HomeThe MarketRM Sotheby's upgrades one auction, but cancels another

RM Sotheby’s upgrades one auction, but cancels another


Historic Barker Hangar again will be the site of the now-RM Sotheby's auction | Auctions America photo
Historic Barker Hangar again will be the site of the now-RM Sotheby’s auction | Auctions America photo

RM Sotheby’s is adding a collector car auction to its calendar but eliminating another. The company announced Tuesday that it will take over presentation of the fifth annual Santa Monica, California, sale previously staged by its subsidiary Auctions America.

However, RM Sotheby’s will not stage the sale it has done for some 20 years in conjunction with the Concours d’Elegance of American in the Detroit suburbs, although it will continue as an event sponsor and will have a showcase of cars at the Inn at St. John’s.

“Auctions America has done a fantastic job in establishing a strong foundation in California over the past five years,” Alexander Weaver, RM Sotheby’s car specialist, was quoted in a news release. “Last year alone, the Santa Monica sale generated $14.2 million, attracting bidders from 16 countries.

Scrape custom among Santa Monica docket featured vehicles | RM Sotheby's photos
Scrape custom among Santa Monica docket featured vehicles | RM Sotheby’s photos

“The fact that almost 50 percent of bidders represented first-time clients reflects the tremendous appeal of this venue, and the quality of cars presented. Moving forward, we’re excited to embrace the Santa Monica sale as part of the RM calendar, and to work with the Auctions America team to further grow the sale utilizing RM’s strong reputation both in Southern California and internationally.

“Our aim is to bring an even more thrilling docket of cars to this year’s event, while simultaneously working to further elevate the client experience.”

With RM Sotheby’s in the lead position for the Santa Monica sale, not only does the docket at the historic Barker Hanger figure to improve — look for more exotic and expensive vehicles — but allows Auctions America to focus more on its “flagship” events — the Spring and Fall sales at the Auburn Auction Park in northeastern Indiana.

The Santa Monica sale is scheduled for June 24-25. The Auburn Spring sale is May 11-13 and the Fall sale takes place Labor Day weekend, August 31-September 3.

Meanwhile, RM Sotheby’s is ending — at least for now — its Michigan concours auction.

“After a fantastic two decades as the official auction house of the Concours d’Elegance of America at St. John’s, RM Sotheby’s has elected to move away from its traditional Motor City auction in 2017.” the company said.

Last year, the Michigan auction generated only $6.4 million in sales, with more than $1.5 million of it going to benefit a local college.

“The company will proudly continue on as a sponsor of the longstanding summer tradition and is exploring new, creative ways to participate in the event, which will be announced shortly.”

Those ways are expected to include a salon promoting significant vehicles on the Auburn Fall docket and perhaps some private-client vehicles that will be for sale on site.

Ferrari F40 headlines Santa Monica sale | RM Sotheby's photos
Ferrari F40 headlines Santa Monica sale

RM Sotheby’s also offered a preview of the Santa Monica docket, which will include a 1992 Ferrari F40 with less than 16,000 miles on its odometer and a 2007 Ferrari 599 GTB with an F1 transmission and less than 13,000 miles traveled. The F40 has a pre-auction estimated value of $900,000 to $1 million while the 599 figures to be worth $125,000 to $175,000.

“The F40 in particular is a fantastic highlight for this year’s Santa Monica sale, and a great follow up to our 2015 and 2016 Santa Monica sales, which were topped by a 2004 Ferrari Enzo and 1995 Ferrari F50 respectively,” said Weaver.

“Santa Monica has certainly proven itself an attractive venue for Ferrari supercars, and we look forward to continuing the momentum next month.”

The auction house also announced that Barry Weiss, a collector and popular television personality, will send a group of vehicles across the block, including the 1939 Lincoln-Zephyr custom known as “Scrape,” a 1936 Lincoln-Zephyr Twin-Nose and a 1941 Kozy Coach Company Caravan camping trailer that has been upgraded with modern electronics.

Scrape was designed by former Hot Rod magazine editor Terry Cook, has appeared at several concours-level events and carries a pre-sale estimated value of $300,000 to $400,000. The ’36 Twin-Nose is valued at $70,000 to $85,000 and the ’41 caravan, decorated with period memorabilia, at $100,000 to $120,000.

1941 camper has updated electric system
1941 camper has updated electric system

RM Sotheby’s also said several cars from the Santa Monica docket will be showcased May 13 at the Culver City Car Show, June 11 at the San Marino Motor Classic and June 18 at the Rodeo Drive Concours d’Elegance.

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.

Recent Posts