RM SOTHEBY'S IS THE WORLD'S LARGEST COLLECTOR CAR AUCTION HOUSE BY TOTAL SALES
WHO IS RM SOTHEBY'S
A paramount passion for cars, exotic, antique, or collectible, is what drives Rob Myers. The founder of RM Auto Restoration and RM Classic Cars, the global leader in the investment-quality collector car market, Myers has taken his professional restoration and auction businesses headquartered in Chatham-Kent, Ontario, Canada, and transformed them into a world-renowned group of companies.
Myers’ passion for classic cars stretches back to his childhood when he was surrounded by his father’s various antique automobiles. After years of working on his father’s cars, Myers started his own single-car garage restoration business in 1976, and by 1979, the company was officially incorporated.
Initially, the shop focused on repairs and engine and performance upgrades, eventually graduating to bodywork modifications and custom paint. By 1980, the company’s success allowed for the construction of a large, dedicated restoration and sales facility. Throughout the 1980s, Myers was also actively buying and selling collector cars and was soon joined by fellow collector car experts Dan Warrener and Mike Fairbairn, who became partners in 1988. With this team of knowledgeable specialists in place, brisk sales continued, and they were soon consigning dozens of vehicles to classic car auctions. They were doing such a large volume of business with other auction companies that they decided to open their own auction house. In 1991, RM Auctions was formed.
Over the past 40 years, RM has cemented its position as the market leader and successfully transformed the global automotive auction scene, helping elevate the perception of classic car auctions to premium events executed at the same level as high-end art auctions. The company’s vertically integrated range of services, from auctions and private sales to estate planning and financial services, coupled with an expert team of car specialists and an international footprint, provide an unsurpassed level of service to the global collector car market.
In February 2015, RM Auctions announced the formation of a strategic partnership with Sotheby’s, with the latter acquiring a 25 percent ownership interest in the company, which is now known as RM Sotheby’s. The partnership unites the two companies for the full calendar of future automobile auctions. Since its establishment, the partnership has proven very effective in creating a truly worldwide platform for automobiles by introducing new audiences to the exciting world of collector cars.
From its inception, RM’s auction division has experienced consistent and impressive growth, establishing an enviable roster of premier car auction events in a variety of prestigious settings around the globe. Such notable auctions span the United States and include Monterey, California; Hershey, Pennsylvania; Phoenix, Arizona; and Amelia Island, Florida, where RM partners with the world-famous Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance. In 2007, RM expanded into Europe, hosting record-breaking auctions in Maranello, Italy, and London, England. As part of the company’s continued European expansion, RM introduced a new sale in Monaco in May 2010, held during the same weekend as the Historic Grand Prix of Monaco, and in 2011, the company hosted its debut sale at the Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este on the shores of Lake Como, Italy. As a testament to the exclusivity of each event, the Monaco and Lake Como sales are held on an alternating basis every other year. In 2014, RM Sotheby’s further expanded its European arm with the establishment of a new sale in Paris, France, held during the world-famous Rétromobile week, followed by the addition of Essen, Germany, during the Techno Classica Essen fair in 2019. The company has also hosted a successful series of sales at Sotheby’s global headquarters in Manhattan (2013, 2015, 2017), which have incorporated creative pre-sale exhibitions featuring the cars in Sotheby’s 10th-floor galleries and enjoyed stunning results and reviews.
In 2019, RM Sotheby’s furthered the expansion of its global footprint with a ground-breaking auction at the Formula 1® Etihad Airways Abu Dhabi Grand Prix—the Middle East’s first-ever major international collector car auction—held in partnership with Formula 1 at the stunning Yas Marina Circuit.
Beyond sale results, 2019 was a year of solid growth for RM Sotheby’s. The auction house successfully entered new geographies for the first time, including Germany, Portugal, and Abu Dhabi. In late 2019, RM Sotheby’s launched into digital auctions, hosting Online Only collector car and memorabilia auctions on rmsothebys.com for the first time.
Continuing that momentum, in 2020 RM Sotheby’s further expanded its global presence in Online Only collector automobile auctions, having re-invented its business model to adapt to the quickly changing global environment because of the COVID-19 pandemic and shifting its auction business to primarily online, hosting a total of 21 auctions via its Online Only platform. RM’s own flagship Monterey sale was hosted on RM’s digital platform, dubbed the Online Only: SHIFT/Monterey auction, and further reinforced its position as the worlds leading auction house of fine collector cars having established the record for the highest price ever achieved for a car sold in a dedicated Online Only collector car auction.