RM Sotheby’s Monaco Sale 2018 headlined by Ferrari "bluechip"
This year’s RM Sotheby’s Monaco sale is being held during the same weekend as the Grand Prix Historique de Monaco. The venue for the auction is the Grimaldi Forum, 10 Avenue Princesse Grace, Monte Carlo, and it will get under way at 2 p.m. on Saturday May 12th. Viewing for this sale will be possible throughout Friday, May 11th (from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.) and will continue on the day of the sale itself (from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.). The buyer’s premium will be 15% + TVA (French VAT) on transactions of up to EUR 200,000 and 12.5% + TVA on any amount paid in excess of this threshold. There are 86 cars in the catalog, plus one boat and 13 automobilia lots. Twenty-four of the 86 cars, and the boat, will be offered without reserve.
RM Sotheby’s Monaco Sale 2018 – the Highs and Lows
The oldest car in the sale is a 1933 Alfa Romeo 6C 1900 Gran Turismo Spider with Touring-style coachwork (chassis #121315124). The car boasts an original chassis and mechanics, plus a supercharger, which are teamed with a body built in the 1980s but with a period-correct look. At the other end of the age spectrum, the sale will include two cars from 2018. The RUF Porsche CTR3 Clubsport (chassis #W098M0388JPR06022) is the car that was displayed at the Geneva Motor Show; it is one of the last of the approximately 30 built, and it is in as-new condition, while the Lamborghini Huracan RWD Coupe (chassis #ZHWEC2ZF1HLA06894) is a brand new special car, which was given by Lamborghini, as a gift, to His Holiness Pope Francis (who signed the front hood). The car is now formally offered for sale by the Pope, and all the proceeds will go to charity.
The RM Sotheby’s Monaco auction undoubtedly has quite a “modern” slant, given that it features only four pre-war cars and as many as 20 built in the 2000s. The two cars with the lowest estimated value (EUR 20–30 K), both being offered without reserve, are a 1959 Fiat 500 N (chassis #110052639), fully restored in 2015, and a 1967 Austin Mini Moke (chassis #A-AB1/1037698-A), a first series car that has undergone a total restoration. The car assigned the highest pre-sale estimate (EUR 7–9 million) is a 1957 Ferrari 250 GT Berlinetta Competizione “Tour de France”. Overall, two cars are expected to sell for more than EUR 2 million, and three to break the EUR 1 million barrier.
1957 Ferrari 250 GT Berlinetta Competizione “Tour de France”
This 250 Berlinetta Competizione TdF (chassis #0879 GT, photo featured in the header of this posting) was built in very late 1957, and indeed the engine, equipped with the racing camshaft and high-compression pistons, was finished on January 2nd, 1958. The fifteenth of the 17 built to 1957 specifications, it features three louvers and covered headlights. It was originally sold in Germany to racer Wolfgang Seidle, a good Ferrari customer and a safe and reliable pair of hands. The car, which was campaigned intensively, often finishing its races well positioned, was never involved in an accident. Two highlights of its career are its 2nd place overall at the 1958 Grand Prix of Spa-Francorchamps, and its 4th place overall at the 1958 12 Hours of Reims. At the end of 1959, the car quit racing, but remained with Seidle until 1964, when it was sold to its second owner, another German, as indeed were the next two after that. In 1966 was sold to an American based in Germany and, in 1973 entered the collection of Swedish enthusiast Christer Mellin, who start on its restoration, buying many parts directly in Maranello. It took him about 20 years to finish the work, done to a very high standard, and in 1997 the car was sold to its current owner. It is difficult to imagine a better history and life for such a car, and this one, in stunning condition, is still a completely matching numbers example. It is offered at RM Sotheby’s Monaco auction with an estimated value of EUR 7–9 million.
1999 Lamborghini Diablo GT
The Diablo GT was launched at the 1999 Geneva Motor Show as a road going model of the Diablo GT2 racing car, and it took the supercar market by storm. The GT featured extensive use of carbon fiber and had numerous “racing track” tested features, plus a lower and wider front air dam, rear extractors, a bespoke rear wing and widened front sections. The capacity of the V-12 engine was increased from 5.7 to 6.0 liters, and it could produce 55 HP and 630 Nm of torque. The car offered, chassis (#ZA9DE21A0XLA12333), one of the only 80 built, was sold new in 1999 through official Lamborghini dealer Kremer in Germany, and has remained with the very same careful owner ever since. Very seldom used, it has a mere 276 kilometers on the clock. As a result, it is probably the “newest” used GT in the world. Totally original, including its color scheme of black on gray Alcantara interiors, it is offered with an estimate of EUR 775–875 K.
1935 Fiat 508 CS “Balilla” Berlinetta Aerodinamica
The Fiat 508, commonly known as the “Balilla”, was the company’s compact car of the 1930s. It was quite often used as the basis for the creation of racing specials. Given this potential market, and looking to enhance its image through racing, Fiat itself developed some special versions of its utilitarian car, aimed at racers. The Berlinetta Aerodinamica is one of these. Its amazingly beautiful body was shaped and built in house, by the special body department, to a design by Mario Revelli di Beaumont. The mechanics comprised a revised cylinder head and new carburetor that boosted the engine’s output to a good 36 HP, and a hydraulic braking system. Only 11 specimens were built in total, including chassis #508S 076019, the car now offered for sale. Built in 1935 and originally delivered in January 1936, in Venice, it was subsequently sold to Alberto Comirato who entered it in the 1936 Mille Miglia. The Comirato-Dumas team (Comirato’s co-driver was indeed his wife, Lia Dumas) did extremely well, finishing 2nd in their class and 14th overall. The Balilla survived the war, and went on to change hands a number of times over the following decades, always remaining in Italy. Well known to the experts, this car is still complete and it comes with a perfect and uninterrupted history. Sold to its current owner in 2014, it was completely restored in 2015. The following year it entered the 2016 modern recreation of the historical Mille Miglia and was subsequently shown at the Mille Miglia Museum in Brescia. It is offered for sale with an estimate of EUR 395–495 K.
1978 Ferrari 308 GTS
The Ferrari 308s are considered among the most beautiful Ferraris built in series, and among them, the original carbureted version, either in the Berlinetta or Spider (with the Targa top) version, is the most sought after. The car offered (chassis #21371) is by far the most legendary of the 308 GTS series. It was given by Ferrari to “flying Canadian” Gilles Villeneuve, the legendary Formula 1 racer loved by a whole generation of car enthusiasts and, still today, 36 years after his fatal crash during the practice for the Belgian Grand Prix in Zolder, considered a driver who symbolised “pure speed racing”. The Villeneuve-308 GTS pairing became renowned for the average speeds Gilles would record when travelling from his Monte Carlo home to the factory in Maranello. During an interview, the racing team’s technical director Mauro Forghieri once told the story of how amazed he had been on one occasion when, after calling Gilles at home to ask him to come and test some new development, he turned up at the track less than two and a half hours later, instead of the anticipated four or four and a half hours. A quick calculation showed he had travelled the distance at an average speed of about 180 km/h (112 mph)! Forghieri also recalled how he was once a passenger in the 308 during one of these journeys and from then on, decided never again to travel in the same car as Gilles! The car stayed with Ferrari after Gilles’ death, and 1984, still wearing its Modena plates, it was sold to a Mr Michele Superbo of Modena, who passed it on to his wife in 1994. The car remained with the Superbo family until 2010, when it was sold to the current vendor. It still has only 37,000 kilometers on the clock, and is totally original but for the 512 BB clutch installed at Ferrari during Gilles’ ownership. This 308 GTS is now offered for sale, without reserve, with an estimated value of EUR 300–400 K.
1955 Lancia Aurelia B24S Spider America
The B24 Spider America is one of the most amazing cars ever built, and, by far the most renowned post-war Lancia model. Built to fulfill the dreams of the world’s wealthiest people, this car is the closest possible thing to a runabout on four wheels. Very few Spider Americas were built, and of these only 181 were, like this one, left hand drive models (the S in its name stands for Sinistra, which is Italian for left). The car offered (chassis #B24S-1149), which has a narrow V-6 2.5-liter engine, was completed October 14th, 1955 in gray over black. Little is known of its early history; it is known to have been in the Gnutti collection for years before being sold in 2016. Today, completely restored, with dark blue paint over beige leather, it is thought to be worth EUR 0.8–1 million.
1973 BMW 3.0 CSL “Batmobile”
It is difficult to imagine a more iconic post-war BMW than the “Batmobile”, a car whose shape evokes, like nothing else can, a particular racing period and the lifestyle of the 1970s. One of the only 110 3.0 CSL “Batmobiles” built to first series specification (they were to number 187 in total), the car offered (chassis #2275501 with matching numbers) was completed, in Chamonix Mountain White, on July 27th 1973, and shipped to the BMW dealer in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria. One of the only three “Batmobiles” delivered in Spain, it remained unregistered for two years, until June 1975 when it was registered in Las Palmas. It remained there for a further ten years, before being exported to Germany where it stayed until 2007, when a journalist for the Spanish magazine Coches Clasicos, who had written about the car, decided to buy it and bring it back to Spain. It was purchased in Spain by its current owner in 2013. This preserved car boasting a powerful and well-maintained 3-liter engine and a clock reading of around 40,000 km, is offered for sale with an estimate of EUR 290–390 K.
For more information, please visit the website of the RM Sotheby’s Monaco Sale 2018.
All photos courtesy of RM Sotheby’s.