Although the classic car market is strong enough that five car owners could turn down bids in excess of $1 million — in one case more than $2 million — RM’s second annual Paris auction generated more than $22 million in sales Wednesday as Retromobile, Europe’s huge winter celebration of classic cars, got underway.
And while five owners declined to accept million-dollar bids, five others accepted them as 54 of 67 vehicles sold, led by a 1963 Ferrari 250 GT/L Lusso Berlinetta that brought $1,859,480 (prices reported include buyer’s fees and are converted from bidding done in euros).
“It’s fantastic to return to Paris,” Max Girado, auctioneer and managing director of RM Europe said in a news release. “We are delighted that the sale is now well-established on the European calendar. The auction room was absolutely packed and the atmosphere was terrific, so it’s no surprise that we are able to achieve such a strong result.
“It is always our objective to concentrate on quality rather than quantity and the average lot price of €333.000 is testament to that.”
That average price translates to $381,285.
RM’s inaugural sale at Retromoible in 2014 generated $23.7 million in sales, led by a 1955 Jaguar D-type that sold for nearly $5 million with two other cars selling for $2.6 million or more.
The sell-through rate last year was 78 percent but exceeded 80 percent this year.
The top-10 sales this year were:
- 1963 Ferrari 250 GT/L Lusso Berlinetta (Lot 135), $1,859,480
- 1964 Porsche 904 Carrera GTS (Lot 144), $1,635,060
- 1963 Mercedes-Benz 300 SL roadster (Lot 150), $1,410,640
- 1990 Ferrari F40 (Lot 146), $1,346,520
- 1965 Iso Grifo A3/C Stardale (Lot 157), $1,186,220
- 1964 Aston Martin DB5 (Lot 139), $961,800
- 1969 Ferrari 365 GTB/4 Daytona Berlinetta (Lot 152), $807,912
- 1939 Bentley 41/4-Litre “Honeymoon Express” (Lot 141), $769,400
- 1958 Ferrari 250 GT coupe (Lot 130), $664,100
- 1970 Maserati Ghibli 4.7 Spyder (Lot 129), $629,750
Bid to more than $1 million each but still falling short of the owners’ expectations were a 1939 Alfa Romeo 6C2500 Sport Berlinetta, a 1935 Delahaye 135 S, a 1969 Porsche 911 S, a 1977 Lamborghini Contact LP400 “Periscopio” and a 1973 Porsche 911 Carrera RS 2.7 Sports Lightweight.
Bids were placed during the auction by people from 34 countries.
In addition to 54 vehicles, the Paris sale included four lots of “nostalgia” that sold for another $154,059.75, topped by a 1997 Ferrari F1 racing engine that brought nearly $67,000.
The auction was RM’s second of the year, following its $63.7-million Arizona sale. RM’s next auction is March 14 at Amelia Island, Florida.