4,188 Lots Sold Across 27 Auctions

Bidders from 76 Countries

Consignors from 42 Countries

60 Percent New Bidders

Nearly $4M Raised For Charitable Causes

Over 30 World Records Set in a Single Live Auction

BLENHEIM, Ontario (22 December 2020) – RM Sotheby’s, the world’s largest auction house in collector cars by total sales in the past decade, has concluded another year as a global market leader in collector car auctions and strengthened its market position in 2020 by expanding its global presence in Online Only collector car auctions.

In 2020, RM Sotheby’s sold 4,188 lots across 27 auctions, 21 of which were hosted on the company’s proprietary Online Only auction platform, which launched at the end of 2019. The auction house, despite the global COVID-19 pandemic, also hosted five live auctions in Arizona, Paris, Amelia Island, and Auburn and Elkhart, Indiana, as well as offered a trio of Alfa Romeo B.A.T. concept cars in Sotheby’s Contemporary Art Evening Sale in New York, which sold as a single-lot for $14,840,000 to become the most valuable lot of the sale, as well as the top lot sold by RM Sotheby’s in 2020.

Demonstrating the strength of the RM Sotheby’s international reach, more than 8,600 unique bidders participated in the company’s 2020 sales, hailing from 76 countries around the world. Notably, approximately 60 percent of bidders over the last year represented new RM Sotheby’s clientele as the auction house continued to expand its global reach.

In light of the global COVID-19 pandemic and the resulting cancellation of live events around the world, RM Sotheby’s re-invented its business model to adapt to the quickly changing environment and shifted its auction business to primarily online for 2020. In March, the company converted its live Palm Beach auction into an Online Only sale less than two weeks out from the live event, and achieved strong results with $13.7 million in total sales and nearly 900 registered bidders—23 percent more than the average number of registered bidders at live RM Sotheby’s South Florida auctions over the last four years. The success of RM Sotheby’s first Online Only catalogue sale paved the way for an additional ten online collector car auctions for the auction house in 2020. Throughout the year, the company’s website attracted over 20 million page views, nearly 60 percent of which were from new visitors.

In August, RM Sotheby’s hosted its annual flagship Monterey sale on its new digital auction platform, dubbed the Online Only: SHIFT/Monterey auction, and further reinforced its position as the world’s leading auction house of fine collector cars, having grossed $30.4 million in sales and establishing the record for the highest price ever achieved for a car sold in a dedicated Online Only collector car auction with the sale of the incredible 2001 Ferrari 550 GT1 Prodrive for $4,290,000—a record that is still held today.

RM Sotheby’s also continued to be the auction house of choice for significant private collections in 2020, offering several standalone motor car and memorabilia collection sales as well as those offered within larger sales. A star collection that drew much pre-sale interest was The Elkhart Collection hosted in Elkhart, Indiana in October with limited in-person bidder attendance. Comprising over 240 cars and a wide selection of memorabilia, the two-day auction brought exceptional results with $44.4 million in sales and spirited bidding activity from no less than 2,500 bidders from 53 countries. The private collection auction saw strong prices across all lots, with more than 30 new records achieved for motor cars. Large private collections were also sold as single-owner segments within RM Sotheby’s catalogue auctions, including The Petitjean Collection, which alone amassed €7.3 million during the company’s Online Only: The European Sale.

In 2020, the auction house also took part in several important causes, hosting three charitable auctions on its Online Only sale platform—#RaceAgainstCOVID, held in partnership with the Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA) with proceeds benefitting the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies’ (IFRC) global response to COVID-19; A Porsche with Purpose, hosted on behalf of Porsche Cars North America, Inc. to raise funds for United Way Worldwide to directly aid its work for COVID-19 relief in America; and A Ferrari to Benefit Save the Children, executed in partnership with Ferrari. A total of $3,962,718 was raised for charity as a result of the three auction events.

Reflecting on 2020, Kenneth Ahn, President, RM Sotheby’s, said: “As the global leader in the collector car auction industry, we were certainly challenged by the impact of the shutdowns due to COVID-19. Over the years, our company was highly optimized to execute world-class live auctions offering some of the most important collector cars around the world. With the shutdowns, travel restrictions, and concerns for safety of our clients and team members, we had to quickly pivot to a completely different operating model and to challenge ourselves to innovate. With the hard work of our dedicated team and the support of our clients, we realized success beyond our imaginations with our new digital auction platform, with over $100 million in total sales via RM Online Only. We are grateful for the continued, incredible support from our clients globally, and the unwavering commitment by our team members in this challenging year.” 

RM Sotheby’s Top Ten Auction Sales of 2020

1. Alfa Romeo B.A.T. 5, 7 & 9d


Sotheby’s Contemporary Art Evening Sale

2. 2001 Ferrari 550 GT1 Prodrive


Online Only: SHIFT/Monterey

3. 1952 Ferrari 225 S Berlinetta by Vignale


The Elkhart Collection

4. 2003 Ferrari Enzo


Amelia Island

5. 2003 Ferrari Enzo


Online Only: Driving into Summer

6. 2018 Pagani Huayra Roadster



7. 1985 Ferrari 288 GTO


Online Only: Driving into Summer

8. 1958 BMW 507 Series II



9. 1964 Porsche 904 GTS



10. 1953 Fiat 8V Supersonic by Ghia


The Elkhart Collection

RM Sotheby’s will open its 2021 calendar with the company’s 22nd annual livestreamed Arizona auction on 22 January, held at the new location of OTTO Car Club in Scottsdale. In accordance with City and State guidelines, the auction will offer limited in-person, strictly monitored attendance for a select amount of registered bidders only to safeguard the health of RM Sotheby’s clients, staff and event attendees. Clients are encouraged to register for bidding remotely, including online, via telephone or by placing absentees bids. Viewing of the auction cars will be by appointment only and is available for the week preceding the auction.

For information on all upcoming RM Sotheby’s events, please visit rmsothebys.com. Interested consignors and bidders are invited to call +1 519 352 4575 (Canada), +1 310 559 4575 (California), or +44 (0) 20 7851 7070 (UK/Europe) to speak with a Car Specialist.