As the dust settles on RM Sotheby’s 2022 Monaco Auction, we thought we should summarise what a special weekend this one was and pick out a few particular highlights. We also wish to express gratitude to everyone that attended in-person, bid online, or on the phone, all summing to make the atmosphere truly unique among auctions. Certainly, everyone left with confidence that the classic car market is more buoyant than ever.
Audibly in the backdrop of the auction, the sounds of the screaming engines reverberated from the iconic Monaco GP Historique, just a short walk away along the coast. With its central location in Monte Carlo, the Grimaldi Forum proved a fine place to hold RM Sotheby’s biennial auction. Blessed with an incredible display behind auctioneer Marc Grol and auction reader Peter Wallman, the energy was there from the moment the gavel reached the block and the first piece of memorabilia was sold, with the auction achieving an 82% sell-through rate.
It was clear from the moment they were announced in March that selections from The Nigel Mansell Collection were going to reignite the “Mansellmania” craze from the early 1990s. The curated collection of personal vehicles from the British champion was an obvious early highlight of this 84-lot sale. Both F1 cars received a raucous reception, only bettered by the reception for Mr. Nigel Mansell CBE himself, sporting his signature moustache on stage to say a few words about his special cars. The energy was high, and this certainly shone through with the 1991 Williams FW14 selling for a record-breaking amount for a Williams Grand Prix car, garnering over a million euros over its high estimate to achieve €4,055,000. Following an intense bidding war, it was evident the historical significance of this example had not been overlooked. As the so-called “Senna taxi car,” an F1 car with five wins to its name, and the cover star of RM Sotheby’s auction catalogue, there is no doubt this FW14 Williams was one of the most significant F1 cars to ever come to auction, and this was reflected in its remarkable sale price.
The 1989 Ferrari 640, the car in which Mansell won his first ever race for Scuderia Ferrari and in which he earned the nickname ‘il leone’, also achieved a staggering €3,605,000. A standing ovation following the sale of both of these examples showed the appreciation from the packed auction hall to have these ‘never-offered-before’ examples cross the block.
Later on in the auction, an incredibly special US-specification Lamborghini Miura SV hit the block. As one of the finest Miura sports cars in existence, this superbly restored 1971 SV example certainly did not go unnoticed by the crowd. Following some spirited bidding, it sold for €2,480,000. A Monaco-bred racer, the 1967 Tecno T/67-Ford Formula 3 which had raced around the Circuit de Monaco in-period smashed its high estimate, achieving a sale of €132,250.
As the auction continued, and the evening sun illuminated the principality outside, the selling of fine motorcars continued. This included an iconic 1973 Porsche Carrera RS 2.7 Lightweight, a 911 on which all others are benchmarked. This particular car was made all the more remarkable by its history file, which showed that it had only had one owner from new. This went on to achieve a strong price of €1,287,500. Another special example to cross the block was the 1964 Citroën 2CV 4x4 ‘Sahara’, which had been personally driven down to Monaco by two members of the RM Sotheby’s team on a special trip which had some of its personal highlights shown on the big screen. This certainly helped push the dual-engined off-roader to remarkable highs, reaching €132,250 on the block. A fitting price for a very rare variant of the iconic Citroën 2CV, being one of only 694 examples produced.
After a day of spirited bidding, the conclusion of our 2022 Monaco auction left many enthusiasts looking forward to the next edition. A sincere thanks is in order to everyone who partook in the sale, and we look forward to seeing you in 2024. Another fine selection of supercars, classics, and maybe even one or two motorsports icons will be on offer. For RM Sotheby’s, we look forward to our flagship sale in Monterey in August—hope to see you there!