Monday, November 7, 2011 at 8:37PM
Our intrepid London-based contributor Davide de Giorgi filed the following report on his recent experience at the RM Auction:
RM Auctions in Battersea Park was the first Auction I managed to follow from the very beginning and I have to say has been a fantastic experience.
There were some truly amazing cars and the game of "trying to guess the price" kept me glued to the chair till the very last lot. The "feel" of the market seem to apply randomly and sure there were surprises. Most of the cars went for less of the estimate and quite a lot could not be sold. I wouldn't know how it could feel to offer £1,3000,000 for the 1955 Ferrari 750 Monza Spider and hear the reply "sorry, can't let it go for that price". Just another quarter of a million would have done to take home the only 750 Monza without the headrest finn, a car extremely familiar with the chequered flag.
Also unsold the 1966 Ferrari 275 GTB Alloy Berlinetta (£635,000), the stunning and unique 1972 Miura SV (£700,000) and one of my favourites of the day, the stunning 1965 Bizzarrini 5300 GT Strada.
Someone got away with a real deal on the 1958 Lister-Chevrolet "Knobbly". The estimate was reasonably between £460,000 and 590,000, for a car that has spent most of its life on the track and was offered completely restored but with a beautiful patina. Incredibly no one in the room moved a finger until an usual celebrity managed to take it home for £177,500. Sold.
The queen of patina, though, was the legendary Alfa Tipo 33/TT/3 that left Japan for the lower estimate, £525,000. I sure hope to see this monster at the next Le Mans Classic, this car is what motorsport dreams are made of.
Few cars passed the minimum estimate and you should have seen the expression on the face of the bidder when no one added anything to his £8,000 for a 1947 Chrysler Windsor Club Coupe'. The estimate was £25,000 to 32,000. Something like "what? really? where the hell am I going to put it now?"2011 proved the lucky year for the Voisin once again. After the glorification of the C-25 Aerodyne at Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance this summer, it's no surprises that RM's C25 Cimier coupe' went under the hammer for £340,000. The real surprise was the very pretty indeed 1927 Avions Voisin C11 Cabriolet. The estimate of £42,000 to £68,000 was completely wiped out by the final bid of a whopping £117,500. Staggering.
Unsurprisingly the queen of the night was the stunning 1958 Ferrari 250 GT LWB "Tour de France" Berlinetta. The room went silent and I was expecting a new world record when in fact the hammer fell on the 2 million mark. The lower estimate.
Lower than the estimate but still an achievement on its own was the delicate concept of the Ferrari Pinin. I spent good forty minutes around this car on viewing day because it has always been one of my favourite sedans of all time. It looks quite conventional at first sight but considering it was presented in 1980 it truly is one of the cars that inspired things to come. Being able to sit in it and enjoy the silence of that dashboard sitting at the wheel was truly an experience that will stay with me for a long time.
Was all this worth the £50 entry? Absolutely. In fact considering the fantastic 300 pages catalog, two days of fun and the party with food and drinks on tuesday night turn it into a pretty good deal.