RM Sotheby's set the bar for 2017 with $53.7 million sale
RM Sotheby's began 2017 with a flourish this week, as the eyes of the car collecting world turned to Arizona.
The company's 18th annual Phoenix sale attracted bids from 30 countries around the world, as 141 rare and important cars found new homes – many shattering previous auction records in the process.
In total, 18 cars surpassed the $1 million mark, as the sale soared to a final result of $53,772,775 and a sell-through rate of 89%.
"Our Arizona sale is consistently a bellwether for the collector car market, setting the pace for the auction season to come," said Ian Kelleher, Managing Director of RM Sotheby’s West Coast Division.
"This year’s top ten sales clearly indicate that demand for modern supercars remains strong, while exceptional pre-war classics—such as the 540 K—anchor the strength and resilience of the market.
Leading the sale was a unique 1939 Mercedes-Benz 540 K Special Roadster. Custom-built for Rolf Horn, a boutique owner in Berlin, the car featured coachwork by Sindelfingen and a highly rare rare five-speed transmission.
Believed to possibly be the last Special Roadster of its kind ever built, the car had survived storage in East Berlin following WWII, then years of diplomatic service in Soviet-era Russia, before eventually finding its way to the renowned Lyon Family collection in California.
Described as "among the most instantly recognizable, valuable, and desirable of all automobiles built during the Classic Era", the important and much-storied car sold for $6.6 million.
The auction also featured an impressive roster of rare Ferraris, with prancing horses claiming six of the top ten sales.
"When it comes to specific marques, four decades of Ferrari production were represented in our catalogue, from the 400 Superamerica through to the Enzo, each of which attracted multiple bidders and achieved impressive results – a reflection of their outstanding provenance, restorations and condition," said Kelleher.
Leading the selection was a matching-numbers 1969 Ferrari 365 GTS. As one of just 20 examples ever built, the multiple-award-winning car sold for $3,602,500, trebling the previous auction record for the model.
Further seven-figure results included a 1995 Ferrari F50, one of just two delivered new to the U.S, which sold for a record $3,135,000; a 1961 Ferrari 400 Superamerica SWB Coupe Aerodinamico which sold for $3,080,000; a 1967 Ferrari 330 GTS, regarded as perhaps the world's finest example, which fetched $2,475,000; and 2003 Ferrari Enzo which sold for $2,695,00.0
Rounding out the top 10 sales were a 2013 Bugatti Veyron 16.4 Super Sport 300 which sold for $2,090,000; a highly rare 1948 Tucker 48 which sold for $1,347,500; and a 2008 Lamborghini Reventón which realized $1,320,000.
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