While collector car auctions like Barrett-Jackson and Russo and Steele capture much of the media spotlight during Arizona Car Week, there are other auctions like RM Sotheby’s that cater to the true enthusiast. Though their catalog is much smaller at around 200 vehicles, I find that RM Sotheby’s offers a wide variety of classic and contemporary cars, each one of which is truly outstanding.
The following are some personal highlights of cars I spotted at their 2019 Scottsdale Auction, held at the prestigious Arizona Biltmore Resort. While I would love to do a feature on every car in their catalog, time simply does not allow such a luxury. I have chosen some of the cars that I feel represent the quality and selection one would find at an RM Sotheby’s event.
Lot #273 – 1957 Ferrari 250 GT Coupe Speciale by Pininfarina
Every Ferrari is special, but this one is really something to write home about! This 1957 250 GT Speciale is a one-off custom bodied car by Pininfarina that was built for Lilian, Princess of Réthy, the royal lady of Belgium. The car was appraised at $11 to $13,000,000 by experts, but it did not meet the reserve price, with the highest bid received of $7,500,000 according to Hagerty.
Lot #243 – 1948 Tucker 48
The Tucker 48 is today appreciated as an automobile that was far ahead of its time. Just 51 cars were ever built before production ended. RM Sotheby’s is no stranger to Tuckers. They sold chassis no. 44, the legendary Ohio barn find car, at the Scottsdale 2017 auction for $1,347,500. Chassis no. 29, Preston Tucker’s personal car, crossed RM’s auction block in 2018 for a handsome $1,792,500. Now in 2019, chassis no. 40, a beautifully restored blue car (shown above) sold for $1,600,000 (including buyer’s premium).
Lot #144 – 2017 Ferrari F12tdf
The F12tdf is a limited production car, 1 of just 799 produced. With 769 horsepower from a 6.3L V12 naturally aspirated engine, this is the sort of car that becomes an instant collectible. This car is finished in Grigio Titanio and has fewer than 300 miles on the odometer. It sold for $1,006,000 (including buyer’s fee).
Lot #141 – 2012 Lexus LFA Nurburgring Package
The only Lexus supercar to date, the LFA is one of just 500 produced worldwide. Of those, just 50 units received the Nurburgring package. This one, #485, has just 54 miles on the odometer and is finished in white with a red and white leather interior. The V10 powered supercar sold for $885,000 (including buyer’s premium). A few days after this sale, a black LFA Nurburgring (#301) sold for $918,500 (including buyer’s premium) at Barrett-Jackson.
Lot #153 – 1993 Vector Avtech WX-3 Prototype
An unbelievable pair of supercars were offered for sale at RM Sotheby’s Scottsdale 2019 auction: a pair of Vector automobiles from the personal collection of founder Jerry Wiegart. Both the WX-3 Coupe Prototype and the WX-3R Roadster Prototype were shown at the 1993 Geneva Motor Show. The American-built supercars feature wild bodywork and a twin-turbo 7.0L V8 engine producing a staggering 1,000 horsepower. The car sold for $615,500 to Florida businessman and supercar enthusiast Kris Singh (@lamborghiniks).
Lot #152 – 1993 Vector Avtech WX-3R Roadster Prototype
Lot #160 – 1993 Jaguar XJ220
An extraordinarily rare number of people are privileged to own an XJ220, and this car is just 1 of 275 built. This particular car, finished in Silverstone green, was originally purchased by Tom Walkinshaw for his personal collection. The car has just 9,000km since new. The car had an estimate of $400,000 to $500,000, but failed to sell when bidding peaked at $375,000 as reported by Automobile Magazine.
Lot #154 – 2017 Ferrari LaFerrari Aperta
The current “Halo Car” from Ferrari, the LaFerrari Aperta is 1 of 210 Aperta models produced. With a combined 789 horsepower from a V12 engine and a mild hybrid electric motor, the car has a top speed of 217 mph. Appraised at $6,500,000 to $8,500,000, the car did not meet the reserve price with the high bid placed at $5,500,000.
Lot #149 – 1985 Ferrari 288 GTO
The Ferrari 288 GTO (Gran Turismo Omologato) is a street-legal version of a racing car that was sold in order to meet homologation requirements for racing. Just 272 examples were built, making it the rarest of Ferrari’s modern supercars (along with the F40, F50, Enzo, and LaFerrari). This outstanding example with fewer than 2,900 miles since new sold for $3,360,000, making it the top seller at RM Sotheby’s 2019 Scottsdale auction. According to Hagerty, this is the highest price ever paid for a 288 GTO at a North American auction and 24 percent above the Hagerty Price Guide #1 value.