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Auction or party?
A few hours and we’ll figure it out.

A great number of cars, of which many are accessible or with no reserves. Will the Saragga Sale by Rm Sotheby’s boost the market with an adrenaline shock? Preview.

The forthcoming  Sàragga sale, organized by RM Sotheby’s, is an exceptional one-off auction of a complete collection of classic cars, all offered by the same owner. Portuguese classic car enthusiast Ricardo Sàragga took about 30 years to assemble his impressive collection, and he did so out of a desire to celebrate the 1950s, 1960s and 1970s car heritage of his country, an important and yet often overlooked aspect of motoring history. “Most of my cars never left Portugal, while others are cars that raced here in period. All of them have, for me, a special meaning, being linked with personal memories”. All 126 cars comprising the collection will be offered without reserve, and all are listed with quite an aggressive estimate. It is clear that RM Sotheby’s is wanting to recreate the “Duemila Ruote” sale effect, where each lot was contended by several bidders and the prices skyrocketed. Dedicated sales like this one, when well organized and featuring interesting cars, are increasingly tending to attract large numbers of potential buyers, fascinated by the prospect of buying their own share of the particular aspect of automotive history represented by the event. This selection is so extensive and impressive that there will surely be something to appeal to everyone. The downside of this is that potential buyers need to have a clear idea of the maximum they are prepared to spend on each of the lots. Otherwise, as we saw at the Duemila Ruote sale, such is the adrenalin of the event they could easily end up with an unexpectedly big bill!

This one-day sale (September 21st, starting at noon, local time) will be held in the collection’s home town of Alcácer do Sal, near the region of Comporta  (about 90 minutes south of Lisbon).

The lots will be previewed on Friday September 20th, from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., and on Saturday 21st, from 9 a.m. up to the start of the sale. The buyer’s premium for this sale is quite high, with payments of up to EUR 200 K subject to 15% commission, plus 12.5% on anything paid above this threshold. The most valuable car of the sale is a 1931 Bentley 8-Litre now dressed in a 1950s Tourer body (chassis #YR5094) in place of the original Thrupp & Maberly Limousine one. One of the only 100 8-Litres built, it was originally sold in Singapore and is now estimated to be worth around EUR 700–800 K. The auction’s cheapest estimated value (EUR 5–10 K) has been assigned to three cars: a 1973 Mini 1000 (chassis #XA251-N-90946-S), a 1983 Sado 550 (chassis #31-117-83) — this is a Portuguese-built microcar —, and finally a 2007 Fiat Panda Cross 4X4 (chassis #ZFA16900001724076) that has done less than 50,000 kilometers from new. The oldest car in the sale is a 1912 Ford Model T Torpedo Runabout (chassis # 113979), offered with an estimated value of EUR 20–30 K, while the “baby” is a 2017 Aston Martin V8 Vantage AMR (chassis #SCFEKBDL7JGC21754), offered with two owners from new and less than 1200 km covered to date (estimate EUR 100–130 K).

The Sàragga sale promises to be a fascinating event that will see wide range of cars of different styles crossing the block, including many with an interesting history. As with Duemila Ruote sale, prospective buyers would be advised do their homework beforehand, as, most likely, some of these cars, despite the deliberately vague descriptions of the lots, may well be really valuable cars with an important past.

1956 Lancia Aurelia B24S Convertible by Pinin Farina (lot 125)

The 5th series of the B24S Convertible based on the Aurelia mechanics was a fairly limited production run, with only 150 cars manufactured in total. Originally sold in Bologna, this specimen (chassis #B24S-1187H) remained in Italy, under several different ownerships, until 2018, when it was bought by Mr. Sàragga. It is still equipped with Italian number plates and Italian documents and is offered with an estimate of EUR 220–280 K.

1964 Citroën 2CV 4X4 Sahara (lot 138)

The Citroën 2CV is, in many ways, a symbol of practicality. Designed to be able to cross a potato field without breaking the eggs transported in the back, its real virtue was its versatility. The 4X4 is quite a rare — only 693 units were built — and interesting version, being equipped with two engines, the second installed in the rear trunk compartment and powering the rear wheels to create a 4WD system. The car offered (chassis # 30001) is paired with the correct AW engines (numbers 005200016 and 005200035) and is believed to have been assembled at the Citroën factory in Portugal. It is now offered for sale with an estimate of EUR 80–100 K.

1951 DB Type HBR Cabriolet (lot 148)

Although Deutsch & Bonnet is not a widely known car maker, between the late 1930s and the early 1960s it manufactured some interesting sports cars, capable of performing very well in sports competitions, including the 24 Hours of Le Mans, an event where the firm won its class on three separate occasions. This HBR (chassis #766) was delivered new, in Portugal, to amateur driver José Emidio da Silva, and extensively used for racing. In 1952 it won its class in the Portuguese Hill Climb Championship and took part in the Rallye Internacional a Lisboa, while in 1954, it raced in the Vuelta a Portugal. It is still equipped with its original Portuguese number plate and registration documents, and has recently been restored after several decades in storage. It is now offered for sale with an estimate of EUR 70–90 K.

1937 Bentley 3.5-Litre Sports Saloon by Arnold of Manchester (lot 153)

The 3.5-Litre Bentleys are considered among the best cars built by W.O., as they are powerful and reliable, yet always light and easy to drive. This one (chassis #B119 BL) is one of the few survivors with the original closed body manufactured by Arnold of Manchester; only 13 Bentleys were given this stylish coachwork. It was delivered to its first owner, a certain A. Rigg, in August 1934. Since then, passing through several ownerships, it has been well preserved. Although the main parts are still the original ones, unfortunately the interior has recently been re-trimmed. This car is offered with an estimate of EUR 50–70 K.

1947 HRG Aerodynamic (lot 177)

HRG was founded by three engineers whose aim was to manufacture cars capable of retaining their innovative spirit for many, many years. The Aerodynamic, with its lowered chassis, alloy panels and 1.5-liter engine, was one of the brand’s most successful models, with 45 units built in total. Chassis #L/W98 was originally delivered to a Mr. Simon Knudsen Hansen, son of a Norwegian teacher, who imported the car to Lisbon and used it for racing. After competing in several races, documented by numerous period pictures, in 1951 it did its last hill climb, the Falperra International near Braga, where it finished 5th in its class, despite being 5 years old. It was then forgotten for almost three decades, before being rediscovered in 1989, without its engine. At this point, the car was comprehensively restored; a correct unit was sourced, restored and installed in place of the missing engine. It is now up for sale with an estimate of EUR 180–250 K.

1973 Porsche 911 Carrera RS 2.7 Touring (lot 197)

One of the most iconic Porsches ever built, the 911 Carrera RS 2.7 is one of the most coveted cars on the classic car market. Although recent years have seen its price going sky high, over the last 24-36 months or so, interest has cooled a little and the number of sales has dropped, with prospective purchasers increasingly deciding it is just too expensive. This is a wonderful example, offered without reserve and with a more than affordable estimate. It will certainly be interesting to see how it does. Chassis #9113601463 was delivered new in Angola, back then a Portuguese territory, and a country in love with sports cars. Its first owner was Portuguese, Antonio Bastos, and it was he who, in 1975, shipped the car to Portugal. This specimen is one of the only five RS 2.7s with Touring specification delivered in Signal Orange and it is still equipped with its original engine (6631429) and gearbox (7831431), as well as a long list of optionals, including the tinted sunroof glass and Blaupunkt stereo. After Bastos, the car passed through several different ownerships, but remained in Portugal, where its fifth owner entered it in the 1979 Rally du Portugal. In 1992, it was used for the celebration of the 20th Anniversary of the Estoril racetrack. Around 2012, the car was put through a restoration, and since then it has covered about 3000 kilometers. It has been assigned a pre-sale estimate of EUR 450–550 K.

Image copyright and courtesy of 
Tom Wood Courtesy RM-Sotheby’s : Lancia and HBR
Tom Gidden Courtesy Rm-Sotheby’s: Citroen, Bentley, HRG, Porsche

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