RM Sotheby’s Pinnacle Portfolio, Monterey, California, Thursday, August 13, 2015
RM Sotheby’s expanded its Monterey time horizon, as it does occasional when there’s an added consignment of note and cohesion.
This year it was the Pinnacle Portfolio, a Florida-based 25-car collection composed largely of relatively recent high end limited production cars, even though the bulk of the value was in a few Sixties-era Ferraris.
To say that RM Sotheby’s put on the dog with the Pinnacle Portfolio would understate, by perhaps an order of magnitude, the effort that went into the production, presentation and catalog. And it was not wasted effort.
The catalog was imaginative, creative and visually stunning. Its ‘color-on-gray-and-white’ visual theme was replicated in the pre-sale preview, which was staged in the auction room at the Convention Center, entailing a major effort to break down the display and set up the auction on Wednesday night and during the day on Thursday. The effect was, as with other RM (pre-Sotheby’s) Monterey single owner sales, to create a focused event.
It is reported here separately, not only on account of its structure but also to reflect some of the idiosyncrasies of the Pinnacle Portfolio itself.
Let’s do the overall numbers first:
[table id=137 /]
That is one impressive result from a single owner sale, with fifteen of 23 lots (65.2%) sold in hammer bids of $1,000,000 or more. The two lots that were unsold (Alloy Gullwing s/n 1989805500728 and the beautiful 250 SWB Competitizione Berlinetta s/n1773GT) would have added almost $18 million to the sale total even at their unacceptable high bids.
Even more interesting, eleven of the 23 sold lots had been bought at recent auctions, giving some insight into the performance of the high-value subset represented by the Pinnacle Portfolio.
That record is subject to a bit of qualification as two of the lots had been bought in the early 2000’s, the Enzo at Maranello in 2005 and the McLaren F1 LM at London in 2003. The rest of the Pinnacle Portfolio with prior auction results dated from a spree in 2011 plus one each in 2012, 2013 and 2014.
On these eleven lots the spread between the price (with commission) at acquisition and the hammer price in 2015 totaled $24,946,179 [the odd amount resulting from the 10% buyer’s premium calculation on the 250 GT LWB Cal Spider (s/n 1307GT) which actually closed post-block at an all-in price of $8,500,000.]
The earlier transactions had a total value (including BP) of $15,287,734 [an odd amount resulting from some being in UK£ and € converted at the then-prevailing exchange rates], a gain of $24,946,179 or 163.2%. Even chopping the full 10% seller’s fee out of the $75 million total leaves the seller with a home run gain of just under $18 million on a $15 1/4 million investment with a holding period of slightly over four years.
Of this, however, the bulk of the gains came in just three lots, two of them last sold at auction a decade or more ago:
• The McLaren F1 LM last sold in 2003 with a gain of $11,235,737 (888.7% more than the purchase price);
• The Ferrari Enzo last sold in 2005 with a gain of $4,217,013 (328.7%); and
• The Ferrari 250 GT LWB Cal Spider sold in 2011 with a gain of $4,155,929 (116.37%) [a spread that assumes the seller took the 10% fee on the post-block transaction, an unlikely event.]
The Pinnacle Portfolio’s auction is primarily a window into collectors’ appetite for late model limited production high performance cars, which is substantial, not only in RM Sotheby’s Pinnacle Portfolio collection but also elsewhere in the Monterey auctions.
Why? Good question, but possibly because kids in the Nineties and 00’s had pictures of F50s, Reventons, Veyrons and Saleen S7s on the walls of their dorm rooms. Now that they’re reaping the rewards of the Internet economy they’re able to realize their fantasies.
It would be telling to know how many went just up the road to Silicon Valley, but only RM Sotheby’s knows the answer to that question.