Top 7 RM Auctions Lots at Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este 2011


by Lucas Elke

As most people in a relationship know, itʼs tough to find a vacation that piques both peopleʼs interests. A food and wine tour in Napa doesn’t bode well for a man whose fridge consists of Budweisers and hot sauce. Similarly, watching 3 different professional sports over a weekend in Boston isnʼt exciting for a woman who thinks LeBron is a new French restaurant (sorry guys, I know the truth hurts). Luckily, a Canadian firm has created the perfect vacation for petrolheads and their less-inclined better halves. RM Auctions, the Blenheim, Ontario based car auction house, is having their debut sale on the idyllic waters of Lake Como, Italy this Saturday, May 21. The auction is held in conjunction with the Concorso dʼEleganza Villa dʼEste, one of Europeʼs most prestigious classic car events. So while your wife enjoys the unmatched views of the Alps cascading into the lake, or if she manages to sip a few Bellinis with a vacationing George Clooney, you can peruse the lawn and drool over RMʼs 32 hand-picked stunners. If thatʼs not enough, the Concorso will be displaying numerous other award-winning collector digs. The auction also represents RMʼs continuing growth and presence in the car auction market, a great success for a once small Canadian company.

Iʼll talk about that more later in the article, but first, the 7 auction highlights that you absolutely must know about.

1. Being a world-class event held in Italy, one would expect a few world-class Ferraris to make an appearance. RM has 7 lined up with 3 notables garnering most of the headlines. First, a 1953 Ferrari 250 MM Berlinetta. Being one of only 18 ever built, this beauty was crafted by the legendary Pininfarina and remains intact with its original engine. Along with an extensive race history, this 250MM won the Best Ferrari award at Pebble Beach and is expected to reach as much as 3 million Euros.

2. Next is one of the rarest four-cylinder Ferraris ever made: a 1957 500 TRC Spider by Scaglietti. The car is instantly recognizable as a race-bred Ferrari and has the extensive history to match. Want a car with more “cool” than James Deanʼs Spyder? Plunk down over 3 million Euros and youʼll have one in this classic.

3. RM also managed to get their Canadian mitts on the star of the 1955 Turin Motor Show, a 1955 375MM Berlinetta by Pininfarina. For just over 4 million Euros, you could own a 340hp V-12 one-off Pininfarina masterpiece finished in white over blue with a flawless beige interior.

4.Sticking with the Italian theme, RM has acquired 6 design prototypes from the design house Bertone. Thereʼs a few Lancias, including the first ever prototype of the Stratos, and some very interesting Lamborghinis. The stand-out Ferraris a little too expensive? These unique cars will average well under a million euros.

5. The 17th car across the block will be most interesting for North American collectors. It is a 1965 Ford GT40 Works Prototype Roadster. The name of this car leaves nothing to interpretation. It is one of 5 prototype roadsters by Ford of their most iconic racers. This piece of Ford history will roll out for just under 3 million euros.

6.A couple other highlights are a mustard yellow 1937 Bugatti Type 57SC Atalante Coupe, a close relative of the most expensive car in the world, the Type 57SC Atlantic.

7.Thereʼs also the catalog covering, racing silver 1938 Talbot-Lago T150-C SS Teardrop Coupe. Its curves are as sexy as the French women whom it shares its nationality with. Expect both of this and the Atalante cars to reach as much as 4 million Euros a piece.

It takes an unprecedented level of professionalism and customer care to be able to acquire such an astonishing line up of cars and RM has just that. Started in 1991 by Rob Myers, RM has experienced a meteoric rise to success. After solidifying their presence in the North American scene through great auctions in Monterey, Amelia Island and Arizona, they’re set to conquer Europe. Just a few years after their European debut, they held the record-setting Leggenda e Passione auctions at Ferrariʼs headquarters in Modena. In addition to setting the highest market values of collector Ferraris in history, they also sold the most expensive car at auction, a 1957 250 Testa Rossa for $12,402,500. Their 2007 their Leggenda e Passione sale set the mark for the highest single-day collector car auction in history, grossing over $45 million. A few years later in 2010, their debut Monaco sale matched that same figure. Fifteen years before RM was selling cars, they were restoring them. Not surprisingly, their restoration division has seen the same success as their auction side. Most restorers would be proud to win a single “Best in Show” at any major Councours, but RM has won multiple times.

Beyond their set of “Best In Show” awards at Pebble Beach, they also won an unprecedented “Best in Show” and “Triple Crown” in 2006 at the Amelia Island, Meadow Brook and Pebble Beach councours dʼElegance. Not bad for a Canadian company who started restoring cars out of a single garage in Ontario.