It’s being billed as “the most unique auction of its kind,” with RM Sotheby’s presenting a “roster of iconic automobiles from the world’s most admired marques.” Think Porsche, Ferrari and Mercedes, with some eye-popping pre-auction estimates chucked in for good measure. We’ve selected 20 of the best.
Porsche 911 GT2
Estimate: $1.1m – $1.4m (£837,000 – £1.05m)
Last year, a 1995 Porsche 911 GT2 smashed its pre-auction estimate and sold for a staggering £1.85m at the RM Sotheby’s London sale. The one-owner car had covered a mere 12,730km from new. The New York auction star has travelled just 11,470km in its 22-year life, which suggests the pre-auction estimate might be wildly pessimistic. This is, after all, the definitive and most collectible Porsche 993.
Porsche 918 Spyder ‘Weissach’
Estimate: $1.7m – $1.9m (£1.3m – £1.4m)
The 911 GT2 might be the most collectible Porsche at the RM Sotheby’s sale, but it’s not the most expensive. This 2015 Porsche 918 Spyder is fitted with the optional ‘Weissach’ package, which essentially means less weight and a more hardcore experience. Amazingly, there are just 270 miles on the clock, making it one of the lowest mileage 918s in the world.
Ferrari 250 GT Cabriolet SII
Estimate: $1.5m – $1.8m (£1.1m – £1.35m)
For this stunning 1961 Ferrari 250 GT Cabriolet Series II, it’s a case of coming home, because the car was delivered new to Luigi Chinetti Motors in New York. It remained in the United States before being sold to a collector in Japan in 2004, returning to the US in 2010. It’s number 150 of 200 examples built, with only 600 miles completed since a full restoration.
Mercedes-Benz 300 SL ‘gullwing’
Estimate: $1.3m – $1.5m (£990,000 – £1.1m)
An icon in the very truest sense, the Mercedes-Benz 300 SL was the ultimate accessory for the great and the good in the 1950s. You can thank New York dealer Max Hoffman for its existence, for it was he who convinced Mercedes that a road-going version of the W194 race car would have merit. Around 80% of the 1,400 SL gullwings ever built were sold in the US, with this example shipped to the distributors in New York in 1955.
Mercedes-Benz 300 SL Roadster
Estimate: $1.25m – $1.5m (£950,000 – £1.1m)
The 300 SL Roadster arrived three years after the Coupe, but although it lost its iconic ‘gullwing’ doors, it was a far nicer car to drive. It also outlived the coupe version by several years. This 1958 example is offered without reserve and is described by RM Sotheby’s as “exceptional… in every respect”.
Estimate: $1.2m – $1.4m (£915,000 – £1.05m)
“In any discussion of automotive icons, the Ferrari F40 is surely amongst the first cars to be mentioned by anyone under the age of 40,” says RM Sotheby’s. It went into battle with the Porsche 959 for supercar supremacy – both on the track and in the fight for bedroom wall space – but while the 959 was a look into the future, the F40 felt more of its time. This 1990 example has covered a mere 8,100 miles.
Estimate: $1.1m – $1.4m (£840,000 – £1.065m)
How’s this for inflation? New, you could have spent £340,000 on a Ferrari F12tdf, but this 398-mile example is expected to fetch more than $1m (£760,000) at the New York sale. This is one of 799 built, with the first owner ticking just about every optional extra box. We wonder if it’s being sold to fund the purchase of a Ferrari 812 Superfast?
Bentley R-Type Continental Fastback
Estimate: $1m – $1.3m (£760,000 – £990,000)
This is one of only three Franay-bodied Bentley R-Type Continentals of this design and is the only left-hand drive, centre-gearshift manual example. In total, five Continental chassis would be bodied in France, three of which were crafted by Marius Franay in the Parisian suburbs. A quintessentially British car with a touch of French elegance: yours for around $1m.
Estimate: $900,000 – $1.1m (£685,000 – £840,000)
In 2011, this Chrysler D’Elegance sold at auction for $946,000. The one-off Chrysler-Ghia creation is expected to fetch a similar amount in New York, an apt location for a car based on a Chrysler New Yorker. If it looks familiar, the design of the D’Elegance lived on in the form of the Volkswagen Karmann Ghia, which made its debut in 1955.
Cadillac Series 62 Cabriolet
Estimate: $850,000 – $1.1m (£650,000 – £840,000)
From the RM Sotheby’s auction catalogue: “That it did not look American at all, aside from the dashboard and ‘sombrero’ wheel covers, was beside the point. It was big, extravagant, and aimed right at the newly affluent Yankee.” This is one of two coachbuilt Cadillac Series 62 created by Carrosserie J. Saoutchik, purchased new by New York furrier, Louis Ritter.
Porsche Carrera GT
Estimate: $775,000 – $850,000 (£590,000 – £650,000)
Porsche planned to build 1,500 Porsche Carrera GTs, but production ceased at 1,270, of which around 50% were exported to the US. The 5.7-litre V10 engine was derived from an aborted Le Mans project and produced a mighty 603hp, enough for a top speed of 205mph. The most amazing thing about this auction car: the fact that it has covered just 695 miles.
Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost Riviera Town Car
Estimate: $500,000 – $700,000 (£380,000 – £535,000)
Of the ten Riviera bodies produced by Brewster & Co, this is believed to be the only example built on the Silver Ghost chassis. It was delivered new in 1929 to New York industrialist Augustine Leftwich Humes, who commissioned details such as embroidered upholstery and Venetian mahogany. It won ‘Best in Class’ at the 2012 Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance.
Dino 246 GTS
Estimate: $500,000 – $600,000 (£380,000 – £460,000)
Named in honour of Enzo Ferrari’s late son, the Dino 246 GT was unveiled at the 1969 Paris Motor Show. The targa-topped GTS arrived in 1972, with both cars remaining in production until 1974. This late example was sold new to an owner in Daytona Beach, with the current owner spending $100,000 to make it ‘concours-correct and exquisite’. Yours for around half a million dollars.
Austin-Healey 100-6 ‘Goldie’
Estimate: $350,000 – $550,000 (£265,000 – £420,000)
The ‘Goldie’ was the result of a collaboration between Austin-Healey and the Daily Express, with the newspaper purchasing the car to be used as a grand prize in a contest. The 100-6 was shown at the 1958 Earls Court Motor Show, with the prize winner selling the car almost immediately. Eventually, after changing hands a number of times, it made its way to the United States.
Estimate: $300,000 – $400,000 (£230,000 – £305,000)
Apple founder Steve Jobs purchased this BMW Z8 in October 2000, driving it regularly before selling it to the Los Angeles-based current owner. It comes with an original BMW-branded Motorola flip-phone, something Steve Jobs is reported to have hated. The California license plate reads ‘JOBS Z8’.
Estimate: $250,000 – $325,000 (£190,000 – £250,000)
This is a great opportunity for anyone who wants to know what it felt like to buy a supercar in the late 80s. It’s a 1989 Ferrari Testarossa with just 585 miles on the clock, and the original protective covers marked ‘dealer must remove’ in the footwells. Just add some Hiroshi Kawaguchi tunes for that authentic OutRun experience.
Jaguar E-Type S1
Estimate: $250,000 – $325,000 (£190,000 – £250,000)
Another classic auction, another Jaguar E-Type, or XK-E, as it was known in the United States. The punchy pre-auction estimate reflects the car’s ‘triple black’ nature, so-called because it features special-order black paint with a matching interior, soft-top and factory hardtop.
Lamborghini Countach 25th Anniversary
Estimate: $200,000 – $250,000 (£150,000 – £190,000)
There will be many who point to the effortless simplicity of Marcello Gandini’s original design as the greatest incarnation of the Lamborghini Countach, but try telling that to anyone who grew up in the 1980s. The 25th Anniversary is of its time, loaded with excess and pumped up to the max. And the white paint and white leather combo simply screams the 1980s.
Lancia Delta HF Integrale Evo
Estimate: $175,000 – $225,000 (£130,000 – £170,000)
Only 400 ‘Giallo Ferrari’ versions of the Lancia Delta HF Integrale Evoluzione were ever built, but that’s not the only reason for the eye-watering pre-auction estimate. This Italian-delivered 1992 example has covered a mere 4,030 miles from new and is in a 100% original and unmodified condition.
Estimate: $125,000 – $175,000 (£95,000 – £130,000)
This 1973 DeTomaso Pantera was a Ford Motor Company test car that was subsequently sold to an executive “out of the back door.” If you fancy placing a bid on this or any of the other cars in the New York Icons auction, the RM Sotheby’s sale takes place on 6 December 2017.