RM Sotheby's celebrated one of its most successful results to date at its flagship Monterey sale (18–19 August), generating nearly $133 million ($132,993,810) with an impressive 88 percent of all lots sold across the two-evening auction. The total was led by 32 individual million-dollar-plus results and numerous record-breaking prices, representing a 12 percent increase over the same sale in 2016.
The event was highlighted by the top sale on the Monterey Peninsula this year. The legendary 1956 Aston Martin DBR1, chassis no. 1 (DBR1/1) achieved $22,550,000 on Friday evening (Estimate: in excess of $20,000,000) following a competition between two bidders on the phone, setting a world record not only for an Aston Martin, but also for any British automobile at auction. The most correct example of what is arguably the most important Aston Martin ever produced, DBR1/1 carries a racing history that includes overall victory at the 1959 Nürburgring 1000 KM as well as the greatest names in motorsport, from Carroll Shelby to Jack Brabham, Roy Salvadori, and Sir Stirling Moss.
The DBR1 was part of the most significant group of Aston Martin competition cars to appear at auction. Other highlights included the 1959 Aston Martin DB4GT Prototype, which fetched $6,765,000 to set a new record for a non-Zagato bodied example after a contest between three bidders (Estimate: $6,000,000 – $8,000,000), as well as the highly competitive 2006 Aston Martin DBR9, which soared past estimate ($275,000 – $325,000) to achieve a final $616,000, also a new record for the model at auction.
The second evening of RM Sotheby's flagship auction saw nearly all lots sold, with several exceeding pre-sale expectations. The night was led by all things Ferrari, including the Ferrari Performance Collection, a single-owner group of 13 beautifully maintained iconic road-going examples offered entirely without reserve, which brought a total of more than $16.5 million. Spanning over 50 years of the marque's rich heritage, the collection and the night was led by a Classiche-certified and Platinum Award-winning 1961 Ferrari 250 GT SWB Berlinetta which sold for a final $8,305,000 after an extended bidding contest. Further highlights from the collection included a 1967 275 GTB/4, which sold for $3,250,000, while a 1991 F40 exceeded the estimate of $1.3 – 1.5 million to fetch $1,540,000.
On Sunday's show field, RM Auto Restoration also found reason to celebrate, once again bringing home awards for each of the cars the team presented at the Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance (20 August). The 1939 Bugatti Type 57C Roadster by Voll & Ruhrbeck from the Patterson Collection, the 1927 Isotta Fraschini Fleetwood Roadster "Rudi's Ride" owned by Judge Joseph and Margie Cassini, and the 1932 Packard Twin Six Custom Dietrich Victoria owned by Chip Connor each won Best in Class, with the latter also winning the Most Elegant Convertible trophy and named runner-up for Best of Show. The 1939 Packard Super Eight Darrin Victoria owned by Leon Flagg, as well as the 1931 Stearns-Knight Convertible Coupe owned by Brent Merrill, also achieved Third in Class awards.