RM Sotheby’s Generates $117.9 Million and Secures Top Two Sales of 2016 Monterey Auction Week

BLENHEIM, ONTARIO / CANADA – August 23, 2016 – (Motor Sports Newswire) –  RM Sotheby’s, the world’s largest collector car auction house for investment-quality automobiles, continued its strong sales run in Monterey, California this past weekend, generating an impressive $117,925,0001 in sales at its flagship sale during the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance weekend. Highlighted by a terrific roster of fresh-to-the-market, blue-chip automobiles, the two-day event bore witness to the top two sales of this year’s Monterey auction week and established multiple new auction benchmarks. Illustrating the powerful partnership and international reach of RM and Sotheby’s, bidders represented 27 countries.

  • RM Sotheby’s reaffirms market leadership with $117.9 million in sales at its flagship Monterey, California sale, August 19-20
  • Top-sellers: Le Mans-winning Jaguar D-Type and stunning Alfa ‘2.9’ claim top two sales of the 2016 Monterey auction week
  • Jaguar D-Type, XKD 501, smashes previous record for a British car sold at auction at $21.78 million; stunning ‘Alfa 2.9’ soars into record books at $19.8 million—a new auction benchmark for any pre-war automobile
  • CSX 2000, the very first Shelby Cobra, realizes $13.75 million—a record for any American car at auction
  • 21 lots achieve million-dollar-plus results, with bidders hailing from 27 countries
  • Full results available online at www.rmsothebys.com and a brief video recap here: https://youtu.be/LoiBXTQv2NU
  • RM Sotheby’s continues its 2016 calendar of events in London, England, September 7; complete digital catalogue available online


The Le Mans-winning Jaguar D-Type sold for $21.78 million,
setting a record for any British car sold at auction

credit: courtesy RM Sotheby’s

Due to construction at the event venue, the RM sale strategically presented a smaller offering this year (a total of just 100 cars versus the 150 vehicles presented in 2015, including 25 from the Pinnacle Portfolio), though the quality of entries remained at an all-time high, with 21 vehicles commanding million-dollar-plus results, including three vehicles achieving eight-figures (view full list here). In total, eighty-two percent of auction vehicles exchanged hands with continuing interest in the auction cars and several post-block transactions pending.


The preview tent at RM Sotheby’s 2016 Monterey, California sale
credit: courtesy RM Sotheby’s

“This year’s Monterey auction once again reinforced the notion that if you offer some of the most special and unique motor cars in the world, on the global stage at RM’s flagship event during the Pebble Beach weekend, anything can happen and records will be broken,” says Ian Kelleher, Managing Director, RM Sotheby’s West Coast Division.

“The depth of interest and enthusiasm for quality automobiles and the collector car hobby as a whole, remains at an all-time high. Both of our sale sessions attracted standing-room-only audiences, complemented by high volumes of telephone bidders. As our results show, collectors remain willing to pay a premium for exceptional vehicles, specifically those exhibiting fantastic restorations, those offered fresh-to-the-market, and those presenting ‘once in a generation’ ownership opportunities.”

One of the most exciting auction moments of the weekend came when the 1956 Le Mans-winning Jaguar D-Type, XKD 501, roared onto the stage before a packed audience during the Friday (August 19) sale session. The first D-Type supplied by Jaguar to a privateer team, XKD 501 was sold new to the famed Scottish racing team, Ecurie Ecosse, who campaigned it to victory at the grueling 1956 24 Hours of Le Mans. Offered in Monterey following almost two decades in one of America’s leading collections, the coveted Jaguar was the subject of an intense and passionate 15-minute bidding contest between four determined collectors before selling for a final $21.78 million. The impressive result not only ranks the car as the most valuable vehicle sold during this year’s Monterey auctions, but represents a world record price for any British car sold at auction, eclipsing the previous record by more than $7 million2.


Aaron Shelby, grandson of Carroll Shelby, drives CSX 2000 onto the auction stage at RM Sotheby’s flagship Monterey sale in California
credit: courtesy RM Sotheby’s

The sale of the legendary D-Type was closely followed on Friday by an American legend: CSX 2000, the very first Shelby Cobra. One of the most anticipated lots of this year’s Monterey week—and indeed, offered in recent memory—the iconic Shelby was constructed and kept from new by Carroll Shelby and never left his care. Offered in Monterey by the Carroll Hall Shelby Trust, it entered the auction room on Friday (driven by Carroll Shelby’s grandson, Aaron Shelby) to a sea of camera flashes and loud applause, before climbing to a strong $13.75 million—a new benchmark for an American car at auction3.

The energy continued in the RM auction tent on Saturday evening, led by the presentation of the 1939 Alfa Romeo 8C 2900B Lungo Touring Spider from the esteemed Sam & Emily Mann Collection. A symphony of fabulously intricate engineering, thrilling power and sinful beauty, chassis no. 412041 was the first Alfa “2.9” to be offered for public sale this century, an occasion that captured the attention of some of the world’s leading collectors. Dazzling under the auction lights, bidding on the stunning Alfa opened at $14 million, quickly jumping in $500,000 increments before selling for a final $19.8 million (inclusive of buyer’s premium). The second highest price paid for an automobile during this year’s Monterey auctions, the remarkable result represents a record for any pre-war automobile at auction4 and, along with the D-Type, secures the Alfa a spot on the list of most valuable cars ever sold at auction.


The record-setting Alfa 2.9 on the podium at RM Sotheby’s flagship Monterey, California sale
credit: courtesy RM Sotheby’s

Kelleher adds, “We were honored to have been the auction company of choice not only for a selection of motor cars from the prestigious Sam & Emily Mann Collection, but also to have had the distinction of offering what is now, the most notable and important British car ever sold at auction, as well as the most valuable American car ever sold at auction. All in all, it was a great weekend for both our auction and restoration teams, and we thank our clients from around the world for helping make it so memorable.”

Additional notable sales from RM Sotheby’s two-day Monterey sale included:

  • a 1955 Ferrari 750 Monza Spider, driven by the big three of American racing in period: Phil Hill, Carroll Shelby and Jim Hall, and offered by Jim Hall for the first time in 60 years, commanded $5,225,000 to establish a new auction record for the model;
  • a rare and exquisite left-hand drive 1954 Bentley R-Type Continental Fastback Sports Saloon, soared past high estimate, realizing an impressive $1.87 million;
  • the 1966 AAR Eagle Indianapolis #31, the very first Indy 500 Eagle, offered from the Riverside International Automotive Museum, garnered $962,500—a record price for an AAR Eagle Indy car at auction;
  • a 1930 Cadillac V-16 Roadster, exhibiting a multiple concours award-winning restoration by RM’s own RM Auto Restoration, exceeded expectations at $1,457,500 (an auction record for a Cadillac V-16 Roadster); and,
  • a meticulously restored 1967 Ferrari 330 GT 2+2 Series II achieved a remarkable $737,000 against a pre-sale estimate of $350/450,000.

Beyond the auction excitement, RM Auto Restoration once again enjoyed great success on the show field at the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance (August 21), providing a wonderful finale to an exciting weekend for the RM group of companies. All three cars expertly prepared by the RM team for the event were judged Best in Class, including: Judge Joseph and Margie Cassini’s 1931 Stutz DV-32 LeBaron Convertible Victoria; Jim Patterson’s 1958 BMW 507 Series II Convertible; and the 1937 Bugatti Type 57SC Gangloff Coupé from the Rare Wheels Collection. In addition, the Cassini’s Stutz was awarded Most Elegant Car on tour and shortlisted as a runner up to Best of Show.

From California to London, England, RM Sotheby’s continues its 2016 calendar of events with its 10th anniversary sale in the British capital, September 7. The official auction of the UK’s Concours of Elegance, the sale will shine a spotlight on an eclectic group of more than 80 automobiles. To view the complete digital catalogue, along with full results from RM’s Monterey sale, please visit www.rmsothebys.com.


  1. Results are listed in USD and are inclusive of a 10 percent buyer’s premium. Results include auction and post-auction transactions.
  2. The previous auction record for a British car was $14.3 million for an Aston Martin DB4GT Zagato sold by RM Sotheby’s in December 2015.
  3. The previous auction record for an American car was $11 million for a 1968 Ford GT40 Gulf/Mirage sold by RM Sotheby’s in August 2012.
  4. The previous auction record for a pre-war automobile was $11.77 million for a Mercedes-Benz 540 K Special Roadster sold in August 2012.

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About RM Sotheby’s

RM Sotheby’s (formerly RM Auctions) is the world’s largest auction house for investment-quality automobiles. With 35 years’ experience in the collector car industry, RM’s vertically integrated range of services, from private treaty sales and auctions to estate planning, and financial services, coupled with an expert team of car specialists and an international footprint, provide an unsurpassed level of service to the global collector car market. In February 2015, RM formed a strategic partnership with Sotheby’s, uniting the two companies for the full calendar of future automobile auctions. For further information, visit www.rmsothebys.com

Source: RM Sotheby’s