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Market Stop Press — Results from RM London Sale

By Simon Kidston

RM's 'Automobiles of London' auction held last night saw just under £15 million changing hands under the hammer for a 69% sale rate. Although the mood was noticeably more subdued than their inaugural UK sale a year ago, which featured cars from the Ecclestone collection, RM gave it their all to shift the metal on offer, working both buyers and sellers during the auction. At one point, as bidding on the Ferrari California Spyder stalled below reserve, auctioneer Peter Bainbridge held up the auction for several minutes as RM boss Rob Myers grabbed the telephone in an effort to close a deal with both parties close to $5 million, but to no avail: a far cry from the frenzied bidding on James Coburn's similar car just five months ago.

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Left: Close...but not close enough: Ferrari California unsold

Right: Louisiana buyer outbid five others to secure McLaren F1

Nonetheless an exceptional McLaren F1, the last one delivered, the Park Lane showroom car and perhaps the lowest mileage example remaing, blitzed all expectations to sell for GBP.2.3 million plus commission and taxes, a new world record. It's headed Stateside.

The Ferrari 250GT Tour de France sold well (for a non MM eligible, open headlight example) heading to Eastern Europe at GBP.2.05 million plus commission, and the widely maligned Ferrari 250LM (due to multiple accidents but over criticised in my view) sold on price, not provenance, at GBP.2.05 million plus commission.

 -   Porsche 904 at Bonhams
Left: Ferrari Tour de France surprised many with high price- it's headed to Russia

Right: Flamboyant Horch was fairly priced

The dollar/ GBP exchange rate played havoc with some reserves which had been agreed in dollars, seeing several cars (noticeably the red Ferrari 275GTB/4 and288GTO) bid to above their GBP bottom catalogue estimates and still not selling.

RM's feature car, the Horch Special Roadster, was sold for GBP.1.05 million, good value especially when converted into dollars, its target market. But a Horch is not a Mercedes...

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Left: Ferrari 250LM had been enthusiastically campaigned...

Right: ...and is now headed for retirement in Switzerland

It's probably best summed up as a respectable result which provided fresh perspective and eagerly awaited reassurance to the marketplace: buyers for the very best cars are alive and well informed.