RM Sotheby’s Miami Auction Preview

RM Sotheby's Miami Auction 2024

It’s a big weekend for RM Sotheby’s in Miami. Not only is ModaMiami being held for the first time ever, but they have a very important auction that may answer the question as to whether or not it was the right choice to leave Amelia Island after so many years. But they’ve pulled out all the stops for Miami and will be offering some very exclusive, very valuable collector cars this weekend. Classic Ferraris, modern hypercars, and more will be available for bidders so let’s check out a few of the truly high-end lots.

The 1953 Ferrari 250 Europa Coupe by Vignale is a rare and exquisite example of the early 250 series, which marked the beginning of Ferrari’s collaboration with Lampredi and Pinin Farina. The Ferrari 250 Europa was the first road car to use the famous 250 series designation, which would later spawn icons such as the 250 GT SWB, the 250 GTO and the 250 LM.

Only three Europas were bodied by Vignale, a renowned coachbuilder who had previously worked on several competition Ferraris. The design by Giovanni Michelotti featured a sloping fastback profile, a large egg crate grille, lowered headlights, and various scoops and louvres. The car debuted at the Paris Motor Show alongside the Pinin Farina Europas, but it was much more complex design.

The 250 Europa Coupe set to be offered by RM Sotheby’s is one of two that were equipped with the 3.0L Colombo V12 and one of only three Vignale-bodied 250 Europa Coupes. It was thoroughly restored between 2010 and 2015 including a rebuild of the matching-numbers engine, as documented by its Ferrari Classiche Red Book. It won Best of Show at Cavallino Classic Middle East and the Las Vegas Concours d’Elegance.

This car should easily reach the pre-auction estimate of $4,500,000 – $5,500,000.

The Ferrari 365 California Spyder, designed by Pininfarina, is among the most exclusive and elegant models ever produced by the Italian manufacturer. Launched in 1966 as a successor to the 500 Superfast, it was offered to a select group of VIPs who valued its refined performance and luxurious design.

The 365 California Spyder was built using the same chassis as the 500 Superfast, but featured unique bodywork that was designed by Tom Tjaarda at Pininfarina. This car is known for its elongated and sleek design, which includes covered headlights, pop-up driving lights, and a distinctive Kamm tail rear end. Additionally, this Ferrari model was the first to be equipped with a 4.4-liter Colombo V12 engine, which produced 320 horsepower and enabled the vehicle to reach a top speed of 152 mph.

The Cal Spyder is among the rarest Ferraris ever produced, with only 14 examples manufactured. This car is highly valued for its combination of stylish design and advanced engineering, embodying the pinnacle of Ferrari’s long-standing tradition of grand touring cars.

The one to be offered by RM Sotheby’s is the 9th built and is certified by Ferrari Classiche with its Red Book confirming matching-numbers engine, chassis, gearbox, rear axle, and body. It’s only had four owners and was restored to its original Rosso Cina with Bianca Molitan leather in 2009.

At first glance the pre-auction estimate of $4,000,000 – $4,500,000 appears a bit high, but there are so few of these cars it’s not as if there are a lot of auction records to compare it with. Considering the literal hunk of metal that sold for more than $1,000,000 in Monterey last year, it won’t surprise us to see this at least reach the low-end of the estimate.

The Duesenberg Model J was introduced in 1928 by automotive manufacturer Duesenberg, which was owned by E.L. Cord, a visionary entrepreneur who wanted to create the best car in the world.

The Model J was powered by a massive 7.0-liter inline eight engine, which had a dual overhead camshaft and four valves per cylinder. The engine produced 265 horsepower, making it the fastest American car at the time. Some examples were even supercharged, boosting the power to 320 horsepower. The Model J could reach speeds of over 130 mph, which was remarkable for the era.

The Model J was considered a masterpiece of design and craftsmanship. The chassis and engine were built by Duesenberg, but the bodywork was completed by various coachbuilders, such as LeBaron, Murphy, Rollston and Lagrande. Each car was unique and tailored to the owner’s preferences and tastes. The Model J featured elegant lines, sweeping fenders, chrome accents and luxurious interiors.

The ‘Disappearing Top’ Convertible Coupe by Murphy is perhaps the most desirable body style today and the example set to be offered by RM Sotheby’s is one of two surviving ‘Disappearing Top’ cars with original rear-mounted spares. It’s certified by the Auburn Cord Duesenberg Club and is ready to hit the concours with its new owner.

A few years ago the pre-auction estimate of $3,500,000 – $4,000,000 would have sounded absurd, but the rarity and originality of this particular ‘Disappearing Top’ by Murphy does up its value. We can’t be certain that it will reach the low-end of that estimate, but if it gets close to that the seller should take the money.

The Bugatti Chiron is a top-of-the-line hypercar and the successor to the renowned Bugatti Veyron, offering even greater performance in many ways. Originally priced at approximately $3 million, this car boasts a powerful 8.0-liter quad-turbocharged W16 engine that delivers an astounding 1500 horsepower and 1600 Nm of torque. These impressive specifications enable the Chiron to go from 0 to 100 km/h in a mere 2.4 seconds and reach a top speed of 420 km/h, which is restricted electronically for safety reasons.

The Chiron is renowned for its speed, aesthetics, and luxury. It boasts a stunning carbon fiber exterior and a cabin adorned with high-end materials. The first owner of each Chiron had the opportunity to personalize it extensively, with an array of options for paint, trim, and interior design. This vehicle represents the pinnacle of engineering and design excellence, embodying the ultimate fusion of performance and exclusivity.

The one to be offered by RM Sotheby’s is part of the group of about 207 original Chirons to be built out of a total of 500 variants of the Chiron when considering all the different versions produced. It’s covered just 1,489 miles since new and has remained with its first owner. It benefits from a major service that was completed in September 2023.

The 2018 Bugatti Chiron includes the metal box that’s designed to hold its standard and speed keys, USB drive, owner’s manuals, and US-spec rear bumperettes. It presents wonderfully in French Racing Blue with a Deep Blue and French Racing Blue interior. The pre-auction estimate of $3,200,000 – $3,800,000 seems in line with trends we’ve seen in the hypercar market so anything above that would be extremely well-sold.

The Ferrari F40 is widely regarded as one of the most iconic and legendary supercars ever produced, having been personally approved by Enzo Ferrari himself before his passing. It was created to commemorate Ferrari’s 40th anniversary and stands out as a remarkable example of engineering and design expertise.

The F40 was based on the 288 GTO Evoluzione, a prototype that was developed for the Group B rally class, but never raced due to the cancellation of the category. The F40 inherited the 2.9-liter twin-turbocharged V8 engine from the 288 GTO. The F40 also featured a lightweight carbon fiber and Kevlar body, a stripped-down interior with no creature comforts, and a distinctive rear wing that gave it an aggressive and aerodynamic look.

The F40 was capable of reaching a top speed of 201 mph, making it the fastest production car in the world at the time of its launch in 1987. It was praised for its handling, braking, and responsiveness, thanks to its rear mid-engine, rear-wheel drive layout and its five-speed manual transmission. The F40 was a pure driver’s car that offered an exhilarating and visceral driving experience.

The 1990 Ferrari F40 that will be offered for sale by RM Sotheby’s comes from single ownership and is virtually a new car, showing just 1,200 km since new (about 746 miles). It’s one of the more desirable European-spec “non-cat, non-adjust” examples and recently received a $70,000 major service. It’s been submitted for Ferrari Classiche Certification and retains its matching-numbers parts including engine, gearbox, body, and chassis. It includes original books and tools.

Keeping in mind how few examples of the F40 with comparable mileage likely exist, it’s understandable to see the pre-auction estimate higher than one might expect for a normal F40 – if there is such a thing. Miami seems the right venue for a very low-mileage F40 to reach the estimate of $2,800,000 – $3,400,000, though if it gets close to the low end of that we would advise the seller to make the deal.