Media Release




Portola Hotel & Spa


  • RM Sotheby’s unveils stunning 1939 Alfa Romeo 8C 2900B as the latest star attraction for its Monterey sale, August 19–20 in California
  • The ultimate Italian sports car of its era, the beautifully restored Alfa—affectionately known as an ‘Alfa 2.9’—is expected to set a new auction benchmark for a pre-war automobile
  • On preview at Sotheby’s New York from today through early August, the Alfa 2.9 headlines a magnificent group of five vehicles from the esteemed Sam & Emily Mann Collection; group also features a very early, award-winning Ferrari 250 GT Tour de France, and a 1926 Miller Locomobile Junior 8 Special with the longest continuous racing history of any Miller 91
  • Complete RM Sotheby’s Monterey digital catalogue now available online here:
  • Video highlighting the Sam and Emily Mann Collection available here:


NEW YORK (July 21, 2016) –  A rare 1939 Alfa Romeo 8C 2900B Lungo Touring Spider—the pre-war equivalent to the Ferrari 250 GTO—is the latest star attraction to be announced for RM Sotheby’s upcoming Monterey sale, August 19–20 during the famed Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance week in California. One of five cars on offer from the esteemed Sam and Emily Mann Collection, the tremendously valuable “2.9” (as it is known among aficionados) rounds out an impressive catalogue of some 100 collector cars on offer at the upcoming auction. Significantly, the Alfa’s presentation on the Monterey Peninsula marks the first time a “2.9” has been offered at public sale this century, setting the scene for a truly exciting auction.


The Alfa Romeo 8C 2900B represents the ultimate original gran turismo. The Italian equivalent of the Bugatti Atlantic, it is a symphony of fabulously intricate engineering, thrilling power, and sinful beauty that incorporates independent suspension and a remarkable straight-eight engine with gear-driven overhead cams and two superchargers. It is believed that only 32 original chassis were produced in various configurations (rarer even than the aforementioned 250 GTO) and the survivors are arguably the most sought-after of all pre-war automobiles.


One of approximately 12 Touring Spiders known to exist, the stunning Alfa on offer, chassis no. 412041, has been a crown jewel of the Sam and Emily Mann Collection for two decades. Documented by renowned Alfa Romeo authority Simon Moore in his book, The Immortal 2.9: Alfa Romeo 8C 2900, it is the recipient of an immaculate, Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance award-winning restoration by 2.9 guru, Tony Merrick, and has been a frequent participant in concours d’elegance and vintage rallies. Perhaps the most persuasive testament to the quality of the car’s restoration and subsequent expert care, along with the effortless drivability of the 8C 2900, is the fact that the Manns have spent over 12,000 miles behind the wheel, including seven 8C Alfa Tours between 1999 and 2013, in addition to the Copperstate 1000, the Colorado Grand, the California Mille and the California Classic Rally.  A rare sight at auction, the featured Alfa is expected to surpass the current record for a pre-war automobile sold at auction by a comfortable margin when it goes under the RM gavel next month. In the lead up to the sale, the Alfa 2.9 is available for preview at Sotheby’s New York (corner of York Avenue and 72nd Street) from today through until early August. 


“The Alfa 2.9 is a car of peerless engineering and extreme elegance— in my mind it represents the absolute highest echelon of car collecting and is a perfect fit for our sale during the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance week,” says Ian Kelleher, Managing Director, RM Sotheby’s West Coast Division. “From the standpoint of an automotive enthusiast, there is perhaps no more resplendent sound than that of the twin supercharged, dual overhead cam straight-eight engine of the mighty Alfa 8C at full speed. Without question, acquiring a car of such magnitude establishes one’s collection at the forefront of the hobby.”


The Alfa Romeo headlines a selection of five extraordinary cars from the esteemed Sam and Emily Mann Collection set for RM Sotheby’s Monterey auction. The collection, a labor of love by Sam—an accomplished industrial designer—and his wife of 45 years, Emily, is celebrated as one of the world’s leading car collections, noted for its incredible quality, rarity and presentation.  


Additional collection highlights set for Monterey include:


  • the 1956 Ferrari 250 GT Berlinetta Competizione ‘Tour de France’, chassis no. 0507 GT, a part of the Mann Collection for over 15 years and a very early example of the ultimate Ferrari GT of its era. Magnificently restored to the condition in which it enjoyed a wonderful period racing career, including the 1956 Mille Miglia and the 1959 Tour de France, the featured TdF was shown at the 2006 Cavallino Classic where it was judged Best of Show GT. It has successfully completed two Colorado Grands and the California Mille among other events (Est. $7,000,000 - $9,000.000);


  • an authentic, early 1908 American Underslung 50 HP Roadster, chassis no. 1427, one of only a handful of the potent, well-engineered American Underslungs equipped with original factory roadster bodywork, and one of even fewer still with the 50-horsepower engine. Formerly of the renowned Lindley Bothwell and D. Cameron Peck Collections, chassis no. 1427 comes to auction having been sympathetically maintained and mechanically sorted (Est $1,400,000 - $1,750,000);


  • the historically important 1926 Miller Locomobile Junior 8 Special, chassis no. 8; raced at Indianapolis from 1926–1929, chassis no. 8 has the longest continuous racing history of any Miller 91 and was driven by some of the most prominent drivers of its era, including Cliff Durant, Eddie Herme, Russ Snowberger and Fred Frame. It comes to auction having been authentically restored (Est $750,000 – $1,000,000); and,


  • the 1926 Bentley 3-4½ Litre Tourer in the style of Vanden Plas, chassis no. 911. A faithful recreation of the legendary “Old Mother Gun”, this thrilling Bentley has been properly sorted for rallies and tours (Est. $600,000 – $750,000).


Kelleher adds, “These five examples represent some of the finest of their individual models. Each has been meticulously maintained and cared for, and exhibits breathtaking presentation. We’re thrilled to have been entrusted with these cars by Sam and Emily Mann; they reflect Sam and Emily’s finely honed eye for aesthetics and design, and will unquestionably be the centerpiece of any important automotive collection.”

The five vehicles from the Sam and Emily Mann Collection join a magnificent roster of other blue-chip automobiles slated for the upcoming RM Sotheby’s sale, including the very first Shelby Cobra, CSX 2000; the 1956 Le Mans-winning Jaguar D-Type; a spectacular 1958 Ferrari 250 GT LWB California Spiderand an eye-popping 1957 BMW 507, which is offered for public sale for the first time in Monterey. Reinforcing RM Sotheby’s reputation as the market leader in the presentation of private collections at auction, in addition to the Sam and Emily Mann Collection, the sale will also feature a selection of vehicles from the Jim Click Ford Performance Collection and theRiverside International Automotive Museum. A complete list of entries for RM’s Monterey auction is available in the digital catalogue, now available here:


A tradition spanning more than 30 years, RM Sotheby’s annual Monterey auction, held during the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance week, returns to the Portola Hotel & Spa in downtown Monterey, California, August 19-20. For full event details please or call +1 519 352 4575.

Alexander Weaver

+1 864 313 6844
California, United States

Alexander Weaver joined RM Sotheby’s in 2011 as a Car Specialist after graduating from Furman University in South Carolina. Born... read more

Augustin Sabatié-Garat

+44 (0) 74 1511 4179
United Kingdom

Augustin Sabatié-Garat joined RM Europe in 2012 as a Car Specialist after more than a decade in the collector car hobby. Gradua... read more

Barney Ruprecht

+1 203 912 7168
Ontario, Canada

Barney’s interest in classic cars began at an early age after being introduced to his father’s all-original 1965 Porsche 911. Barney l... read more

David Swig

+1 415 302 2247
California, United States

David Swig joined RM Sotheby’s West Coast division as a Car Specialist in May 2015. David is a life-long automobile enthusi... read more

Don Rose

+1 617 513 0388
United States

Don joined RM in 2006 after several years of professionally trading sports and classic cars, and after earning a reputation as a noted... read more

Donnie Gould

+1 954 566 2209
Florida, United States

Donnie Gould joined the RM team in 2002 as a partner and Car Specialist after more than two decades in the vintage automobile auction ... read more

Gord Duff

+1 519 352 4575
Ontario, Canada

Gord Duff began his journey with RM Sotheby’s in 1998. Since then, he has gained an intimate knowledge of a variety of marques a... read more

Jake Auerbach

+1 310 559 4575
California, United States

Jake Auerbach got his start in the automotive industry at an early age, spending his summers during high school working at a classic c... read more

Kurt Forry

+1 717 623 1638
California, United States

Having worked for Bonhams’ Automobilia department for over 10 years, Kurt Forry joined RM Sotheby’s with more than a decad... read more

Matt Malamut

+1 805 231 6410
California, United States

A long-time car enthusiast and Southern California native, Matt studied Automotive Technology at San Diego Miramar College and complet... read more

Michael Squire

+44 (0) 20 7851 7070
United Kingdom

Michael Squire joined RM Sotheby’s European Division in the summer of 2016. He comes to RM with a prestigious racing background ... read more

Mike Fairbairn

+1 519 352 4575
Ontario, Canada

As one of the three founding partners of RM Sotheby’s, Mike has a long-standing interest in the classic car industry. Graduating... read more

Oliver Camelin

+44 (0) 75 0110 7447
United Kingdom

With an extensive background in exotic sports car history and sales, a particular passion for American curves, and fluency in three la... read more

Paul Darvill

+44 (0) 20 7851 7070
United Kingdom

Paul Darvill joined the RM Sotheby’s European team at the beginning of 2015. Paul holds a degree in French and Politics from the... read more

Pete Fisher

+1 519 784 9300
Ontario, Canada

Pete Fisher was first introduced to antique cars in high school, working for Classic Coachworks in his hometown of Blenheim, Ontario. ... read more

Shelby Myers

+1 310 559 4575
California, United States

Shelby Myers grew up with the classic car industry infused into every aspect of his life. He had the unique opportunity to watch the R... read more

Tonnie Van der Velden

+31 653 84 19 60
United Kingdom

Tonnie Van der Velden joined RM Sotheby’s European division in September 2015 as a Car Specialist. A lifelong enthusiast, Tonnie... read more