Across The Block: RM Sotheby's, Milan
Our annual feast of dead bird, fine pigskin, family arguments, cheap electronics, and roughly 200 (of 600) good episodes of The Simpsons is upon us. And once again, we take a glimpse into the wild world of classic car auctions, sure to be another magnificent family tradition.
Due to the holiday weekend here in the States, this week we look east to Milan for RM Sotheby’s Duemila Ruote 2016, an auction featuring over 400 collectibles — all at no reserve. I loved looking through this catalog. The exotics are awesome, of course, but the relatively pedestrian cars that we just don’t see here are what catch my eye.
Or, with one example, turn my stomach.
Note: I’ll be listing all prices in Euro, as the dollar is very close to a 1:1 match currently (1 EUR:1.06 USD at this writing) and it simplifies matters for those clicking between TTAC and the auction site.
Yeah, we love Fords here, particularly the hot ones. I still lust for a Merkur XR4Ti, but were I to partake, I’d know it wasn’t what it could be.
This Sierra RS Cosworth is the real thing. With a hot turbocharged Cossie twincam, it makes the 2.3-powered Merkur look like a CVH-equipped Escort with a missing plug wire. With a pair of fixed-back racing seats, we’d guess it has seen some use on a tarmac rally or otherwise properly hooned. Still, forbidden fruit is sweet, and this price seems quite reasonable.
RM estimate: 10,000-12,000 EUR
My guess: 14,000 EUR
This blew my mind. That a Indy 500 car from my youth could potentially be this inexpensive, especially with an engine, is remarkable. That it’s one of the rare Alfa Romeo-engined cars is even more cool.
No, the Alfa-powered car was never a winner, but I typically see former CART racers sell for well over $75,000 when fitted with an engine. At this price, one would assume it was merely a rolling chassis.
RM estimate: 20,000-30,000 EUR
My guess: 45,000 EUR
Frustratingly, RM Sotheby’s doesn’t list details for their auction lots, limiting perusal to a few photos. This spectacular Fulvia looks to have been tuned a bit beyond the typical historic rally car it is — the modern tires, for example, look a bit out-of-place — but otherwise this front-wheel drive, multi-headlamp beast is stellar.
I want it.
RM estimate: 35,000-40,000 EUR
My guess: 30,000 EUR
I’m calling this one as a joke. It’s the last car listed in the catalog, likely to close out the day on Sunday. That someone in Italy kept a GM Dustbuster minivan this clean for 25 years is amazing, but I can’t imagine the RM Sotheby’s crowd will deem this worthy of a raised paddle.
RM estimate: 1,500-3,000 EUR
My guess: 400 EUR and/or a wheel of cheese
I had a better week, assuming I can be either 20-percent high or low on the guesses. After all, as long as my name is on the byline, I can make up the rules. Right?
Still, I was about 20-percent high on the E-Type, and 20-percent low on the Samba. It all evens out. Except that last car. Just forget about it completely.
My guess: $5000
Selling price: $3750
My guess: $145,000
Selling price: $115,000
My guess: $85,000
Selling price: $106,000
My guess (clearly someone put something in my coffee): $45,000
Selling price: $14,000
Friends, continue to tear into my guesses, but take a look at the other cars offered this weekend. What might look good rolling off a boat and into your garage?
[Images: RM Auctions, Inc.]
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