Juan Fan­gio’s Fer­rari 290 MM is among the star lots at RM Sotheby’s fi­nal auc­tion of the year

Octane - - CONTENTS -

Tak­ing the pulse of the clas­sic car world

WE ARE FRE­QUENTLY grate­ful that we do not work at a daily news­pa­per – all ‘Hold the front page!’ and grim re­al­ity – but par­tic­u­larly so tonight, as we jug­gle our print dead­line and a steady stream of cov­er­age-wor­thy re­sults from the fi­nal RM Sotheby’s auc­tion of the year, in New York.

The list of con­sign­ments, in­clud­ing ev­ery­thing from Ja­nis Jo­plin’s pyschedelic Porsche 356SC Cabri­o­let to the ex-Fan­gio 1956 Fer­rari 290 MM chas­sis 0626, is as in­ter­est­ing as any we’ve seen this year, and it was no sur­prise to learn that the pre­view –

more ac­cu­rately de­scribed as a six­day ex­hi­bi­tion – at­tracted thou­sands of vis­i­tors to Sotheby’s Man­hat­tan HQ.

The 290 MM, al­ways likely to steal the show come auc­tion night, duly marched to the ex­pected $28 mil­lion ($28,050,000, to be ex­act), be­com­ing the most ex­pen­sive auc­tion car of 2016 and the third-most ex­pen­sive of all time, but is far from the only lot to have cre­ated a stir among the bid­ders.

The afore­men­tioned Ja­nis Jo­plin Porsche, val­ued at $400,000-600,000, pro­voked a spir­ited con­test that saw the price raised all the way to $1.76 mil­lion; while a 1962 As­ton Martin

DB4 GT Za­gato be­came the most valu­able Bri­tish car ever sold at auc­tion, com­mand­ing $14.3 mil­lion in­clud­ing buyer’s pre­mium.

As the end of pro­ceed­ings draws near there have been some sur­pris­ing non-sales, in­clud­ing the ex-Stir­ling Moss 1955 Mercedes-Benz 300SL Sportabteilung Gull­wing, which passed at $4,200,000, $800,000 shy of its low es­ti­mate, but the evening’s to­tal take, ac­cord­ing to our aba­cus, will none­the­less ex­ceed $73.5 mil­lion.

That’s quite some haul for a sale fea­tur­ing just 31 cars – and prob­a­bly worth hold­ing the front page for.


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