RM Sotheby's achieved its highest total for the company's Paris sale to date on Wednesday, 6 February, generating more than €32.4 million at its sixth annual sale during Rétromobile. A packed auction room, enthusiastic bidding, and strong prices were seen across the evening, beginning with a selection of motorsport memorabilia that well exceeded expectations. The group was highlighted by an Ayrton Senna McLaren Rheos Helmet, which surpassed its pre-sale estimate at a final €162.000. RM Sotheby's Paris sale welcomed bidders from no fewer than 45 countries and noted a 25 percent increase in total bidders over 2018.
The 1987 Ferrari F40 LM was the undoubted star lot of the sale and represented a very rare opportunity to acquire one of Maranello's legendary sports racing cars of the modern era. Pre-sale interest in the car was very strong, and intense bidding in the room and over the phones saw the car achieve €4.842.500 to set a new world record for the model.
Demonstrating the continued high demand for top-tier supercars, the 1994 Bugatti EB110 Super Sport, one of just 30 examples built and no doubt one of the lowest mileage examples in existence at a mere 916 km from new, sold for €2.030.000 (Estimate: €1.300.000–€1.800.000). The EB110 opened a sustained bidding contest between three bidders on the phone and one in the room, eventually nearly doubling the previous record for the SS model held by RM Sotheby's (€1.152.500). Additional modern performance highlights include the 2017 Ferrari F12tdf, which saw a bidding contest resulting in an above-estimate final price of €1.197.500 (Estimate: €825.000–€950.000). A 2015 Porsche 918 Spyder, beautifully outfitted from the factory with Liquid Metal Silver finish, Magnesium wheels, and the Weissach package rear spoiler sold for a final €1.101.875 (Estimate: €950.000–€1.100.000), while the 2018 Bugatti Chiron, showing less than 1,800 km on the odometer, as well as the Classiche-certified 1996 Ferrari F50, were sold immediately following the auction for €2.275.000 and €1.700.000, respectively.
Historic sports and racing cars from the 1950s and '60s also starred at the sale, with a 1956 Porsche 550 RS Spyder, Porsche's first dedicated competition car, selling for a final €3.042.500 to become the second highest sale of the night. A 1966 Ferrari 275 GTB/6C, the first of just eight long-nose, six-carburetor, alloy body, torque-tube examples and freshly restored in its rare original color scheme, sold for €2.860.000 immediately following the sale, rounding out the auction's top three.
Augustin Sabatié-Garat, Auction Manager, RM Sotheby's Europe, said: "We have enjoyed a highly successful night in Paris, achieving the highest sale total since the first auction in 2014. This is a great indication that certain sectors of the market are looking strong for 2019, and it was particularly interesting to see how well cars from the Youngtimer Collection sold alongside the established blue-chip collector cars. This was the perfect venue for the presentation of our star car, the F40 LM, with such fantastic French history, and our increased bidder numbers and growing participation from around the world also indicate sustained and new interest in the collector car hobby."
RM Sotheby's Paris sale also saw the first offering of cars from the highly anticipated Youngtimer Collection, a single-owner group of more than 140 modern classics from the 1980s, 1990s, and 2000s. Prices were strong across the 25 cars presented at the sale, with numerous new benchmarks achieved for models indicative of changing collector tastes. Kicking off the group, a 1989 Mercedes-Benz 560 SEC AMG 6.0 'Wide-Body' incited a long bidding contest at Place Vauban, eventually selling for a final €297.500, doubling its pre-sale low estimate and setting a new world record for the model at auction (Estimate: €150.000–€200.000).
The top sale of the Youngtimer group was a 2006 Ferrari Superamerica at €590.000, delivered new to the Kuwaiti royal family and presented in highly desirable six-speed manual transmission specification with the HGTC package (Estimate: €575.000–€650.000). Additional stand-out lots from within the Collection include a group of low-mileage models that well exceeded expectations, from a 17,000-km 1992 Porsche 928 GTS in eye-catching specification, bringing a final €138.000 (Estimate: €70.000–€85.000), to a 1994 BMW Alpina B12 5.7 at €207.000 (Estimate: €175.000–€225.000), a 1985 Audi Quattro at a final €77.625 (Estimate: €40.000–€50.000), and a 1994 Mercedes-Benz E 500 Limited, which sold for €86.250 (Estimate: €40.000–€50.000).