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RM Sotheby's leads the way in Florida with record $70.9 Amelia Island sale
The sale-topping 1937 Bugatti Type 57S Cabriolet. Photo: Darin Schnabel © 2016 courtesy RM Sotheby’s.
AMELIA ISLAND, FLA.- RM Sotheby’s reinforced its clear market leadership this past weekend by generating an outstanding $70.9 million in sales with 90 percent of all lots sold at its 19th annual Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance sale. A new benchmark for an Amelia Island auction, the impressive total comfortably exceeds the combined tally of all the other auctions held during this year’s Amelia weekend.

Extended to two days with the addition of Friday’s exclusive presentation of ‘A Gentleman’s Collection: The Pride and Passion of Orin Smith’, RM’s 2017 Amelia Island sale lifted the gavel on a carefully curated roster of 150 blue-chip vehicles and select automobilia, attracting a truly global audience with bidders from 25 countries. Significantly, 21 percent of bidders represented first time clients to RM Sotheby’s.

“We’re thrilled with the results from this weekend’s Amelia Island sale,” comments Gord Duff, Auction Manager, RM Sotheby’s. “Not only was it our best ever Amelia Island performance, but the highest tally in Amelia Island auction history. The caliber of entries our team secured for this year’s event was second-to-none, as reflected in the positive feedback from collectors and media alike during preview, as well as the multiple bidding contests that filled the auction room during both sale sessions. We’re proud to have once again raised the bar, and look forward to continuing the momentum as we move into the busy Spring / Summer auction season.”

Leading RM’s string of 19 individual million-dollar-plus sales and claiming top honors of the 2017 Amelia Island auctions was a striking 1937 Bugatti Type 57S Cabriolet, one of only three examples sporting rare coachwork by Vanvooren of Paris (pictured top). Offered for public sale for the first time in its 80-year history, the highly original Type 57S sparkled under the auction lights during Saturday’s sale session, commanding $7,700,000. Just moments prior to the Bugatti’s sale, a well-known 1929 Stutz Model M Supercharged Coupe, one of only three supercharged Stutzes in existence, proved demand remains strong for great American Classics at auction, selling for $1,705,000 against a pre-sale estimate of $1/1.2 million. The strong sales price represents a new record for a Stutz at auction.

Friday’s sale session was also one for the books, with the Orin Smith Collection generating $31 million in sales with a 100 percent sell-through. A wonderful showcase of RM Sotheby’s expertise and capabilities in handling private collection auctions, the sale represented the first time RM has hosted a Friday evening sale at Amelia, and provided a fitting tribute to a man beloved by the Amelia crowd, drawing a packed sales room. The group of 63 vehicles was headlined by a stunning 1936 Lancia Astura Cabriolet Series III “Tipo Bocca” at $2,145,000. Other notable sales included:

· the 1956 Bentley S1 Continental Drophead Coupe, just two registered owners from new, shattered both its presale estimate of $700/900,000 and the previous auction record for the model at a final $1,683,000;

· a superbly restored 1933 Rolls-Royce Phantom II Special Newmarket Permanent Sedan soared past its $1,000,000 high estimate at a final $1,237,500; and,

· a 1966 Aston Martin Short-Chassis Volante, the very first example of just 37 built, sold for $1,705,000.

The power of ‘no reserve’ exhibited at Friday’s Orin Smith Collection sale was witnessed again on Saturday with terrific results achieved for a well-known private collection of 10 sporting cars. Highlighting the group, a dramatic two-tone red and black 1956 Maserati A6G/54 Frua Coupe Series III, much-admired by enthusiasts during preview, provided one of the most intense and lively bidding contests of the weekend, eventually selling for $2,365,000 against a pre-sale estimate of $1.6/2.2 million. From the same collection, a 1974 Porsche 911 Carrera RS 3.0 eclipsed its pre-sale estimate of $900,000 - $1.1 million to storm into the record books at a final $1,375,000 (an auction record for the model). Also commanding strong bids were a spectacular 1954 Mercedes-Benz 300 SL Gullwing, which realized $1,358,500, and a stunning 1955 Alfa Romeo 1900C SS Coupe, which brought $1,100,000.

Other noteworthy sales of RM’s 2017 Amelia Island event include:

· the 5,694-mile 1995 Ferrari F50, originally delivered to famed heavyweight Champion boxer, Mike Tyson, sold for an above-estimate $2,640,000;

· a 1938 Graham 97 Supercharged Cabriolet, exquisitely restored by RM Auto Restoration, set a new benchmark for a Graham at auction with its strong $770,000 final price; and,

· ending Saturday’s sale session on a fun note, a 1963 Meyers Manx—the original dune buggy—doubled its pre-sale estimate to sell for a record $68,750.

As part of the event, RM was also proud to lend its auction services to support the fundraising efforts of the Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance Foundation; proceeds from the first two lots of Saturday’s sale session (201 and 202), which amounted to $41,400, will benefit Spina Bifida of Jacksonville.

“The Amelia Island weekend continues to grow in stature each year, and this year was no exception. All in all, it was another terrific hobby weekend and there’s plenty to celebrate, including the remarkable efforts of the Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance team and their volunteers, who pulled off a last minute date change for their event with great success.”






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