Whilst all 633 cars and bikes sold out in Milan during 30 hours of ‘No Reserve’ auctioning under 5 individual RM Sotheby’s auctioneers attended by 5000 salegoers in person with some lots requiring over 20 active telephone lines and more than 1000 internet bidders during a £42.41m weekend, 81% of the 141 classics on offer in Mercedes-World at Brooklands were also sold by Historics for a pre post-sale £3.48m back in increasingly rocky Brexit Britain.
Despite the weight-sensitive Mezzanine at M-B World being full to Health and Safety limits, 51 different marques spanning 9 decades were represented on the entry list and 34 of the consigned cars were auctioned ‘Without Reserve’. Apart from the throng of Saturday shoppers, many of whom had come to kick the tyres of new Mercs in the largest showroom for three pointed stars on the island, there was a significant increase in on-line bidders, both domestic and international, since the June sale. While bidder interest from a Trump US were constant, the biggest international growth in bidder registration was from the Eurozone mainland.
Some of the editorial highlights at Brooklands, I would suggest, were a 1957 Tourette Supreme sold for £30,800, one of a school of micros cars that realised over £112,000 under the hammer. By contrast, a 1966 Ford Mustang 350 ETH, pre-sale estimated at £72,000-82,000, made £91,575 with premium. A mid-estimate £105,600 was paid for a 1993 Ferrari Testarossa and the Brooklands rate on the day for a 1965 Jaguar E Type S1 Roadster was £123,200.
Within what is the Temple of Mercedes, an ex-Qatar Royal 1971 280SE Coupe went for £88,000, top estimate money with premium, and 1964 230SL Pagoda-top sold for £50,600 with charges, nearly double the lower estimate. A similarly Stuttgart made in 1988 Porsche 911 Carrera Sport Targa, that had only done 302 miles since an Official Porsche Centre executed rebuild, unsurprisingly raised £105,600, £21,000 more than the guide.
Astons were popular with Christmas shoppers, one of whom merrily handed over £111,000 for a 1978 V8 Vantage Volante that had been forecast to fetch £67,000-78,000. A £34,000-40,000 2003 DB7 GTA cruised to a £55,000 result, a 2006 DB9 Volante overtook its £28,000-34,000 band to sell for £38,500 and a 2001 DB7 Volante, for which £10,000-15,000 had been sought, did £22,000 on the hammer, £24,200 with premium.
A 1968 Lotus Elan +2 for restoration had started life as Team Lotus driver Graham Hill’s company car and was taken on for £23,100. The 1990 Motor Show displayed Esprit Turbo SE doubled a £10,000 lower estimate figure to sell for £20,075. Genuine Mini Cooper S from the 1960s continue to perform well at auction with a 1966 Austin-badged 1275S going for £47,850, within the £38,000-50,000 forecast, and a 2000 vintage Mini Cooper Sport 500, one of the last 500 made with 437 mainly stored mileage, did £23,375, more than the £17,000-20,000 forecast.
In a cavernous exhibitions hall in Milan meanwhile, RM Sotheby’s dispersal sale on behalf of the Italian authorities of 423 rolling four-wheeled assets that had been uplifted from Venice, a logistical nightmare in itself, sold out. Although many of the No Reserve classics were very short on documentation and, thanks to Italian show visiting vultures or souvenir hunters, anything that could be pocketed had been!
The record busting results were led by a 1966 Ferrari 275GTB/6C Alloy sold for 3,416,000 euros (£2.9m with premium) from a 2004 Maserati MC2 that stormed into the world record breaking books with a 3,024,000 euros valuation (£2.57m). The Italian distress sale rate for a 1992 Ferrari F40 was 1,030,400 euros (£875,840), for a 1988 Porsche 959 Komfort 1,008,000 euros (£85 6,800) and for a 1969 Ferrari 365GTB/4 Daytona Berlinetta with headlights behind Plexi-glass front 873,600 euros (£742,560).
A once awesomely potent 1991 Lancia-Ferrari LC2 Group C with an historic race future powered to a 851,200 euros result (£723,520) and 761,600 euros (£647,360) were invested in a 2005 Carrera GT, few if any of which are actually driven anywhere and are banked in secure storage facilities. The final places on the leader board of the largest ever sale ever held on the Continent were taken by a 1969 Ferrari 365 GTC sold for 739,200 euros (£628,320), a 1994 Bugatti EB110 GT for 616,000 euros (£523,600) and a 1996 Porsche 992 GTC for 616,000 euros (£523,600).
Significantly, and showing how the market moves and never stays still, half of the top ten collectors cars at this monster Italian take-away were relatively ‘modern’ classics. It was, indeed, some weekend, when just under £46m was pumped into 537 collector vehicles on both sides of the part-English Channel.