Annual event by Canadian-based RM Auctions at London’s Battersea Evolution, held on October 31st, 2012 was the place where lovers of classic cars and motorcycles and world’s elite collectors won some of 93 pieces, some of which they had to pay a vertiginous amount.
The highlight of the auction definitely was a 1959 Ferrari GT LWB Berlinetta Tour de France, the 30th car of only 36 Series IV examples built, sold for staggering £1,75 million ($3.2 million). The racer was entered by a collector from Brescia, Italy. It had been restored after racing in hill climbs in 1959 and 1960, and was bought by a collector in the room who declined to give his name.
Among other notable cars, that reached an impressive prices, we single out a 2008 Bugatti Veyron EB 16.4 , the world’s fastest production car (a top speed of more than 250 miles per hour) sold for £517,500 ($836,400) to an unidentified bidder.
“The Veyron is completely crazy,” said Adrian Hamilton, chairman of the Hampshire-based dealer Duncan Hamilton & Co., which has bought and sold several examples. “If you drive flat out, it runs out of petrol in 16 minutes. It costs a fortune to maintain. Yet a car like that may never be created again. It could potentially be a reasonable investment.”
Also, a 1964 Aston Martin DB5 that was bought new by Sir Paul McCartney sold for £307,500 ($497,000). This Aston was ordered prior to The Beatles’ summer tour, and delivered to McCartney on 22 September.
One more car with interesting history that reached an amazing price of £700,000 ($1,131,000) was an Alfa Romeo 6C-1750 Gran Sport, driven by Tazio Nuvolari, who won the 1930 Tourist Trophy. After the race, the car was fitted with a drophead coupé body by James Young and exhibited at that year’s London Motor Show. The racing bodywork was recreated when the Alfa was restored in the 1990s.
Although expected leading a long list of notable entries secured for the sale, an ultra-rare, alloy-bodied 1955 Mercedes-Benz Gullwing 300SL, one of only 29 alloy-bodied examples built by the factory, it failed to sell. The car was formally estimated at £3.2 million ($5.17 million) and bidding stopped at £2.4 million ($3.9 million). The same situation was with an Aston DB6 Shooting Brake ordered new by racing driver Innes Ireland, for which bidding stopped at £300,000 ($484,900).