1956 Ferrari 290 MM, chassis 0626 (photo: Tim Scott)
1956 Ferrari 290 MM, chassis 0626 (photo: Tim Scott)

RM Sotheby’s New York City 2015 – Auction Preview

The RM Sotheby’s New York City 2015 auction will be held Thursday, December 10th at Sotheby’s headquarters in Manhattan. The RM Sotheby’s ‘Driven by Disruption’ sale will feature 31 motor cars, along with select automobilia. As a prelude to the auction, a six-day exhibition will open over the weekend of December 5 in Sotheby’s 10th floor galleries.

An ex-works 1956 Ferrari 290 MM by Scaglietti will headline the 2015 RM Sotheby’s New York auction. Built for five-time World Champion Juan Manuel Fangio to compete in the 1956 Mille Miglia, chassis 0626 was also driven by several other notable drivers in period. RM called the Ferrari, “undoubtedly one of the greatest, most original, and most valuable cars ever offered at public auction.”

The 1956 Ferrari 290 MM, chassis 0626, was specifically built by the Ferrari factory for Juan Manuel Fangio to drive in the 1956 Mille Miglia. Certainly the best driver of his era, and classed by many as the greatest driver who ever lived, Fangio raced 0626 in the 1000-mile event single-handedly, finishing 4th overall in a race hindered by appalling conditions. Dressed in the factory Argentinian color scheme for Fangio, the car featured a totally new 3.5-liter V-12 engine and was one of four 290 MMs to be built. Furthermore, it was one of the first Ferraris raced in Europe by Phil Hill and also heralded the beginning of Wolfgang von Trips’ Ferrari-driving career. It was piloted to victory in the 1957 Buenos Aires 1000 KM by Eugenio Castellotti, Luigi Musso and Masten Gregory. During its career, 0626 was also campaigned by others including Alfonso de Portago, Peter Collins, Olivier Gendebien and Joakim Bonnier.

Following the end of its racing career, 0626 remained in the United States before it was acquired by collector Pierre Bardinon, remaining in his Mas du Clos Collection for almost 34 years before being purchased by its current custodian. It has since been presented at numerous events, including the 1987 Cartier “Hommage to Ferrari” exhibition and the UK’s Concours of Elegance at Windsor Castle, as well as participating in the Mille Miglia Storica.

Ferrari Classiche certified, RM Sotheby’s reports 0626 remains the best of all the four examples built, having never fallen victim to the crucible of motorsport, and retaining its original chassis, matching-numbers engine, gearbox and body. It comes to auction accompanied by an extensive history file and is eligible for all major events, including its 60th anniversary at the Mille Miglia next year (Est. $28,000,000 – $32,000,000).

The 290 MM will be joined at RM Sotheby’s New York sale by another competition Ferrari of the same era, the 1955 Ferrari 500 Mondial, chassis 0564MD/0424MD. Finished in French Blu and equipped with a Lampredi four-cylinder engine with dual overhead camshafts, 0564MD/0424MD was sold new to French gentleman driver Mr. Yves Dupont in 1955 and campaigned in period.

It made its racing debut at the 12 Heures de Hyeres in May 1955 and later entered the demanding Liege-Rome-Liege. Following the end of the 1955 season, 0564MD/0424MD was returned to the factory to be refurbished; it was never picked up by its owner and instead remained there for the next two decades, during which time it was oversprayed red by the factory and displayed at the Monza Museum. In 1975, the factory sold the car to French enthusiast Jean-Francois du Montant. Over the ensuing years, 0564MD/0424MD passed through the hands of a number of owners.

In 2008, the then-owner of 0564MD/0424MD arranged for a Padova-based body shop to delicately remove the red paint to reveal the original French Blu paint underneath, a project that took three months to complete. The car still wears its original French Blu paint today. In recent years, 0564MD/0424 MD has participated in a number of historic events, including multiple appearances at the Mille Miglia Storica, as well as at various Concours events including Salon Prive. The original Mondial comes to auction following a fresh engine rebuild and complete with Ferrari Classiche certification. It is eligible to participate in all key historic events (Est. $5,000,000 – $6,500,000).

Additional Ferrari entries at RM’s 2015 NYC auction include:

  • 1958 Ferrari 250 GT Cabriolet Series I by Pinin Farina, (Est. $6,000,000 – $7,500,000), 14th of 40 Series I Cabriolets built, fully restored to original specifications and color, Ferrari Classiche certified;
  • 2003 Ferrari Enzo, (Est. $3,000,000 – $3,500,000), 295th of 400 produced, two owners and 560 miles from new, Formerly owned by boxer Floyd Mayweather;
  • 1953 Ferrari 212 Inter Coupe by Vignale, (Est. $2,000,000 – $2,500,000), Displayed at 1954 San Remo Concours, Restored to original specifications in 2013, Cavallino Classic Platinum Award winner, Ferrari Classiche certified; original matching-numbers engine; and;
  • 1953 Ferrari 250 Europa Coupe, (Est. $3,800,000 – $4,500,000), chassis 0313 EU, one-off coachwork by Vignale. Originally displayed at the 1953 World Motor Sports Show at Madison Square Garden, the Europa returns to New York for the first time in nearly 60 years, Classiche-certified.

A 1962 Aston Martin DB4GT Zagato will also be among the featured entries at the 2015 RM Sotheby’s New York City auction. Typically topping the list as the most desirable (and valuable) road-going Aston Martin ever built, the legendary Aston Martin DB4GT Zagato combined Aston Martin’s DB4 clothed in Zagato’s lightweight aluminum bodywork. The 19 examples constructed are among the most coveted on the planet.

The DB4GTZ offered at the 2015 RM Sotheby’s New York auction, chassis DB4GT/0186/R, is the only example delivered new to Australia having been completed in 1961. Purchased by businessman Laurie O’Neil, the car was raced extensively in the 1962 season and enjoyed numerous victories and podium successes in the hands of Doug Whitehead, including victory in the South Pacific GT Championship and 4th-overall in the Sports Car Championship on the same day. Returning to England in 1993, the car boasts known history from new and has been seen at events such as the Goodwood Festival of Speed and Revival. After a two-year restoration in 2002 undertaken between Richard S. Williams in England and Carrozzeria Zagato’s own facilities in Italy, the car has been awarded numerous accolades at events such as the Louis Vuitton Concours, Villa d’Este, Pebble Beach and the Quail (Est. $15,000,000 – $17,000,000).

The 2015 RM New York sale also lifts the gavel on a 1955 Siata 208S Spider, chassis BS 535. In the competition world, the model caused a marked disruption to the SCCA establishment with its winning combination of V-8 power in a lightweight body and chassis. RM said chassis BS 535 is “the finest of the breed.” The last known built of approximately 35 Motto-bodied examples and powered by Fiat’s Tipo 104 aluminum V-8, BS 535 was delivered in 1954 to an Italian enthusiast who imported it to the United States the following year. In the spring of 1956, the Spider was sold to Fred Celce of Massachusetts, a U.S. Air Force pilot who flew F-100 Super Sabre jets from bases around the world. After 12 years with Celce, the car passed through a well-documented chain of owners, including a 27 years in single ownership prior to purchase by its current custodian.

The recipient of a restoration to original factory specifications in 2011, BS 535 has recently been awarded top accolades at Pebble Beach, Villa d’Este, Amelia Island and the Kuwait Concours. This well-documented example comes to auction with its original matching-numbers engine and is accompanied by an extensive history file (Est. $1,500,000 – $1,900,000).

Further entries for RM Sotheby’s New York City 2015 sale include:

  • 1955 Mercedes-Benz 300 SL ‘Sportabteilung’ Gullwing, first of four Factory race-prepared W198 Gullwings, Special competition equipment, including NSL engine, 2nd overall at the 1956 Tour de France, driven by Sir Stirling Moss, Single-family ownership since 1966 (Est. $5,000,000 – $7,000,000);
  • 1938 Bugatti Type 57C Atalante, chassis 57766, embodying French Art Moderne design, formerly owned by John W. Straus, heir to the Macy’s fortune (Est. $2,000,000 – $2,500,000);
  • 1972 Lamborghini Miura P400 SV, chassis 5014, delivered new to a lady enthusiast in Rome and freshly restored by marque experts, a project overseen by factory test driver Valentino Balboni. The finest SV ever presented for auction, it is offered in New York with its original body, engine and drivetrain, and is in its original colors of Giallo Miura over Nero (Est. $2,400,000 – $2,800,000);
  • 1954 Pegaso Z-102 3.2 Berlinetta, chassis 0150. Originally owned by José María de Caralt y Borrell, the second Conde de Caralt and a figure in Spanish auto racing of the era, the Pegaso has remained in Spain all its life. Shown at the 1954 San Remo Concours, it is offered by its owner of 35 years and presents a combination of preservation and period competition success (Est. $800,000 – $1,000,000);
  • 1959 BMW 507 Roadster Series II, chassis 70205, one of 217 Series II examples, which has spent time in the collections of two New York residents and returns to the city sporting a preserved restoration, clothed in black over red leather (Est. $2,300,000 – $2,600,000);
  • 1933 Pierce-Arrow Silver Arrow, chassis 2575029. With silver coachwork, it is recognized as the 1933 Chicago World’s Fair show car that eventually landed in the hands of early enthusiasts D. Cameron Peck and Henry Austin Clark Jr. It is offered publicly for the first time in more than three decades (Est. $2,500,000 – $3,000,000);
  • 1934 Delage D8 S Cabriolet, chassis 38229, featuring coachwork by Fernandez et Darrin. One of two known examples of this body style, presented in lilac and bare polished aluminum (Est. $1,300,000 – $1,600,000);
  • 1975 Porsche 911 Turbo, chassis 9305700163, Purchased by the vendor from its original Japanese owner, this first year Type 930 has been restored to its original special-order Copper Brown Metallic (Est. $350,000 – $450,000); and;
  • 1981 Lamborghini Countach LP400 S Series III, chassis 1121316, presented in its original color of Verde Metallizzato, and showing 3,700 actual miles (Est. $900,000 – $1,200,000).

For further information on RM Sotheby’s 2015 Driven by Disruption sale, visit rmsothebys.com or call +1 519 352 4575. As a prelude to the auction, a six-day exhibition will open over the weekend of December 5 in Sotheby’s 10th floor galleries.

[Source: RM Sotheby’s]