RM Sotheby’s hits $21 million for 48 cars at Paris sale

A 1955 Porsche 550 Spyder sold for $3 million at the Paris auction | RM Sotheby's photos
A 1955 Porsche 550 Spyder sold for $3 million at the Paris auction | RM Sotheby’s photos

RM Sotheby’s had a very tight schedule following its successful collector car auction January 28-29 in Arizona, packing up and flying off to Paris for its Retromobile auction on Wednesday. They made it, and held a sale that reached nearly $21 million for 48 sold out of 61 cars, a 79 percent rate.

The star of the show was a spectacular Porsche, a 1955 Spyder with racing history that sold for a convincing $3 million (all sales results converted from euro and include auction fees), the highest sale that took place during the auction.

A 1962 Ferrari 400 Superamerica LWB became top seller after the auction ended
A 1962 Ferrari 400 Superamerica LWB became top seller after the auction ended

The rare Spyder, which the auction house said had been a constant focus of attention during the preview at the Place Vauban, was the 1955 Frankfurt Motor Show car and one of just 75 factory-built 550 Spyders sold to private customers. The roadster’s period U.S. racing history includes a third-place in class at the 1956 Sebring 12 Hours.

“We had some great lots on offer in Paris and the Porsche 550 Spyder, in particular, represented everything that we wish to bring to market,” Max Girardo, managing director of RM Sotheby’s Europe, said in a news release. “It’s a car with great history, rarity and huge desirability; it simply ticks all the boxes.”

The Porsche’s reign as top seller was brief, however, as another star of the sale, a 1962 Ferrari 400 Superamerica LWB, which failed to sell on the block, was sold immediately after the auction closed for $3.23 million.

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In all, seven of RM Sotheby’s cars sold for seven figures, including a 1957 BMW 507 roadster for $2.23 million and a trio of late-model Ferrari supercars: a 2004 Enzo for $1.73 million, a 1997 F50 at $1.4 million and a 1989 F40 for $1.15 million. The other million-dollar seller was a 1955 Mercedes-Benz 300 SL Gullwing coupe, which went for $1.3 million.

The top-10 sales for the RM Sotheby’s Paris auction were:

1. 1962 Ferrari 400 Superamerica LWB, $3.23 million
2. 1955 Porsche 550 Spyder, $3 million
3. 1957 BMW 507 Roadster Series II, $2.23 million
4. 2004 Ferrari Enzo, $1.73 million
5. 1997 Ferrari F50, $1.4 million
6. 1955 Mercedes-Benz 300 SL Gullwing, $1.3 million
7. 1989 Ferrari F40, $1.15 million
8. 1957 Mercedes-Benz 300 Sc coupe, $551,000
9. 1960 Ferrari 250 GT coupe,  $508,000
10. 1974 Ferrari 365 GT4 BB, $438,000

(All results are converted from euro at the current exchange rate and include auction fees.)

For a full list of auction results, see the auction website.

Bob Golfen is a longtime automotive writer and editor, focusing on new vehicles, collector cars, car culture and the automotive lifestyle. He is the former automotive writer and editor for The Arizona Republic and SPEED.com, the website for the SPEED motorsports channel. He has written free-lance articles for a number of publications, including Autoweek, The New York Times and Barrett-Jackson auction catalogs. A collector car enthusiast with a wide range of knowledge about the old cars that we all love and desire, Bob enjoys tinkering with archaic machinery. His current obsession is a 1962 Porsche 356 Super coupe.