RM Sotheby’s Reports More Than $400 Million in Global Auction Sales for 2019

191216 The 1994 McLaren F1 “LM-Specification” the top collector car auction sale of 2019 pictured at RM Sotheby’s 2019 Monterey auction (Darin Schnabel © 2019 Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s) [678]


5,261 Lots Sold Across 26 Auctions in 7 countries
15 Live Auctions
11 Online Auctions
90 Percent Overall Sell-Through Rate
Bidders from 78 Countries
Consignors from 40 Countries
48 Percent New Bidders
69 Cars Sold for Over US$1 Million

BLENHEIM, ONTARIO, CANADA – December 26, 2019 – (Motor Sports NewsWire) –  RM Sotheby’s has released global auction sales totals and a look back at auction highlights over the last year as the company closes its 2019 calendar. RM Sotheby’s sold more than $400 million at auction over the last year, including both live and online sale events, and led the market with the highest auction sales total in 2019, including selling the highest priced car at auction in 2019, as well as five of the top 10 most valuable cars sold at auction over the course of the year.

RM Sotheby’s led many segments of the market in 2019, having been responsible for approximately 40 percent of the cars sold at auction in both the US$1 million + range, as well as the $250,000 – $1 million range, double the number of cars sold by the nearest competitor. The auction house also led the overall collector car auction market in EMEA, with the highest sales total for auctions held in EMEA in 2019. A perennial leader in the world’s most desirable marques, RM Sotheby’s was once again the clear market leader in key marques by achieving the highest sales totals across Ferrari, Porsche, Mercedes-Benz, and Aston Martin.

Reflecting on 2019, Kenneth Ahn, President, RM Sotheby’s, said: “Our mission is to be the trusted advisor, market maker, and financier of choice for car collectors globally, and we continued to execute on our mission in 2019 despite challenging conditions in the collector car market. In 2019, we worked with more than 8,000 clients on collector cars as their advisors, we successfully sold more than five thousand cars and memorabilia for nearly $500 million in transaction value through both auctions and private sales as market makers, and our loan book, now greater than $80 million, continues to grow at a rapid pace as we act as financiers for clients.

We also continued to push our global expansion, as we successfully entered new geographies for the first time, including Germany, Portugal, and Abu Dhabi. Lastly, we launched our digital auctions in 2019, hosting Online Only auctions with great success, and we plan to continue to grow our digital auctions in 2020. All these efforts have led to a significant growth in our new client base, with 48 percent of our bidders transacting with RM Sotheby’s for the first time. With the new client base, we also saw greater demand and enthusiasm for modern supercars and ‘youngtimer’ cars, as evidenced by the mix of top cars we sold this year. Our team at RM Sotheby’s is grateful for the continued support of our clients and our dedicated team members who have helped us achieve some significant milestones despite the challenging collector car market, and we look forward to 2020.

191216 A snapshot of RM Sotheby’s first-ever sale in Germany at the Techno Classica Essen (Tom Gidden © 2019 Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s)
RM Sotheby’s first-ever sale in Germany

191216 The Pagani Zonda Aether takes the stage at RM Sotheby’s first Abu Dhabi sale at the Formula 1 Etihad Airways Abu Dhabi Grand Prix (Tom Gidden © 2019 Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s)
Pagani Zonda Aether

RM Sotheby’s Top Ten Auction Sales of 2019

1. 1994 McLaren F1 ‘LM-Specification’ $19,805,000 Monterey
2. 1962 Ferrari 250 GT SWB Berlinetta $8,145,000 Monterey
3. 1965 Ford GT40 Roadster Prototype $7,650,000 Monterey
4. 2017 Pagani Zonda Aether $6,812,500 Abu Dhabi
5. 2002 Ferrari F2002 $6,643,750 Abu Dhabi
6. 1965 Aston Martin DB5 “Bond Car” $6,385,000 Monterey
7. 1987 Ferrari F40 LM $5,568,875 Paris
8. 1960 Porsche 718 RS 60 Werks $5,100,000 Monterey
9. 2015 Ferrari FXX K $4,281,250 Abu Dhabi
10. 1954 Ferrari 500 Mondial Spider $4,182,187 Villa Erba

RM Sotheby’s continued to be the auction house of choice for significant private collections in 2019, offering three standalone collection sales as well as those offered within larger annual sales. The auction house presented the single-owner Guyton Collection ($11.7 million total), Sáragga Collection (€10.2 million total), and Taj Ma Garaj Collection ($5.7 million), all of which exceeded overall pre-sale estimates. Large private collections were also sold as single-owner segments within RM Sotheby’s catalogue auctions, including the Youngtimer Collection across Paris, Amelia Island, Fort Lauderdale, Essen, and London; the Richard L. Burdick Collection, offered in Arizona and Amelia Island; the Strauss Automobilia Collection at Auburn Spring; the Ming Collection in Monterey; the Ed Meurer Collection sold at Auburn Fall; and the Merrick Auto Museum Collection sold on a single night in Hershey.

191216 The packed sale room at RM Sotheby’s presentation of the Taj Ma Garaj Collection (Corey Escobar © 2019 Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s).
The packed sale room at RM Sotheby’s presentation of the Taj Ma Garaj Collection.

2019 also marked RM Sotheby’s launch into digital auctions, hosting Online Only collector car and memorabilia auctions on both sothebys.com and rmsothebys.com for the first time. The auction house saw significant bidder interest and successfully sold motor cars of varying segments and price points on each platform and reached strong prices for both the Automotive Mascots and Formula 1 Memorabilia offerings on rmsothebys.com. RM Sotheby’s plans to expand its online offering for 2020, with additional lots to be announced early in the new year.

RM Sotheby’s Private Sales division also continues to complement the Auction division, offering a discreet transaction approach to collectors, with the same concierge level of service for which the company is known. RM Sotheby’s executed more than $75 million in private sale transactions across 2019.

For more information:


For additional information on all upcoming RM Sotheby’s events, please visit rmsothebys.com. Interested consignors and bidders are invited to call +1 519 352 4575 (Canada), +1 310 559 4575 (California), or +44 (0) 20 7851 7070 (UK/Europe) to speak with a car specialist.
Additional announcements regarding the 2020 calendar will be made in the coming months, including what’s next in RM Sotheby’s global collaboration with Formula 1®.

Editor’s Notes

  1. Total sales are listed in USD and are inclusive of buyer’s premiums (note different buyer’s premium structures for RM Sotheby’s North America, RM Sotheby’s Europe/UK, and RM Auctions events).
  2. Please note this figure includes worldwide total auction sales for January – December 2019 and does not include the total for private sales.
  3. Note these figures do not include results for RM Sotheby’s Online Only: Drive into the Holidays auction, which closes 19 December.
  4. Note exchange conversion rates used in top ten reflect those used on the day of the respective auctions.
  5. RM Sotheby’s remains responsible for six of the top ten most valuable cars ever sold at auction.


Visit: rmsothebys.com

About RM Sotheby’s

RM Sotheby’s is the world’s largest collector car auction house by total sales. With 40 years of proven results in the collector car industry, RM’s vertically integrated range of services, from auctions and private sales 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. RM Sotheby’s is currently responsible for six of the top ten most valuable motor cars ever sold at auction. 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 rmsothebys.com.

Source: RM Sotheby’s

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