Media Release


RM GROUP OF COMPANIES LEADS THE MARKET IN 2016 WITH $450 MILLION IN GLOBAL AUCTION SALES

  • RM group of companies—RM Sotheby’s and Auctions America—posts $450 million in auction sales in 2016
  • RM Sotheby’s generates market-leading $380 million with strong international growth and many auction records
  • Auctions America rounds out 2016 calendar with $68.7 million and 40 percent new clients
  • Upcoming 2017 event calendars available at www.rmsothebys.com and www.auctionsamerica.com

 

BLENHEIM, ON (December 21, 2016) – The RM group of companies, incorporating RM Sotheby’s and Auctions America, continued to build its strong foothold on the global collector car market in 2016, posting $450 million* in global auction sales. The market-leading tally was generated by the sale of 2,697 vehicles and select memorabilia at 15 events on two continents.

 

RM Sotheby’s
RM Sotheby’s underlined its clear market leadership in 2016 with more than $380 million* in auction sales and an annual sell-through of 91 percent. Over the course of the year, the company was responsible for the successful sale of 1,286 vehicles, along with assorted memorabilia. Illustrating RM’s focus on the top-tier of the market, 74 lots generated million-dollar-plus results, of which eight surpassed $5 million and three exceeded $10 million.

 

RM Sotheby’s auction season was highlighted by record-setting results at its flagship Monterey, California sale, including the top two sales of this year’s Monterey auction week. Leading the charge, the 1956 Le Mans-winning Jaguar D-Type, XKD 501 raced to an impressive $21.78 million, entering the history books as the most valuable British car ever sold at auction. RM also had the distinct honor in Monterey of presenting CSX 2000, the very first Shelby Cobra. Offered by the Carroll Hall Shelby Trust, the legendary Cobra was one of the most anticipated cars offered in recent auction memory, and sold for an impressive $13.75 million—a benchmark for an American car at auction.

 

Among a long list of highlights, additional standout moments of 2016 include:

 

  • RM Sotheby’s broke its own record in Arizona in January when a 1937 Mercedes-Benz 540 K Special Roadster sold for $9.9 million, securing the title as the most valuable automobile ever sold during the Arizona auction week.
  • The company’s 10th anniversary London sale, held in conjunction with the Concours of Elegance at Windsor Castle in September, was an astonishing, record-smashing auction success, not least for air-cooled Porsche values. Significantly, a 1995 Porsche 911 GT2 garnered £1,848,000, shattering the previous auction record for the model by over one million pounds, while a 1993 Porsche 911 Carrera RS 3.8 realized £716,800, a price close to half a million pounds more than the previous high sale.
  • RM Sotheby’s Duemila Ruote sale in Milan—the largest automobile collection sale ever staged in Europe— stunned the market in November, reinforcing the company’s expertise in the private collection auction segment. Attracting unprecedented global interest (3,000+ bidders from 57 countries), over the course of 30 hours, all 817 lots were sold for a remarkable €51.26 million ($54.85M USD), doubling pre-sale expectations.

 

Beyond individual sale results, 2016 was a year of solid growth for RM Sotheby’s internationally as the company continued to work in tandem with Sotheby’s to build a global platform for collector cars. Reflecting the vast footprint enjoyed by both companies, consignments were sourced from 25 countries, while bidders hailed from 69 countries. Significantly, approximately 50 percent of bidders in 2016 represented new clients to RM Sotheby’s. As in past years, North America and Western Europe remained primary markets, with growing interest from Asia-based collectors. Among other notable trends, the company continued to welcome increasing participation from a younger generation of collectors (under 50 years of age), as well as experience dramatic online growth. Approximately 20 percent of bidders at RM events this year participated online, representing a 12 percent increase on the previous year, proving that you longer need to be physically present in the sale room.

 

In addition to RM’s own calendar of events, the company continued to work with some of the industry’s leading brands in 2016 to craft memorable experiences for enthusiasts. Ending the season on a high note, RM partnered with Ferrari for an exclusive charity sale of a one-of-a-kind LaFerrari, December 3 during the Ferrari Finali Mondiali weekend. Offered from Ferrari’s own collection, bidding on the unique hypercar reached $7 million (a record for a 21st century automobile sold at auction), with proceeds benefiting earthquake victims in Central Italy.

 

The RM team also continued to share their passion for the hobby in 2016 via active involvement in a variety of top industry events. From the roads of the Colorado Grand to the Modena Cento Ore, from Luftgekühlt to the Goodwood Revival (where RM’s own Michael Squire secured a podium finish), the RM team enjoyed sharing everything that is great about the hobby with like-minded enthusiasts. Follow #RMontheRoad for upcoming travels of the RM team.

 

Peter Wallman, Managing Director, RM Sotheby’s Europe comments: “2016 has been a very positive year, with steady and sustainable growth witnessed in many sectors of the market, especially modern classics. Good cars offered fresh to market, well presented, event-eligible and sensibly priced are selling strongly, but more importantly, the depth of interest and enthusiasm for the hobby at large remains at an all-time high. The aspiration to own collector cars and participate in the many great events worldwide is ever-growing and is becoming more mainstream, which is great news for the continued health and future of our industry.”

 

Ken Ahn, who recently joined RM Sotheby’s as President following a successful career at Sotheby’s and Goldman Sachs, adds: “Time and again, year after year, RM continues to set new benchmarks for itself and the industry at large for successful auctions and thrilling events around the world. It’s an absolute delight and privilege to be joining such a dynamic team of professionals, particularly as we look forward to an exciting 2017 season.”

 

RM Sotheby’s Top Five Sales of 2016:

 

1. 1955 Jaguar D-Type                                              

$21,780,000

Monterey, California

2. 1939 Alfa Romeo 8C 2900B Lungo Spider            

$19,800,000

Monterey, California

3. 1962 Shelby 260 Cobra "CSX 2000"                     

$13,750,000

Monterey, California

4. 1937 Mercedes-Benz 540 K Special Roadster       

$ 9,900,000

Monterey, California

5. 1951 Ferrari 340 America Barchetta                      

$ 8,226,400

Monaco

 

Auctions America


Auctions America also posted solid results in 2016, recording $68.7 million in auction sales with an annual sell-through of 75 percent for all lots. These results were generated by the sale of some 1,411 vehicles and assorted automobilia at five separate events, held in some of the country’s top automotive destinations. The company’s commitment to presenting diverse, quality product again proved effective in attracting new audiences; 40 percent of registered bidders in 2016 represented first time clients to Auctions America, with bidders hailing from 25 countries in addition to 47 states.

 

After kicking off the year on a strong note in Fort Lauderdale—a mainstay on Auctions America’s calendar—the crowning achievement of Auctions America’s 2016 season was the sale of the most valuable automobile in the company’s history: a 1995 Ferrari F50 sold for $1,952,500 at the Santa Monica sale in June. Led by cars such as the sale-topping F50, along with an exciting selection of vehicles from California’s Riverside International Automotive Museum, the Santa Monica auction saw the company continue to put its stamp on the highly competitive Southern California auction scene; significantly, almost 50 percent of bidders represented new clients.

 

Among other highlights, Auctions America’s flagship Auburn Fall sale again provided a terrific celebration of the hobby, with more than 85,000 enthusiasts descending on the Auburn Auction Park for the Labor Day weekend tradition. Overall, the event generated more than $21.5 million in auction sales. Most recently, Auctions America rounded out its 2016 calendar with its second annual sale during the Hilton Head Island Motoring Festival and Concours d’Elegance in South Carolina. It was at this sale that a timewarp 1957 Porsche 356A 1600 Speedster provided one of the most thrilling auction moments of the year; recently emerging from over 40 years storage in a Chicago-area garage, it sold for a staggering $665,500. The impressive price, which represents almost triple the car’s pre-sale estimate, perfectly illustrates the continued appetite for highly original, unmolested cars.

 

As part of Auctions America’s commitment to give back to the local communities in which it operates, the company provided its auction services to benefit a broad range of both automotive and non-automotive causes in 2016. Among these were the Boys & Girls Clubs of Broward County; Autism Speaks; the Treasure Coast Autism Project; Wounded Warriors of South Florida; Honor Flight of Northeast Indiana; and, Kate’s Kart, a not-for-profit organization dedicated to providing new, quality books to hospitalized children in Northeast Indiana. Auctions America also introduced a highly successful Cars & Coffee series at the Auburn Auction Park during the summer of 2016, providing a way for local enthusiasts to indulge their passion for all things automotive.

 

Auctions America’s Top Five Sales of 2016:

 

1. 1995 Ferrari F50                    

$1,952,500

Santa Monica, California

2. 1988 Porsche 959 'Komfort'   

$1,250,000

Santa Monica, California

3. 1931 Duesenberg Model J Convertible Sedan     

$880,000

Auburn Fall, Indiana

4. 2004 Porsche Carrera GT    

$800,000

Hilton Head Island, South Carolina

5. 1967 AC Cobra 427               

$726,000

Hilton Head Island, South Carolina

 

2017 event schedules for RM Sotheby’s and Auctions America can be found online at www.rmsothebys.com and www.auctionsamerica.com.

 

Editor’s notes:


*Results are listed in USD and inclusive of buyer’s premium. Sale totals include post-sale transactions along with charity lots, including the December 2016 LaFerrari sale.
** While RM’s 2016 auction total is slightly down on 2015, this can be largely explained by a smaller offering at the company’s flagship Monterey sale, as stipulated by construction at the event venue—just 100 cars were presented in Monterey this year versus 150 in 2015, which included The Pinnacle Portfolio. The 2015 tally also included the ’Driven by Disruption’ sale in New York.

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