A 1956 Ferrari 290 MM driven by Juan Manuel Fangio, Phil Hill and Stirling Moss sold for $22.005 million Saturday at RM Sotheby’s collector car auction held at the Petersen Automotive Museum in Los Angeles. RM Sotheby’s notes that the price is among the 10 highest ever paid for a collector car at a public auction.
The car, chassis No. 0628 and bodied by Scaglietti, had been restored by Ferrari Classiche to its 1957 12 Hours of Sebring racing configuration.
Only four 290 MM cars were built. Three survive. No. 0628 was the last of the four and was driven not only by Fangio, Hill and Moss, but also by Peter Collins, Wolfgang von Trips, Olivier Gendebien and Eugenio Castellotti.
Scuderia Ferrari raced the car in Europe, South America and in the United States for two seasons before selling it. It continued to be raced through the 1961 season. Afterward, it became part of several private collections.
Ferrari developed the 290 MM in the mid-1950s in an effort to reclaim its dominance in sports car racing against Mercedes-Benz and Maserati.
Overall, the Los Angeles auction posted $39.8 million in sales (including $505,000 in automobilia) with a 79 percent sell-through rate for the 68 vehicles on offer. Sales figures reported include the buyer’s fee.
Top-10 sales, RM Sotheby’s at the Petersen 2018
- 1956 Ferrari 290 MM, $22,005,000
- 1971 Lamborghini Miura P400 SV, $2,205,000
- 1989 Ferrari F40, $1,545,000
- 2015 Porsche 918 ‘Weissach’ Spyder, $1,530,000
- 2015 McLaren P1, $1,435,000
- 1955 Mercedes-Benz 300 SL ‘Gullwing,’ $1,270,000
- 1972 Ferrari 365 GTB/4 Daytona Berlinetta, $775,000
- 2005 Porsche Carrera GT, $775,000
- 2018 Aston MartinVanquish Zagato Villa d’Este, $637,500
- 1965 Lamborghini 350 GT, $550,000
(Prices include buyer’s fee.)
Two vehicles — a 1987 Porsche 959 Komfort and 1964 Shelby 289 Cobra— were bid to $870,000 and $840,000, respectively, only to have their reserve prices enforced by their consignors.
“The wild and eclectic tastes of Southern California car culture also drew enthusiastic bidding for some of the more unique lots in the sale,” RM Sotheby’s said.
For examples, the auction house pointed to a 1976 Kremer Porsche 935 Group 5 Turbo in Ice Green Metallic that sold for $173,600, the 1962 Ed Roth “Mysterion” re-creation by Jeff Jones that sold for $246,400 — double its pre-auction estimated value — and a 1970 Honda CT70 ‘Trail 70’ motorbike that had a pre-sale estimate of $2,000 to $3,000 but sold for $15,600.
“This weekend’s auction at the Petersen Automotive Museum represented the most successful collector car auction ever held in Los Angeles and was highlighted by spirited bidding throughout the entire auction for lots that were globally sourced for this most unique and impressive venue,” Alexander Weaver of RM Sotheby’s was quoted in the company’s news release.
“The results re-affirmed market strength in many blue-chip collector cars, along with a continued and growing appreciation for modern collectables.”
Added Terry Karges, executive director of the Petersen Automotive Museum, “Since our grand renovation in 2015, we’ve dreamed of partnering with this world-class auction house to bring automotive treasures from the nation’s top collections to the heart of Los Angeles car culture. We’re delighted to announce that this has been the most successful auction we’ve hosted in our 24-year history, and we look forward to continuing the tradition for many years to come.”
The Los Angeles sale wrapped up a year in which RM Sotheby’s posted the highest sale at public auction for any collector car, a 1962 Ferrari 250 GTO selling for $48.405 million at the company’s Monterey auction in August. Also at Monterey, the company sold at 1963 Aston Martin DP215 GT competition prototype for $21.455 million.
Thus, the sale of the 290 MM was the third transaction of the year for RM Sotheby’s in excess of $20 million.
RM Sotheby’s launches its 2019 auction schedule January 17-18 at the Biltmore resort for its 20th annual Phoenix sale.