First Look: RM Sotheby's Amelia Island

Launch Slideshow

The Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance is an event like no other. As the unofficial beginning of the big-time concours calendar, it marks one of the must-attend events during the collector car season. This year, the concours celebrates its 21st anniversary, while RM Sotheby’s celebrates eighteen years as the event's official auction house. Ranging from more entry-level classics like Jaguar E-Types to top-tier sports cars, the offerings RM Sotheby’s brings to  Amelia Island are as diverse as the concours itself. In 2015, the sale achieved the highest ever results in Amelia Island history. To preview highlights from this year's auction, click ahead.

RM Sotheby's: Amelia Island
12 March 2016

First Look: RM Sotheby's Amelia Island

  • Darin Schnabel ©2015 Courtesy of RM Sotheby's
    1957 Ferrari 250 GT Berlinetta 'Tour de France.' Estimate available upon request.
    Thanks to superb Pinin Farina-designed coachwork, hand-built by Scaglietti in aluminum, the TdF was as beautiful to look at as it was exciting to drive. The present example, which its owner had for the last 41 years, has an impressive competition history, including TdF, Spa, Reims, Monza, and Montlhéry.

  • Motorcar Studios ©2016 Courtesy of RM Sotheby's
    1931 Bentley 8-Litre Tourer by Swallow. Estimate $1,000,000–1,250,000.
    For the gentleman who had everything in the 1930s, the 8-Litre Bentley was the automobile of equal stature. Presence: it was over 20 feet long and as tall as a man, with an engine compartment more reminiscent of a locomotive than a car. Style: it was ideally proportioned for beautiful custom coachwork. The 13th of only 100 8-Litre Bentleys produced, this car was the last of the great driver’s vehicle built under Mr Bentley himself – and is probably the greatest British automobile ever produced.

  • Karissa Hosek ©2015 Courtesy of RM Sotheby's
    1984 Ferrari 288 GTO. Estimate $2,300,000–2,600,000.
    For years, the 250 GTO had been considered the finest sports racer that Ferrari had ever produced. With an incredible racing record, rivalled only by its sensational driving dynamics, the 250 GTO is cemented into sports car lore as nothing short of a legend. For Ferrari to revive that legendary moniker, the new GTO would be expected to match or surpass the historic motorsport record. This Ferrari 288 GTO was fitted from the factory with air conditioning, power windows, red seat inserts to match the exterior paintwork and the optional Ansa sport exhaust. On 10 April 1985, it became the first example of its kind officially imported into Japan, by Ferrari importer Cornes & Company. Yoshiho Matsuda, who was very prominent in worldwide Ferrari circles, became the car’s original owner.

  • Darin Schnabel ©2016 Courtesy of RM Sotheby's
    1932 Ford Model 18 Edsel Ford Speedster. Estimate $1,200,000–1,400,000.
    Designed by Bob Gregorie and constructed by Ford Aircraft, this Speedster is the first of three one-off custom speedsters built for Edsel Ford, son of company founder Henry Ford and President of Ford Motor Company from the age of 25 until his untimely death in May of 1943. Years later, after an extensive restoration, the Speedster was shown at the 2013 Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance, where it won the coveted E.T. “Bob” Gregorie Award for Design Excellence from Moray Callum, Vice-President, Design, for Ford Motor Company, presented by Edsel Ford II. A landmark of Ford history and design, this car has never been offered for public sale – until now.

  • Trace Taylor ©2016 Courtesy of RM Sotheby's
    1957 Mercedes-Benz 300 SL Roadster. Estimate $1,000,000–1,300,000.
    When Max Hoffman, the US distributor for Mercedes-Benz, convinced Daimler-Benz in 1953 to put a customer version of the successful 300 SL racecar into production, the distinctive gullwing doors and comfort of a closed cabin led to the creation of the  “Gullwing” Coupe. The speed with which that first prototype was to make its way to the New York Armory show and into dealer showrooms meant that shortcuts had to be taken. Almost immediately after production began for the coupe, design work began on a roadster version with the goal of correcting the flaws of the coupe. To bring the present Roadster back to original showroom condition, the consignor had it completely restored in 2002 by Rudi & Company on Vancouver Island, one of only a handful of experienced 300 SL restoration shops in North America. The car has since won its class at both Amelia Island and Hilton Head, speaking to the quality of the restoration.

  • Erik Fuller ©2016 Courtesy of RM Sotheby's
    1973 Ferrari 365 GTS/4 Daytona Spider. Estimate $2,500,000–3,000,000.
    Many believed that it would be hard to top the Daytona Berlinetta, but Ferrari had one last trick up their sleeve. The first Daytona Spider was shown to the public at the Frankfurt Motor Show in September 1969, finished in an eye-catching yellow, with a black interior and Borrani wire wheels. While the body contours remained largely identical, the rear wings on the spider were squared-off on the top edges. Although a number of coupes were converted to spiders later in their life, genuine factory examples, like this one, command a substantial premium and are undoubtedly the most desirable Daytonas built. Verifying its authenticity and quality, this car received full ‘Red Book’ certification and is one of only eighteen European-specification examples.

  • Ryan Merrill ©2016 Courtesy of RM Sotheby's
    1955 Mercedes-Benz 300 SL Gullwing. Estimate $1,300,000–1,500,000.
    Mercedes-Benz’s 300 SL claimed 2nd in the Mille Miglia, 1-2-3 in the Sports Car Race in Berne, Switzerland, 1st and 2nd at Le Mans, 1-2-3-4 at the Nürburgring, and 1st and 2nd at La Carrera Panamericana. Yet more was to be desired. From his Frank Lloyd Wright-designed Park Avenue showroom, the company’s US distributor, Max Hoffman, said that there was a market in America for a fast, sensual Mercedes-Benz coupe; a production version of the racing 300 SL would be it, complete with the fascinating and now legendary “gullwing” doors necessitated by the unusual, tall “birdcage” frame design. The 300 SL Gullwing offered here, chassis 5500397, is recorded in the Gull Wing Group Register as having been originally delivered by special order through Max Hoffman’s New York salesroom, finished in Black with a Light Grey interior.

  • Darin Schnabel ©2016 Courtesy of RM Sotheby's
    1964 Porsche 356 C 1600 SC 'Sunroof' Coupe. Estimate $140,000–180,000.
    The 356 was the first mass-produced car to bear the Porsche moniker and enjoy worldwide success. Under the leadership of Ferry Porsche, the son of the company founder and patriarch, development initially relied on Volkswagen components. Unibody construction was paired with a four-cylinder, horizontally opposed engine, resulting in a light, relatively quick, and tremendously enjoyable sports car. This rare sunroof champagne yellow Coupe was recently driven by an RM Sotheby’s specialist, who can attest to how well the car drives and how nicely it sounds, especially with the sunroof open. The original 1600 SC engine pulls through the gears with surprising power, and the car handles exceptionally well through the turns.

  • Darin Schnabel ©2016 Courtesy of RM Sotheby's
    1911 Rolls-Royce 40/50 HP Silver Ghost Tourer by Lawton. Estimate $2,500,000–3,500,000.
    The most desirable of the Rolls-Royce 40/50 HP Silver Ghosts are the early “parallel bonnet” models, those produced between the start of production in 1907 and 1915. Named for the distinctive design of their front ends, these cars are unparalleled in their opulence, elegance, and Swiss watch–like craftsmanship. Unfortunately, they also tended to carry several bodies over their long lifetimes, and few survive today in virtually untouched condition, as they were first built for their original owners. The well-known and thoroughly documented provenance, restoration and show history of this Silver Ghost confirm it to be one of the most significant Silver Ghosts offered in recent memory. Reportedly around 20 of these cars survive with original body, engine, and chassis, and fewer still are open touring models, the most desirable configuration.