RM Sotheby’s Holds Successful $13.7 Million Online Only Palm Beach Auction

200331 1996 Porsche 911 GT2 (Jeremy Cliff © 2020 Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s) (678)









BLENHEIM, ONTARIO, CANADA – March 31, 2020 – (Motor Sports NewsWire) – RM Sotheby’s successfully completed the first catalogue sale to be offered via the auction house’s time-based Online Only digital platform this past week with the presentation of Online Only: The Palm Beach Auction. 259 motor cars and 21 lots of memorabilia opened for bidding on 20 March, with lots closing in a staggered format from 25 to 28 March.

The online-only auction totaled $13.7 million in sales, with an overall sell-through rate of 69 percent. RM Sotheby’s saw an unprecedented level of interest in its online platform, with nearly 900 registered bidders—23 percent more than the average number of registered bidders at live RM Sotheby’s South Florida auctions over the last four years. Bidders participated from 44 countries, with 36 percent bidding with RM Sotheby’s for the first time. Over the course of the auction (20–28 March), there were more than 615,000 page views within the Online Only Palm Beach section of rmsothebys.com alone.

Online Only: The Palm Beach Auction was originally RM Sotheby’s 18th annual South Florida auction, set to be held at the Palm Beach International Raceway on 20–21 March. RM Sotheby’s made the decision to transition the auction to its Online Only platform due to the global COVID-19 pandemic, less than ten days prior to the scheduled auction date.

Developed in 2019, RM Sotheby’s Online Only platform is easy to use, providing consignors and bidders a platform that allows faster transactions to take place while still harnessing the level of service and global reach for which the RM Sotheby’s team is known. In this case, the Online Only platform allowed RM Sotheby’s to swiftly adapt to changing circumstances to continue to serve its clientele.

“This was an unprecedented online collector car auction in terms of both value of cars offered over four days and the speed at which we had to pivot from the regularly scheduled South Florida auction,” said Kenneth Ahn, President, RM Sotheby’s, following the auction. “The decision to shift our long-established physical auction to our online platform was not without its complexities. However, as the industry’s largest market maker by total sales, we had many clients who were counting on us to sell their cars in this market and significant bidder interest gearing up for the physical auction.”

“The COVID-19 virus pandemic is clearly a new challenge for our industry and business. We were able to quickly mobilize and adapt to the changing environment, allowing us to continue to serve our clients in a meaningful and effective way. We have received tremendously positive feedback from our clients and industry participants over the past several days, and we will continue to refine and improve our digital platform based on this experience. The management team and I are truly thankful for the support from our clients who entrusted us to sell their cars online on a scale we have never attempted before, and for the dedication of our team members.”

200331 2019 McLaren Senna (Motorcar Studios © 2020 Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s)

The Online Only sale saw lively bidding upon opening on 20 March, with sustained interest through to the closing days (25–28 March). With interested parties watching from around the world, bidding accelerated as each lot neared closing time, with numerous lots extended by up to 30 minutes due to competitive last-minute bids.

Each car was presented with comprehensive photography as well as condition reports completed by RM Sotheby’s Car Specialists. Where available, additional information on each lot, such as history files, production certificates, restoration documentation, service invoices, owner’s manuals, and accompanying parts, was also available for viewing online on each individual lot page. RM Sotheby’s Car Specialists and dedicated client services team was also available to answer any questions from potential bidders and consignors.

Overall, the 259-car auction was led by a pair of supercars: a 1996 Porsche 911 GT2, a pristine, unmodified example of the mere 194 road-going GT2s built, which was added following the transition to an online sale and sold for a final $891,000; and a 2019 McLaren Senna, presented in virtually as-new condition with a host of desirable options and a mere 200 miles on the odometer, which brought a final $847,000.

“The abundance of bidding activity in this sale—an average of 17 bids per car—showed that despite the market conditions, there is solid demand for high-quality collector cars,” said Gord Duff, Global Head of Auctions, RM Sotheby’s. “We even saw some of our top lots sold to brand-new RM Sotheby’s clientele. I don’t believe there is another collector car auction house or platform out there that has the same reach and resources, nor inspires the same trust and confidence from our clients as RM Sotheby’s. We sincerely thank all our consignors, the nearly 900 registered bidders who bid on cars with confidence, and our team who rallied and worked tirelessly to make this a successful sale.”

200331 1963 Shelby 289 Cobra (Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s)
1963 Shelby 289 Cobra

200331 2015 Ferrari 458 Speciale (Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s)
2015 Ferrari 458 Speciale

Online Only: The Palm Beach Auction – Top Ten Sales

1. Lot 435 1996 Porsche 911 GT2 (#WP0ZZZ99ZTS392164) $891,000
2. Lot 455 2019 McLaren Senna (#SBM15ACA6KW800146) $847,000
3. Lot 330 1963 Shelby 289 Cobra (#CSX 2095) $682,000
4. Lot 345 1963 Rolls-Royce Silver Cloud III (# SCX361) $434,500
5. Lot 240 2015 Ferrari 458 Speciale (#ZFF75VFA0208869) $324,500
6. Lot 460 1961 Jaguar E-Type Series 1 3.8-Liter Roadster (#875195) $280,500
7. Lot 315 1992 Lamborghini LM0002 (#ZA9LU45A8LLA12287) $275,000
8. Lot 365 1983 Lambirghini Countach LP 5000S (#ZA9C00500CLA12512) $275,000
9. Lot 335 1966 Ferrari 330 GT 2+2 Series II (#8627) $260,000
10. Lot 320 2006 Ford GT (#1FAFP90S76Y400701) $242,000

Additional individual highlights across each of the four closing days included:

Lot 125 1967 Shelby GT 350 $115,500
Lot 139 1950 Jaguar XK 120 Roadster $143,000
Lot 140 1997 Ferrari F355 Spider $52,800
Lot 142 1982 Toyota FJ45 Land Cruiser “Troopy” $50,600
Lot 163 1967 Oldsmobile Toronado $60,500
Lot 235 1956 Jaguar XK 140 MC Roadster $165,000
Lot 240 2015 Ferrari 458 Speciale $324,500
Lot 249 1961 Volkswagen Deluxe “23-Window” Microbus $159,500
Lot 254 1997 Bentley Continental T $82,500
Lot 268 1966 Batmobile Replica $148,500
Lot 314 2010 Ferrari 599 GTB $137,500
Lot 315 1992 Lamborghini LM002 $275,000
Lot 320 2006 Ford GT $242,000
Lot 330 1963 Shelby 289 Cobra $682,000
Lot 365 1983 Lamborghini Countach LP 5000S $275,000
Lot 407 1970 Dodge Challenger R/T SE $63,800
Lot 443 1999 Mercedes-Benz Brabus 7.3 S $165,000
Lot 460 1961 Jaguar E-Type Series 1 3.8-Litre Roadster $280,500
Lot 464 1987 Porsche 911 Turbo $115,500
Lot 465 1984 Lamborghini Jalpa $99,000

200331 1983 Lamborghini Countach LP 5000S by Bertone (Ravi Angard © 2020 Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s)
1983 Lamborghini Countach LP 5000S

200331 2006 Ford GT (Darin Schnabel ©2020 Courtesy of RM Sotheby's)
2006 Ford GT

RM Sotheby’s team of 28 specialists has continued to sell cars after the virtual hammer has fallen, with numerous additional sales already secured. The team will continue to connect buyers and sellers in the weeks following the auction. Motor cars still available for sale can be viewed here.

Complete results from RM Sotheby’s Online Only: The Palm Beach Auction are available here. RM Sotheby’s is currently exploring plans to hold additional RM Online Only auctions in the near future as the industry navigates these changing times.


  1. Results are listed in USD and include buyer’s premium (10 percent on all motor car lots, 15 percent on all memorabilia).
  2. Results include select transactions that occurred immediately following the sale.
  3. RM Sotheby’s Online Only: The Palm Beach Auction was previously the auction house’s annual South Florida live auction. The sale was shifted to the company’s online-only platform due to the global COVID-19 pandemic and announced as such on 12 March 2020.
  4. RM Sotheby’s launched an online platform in the fall of 2019, successfully offering memorabilia collections and single-lot or small-group motor-car auctions.


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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