1959 Ferrari 250 GT LWB California Spider Competizione
The RM Sotheby’s New York City 2017 auction was held December 6 at Sotheby’s headquarters in Manhattan, resulting in $45.5 million in total sales and 84 percent of all lots sold. Led by 11 individual million-dollar-plus results, RM Sotheby’s third Manhattan sale, entitled ICONS, presented 31 automobiles and select memorabilia before a packed house.
Following a competition between multiple bidders in the room and on the phones lasting nearly ten minutes, the star of the sale, an open-headlight 1959 Ferrari 250 GT LWB California Spider Competizione, chassis 1451 GT, sold for a final $17,990,000 to exceed its pre-sale estimate (est. $14,000,000 – $17,000,000).The second of eight aluminium-bodied California Spiders to come out of the factory, 1451 GT secured 5th overall at the 1959 24 Hours of Le Mans in New Yorker Bob Grossman and the car’s debut at the Circuit de la Sarthe. The restoration earned 1451 GT a platinum award at the 2011 Cavallino Classic, and it has been shown at a handful of events ever since.
“We were thrilled to return to New York where we reaffirmed the city’s place on the RM circuit with this great $45.5 million result,” said Gord Duff, Global Head of Auctions, RM Sotheby’s. “The ICONS auction attracted many thousands of visitors as both art and car enthusiasts flocked to Sotheby’s Manhattan headquarters to view over 30 iconic automobiles. We saw strong bidding across the sale including from a number of Sotheby’s specialists on the phones competing with clients in the packed room. There was particular excitement around our top lot — the 1959 Ferrari 250 GT LWB California Spider Competizione which saw four bidders compete for nearly ten minutes sending the final price to $17.99 million.”
At the other end of the collector car spectrum, all eyes were on the first ever Bugatti Chiron offered at auction over the course of the RM Sotheby’s New York City 2017 sale. Boasting 1400 hp, the first example ordered for the U.S. market sold for a final $3,772,500 (est. $3,500,000 – $4,000,000). The new owner will also be treated to a personalized, once-in-a-lifetime visit of the Bugatti factory in Molsheim, France complete with lunch, a factory tour, and a test drive with a noted test driver.
Additional stand out lots from the RM’s 2017 New York City auction include a 1952 Jaguar C-Type, XKC 007 at $5,285,000, the first example to win a race on U.S. soil, at the hands of Phil Hill no less. A 1958 Mercedes-Benz 300 SL Roadster, the last complete restoration to leave Rudi & Company’s workshop, resulted in a final $1,407,500. The nineties were well represented by a 1990 Lamborghini LM002, one of 60 U.S.-delivery “LM/American” examples, which sold for a final $467,000, smashing the previous record for the model, and a 1992 Lancia Delta HF Integrale Evoluzione, one of 400 ‘Giallo Ferrari’ special editions with 6,500 km on the odometer, which achieved $190,400, setting a new world record for a road-going Delta Integrale at auction.
Finally, offered without reserve, the 2000 BMW Z8 originally owned by late Apple Founder Steve Jobs sold for a final $329,500 at Sotheby’s. Presented in low-mileage, the Z8 was offered complete with the BMW-branded Motorola Startac cell phone, an original accessory sold with the car.
RM Sotheby’s New York City 2017 – Top Ten Auction Results
1959 Ferrari 250 GT LWB California Spider Competizione (Chassis 1451 GT) – $17,990,000