It’s always worth keeping an eye on Sotheby’s sales because they rarely disappoint. As such, it made sense to us that the first edition of the 2019 “For Sale!” series here on AV should coincide with the first Sotheby’s sale in Europe this year. So today, we’re gonna take a closer look at the most interesting stuff coming up for auction February 6th. According to the company, at last year’s event buyers spent almost 24 million Euros and we’re definitely looking forward to find out how things will go in 2019. The lineup is very promising with plenty of cars well over the million Euros mark (listed). As usual with these articles, we’re not focusing on the most expensive lots but the most interesting ones to us and boy, were we interested in some stuff…
[You can check out our featured lots as well as all the others HERE]
1994 Bugatti EB110 Super Sport
Estimated 1.300.000 to 1.800.000€ (1.476.02 to 2.043.720 USD)
The early 90’s witnessed a rebirth of the famed Bugatti name. New owner, new location, same ambition to make great cars. We’re not going deep into the 2nd stage of Bugatti history today because there’s an AV feature coming up about it, but suffice to say that with 12 cylinders, 4 turbos, killer looks and some of the best folks in the car business behind its development, when the EB110 arrived it cause quite a stir. Plus, it carried one of the biggest price tags of its day…yet, then Bugatti owner Romano Artioli felt like it simply wasn’t enough. Just six months after the EB110 came out, a Super Sport variant was announced with more horsepower, less weight and the ability to put most other supercars of the day to shame. Increasingly expensive and incredibly rare (30 made), this barely used Super Sport may just end up bringing in more cash than expected.
1994 BMW 850 CSi and 1994 Alpina B12 5.7
Estimated 140.000 to 180.000€ (158.956 to 204.372 USD)
175.000 to 225.000€ (198.695 to 255.465 USD)
The E31 is arguably BMW’s most important car of the last few decades. It doesn’t just look stunning but it also set the tone for what the company would end up hanging its hat on: extremely forward looking, super techy cars. Now, you may think good or bad things about BMW’s commitment to an overabundance of technology, but when the E31 came out in the 90’s it was a huge leap forward not just for BMW but for the whole super coupe segment. The top dog of the E31 family was the 850 CSi, a toned down version of the never completed M variant for the 8 series, with bigger displacement more power and more torque than the regular V12 850. With a proper manual gearbox, 380hp (respectable for the time) and cool “throwing star” rims – yes, those matter because reasons – the CSi was the 8 series to have…unless you were super rich because then, top of the range just wasn’t enough. Thankfully you could go to the good folks at Alpina. There they’d gladly sell you one of just 57 B12s with a 5.7L bored out power plant (instead of the CSi’s 5.6L) as well as modified intake, crankshaft and exhaust, bumping the horsepower up to well over 400. Both the 850 CSi and the B12 5.7 look to be in fantastic shape and the estimated selling prices certainly show it. These were the pinnacle of 90’s BMW goodness; they’re rare, stunning and getting harder and harder to find, especially the super exclusive B12. This isn’t surprising because vintage – and even mid 90’s Alpinas – are always appealing, so the right models will get up there price wise. Speaking of…
1982 Alpina B7S Turbo and 2000 Alpina B12 6.0 Langversion
Estimated 200.000 to 240.000€ (227.080 to 272.496 USD)
25.000 to 35.000€ (28.385 to 39.739 USD)
Would you pay over 200 grand for an 80’s BMW saloon? Normally the answer to that question would be pretty obvious, but this is something special. Alpina’s B7S Turbo is one of the true pioneers of the fast saloon trend, it came along way before the legendary M5. With roughly 330bhp and the same torque as an E39 M5 (!), the B7S Turbo offered for sale is a factory fresh, limited production gem so it’s not hard to see why it’s pricey. But a couple hundred grand? Is it really justified at that price point? Only buyers can answer that one.
Thankfully though, if big angry Apinas are your thing and you’re unwilling to sell a kidney to pay for one, Sotheby’s has you covered with a beautiful, charismatic 6.0 B12 for a fraction of the price and just because it’s cheaper, doesn’t mean it’s less impressive than the B7S. E38s are cool no matter what. Bond drove one (we’re not opening that can of worms, but it’s still irrefutably a Bond car) and so did The Transporter; plus, it’s arguably the last pretty 7 series BMW made. Alpina got its hands on the base E38 V12, enlarged it from 5.4L to a whopping 6.0L and in doing so, created the executive rocket it should have been from the start. The B12 6.0 up for grabs at the Paris sale looks amazing in Dunkelsaphirblau metallic and gold Alpina pinstriping. The interior is tasteful and immaculate and the whole car just truly looks like a million bucks. Yes, maintenance will be…interesting, but you will be getting a lot of car for the money.
1987 Ferrari F40 LM
Estimated 4.5000.000 to 5.000.000€ (5.109.300 to 6.244.700)
A big boy toy if we’ve ever seen one. The F40 is one of the most beloved Ferraris of all time and plenty impressive in its road going configuration, yet the LM spec brings it up to a whole other level. This Michelotto creation has over 700bhp and weighs just a hair over a ton, making it the fire breathing monster of your dreams. Plus, this particular example has a long racing career, crowned by two entries in the prestigious 24 Hours of Le Mans – it is, after all, an LM spec F40 – in 1995 and 1996. For any serious Ferrari collector this is a must have and there’s no doubt the final price will reflect its desirability.
2018 Mercedes Benz G65 AMG Final Edition
Estimated 250.000 to 300.000€ (283.850 to 340.620 USD)
Do you need a 6.0L, 621bhp V12 off-road vehicle? Maybe not or maybe, as Leno often says, you just live in a hilly area and need that little extra power to make it up the road…In all seriousness the G65 is pretty ridiculous and that’s what also makes it awesome. There’s no logical reason whatsoever as to why Mercedes’ rebranding of a decades old military 4X4 brick into a super luxurious status symbol should have worked, but it did. As such, we ended up with the WTF that is the G63 and also the complete madness known as G65. Full disclosure, on AV we love the Gelandewagen in all its forms, but these AMG version are just so hilariously unnecessary that we can’t help but appreciate them the most. A quarter of a million Euros is a ludicrous amount of money to pay for an off roader that will never see dirt in its life, true, but it’s probably also the last of its kind and that makes it extra special. With tighter emission standards and an increasingly narrower focus on hybrids and electrics, will we ever see a V12 stuffed in an SUV again? For instance, the W12 Bentayga is only still around because the Continental GT exists and the Urus only leaves the factory in a V8 configuration so…the G65 may be dead, but long live the freaking thing!
The one offered for sale is one of – appropriately numbered – 65 examples made to give the G65 a proper sendoff. Expensive? Oh yeah. Unnecessary? Definitely. Special? Like nothing else.
1940 Fiat 2800 Berlinetta
Estimated 200.000 to 250.000€ (227.080 to 283.850 USD)
Sinister looking fellow, right? One of 3 Touring bodied 2800s, this aerodynamic Fiat is reportedly one of the cars used by fascist dictator Mussolini and family/associates to flee Italy in 1945. Eventually smuggled to Switzerland where it stayed for half a century (and was restored), this Touring 2800 is not just a pretty car but also an interesting piece of history; if it ends up going above the estimate we won’t be surprised.
1966 Alfa Romeo Giulia GTA Stradale
Estimated 310.000 to 340.000€ (351.974 to 386.036 USD)
A Holy Grail for any Alfa enthusiast, the GTA is one of the finest examples of what Alfa Romeo could do back in the good old days. With just over 800kg and packing an Autodelta developed revvy 4 cylinder under the bonnet, the GT Allegeritta (lightweight) is a wonderful homologation special, a hymn to Alfa’s ability to kick ass and look spectacular while doing it. The example up for grabs in Paris next month experienced a full concours restoration and as a result, it’s absolutely immaculate. Because it is in stunning condition, we fear this little happy road racer won’t see much action going forward which is a shame.
1989 Mercedes Benz 560 SEC AMG 6.0 Wide Body
Estimated 150.000 to 200.000€ (170.310 to 227.080)
One of our all time favorites, a hallowed name in AV: the 560 SEC AMG 6.0 Wide Body. A rolling sculpture, a landmark in Mercedes and AMG history and just about the damnedest cool thing you can possibly drive. The Sotheby’s sale offers a low mileage, so clean you can eat off it example of one of the very best German cars ever made. We’re currently pondering bank robbery to be able to bid on this one.
2011 Ferrari 599 SA Aperta
Estimated 925.000 to 1.050.000€ (1.050.245 to 1.192.170 USD)
Modern Ferraris are…good cars with great handling, they’ll drive you around in style and will always be head turners no matter what. But they’ve been so dictated by headline grabbing performance numbers, technology and the inherent need to keep idiots from killing themselves the second they get behind the wheel that everything about the cars has become subjected to a specific end. Cars can’t just be pretty anymore not only due to never ending safety regulations, but also because every decimal point of drag coefficient is scrutinized, every single aero feature is absolutely needed otherwise the thing will be a quarter of a second slower around the Ring or something and it’s the end of the world. You’ll be pressed to find a properly good looking Ferrari model in the last 10 years or so; not a striking one, not a visually or technologically impressive one…just a straight up pretty car. And that’s what the SA Aperta is, a great looking, elegant, well designed ride in classic Ferrari form of long nose/short tail. Made to celebrate Pininfarina’s 80th anniversary, the SA Aperta has a 599 base and a GTO engine, but it’s less of a hardcore ride than its heart donor. With just – again, à propos – 80 units made, this particular Aperta is especially attractive with its black on black scheme and carbon fiber add-ons (such as the removable hardtop). Plus, it did less than 4000kms so far so it’s pretty much a brand new ride.
1973 Porsche 911 Carrera RS 2.7 Touring
Estimated 500.000 to 550.000€ (567.700 to 624.470 USD)
Every Porsche fan wildest dream, there’s nothing we can say about the RS that hasn’t been said before so we’re not even gonna try. A homologation special to the equally revered RSR, the Carrera RS is the undisputed king of the road going classic 911 lineup. Put back to Touring spec after a bit of racing and having gone through complete mechanic and cosmetic restoration, this RS also has desirable FIA papers. In a beautiful rare Glacier Blue color and with full maintenance history to go along with it, this RS will have no trouble finding a new owner.
1956 Porsche 550 RS Spyder
Estimated 3.800.000 to 4.300.000€ (4.314.520 to 4.882.220 USD)
A master class on the values of simplicity and weight reduction, Porsche’s 550 successfully punched well above its weight class. With a small 1.5L boxer 4 cylinder engine, the 550 only has a little over 100bhp but that’s okay because there’s not a lot of weight to carry around…the car barely tops 550kg. With just 90 made and an incredibly successful racing career, the 550 is one of Porsche’s most accomplished and iconic models. It gained of course a dark notoriety due to James Dean’s death in the “Little Bastard”, but to Porsche enthusiasts it’s still THE ultimate goal. The only thing we can imagine will get frustrating for 550 owners are the endless replicas, because the question “is it real?” will pop up about 100 times per day at any given car event.