RM Sothebys London 2016 – results & analysis

By CSF Team | Classic car auctions & analysis | 0 Comments

With the media poised to pronounce the beginning of the end for classic cars, RM Sothebys’ London sale result couldn’t have been more inconvenient or better timed depending on which outcome suits you best.

We’ve heard the talk that Porsche prices were beginning to cool and that is certainly true for some of the over-priced chaff currently in the market, but a superior collection of sporting Porsches brought the market into perspective.

With the exception of the 2.7 RS they were in great condition with excellent provenance – a ready made collection and cars that you simply can’t just go out and buy readily. A once in a lifetime opportunity? Possibly…

Lower estimate Upper estimate Hammer price Total price with premium
1977 Porsche 911 Turbo £110,000 £130,000 £125,000 £140,000
1989 Porsche 911 Turbo £110,000 £130,000 £95,000 £106,400
1993 Porsche 911 Carrera RS 3.8 £400,000 £500,000 £640,000 £716,800
1993 Porsche 911 Turbo S Lightweight £210,000 £250,000 £870,000 £974,400
1995 Porsche 911 Carrera RS Clubsport £220,000 £260,000 £360,000 £403,200
1998 Porsche 911 Turbo S £200,000 £240,000 £280,000 £313,600
1995 Porsche 911 GT2 £750,000 £850,000 £1,650,000 £1,848,000
1973 Porsche 911 Carrera RS 2.7 Lightweight £450,000 £550,000 £200,000 £224,000

We doubt that any amount of time thinking about it will satisfy most as to why these cars sold for such high prices – but they did, and it just goes to show that when the bidders are lining up anything can happen. Would they have sold this fast and for this much money in a showroom?


The general opinion from those in the know was that this was indeed a once in a lifetime opportunity to acquire the best of the best. In the words of historic Porsche specialist Lee Maxted-Page:

There is definitely a growing interest in 1990s Porsches but these were not the usual, auction-grade cars. Rarely does a collection of such fine, limited-edition, single owner and correctly maintained, 100% first-paint Porsches like this come to the market. These were genuine investment-grade cars, which have become portable global assets, but don’t expect your much-loved, 30,000 mile and regularly hard-driven Porsche to be worth the same just yet!!

Is the 993 GT2 the Ferrari 250 GT  SWB for the next generation of collectors? Only time will tell, but it now looks more likely than ever that the next generation of superstar classics is being born.

The 2.7 RS Lightweight also put some perspective on the current state of the market. £224,000 for a Lightweight RS might sound like a bargain, but a quick read of the catalogue description should tell you all you need to know. The market has moved on and cars with a story just don’t command the prices some might expect.

Modern cars featured strongly in the auction with a selection of Mercedes-Benz AMG Black Series cars selling well and a Lamborghini Diablo GT finding £515,200 including premium. A Ferrari F40 with 5,700 kms of use sold for £924,000 inclusive – a realistic market value which compares favourably with the prices of F40s we have dealt with over the last 12 months.

Diablo GT - "The King".
Diablo GT – “The King”.

The Aston Martin DB4 GT sold a fraction under estimate for £2,408,000 – again we felt this was a sensible result as there have been a number of GTs on the market for a while and they don’t often come to auction. A much more modern Aston Martin V12 Zagato sold for £655,200 inclusive – rarer in theory but without the same illustrious heritage.

The night really did mirror the market with solid results, low-production modern classics raising the bar with a bit of theatre and excitement thrown in for good measure.

The numbers

Results: RM Sothebys – London 2016

Total lots 88
Sold lots 66 75.00%
Unsold lots 22 25.00%
Sold over estimate 16 18.18%
Sold under estimate 36 40.91%
Sold in lower half of estimate 9 10.23%
Sold in upper half of estimate 3 3.41%
Sold in lower half of estimate or below 45 51.14%
Sold in upper half of estimate or above 19 21.59%
Sold at median estimate 2 2.27%
Sold within estimate – ACCURACY 14 15.91%




Results: RM Sothebys – London 2015

Total lots 75
Sold lots 55 73.33%
Unsold lots 20 26.67%
Sold over estimate 4 5.33%
Sold under estimate 36 48.00%
Sold in lower half of estimate 9 12.00%
Sold in upper half of estimate 5 6.67%
Sold in lower half of estimate or below 45 60.00%
Sold in upper half of estimate or above 9 12.00%
Sold at median estimate 1 1.33%
Sold within estimate – ACCURACY 15 20.00%

Click here for full results with estimates and heatmap.


RM Sothebys - auction house performance September 2016


All images courtesy or RM Sothebys.

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