All 26 grand luxury cars from Rolls-Royce and Bentley were sold by RM Sotheby’s during the Passion for Elegance auction in Liechtenstein, with a total result of CHF11,134,125 (CHF is the symbol for Swiss Franc; the total in US dollars is $12,126,098, including auction fees).
The cars came from a single private collection, and RM Sotheby’s notes that 21 of them sold for more than their pre-auction high estimates. Considerably more in the case of the top-selling car, a 1954 Rolls-Royce Phantom IV Limousine “Princess Margaret” by H.J. Mulliner, which nearly quadrupled its expected top value.
The Phantom IV sold for CHF2,255,000 ($2,559,05), which eclipsed the pre-sale estimate of CHF400,00 to CHF600,00 ($435,640 to $ 653,460). The connection to British Royalty likely boosted bidding for the exquisite Rolls.
“Of particular interest to collectors is the fact that the example offered was built for HRH, Princess Margaret, completed and delivered to her in 1954, boasting a plethora of bespoke, luxury features, befitting her position as a senior member of the British Royal family,” RM Sotheby’s says in a news release. “It is a car Princess Margaret retained for 13 years and which covered 27,000 miles in her ownership, and in which she was frequently seen and photographed.”
Three other offerings sold for more than CHF1,000,000, with the second-highest seller, a one-off Brewster-bodied 1933 Rolls-Royce Phantom II Special Town Car, achieving CHF1,580,000 ($1,720,767).
Another seven-figure sale was for a 1958 Bentley S1 Continental Drophead Coupé, considered by many to be the finest of all post-war Bentleys, according to RM Sotheby’s, that sold for CHF1,220,000 ($1,328,693).
Also going over a million was a 1963 Rolls-Royce Silver Cloud III Drophead Coupé Adaptation by H.J. Mulliner, with strong celebrity provenance, having been purchased new for the legendary Italian actress Sophia Loren by her husband, movie producer Carlo Ponti. The car, one of only 25 left-hand-drive models produced, was featured with Loren in the classic film Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow. It sold for CHF1,045,625 ($1,138,783), nearly double its pre-auction estimated value.
The top-10 highest sellers at the RM Sotheby’s auction were:
1. 1954 Rolls-Royce Phantom IV Limousine ‘Princess Margaret’ at CHF2,255,000 ($2,559,05)
2. 1933 Rolls-Royce Phantom II Special Brougham Town Car at CHF1,580,000 ($1,720,767)
3. 1958 Bentley S1 Continental Drophead Coupé at CHF1,220,000 ($1,328,693)
4. 1963 Rolls-Royce Silver Cloud III Drophead Coupé Adaptation at CHF1,045,625 ($1,138,783)
5. 1967 Rolls-Royce Phantom V Touring Limousine at CHF567,500 ($618,060)
6. 1990 Rolls-Royce Phantom VI Special Limousine at ($556,799)
7. 1937 Rolls-Royce Phantom III Four-Door Cabriolet at CHF455,000 ($495,537)
8. 1965 Rolls-Royce Silver Cloud III Saloon Coupé at CHF398,750 ($434,276)
9. 1920 Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost Pall Mall Tourer at CHF342,500 ($373,014)
10. 1938 Rolls-Royce Wraith Sedanca de Ville at CHF342,500 ($373,014)
(All results include auction fees)
“This was a stunning collection of cars that represented one man’s passion for the Rolls-Royce and Bentley marques, and we are delighted all the cars sold so well,” said Tonnie Van der Velden, car specialist at RM Sotheby’s. “It is also a significant indication that the market for these luxurious British cars is extremely robust.”
RM Sotheby’s next live auction takes place August 13-14 in Monterey, California, when the company holds its signature sale during Monterey Car Week.
For more information, visit rmsothebys.com.