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RM Sotheby’s Milan Car Auction Yields €51 Million

By Paul Joseph

RM Sotheby’s captured the attention of the global collector community this weekend with the largest private automotive collection ever sold in Europe

At its annual Duemila Ruote sale in Milan, the three-day auction smashed expectations, generating €51.26 million and attracting extraordinary crowds

During approximately 30 hours of auctioneering, 817 lots—comprising an astounding selection of motor cars, motorcycles, bicycles, boats and automobilia, all from one single private collection— were sold before a packed house at the Fiera Milano.

Augustin Sabatié-Garat, Car Specialist at RM Sotheby’s, said: “It feels like we achieved the impossible here in Milan this week. The logistical challenges involved with putting on this sale are mind-boggling, but we have risen to the challenge and achieved results that nobody could have anticipated. The auction venue alongside the Milano AutoClassica was busier than we have ever seen in a sale room.”

For auto enthusiasts, the collection’s 423 motor cars, many of which were seen on the open market for the first time in decades, presented a thrilling range of ownership opportunities at every level, driving countless bidding contests over the course of the auction.

In a field dominated by rare Italian machinery, top sales honours went to the 1966 Ferrari 275 GTB/6C Alloy; the first of just seven long-nose, six-carburettor, alloy body, torque tube 275 GTBs, its rarity, provenance and freshness to the market propelled it to an impressive €3.4 million Another star of the show, the 2004 Maserati MC12, sporting less than 6,000kms, stormed into the record books at a remarkable €3 million smashing the previous auction record by a considerable margin.

Other notable sales included the Lancia-built, Ferrari-engined 1991 Lancia-Ferrari LC2 Group C for 851,200; a 1994 Bugatti EB110 GT for an above-estimate 616,000; a rare manual 2007 Ferrari 599 GTB Fiorano also eclipsed its estimate at 537,600; and a ‘project’ 1952 Aston Martin DB2 DHC achieved 504,000.

Beyond the automobiles, phenomenal interest was also recorded for other categories included in the sale. A 2008 Ducati Desmosedici led the group of 155 motorcycles at 70,200; the 1984 CUV Lamborghini #1 Offshore Class 1 ‘Miura’, powered by two giant Lamborghini V-12s, dominated the fleet of 55 boats at a massive €117,000; and a Vintage Fire Service Bicycle spearheaded the docket of 140 bicycles at 10,530. The perfect holiday gift for the young enthusiast, even the Jaguar D-Type Children’s Car ignited spirited bidding, selling for €30,420.

With 35 years’ experience in the collector car industry, RM Sotheby’s (formerly RM Auctions) is the world's largest auction house for investment-quality automobiles.

By Paul Joseph