RM Sotheby’s ICONS Sale Totals $45.5M During Sotheby’s ‘A Life of Luxury’ Week

RM Sotheby's
1959 Ferrari 250 GT LWB California Spider Competizione - Image courtesy RM Sotheby's

Iconic motor cars from pre-War Classics through today’s most sought-after hypercars drove RM Sotheby’s third Manhattan sale, entitled ICONS, to a $45.5 million total, September 6th at Sotheby’s York Ave headquarters, with 84 percent of all lots sold. The total was led by 11 individual million-dollar-plus results and saw strong prices for exceptional historic racers and high performance models of the 1990s, 2000s, and today.

Following a persistent competition between multiple bidders in the room and on the phones lasting nearly ten minutes, the star of the sale, an open-headlight 1959 Ferrari 250 GT LWB California Spider Competizione, chassis no. 1451 GT sold for a final $17,990,000 to exceed its pre-sale estimate (est. $14/17m). The second of just eight aluminium-bodied California Spiders to come out of the factory, 1451 GT secured 5th overall at the 1959 24 Hours of Le Mans in New Yorker Bob Grossman and the car’s debut at the Circuit de la Sarthe. Truly one of the greatest California Spiders extant, the Classiche Certified Ferrari is highly eligible for concours and vintage racing events the world over.

Gord Duff, Global Head of Auctions, RM Sotheby’s said:
“We were thrilled to return to New York where we reaffirmed the city’s place on the RM circuit with this great $45.5 million result.

“The ICONS auction attracted many thousands of visitors as both art and car enthusiasts flocked to Sotheby’s Manhattan headquarters to view over 30 iconic automobiles. We saw strong bidding across the sale including from a number of Sotheby’s specialists on the phones competing with clients in the packed room. There was particular excitement around our top lot – the 1959 Ferrari 250 GT LWB California Spider Competizione which saw four bidders compete for nearly ten minutes sending the final price to $17.99 million.”


At the other end of the collector car spectrum, all eyes were on the first ever Bugatti Chiron offered at auction over the course of the ICONS exhibition. Nearly impossible to acquire from new and boasting a mind-blowing 1400 hp, the first example ordered for the U.S. market sold for a final $3,772,500 (est. $3.5/4m). The new owner will also be treated to a personalized, once-in-a-lifetime visit of the Bugatti factory in Molsheim, France complete with lunch, a factory tour, and a test drive with a noted test driver.

RM Sotheby’s – Stand Out Lots

Additional stand out lots from the ICONS sale include high watermarks in several segments of the market, led by a 1952 Jaguar C-Type, XKC 007 at $5,285,000, the first example to win a race on U.S. soil, at the hands of Phil Hill no less. An exceptional 1958 Mercedes-Benz 300 SL Roadster, the last complete restoration to leave Rudi & Company’s renowned workshop, also attracted discerning collectors of the staple model, resulting in a final $1,407,500 (est. $1.25/1.5m). The nineties were well represented by a 1990 Lamborghini LM002, one of 60 U.S.-delivery “LM/American” examples, which sold for a final $467,000 (est. $400/500,000), smashing the previous record for the model, and a 1992 Lancia Delta HF Integrale Evoluzione, one of 400 ‘Giallo Ferrari’ special editions with a mere 6,500 km on the odometer, which achieved $190,400 (est. $175/225,000), setting a new world record for a road-going Delta Integrale at auction.

Finally, offered without reserve, the 2000 BMW Z8 originally owned by late visionary Apple Founder Steve Jobs attracted tremendous media attention, eventually selling for a final $329,500 (est. $300/400,000) on the 7th floor at Sotheby’s. Presented in low-mileage, meticulously maintained condition, the Z8 was offered complete with the BMW-branded Motorola Startac cell phone, an original accessory sold with the car.

  • Lot 141: 1959 Ferrari 250 GT LWB California Spider Competizione (CHASSIS NO. 1451 GT) – $17,990,000
  • Lot 131: 1952 Jaguar C-Type (CHASSIS NO. XKC 007) – $5,285,000
  • Lot 137: 2018 Bugatti Chiron (CHASSIS NO. VF9SP3V3XJM795069) – $3,772,500 (Record price for a modern Bugatti at auction)
  • Lot 130: 1965 Aston Martin DB5 Convertible (CHASSIS NO. DB5C/1923/L) – $2,700,000 (Record price for an Aston Martin DB5 Convertible at auction)
  • Lot 142: 2014 Pagani Huayra (CHASSIS NO. ZA9H11UA3ESF76078) $1,850,000
  • Lot 138: 2015 Porsche 918 ‘Weissach’ Spyder (CHASSIS NO. WP0CA2A16FS800652) – $1,732,000
  • Lot 126: 1958 Mercedes-Benz 300 SL Roadster (CHASSIS NO. 198.042.7500649) – $1,407,500
  • Lot 134: 1955 Mercedes-Benz 300 SL Gullwing (CHASSIS NO. 198.040.5500593) – $1,352,500
  • Lot 146: 1990 Ferrari F40 (CHASSIS NO. ZFFMN34AXL0087144) – $1,242,500
  • Lot 125: 2016 Ferrari F12tdf (CHASSIS NO. ZFF81BFA0G0219337) – $1,105,000

Complete results from RM Sotheby’s ICONS sale are available at www.rmsothebys.com, while full results for Sotheby’s inaugural A Life of Luxury week will be available by the end of the week. RM Sotheby’s will release 2017 overall results and additional highlights for early 2018 auctions next week.