HomeThe MarketRM Sotheby's posts record sales at Paris Retromobile auction

RM Sotheby’s posts record sales at Paris Retromobile auction


1934 Alfa Romeo Tipo B P3 tops sales at nearly $4.2 million | RM Sotheby’s photos by Rene Dargegen

The auction action taking place during Paris’ Retromobile collector car celebration got off to be great start Wednesday with RM Sotheby’s posting nearly $29.5 million in sales with a 77.9 percent sell-through rate. The final sales total of $29,451,595 was the most ever for the auction house’s Paris sale.

“The Paris sale has been important on a number of levels,” Peter Wallman, managing director of RM Sotheyb’s Europe, said in a news release. “More than anything, the results demonstrate that the European market remains incredibly strong, with the prices achieved providing a robust continuation of what we achieved in London last September and Milan in November.

The scene in the sales room

“Collectors are looking for quality, and rarity remains the key driver to some of the most significant values. Clearly, Porsche is still the star marque in the ascendance, although the Alfa Romeo P3 reminds us that the true greats of the pre-war era still command much attention from serious collectors where pure beauty, heritage and provenance are the corner stones of desirability.”

The P3 to which Wallman referred was a 1934 Alfa Romeo Tipo B P3 that led the auction by selling for $4,186,560 (including buyer’s fees).

Almost as noteworthy, however, was a $4,165,200 bid on a 1970 Porsche 917/10 racecar prototype that was turned down by the consignor of that car.

However, four other Porsches were among the top-10 sales at the auction and RM Sotheby’s noted that, “In many respects the night might be most noted as a further demonstration of the continued demand for the best examples of modern-era Porsches. A headline attraction of the sale was a group of 13 Porsches offered from a private Swiss Collection and presented entirely ‘without reserve.’

“The highlight (of that group) was a highly original, one-of-29 1988 Porsche 959 Sport, the pinnacle of Porsche performance and technology in the ’80s. With just three owners and 11,281 miles from new, the 959 Sport achieved a world-record auction price of €1,960,000 ($2,093,280).

Porsche 959 Sport sells for more than $2 million

“Another remarkable Porsche result from within the collection was for the rare 1994 Porsche 911 Turbo S 3.6, which achieved a very significant result of €901,600 ($962,908).”

RM Sotheby’s sold 23 Porsches in Paris. More Porsches from the Swiss collection will be on the docket for RM Sotheby’s sales later this year at Amelia Island, Monterey and London.
While Porches did very well, the star car of the sale was the Alfa P3. Campaigned by Scuderia Ferrari during the 1934 and 1935 seasons, it was driven by the likes of Tazio Nuvolari and Achille Varzi.

The second high-seller of the auction was a 1973 Ferrari 365 GTB/4 Daytona Spider that had been driven only 20,314 miles. It sold for $2,302,608. A 1989 Ferrari F40 was bid to $907,800 but did not sell as that figure was short of the consignor’s reserve price.

The auction house also pointed to its success in Paris with a pair of Aston Martins; a 2012 V12 Zagato “No. Zero,” constructed to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the DB4GT Zagato, exceeded its pre-sale estimate and sold for $801,427 while a 2003 DB7 Zagato brought $418,656.

Ferrari Daytona Spider brings more than $2.3 million

RM Sotheby’s reported that its Paris auction attracted bidders from 37 countries.

Top 10 sales, RM Sotheby’s Paris 2017:

  1. 1934 Alfa Romeo Tipo B P3, $4,186,560
  2. 1973 Ferrari 365 GTB/4 Daytona Spider, $2,302,608
  3. 1988 Porsche 959 Sport, $2,093,280
  4. 1965 Ferrari 275 GTB, $2,063,376
  5. 1995 Porsche 911 Turbo cabriolet, $1,435,392
  6. 1962 Ferrari 250 GT cabriolet Series II, $1,315,776
  7. 1994 Porsche 911 Turbo S 3.6, $962,908
  8. 2012 Aston Martin V12 Zagato “No. Zero,” $801,427
  9. 1969 Ferrari 365 GTB/4 Daytona Berlinetta, $753,580
  10. 1964 Porsche 901 cabriolet prototype, $693,772

(Prices include buyer’s fees)

RM Sotheby’s next collector car auction is scheduled for March 10-11 at Amelia Island, Florida.

The sales at Retromobile continue today with Bonhams and conclude Friday with Artcurial’s auction.

Larry Edsall
Larry Edsall
A former daily newspaper sports editor, Larry Edsall spent a dozen years as an editor at AutoWeek magazine before making the transition to writing for the web and becoming the author of more than 15 automotive books. In addition to being founding editor at ClassicCars.com, Larry has written for The New York Times and The Detroit News and was an adjunct honors professor at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University.

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