HomeThe MarketRM Sotheby’s auction on Lake Como posts modest sell-through rate

RM Sotheby’s auction on Lake Como posts modest sell-through rate


Buyers and sellers of high-end collector cars seem to be going their separate ways. Consider that the sell-through rate at RM Sotheby’s collector car auction at Villa Erba on the shores of Italy’s Lake Como this past weekend had a sell-through rate of only 57.4 percent.

Of the 54 vehicles on offer, only 31 went home with new owners, and consignors turned down four bids in excess of $1 million for their cars.

Nonetheless, the auction posted overall sales of €19,798,085 ($22.16 million).

“To achieve nearly €20 million in gross sales is a great result, and it’s testament to the high-quality cars that were on offer at Villa Erba,” Augustin Sabatie-Garat, Villa Erba auction manager for RM Sotheby’s, was quoted in the company’s news release. 

“We have once again demonstrated that the best 1950s sports racing cars with strong provenance remain the most highly prized collector cars in this hobby-driven market,” he continued, “while cars such as the Aston Martin Volante and Fiat 8V Coupe demonstrate how the appeal of timeless design and low production numbers are key factors in driving demand among enthusiasts and collectors.”

RM Sotheby's, RM Sotheby’s auction on Lake Como posts modest sell-through rate, ClassicCars.com Journal
The setting for the sale

While four million-dollar bids were rejected by consignors, five vehicles did sell for $1.5 million to $4.16 million at the auction, held every other year in conjunction with the Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este. 

The last Villa Erba auction, held in 2017, generated more than $25 million in sales.

Leading the 2019 results were a 1954 Ferrari 500 Mondial Spider, one of only 13 produced, that sold for €3,717,500 ($4.161 million) and a 1957 Porsche 550A Spyder, one of 40 built, that brought €3,380,000 ($3.783 million). 

Also selling for $1 million or more were a 1965 Aston Martin short-chassis Volante, a 1955 Fiat 8V coupe and a 1931 Bugatti Type 50 roadster.

Bid to $1 million or more but not hammered sold were a 2015 McLaren P1, a 1963 Mercedes-Benz 300 SL roadster, a 2009 Mercedes-Benz SLR McLaren Stirling Moss and a 1955 Maserati A6G/2000 Berlinetta; the Maserati was bid to more than $3.1 million.

RM Sotheby's, RM Sotheby’s auction on Lake Como posts modest sell-through rate, ClassicCars.com Journal
1957 Porsche 550A Spyder sells for more than $3.7 million

RM Sotheby’s reported that bidders at the auction represented more than 30 countries, and 25 percent were first-time registrants at an RM Sotheby’s sale.

The 1955 Fiat 8V coupe was among several cars by Zagato that were sold. Others were a 1959 Fiat-Abarth 750 GT “Double Bubble,” a 1966 Lancia Flaminia Super Sport 3C 2.8, a 1987 Aston Martin V8 Vantage, a 1990 Ferrari 348 TB Zagato Elaborazione and a 2019 Aston Martin Vanquish Zagato shooting brake.

In addition to the cars, the auction docket included 15 items of “nostalgia,” all of which sold for a total of nearly $110,000.

RM Sotheby's, RM Sotheby’s auction on Lake Como posts modest sell-through rate, ClassicCars.com Journal
1955 Fiat 8V coupe by Zagato is on the block

Top 10 sales, RM Sotheby’s Villa Erba 2019

  1. 1954 Ferrari 500 Mondial Spyder, €3,717,500 ($4.161 million)

2. 1957 Porsche 550A Spyder,  €3,380,000 ($3.783 million)

3. 1965 Aston Martin Short-Chassis Volante, €1,805,000 ($2.020 million)

4. 1955 Fiat 8V Coupé, €1,771,250 ($1.982 million)

5. 1931 Bugatti Type 50 roadster, €1,411,250 ($1.579 million)

6. 2016 Ferrari F12tdf, €792,500 ($887,085)

7. 1961 Maserati 3500 GT Spyder, €663,125 ($742,270)

8. 1966 Ferrari 330 GTC, €556,250 ($662,640)

9. 2019 Aston Martin Vanquish Zagato Shooting Brake, €511,250 ($572,230)

10. 1973 Porsche 911 Carrera RS 2.7 Touring, €477,500 ($534,500)

(Prices include buyer’s fee.)

RM Sotheby’s next sale is scheduled for May 29-June 1 at the Auburn Auction Park in Indiana.

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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