Mid-century sports cars dominate RM Sotheby’s Paris auction

’58 BMW 507, ’64 Porsche 904 top sellers at auction company’s 7th annual Retromobile sale

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This 1958 BMW 507 roadster was the top-seller at RM Sotheby's Paris auction | RM Sotheby's photos by Tom Gidden

The “Poster Car Collection” brought in €6.4 million ($7.02 million) Friday as RM Sotheby’s staged its seventh annual Retromobile auction in the shadow of the dome of Les Invalides at Place Vauban in Paris. Overall, 97 of the 121 cars on the docket sold for an 80 percent sell-through rate and a total of €16.5 million ($18.09 million).

“‘We enjoyed some strong results in Paris,” Augustin Sabatie-Garat, RM Sothebhy’s European auction manager, was quoted in the post-sale news release. “The sale results for the Poster Car collection were an obvious highlight, with all but one of the cars selling strongly. The results for that collection prove that there is still a very strong market for well-restored and original low-mileage examples of highly regarded marques and models at sensible pre-sale estimates. 

“We also enjoyed standout results across the market, demonstrating that great classics from the ’50s and modern era hypercars, all have a willing community of buyers in today’s market.”

The star lot of the Poster Car Collection, and the top-seller of the auction, was a restored 1958 BMW 507 Series II roadster that sold for €1,996,250 ($2.189 million)

1964 Porsche 904 GTS also tops the $2 million mark at RM Sotheby’s auction

“The high demand for collectable ’50s and ’60s German cars continued throughout the night,” RM Sotheby’s added, noting that a 1964 Porsche 904 GTS sold for €1,917,500 ($2,102,821), surpassing its pre-sale high estimate.

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RM Sotheby’s noted as well that bidders came from 41 countries and that 25 percent of those bidding were new clients for the auction company.

Top-10 sales, RM Sotheby’s Paris Retromobile 2020

  1. 1958 BMW Roadster Series II,  €1,996,250 ($2,189,182)
  2. 1964 Porsche 904 GTS, €1,917,500 ($2,102,821)
  3. 2012 Bugatti Veyron 16.4 Super Sport, €1,523,750 ($1.671,016)
  4. 1954 Mercedes-Benz 300 SL Gullwing, €1,073,750 ($1,177,525)
  5. 1957 Mercedes-Benz 300 SL Roadster, €764,375 ($838,250)
  6. 1965 Aston Martin DB5, €623,750 ($684,034)
  7. 1970 Ferrari 365 GTB/4 Daytona Berlinetta, €522,500 ($572,999)
  8. 1939 Delahaye 135 Roadster, €455,000 ($498,975)
  9. 1969 Mercedes-Benz 300 SEL 6.3 ‘Red Pig’ replica, €432,500 ($464,430)
  10. 1992 Jaguar XJ220, €398,750 ($437,288)

(Prices include buyer’s fee. Top-1o results include some post-block sales.)

RM Sotheby’s next auction is scheduled for March 6-7 at Amelia Island, Florida. 

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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 books. In addition to being Editorial Director at ClassicCars.com, Larry has written for The New York Times, writes a weekly automotive feature for The Detroit News and is an adjunct honors professor at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University.

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