Media Release


THE IMPERIAL THAT FORETOLD THE FUTURE: GROUNDBREAKING AUTOMOTIVE DESIGN ON SHOW AT RM SOTHEBY’S ARIZONA BILTMORE SALE

Arizona

  • RM Sotheby’s to kick start 2017 calendar at the Arizona Biltmore, January 19-20
  • Two-evening auction presents handpicked selection of 120 motor cars, ranging from great American classics through to highly sought after modern classics and contemporary supercars
  • Early entries led by a magnificent 1933 Chrysler CL Imperial Dual-Windshield Phaeton, the Imperial that foretold the future
  • Modern styling icons include a black Ferrari F50, and a Ferrari Enzo owned by fashion mogul, Tommy Hilfiger
  • Further sale information and a frequently updated list of entries available at www.rmsothebys.com

 

BLENHEIM, Ontario (November 8, 2016) – From a one-off Chrysler CL Imperial to a fierce Ferrari F50 and a Ferrari Enzo owned by fashion mogul, Tommy Hilfiger, RM Sotheby’s will shine a spotlight on groundbreaking automotive design when its annual Arizona Biltmore sale returns to Phoenix, January 19-20. Celebrating its 18th consecutive year in 2017, RM’s Arizona sale has been witness to some of the world’s most spectacular automobiles over the years; the 2017 iteration will continue in the event’s stylish footsteps, presenting 120 handpicked motor cars.

 

THE RALPH ROBERTS CUSTOM: CHRYSLER’S Y-JOB

When it comes to American Classics, the one-off 1933 Chrysler CL Imperial Dual-Windshield Phaeton set for RM’s Arizona sale is groundbreaking in design. Believed to be the last example completed, chassis no. 7803657 was the stunning personal car of LeBaron’s renowned automotive designer Ralph Roberts. More than just a custom creation, it is an important design statement—a reflection of Roberts’ forward-thinking genius and his ideas and philosophies about what a modern automobile should be. From its low-mounted headlamps to its extended fender line, aerodynamic rear fender skirts and dual rear-mounted spares, such styling cues were ahead of their time, and their influence can be clearly seen on the Chrysler Airflow and Airstream models that followed. Further differentiating 7803657 from its peers, it was the only CL Imperial Dual-Windshield Phaeton to have its radiator shell painted as opposed to chromed, along with its headlights and horns, a very unorthodox idea in 1933.

 

Beyond its magnificent styling, 7803657’s provenance is elevated by its well-known ownership history which includes the renowned Milhous and Otis Chandler Collections, along with various successes on the show field, including Best of Show at the Concours d’Elegance of America at St. John’s, and Best in Class at the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance (Est. $1,400,000 - $1,800,000).

 

“The importance of this Chrysler CL Imperial cannot be overstated. It is, by far, one of the most significant Chryslers ever built, and arguably one of the best-looking American Classics,” comments Gord Duff, Car Specialist, RM Sotheby’s. “Then comes its incredible provenance: not only was it a designer’s personal car, but past ownership by some of the hobby’s top collectors reinforce its importance and value in collector car circles. As a one-off creation, you never know when you may see this Chrysler back on the market. It’s definitely one to watch and deserving of close inspection.”

 

FROM AMERICAN CLASSICS TO MODERN SUPERCARS
In keeping with past tradition, entries for RM’s 2017 Arizona sale will offer tremendous diversity, ranging from pre-war classics through to important sports and racing greats and contemporary supercars. To this end, the elegant, flowing lines of the Chrysler CL Imperial will be juxtaposed by the appearance of two of Ferrari’s hottest modern supercars: a 1995 F50, and a 2003 Enzo.

 

Essentially an F1 car for the road, the F50 combines cutting-edge, Formula One-inspired innovation and technology with a road car platform. From a design perspective, it is differentiated from its supercar siblings by its open-top, enabling both driver and passenger to enjoy the car’s full exhaust note. A U.S.-spec example, the 1995 Ferrari F50 set for RM Arizona is one of very few completed in black, and sports just 2,000 miles from new (Est. $3,000,000 - $3,500,000).

 

Designed by Pininfarina, the Enzo was a drastic departure from the cars that came before. From nose to tail, form was secondary to function providing for an unrivalled driving experience. Gone was the massive rear wing that defined both the F40 and F50, replaced by a small speed-activated spoiler at the rear, while the protruding nose was a styling cue taken from Ferrari’s contemporary Formula One cars to highlight its use of race-inspired technology. The 2003 Ferrari Enzo set for RM’s Arizona sale comes from the collection of fashion mogul, Tommy Hilfiger. Purchased new by Mr. Hilfiger, it is one of very few examples in the U.S. that have remained with its original owner. Exceptionally well maintained, it is also low mileage, showing just over 3,600 miles on its odometer (Est. $2,700,000 - $3,000,000).

 

Additional early highlights for RM’s two-evening Arizona sale include: a 1938 Bugatti Type 57 Cabriolet, beautifully presented with exceedingly rare coachwork by Letourneur et Marchand (Est. $1,250,000 - $1,500,000); along with an exciting series of modern classics from the 1980s and 90s. Included in the latter group is a 7,986-original mile, ‘flying mirror’ 1985 Ferrari Testarossa, complete with Ferrari Classiche certification (Est. $130,000 - $160,000); a 1990 Mercedes-Benz Cosworth 190 E 2.5-16 Evolution II, the first EVO II offered publicly in North America (Est. $225,000 - $275,000); and, a 1997 Porsche 911 Turbo S, striking in original Yellow over Black and showing 12,150 original miles (Est. $425,000 - $550,000).

 

For further information or to view a frequently updated list of entries for RM’s upcoming sale at the Arizona Biltmore, please visit www.rmsothebys.com or call +1 310 559 4575. 

Alexander Weaver

aweaver@rmsothebys.com

+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

asabatie-garat@rmsothebys.com

+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

bruprecht@rmsothebys.com

+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

dswig@rmsothebys.com

+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

drose@rmsothebys.com

+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

dgould@rmsothebys.com

+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

gduff@rmsothebys.com

+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

jauerbach@rmsothebys.com

+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

kforry@rmsothebys.com

+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

mmalamut@rmsothebys.com

+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

msquire@rmsothebys.com

+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

mfairbairn@rmsothebys.com

+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

ocamelin@rmsothebys.com

+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

pdarvill@rmsothebys.com

+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

pfisher@rmsothebys.com

+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

smyers@rmsothebys.com

+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

tvandervelden@rmsothebys.com

+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