Industry News

Preview: RM Auctions Prepares To Kick Off 2011 In Arizona.

  • 1921 Rolls-Royce 40/50HP Silver Ghost Phaeton - 0
  • 1927 Bentley 3-Litre Sports Four-Seater - 1
  • 1964 Cooper Monaco Race Car - 2
  • 1964 Dodge Hemi Charger Concept Car - 3
  • 1949 Ferrari 166 MM Barchetta - 4
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Over 180 automobiles will cross the block in Phoenix, Arizona.

Following a record-setting 2010 which included over $275 million in total sales – an all-time record for the company and the hobby at large - RM Auctions kicks off its 2011 calendar, January 20 – 21 in Phoenix, Arizona. The highly anticipated sale, now in its 12th year, will showcase over 180 automobiles spanning the spectrum of the collector car market, from important sports and racing cars, through to Detroit muscle, the best of American and European classics, and a series of wild customs and show cars.

Building on RM’s reputation as the specialists for private and estate collections, the sale will feature select examples from the estate of noted Chicago collector, Bill Jacobs, as well as The Early Corvette Collection of Jerry Peterson.

For those unable to attend the Arizona event in person, absentee, telephone, iPhone and Internet bidding options are available and the auction will stream live online at to provide real-time coverage of the event.

Thursday Highlights - The British Are Back!

Following the success of last year’s ‘The British Are Coming’
sale, RM’s 2011 Arizona sale kicks off with the exclusive ‘The British Are Back’ on Thursday, January 20, celebrating a host of great British marques. The offering spans a variety of blue-chip British automobile manufacturers, from Aston Martin, to Rolls-Royce and Jaguar, and even includes a 2004 London Taxi TXII, recognized worldwide as an icon of London city living, with fewer than 400 miles.

Notable entries include:

Lot 146 - 1921 Rolls-Royce 40/50HP Silver Ghost Torpedo Phaeton ~ Chassis No. 50UG
Estimate: $300,000 - $450,000

An original Alpine Eagle specification chassis, this example was built new for Rolls-Royce of Bombay for the Calcutta Motor Show and sold to its first owner, Maharajah of Charkhari. Fitted with stunning polished Torpedo Phaeton bodywork in period by Barker, it is a multiple award-winning example, including a class win at Pebble Beach.

Lot 159 – 1927 Bentley 3-Litre Sports Four-Seater ~ Chassis No. BL1620
Estimate: $350,000 - $450,000

A great example of the iconic Red Label Bentley, in early life this example appeared in the film A Boy, A Girl and a Bike, before being purchased by Mr. George W. Bennet, founder of the Bentley Drivers Club who owned the car until the mid-1980s. Continuously maintained, though never fully restored at any one time, it is considered one of the nicest Red Label Bentleys in existence. Its sale is accompanied by extensive documentation.

Lot 151 - 1932 Rolls-Royce Phantom II Permanent Newmarket Sedan ~ Chassis No. 301AJS
Estimate: $300,000 - $450,000

Extremely rare, this handsome example is among the finest closed cars on any prewar Rolls-Royce chassis and is one of only three originally bodied in this style by Brewster and Co. Boasting a fascinating early history, it was first owned by Gladys Letts Janss, daughter of Arthur Letts, a wealthy retailer who had been farsighted enough to buy the 3000-acre Wolfskill Farm, which covered the area that is now known as Westwood, West Los Angeles, California. Today, 301AJS continues to benefit from a comprehensive, professional restoration and has been shown at Pebble Beach

Lot 163 – 1964 Cooper Monaco Race Car ~ Chassis No. CM 3-64
Estimate: $250,000 - $300,000

One of only 86 examples built, and believed to be one of the last Cooper Monacos, this example was campaigned in various SCCA events in the late 1960s, and is the car responsible for setting the track record at the Whiteface Mountain back in 1964. Race-ready, it is spectacularly painted in an all-American red, white and blue color scheme.

Lot 142 – 1958 Aston Martin DB Mark IIIA Coupe ~ Chassis No. AM300/3/1386
Estimate: $200,000 - $250,000

Perhaps one of the world’s most original DB2-series Aston Martins, this incredibly original ‘black plate’ California car boasts just 44,000 miles and is just two owners from new, having been acquired from its original owner in 2009. Expected to garner significant attention from discerning collectors, it is eligible for preservation-class judging as well as most classic rallies and tours available today.

Friday Highlights

Stellar Line-up of Significant Ferraris

RM Auctions is the leader in the presentation of historic Ferraris at auction, holding seven of the top 10 all-time auction records for the marque. The Arizona sale features 11 Ferraris, spanning 55 years of production. Highlights include:

Lot 285 – 1949 Ferrari 166 MM Barchetta ~ Chassis No. 0024 M
Estimate: $1,900,000 - $2,400,000 (Offered Without Reserve)

Originally commissioned for the 1949 Paris Motor Show, for which it was painted in the Argentinean racing colors of yellow and blue, this matching-numbers 166 MM is considered one of the rarest and most historic early Ferraris, having been owned and raced by many notable individuals in the Ferrari world. The 10th of just 25 examples featuring striking “Barchetta” coachwork from Carrozzeria Touring of Milan, it made its racing debut at the 1950 Mar del Plata in Argentina, finishing an impressive first overall. It was also raced in period in the 1951 Mille Miglia, where it was driven by well-known driver Aprile Palmer, who purchased the car shortly afterwards.

Lot 268 – 1995 Ferrari 500 Superfast Series I ~ Chassis No. 5989 SF
Estimate: $900,000 - $1,100,000

A matching-numbers, fully-certified example of Ferrari’s ultra-exclusive 500 Superfast, s/n 5989 is an original left-hand drive car and the seventh of just 36 units built. Finished in metallic blue over claret, it is offered in virtually perfect condition with a well-documented chain of ownership.

Lot 259 – 1973 Ferrari 365 GTB/4 Daytona Spyder ~ Chassis No. 16835
Estimate: $800,000 - $1,000,000

A very-well maintained, California-based car from new, s/n 16835 is one of only 121 factory-built Daytona Spyders. Owned by Hall of Famer Reggie Jackson since the early 1990s, it is just four owners from new, including Evel Knievel and DJ Frankie Crocker.

Lot 246 – 1995 Ferrari F50 Show Car ~ Chassis No. 99999
Estimate: $700,000 - $800,000

The Ferrari show car used to introduce the F50 to the world, and the last Ferrari with a five-digit chassis number, this example was sold new to Ferrari dealer Jacques Swaters of Belgium. It has been carefully maintained, with less than 900 miles.

Additional Friday Highlights include:

Lot 260 – 1933 Packard Twelve Sport Phaeton ~ Chassis No. 1006-2
Estimate: $1,500,000 - $2,000,000

Featuring a rare Dietrich individual custom body, this highly desirable Packard is one of perhaps three Sport Phaetons for 1933. Formerly part of the Otis Chandler Collection, it has been magnificently preserved over the years, presenting virtually as well as its New York delivery almost 78 years ago without having ever been fully restored. It has received multiple awards over the years, including at Pebble Beach.

Lot 219 – 1929 Duesenberg Model J Dual Cowl Phaeton~ Engine No. J116
Estimate: $1,000,000 - $1,300,000 (Offered Without Reserve)

One of only two short-wheelbase Model J Dual Cowl Phaetons by Derham, this majestic automobile boasts a known provenance and was once driven by the King of Pop, Elvis Presley, in the movie Spinout. The car features quite prominently in the movie as Elvis’ character, Mike McCoy, uses the Model J to tow around his race car in several scenes. In one particularly interesting scene, McCoy discussed the car with Howard Foxhugh, played by Carl Betz. It was shown at Pebble Beach in 2007 following a complete restoration by RM Auto Restoration.

Lot 264 – 1964 Dodge Hemi Charger Concept Car ~ Chassis No. 6442103030
Estimate: $750,000 - $1,000,000

The ultimate of all muscle and concept cars, and likely the most important Hemi-powered car in existence, this example was the first Dodge to be fitted with the ‘Charger’ nameplate. Formerly owned by noted concept car collector, Joe Bortz, and restored by multiple award-winner Fran Roxas, it today features one of the original 15 Chrysler race Hemi engines.

Lot 282 – 1966 Shelby 427 Cobra ~ Chassis No. CSX 3259
Estimate: $650,000 - $750,000

This 427 Cobra is a stunning, genuine 427-powered street Cobra that enjoys both excellent history and outstanding preparation to the highest standards having been the recipient of a recent no-expense spared restoration. Accompanied by extensive documentation, it is ready for both historic racing and show exposure alike.

Lot 279 – 1931 Marmon Sixteen Coupe ~ Chassis No. 16141-694
Estimate: $475,000 - $650,000

The rarest of surviving Marmon Sixteens is the two-passenger coupe, of which only six are known to exist. Of those six, only four are known to have their original engines, including the example offered here. Handsomely finished in blue and beige with extensive brightwork, the car is fully documented by Dyke Ridgley and the Marmon Sixteen Roster and is presented in superior condition and is noteworthy for retaining its original engine.

Additional points of interest:

The Bill Jacobs Collection

Building on RM’s reputation as the specialists for private and estate collections, RM is honored to present an impressive series of automobiles from the estate of noted Chicago collector, Bill Jacobs. Well-known in the collector car community, Jacobs was a lifelong enthusiast and dedicated his life to collecting every imaginable variety of collector car. Be it a beautifully restored woody or a rare British sports car, Bill not only enjoyed the thrill of the hunt, but the joy of driving his cars.

In total, 25 examples from his eclectic collection will be offered in Arizona ‘without reserve’, many as featured highlights during RM’s ‘The British Are Back’ evening sale. Highlights range from a: a 1959 Costin Jaguar, boasting an astonishing history dating back to 1939 ERA Grand Prix car ($350,000 - $450,000); and a superbly-restored 1952 Tojeiro MG Barchetta Sports Racer, one for the first race cars built by John Tojeiro and extensively raced and rallied in recent years ($200,000 - $250,000). Illustrating the diversity of the collection, also on offer will be a 1947 Rolls-Royce Silver Wraith Drophead Coupe, the first of six unique drophead coupes bodied by Franay of Paris ($125,000 - $150,000) and a 1966 Mini Moke, one of very few in the US and showing just over 4000 miles. Highlights from the collection for the Friday sale include: a rare Corvette-powered 1956 Arnolt Bristol Roadster ($150,000 - $200,000); a show-quality 1935 Ford Woody Custom Wagon ($100,000 - $140,000); and a 1947 Chrysler New Yorker Convertible, just three owners from new ($75,000 - $100,000).

The Jerry Peterson Early Corvette Collection

For enthusiasts of ‘America’s Sports Car’, RM is delighted to offer The Early Corvette Collection of Jerry Peterson. Jerry’s passion and dedication to collector cars are well-known in the hobby, and his Corvettes represent some of the finest on the market. The four examples to be offered without reserve in Arizona showcase his emphasis on factory-correct appearance and specifications. Included in the offering is a 1954 Chevrolet Corvette Roadster, finished in rare Pennant Blue ($60,000 - $80,000); a 1955 Chevrolet Corvette Roadster, an early production three-speed manual car, recently awarded NCRS and Second Flight status ($110,000,000 - $130,000); a well-equipped 1956 Chevrolet Corvette Convertible ($70,000 - $90,000); and a 1957 Chevrolet Corvette Fuel-Injected Roadster ($120,000 - $140,000).

Celebrity Provenance

In addition to the ’29 Duesenberg Model J, driven by Elvis Presley in the film Spinout, and Reggie Jackson’s ’73 Ferrari 365 GTB/4 Daytona Spyder, once owned by Evel Knievel and DJ Frankie Crocker, other lots boasting celebrity ties and provenance include:

Lot 253 – 1949 Cadillac Series 75 Custom Limousine, specially ordered by Hollywood’s Metro Goldwyn Mayer Studios. This example was the last of six commissioned by MGM and the only known survivor (Est. $300,000 - $400,000).

Lot 284 – 1954 Mercedes-Benz 300SL Coupe, previously owned by Mr. Rocky Aoki, the colourful businessman and noted car collector who founded the Benihana restaurant chain (Est. $450,000 - $550,000).

Lot 293 – 1941 Lincoln Continental Coupe, believed to have been purchased by Orson Welles for Hollywood actress, Rita Hayworth (Est. $150,000 - $200,000).

Overall facts:

Total lots: 183 motor cars, including 70 lots presented as part of ‘The British Are Back’

Over 93 years of automotive history on offer:

Oldest motor car: 1917 Winton Six-33 Sport Touring

Newest motor car: 2010 Morgan Aeromax Coupe, one of just 100 examples built to commemorate Morgan’s 100th anniversary

Offering includes a diverse range of blue chip marques, including:

* 22 Jaguars
* 11 Ferraris
* 10 Chevrolet Corvettes
* 9 Aston Martins
* 9 Rolls-Royces
* 6 Mercedes-Benz
* 4 Austin-Healeys
* 3 Duesenbergs

About RM Auctions

RM Auctions is the world's largest auction house for quality automobiles. With over three decades of experience in the collector car industry, RM's vertically integrated range of services, from restoration to private treaty sales, auctions, estate planning
and financial services, coupled with an expert team of car specialists and international footprint, provide an unsurpassed level of service to the global collector car market. RM proudly holds four of the top five all-time records for the most expensive motor cars sold at auction.
RM’s restoration division has achieved unprecedented accolades earning ‘Best of Show’ honours at the world’s topconcours events, including four ‘Best of Shows’ at the prestigious Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance in the past 10 years.


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