of Corning Glass. The Special Roadster was later owned by E.W. Price and Axel Wars, before making its way to its current custodian in 1989. Presented in restored condition and with 10,277 miles on its odometer, 130894 is offered following 26 years in single ownership. It is estimated to bring $10,000,000 to $13,000,000, making it among the most valuable automobiles offered in Arizona Auction Week history.

Another featured consignment is a 1965 Shelby 427 Competition Cobra, chassis CSX 3010, one of 23 examples produced. CSX 3010 was delivered new to Don Russell Jr. of South Carolina, equipped with a less aggressive exhaust for street use, a shoulder harness, and road lights. Russell soon determined the 620bhp Cobra was too wild for the road, and sold the car. CSX 3010 then landed with Peter Consiglio of Massachusetts, who raced the Cobra in regional SCCA events in 1967 with mild success, before stepping up to SCCA National competition in 1968. Prepared for the track with black paint and gold leaf stripes, Consiglio proved a worthy competitor behind the wheel, landing on the podium for all but three of the 11 SCCA races that season to ultimately claim the 1968 A Production championship.

Consiglio sold the 427 Cobra to John Risley of Nova Scotia, who enjoyed similar success, racing the car in the Canadian Endurance Championship Series with co-driver David Fram. The duo finished first overall in the Eastern Canadian Endurance Championship in 1971, making CSX 3010 the only 427 Cobra to win championships in two countries.

The Cobra found a home with its current custodian in 1978 and, with a return to the track in mind, he commissioned a full restoration, showing the car at the 1982 Palo Alto Concours d’Elegance upon completion. After extensive vintage racing participation, he eventually parted with the car in 1986, only to be reunited with CSX 3010 in 2007. CSX 3010 has completed seven long-distance tours in recent years, as well as competed at the Monterey Historics on multiple occasions. Ready for continued enjoyment on the road or track, it is offered in Arizona with its original front clip, street and race equipment, and extensive documentation (Est. $2,500,000 – $3,300,000).

The 427 is offered alongside a 1963 Shelby 289 Cobra ‘Dragonsnake’, chassis CSX 2093. Converted to ‘Dragonsnake’ specifications in 1965, CSX 2093 found success throughout its drag-racing career, setting numerous records, and securing national titles in four separate classes. The Cobra is presented exactly as it competed, including a Weber-carbureted 289 Ford V8 with Bellanger side mount header, four-speed transmission, Cobra Sunburst rear wheels with slicks, wire front wheels, removable hard top and magenta metal-flake paint (Est. $1,400,000 – $1,650,000).

Another featured attraction of RM Sotheby’s 2016 Arizona sale is the presentation of 12 motor cars from the Craig McCaw Collection, some of which will be sold to support the REVS Institute, Stanford University and other charities, including The Nature Conservancy. The selection is highlighted by a 1911 Lozier Model 51 Seven-Passenger Touring, chassis 3574. Formerly part of the Henry Ford Museum and Ken Pearson Collection, 3574 boasts four owners in its 105 years. A reliable and well-maintained veteran of no fewer than 77 tours, RM called it among the finest Loziers in existence (Est. $900,000 – $1,100,000).

The group also includes an original 1949 Jaguar XK 120 Alloy Roadster, chassis 670047, reportedly the third XK120 sold in the United States, purchased new and owned for 46 years by designer and enthusiast, Brooks Stevens (Est, $350,000 – $450,000). Additional entries from the collection include an aluminum-skinned 1913 Pierce-Arrow Model 48-B-1 Five-Passenger Touring, chassis 10431 (Est. $400,000 – $600,000); a well-optioned and restored 1967 Porsche 911 S Coupe, chassis 307557 (Est. $250,000 – $300,000); and a 1959 Austin-Healey Sprite Mk I “Think Pink”, chassis AN5L/16468, the 1963 SCCA H/Production Champion, driven by the famed Donna Mae Mims (Est. $40,000 – $60,000).

Additional highlights for the 2016 RM Sotheby’s Arizona Classic Car Week auction include 25 Ferraris spanning several decades. Leading the group is the 1985 Ferrari 288 GTO, chassis ZFFPA16B000058335, that was delivered new with optional air conditioning and power windows. With under 15,000 km from new, this Ferrari Classiche-certified supercar is estimated to fetch $2,400,000 – $2,800,000.

Other notable Ferraris offered include:

  • 1965 Ferrari 275 GTB, chassis 07053, Ferrari Classiche certified, finished in Azzurro over Nero (Est. $2,400,000 – $2,800,000);
  • 1965 Ferrari 275 GTS, chassis 07935, factory-equipped with extended frame rails for the driver’s seat, providing increased comfort for long distance driving (Est. $1,600,000 – $2,000,000);
  • 2005 Ferrari 575 Superamerica, chassis 144839, the modern, open-top V-12 Ferrari (Est. $650,000 – $750,000);
  • 1971 Ferrari 365 GTB/4 Daytona Berlinetta, chassis 14819, finished in its factory-original colors of Giallo Fly over Nero, fitted with factory air-conditioning, and having traveled less than 27,000 miles from new (Est. $700,000 – $800,000);
  • 1974 Ferrari Dino 246 GTS, chassis 08454, One of three finished in Verde Medio Nijinsky, matching numbers cosmetically restored to its original colors in 2014 (Est. $425,000 – $500,000); and;
  • 2011 Ferrari 599 SA Aperta, chassis 182788, one of 80 examples produced and showing 1200 miles from new (Est. $1,100,000 – $1,500,000).

RM’s 2016 Scottsdale-area sale will also present two examples of Porsche’s 911 design, each offered without reserve. The pair includes an original, well-optioned and numbers-matching 1976 Porsche 911 Turbo Carrera, chassis 9306800074, a California car finished in Grand Prix White with a Cinnamon leather interior (Est. $225,000 – $275,000); and, a 1968 Porsche 911 S ‘Soft Window’ Targa, chassis 11850368, the recipient of a recent restoration by marque specialists, complete with a Porsche Certificate of Authenticity (Est. $200,000 – $250,000).

In total, RM Sotheby’s will present 149 blue-chip automobiles at its two-day Arizona sale, with auction vehicles available for advance preview at the Biltmore from January 27. Further consignments consist of:

  • 1929 Duesenberg Model J Disappearing Top Torpedo Convertible Coupe, J-414, one of six original examples built and featuring a one-off tail design and numerous unique features (Est. $3,000,000 – $3,500,000);
  • 1962 Maserati 5000 GT Coupe, chassis AM103 040, one of 20 Allemano-bodied 5000 GTs (Est. $1,500,000 – $2,000,000);
  • 1971 Lamborghini Miura P400 SV by Bertone, chassis 4912, matching-numbers, one of five single-sump SVs sold new to the U.S. and equipped with air conditioning (Est. $2,000,000 – $2,400,000)
  • 1933 Packard Twelve Convertible Victoria, chassis 901624, offered publicly for the first time. Believed to be one of four survivors, the Packard is complete with its original chassis, engine, body and firewall plate (Est. $500,000 – $600,000); and;
  • 1952 Cunningham C-3 Coupe, chassis 5208; One of 19 coupes built, and the only Vignale-bodied example actively raced in period, 5208 boasts numerous one-off features and a Concours restoration by RM Auto Restoration (Est. $900,000 – $1,100,000).

In 2015, RM Sotheby’s offered 123 automobiles for sale, with 110 finding a new owner, reflecting an 89% sales rate. Total sales volume was $63,605,500, inclusive of buyer’s premiums. The average price per car sold was $578,231.

RM Sotheby’s Arizona 2016 – Event Details (View Digital Catalog)

Sale dates: January 28 – 29; auction commences at 5:00 p.m. MST each evening
Preview dates: January 27 – 29; from 10:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m. MST daily
Location: Arizona Biltmore Resort and Spa, 2400 East Missouri Avenue, Phoenix, Arizona 85016
Admission: Admission to the auction is open to registered bidders and consignors only. Bidder registration is $200 and includes an official auction catalogue and admission for two to the preview and auction. Admission to the preview is open to the general public.

A complete list of entries for RM Sotheby’s Arizona Biltmore sale can be found in the digital catalogue, now available at www.rmsothebys.com. Additional event details are available by calling +1 519 352 4575.

[Source: RM Sotheby’s]