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Anticipation builds as rare cars are consigned to RM Auctions' flagship UK sale
1955 Mercedes-Benz 300SL Alloy Gullwing. Photo: Tom Wood ©2012 Courtesy of RM Auctions.
LONDON.- Now firmly established in the European auction scene, RM’s consistently high-performing central London sale at Battersea Evolution returns to the UK, 31st October.

The sale, which has previously attracted such star consignments as the Bernie Ecclestone Collection and the world-famous James Bond DB5 movie car, promises to deliver another broad selection of fine automobiles consigned from around the world and will undoubtedly attract an eager audience of international collectors.

“There is always high anticipation for our London sale,” says Max Girardo, Managing Director, RM Europe. “We never fail to deliver a world-class catalogue of exceptional cars, and with the market having remained strong throughout 2012, we look forward to staging another wonderful sale in the UK.”

Unquestionably, the star lot of the sale is an ultra-rare, alloy-bodied 1955 Mercedes-Benz 300SL Gullwing (pictured). The 20th of just 29 alloy-bodied examples built by the factory, this exquisitely restored car is a dream opportunity for serious, discerning collectors who value the car’s rarity, exclusivity, and wonderful competition-bred driving dynamics and enhanced performance. Chassis 198043-5500786 was originally delivered new to a Swiss industrialist, finished in white and red leather interior. The car now sports a much-admired silver exterior with stunning red leather interior (Estimate: £2,500,000–£3,200,000).

RM is world-renowned as a seller of fine Ferraris, so it is appropriate that the company’s forthcoming London sale also includes a wonderful series of motor cars from the Modenese Prancing Horse. Joining the Gullwing with a top-billing at the October sale is a race-bred, alloy-bodied 1959 Ferrari 250 GT LWB Scaglietti Berlinetta ‘Tour de France’, chassis 1335GT (Estimate: £1,800,000–£2,400,000). One of just 36 single-louvre examples, 1335GT was specially ordered for racing and delivered new with a competition engine to Casimiro Toselli, who went on to pilot the powerful Ferrari in numerous races through 1960. It then passed through a well-documented chain of collectors, remaining, for the most part, in Italy. The subject of a professional restoration, 1335GT boasts an exceptional pedigree that includes multiple entries in the famed Mille Miglia retrospective over the years, in addition to a display at the 50th Anniversary of Ferrari in Rome and Maranello. The Tour de France is surrounded by an impressive roster of other important and historic Ferraris at the sale, including a matching-numbers, well-documented 1958 Ferrari 250 GT Ellena Coupé, chassis 0861 GT (Estimate: £250,000–£320,000); a 1970 Ferrari 365 GTB/4 Daytona, chassis 13653 (Estimate: £240,000–£300,000); and a superbly restored 1965 Ferrari 275 GTS, chassis 07861 (Estimate: £350,000–£400,000) to name just a few.

RM’s London sale will also lift the hammer on a series of celebrated British automobiles, led by a highly desirable 1952 Bentley Continental R-Type Fastback Sports Saloon, chassis BC7A. BC7A is an important car, having been the very first R-Type Continental unveiled to the public at the 1952 London Motor Show. Freshly restored and presented in Broken White with red leather, exactly as it was in 1952, BC7A is the seventh Continental built and therefore belongs to the 'A' series cars, sought-after among collectors because of their lightweight features. This H.J. Mulliner-bodied fastback rates amongst the most desirable post-war Bentleys ever produced and is surely one of the best and earliest examples of this stylish and beautiful high-speed gentleman’s express (Estimate: £575,000–£675,000). Another great British automobile poised for RM’s London podium is a 1932 Rolls-Royce Phantom II Continental Drophead Coupé, chassis 32 MS, with coachwork by Carlton. Formerly the property of the Duke of Sutherland, chassis 32 MS is one of just 281 short wheelbase Continentals produced and is a rare find in drophead coupé guise (Estimate: £275,000–£375,000).

Beyond these individual, private entries, RM is delighted to announce a significant, single-vendor collection of cars currently owned by a well-known Dutch collector, Wim Zegwaard. Offered as a feature attraction at the Battersea sale, the huge 22 car collection represents an eclectic mix of American and European automobiles. Among others, the collections features no less than five Chevrolet Impala Convertibles, two Chevrolet Bel Air Convertibles, and three classic American Fords, including a Fairlane Galaxie 500 Convertible, a 1956 Thunderbird Convertible, and a 1966 Mustang 289 Convertible. The collection also boasts a wide cross-section of European classics, with entries as varied as a 1958 Mercedes-Benz 190SL through to a 1991 Citroen 2CV6 Charleston and culminating with a 2008 Bugatti Veyron EB 16.4, representing the pinnacle of modern supercar engineering.



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