1966 Ford GT40 - RM Auctions First London Sale Huge Success
1966 Ford GT40 - RM Auctions First London Sale Huge SuccessSource: RM Auctions
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Posted: 02 Nov 2007
RM AUCTIONS’ FIRST LONDON SALE ACHIEVES £3,967,125 FOR 1937 MERCEDES-BENZ 540K SPEZIAL ROADSTER
RM Auctions in association with Sotheby’s enjoyed outstanding success at their inaugural London sale. 85 cars were sold in London’s Battersea Park in an exciting seven-hour auction, including a 1937 Mercedes-Benz 540K Spezial Roadster from the Bernie Ecclestone collection, which achieved a staggering £3,967 million, making it the star lot of the sale and one of the most expensive Mercedes-Benz road-going cars ever sold at auction.
London, England (November 1, 2007) – More than 85 outstanding cars were offered for sale last night in Battersea Park in a headline-grabbing extravaganza visited by many of the world’s most important car collectors and celebrities - a fitting start for RM Auctions’ first sale in the British capital. RM Auctions European Managing Director, Max Girardo said: “After our highly successful Ferrari sale in Maranello in May of this year, we are now in London where some of the most expensive cars in the world are bought and sold and where collectors and enthusiasts define the pulse of the European classic car world.”
RM Auctions kicked off their first London sale with a “Roaring Twenties” preview party attended by more than 1,000 VIP guests, a large number of whom turned out in top-hats and tails, whilst the ladies sported beads, flapper dresses and feathers befitting of the elegant, glamorous and stylish theme.
The star of the auction was undoubtedly the 1937 Mercedes-Benz 540K Spezial Roadster from the Bernie Ecclestone collection, which was raised 15 feet in the air to dramatic music, and finally coming to rest above the auctioneer. Following a fierce round of bidding in a room stunned into absolute silence, the bidding stopped at a staggering £3.967 million.
An astounding and unprecedented 800 bidders from all over the world filled the Battersea Evolution centre for RM’s first London auction. Next to the 540K Spezial Roadster, the Mercedes-Benz SSK comfortably broke the magic million achieving £1.2 million when auctioneer Peter Bainbridge called the magic words “for the first time, for the second time, sold!”
Three more ultra-rare Mercedes-Benz models completed the round-up of fabulous Stuttgart cars. Although any Mercedes-Benz SSKL is considered a replica as none of the original five examples have survived, the SSKL on offer at Battersea Park had been created using only original S Type parts. This very special car, commissioned in the late 1950s by then General Motors Design chief Bill Mitchell, attracted a final bid of £1,061,625.
From the Abba Kogan collection, the 1931 REO Racing Car, raced extensively in Argentina in the 1930s by local hero Ernesto Blanco, fueled a frenzy of telephone bidding from Argentina which only ended when the original estimate was doubled to £470,000. George Harrison’s star attraction, the silver 1964 Aston Martin DB5 sold for an excellent £223,500.
Pg. 2 Automobiles of London (7)
The ultra low 1966 Ford GT40, achieved a high bid of £983,000 while the fabulous BMW 507 Roadster, one of less than 260 ever produced, brought an impressive £430,238.
But not all cars on offer this crisp London evening required a large bank account. The first entry of the day, a 1964 Ford Anglia Deluxe Saloon, was bought for £5,588. Acquired in the 1990s by Formula 1 impresario Bernie Ecclestone, this car may well be – next to Harry Potter’s similar transport in ”The Chamber of Secrets” – the second most famous Ford Anglia in existence, and with provenance from its famous recent owner, might even become more valuable over time.
By the close of the evening, RM Auctions’ co-founder Rob Myers said: “We are thrilled with this most satisfying start of our new European business here in London. We enjoyed an incredible reception from both friends and new clients.” Bernie Ecclestone, owner of the biggest collection sold, added: “I started my car collection a long time ago, so passing it on now was an important decision for me to take. I entrusted RM Auctions with this job, and they delivered an impressive service and outstanding results.”
RM Auctions is now already looking ahead to its next European auction, returning to the home of Ferrari in Maranello, Italy on May 18, 2008. Guests and bidders in London were allowed a glimpse of what RM is offering next year. The star of the forthcoming May sale is a rare and ultra-desirable Ferrari 250GT California Spyder, one of the most valuable of all road-going Ferraris. One of less than 100 California Spyders produced between 1957 and 1962 in a variety of specifications, this LWB covered headlamp version is estimated at €3,000,000 – €4,000,000.
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1966 ford GT40
From WikipediaThe Ford GT40 is a high performance sports car and winner of the 24 Hours of Le Mans four times in a row, from 1966 to 1969 (1966 being the Mk II, 1967 the Mk IV, and 1968-1969 the oldest chassis design, the Mk I). It is so far the only racecar built in America (Mk IV only) to win overall at Le Mans (1967 Mk IV). It was built to win long-distance sports car races against Ferrari (who won at Le Mans six times in a row from 1960 to 1965).
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