Ferraris at the Monaco GP Historique Auctions
Volume 47 Issue 12
Jun 11, 2022
Rick Carey goes to Monaco to review Bonhams and RM Sotheby's auction Ferrari offerings.
Ferraris were nearly as ubiquitous on the auction blocks at Bonhams and RM Sotheby’s as they were on the streets of Monaco during the GP Historique weekend of May 13-14.
Bonhams found a new home in a ballroom of the ultra-luxe Fairmont Hotel. Access on the sale day, Friday, was challenged by the old cars circulating on the track during practice and qualifying.
It would have been tempting to hang out there all day with spectacular views of the harbor and Mediterranean except that the lobby restaurant, Nobu, was offering hamburgers for €34. Even with a strong dollar that was prohibitive. It did come with frites, and perhaps included a pickle.
Better to head up the hill to the famed le tip top, where the burgers were only [sic] €18.50.
There were 26 Ferraris among the 103 lots offered, 25%. They accounted for the week’s highest bid (Bonhams $4,996,800 high bid for the 340 MM) and $16,989,356 in total sales, 36.2% of the total of $46,941,388 changing hands.
[Two lots, both Ferraris, one at Bonhams, the other at RM, were reported sold for undisclosed prices after they crossed the block. One is included here at the observed high bid on the block without calculating buyer’s commission.]
The most expensive Ferrari was a special situation: 1989 640 Formula One s/n 109 that brought $3,752,805 (€3,605,000 all-in). It was introduced on the RM Sotheby’s auction block by its owner, Nigel Mansell. It had been given to him by Ferrari at the conclusion of the season and was, in Mansell’s words, “every nut and bolt original and as it was received from Ferrari.”
Among other vehicles offered from Mansell’s collection was the week’s top seller, his 1991 Williams FW14 Formula One, winner of five GP races and the famed “taxi” on which Ayrton Senna hitched a ride after the 1991 British Grand Prix. It brought an epic $4,221,255 all-in.
RM also had the most unusual Ferrari offered at auction in a long time, if ever. It was an engineering/development mule car from the LaFerrari project, complete with crude disguise panels. Despite being bid to $1,197,150 (€1,150,000) it didn’t find a new home.
Observed prices in relationship with the U.S. market were variable, in some cases reflecting the strong US$, calculated here using a rate of $1.0410/€1. That is down 15% from the rate of $1.22 a year ago and getting close to parity, a rate some think may be reached soon if the EC continues its slow economic recovery from Covid and negative interest rate policies, creating buyers’ arbitrage opportunities for US$ buyers.
Reports on all of the cars at Bonhams Monaco and 49 of the 68 lots offered at RM Sotheby’s are posted at www.rickcarey.com.
212 INTER VIGNALE CABRIOLET RHD, S/N 0159 E (1951). Rosso Bordeaux with tan pigskin. Estimate $1.98 million to $2.4 million. Older restoration, 1- condition. Reported sold for an undisclosed amount, hammer bid to $1.77 million. Three Weber carburetors (factory upgraded in 1953), 5-speed, Borrani wire wheels, Dunlop tires, woodrim steering wheel with finger buttons, tinted glass visors, Marchal headlights. Classiche certified. 2014 Pebble Beach second-in-class. Excellent paint with minor polishing scuffs. Nearly unused upholstery and interior soft trim. Bright chrome. A quality older restoration, sensitively used and maintained. Sold by Bonhams at Scottsdale in 2020 for $1.93 million and showing only 14 km more now than it did then. It was unsold on the block at this bid and later reported sold by Bonhams at an undisclosed price. It is a distinguished car with characteristic Vignale features and would be a solid value even at the all-in price it brought two years ago. Lot # 124. Bonhams.
250 GTE SERIES I, S/N 2619 GT (1961). Rosso Bordeaux with black leather. Estimate $312,300 to $353,940. Cosmetic restoration, 3 condition. Hammered sold at $286,275 plus commission of 14.32 percent = final price of $327,264. Marchal fog lights, Borrani wire wheels, Michelin XWX tires, period AM-FM. Clearcoat repaint and stretched upholstery. Erratic chrome especially the rear bumper. Good opening panel fits but both doors sag at the back. Orderly engine compartment. Filthy chassis. Classiche certified engine, gearbox and differential in 2020. A cosmetically restored, but driver quality, car with shiny paint and some pretty chrome. Offered by RM at Paris two years ago where it was bid to $330,180 (€ 300,000 at the time, the hammer bid here is € 275,000.) It needs a lot of help that won’t be inexpensive and the bidders were understandably reticent but even this result is generous. Lot # 169. RM Sotheby’s.
275 GTB, S/N 6691 (1965). Grigio Argento with black leather. Estimate $1.77 million to $1.87 million. Cosmetic restoration, 3+ condition. Hammered sold at $1.87 million plus commission of 12.78 percent = final price of $2.11 million. Borrani wire wheels, Michelin XWX tires, Halda Twinmaster rally odometer. Very good recent clearcoat paint. Slightly older lightly stretched upholstery. Aged dash and gauges. Good chrome. Dirty unrestored underbody. Current owner since 1998, used in many tours and rallies. Classiche certified. Sometimes evidence of use is a positive contributor to value and to bidders’ confidence, showing that it is a car, not an object of veneration. That is exemplified in this transaction and the result this otherwise aged and used 275 GTB brought. Lot # 157. RM Sotheby’s.
275 GTS, S/N 6999 (1965). Dark blue with beige leather. Estimate $1.25 million to $1.67 million. Older restoration, 2 condition. Hammered sold at $1.35 million plus commission of 15 percent = final price of $1.56 million. Borrani wire wheels, Michelin XWX tires, Brantz rally computer, Marchal halogen headlights. Very good paint, chrome, interior and top. The odometer shows 8,262 km and the car is consistent with that use (and really good care) since restoration in 2011. Classiche certified noting a replacement gearbox and color change from the original Celeste over black leather. Many owners over the years, one of which was Montlhéry dealership Stand 14 where 1972 Monaco GP winner Jean-Pierre Beltoise was a partner. The catalog imprecisely credits Beltoise as a prior owner. That aside, the 275 GTS is in outstanding condition and should be a satisfying acquisition in both quality and value for the new owner. Lot # 112. Bonhams.
330 GT SERIES II, S/N 8475 (1966). Dark blue with red leather. Estimate $197,790 to $239,430. Visually maintained, largely original, 3- condition. Hammered sold at $197,790 plus commission of 15 percent = final price of $227,459. Borrani wire wheels, Michelin tires. Generally scruffy with a poor quality old repaint and worn original interior. Represented as the matching numbers engine and gearbox. Static displayed for two decades and needs pretty much everything. Offered by RM from the Petitjean collection at Paris earlier this year where it was reported bid to $220,895 and unsold. Expectations were revised, as were the bidders’ appreciation for its neglected condition, and it moved on at this realistic result although it will need many more dollars, pounds or € before it can be enjoyed. Lot # 138. RM Sotheby’s.
365 GT 2+2, S/N 11527 (1968). Grigio Argento with red leather. Estimate $124,920 to $176,970. Visually maintained, largely original, 4+ condition. Hammered sold at $135,330 plus commission of 15 percent = final price of $155,630. Power windows, power steering, Blaupunkt multiband radio, Borrani wire wheels, Michelin XWX tires, yellow lens Carello halogen headlights. Glass out mediocre repaint over old paint with dirt inclusions. Rust bubbles over both headlights and on the nose. Filled right sill, door bottom and left front fender leg. Scratched chrome, pitted taillight housings and peeling left vent window frame. Good recent seat coverings. Dirty original undercoat in the wheel wells. Static displayed since 1985. A car best avoided. Offered by RM at Paris three months ago from the Petitjean collection where it was a no-sale on a reported high bid of $207,902 (€ 184,000.) Meticulously restored it might bring $300,000 but it will cost far more than the headroom left at this price to get it there. It is permanently underwater at this price and, honestly, would be even if it were given away. Lot # 183. RM Sotheby’s.
365 GTS/4, S/N 16839 (1973). Fly yellow with black leather. Estimate $2 million to $2.3 million. Visually maintained, largely original, 3+ condition. Hammered sold at $2.4 million plus commission of 12.72 percent = final price of $2.7 million. Borrani wire wheels, Michelin XWX tires, Veglia air conditioning, Blaupunkt AM-FM. Ex-Sir Anthony Bamford and Otis Chandler. Good repaint, even gaps and flush fits. Good surface creased upholstery. Good bumper chrome but scratched windshield frame and bright trim. Clean underbody. Crack at the base of the left windshield post. Even panel gaps and flush fits but wavy sills with paint blisters. Sold by Christie’s at Lyndhurst in 1999 for $354,500 and offered by RM at Arizona in 2019 where it was bid to $1.85 million (€1.63 million at the time) and not sold. It is reasonably estimated here, but the final successful bid of €2.3 million and $2.7 million final price are optimistic. Lot # 164. RM Sotheby’s.
365 GTB/4 COMPETITION CONVERSION, S/N 16935 (1973). Yellow with black cloth. Estimate $546,525 to $598,575. Competition restoration, 2- condition. Hammered sold at $520,500 plus commission of 13.50 percent = final price of $590,768. MOMO leather rim steering wheel, Stack tachometer, 4-point OMP belts, OMP seats, 15-inch 5-spoke gold painted alloy wheels, Avon tires, RenoTrip rally odometer, outside fuel filler, covered fixed headlights. Converted to Group IV specifications by Roelofs in the late 1990s. Very good paint and interior. Bright, crisp gauges. Very good barely used seats. Spotless engine compartment with cold air box. Worn pedals and dirty pedal linkage. Appears to be race ready but with the most recent scrutineering being from Classic Endurance in 2015. Bought for a price appropriate for a good condition Daytona, the competition modifications are free. Lot # 171. RM Sotheby’s.
365 GT4 2+2, S/N 19489 (1976). Oro Kelso with black leather. Estimate $83,280 to $104,100. Visually maintained, largely original, 3- condition. Hammered sold at $62,460 plus commission of 15 percent = final price of $71,829. Built-in Alcatel Radiotelephone, Ansa exhaust, five Cromodora alloy wheels, Pirelli tires, AutoSound A310 cassette stereo, air conditioning, power windows. Superficial but protective repaint in the original color with shrinkage showing on the hood. Sound and lightly used original upholstery appropriate to the 78,576 km on the odometer. Decent trim chrome with wear and pitting door handles. Peeling wheel paint and scratched wheel nuts. Clean engine with paint loss from being hosed down. A bit nasty, but honest and represented with the original matching numbers engine, gearbox and rear axle. Quickly returned to the market after being sold for $84,602 at RM’s auction of the Jean Guikas collection six months ago, perhaps related to import bond issues that were not highlighted in the prior transaction. The Monaco bidders hedged their bets with this result and can pay duties and VAT on this result while coming out the other side with a reasonably priced 5-speed 365 GT4 even in this well-used condition. Lot # 184. RM Sotheby’s.
512 BBi, VIN ZFFJA09B000042971 (1982). Black with black leather, gray cloth inserts. Estimate $166,560 to $208,200. Visually maintained, largely original, 3+ condition. Hammered sold at $166,560 plus commission of 15 percent = final price of $191,544. 5-spoke alloy wheels, Michelin TRX tires, Pioneer cassette stereo, Borletti air conditioning, power windows, MOMO leather rim steering wheel. Very good paint and lightly stretched original upholstery. Orderly engine compartment. An orderly and usable car. Like the 308 GTB Vetroresina sold a few lots before, also from a German collection, this 512 BBi is impressively maintained and preserved, showing just 46,656 believable kilometers on its odometer. It is not Classiche certified, however, and there is no service history with it which means an immediate and potentially expensive trip to a Ferrari specialist to be checked out and have its service brought current. The price it brought, even well into the estimate range, recognizes that contingency and is fair to both buyer and seller. Lot # 106. Bonhams.
TESTAROSSA, VIN ZFFSA17S000080974 (1989). Red with black leather. Estimate $145,740 to $156,150. Unrestored original, 3+ condition. Hammered sold at $130,125 plus commission of 15 percent = final price of $149,644. Alloy wheels, Michelin Pilot Sport tires, Blaupunkt stereo, power windows. Part of Gerhard Berger’s 1989 Scuderia Ferrari F1 deal, conveyed directly from the factory through Denzel, the Innsbruck, Austria, dealership. Replaced later that year by an F40. Signed by Berger on the dashboard and engine compartment in 2017 and comes with books and manuals. Very good original paint and lightly stretched upholstery. Very clean engine compartment and fresh underbody. Lower left windshield corner beginning to delaminate. One small stone chip below the right front marker light. Impressively clean and orderly. This is a representative price for a Testarossa in this condition and bears little to no premium for the Gerhard Berger provenance. The new owner got a reassuringly maintained Testarossa for a reasonable price. The “ex-Gerhard Berger” history is free. Lot # 108. Bonhams.
512 TR, VIN ZFFLA40S000093585 (1992). Red with cream leather. Estimate $130,125 to $182,175. Unrestored original, 2- condition. Hammered sold at $208,200 plus commission of 15 percent = final price of $239,430. Alloy wheels, Michelin Pilot Sport tires, air conditioning, power windows. Excellent original paint with polishing swirl everywhere. Very good lightly used upholstery. Clean underbody. Represented as 17,961 km and looks like it. Classiche certified in 2013. Cam belt serviced in 2019. This 512 TR has all the earmarks of a car that has never been mistreated or neglected and the bidders responded to it with some enthusiasm but without losing sight of its inherent value. A sound value. Lot # 159. RM Sotheby’s.
456 GT, VIN ZFFSD44B000100127 (1994). Silver metallic with tobacco leather. Estimate $93,690 to $124,920. Unrestored original, 2- condition. Hammered sold at $124,920 plus commission of 15 percent = final price of $143,658. 6-speed, Ferrari stereo, climate control, power windows and seats, 5-spoke alloy wheels, Pirelli PZero tires, luggage, books, correspondence. Excellent original paint with a few minor nose chips and chipped behind the wheel wells. Sound original upholstery lightly stretched on the driver’s seat cushion. Good gauges and interior controls. Three owners from new, first owned by Sergio Pininfarina, and all of them took very good care of it. Bought at the high end of RM’s pre-sale estimate range but still a reasonable result for such a well-maintained example with Sergio Pininfarina ownership history. Lot # 133. RM Sotheby’s.
550 BARCHETTA, VIN ZFFZR52B000124218 (2001). Nero Daytona with black leather. Estimate $301,890 to $374,760. Unrestored original, 2- condition. Hammered sold at $322,710 plus commission of 14.11 percent = final price of $368,254. SF shields, 5-spoke modular alloy wheels, red calipers, Michelin Pilot Sport tires, CD stereo, air conditioning, factory hardtop, #240 of 448 built, helmet, books, service book. Sand pitted nose and polishing swirled original paint. Barely used upholstery. Nearly like new and showing only 22,529 km on both the odometer and the car. Sticky switches corrected this year. Offered by Bonhams at Gstaad in 2007 where it was bid to $181,614 (about €126,600 at the time). The result here is reasonable in today’s market, especially considering this example’s excellent preservation, included hardtop and modest mileage. Lot # 149. RM Sotheby’s.
SUPERAMERICA F1, VIN ZFFGT61B000143790 (2005). Rosso Scuderia with black leather. Estimate $291,480 to $333,120. Unrestored original, 2 condition. Hammered sold at $286,275 plus commission of 14.32 percent = final price of $327,264. Blaupunkt stereo, 5-spoke modular alloy wheels, Michelin Pilot Sport tires, black calipers, SF shields, climate control. Aside from slight stretching on the driver’s seat cushion it is unblemished and like new. Displayed during the preview with its “Revocromico” roof retracted and its condition could not be observed. The odometer reading is 12,596 km and the car shows barely any of them. March 2022 belt and new tires serviced. Superamericas are appreciating rapidly, as long as their super expensive Revocromico roofs are in good condition, and this transaction bears that out. Lot # 155. RM Sotheby’s.
LAFERRARI PROTOTYPE, VIN ZFF67NHB000184232 (2011). Matte black with tan leather. Estimate $1.46 million to $1.87 million. Unrestored original, 3- condition. Not sold at hammer bid of $1.2 million. 20-inch 5-spoke alloy wheels, Michelin Pilot Super Sport tires, black calipers, carbon ceramic discs, climate control, SF shields. A preproduction mule car based on a 458 Italia with crude disguise panels over the real bodywork and F140FB V-12 engine, no hybrid assists. Various wires and controls used for handling and suspension development in the otherwise fully trimmed cockpit. Ugly to contemplate, but an important illustration of a Ferrari’s development. Not road registerable and sold on a bill of sale but Classiche Yellow Book certified. A compelling bookend to a collection with a LaFerrari, its value is in the eyes of the beholders and they didn’t see it the same way the consignor did. The evidence of the development process is fascinating and instructive, and it deserves to find a good home. Lot # 154. RM Sotheby’s.
DINO 246 GTS, S/N 05530 (1973). Rosso Cordoba metallic with beige leather, black bars. Estimate $364,350 to $416,400. Visually maintained, largely original, 3 condition. Hammered sold at $494,475 plus commission of 13.55 percent = final price of $561,489. Chairs and Flares. Campagnolo alloy wheels, Michelin XWX tires, Daytona seats, Borletti air conditioning, power windows, aftermarket air filters, fire extinguisher, CD stereo. Good repaint with flawed areas visible mostly on the rear deck, surface creased original upholstery, old undercoat in the wheel wells. The engine compartment is orderly and is stated to have much work in 2015 after being stored for a decade. Represented as matching numbers engine and gearbox. Its age is apparent, but so is its preservation. Sold by Artcurial during Retromobile 2018 for $411,283 (€345,680 at the time) but its odometer has added under 700 km since then. It should have brought about the same money today as it did four years ago, not this result which is a hammer bid almost 19% more than the pre-sale high estimate. The reason for the bidders’ enthusiasm is apparent only to them and it is vastly expensive in this transaction. Lot # 151. RM Sotheby’s.
308 GTB VETRORESINA, S/N 18879 (1976). Black with beige leather, black stripes. Estimate $135,330 to $166,560. Visually maintained, largely original, 2- condition. Hammered sold at $135,330 plus commission of 15 percent = final price of $155,630. Weber carburetors, Borletti air conditioning, power windows, Michelin XWX tires, cassette stereo. Very good paint looks more fresh than original but without evidence of repainting or any preparation oversights. Good upholstery only lightly stretched on both cushions. Clean, orderly engine compartment and chassis. Classiche certified, original engine and gearbox. Belt serviced in 2019. A very good example that looks better than the 92,808 km on the odometer would indicate. Bought at the pre-sale low estimate, this superbly maintained Classiche certified fiberglass 308 GTB could have brought more without being expensive. It is a good value at this price. Lot # 103. Bonhams.
328 GTS, VIN ZFFWA20B000081547 (1989). Rosso Corsa with tan leather. Estimate $93,690 to $124,920. Visually maintained, largely original, 3 condition. Hammered sold at $98,895 plus commission of 15 percent = final price of $113,729. Alloy wheels, Continental ContiSportContact tires, power windows, air conditioning, Pioneer cassette stereo. Very good fresh repaint with minor masking issues. Good original interior trim and lightly creased upholstery. Clear gauges and controls. 7,021 km from new but no service history. An $85,000 car with an expensive $15,000 low mileage premium. Lot # 166. RM Sotheby’s.
360 CHALLENGE, VIN ZFFYR51B000136235 (2001). Red with red cloth. Estimate $93,690 to $124,920. Competition car, original as-raced, 2- condition. Hammered sold at $82,239 plus commission of 15 percent = final price of $94,575. 7-spoke BBS alloy wheels, roll cage, LCD gauges, fire system, owner’s pouch, two keys, tank-filling kit and other details. Lightly Challenge Series used with no evident damage or blemishes just some track miles and age. An exciting track day car bought for a seriously modest price, particularly when contrasted with other popular marques that are more trendy. This is eye-watering performance and handling that even after a thorough operational and safety checkout and service will be rewarding. Lot # 122. RM Sothey’s.