RM Sotheby’s switches Monterey auction to an Online Only sale

With the live August auction canceled because of pandemic concerns, high-end collector car offerings go to internet bidding

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RM Sotheby's
A James Bond Aston Martin DB5 was a top seller at the Monterey 2019 auction | Andy Reid photos

With the cancellation or postponement of Monterey Car Week events due to the COVID-19 pandemic, RM Sotheby’s has shifted its flagship Monterey, California, collector car auction to an Online Only sale to conclude on the original dates of August 13-15.

Bidding for 150 choice collector cars opens August 6 on RM Sotheby’s proprietary Online Only auction platform, with lots closing from August 13 through 15.  Called “Online Only: SHIFT/Monterey,” this will be the largest collector car auction held via an online-only platform, according to an auction news release. 

“The online Monterey sale will build not only on RM Sotheby’s historic Monterey results, but also on the success of the company’s Online Only auctions over the last several months, including its recent shift of the Palm Beach auction to the virtual platform,” the release says.

rm sotheby's
A 1957 Aston Martin DB 2/4 Mk 3 before the 2019 bidding

Ahead of the sale, prospective bidders and seller can take advantage of numerous special features on the Online Only platform, the release says, including “numerous, secure global locations to physically showcase consignments for limited preview.”

“Our team has continually broken new ground in the collector car auction industry over our more than 40 years in business, and bringing our most significant sale of the year – Monterey – to our Online Only platform marks a new age for our team and for the industry,”  Gord Duff, global head of auctions, RM Sotheby’s, says in the release.

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“While we will certainly miss seeing our clients and friends at Monterey Car Week, we’re proud to be able to offer buyers and sellers an alternative solution to the challenges faced by our industry this year.

“Our Monterey auction has witnessed countless record-breaking sales of the world’s most important cars in the last three decades. We plan to continue this momentum with our Online Only Monterey sale, presenting some of the most significant and valuable cars ever offered in an online auction.”

Early car highlights and details for Online Only: SHIFT/Monterey, including bidder information, will be announced in the coming weeks, RM Sotheby’s said. Collector car consignments are invited through 13 July. 

For more on the Online Only sale, visit the auction website

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Bob Golfen is a longtime automotive writer and editor, focusing on new vehicles, collector cars, car culture and the automotive lifestyle. He is the former automotive writer and editor for The Arizona Republic and SPEED.com, the website for the SPEED motorsports channel. He has written free-lance articles for a number of publications, including Autoweek, The New York Times and Barrett-Jackson auction catalogs. A collector car enthusiast with a wide range of knowledge about the old cars that we all love and desire, Bob enjoys tinkering with archaic machinery. His current obsession is a 1962 Porsche 356 Super coupe.

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