RM Sotheby’s presents the official Amelia Island Concours sale 2018
The official Amelia Island Concours sale, the last of the auctions taking place in the coming days in Florida, is the one organised by RM Sotheby’s. It will get under way at 10.30 a.m., USA Eastern Standard Time, on Saturday March 10th at the Ritz Carlton, Amelia Island. Viewing for this sale will be possible from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. on both Thursday 8th and Friday 9th March. The buyer’s premium will be 12% on the first USD 250,000 and 10% on any amount paid over this threshold.
The catalog includes 102 cars, 56 of which are being offered with no reserve price. The lots cover a wide period: the oldest car in the catalog is a 1909 Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost Roi de Belges, nicknamed “The Silver Fairy” (chassis # 970). This car features a very rare, short wheelbase Ghost chassis with original engine and transmission and a rebuilt body that looks exactly like the original Barker one. It is being offered with an estimate of USD 1–1.25 million.
The youngest car up for sale is a 2017 Ferrari F12 “70th Anniversary” (chassis # ZFF74UFA5H0226588) in one-off Magnum P.I. livery, expected to fetch in the region of USD 550–650 K. The event will feature 10 cars built since the start of the new millennium, and 10 with estimates above the million dollar mark, just one of which, a 1966 Ferrari 275 GTB (chassis # 08603), is expected to fetch more than USD 2 million, having been assigned a pre-sale estimate of USD 2.2–2.6 million. The car with the lowest estimated value (USD 12–18 K), being offered without reserve, is a 1941 Chrysler Windsor Sedan (chassis # 7931407). Largely original and sporting numerous accessories, including a fluid-drive transmission, it has had just two owners and covered 11,000 miles from new.
1960 Ferrari 250 GT Coupe Pinin Farina
The Ferrari 250 GT Coupe by Pinin Farina is the ultimate classic Ferrari and also a wonderful cruiser, capable of providing a great driving experience. At its best, it is also a gran turismo par excellence. The 250 GT being offered on this occasion (chassis # 1745GT, see header visual above), the 291st built, was completed on March 16th, 1960 and supplied to its first owner, Milan-based company S.Q.V.I.B. S.p.A., a month afterwards. It was subsequently sold to an American living in Rome, who later on in the 1960s exported it to the USA, where it was purchased by SCCA racer Steve Wooley. In 1969, it changed hands again and its new owner, Laid Jackson of Philadelphia (PA), was to keep it for the rest of his life, using it and maintaining it appropriately. On his death in 2015, the car was sold to the consignor, a long-term friend, who sent it to Motion Products to undergo a complete restoration. As a result of this work, just completed, the car boasts a very original look, central to which is the unusual Blu Lancia on Connolly Grigio color scheme, and correct, original condition. This 250 GT Coupe, which has never been shown before, is offered with an estimate of USD 600–750 K.
1954 Arnolt-Bristol Bolide Works Roadster
The Bolide is one of the most controversial designs penned by Bertone, or more specifically by Franco Scaglione on behalf of Bertone. There can be no doubting its pedigree as a pure racer, but it is also a car that can be road driven. Of the 142 built, 85 are known to still exist today, and the one being offered (chassis # 404/X/3046) is one of the only four known to have been used by the factory as works cars; it is one of the two specimens given front disc brakes and it also has a remote shifter. After being delivered to Stanley Arnolt on June 20th, 1954, it was prepared for the following racing season during which, driven by Rene Dreyfus, it finished 4th in its class at the 12 Hours of Sebring.
Never registered for road use by the factory, it was sold to privateer Richard Milburn in 1963 and used to race in the Canadian Automobile Sports Club Championship, which it won in 1965. The car was then sold to racing car collector Thomas Mittler, who was the one at the wheel when, in 1985, during the Sebring vintage race, the original block got cracked. This was replaced with an original un-stamped block, kindly provided by Arnolt’s son, which is still in the car today, while the original block, now repaired, will be sold with the car. The current owner bought the car in the early 2000s and used it in the 2010 Mille Miglia. It is now offered for sale with an estimate of USD 400–450 K.
1961 Maserati 3500 GT Coupe Speciale by Frua
The 3500 was Maserati’s first series production model. The car being offered at the Amelia Island sale (chassis # 1496) is one of the only four Maserati 3500s to be dressed by Frua. It was delivered, in May 1961, to Maserati dealer Martinelli & Sonvico of Lugano (Switzerland), and a month later it was sold and registered in Berne (number plate: BE999997). By the mid-1970s the car, having been exported to the USA, was in the Chicago area, missing its rear window and original engine. After a further owner, from South Dakota, it was rescued by Italian car parts dealer and founder of the Concorso Italiano, Frank Mandarano, who kept it for several years.
Two American owners later, the car entered the collection of Texan, John Bookout, one of the most important and renowned Maserati collectors in the world. At this point, with the help of Maserati historian Adolfo Orsi, the history of the car was researched. Bookout embarked on a restoration project, but in 2007 sold the car, before completing this work, to restorer Keith Duly. The engine, which was not the original one, was found to be worn out, and so a new, correct-for-type 3500 engine was installed. The car was finished, making every effort to use, as far as possible, original components.
After being shown for the first time at Amelia Island in 2011, the car was bought by its current owner and has been shown on other occasions since. Although some imperfections in the restoration work mean that this car, in some respects, falls short of the formal standards it would need to meet in order to make a splash at concours events, it nevertheless remains a rare, fascinating and beautiful car with a known history. It has been assigned a pre-sale estimated value of USD 550–700 K.
1991 Lamborghini LM 002
Today “Super SUVs” are certainly not unusual, as the new Lamborghini Urus testifies. Back in the 1990s, however, the concept of an everyday sports car with a 4WD system was still revolutionary. It is therefore easy to imagine the kind of reaction Lamborghini got on announcing and then showing its LM002, a tubular framed off-road vehicle, capable, thanks to its Countach V12 engine, of doing more than 200 km/hour. The best description of the LM002, in reference to its aerodynamics, was the following: “it doesn’t slice through the air, it slaps it with pride”. The LM002 is perhaps not the best-looking car from the outside, but it is still impressive and is certainly wonderful to drive and cruise around in. This 1991 LM (chassis # ZA9LU4SA3LLA12214) is one of the only 328 LM002s built. It has covered just 1269 kilometers from new, and has had only two owners in its lifetime. It has been with its present owner since 2013. It is now offered in as-new condition, wearing four new Pirelli Scorpion tires (this is hardly a detail, given that each of these cost USD 1,600). It is offered, without reserve, with an estimate of USD 200–250 K.
1967 Aston-Martin DB6 Vantage
The DB6, one of the best models ever built in Newport Pagnell, even more special when it is in the Vantage version, is one of the most desirable classic cars, as it is both beautiful looking and fun to drive. This particular one (chassis # DB6/2625/LN) also comes with a wonderful history, having been owned by the same family for most of its life (from 1967 to 2014).
It was originally delivered in France, on March 29th 1966, as a LHD car in Vantage specification with automatic transmission. After doing 811 kilometers, it was returned to Aston-Martin to be given a new chassis plate, a standard unit in place of the Vantage engine, and a mph speedometer in place of the km/h unit; the lighting also needed to be swapped from French to USA specifications. The car was thus returned to as-new condition. Once it had done 500 miles in this new configuration and undergone the relative service, it was sold, through an auto broker from Southern California, to William Duke (of Encino, CA). He received, from the factory, a new 12-month full warranty.
The DB6 stayed with the Dukes for the following 47 years, during which it was used sparingly at weekends and lived a generally well pampered life. In 2014 it was sold to a new owner — it is difficult to decide whether he should be defined the second or third one —, who had a Vantage engine and manual five-speed transmission installed and restored the car only where necessary, conserving the original flawless paint and giving the car a comprehensive mechanical overhaul. It is now offered, without reserve, with an estimated value of USD 475–550 K.
1963 Shelby 289 Cobra
The “Cobra”, a true American icon, is one of the most amazing cars ever manufactured — a real racing weapon on open roads. The one being offered at the forthcoming RM Sotheby’s sale (chassis # CSX 2149) is the 149th built. It was completed in Summer 1963, finished in Off-White with red interior, and shipped to the Ford district sales office of Iowa for promotional use. A Dr Brian B. Molloy of Indianapolis (MI) bought it in 1969 through a newspaper ad and, shortly afterwards, arranged for a new windshield to be fitted. He also had the car repainted in bronze.
After enjoying it for several years, Dr Molloy parked the car in a barn at the back of his farm, where it then remained, completely forgotten, until 1993. That was the year a delivery man discovered the car, and shortly afterwards managed to buy it from Dr Molloy’s wife. He then recovered the car, but not before taking some pictures of it in situ! Amazingly, the barn where the car had been left parked for around 30 years burned down just a month after the car was recovered. The new owner soon sold it, doubling his money in the process, after which the car, still in its “barn” condition, was shown for the first time, attracting considerable attention. It was soon purchased by a Shelby collector before quickly changing hands again, this time being bought by Cobra specialist, Tom Cotter, who featured it on the front cover of his book Cobra in the Barn.
It then underwent restoration work, during which every effort was made to salvage as many as possible of the original components; as a result, nearly all the components remained the original ones, and the car was also given back its original color scheme. Still complete with all the original toolkit and books, and with only 21,000 miles covered from new, the car was sold in 2005 to the current consignor. It is offered for sale with an estimated value of USD 1–1.2 million.
For further information on the auction, please visit RM Sotheby’s website of the Amelia Island sale 2018.
All photos courtesy of RM Sotheby’s.