RM Auctions kicked off its 2011 European calendar in style on the weekend, posting over $32 million at its debut sale at the Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este in Cernobbio, Italy.
Held in conjunction with the celebrated Italian concorso d’eleganza, the two-hour sale treated a discerning international audience to one of the most significant offerings of collector cars presented in recent auction history, including the highly-anticipated sale of six unique Bertone concept cars. Featuring a handpicked selection of 32 motor cars, thirteen automobiles achieved individual million-dollar-plus results, with two lots surpassing $4 million. Top sale honours went to a stunning1955 Ferrari 375 MM Berlinetta for $4.8 million, along with a concours-quality 1938 Talbot-Lago T150-C SS Teardrop Coupé which sold for $4.5 million
“It has been a privilege to conduct an auction at the Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este and to achieve such a great result from such a stunning selection of motor cars,” says Max Girardo, Managing Director, RM Europe. “Combining automobiles of exceptional quality with the first-class presentation for which RM is known, the sale attracted bidders from over 23 countries, with numerous lots exceeding expectations. We could not have hoped for a better start to our 2011 European auction season,” Girardo adds.
Offered for the first time, the visually-striking selection of concepts from the official collection of Bertone S.p.A was one of sale’s many highlights, garnering significant attention and spirited bidding. Headlined by the wild 1967 Lamborghini Marzal, a predecessor to the Espada, for $2.1m. Additional notable sales included the 1974 Lamborghini Bravo, which achieved $839k, almost four times its pre-sale estimate, while the 1980 Lamborghini Athon also attracted strong interest, doubling its estimate to sell for $495k.
“It was wonderful to offer these famous Italian cars on their home soil. The auction results reflect the enormous pre-sale interest in the collection, with bidders recognizing both the significance of these cars and the unique opportunity that their sale presented,” Girardo adds.
The auction also strengthened RM’s position as a global leader in the presentation of important and historic Ferraris with the successful sale of six important examples from the world-famous Italian marque. A one-off Pinin Farina-designed 1955 Ferrari 375 MM Berlinetta, the last 375 MM built, spurred a lively bidding war in the room and on the phones, resulting in an impressive final sales price of $4.5 million. A stunning 1959 Ferrari 250 GT LWB California Spyder surpassed its high-estimate, bringing $3.6m to reinforce the California’s position as one of the world’s most desirable open-top Ferraris, while a 1957 Ferrari 500 TRC Spider, arguably one of the most beautiful Ferrari sports racing cars ever built, concluded the sale on a high note, realizing $3.9m.
Representing the ultimate in pre-war French design, the Pebble-Beach winning 1938 Talbot-Lago T150-C SS Teardrop Coupé was another featured lot attracting strong international interest, selling for a phenomenal $4.5m.
“Never has a car been more at home in its surroundings than the Talbot Lago T150-C SS was at our Villa d’Este sale,” adds Girardo. “It was a perfect fit for an event themed on showcasing the ultimate in elegance and sophistication in styling.”
Other notable auction sales included 1964 Alfa Romeo TZ Coupe, which, with significant period racing history, achieved a world-record breaking price of $895k; and, an extremely-original, well-documented 1957 BMW 507, considered by many as one of the most stylish roadsters of the 1950s, which also entered the history books with its record-setting $1m sales prices.
RM Auctions continues its European events calendar in England on 23 June with its inaugural sale at the Salon Privé luxury car show and Concours d’Elegance. Held at the stunning Syon Park estate in West London, the recently-launched summer sale will lift the hammer on a host of great British marques, including Aston Martin, Jaguar and Rolls-Royce among others.