Media Release



1.	1939 Mercedes-Benz 540 K Special Roadster (Patrick Ernzen (c) 2017 Courtesy RM Sotheby's)

  • RM Sotheby’s kicks off 2017 with $53.8 million in sales at its 18th annual Phoenix, Arizona event, 19-20 January
  • Top-sellers led by one-off 1939 Mercedes-Benz 540 K Special Roadster at $6,600,000, followed by series of exceptional Ferraris, with new auction benchmarks set for a Ferrari 365 GTS and Ferrari F50
  • Tommy Hilfiger’s low-mileage 2003 Ferrari Enzo passes to its second owner for $2,695,000
  • Bidders hail from 30 countries, with approximately 20 percent representing first-time RM clients
  • Complete results from the two-day sale now available at
  • RM Sotheby’s continues its 2017 calendar with its annual Paris sale, 8 February, during the world-famous Rétromobile week, followed by its two-day Amelia Island sale, 10-11 March


PHOENIX, Arizona (21 January, 2017) – RM Sotheby’s ushered in 2017 with another strong performance in Arizona, generating $53,772,775 in total sales with 89 percent of all lots sold at the Arizona Biltmore. The company’s 18th annual Phoenix sale, held 19-20 January, was a truly global event, attracting bidders from 30 countries—20 percent of which were new RM Sotheby’s clientele—once again illustrating that Arizona is the epicenter of the collector car world in January.


Amongst the 141 lots that found new homes, the top-seller was the one-off, owner-commissioned 1939 Mercedes-Benz 540 K Special Roadster. Originally built for Rolf Horn of Berlin with a rare five-speed transmission and various unique design cues, the beautifully restored Roadster drew eyes and bids, selling for a final $6,600,000 during Friday evening’s sale session. Throughout Friday’s sale, numerous best-of-category Ferraris also took top honors, led by a highly awarded, matching-numbers 1969 Ferrari 365 GTS. One of just 20 built, the exceedingly rare road-going Ferrari surpassed its pre-sale estimate, realizing $3,602,500, nearly triple the previous auction record for the model. Rounding out the top three, a pristine 1995 Ferrari F50, one of just two U.S.-delivery examples finished in black, demonstrated its desirability, bringing $3,135,000—a new auction benchmark for the model. Friday night also saw the exquisitely restored, ex-Greg Garrison and Skeets Dunn 1961 Ferrari 400 Superamerica SWB Coupe Aerodinamico generate a strong result of $3,080,000, while perhaps the world’s finest 1967 Ferrari 330 GTS sold at the top end of its estimate at $2,475,000.


“Our Arizona sale is consistently a bellwether for the collector car market, setting the pace for the auction season to come,” says Ian Kelleher, Managing Director of RM Sotheby’s West Coast Division. “This year’s top ten sales clearly indicate that demand for modern supercars remains strong, while exceptional pre-war classics—such as the 540 K—anchor the strength and resilience of the market. When it comes to specific marques, four decades of Ferrari production were represented in our catalogue, from the 400 Superamerica through to the Enzo, each of which attracted multiple bidders and achieved impressive results – a reflection of their outstanding provenance, restorations and condition. We now turn our attention to Paris, where we’ll open our European calendar next month.”


To cater to the growing appetite for modern high performance motor cars, RM’s Arizona offering had a strong emphasis on vehicles from 1980 and later. As a group, these examples comprised approximately 25 percent of the catalogue. In addition to the F50, leading this segment was Thursday’s headliner, a 2003 Ferrari Enzo, purchased new and offered by renowned designer, Tommy Hilfiger. Fastidiously maintained and driven just 3,620 miles, the 218 mph hypercar roared onto the auction stage before selling for a final $2,695,000. Among other notable modern collectibles, a 2003 Aston Martin DB AR1 Zagato with 800 actual miles exceeded estimate at $379,500; a U.S.-specification 2005 Porsche Carrera GT, showing just 1,132 miles from new, garnered $742,500; and a F22 Raptor-inspired 2008 Lamborghini Reventón, the third of only 20 examples built, realized $1,320,000.


With more than 60 percent of catalogue entries offered without reserve, the Arizona auction catered to a variety of collector tastes and budgets. Additional stand out lots include a much-admired 1965 Jaguar E-Type Series 1 4.2-Litre Roadster, striking in Opalescent Dark Blue, which exceeded pre-sale expectations at $308,000, while a 1938 Mercedes-Benz 200 V Sport Roadster, offered from the Jules Barsotti Collection, far-surpassed its pre-sale estimate of $50,000 - $70,000 at a final $176,000.


RM Sotheby’s Arizona Top 10 sales:


1.      Lot 258

1939 Mercedes-Benz 540 K Special Roadster (Chassis 408383)


2.      Lot 263

1969 Ferrari 365 GTS (Chassis 12489)


3.      Lot 227

1995 Ferrari F50 (Chassis ZFFTG46A6S0104092)


4.      Lot 231

1961 Ferrari 400 Superamerica SWB Coupe Aerodinamico (CHASSIS NO. 2841 SA)


5.      Lot 151

2003 Ferrari Enzo (Chassis ZFFCW56A330133026)


6.      Lot 220

1967 Ferrari 330 GTS (Chassis 10689)


7.      Lot 256

1966 Ferrari 275 GTB/6C (CHASSIS NO. 08431)


8.      Lot 228

2013 Bugatti Veyron 16.4 Super Sport 300 (Chassis VF9SG2C27DM795300)


9.      Lot 160

1948 Tucker 48 (Chassis 1044)


10.    Lot 138

2008 Lamborghini Reventón (CHASSIS NO. ZHWBU77SX8LA03148)



RM Sotheby’s focus now turns to France, where the company kicks off its 2017 European calendar with its annual Paris sale, 8 February during the world-famous Rétromobile week. Held at Place Vauban immediately after Festival Automobile International (, this thrilling evening sale will present a curated roster of 78 vehicles, all of which can be viewed in the digital catalogue:


RM Sotheby’s continues its 2017 North American calendar in Amelia Island, Florida, 10-11 March. The official auction of the Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance, RM’s Ritz-Carlton sale has been extended to two days this year with the addition of A Gentleman’s Collection: The Pride and Passion of Orin Smith. A superlative group of Rolls-Royces, Bentleys and other sporting icons, the Smith collection will be offered  largely without reserve during an exclusive evening sale on 10 March, ahead of RM’s traditional Amelia Island day auction on 11 March.


Further information on upcoming events, along with complete results from RM Sotheby’s Arizona sale, can be found at


*Results are listed in USD and inclusive of 10 percent buyer’s premium for automobiles and 15 percent for all other lots. Results tally includes auction and post-auction transactions.

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