1934 Alfa Romeo Tipo B P3 Monoposto
Lot # 161 1934 Alfa Romeo Tipo B P3 Monoposto; S/N 50006; Red/Brown leather; Estimate $4,069,040 - $5,354,000; Competition restoration, 3+ condition; With Reserve; Hammered Sold at $3,747,800 plus commission of 12.00%; Final Price $4,197,536 – 2,905/255hp, supercharged, live axles, quarter elliptical leaf springs, fire system, friction shocks with tube rear shocks, Dubonnet front suspension, SF #46. – Believed to have been returned to its original wide body in the early 50's. Known history from new. New engine built in New Zealand, an original engine, SF-50-A from an Alfa Bimotore is included. Period race history is largely unknown, but reasonably surmised from its originality and completeness. Surface rusted rear quarter elliptic leaf springs, fresh paint, clean, orderly engine. A quality historic racecar. – Sold by RM at Amelia in 2000 for $2,145,000, this is a marvelous piece of Thirties racing history that stands up to close scrutiny for accuracy and impressive originality. It's never been lost and resurrected and is a sound value at this price.

RM Sotheby’s Paris 2017 – Auction Report

RM Sotheby’s, Retromobile Week, Place Vauban, Paris, February 8, 2017

RM Sotheby’s kicked off the auctions in Paris during Rétromobile this year with a Wednesday evening sale of 77 lots. Pre-sale highlights included a Ferrari 275 GTB and 365 GTB/4 Daytona with period performance modifications, an Alfa Romeo Tipo B P3 Monoposto, the first Porsche 917/10 and a Porsche 959 Sport.

Also scattered under the tents in Place Vauban were sixteen Ferraris (seven of them built since 2000) and nineteen Porsches from the 911-era ranging from a 901 Cabriolet Prototype to a 2016 911R. Eight of the Porsches had been built since 2000 showing clearly that the fascination with high performance, limited edition Porsches of the 993 and 996 eras has not worn off at all.

2017 was RM Sotheby’s strongest sale in its four-year Paris history. It is a noticeably consistent sale: never under $20 million, sale rate never under 76%, nor over 80%. It is a valuable presence for RM in Europe fitting neatly between London in the fall and Villa Erba/Monaco in late spring.

The effect of exchange rates became evident here, and continued to be evident in the other two auctions this week, with a strong dollar skewing the apparent prices lower when expressed, as here, in dollars. Experience indicates that swings in exchange rates take a while to be reflected in on-site prices. It produces some potential for currency arbitrage which translates these days into buying in Euros or Pounds and selling in dollars. Even with transport costs, the arbitrage on expensive lots can be meaningful. But it makes comparing prior transactions to current ones a bit more complicated, as some of these results indicate.

Here are the numbers:

RM Paris
Cars Offered / Sold
Sale %
Sold < Low Est
Sold > High Est
Average Sale
Median Sale
Total Sales
2017
77 / 60
77.9%
43.3%
13.3%
$492,147
$224,000 [45.5%]
$29,528,809
2016
61 / 48
78.7%
75.0%
6.3%
$437,311
$148,525 [34.0%]
$20,990,934
2015
67 / 51
76.1%
43.1%
11.8%
$403,383
$281,340 [69.8%]
$20,572,536
2014
53 / 42
79.3%
45.2%
11.9%
$569,783
$253,616 [44.5%]
$23,930,904

RM Sotheby’s Paris 2017 – Auction Report

1962 Alfa Romeo Giulietta Sprint Speciale, Body by Bertone
Lot # 104 1962 Alfa Romeo Giulietta Sprint Speciale, Body by Bertone; S/N AR177369; Engine # AR0012001691; Blue/Beige cloth, Grey vinyl; Estimate $128,496 – $160,620; Visually maintained, largely original, 3- condition; With Reserve; Not sold at Hammer bid of $85,664 – 5-speed, silver steel wheels, hubcaps, Michelin ZX tires. – Poor old repaint over old paint and chips. Soiled, stained original interior. Poor trim chrome, peeling rear fender trim. Underbody painted assembled. It appears to be all here but it needs everything. – This was so obviously a restoration project it was hard to get excited about it. There’s no ‘Preservation Class’ entrant here, just a tired old car with ugly stained upholstery that prompted a wag from Seattle to opine, ‘A new owner with an incontinence problem won’t have to do the interior.’ Ugly and this was a realistic bid for it.
1956 Austin-Healey 100/M Le Mans Roadster
Lot # 106 1956 Austin-Healey 100/M Le Mans Roadster; S/N BN2L/230813; Engine # 1B/230813M; Black, Raven Red/Red vinyl; Black leatherette top; Estimate $182,036 – $224,868; Recent restoration, 2- condition; With Reserve; Hammered Sold at $192,744 plus commission of 12.00%; Final Price $215,873 – Silver painted wire wheels, 4-speed, overdrive, louvered hood. – Restored in the States from a derelict project with a replacement Kilmartin chassis. Good paint, chrome and interior but a disappointing underbody with red overspray in the rear wheel wells. Good dash and gauges. Fresh, orderly engine is like new. An attractive, freshly done, comprehensive restoration let down by the underbody and overspray. – 100/Ms seem to have been everywhere this month. There were two in Scottsdale ($165,000 and $203,500 at RM and Worldwide) and two here in Paris where Bonhams sold its example for $202,236. Those results eloquently pinpoint the present appetite for accurately restored 100/Ms while also showing the renewed (and to some, long overdue) appreciation for the best early Healeys which are accurately described as ‘sports cars’ in contrast to the ‘grand touring’ character of the Big Healeys and particularly the late BJ8s. This result was right on the money and the seller, buyer and auction company should be pleased with the outcome.
1970 Ferrari 246 GT Dino Coupe 'L-Series', Body by Pininfarina
Lot # 108 1970 Ferrari 246 GT Dino Coupe ‘L-Series’, Body by Pininfarina; S/N 01004; Engine # 05612; Celeste Blue/Black vinyl, Blue terrycloth; Estimate $401,550 – $455,090; Recent restoration, 2+ condition; With Reserve; Hammered Sold at $428,320 plus commission of 12.00%; Final Price $479,718 – Centerlock alloy wheels, Michelin XWX tires, Ansa exhaust, original manuals and tool kit. – Excellent paint, chrome and interior. Underbody done like new. Sharp, clean, crisp, fresh engine compartment. Freshly restored like new in its original colors. – This has to be one of the best Dinos on the planet, with seemingly every detail attended to with care and sympathy. At this price it better be, because this is a record for a Dino without some special history and upends the recent softening trend in Dino prices.
1952 Lancia Aurelia B20 GT Series II Coupe, Body by Pinin Farina
Lot # 110 1952 Lancia Aurelia B20 GT Series II Coupe, Body by Pinin Farina; S/N B201824; Engine # B203074; Dark Red/Black vinyl; Estimate $139,204 – $171,328; Modified for competition during restoration 4 condition; With Reserve; Hammered Sold at $133,850 plus commission of 12.00%; Final Price $149,912 – Braced rollbar, 4-point belts. – Later 2,451cc/118hp engine, disc brakes. Vintage raced in the UK in the 70’s. Horrible old repaint over visible sanding scratches, overspray everywhere. Sound upholstery on bucket style seats. Silver painted window trim. Scrofulous. – Sold by RM at Monaco in 2010 for $134,085. That transaction was Euros 100,800 compared with Euros 140,000 all-in here, much more in Euros today, but barely $15,000 more in US American. It has potential, but it begs for attention both cosmetically and to ensure safe and reliable historic racing. It’s a sound value in dollars, but expensive in Euros.
1957 Lancia Appia GT Coupe, Body by Zagato
Lot # 119 1957 Lancia Appia GT Coupe, Body by Zagato; S/N 812011874; Engine # 814005497; Silver-Grey/Beige leather, Red piping; Estimate $192,744 – $214,160; Visually maintained, largely original, 3+ condition; With Reserve; Hammered Sold at $182,036 plus commission of 12.00%; Final Price $203,880 – New Jaeger tach, dual outside mirrors, Michelin XAS tires, Nardi woodrim steering wheel, floor shift. – Dull original gauges. Sound but aged upholstery and interior trim. Dull, water spotted bright trim. Scratched driver’s door window. Sound recent repaint. Underbody has been done but has plenty of miles. – A beautiful, lightweight Zagato body is the only way to make up for the challenged performance of 53 horsepower but even that inducement is not enough to make this price anything but expensive for this mediocre restoration and the subsequent miles.
1981 Porsche 924 Carrera GT Coupe
Lot # 123 1981 Porsche 924 Carrera GT Coupe; S/N WP0ZZZ93ZBN700218; Silver/Black cloth; Estimate $74,956 – $96,372; Visually maintained, largely original, 3 condition; No Reserve; Hammered Sold at $87,806 plus commission of 12.00%; Final Price $98,342 – 210hp 1,984 cc turbocharged, intercooled engine, 5-speed, Black center Fuchs wheels, Dunlop tires, power windows. – Freshly painted Silver, including the wheelwells, but not the body supports. Clean original engine compartment and interior. A sound used car with a fresh but erratic cosmetic restoration represented as ‘fully restored’. – The consignor’s definition of ‘fully restored’ was apparently shared by the bidders, and this is after all one of the rarest of Porsche high performance cars, rarely seen today in any condition. It qualifies as ‘good’ but brought a ‘great’ price.
1988 Porsche 959 Sport Coupe
Lot # 131 1988 Porsche 959 Sport Coupe; S/N WP0ZZZ95ZJS905011; White/Grey cloth; Estimate $1,606,200 – $2,141,600; Unrestored original, 2 condition; No Reserve; Hammered Sold at $1,873,900 plus commission of 12.00%; Final Price $2,098,768 – White alloy wheels, Bridgestone tires, roll cage. – One of 29 959 Sports built, originally purchased by Vasek Polak, three owners from new. Odometer shows 11,540 believable kilometers, original throughout and nearly like new. – 959 Komforts are fairly commonplace these days, with two at the Scottsdale auctions and another here in Paris. They are reliably $1 million cars, give or take a hundred thousand dollars, but bear only a visual resemblance to the Sport model. Produced in a tiny quantity and putting out 65 more horsepower the 959 Sport is exceptionally rare and this one is barely used and in pristine condition. Gooding sold one at Amelia in 2014 for $1.1 million and another at Scottsdale in 2015 for $1.7 million putting this result, particularly when expressed in currently strong US $, in perspective. It is an expensive car, and it deserves to be.
1948 Alfa Romeo 6C 2500 S Cabriolet, Body by Pinin Farina
Lot # 135 1948 Alfa Romeo 6C 2500 S Cabriolet, Body by Pinin Farina; S/N 916009; Dark Red/Beige leather; Beige cloth top; Estimate $214,160 – $321,240; Older restoration, 3- condition; With Reserve; Hammered Sold at $214,160 plus commission of 12.00%; Final Price $239,859 – RHD. Silver painted wire wheels, Michelin tires, column shift, radio, banjo spoke steering wheel, translucent sun visors. – Bought new as a gift for a mistress, Emilia Sierra. Sound recent repaint over old paint. Sound older upholstery, lightly soiled and surface creased. Orderly old underbody and erratic chrome. An older restoration with more recent paint. – Emilia must have been someone very special. This Alfa was sold by RM in London in 2012 for $297,731, GBP 184,800 (Euros 229,800) at the time which is somewhat less than the GBP 191,200 that this Euro result converts to. The vagaries of exchange rates play no favorites and this is a realistic price for this Alfa’s condition in pounds, Euros or dollars.
1963 Ferrari 250 GTE 2+2 Series III 2 + 2
Lot # 137 1963 Ferrari 250 GTE 2+2 Series III 2 + 2; S/N 4139GT; Engine # 4139GT; Grigio Scuro/Red leather; Estimate $460,444 – $513,984; Recent restoration, 2 condition; With Reserve; Hammered Sold at $449,736 plus commission of 12.00%; Final Price $503,704 – Overdrive, chrome spoke Borrani wire wheels, Avon tires, Autovox radio, Marchal head and fog lights. – Disassembled for restoration in 1970, then stored in pieces until 2011 when it was restored and completed in 2014 by GTO Engineering. Very good paint, major chrome and interior. Some scuffed bright window trim. Clean and orderly restored underbody. Ferrari Classiche certified, 29,000 km from new. As good as it gets. – This result may be a bit rich in today’s Euros, but it just right when expressed in dollars.