RM Sotheby’s, Palazzo Serbelloni, Milan, June 15, 2021

Let’s hope RM Sotheby’s keeps Milan and Palazzo Serbelloni on its schedule once Covid restrictions are eased. It’s located in the heart of Milan, a 15 minute, 1.1km walk from Teatro alla Scala and the Duomo di Milano.

Appropriate to the spectacular exhibit and auction space, there were only nineteen lots. Fourteen of them sold bringing a total of $14.1 million (a US$ total somewhat exaggerated by the prevailing $1.2120/€1 exchange rate) but four of the lots brought bids over $1 million and all four sold, a total of $7,987,080. Only one lot of the nineteen brought a bid of under $100,000.

Six- and seven-figure cars have been a tough sell at auctions recently but RM’s Milan auction turned that observation on its head, achieving a healthy sell-through and bringing prices that were in several cases generous.

Fourteen of the nineteen cars offered were Italian: seven Ferraris, four Alfa Romeos and one each Lancia, Lamborghini and Cisitalia although “home court advantage” may not have been as strong as it might since all five no-sale lots were Italian marques.

Here are the numbers:

Cars Sold/ Offered Sale % Sold < Low Est Sold > High Est Average Sale Median Sale Total $ Exchange Rate
14/19 73.7% 57.1% 7.1% $1,007,259 $660,540 $14,101,620 $1.2120

Observations are based upon the catalog descriptions and online photos. Photos are courtesy RM Sotheby’s and have photographer credits where they were available.


Photo by Paolo Carlini

Lot # 101 1959 Alfa Romeo Giulietta Spider, Body by Pinin Farina; S/N AR149505681; Engine # AR131544693; White/Black leatherette; Black cloth top; Estimate $109,080 – $145,440; Older restoration 3+ condition; With Reserve; Not sold at Hammer bid of $84,840. – 1,290/80hp, 2-barrel Solex carburetor, 5-speed, Blaupunkt AM-FM radio, silver wheels, hubcaps, Firestone tires. – Entered by Sicilians Mario Tropia and Giuseppe Parla in the 1961 Targa Florio where it was a dnf. Good paint, chrome and interior. Clean, orderly engine compartment. A usable older restoration. – An attractive Alfa with an intriguing if insignificant early story and good condition however the reported high bid, particularly converted to US$, is realistic and should have been given serious consideration.

 

Photo by Paolo Carlini

Lot # 102 1950 Cisitalia 202 SC Cabriolet, Body by Stablimenti Farina; S/N 118SC; Engine # 102238; Blue/Grey leather; Black cloth top; Estimate $303,000 – $424,200; Older restoration 3+ condition; No Reserve; Hammered Sold at $321,180 plus commission of 14.39%; Final Price $367,388. – RHD. 1,090/60hp, dual Solex carburetors, Nardi intake manifold, 4-speed, brown leather rim steering wheel, chrome spoke Borrani wire wheels, K&N air filters. – Stablimenti Farina badged but possibly by Vignale. Originally delivered in Uruguay. Mediocre repaint and sound upholstery and interior trim. Aged chrome. Orderly engine compartment and chassis. A sound and attractive open Cisitalia that needs nothing more than a caring new owner. – Offered at RM’s February 2021 Online Only auction where it was bid to $386,976 (€320,000) but didn’t sell. This result is a hammer bid of €265,000, €303,125 with commission, and represents an excellent value.

Photo by Paolo Carlini

Lot # 103 1994 Ferrari 348 GT Michelotto Competizione; S/N ZFFUA35B000098226; Engine # 35506; Red, “Scuderia Salmoni”/Red cloth; Estimate $315,120 – $436,320; Competition car, original as-raced 3 condition; Reserve; Hammered Sold at $254,520 plus commission of 14.88%; Final Price $292,395. – 3,405/360hp, competition prepared engine, 6-speed, white 18-inch Speedline magnesium wheels, PZero tires, OMP fire system, power windows, two seats. – Represented as the original numbers-matching engine, one of 11 built by Michelotto. Delivered to Peter Andersen (whose business was fish export/import, thus the “Scuderia Salmoni” livery) and competed in various track and Ferrari events from 1994-2003. Apparently unused since. Race prepared by Kroymans and showing expected chips and scuffs with 9,613km showing on its odometer. Red duct taped front end. An honest track day car. – This much money will buy enough 348 tbs to fill a barn, even a 488 GTB, and is ample for a car with club racing history, even with 360hp. There is no record of recent service, safety checks or race prep, all of which will be needed before its track potential is experienced and adds to the all-in cost of acquisition.

Photo by Paolo Carlini

Lot # 104 1973 Ferrari 246 GTS Dino Spider, Body by Pininfarina-Scaglietti; S/N 05584; Engine # 10651; Red, Black roof panel/Black vinyl; Estimate $460,560 – $509,040; Older restoration 3+ condition; With Reserve; Not sold at Hammer bid of $412,080. – 2,419/195hp, 5-speed, Blaupunkt cassette stereo, Cromodora alloy wheels, Michelin tires, tools, jack, ANSA exhaust, very European locking bar over the handles for the hood, trunk and engine cover. – Color-change restored in the mid-80’s to the present “resale red” and sold at the 1989 Orion “Solo Ferrari” auction in Monaco. Flat panels, even fits, excellent paint aside from stone chips on the nose. The engine compartment is showing a little age around the edges, old wiring and some paint loss but no leaks or dribbles. Excellent, clear gauges with crisp legends. The interior is good aside from pulled seams in the center of the driver’s seat. A competent older restoration that would look better in its original Argento. – The reported high bid here would be a reasonable amount… in dollars. In €it is, despite the estimate range, nothing if not generous and should have been sufficient to see this E-Series Dino Spider on its way to a new home.

Photo by Paolo Carlini

Lot # 105 1994 Alfa Romeo 155 TS BTCC Competition; S/N ZAR16700000090080; Red/Beige Alcantara; Estimate $363,600 – $484,800; Competition car, original as-raced 3+ condition; With Reserve; Not sold at Hammer bid of $290,880. – 1,970/285hp four, sequential shift 6-speed, front wheel drive, centerlock Speedline wheels, Michelin Pilot SX tires, wing, splitter, etc. Full race built and prepared by Alfa Corse, Sparco fire system, roll cage, one seat, sequential gearbox. – Part of the Alfa Corse 1994 British Touring Car Championship winning team driven by Gabriele Tarquini. Used as a development car for the ’95 season, then returned to 1994 specs and given to Tarquini. Stone chipped exterior but the interior, engine compartment and (presumably) the chassis are pristine and race ready. Offered by Gabriele Tarquini. – And if a sense of how exciting the 1994 BTCC season was escapes brief written description there’s this video from BBC2 on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nB-ctVvi3bY, narrated by Murray Walker. Is this enough for a cherished contributor to an important championship season, in pretty much as-raced condition? Gabriele Tarquini didn’t think so, but he might have thought twice about this bid.

Lot # 106 1988 Lamborghini LM002 Utility; S/N ZA9L00000JLA12103; Dark Blue/Tan leather; Estimate $272,700 – $333,300; Cosmetic restoration 2- condition; Reserve; Hammered Sold at $418,140 plus commission of 13.95%; Final Price $476,468. – 5,167/444hp 6×2 Weber carbureted V-12, 5-speed, white wheels, Pirelli Scorpion 345/60 VR-17 tires, air conditioning, AM-FM, power windows. – The accessory tray between the front seats is floored with highly varnished exotic wood, the shift lever boot has a shoe lace tie, the paint is flawless (but not the original Beige Chiaro color) and the interior is as soft, supple and inviting as the coat of Westminster Kennel Club dog. The engine compartment isn’t as good, showing age in various ways. All of which matters barely at all when faced with the sheer excess of the LM002’s menacing color and imposing presence. – RM sold a LM002 America at Sotheby’s in New York in 2017 for a then-astounding $467,000, €396,200 at the time and this result of €393,125 is a bit more astounding when expressed in weaker US$. Why? Perhaps because of the sextet of Webers atop the engine where the LM002 America had fuel injection (and six more rated horsepower). In any event, this is a curve-setting price far above the $275,000 that RM got for LLA12287 and KLA12141 in their 2020 March and August Online auctions.

Photo by Carlo Anastasio

Lot # 107 2021 Mercedes-AMG GT Black Series Coupe; S/N WMX1903811A041370; Magma Beam, Black carbon fiber roof/Black leather, suede-ish inserts, Orange stripe; Estimate $484,800 – $606,000; Unrestored original 2 condition; With Reserve; Hammered Sold at $436,320 plus commission of 13.89%; Final Price $496,920. – 3,982/720hp twin turbocharged V-8, 7-speed automanual, carbon fiber cabin sills, fire extinguisher, tinted glass, heated seats, memory package. – 30 miles and like new. Awash in technical tweaks and active aerodynamic and handling aids. – With the limited options, this is probably about what this GT Black Series cost new, as it should be. Now the seller can recoup the purchase price and get back on the Mercedes-AMG list for the next brilliantly colored, fantastic performance supercar.

Photo by Camilla Albertini

Lot # 108 1960 Aston Martin DB4 SII Coupe; S/N DB4339L; Engine # 370204; Silver Birch/Black leather; Estimate $545,400 – $666,600; Visually maintained, largely original 3 condition; With Reserve; Hammered Sold at $484,800 plus commission of 13.75%; Final Price $551,460. – 3,670/240hp, 4-speed, chrome wire wheels, Michelin Pilote X tires, woodrim steering wheel. – Represented as the numbers-matching engine and original lefthand drive. Polished SU dashpots but the rest of the engine compartment is aged, dull and rusty. The original front seat upholstery is badly cracked and scuffed. Good repaint. Thin wheel nut chrome but good wheels. An honest old Aston in presentable and usable condition from two decades of single family ownership. – Repainted and consistently maintained but never fully, nor even extensively, restored, this is an honest and attractive DB4 with the desirable upgrades that came with the Series II. It is an ideal Aston for tours and events as long as the original upholstery is carefully maintained or better yet fitted with a set of form-fit seat covers and it brought a sound price for its preservation, performance, style and innate quality.

Photo by Camilla Albertini

Lot # 109 1973 Ferrari 365 GTB/4 Daytona Berlinetta, Body by Pininfarina-Scaglietti; S/N 16853; Engine # B2692; Fly Yellow/Black leather; Estimate $666,600 – $787,800; Older restoration 2 condition; With Reserve; Not sold at Hammer bid of $593,880. – 4,390/352hp, 5-speed, Motorola ignition modules, Cromodora centerlock alloy wheels, Michelin XWX tires, painted nose panel, popup lights, Veglia air conditioning, power windows, ANSA exhaust. – U.S. delivery. Ferrari Classiche Red Book certified. Color change (from Marrone Metallizzato over Beige leather) restored in Italy by Bacchelli & Villa in Italy in the late 90’s. Based upon its current appearance the restoration could be three years old, not a quarter-century. Excellent paint, bright chrome, barely stretched upholstery, like new pedal pads. Some of the underhood aluminum is dull but everything is clean and tidy. – This is an excellent Daytona but this also is a realistic bid for its history, color change and condition. Expecting much if any more than this bid is highly optimistic.

Photo by Remi Dargegen

Lot # 110 1966 Ferrari 275 GTB Berlinetta, Body by Pininfarina-Scaglietti; S/N 08641; Engine # 08641; Azzuro/Black leather; Estimate $2,424,000 – $3,030,000; Cosmetic restoration 3 condition; With Reserve; Hammered Sold at $2,424,000 plus commission of 12.75%; Final Price $2,733,060. – 3,286/240hp, 5-speed, Campagnolo centerlock alloy wheels, Michelin XWX tires, Ansa exhaust, Carello halogen headlights, Ferrari Classiche Red Book certified. – First owned by movie director Roger Vadim Plemiannikov during his marriage to Jane Fonda. Sound but flawed repaint in the original color. Weak exterior and interior chrome trim. Sound upholstery. Orderly engine compartment but aged, dirty and never restored. An indifferent quality long nose, torque tube 275 GTB. – The celebrity history paid off in a big way for this superficially restored Ferrari, a car that would struggle to bring $2 million on its own but attracted a major premium for its association with Vadim and (pre-“Hanoi Jane”) Fonda.

Photo by Paolo Carlini

Lot # 111 1951 Alfa Romeo 6C 2500 SS Villa d’Este Coupe, Body by Touring; S/N 915913; Engine # 928316; Maroon/Light Grey cloth; Estimate $696,900 – $818,100; Older restoration 2+ condition; With Reserve; Hammered Sold at $684,780 plus commission of 13.38%; Final Price $776,438. – 2,443/105hp, three Weber 36D02 carburetors, column shift 4-speed, chrome spoke Borrani wire wheels, Michelin tires, Clayton heater. – Meticulously and comprehensively restored to better than new condition with excellent paint, chrome, aluminum brightwork, upholstery and engine compartment. The restoration is about ten years old but despite being used in driving events like the 2017 Mille Miglia could have been done a year ago. – The 6C 2500 SS Villa d’Este is a wonderful combination of a great engine, chassis and one of Touring’s best body designs. In this case it’s crowned by a high quality restoration and careful preservation and brought a fully deserved price.

Photo by Paolo Carlini

Lot # 112 1963 Ferrari 250 GTE SIII 2 + 2, Body by Pininfarina; S/N 4541; Engine # 4541; Grigio Fumo/Beige leather; Estimate $484,800 – $545,400; Recent restoration 2+ condition; With Reserve; Hammered Sold at $496,920 plus commission of 13.72%; Final Price $565,095. – 2,953/240hp, overdrive 4-speed, chrome spoke Borrani wire wheels, Michelin XVS tires, ANSA exhaust, Marchal headlights and fog lights, Autovox radio, Ferrari Classiche Red Book certified. – Excellent cosmetics, essentially unused upholstery, bright chrome and meticulously presented engine compartment. Freshly restored and, other than some thin chrome plating on the side window frame, impossible to fault. The odometer shows 265 km since restoration but the car shows no significant use at all and is better than new without going overboard. – There was a time when 250 GTEs were driven into the ground, cursed by deferred (expensive) maintenance to a future as the base for a 250 Testa Rossa replica. This is a record price, but it bought a meticulously restored example that deserves it. With prices like this it might make sense to repurpose a clapped-out TR replica to re-create the 250 GTE it started life as.

Photos by Tim Scott

Lot # 113 1931 Bugatti Type 46 Coupe Superprofilee; S/N 46491; Engine # 345; Dark Blue, Blue sweep panel/Beige leather; Estimate $606,000 – $848,400; Older restoration 3+ condition; With Reserve; Hammered Sold at $581,760 plus commission of 13.54%; Final Price $660,540. – RHD. 5,359/140hp single overhead cam eight, 3-speed, alloy wheels, Dunlop tires, 4-spoke woodrim steering wheel, Scintilla headlights. – Bodied in the Nineties on a complete Type 46 chassis from Molsheim bought from Ettore Bugatti’s son, Roland in the 1950’s along with a factory-crated Type 46 engine. Preserved by collectors for years and finally completed on the unrestored chassis with this body. Good older paint and fresh upholstery. Good chrome. The chassis is aged, used and has some surface corrosion. A beautiful Bugatti for tours and events recreating one of Jean Bugatti’s and Gangloff’s most extravagant coachwork designs. – Offered by Bonhams at Scottsdale in 2019 where it was reported bid to $620,000 (€545,700 at the time, this hammer bid is €480,000) but didn’t sell. The odometer has added 40km since then and the car has received some needed cosmetic attention. While it is tempting to call it a “rebody” that is inaccurate since it never had an earlier body and the caliber of the coachwork, trim and upholstery is above reproach. A car that will always attract favorable attention, for all the right reasons, and a reasonably priced one in this transaction.

Photo by Paolo Carlini

Lot # 114 1957 Mercedes-Benz 300SL Roadster; S/N 1980427500178; Engine # 1989807500209; Silver, Blue tinted Plexiglass hardtop/Blue leather; Black cloth top; Estimate $1,090,800 – $1,333,200; Visually maintained, largely original 3+ condition; With Reserve; Hammered Sold at $1,127,160 plus commission of 13.04%; Final Price $1,274,115. – 2,996/250hp, 4-speed, body color wheels, hubcaps, Euro headlights, blue-tinted Plexiglass hardtop, tools, jack, spare. – First owned by Lambretta-maker Luigi Innocenti, soon sold to Count Werner Rodolfo whose friend, helicopter maker Count Giovanni Agusta, had the blue-tinted Plexiglass hardtop made for the 300SL. Very good repaint and interior from 2009. Good major chrome but let down by some weak exterior and interior trim bits. The chrome mounting lip on the translucent hardtop is old and blotchy. The engine compartment is orderly but aged and set up with modern hose clamps and the like. In the present family ownership since 1976 and treated like the loyal family retainer that it is. – The sound condition, benign long term family ownership, intriguing early history and unique translucent hardtop combine to support a superior price for this 300SL Roadster.

Photo by Dirk de Jager

Lot # 115 1980 Lancia Rally SE 037 Prototype Coupe; S/N SE037001; Engine # 232AR400176; Red, Black roof/Black cloth; Estimate $848,400 – $1,090,800; Competition restoration 3+ condition; With Reserve; Not sold at Hammer bid of $763,560. – 1,995/280hp Volumex supercharged fuel injected inline 4-cylinder, 5-speed, Speedline gold center modular wheels, Bridgestone S-02 tires, gigantic rear spoiler (closer to a sugar scoop than a tea tray), rally style dash with relays, fuses and many extraneous mounting holes. – The first prototype for the 037 rally used by engineer Sergio Limone in various guises to test engines, suspension designs and aerodynamics. Eventually acquired by Limone and restored in its original 1981 configuration. Good cosmetics but the Sparco seat coverings are old and loose and the gauge lenses are crazed and cloudy. The engine compartment is clean and tidy. An historic and significant automobile in WRC history. – It’s not hard to see that this is an engineer’s restoration, with great attention paid to its function, and less to its appearance. Having seen actual rally duty only once as a reconnaissance car at the 1982 Acropolis Rally it has no competition history, but all the competition success of the Lancia 037 is built upon the basis of this vehicle. It is unique in both history and pedigree, uniqueness that makes it difficult to value and easy for buyer and seller to maintain a difference of opinion as in this case.

Lot # 116 1963 Ferrari 250 GT/L Lusso Berlinetta, Body by Pininfarina-Scaglietti; S/N 4563; Engine # 4563; Grigio Argento/Black leather; Estimate $1,696,800 – $2,181,600; Recent restoration 2+ condition; With Reserve; Hammered Sold at $1,587,720 plus commission of 12.88%; Final Price $1,792,245. – 2,953/240hp, 4-speed, Borrani wire wheels, Pirelli tires, Ampilux headlights, Marchal fog lights, tools, jack, engine internal number 1364/62E (Classiche-stamped block), Ferrari Classiche Red Book certified. – 2010 restoration in original colors with excellent, flat panels and tight, even fits. The upholstery, interior trim, dash and gauges are like new as is the engine compartment. A quality restoration that shows 3,505 km since it was done, but only on the odometer, the car is pristine. – A premium Ferrari done to the highest standards and beautifully maintained. Grigio Argento is the perfect color to show the Lusso’s lines. It is expensive, but it deserves to be.

Photo by Paolo Carlini

Lot # 117 2000 Ferrari 550 GT1 Competition; S/N 115811; Engine # 01/03C-F550; Blue, “Red Bull”/Blue cloth; Estimate $2,181,600 – $2,666,400; Competition restoration 3+ condition; With Reserve; Hammered Sold at $1,939,200 plus commission of 12.81%; Final Price $2,187,660. – Race prepared V12 with air restrictors, sequential manual gearbox, single OMP seat, Sabelt 5-point belts, Sparco multi-function suede rim steering wheel, fire system, Motec display, OZ centerlock wheels, Pirelli PZero slicks, – One of four built by Italtecnico, raced by several teams with disappointing results except when finishing 3rd in the 2004 Italian GT Championship driven by Lorenzo Case. Drivers include Toto Wolff. Restored to 2002 Red Bull sponsored FIA GT livery but in many respects shows its several seasons. Freshened in 2018 and said to be race ready for several attractive series. – Despite having a succession of excellent drivers this 550 GT1 suffered from repeated mechanical failures that only were addressed after several years development. Fortunately now, it appears, it has reached a level of preparation and development that make it competitive in historic and Ferrari events and it was highly valued for that eligibility and potential in this transaction. Its troubled and unreliable history is reflected in this result which is half what RM got for a highly successful Prodrive-built 550 GT1 in the Monterey Shift auction last August.

Photo by Keno Zasche

Lot # 118 2004 Koenigsegg CCR Convertible; S/N YT9M1G0V8L2007011; Lava Orange, Lava Orange roof panel/Black; Estimate $872,640 – $921,120; Unrestored original 2 condition; With Reserve; Hammered Sold at $854,460 plus commission of 13.21%; Final Price $967,328. – 4,700/806hp V-8, dual turbochargers, fuel injection, 6-speed, centerlock magnesium wheels 19-inch front 20-inch rear, Michelin Pilot Sport tires, Sony CD/MP3 stereo, air conditioning – The first CCR publicly shown, at the 2004 Geneva Show and third of 14 built. Several owners and 2,347km from new, like new except for a nick in the splitter. – Christian Koenigsegg keeps cranking out newer, better, faster, more outrageous cars and the progenitor of them all, the CC and CCR, risk being overlooked. That doesn’t seem to be the case, however, as this CCR surpassed recent auction prices of the successor CCX, a tribute to its low miles, preservation and excellent condition.

Photo by Stephan Bauer

Lot # 119 1996 Alfa Romeo 155 V6 TI ITC 4-Dr. Sedan; S/N SE065005; Engine # 690RC14; White, Red “Martini”/Black cloth; Estimate $848,400 – $969,600; Competition restoration 2- condition; With Reserve; Hammered Sold at $848,400 plus commission of 13.21%; Final Price $960,510. – 2,492/490hp 690RC pneumatic valve spring 90-degree V-6, paddle shift X-trac 6-speed, all-wheel drive, OZ centerlock alloy wheels, Pirelli slicks, Momo multi-function steering wheel, OMP seat, enough Marelli electronics to mine ethereum but no radio. – Driven by Nicola Larini in the 1996 ITC series, winner at Interlagos and Mugello. Prepared in Germany for the inaugural DTM Classics series. Won its first race at Norisring, fourth at Lausitzring in 2019. Engine and transmission rebuilt in March 2020. Cosmetically endowed with remnants of on-track competition, scratches, scrapes and dings. The engine compartment and chassis are clean and professional. There are enough aerodynamic elements to make even the most airflow-happy F1 aerodynamicist long for less stringent regulations. – To get a sense of what this 155 V6 TI ITC is about it’s worth looking at Davide Cironi’s Drive Experience YouTube video with it at the Autodromo di Modena. Basically a complete tubing space frame car with decorative and aerodynamic clip-on body panels, a championship caliber modern race car with prodigious performance in track-ready shape with a dyno time only engine and gearbox and €350,000 in restoration and preparation receipts from marque specialists.

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