The speedster was built for Fangio to drive in the 1956 Mille Miglia – the last time the Argentinian would enter the race, which was shut down as a competitive event the following year. But before chassis number 0626 was retired, it was driven by such legends as Phil Hill, Alfonso de Portago, and Wolfgang von Trips. Ferrari only made four examples, and between its provenance and its pristine condition – it never crashed – this 290 managed to exceed its pre-sale estimate.
In the process, 0626 powered its way into the record books as the most expensive car sold at auction in 2015, the most valuable that RM has ever handled, and the highest price ever paid for a vehicle in New York City. In fact the only cars ever sold at auction for more than this one were another Ferrari (the 250 GTO that Bonhams sold last year for $35 million) and another of Fangio's racers (the Mercedes W196 also sold by Bonhams for $29.6 million in 2013).
Though Fangio's Ferrari was far and away the top lot of the day, it wasn't the only multi-million-dollar automobile sold as part of RM Sotheby's Driven by Disruption auction. A 1962 Aston Martin DB4 GT Zagato set a new record for British automobiles at $14.3 million. A Ferrari 250 GT Series I Cabriolet sold for $5.7 million, a Pierce-Arrow Silver Arrow went for $3.7 million, and another Ferrari 250 Europa sold for $3.3 million – as did Floyd Mayweather's Enzo. A '72 Lamborghini Miura SV fetched $2.4 million, and Janis Joplin's Porsche 356 set a new record for its type and well exceeded expectations at $1.7 million. All told, the event generated a massive $73.5 million in sales, of which the Fangio Ferrari alone accounted for over a third.
New York - Driven By Disruption
- RM Sotheby's rounds out record 2015 auction season with more than $73.5 million in sales at its exclusive 'Driven by Disruption' event in New York City
- Top-seller: 1956 Ferrari 290 MM realizes $28.05 million to claim top automotive auction sale of 2015
- Janis Joplin Porsche shatters pre-sale estimate, selling for an incredible $1.76 million
- Stunning Aston Martin DB4GT Zagato garners $14.3 million to enter history books as the most valuable British car ever sold at auction
- Complete results from RM Sotheby's 'Driven by Disruption' available online at www.rmsothebys.com
NEW YORK, New York (11 December, 2015) – RM Sotheby's rounded out a banner 2015 season in New York City last night (December 10), realizing more than $73.5 million in auction sales with 81 percent of all lots sold during its exclusive 'Driven by Disruption' event.
Held at Sotheby's global headquarters in Manhattan, the two hour 45 minute 'Driven by Disruption' auction presented 31 pioneering automobiles and select memorabilia before a packed house. Illustrating the extensive combined global reach of both RM and Sotheby's, bidders hailed from 18 countries, including Hong Kong, Brazil and Russia, with 22 percent representing new clientele to RM Sotheby's.
As a prelude to the sale, RM hosted a six-day exhibition on Sotheby's 10th floor galleries, which attracted thousands of enthusiasts to the property. Carefully curated, the exhibition provided a magnificent showcase of not only automotive history, but the company's creative and inventive presentation.
"We are thrilled that last night in New York, the historic 1956 Ferrari 290 MM sold for $28 million to set a series of records: for a car sold at auction in 2015, for a car sold in New York City, and for a car sold by RM. The Driven by Disruption sale caps off a record year for RM Sotheby's with 31 of the world's finest motor cars redefining a series of auction benchmarks," said Ian Kelleher, Managing Director, RM Sotheby's West Coast Division. "With the eyes of both the world and New York City on the event, it was fantastic to see an average of over 1,000 people per day viewing and enjoying the 10th floor exhibition within Sotheby's global headquarters. We were proud to provide a glimpse into the exciting world of collector cars for many new clients, and thrilled by the public's response."
The star of last night's sale was the historic ex-Fangio, ex-Works 1956 Ferrari 290 MM, chassis no. 0626, which powered to a final $28.05 million to claim the highest automotive auction sale of 2015. Combining rarity, powerful mechanical specification, important racing history, and purposeful good looks, 0626 was built by the factory for Juan Manuel Fangio for the 1956 Mille Miglia and raced by the 'Who's Who' of Motorsport in period. Attracting many admirers during the exhibition, the historic Ferrari was contested by multiple bidders in the room and on the phone; its impressive sales price confirms its status as one of the greatest, most original and most valuable cars ever sold at public auction.
Also commanding the attention of the world's most discerning collectors was the stunning 1962 Aston Martin DB4GT Zagato, chassis no DB4GT/0186/R. One of just 19 built, the car sparkled under the exhibition lights before selling for an incredible $14.3 million to set a new record for a British automobile sold at auction.
One of the other most exciting auction moments of the evening came when the Janis Joplin 1964 Porsche 356 C 1600 SC Cabriolet went under the gavel. Purchased by the Queen of Rock and Roll from a used car lot in 1968, Joplin engaged Dave Richards, a friend and roadie with her band, Big Brother and the Holding Company, to customize it with a psychedelic 'History of the Universe' mural. Truly one of the most famous and important Porsches of all time, the car was offered by Janis' siblings, Michael and Laura Joplin, fresh from 20 years on display at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Museum in Cleveland. It spurred a lively bidding contest at last night's sale with no less than seven interested parties competing for the car before it sold for a final $1.76 million. The outstanding sales price represents a new benchmark for any Porsche 356 model sold at public auction.
Additional highlights included:
- the 1933 Pierce-Arrow Silver Arrow, chassis no. 2575029, recognized as the 1933 Chicago World's Fair show car, sold for an above-estimate $3,740,000;
- the ex-Floyd Mayweather 2003 Ferrari Enzo, chassis no. 135440, brought $3,300,000;
- the 1963 Pontiac Bonneville 'Roy Rogers' Nudie Mobile, chassis no. 863S02964, the ultimate statement of Nashville haute couture, garnered $308,000; and,
- the 1954 Siata 208S Spider, chassis no. BS 535, the last built of approximately 35 Motto-bodied Spiders, achieved $1,650,000.
RM Sotheby's Driven by Disruption Top 10 sales:
1. Lot 221 -1956 Ferrari 290 MM (Chassis 0626), $28,050,000
2. Lot 215 - 1962 Aston Martin DB4GT (Chassis DB4GT/0186/R), $14,300,000
3. Lot 211 - 1958 Ferrari 250 GT Cabriolet Series I (Chassis 0791GT), $5,720,000
4. Lot 214 - 1933 Pierce-Arrow Silver Arrow (Chassis 2575029), $3,740,000
5. Lot 216 - 1953 Ferrari 250 Europa Coupe (Chassis 0313 EU), $3,300,000
6. Lot 219 - 2003 Ferrari Enzo (Chassis 135440), $3,300,000
7. Lot 202 - 1972 Lamborghini Miura P400 SV (Chassis 5014), $2,420,000
8. Lot 206 - 1964 Porsche 356 C 1600 SC Cabriolet (Chassis 160371), $1,760,000
9. Lot 227 - 1954 Siata 208S Spider (Chassis BS 535), $1,650,000
10. Lot 228 - 1934 Delage D8 S Cabriolet (Chassis 38229), $1,430,000
Full results from 'Driven by Disruption' are available online at www.rmsothebys.com, with complete results from RM's 2015 season to be released next week. The company kicks off its 2016 calendar at the Arizona Biltmore Resort & Spa, January 28-29, closely followed by its annual Paris sale, February 3 during the world-famous Retromobile week.
*Results are listed in USD and inclusive of 10 percent buyer's premium for automobiles and 15 percent for memorabilia. Sale total includes post-sale transactions.