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