Continuing a six-year track record of achieving fantastic results, RM Auctions’ annual Battersea sale generated an incredible £14,266,030* ($22,984,500 USD)** in sales with an impressive 84 percent of total lots sold before a packed house in central London this week (31 October). The top performer of the evening sale was the simply beautiful and extraordinarily rare 1959 Ferrari 250 GT LWB Berlinetta ‘Tour de France’, which attracted spirited bidding from eager collectors, selling for a strong $3,157,825.
Proving that Italian exotics still reign supreme in the desirability stakes, the gorgeous 1930 Alfa Romeo 6C 1750 GS Testa Fissa, driven to Tourist Trophy glory by the great Tazio Nuvolari, sold for $1,263,130 to secure the position as the night’s second biggest seller. The British cars stole their share of the limelight too, with Aston Martins continuing to shine in the market. Headlining the group of 11 Astons on offer was an elegant 1964 Aston Martin DB5 convertible, which achieved a highly impressive $1,019,526 to round out the night’s top three sales.
Other top performers included the beautiful, original 1937 Bugatti Type 57C Stelvio cabriolet for $992,459, while a Bugatti of an altogether more modern era, an awesome 2008 Bugatti Veyron EB 16.4 from the Zegwaard Collection, sold for $933,814 after a lively bidding contest. The much admired, ex-British Motor Show 1952 Bentley Continental R-Type fastback sports saloon, one of the ultimate post-war grand touring cars, also garnered significant attention from collectors, realizing $857,124.
“Once again, our London sale has demonstrated that it successfully unites some the world’s finest cars with an audience of discriminating collectors from all corners of the world. Reflecting RM’s strong international client base, bidders at the sale hailed from 33 countries around the world, including as far away as Argentina, Hong Kong, India and Bahrain,” says Max Girardo, Managing Director, RM Europe. “We enjoyed a fantastic night in central London with some incredible results. The sale certainly rounded out RM’s 2012 roster of European sales in the best possible fashion.”
One lot attracting significant pre-sale interest was the wonderful and historically significant 1964 Aston Martin DB5, delivered new to Beatles member Sir Paul McCartney and owned by him for some six years. Presented in fabulous, restored condition, the car achieved $554,875, reinforcing its significance to collectors and the enduring appeal of Beatles-related provenance.
The Porsche brand also demonstrated that collectors are eager to buy the best of the breed. A 1996 Porsche 911 GT2, just two owners from new, far exceeded its pre-sale estimate, selling for a remarkable $523,297, while the slightly older but equally rare 1988 Porsche 959 ‘Komfort’ also exceeded its pre-sale estimate, realizing a strong $496,230. Proving that not all post-war Italian exotics need a prancing horse to be highly desirable, the 1973 Lancia Stratos ‘Stradale’, one of the first of its kind built, sold for an impressive $401,495 against a pre-sale high estimate of $304,578.
The two-wheeled lots also shone in Battersea. The super-rare, exceptionally restored 1926 Brough Superior SS100 Alpine Grand Sports, one of the world’s most collectable motorcycles, sold for an incredible $452,407, while the matching numbers, fully authentic 1952 Vincent Series C Black Shadow also demonstrated star quality, fetching $127,239.
RM concludes its 2012 auction calendar on 1 December in North Palm Beach, Florida with the presentation of the John Staluppi ‘Cars of Dreams’ Museum, featuring nearly 120 automobiles and 50 lots of memorabilia ‘without reserve’. The company will then kick off the 2013 collector car auction season on 18 January in Phoenix, Arizona. RM’s first scheduled 2013 European sale will be held in Cernobbio, Italy in May 2013 in conjunction with the prestigious Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este.