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Select “Dare to Dream” Auction results

SCD's top Sportscar picks yield strong sales


The recently held “Dare to Dream” auction in Toronto, Canada, represented a wide variety of automotive milestones, specifically for European Sportscars. Aptly described on Sotheby’s website, “They represent what could be—what will be in our eyes, the greatest.”

Collector Miles Nadal

It’s always inciteful to know a little about the face behind the collection and what his/her thoughts are on the business of acquiring automobiles. According to Nadal, he has always been a collector of types. Somewhat tangentially related to cars, his first collection was of hand tools he never used and had no intention of using, admitting he was not mechanical in any way. But he appreciated what they stood for Perfection. Engineering. Function. Those three pillars play a heavy part in his future collections, too. The tools were always pristine and presented in order. The same was applied to his following collection of keys, and then of model cars. The model cars were just a placeholder for the real cars Nadal truly desired to own someday.

After working as a sports photographer in his teen years, further exposed to the world of professional sports and the players that made the difference… the influencers… the icons, he figured out the direction of the collection he would someday start. Automotive icons. And so, we take a quick look at some of the sports car icons that were sold from the collection.

1967 Ferrari 275 GTB/4 by Scaglietti

$3,305,000 USD | Sold

There is perhaps no better archetype of a Ferrari model than the 275 GTB/4. As one of the last Prancing Horses manufactured in the vintage era, preceding the wholesale shift to mid-rear engine placement, the GTB/4 was the product of all the lessons learned since the company’s 1947 inception. Like the greatest Ferraris that preceded it, the model was defined as a grand touring berlinetta: a closed-body dual-use GT car that could be driven to the track and raced before being gently driven back home.

Introduced in 1964, the original 275 GTB was the first roadgoing Ferrari to be equipped with four-wheel independent suspension, and the first to employ a weight-saving transaxle, which also improved weight distribution. When the GTB/4 iteration arrived two years later, it boasted dual-cam valve actuation for each cylinder bank, making it the first four-cam road car from Maranello’s stable. This prodigy of mechanical performance was clothed in coachwork designed by Pininfarina and built by racing car carrozzeria Scaglietti, featuring a long hood and fastback rear end that were obviously developed from the legendary 250 GTO.

1959 Porsche 356 A Carrera 1600 GS ‘Sunroof’ Coupe by Reutter

$637,500 USD | Sold

The most potent mechanical variation of the 356 was the Carrera model, which was powered by the slightly detuned, Fuhrmann-designed four-camshaft, 1,600-cubic-centimeter racing engine. Available in both “GT” race specification and “GS” touring specification, Porsche made sure that their new engine could be marketed on a platform to individuals who were looking to spend time on the track, as well as to those who were looking to drive down the Autobahn in style.

While many Porsches of this type were campaigned on the track, it appears that this 1959 Porsche 356 A Carrera 1600 GS “Sunroof” Coupe was specified by its first owner, Robert Blackwood, of Atlanta, Georgia, for long-distance touring. Per both its Porsche Certificate of Authenticity and Kardex build record copy, chassis 108399 was delivered—via the noted Brumos Porsche of Jacksonville, Florida, which had become an official Porsche dealership only months earlier—with an extensive list of factory options, including a Blaupunkt radio with two loudspeakers, a rear luggage rack, an electric clock, an 80-liter fuel tank, a factory-installed roll bar, and an incredibly rare and highly desirable sunroof. Considering these options, in addition to its Carrera 1600 GS-specification drivetrain, this Porsche would certainly have been one of the priciest and most desirable examples delivered stateside that year.

1972 Lamborghini Miura P400 SV by Bertone

$4,900,000 USD | Sold

It is legend that “supercar,” the title bestowed upon all of today’s highest-performance automobiles, was first applied in print to the Lamborghini Miura by L.J.K. Setright in a 1967 Car story regarding his 1,000-mile drive of the new Miura from Modena to London. He never used the word but said it in more elegant prose: “The triumphant whoop of a thoroughbred V12 is like nothing else in motoring. It is immediate, urgent, and peremptory. The Lambo idles at about 800 rpm, and a gentle blip up to 2,000 produced a sort of instant quickening of everybody in the square, like a WO calling parade to attention…It might develop 87.5bhp per litre, but from ridiculously low revs, it would pull as smoothly and inevitably as a Silver Ghost. Clearly, this was going to be an astonishing motor car.”

If Setright loved the original mid-engine, Bertone-sculpted Miura, then he would have adored the car in its ultimate production iteration, the SV, introduced at Geneva in 1971. Available by particular order only, it was extensively re-engineered with a reinforced chassis, rear suspension improved with wider wishbones, larger wheels accommodated by muscular bulging rear fenders, and a tuned 385-horsepower engine with unique air intakes, larger carburetors, and different cam timing. Out of the some 900 Miuras made, just 150 were SVs; it was the rarest standard Miura, if a Miura could ever be such a thing, and its combination of elevated cosmetics and ultimate 180-mph performance makes it the most desirable of all.

1955 Mercedes-Benz 300 SL Gullwing

$1,655,000 USD | Sold

In many senses, while the Lamborghini Miura was the first automobile to be referred to by name as a “supercar,” the actual title of “first supercar” status belongs to the Mercedes-Benz 300 SL. Like the Ferrari F40 and its like, it captured the aura of being exactly what it was: racing car technology, loosely disguised for the street. Its specifications in 1954 were as advanced then as the carbon fiber exoskeletons of today.

Power came from an overhead-cam six-cylinder engine, mounted at an angle within the engine compartment and equipped with Boch mechanical fuel injection and dry-sump lubrication. It was wrapped in steel and alloy bodywork, designed for maximum streamlined efficiency, and wrapped around a tubular frame. The latter necessitated the car’s most distinguishing feature, doors hinged at the roof, which, when opened, created the famed “gullwing” appearance.

1965 Aston Martin DB5

$720,000 USD | Sold

The Aston Martin DB5 belongs to the rare category of automobiles recognizable instantly even to those who are not enthusiasts; for the public at large, to see one is to instantly know it as an “Aston Martin.” It has come to represent the company at large for every generation since it was born, largely based on its co-starring role in the 1964 James Bond film Goldfinger. This etched the appearance of a Silver Birch DB5 firmly in the memory of everyone who saw the film, attended a promotional appearance by one of the cars, or bought the Corgi model. Few cars have ever so defined their manufacturer to the world at large.

This is perfectly appropriate because the DB5 was, in and of itself, a memorable, excellent automobile, even without silver screen infamy to recommend it. It boasted some 170 improvements over the predecessor DB4, most prominently adopting the competition-style covered headlights—originally used for the DB4 GT and subsequently available on late-production DB4s—as standard equipment. Its lines were magnificent, and its performance utterly thrilling.

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Above content © 2024 RM Sotheby’s reviewed and edited by Rex McAfee