Highlights from the 2014 LA Auto Show

Take the automotive investment challenge - how much did these vehicles sell for at auction?

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May 23, 2012

Take the automotive investment challenge - how much did these vehicles sell for at auction...

Take the automotive investment challenge - how much did these vehicles sell for at auction?

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RM Auctions’ annual Monaco sale was held last week, with some of the most significant racing cars and motorcycles of all time going under the hammer. This year the sale coincided with the 8th Grand Prix de Monaco Historique and included the acclaimed Saltarelli Ducati Collection, so there were some remarkable investment-quality racing machines among the lots.

So we've decided to play a little game so you can assess how well you can see value. The following list is our pick of the top dozen cars and motorcycles that went to auction in the Grimaldi Forum under the guidance of RM Auctions. They're predominantly racing machines, but there's a road car or two amongst them to see if you can accurately assess retained value. We've included the official description, several images and the official estimates on price from the auctioneer. Can you guess how much each sold for? The answers are at the bottom of the story.

For those with a competitive streak, who feel the need to demonstrate their prowess to their friends and colleagues, here's a suggested set of rules. Each person views the same page at the same time, each writes down the amount they consider the vehicle would have sold for given the information, and then take the difference between your estimate and the actual price, add the differences (no negatives - whether you got $100 above or $100 below the price, the difference is the same) and the one with the lowest score wins.

1969 Alfa Romeo Tipo 33/3 Sports Racer

1969 Alfa Romeo Tipo 33/3 Sports Racer   Photo: Hardy Mutchler / RM Auctions

RM pre-auction estimate: EUR725,000 - 825,000 (US$920,000 - 1,050,000)

Technical Description: 440 bhp, 2,998 cc DOHC V-8 four-valve engine, Lucas indirect fuel-injection, five-speed manual gearbox, independent front and rear suspension with double wishbones, coil springs and anti-roll bars, and four-wheel hydraulic disc brakes. Wheelbase: 2,240 mm (88.2")

Once Autodelta was designated the competition arm of Alfa Romeo, work began on the successful TZ and TZ2. By 1966, Orazio Satta and Giuseppi Busso were working on the prototype known as 105.33 and when a two-litre, four-cam, 90-degree V-8 was installed, the Tipo 33 program was on the road. The T33 ‘Periscopa’ (for its overhead intake to the Lucas fuel-injection) weighed only 1,278 pounds and its top speed approached 185 mph.

The T33’s first competition outing was at the Belgian hill climb at Fleron in early 1967, the only event it could get to before Sebring, to which Chiti had committed a team. It won in the hands of Teodoro Zeccoli, and then Andrea de Adamich, who figures significantly in this particular T33’s story and broke the GT lap record at Zolder. At Sebring, de Adamich and Zeccoli qualified, and de Adamich led the first two laps, but the Porsches and Ferrari Dinos got past and both Alfas retired.

Four cars were entered for the Targa Florio with de Adamich and Jean Rolland in one car. The rough roads broke the front suspension on all four cars, although de Adamich led the two-liter class for some time. A similar fate overtook the team at the Nürburgring on 1 June, though de Adamich and Nino Galli finished 5th, after taking over the Bissinello/Zeccoli car when the front suspension broke on their own car. The team won several hill climbs but withdrew from Le Mans in June and the BOAC 500 at Brands Hatch in July. Then French rally driver Jean Rolland crashed at Montlhéry and was killed. Success came at Vallelunga in October, however, when de Adamich and Ignazio Giunti achieved a 1 – 2 finish.

Introduction of the T33/2

As pretty as the T33 was, it just didn’t hold up, and the stakes were getting higher. The 1968 Daytona 24 Hours was a qualified success with three T33/2s finishing 5th, 6th and 7th. Three cars were entered for the BOAC 500 at Brands Hatch as well.

Autodelta entered four T33/2s for the ‘68 Targa Florio, and whilst Vic Elford won in his Porsche 907, Galli/Giunti were 2nd and won the two-litre class, whilst the other T33s finished 3rd, 5th and 6th, a much better showing. The Nürburgring 1,000 Kilometres saw a 2.5-litre T33 entered, along with four two-liter cars. Nino Vaccarella and Herbert Schultze finished 5th and won the two-liter class, whilst other T33s were 7th, 10th, 13th and 29th. This time, problems were electrical. Finally, the team won at Mugello, with Galli/Varella/Bianchi 1st and Jo Siffert 2nd. The T33s now seemed to be showing real promise and finally managed a 1-2-3 at Imola, with Giunti/Galli taking the win. The pair would be 4th at Le Mans, with other T33s finishing 5th and 6th.

One might think 1969 would build on this improvement, but it was not to be. Daytona and Sebring were marked by breakdowns and crashes, and then Lucien Bianchi was killed during testing at Le Mans. Scooter Patrick was winning races in the U.S., and hill climb results were good, but Alberti/Pinto only scored a 5th in the Targa Florio, though the race did mark the return of Andrea de Adamich, who DNF’d. Still, Carlos Pace won the Rio 3 Hours in Brazil, whilst Nino Vaccarella managed a 2nd in Sicily in the T33 coupé, Giunti a 2nd at Imola in heavy rain and Weber a 1st at Hockenheim in dense fog.

By 1970, it was clear just how challenging this series would be, but the schedule was expanded to cover any races of merit. The new cars were also given star names, as one of Chiti’s fancies, but the DNFs continued. Still, Piers Courage and de Adamich won the Buenos Aires 200 in Argentina and then were 8th at Sebring, behind Gregory/Hezemans, who were 3rd. Galli/Rolf Stommelen were 7th at Monza, with Courage and de Adamich 13th.

The T33/3 followed, with notable results including 3rd at the Argentine 1,000 km at Buenos Aires with Stommelen/Galli followed by Pescaraolo/de Adamich in 4th, with these pairings repeated their positions at Sebring. Bob Wollek won at Albi, and then de Adamich/Pescarolo won the Brands Hatch 1,000 km. At Imola, de Adamich/Pescarolo were 3rd, ahead of Stommelen/Galli in 4th and Hezemans and Vaccarella in 5th. De Adamich/Pescarolo were 3rd at Spa and then 2nd in the Targa Florio, behind Vacarella/Hezemans. At the Nürburgring 1,000 Km, Adamich/Pescarolo 4th and Vaccarella/Hezemans 5th, whilst the latter team was 2nd in Austria, with Stommelen/Galli 3rd. De Adamich/Ronnie Peterson won the Watkins Glen 6 Hours, and de Adamich managed 7th in the Can-Am race by himself the next day, after his mechanics were too tired to install the new four-liter motor.

T33/3 Chassis No. 105 800 23

It is well-known to Alfa Romeo enthusiasts and confirmed by the authors of the definitive Alfa Romeo Tipo 33 text, Peter Collins and Ed McDonough, that the marque’s chassis records are notoriously difficult to track. In fact, many records were kept only in Carlo Chiti’s head, and he died in 1994. However, the car offered here, Tipo 33/3 chassis no. 23, was purchased from Carlo Chitti’s Autodelta directly by its first owner on the 10th November 1973, as confirmed by a copy of the original sales invoice from Autodelta S.p.a. to Milan’s Weiss-Siam company for 5,000,000 lire. Weiss–Siam was the company responsible for importing Koni shock absorbers for Italy, hence the connection to Autodelta and Carlo Chiti, as Koni was the supplier of shock absorbers to Autodelta.

The car remained in the collection of the first private owner for 30 years, until 2003 when it was sold to its second Italian owner. The car was totally original when purchased in 2003, marking a true “time warp” example of an Alfa Romeo 33. Photographs of the car at this juncture provided confirmation that the car remained in the state in which it was sold by Autodelta back in 1973, having virtually not turned a wheel since then. Given the remarkable originality of Chassis 023, the second owner elected to leave it untouched and placed it within his collection.

In 2004, Chassis 023 was sold to the current owner who imported the car to the UK, where it has formed part of an important private collection. In 2006, it was entrusted to Pearsons Engineering Ltd. for examination and the restoration of the car was started with originality as a priority, as the car had remained untouched since it left Autodelta in 1973. Garry Pearson carefully dismantled the car to remove the engine and gearbox, the front and rear suspension was stripped and the fuel cells were removed. All the suspension parts and wheels were crack-tested and X-rayed and then cleaned and readied for re-assembly. The engine block, cylinder heads, and assorted components were sent for ultrasonic cleaning and then the crankcase and connecting rods were Magnafluxed and then checked for any cracks. Both the engine and gearbox were then rebuilt. All the instruments were cleaned and serviced and the car was reassembled using as many original parts as possible, keeping the originality of the car. Detailed restoration invoices are available for inspection within the car’s history file, totaling almost £100,000 for the mechanical restoration.

Carlo Chiti and Autodelta never kept exacting records of the races; however, on close inspection, it is interesting to find the name ‘de Adamich’ on the rear of the original seat of Chassis 023 and the electrical cut-out switch positioning, which makes it likely that this was in fact the car used by de Adamich and Piers Courage throughout the 1970-racing season.

Sympathetically restored, Chassis 023 remains a true ‘time warp’ example, with the body being left as original as possible. It is very rare to find a car in this condition, being so original yet mechanically restored by one of the UK’s best race-preparers. Since the restoration of the car in 2006, it has not yet been raced and it was only used a few times for shakedown runs and test miles only. Chassis 023 is simply breathtaking throughout – it is an extraordinary historical document and a racing car of supreme technical prowess and unmatched driving pleasure.

2007 Peugeot 908 V-12 HDi FAP Le Mans Racing Car

2007 Peugeot 908 V-12 HDi FAP Le Mans Racing Car Photo: Bernard Canonne / RM Auctions

RM pre-auction estimate: EUR1,500,000 -1,800,000 (US$1,900,000 - 2,280,000)

Technical Description: 700+ bhp, 5,500 cc twin-turbocharged dual overhead camshaft V-12 engine, six-speed sequential manual paddle-shift gearbox, independent front and rear double-wishbone suspension, and four-wheel hydraulic ventilated disc brakes. Wheelbase: 2,950 mm (116")

Peugeot Talbot Sport was founded in 1981 by Jean Todt, on the initiative of Jean Boillot. Success followed soon afterwards, including a world rally title with the 205 Turbo 16, plus a long list of wins for the 205 Turbo 16 and 405 Turbo 16 in cross-country rallying.

The latter two cars were indeed difficult to beat, whether on the Rallye Paris-Dakar (four wins from four starts) or on the USA’s highly specific Pikes Peak Hill Climb (two wins). At the end of the 1980s, the French firm decided to switch from these successful campaigns to the World Sportscar Championship and undertook the development of a 3.5-litre normally-aspirated engine. Its program with the Peugeot 905 produced more wins, including a victory at Le Mans in 1992, which was followed by a one-two-three triumph at the same 24-hour race in 1993. Buoyed by these results, the Vélizy-based team used the technology it had developed for the 905’s engine to provide power to a number of Formula 1 teams from 1994 until 2000.

In the 1990s, Peugeot moved away temporally from the world of circuit racing to return to rallying after an absence from this sport of more than 14 years. The target of the Sochaux-based brand was the world title, with its latest challenger: the Peugeot 206 WRC. Its efforts were rewarded by WRC crowns in 2000, 2001 and 2002, with a driver line-up led by the two-time world champion Marcus Grönholm.

In 2005, Peugeot announced its decision to turn its attention to a new pioneering technological challenge, a victory at the Le Mans 24 Hours with a car powered by an HDi diesel engine equipped with a diesel particulate filter (FAP), a clean technology also seen on the make’s road cars.

The program saw Team Peugeot Total win the 2007 Le Mans Series, come first and second at Le Mans in 2009 and secure Intercontinental Le Mans Cup titles in 2010 and 2011.

Chassis no. 02

The project was based on a V-12 engine, which featured a “vee” angle of 100 degrees and the biggest cubic capacity authorized by the regulations. The choice of a V-12 architecture was guided by the quest for a good balance, whilst the open angle of the “vee” allowed the center of gravity to be lowered without compromising the powerplants torsional rigidity.

Two particulate filters were located at the end of each exhaust line, a layout which permitted outstanding, smokeless performance. The two exhaust lines themselves were kept as short as possible, using six-into-one manifolds, which fed into separate Garrett turbochargers. The engine delivered peak power of more than 700 bhp and maximum torque in excess of 1,200 Nm, an unprecedented achievement for a diesel-fueled racing engine.

The chassis featured a closed cockpit, unlike the 905, which was based on a tub, to which a tubular subframe was added. The 908’s carbon monocoque ensured outstanding rigidity and was lighter than the tub design of its predecessor. Design and production of the body work only took a week, and three months after the recruitment of an aerodynamicist, a scale model was wind-tunnel tested for the first time. The front and rear pushrod suspension, electric power steering and braking all used conventional, proven solutions, whilst the electro-pneumatically controlled six-speed gearbox had the capacity to deal with the enormous torque associated with the 12-cylinder engine.

Landmark Dates
  • September 28, 2006: Presentation of the 908 concept at the Paris Motor Show.
  • September 30, 2006: The V-12 HDi FAP engine was fired up for the first time on the dyno in Vélizy, near Paris.
  • December 31, 2006: The 908 HDi FAP took to the track for the first time at Villacoublay, near Paris, with Eric Hélary behind the wheel.
  • January 10, 2007: Presentation of the car to the media at Mortefontaine, near Paris, along with the drivers (Sébastien Bourdais, Marc Gené, Eric Hélary, Pedro Lamy, Nicolas Minassian, Stéphane Sarrazin and Jacques Villeneuve).

Race Career

  • Monza 2007: Début of the 908 HDi FAP, first pole position (Minassian) and first win (Minassian/Gené)
  • Silverstone 2007: Minassian/Gené (pole position: Minassian)
  • Interlagos 2007: Minassian/Gené (fastest race lap: Gené)
  • Barcelona 2008: Minassian/Gené
  • Spa 2008: Minassian/Gené/Villeneuve (fastest race lap: Gené)
  • Spa 2009: Victory for Minassian/Pagenaud/Klien (pole position: Pagenaud)

The car on display is being sold by PSA, which is a pledge of a no-nonsense transaction. It will be the first 908 HDi FAP to pass into private hands.

“Starting and running this vehicle calls for specific equipment, third-party software licences and skills. The seller commits to providing the necessary technical support for a period of three years. This service will be provided at Peugeot Sport’s normal rates for technical support”.

1972 Ducati 750 200 Miglia Imola Corsa Replica

1972 Ducati 750 200 Miglia Imola Corsa Replica

RM pre-auction estimate: GBP 80,000 - 120,000 (US$126,000 -189,000)

Technical Description:: 748 cc SOHC Desmo V-twin, five speeds.

It’s a matter of spirited dispute among the Ducatisti about which is the most historic factory racer. But Paul Smart’s 1972 Imola race-winner has a distinct edge as regards provenance—Smart still owns it. It was given to him after he won the inaugural Imola 200, the Daytona of Europe, by Ducati’s Fredmano Spairani. Spairani had given designer Fabio Taglioni the go-ahead to build the 750-cc Imola Desmo V-twin racers that would put Ducati on the map for all time.

The other contender, of course, would be the Steve Wynne-prepared 864-cc Ducati Formula 1 V-twin, with which Mike Hailwood won the 1978 Isle of Man F1 TT. At an average speed of 110.62 mph, Hailwood broke Phil Read’s lap record by nine mph. To cap it all, the 38-year-old Hailwood had retired and hadn’t raced at the TT for 11 years, and his bike gave away 20 horsepower to the Hondas and Kawasakis.

But the Isle of Man TT triumph was still seven years away, and in the meantime Taglioni was charged with improving the Formula 750 twin that Hailwood had tested at Silverstone in July 1971, with serious misgivings. While this first Desmo twin was able to rev to 11,500 rpm, with its 40-mm Dell’Orto carburettors, the frame had been developed by Colin Seeley from Ducati’s 500-cc racer, and Hailwood didn’t think it handled well enough to be competitive. He was not very charitable about the single Lockheed front disc brake either, and noted it was unequal to the task of stopping the bike.

Taglioni went to Daytona to assess the opposition in March 1972 and concluded he had better focus on handling, weight and braking to stand a chance against the Japanese. He was not worried about the engines, which had more or less the same bottom end as the 750 GT. The new 40-mm Dell’Orto concentric carburettors meant the Desmo V-twin could turn 9,200 rpm and generate 88 horsepower. It also had a good power curve, producing 70 horsepower at 7,000 rpm. A total loss ignition system meant that the alternator could be removed, as was the kick-start, which improved ground clearance on the right side. The bikes were fitted with an oil cooler, twin plugs and four ignition coils.

The opposition was impressive. Nine factory teams were bringing 21 bikes to Imola: MV Agusta, Norton, Honda, Kawasaki, Suzuki, Moto Guzzi, Triumph, BSA, Laverda and even BMW. The riders were a who’s-who of front-runners: Giacomo Agostini, Phil Read, Walter Villa, Roberto Gallina, Tony Jeffries, Percy Tait, Don Emde, Ray Pickrell, Ron Grant, Cal Rayborn and John Cooper.

But Imola seemed to suit the Ducatis, as it was a track with sweeping curves and variable surfaces. It was not going to be a horsepower race. Taglioni built seven bikes and approached Jarno Saarinen, Renzo Pasolini and Barry Sheene to ride them. They all declined as they did not think the 750 would be competitive.

So Taglioni went back to Bruno Spaggiari, who knew Imola well and had raced Ducatis since the 1950s. The young Ermano Giulani signed on as Spaggiari’s apprentice, and Alan Dunscombe came over from England, where he raced a 750GT for importer Vic Camp. Taglioni then approached Paul Smart, whose BSA triple ride had fallen through. Ironically, Smart would never have made the trip if his wife Maggie had not accepted the offer on her husband’s behalf over the phone. Smart did not think the Ducatis would be competitive—an opinion he revised once he started practicing.

When the race began on 23 April before a crowd of 70,000 mostly Italian fans, things got even better. Agostini took off in the lead, but Smart and Spaggiari discovered they had his measure. All three set the same fastest lap time, an average of 100.1 mph, but when the fourth lap came round, Smart had passed Agostini, followed by Spaggiari one lap later. From then on, it was Ducati 1-2, to the delight of the crowd. Spaggiari actually passed Smart on the last lap but began to run out of gas and ran wide to let Smart back into the lead.

From being an obscure marque to the rest of the world, Ducati suddenly had a lot of press. The win was considered an amazing upset, and it set Ducati on the path it follows to this day. Ducati promised Imola replicas, but it was 18 months before any started to trickle out of the factory. Meanwhile, Smart took his bike home to England, where he raced it with some success, and he won the Greek GP on the isle of Corfu that October. Three 750s were taken to the U.S. to be entered at Daytona in June and then to the Canadian GP at Mosport.

The bike on offer was constructed from a frame given by the Ducati racing department to Mr. Saltarelli in 1975 as prize money for his racing efforts with his private team of Ducati racing motorcycles. The frame is a 750GT unit as per the original Imola machines and is in the same frame number sequence of the Imola bikes. Mr. Saltarelli had a plentiful supply of parts from the factory and built this machine as a spare racer for his team in period. The engine is a correct round-case unit, which features racing pistons, high lift camshaft and a lightweight flywheel.

The bike remained with Mr. Saltarelli from the 1970s, and it was then in the year 2000 that he decided to start on the restoration so that it could be put on display at his museum. There are two fuel tanks supplied, and the bike is currently fitted with the larger endurance type racing tank. It has Marzocchi leading axle forks, three Lockheed disc brakes and the “left high-right low” Conti exhausts, as Imola was mostly a left-hand track. The 200 Mile Imola 750 Ducatis represent the pinnacle of collectible Desmo V-twins and are on the wish list of every Ducati collector.

Given that none of the factory bikes are available to purchase, this lot represents an opportunity not to be missed, being as near to the original Works machines as possible, constructed using original parts from the factory in period. In addition, it has been featured and run at many events, including the 200 Imola Revival in 2010 where it was displayed and ridden by Carlo himself.

1957 Ferrari 625 TRC Spider

1957 Ferrari 625 TRC Spider  Photo: Ron Kimball

RM pre-auction estimate: EUR3,000,000 - 3,700,000 (US$3,800,000 - 4,700,000)

Technical Description:: 320 bhp, 2,953 cc Tipo 128 SOHC per cylinder bank V-12 engine, six Weber 40 DCN twin-choke carburettors, alloy four-speed manual gearbox, independent front suspension with unequal-length A-arms, coil springs and anti-roll bar, nine-inch differential, live rear axle with parallel trailing arms and coil springs, and four-wheel hydraulic finned aluminium drum brakes with steel liners. Wheelbase: 2,250 mm (88.6")

To call Ferrari’s TRC for 1957 “one of the prettiest Ferraris built”, as preeminent Ferrari historian Richard F. Merritt put it, is surely an understatement. It is a design without fault—a timeless, downright breath-taking execution of Italian motoring passion, married to one of the greatest sports racing chassis of all time, and in this particular car, complemented by an aggressively unmistakable, shiver-inducing exhaust note that the trained Ferrarista’s ear will immediately peg as that of a proper “Testa Rossa”.

Ferrari Importer Extraordinaire

John von Neumann’s life story was the stuff of adolescent fantasy. Born to an Austrian family, he arrived in the U.S. as a student in 1939, joining the military during wartime and promptly beginning his sports car racing career, associating with the future ‘who’s who’ of Southern California’s car culture and co-founding the California Sports Car Club. While he ramped up his dealership activities on the West Coast with his wife Eleanor, importing the most famous (and, decades later, priceless!) European sports cars from Porsches to Ferraris, he continued his successful international racing career. On the dealership side, a young Richie Ginther helped him manage Ferrari Representatives of California, and indeed, his influence on Ferrari history cannot be underestimated.

0680 MDTR

The Ferrari on offer stands in a class all its own. Offered from single ownership for the past 30-plus years, its presentation at auction may very well be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. It is one of only two 2.5-litre 625 TRCs ever built by Ferrari, each specifically ordered by the larger-than-life West Coast Ferrari distributor Johnny von Neumann.

According to Bill Rudd, crew chief Harold Broughton and others, the 625 TRC was von Neumann’s favourite Ferrari, partly because of its superior handling—this from a man who owned a pontoon-fendered Testa Rossa, nearly 10 four-cylinder Ferraris in all, Porsche 550 Spyders and every other imaginable world-class sports car. In fact, the December 1957 edition of Road & Track asserted, “both von Neumann and Ginther say that [the 625 TRC] is the best handling and easiest of all Ferraris to drive in a race”.

Chassis 0680 MDTR is highly documented with complete history from new. It is the ninth of only 19 TRCs of all kinds built by Ferrari in total for 1957, including the Type 500 cars. Completed on 26 June 1957, it was finished in Dark Grey Metallic with a Maroon Stripe and purchased the following month, along with its sister car 0672 MDTR, by von Neumann.

Although 0680 MDTR raced mainly in California, its first two outings were in Europe, after von Neumann personally collected it from the Ferrari factory. He first took it to Salzburg, Austria in August, 1957, where he competed in the famed Gaisberg hill climb (“Grosser Bergpreis von Östererreich”), winning his class in only the car’s first outing. The incredibly fast and agile Ferrari performed equally well in Switzerland, finishing second in the Grosser Bergpreis der Schweiz in Tiefencastel-Lenzerheide in central Switzerland. Extraordinary period images attest to this car’s successful early outings, as it powered up the mountain, leaving Maseratis, Porsches and other Ferraris in its wake.

Having conquered its Alpine competition, 0680 MDTR was transported to California, where Appendix C rules did not yet apply. The car was modified during September/October 1957 with a single wraparound windscreen and metal tonneau cover. Its first race in the U.S. was at the very first race held at the famed Laguna Seca race track, which had been built for 1957 after the Pebble Beach road races were deemed too dangerous. Again, von Neumann skilfully piloted this car to a podium finish, 2nd, once again.

It raced nine more times during the remainder of 1957 and 1958 at Pebble Beach, Pomona, Hawaii and Santa Barbara, with von Neumann scoring two victories and three podiums during this prolific period. Other notable race outings include Laguna Seca on 15 June 1958, with future Ferrari Formula 1 driver Richie Ginther winning with 0680 MDTR. Josie von Neumann, the daughter of John and Eleanor and an accomplished racer in her own right, drove 0680 MDTR at the Vaca Valley SCCA National race in October, 1958, finishing 5th overall and 1st in class. Surely the arrival of the grey-liveried, von Neumann-entered 625 TRC at any start/finish line on the West Coast must have utterly disappointed the competition.

The 625 TRC was raced by John von Neumann at Pomona on 1 February 1959. On 26 April, Richie Ginther, the reigning 1958 Pacific Coast Sports Car champion, drove the Ferrari to a fifth-place finish at Avandaro, Mexico. Unfortunately, and despite all the success on both road and track, von Neumann’s marriage came to an end and the Ferrari dealership was sold. As such, 0680 MDTR was sold without an engine to successful owner-driver Stan Sugarman in Phoenix, Arizona, who had just sold his Maserati Birdcage.

A Chevrolet V-8 and a Borg-Warner four-speed gearbox were installed while in Sugarman’s ownership in 1960. 0680 MDTR was often driven in qualifying races by Jim Connor and handed over to car owner Sugarman for main events. The duo frequently placed on the podium in the races they entered. In fact, the car’s provenance is well documented throughout the 1960s as its owners successfully campaigned the car in and around the West Coast.

Single Ownership for Three Decades

Between 1969 and 1978, the car passed through a known succession of owners until Phil Sledge sold it to Bob Taylor. In 1981, 0680 MDTR was acquired from Mr. Taylor by the current owner, who commissioned its restoration, which was performed during 1982 and 1983 by David McCarthy at Phil Reilly in Corte Madera, California, where a Ferrari V-12 engine to Testa Rossa specification was fitted, and the car was painted red and fitted with a full-width windscreen.

Following its restoration, 0680 MDTR was shown at Pebble Beach in 1985, where none other than Jackie Stewart introduced the car to the hundreds of onlookers as “a car that has quite a record behind it. Many west coast races. Von Neumann himself drove it”. The roar of the V-12 engine was greeted by applause on the 18th green at Pebble Beach, from where the car resumed its competition career the same year at the prestigious Monterey Historic Automobile Races. (Extraordinary period video captures this event and is available for review by interested parties upon request or on RM’s website.) In fact, the dedicated owner has returned to Laguna Seca for this event annually ever since, except for 2002 and 2010. Notably, 0680 MDTR finished most often ahead of the pontoon-fendered Testa Rossas in attendance.

In all, the current owner raced 0680 MDTR on 113 occasions during a post-restoration vintage-racing career even more prolific than the car’s extensive period racing history.

What’s more, the car competed in the Ferrari Maserati Historic Challenge and was entered in a number of classic touring events. In 1999, at the 25th annual edition of the Monterey Historic Races, the 625 TRC won the Chopard Award for Presentation and Performance. In 2005, the Ferrari returned to the show field with another appearance at the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance.

Most recently, the Ferrari V-12 engine was completely rebuilt and fitted with new cylinder heads by world renowned noted Ferrari expert Patrick Ottis prior to the 2011 Monterey Historic Races. The brakes were also serviced with a rebuild of the brake hydraulic system and new carbon-fibre brake-shoe linings.

The car is powerful yet flexible and non-temperamental, harkening back to the long-lost era when high-performance cars were driven to the track, raced all-out and then driven back home afterward. It is most enjoyable and exhilarating in both environments today. With known history from new, 0680 MDTR has enjoyed coverage in several publications, including the 1957 Ferrari Yearbook and several editions of Cavallino, as well as such books as American Sports Car Racing in the 1950s and Antoine Prunet's Ferrari: Sports Racing and Prototype Competition Cars.

Professionally maintained, both cosmetically and mechanically, 0680 MDTR is in excellent condition. As the owner stated, "Every year I buttoned the car up for the winter, drained the fluids, covered it snugly and completely such that its shape did not even show. Then months later when spring came around, and I'd pull all the covers off and see the car gleaming there in its sleek curves, even after 30 years of owning it, driving it, touching it, and looking at it, I would be astounded all over again at how beautiful it was. Then I would open the door, slip into the corduroy seat, turn on the ignition and fuel pump, give the 6 Webers a few pumps of the gas pedal, and push the starter button. Blam! It jumps to life, with that gorgeous smooth ripping sound of the V12 that is never ear-splitting, while at the same instant you not only hear it, but you also feel it, as it resonates and vibrates in your chest and body as well as your ears."

Perhaps most attractively, 0680 MDTR is offered at auction with its original, matching numbers 2.5-litre Ferrari Type 625 LM racing engine, which since its separation from its original chassis over 50 years ago, led an interesting life of its own, passing through Luigi Chinetti and on to Pete Lovely, who installed it in a Cooper Formula One racing car. Now, decades later, the remarkable original engine, which is exceptionally rare and desirable in its own right, has been reunited with its chassis to complement the prodigious power of the V-12 currently in the car.

As such, the possibilities for this Ferrari are virtually limitless. The new owner may choose to thoroughly enjoy the V-12 engine car as is or utilize its original four-cylinder motor and with relatively little effort, refinish the car in its original grey livery with dual hood bulges, thereby returning it to its von Neumann-era appearance and surely delighting the judges and fellow drivers at future Pebble Beach, Le Mans Classic or Mille Miglia retrospectives and concours events.

With an incredibly rich and highly documented provenance to match, potential interested parties should see an RM representative to view the extensive history file, containing restoration receipts, historical images, vintage magazine articles and even period video.

1925 Bentley 4½-Litre Le Mans Replica Tourer

1925 Bentley 4½-Litre Le Mans Replica Tourer Photo: Pieter E. Kamp / RM Auctions

RM pre-auction estimate: EUR325,000 - 445,000 (US$412,000 - US$564,000)

Technical Description:: 100 bhp, 4,398 cc OHC inline four-cylinder engine, four-speed manual gearbox, solid front axle and live rear axle with semi-elliptic leaf springs, and four-wheel mechanical drum brakes. Wheelbase: 117.5"

Developed from the brilliant 3-litre, W.O. Bentley’s more powerful 4½-litre debuted in 1925 and enhanced both the marque’s carriage-trade business and built upon the racing success of its progenitor in one stroke. Of all Bentleys of the era, however, the 4½-litre, nicknamed “Old Mother Gun”, remains the most famous today. Crashed at Le Mans in 1927, it was repaired and then captured Bentley’s third Le Mans title in 1928, with Woolf Barnato and Bernard Rubin co-driving.

“Mother Gun” enjoyed an epic career and survives today. This faithful and handsome recreation is built on chassis 911, originally a 3-litre Bentley with Freestone and Webb drophead coupé bodywork, which was delivered new to Melbourne, Australia in January 1925. When eventually acquired by the prior owner in 2003 as a restoration project, it was running, but the original body was beyond repair. Rather than attempt a full restoration to original form, the decision was made to perform an exacting conversion to the Le Mans specification of “Old Mother Gun” instead.

The car was completely dismantled and the chassis shortened by 2½ inches. It was fitted with fixed pillar struts, and the springs were re-tempered, reset and refitted with correct mountings and full-length gaiters. The brakes were rebuilt with finned drums, and period-correct 20-inch wire wheels with 5.25/50 tyres were installed.

The engine was built upon a blower-specification block from the late Russ “Rusty” Turner. Added to this were a Reece camshaft, Phoenix crankshaft, connecting rods, high-compression pistons, needle-bearing rockers and boxes and a high-performance oil pump. A lightened flywheel, heavy-duty clutch and fully-rebuilt gearbox drive a new balanced propshaft and a 3.53:1 differential with new four-star crown wheel and pinion. The fuel tank is by Gavin Spencer.

Replica coachwork in the Vanden Plas Le Mans style was expertly framed by Rod Wariner and panelled in aluminium by Vintage & Classic. All trim details are correct, including Vanden Plas sill plates. James Pearce furnished the seats in Muirhead leather, and the hood and tonneau covers, both full and half-length, are made to the original pattern. Accessories include both full and aero windscreens, as well as Air Ministry switches, pre-war Lucas P100 angle-mounted headlamps with stone guards, right-angle-drive Klaxon horn and two forward Klaxonettes, plus full instrumentation with dash-mounted air pump.

The car is accompanied by a full photographic record of the 5,500-hour restoration. On its maiden outing, it was honoured with a concours win and has continued to delight its keepers and all onlookers. Since acquisition by the current owner, a further £30,000 was invested, including such new items as the alternator and starter motor, the cross-shaft assembly and new windscreen, as well as the addition of new racing pistons and engine tuning for additional power. A correct and painstaking representation of the 1928 Le Mans victor, this car is perfect for vintage racing, concours participation or pure motoring pleasure.

1936 Mercedes-Benz 540 K Sport Cabriolet A by Sindelfingen

1936 Mercedes-Benz 540 K Sport Cabriolet A by Sindelfingen Photo: Glenn McLaughlin / RM Au...

RM pre-auction estimate: EUR2,000,000 - 2,400,000 (US$2,532,000 - US$3,040,000)

Technical Description:: 180 bhp, 5,401 cc, OHV supercharged straight eight-cylinder, four-speed manual transmission with pre-select on 3rd and 4th gear, independent front suspension by unequal length wishbones and coil springs, rear swing axles with trailing arms and coil springs, and four-wheel vacuum-assisted hydraulic drum brakes. Wheelbase: 129.5"

If W.O. Bentley’s 4½-Litre Le Mans winner formed the definitive shape of the 1920s sports car, the Mercedes-Benz 540 K defined the 1930s. Its presence is still vaguely shocking on first encounter, but it is so unapologetically grand that the shape is utterly iconic.

It is hard now to imagine the mechanical world into which the 380/500/540 K Mercedes-Benz roadster landed, except perhaps to point out that the majority of European cars could manage two-thirds of its 106-mph top speed at best (and at about 10 percent of the cost, admittedly) and only one percent of its style.

Development of the 540 K

The 540 K’s story really starts in 1932, with the 3.8-litre Mercedes-Benz 380, which already had the look and the supercharger. However, it was handicapped by all-up weight of 5,000 lbs. and a meager 120 bhp. This was addressed at the 1933 Berlin Motor Show when the 500 K (Kompressor means supercharger in German, hence the “K”) was launched, the eight-cylinder motor having been enlarged to five litres and delivering 160 bhp.

Instrumental in development was Dr Hans Nibel, who was the chief engineer for Benz before the merger with Daimler and who succeeded Ferdinand Porsche on his departure in January 1929. Nibel had cut his teeth on the enormous Blitzen Benz racers before WWI, and he and Hans Wagner cooperated on the independent suspension of the new 380. His last contribution would be the supercharged 500 K engine, as he died of a stroke soon after in 1934.

Nibel also strove to establish the Mercedes-Benz in-house coachworks, which would become known simply as ‘Sindelfingen’, for the town in Germany.

The 380/500 K/540 K employed a massive chassis with huge side-members. Front suspension was by unequal length wishbones with coil springs, whilst the rear involved swing axles and double coil springs on each side. The engine was cast as a monobloc, with head and block together, and the four-speed transmission was semi-automatic, with pre-select between 3rd and 4th gear. The supercharger was engaged when the accelerator was pressed to the floor, producing an extra 65 bhp and a most satisfying howl.

However, the 500 K made its mark in competition early on in the 1934 Deutschland Fahrt (Tour of Germany). Covering 1,364 miles through Germany, the factory 500 Ks and private entries dominated the field of 190 cars.

The “look” had been accomplished, with the V-shaped grille moved back from the front bumper, bracketed by trumpet horns and spotlights. With twin exhaust pipes projecting from the side of the hood, the engine was edging towards mid-location and the cockpit set back almost at the rear wheels, but the 500 K still needed more power. The result was the 540 K of 1936.

Whilst small numbers were bodied by custom coach builders like Saoutchik in Paris, Erdmann & Rossi in Berlin and even Carlton in England, the definitive style was set by Hermann Ahrens at the company’s subsidiary coachworks at Sindelfingen.

Chassis no. 130945

This car represents an important transition in the evolution of the supercharged eight-cylinder cars that came out of the Stuttgart factory. From the 380 to 540 K, Mercedes-Benz practiced what may be referred to as “running changes” – when a viable engineering development came along, it was incorporated into the next car built.

It represents one of the earliest road going uses of the new 5.4-litre motor. According to information provided by Mercedes-Benz Classic Germany, the car belongs to Series 29 08, in which the first 5.4-litre motors were utilised. The coachwork, meanwhile, is of series 820600, for which ten bodies were built, five with five-litre motors and another five with 5.4-litre motors. Chassis 130945 is therefore a very transitional model with a sleek, low-beltline body and the newly introduced 540 K motor.

Consequently, the evolution of the name 540 K Sport Cabriolet came into being, separating them from the other cars labelled Cabriolet A. It is one of the earliest 540 Ks and one of six “in transition” Cabriolet models. As a result, it has the horizontal hood louvers of the 540 K but both spares are on the boot, instead of one being recessed like the 1937 540 K Spezial Roadster. It also has an exceptionally low windshield and the long open wings typically seen on the Spezial Roadsters.

Provenance

S/n 130945 was delivered on 18 October 1936 to Maria Leyder of Stuttgart. After World War II, the car eventually made its way to the United States and into the ownership of Don Rounds of Cedar Rapids, Iowa. In 1970, Rounds sold the car to Lowel Ledford, who kept the car for 15 years, performing its first restoration prior to its acquisition by noted collector and dealer Don Williams in 1985.

Subsequent owners have included such prominent figures as Japanese collector Nachiro Ishikawa, who kept the car in California, where he had some fettling done by noted Mercedes-Benz specialist Scott Grundfor. He subsequently ran it twice in the Monte Carlo Historic Rally, covering 2,000 miles with first place finishes in 1991 and 1994. Shortly thereafter, he sold the 540 K to noted Mercedes-Benz expert and MBCA member Thomas Taffet, along with the Mercedes-Benz 300 SLS Prototype Roadster. In fact, during the same period, the car was featured in a seven-page spread in The Star magazine for an article written by author and automobile authority Dennis Adler. Furthermore, the car is prominently featured in the second edition of Jan Melin’s definitive book on these cars (page 219).

In 1994, Taffet commissioned a sympathetic restoration and had the car repainted and reupholstered, changing its colour from red to black with a black leather interior–a stunning combination. A full mechanical rebuild was performed, including the original Rootes-type supercharger. Chassis, suspension, steering and braking systems were restored as well. The result earned a class-win at the Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance in 1996.

Some 12 years after its initial restoration, Taffet engaged a second restoration of his car, with absolutely no expense spared. Determined to achieve 100-point status, he completely disassembled and stripped the car. Over a two year period, he methodically rebuilt and restored every part of his coveted Mercedes-Benz. Finished in flawless black with claret accents and matching black cloth top, the car evokes a look of elegance second to none.

The interior was done in black leather with contrasting red piping. The centre dash is mother-of-pearl with ivory gauge faces and switches surrounded by polished wood–certainly one of its most attractive features.

Given these restorations, the Mercedes-Benz has won numerous awards in serious concours competition. It was first shown in 1996 at the Forest Grove, Oregon Concours, where it took “Best of Show”, prior to being judged at Pebble Beach with 100 points that same year. Thereafter, the car was on display at the Mercedes-Benz Classic Center in Irvine, California. Earlier this year, and following its most recent restoration, it was presented at Donald Trump’s concours event at Mar-a-Lago in Palm Beach, Florida. Presented along with some of the world’s greatest cars, it was honoured with a trophy for the Most Elegant Car.

Inspection

In 2011, the car was personally inspected by two veteran experts from the Mercedes-Benz Classic Centre in Germany, with extremely positive results. In their expert opinion, the car retains its important original components, namely the correct engine (number 150945), which is original to the chassis. The transmission is conclusively original to this car as well. Furthermore, the body’s originality was confirmed by multiple discoveries of the correct number 820609 in both wooden and metal locations. As for the ancillary items, including the supercharger, steering box and rear axle, these were also of the correct type and series.

This Sport Cabriolet A is an excellent example of one of the most significant Mercedes-Benz automobiles ever built, and its configuration is extremely rare. The exceptionally low windshield and setback radiator give the body a very sporting look whilst the twin rear spares lend the design a European flair, particularly when compared to the more conventional Cabriolet A body configuration with its higher beltline.

This important car is a contender for inclusion in any serious collection of pre-war European classics, where its style and universal appeal will be appreciated as much as its mechanical specifications, startling acceleration and exceptional handling.

2010 Ducati Desmosedici GP10 CS1

2010 Ducati Desmosedici GP10 CS1

RM pre-auction estimate: EUR300,000 - 350,000 (US$380,000 - US$443,000)

Technical Description:: 200+ hp liquid-cooled, 90-degree 799 cc V-4 four-stroke, desmodromic DOHC with four valves per cylinder; six-speed cassette-type gearbox with alternative gear ratios available; dry multi-plate slipper clutch; chain final drive; indirect Magneti Marelli electronic injection, four throttle bodies with injectors above butterfly valves; throttles operated by EVO TCF (throttle control and feedback) system; Shell Racing V-Power fuel; Shell Advance Ultra 4 lubricant; Magneti Marelli ignition; Termignoni exhaust; final drive Regina chain; Öhlins upside-down 48 mm front forks and Öhlins rear shock absorber, adjustable for preload, compression and rebound damping; Bridgestone 16.5-inch front and rear tyres; Brembo, two 320-mm carbon front discs with four-piston callipers; single stainless steel rear disc with two-piston callipers; dry weight 150 kg; top speed in excess of 310 km/h (192 mph).

The year 2003 was a milestone in the history of Ducati, with a successful entry into motorcycle racing at the highest level: the world of MotoGP. With two-strokes becoming dominant, Ducati had abandoned Grand Prix racing in 1972, concentrating on classes more associated with their four-stroke production models, TT1, TT2 and World Superbike. But when the Grand Prix technical rules changed, giving priority to four-stroke machinery, Ducati decided it was time to re-enter the world’s premier racing class, and for 2003 this was the new MotoGP World Championship.

Bringing together a passionate group of young engineers, with an average age of 28, Ducati Corse produced a 989-cc racer that took the racing world by storm. After considering a “Super Twin,” Ducati’s engineers opted for a brand-new V-4 engine, incorporating their traditional 90-degree layout, along with desmodromic valve control. Marrying tradition with innovation, the engine was called the Desmosedici because of its 16 desmodromic valves. The 90-degree cylinder layout provided perfect primary engine balance, allowing up to 17,000 rpm with minimal vibration and improving mechanical efficiency and reliability. The engine layout was pure racing, with a train of spur gears driving twin overhead camshafts, and the power transferred via a six-speed cassette-type gearbox and multi-plate slipper clutch. In its first incarnation the liquid-cooled 16-valve engine produced over 220 horsepower at 16,000 rpm.

True to form the Desmosedici combined the best of modern design with links to the past. Much of the technology was well established, including a tubular steel frame with the engine as a stressed member. The rear suspension and aluminium swing-arm bolted directly to the engine, with the only chassis as such being a tubular steel bracket connecting the engine and the steering head and supporting the Öhlins front fork. Noted British F1 car aerodynamicist Alan Jenkins designed the all-enveloping bodywork.

Riding the Desmosedici in its first year of competition were Loris Capirossi and Troy Bayliss, and from the outset the Desmosedici was competitive. Capirossi astonished the pundits in pre-season testing, setting the fastest lap times and a top speed of 328.19 km/h (203.93 mph). Capirossi finished on the rostrum in the Desmosedici’s first race, and it was soon evident the Ducati was the only real threat to Honda domination. Capirossi won at Catalunya and finished fourth in the championship, with Bayliss sixth. Ducati ended second in the manufacturer’s championship—a phenomenal effort first time out for such a small manufacturer.

After surprising everyone with the Desmosedici in 2003, Ducati Corse produced an updated D16 GP4 for the 2004 MotoGP season. Of the 915 individual components, 60% were new on this rationalised model, but although the power was increased, race results were disappointing.

There were too many changes to an already successful design, so for the D16 GP5 Ducati returned to their traditional philosophy of “evolution not revolution.” Carlos Checa joined the Ducati Marlboro Team alongside Capirossi, the other significant development being a partnership with Japanese tyre manufacturer Bridgestone. The 2005 season was slightly better, Capirossi winning two MotoGP races in succession (Japan and Malaysia) and ending 6th Overall in the World Championship. The year 2006 was to be the final one for the 990-cc MotoGP bikes, and Sete Gibernau joined Loris Capirossi on the D16 GP6. The season started brilliantly for Capirossi, with a victory in the opening race at Jerez, and with two further victories he ended third in the championship. But that first World Championship was still elusive.

Although Casey Stoner was only fourth on Ducati’s rider list for 2007, the 21-year-old Australian lined up alongside Loris Capirossi on the D16 GP7. New regulations this year saw the maximum capacity reduced to 800 cc, with Ducati’s engineers reverting to the “Screamer” (symmetrical) firing intervals (as on the first Desmosedici of 2003). Stoner immediately proved he had the aggression and ability to get the most out of the Desmosedici. After winning the opening race at Qatar, he blitzed the championship with a total of 10 race wins. With Stoner’s title the Desmosedici had proven itself at the highest level, and Ducati finally achieved their goal, ending 2007 as masters of MotoGP.

Ducati’s philosophy of extracting as much power as possible from the 800-cc V-4 continued for 2008. The GP8 now had more midrange power than before, but apart from a win at the opening round at Qatar, Stoner struggled to come to terms with the unpredictability of the new intake system. He eventually won three races in succession, and a further two victories towards the end of the year saw him finish 2nd Overall in the championship.

Constantly driven to find new and innovative solutions, during 2008 a prototype GP9 with carbon-fibre chassis was tested in preparation for 2009. A carbon-fibre swing-arm was also designed to complement the new frame, but although the season began well with Stoner winning the opening race at Qatar, followed by another fine victory at Mugello, the 2009 season unfolded as one to forget for Ducati. Former World Champion Nicky Hayden joined Stoner on the GP9 but struggled to get up to speed. During the season Stoner suffered a mystery illness (later diagnosed as lactose intolerance) that saw him slump and miss three races. Ultimately Stoner finished fourth in the World Championship.

After a disappointing 2009 season Ducati was still determined to win in 2010. But circumstances were against them this year. Since 2007 Casey Stoner had proven to be the only rider to come to terms with the difficult Desmosedici, responsible for 23 of its 24 victories, but during the season he was unsettled and looking for an alternative ride.

At the end of 2009 Ducati debuted a new 799-cc D16 90-degree V-4 engine with 180-degree crankshaft instead of the 360-degree “screamer.” This “big-bang” design allowed earlier mid-corner throttle application. Engine restrictions were also much stricter for 2010, with only six engines allowed during the season. The chassis rear section was also made more rigid, with six mounting points instead of four, and experimentation continued with at least three different carbon-fibre swing-arms to reduce the rear suspension pumping during aggressive corner exiting.

Other chassis updates included a new headrace support and the suspension linkage design. Also new this year was a larger diameter (48 mm) Öhlins TTxTR (through rod) front fork with 61-mm outer fork tubes, but the D16 still suffered front-end problems. Stoner crashed out while in the lead at the opening race at Qatar, and it wasn’t until mid-season that he finished on the podium.

The lack of front-end feel saw him revert to the earlier 42-mm TTx fork (without the updated through valve), but after testing Stoner decided to try the newer 48-mm TRSP25 Öhlins fork. Öhlins also introduced a new steel-bodied TRSP44 shock absorber. Although Stoner had already signed for Honda for 2011, and the Rossi deal with Ducati was finalised by August 2010, Stoner’s form improved towards the end of the season.

A 12-mm shorter swing-arm, and the riding position moved forward 10 mm, provided the improvement that saw him win at Aragón. Stoner followed this with victories in Japan and at Phillip Island, Australia (for the fourth consecutive year) and finished 4th Overall in the championship.

The bike presented here is Stoner’s Phillip Island-winning machine. At the blustery Phillip Island circuit the fairing didn’t include the small fairing winglets, designed to reduce lift and improve cooling, and as a result it was less susceptible to cross winds. The fastest race on the calendar, Stoner led the race from start to finish, winning at a race average speed of 175.100 km/h (108.802 mph). Aside from this achievement, its successful history includes three additional podium finishes and three pole positions.

Quite literally, the offering of such a superb motorcycle is unlikely to be repeated, much less directly from the Ducati factory. The opportunity to acquire a racing Desmosedici with successful, well-known provenance is one not to be missed by enthusiasts.

This motorcycle will be supplied with a certificate of authenticity from Ducati Corse (racing department), and the fortunate new owner will be given a VIP tour of the Ducati factory in Bologna.

Please note that to purchase lot 201 the Purchaser must sign an Agreement with Ducati Motor Holding S.p.A. in which the Purchaser accepts and agrees to abide by specific terms and conditions of ownership. A copy of this Agreement can be obtained by emailing a request to XXno-longer-applicableXX, and RM representatives will have copies of the Agreement available for distribution at the Monaco Auction. Purchasers must satisfy themselves as to the requirements as outlined in the Agreement. RM accepts no responsibility as to the contents or operation of the Agreement.

History
  • Built: From 7/12/2009 to 11/12/2009 in Borgo Panigale
  • Started: 14/12/2009 in Borgo Panigale for bench test
  • First run: 3/2/2010 in Sepang Test
  • First race: 11/4/2010 in Qatar
  • Victory: 17/10/2010 in Phillip Island
  • 2nd place: 7/11/2010 in Valencia
  • 3rd places: 26/6/2010 in Assen, 4/7/2010 in Catalunya
  • Pole positions: 10/4/2010 in Qatar, 16/10/2010 in Phillip Island, 6/11/2010 in Valencia
  • Last race: 7/11/2010 in Valencia
  • Total mileage: 4,232 km
  • 1930 Rolls-Royce Phantom II Roadster

    1930 Rolls-Royce Phantom II Roadster Photo: Tom Wood / RM Auctions

    RM pre-auction estimate: EUR145,000 - 165,000 (US$184,000 - US$209,000)

    Technical Description:: 40/50 bhp, 7,668 cc OHV aluminium head inline six-cylinder engine, four-speed manual gearbox, front and rear semi-elliptical suspension, and four-wheel mechanical drum brakes with servo assist. Wheelbase: 150"

    Following Rolls-Royce tradition, the Phantom II débuted in 1929 as an evolutionary replacement for its predecessor, retrospectively known as the Phantom I. However, the Phantom II was, in fact, a radical redesign, with its lowered ride height and drastically reduced maintenance requirements immediately apparent.

    Chassis 130XJ was delivered to Barker & Company, Ltd., by road, on 1 March, 1930. According to Rolls-Royce Foundation records, instructions specified the installation of springs for a Pullman Limousine deVille to be “used for extensive Continental touring”, and silver-plated fittings, including the radiator shutters.

    It is unknown exactly when this right-hand drive, long-wheelbase car was fitted with new coachwork, reputed to have been constructed by Dick Brockman & Company of Reading, United Kingdom, a small coach builder that primarily bodied Rolls-Royce and Bentley automobiles between 1924 and 1937. The remarkable body is of solid copper – polished and not painted.

    The Phantom’s ownership roster includes James C. Leake, Oklahoma (1973), Michael L. Shinn, Colorado (1982) and noted Rolls-Royce collector Millard W. Newman, Florida (1986), from whom it was acquired by the Hooper Corporate Collection. It is believed to be the only Rolls-Royce ever produced with solid copper bodywork.

    Prior to acquisition by the current owner, the original engine was totally rebuilt, including new cylinder heads, at a cost exceeding $50,000. Since then, the top end of the engine was overhauled, the hood cover was renewed, the Auto-Vac was completely rebuilt and the brakes were overhauled, along with considerable electrical work.

    The Phantom II has been used frequently over long distances, and it will, in fact, be driven from Northern Ireland to Monte Carlo for the auction! Handsome, one-of-a-kind and well maintained for touring, it is downright stunning!

    1952 Ferrari 225 Sport Spyder ‘Tuboscocca’ by Carrozzeria Vignale

    1952 Ferrari 225 Sport Spyder ‘Tuboscocca’ by Carrozzeria Vignale Photo: Tom Wood / RM Auc...

    RM pre-auction estimate: EUR1,800.000 - 2,200,000 (US$2,280,000 - US$2,788,000)

    Technical Description:: 210 bhp, 2,715 cc V-12 engine, five-speed manual gearbox, independent double wishbone, transverse lower leaf spring front suspension, live axle, double semi-elliptic longitudinal leaf spring rear suspension, and four-wheel hydraulic drum brakes. Wheelbase: 2,400 mm (94.5")

    The number of different sports-racers and variants built by Ferrari during the 1950s provides a fascinating demonstration of both the uncanny adaptability of the Ferrari organisation and its willingness to build and develop single-purpose models to meet the requirements of specific racing events. In particular, the 225S remains especially significant as the evolutionary link in Ferrari’s DNA, leading directly to its series of 3-litre V-12 racing cars, beginning with the 250 MM and progressing through to the 250 GTO of the early 1960s.

    Only about 20 examples of the 225S were constructed through 1952 and 19 of them, comprising of 12 Spyders and seven Berlinettas, were clothed with purposeful yet rather elegant bodies by Alfredo Vignale. This Spyder, chassis 0192ET, is the sixth of the 12 Vignale Sport Spyders built, and its bodywork artfully blends form and function with the coach builder’s characteristic triple ovoid front-wing chrome portholes and such competition-oriented features as a pair of small double air intakes on the hood, plus a pair of intake ducts for rear-brake cooling and twin rows of triple air outlets on the hood.

    The foundation of 0192ET was the highly specialised ‘Tuboscocca’ frame layout, with double tubular outer members joined by a truss-type configuration, providing exceptional strength, and the ‘skeleton’, supporting the body panels. The Tipo 212 gearbox was assembled on 20 March 1952, and on 20 March, the chassis was shipped to Carrozzeria Vignale in Torino to receive its bodywork. On 28 June, the engine was assembled and tested on 3 and 4 July, followed by an overhaul and further testing on 16 July. On 22 September 1952, 0192ET was sold by the Ferrari factory to first owner Giuseppe Viannini, an Alfa Romeo dealer domiciled in both Milan and Buenos Aires.

    The first race outing for 0192ET was on 11 October 1952, at the Bologna-Raticosa hill climb in Italy, with Pietro Palmieri, and the car raced number328, where it placed 1st overall. Next, Mr Viannini exported 0192ET from Italy to Argentina, where it was painted yellow and red and raced. In late1952, Viannini sold the car to José Maria Ibañez, a resident of Buenos Aires, who raced it extensively and quite successfully. The 1953 season started with a 3rd place finish, where the car race-numbered 3 at the Gran Premio de la Ciudad de Buenos Aires, with Ibañez at the wheel. He went on to race 0192ET at the Premio Verano, CAS, at the Autodromo Eva Peron at Mar del Plata, where, this time, he took first overall. In June, he was back on the track at the Gran Premio de la Ciudad de Buenos Aires, where he placed 3rd overall. The season continued at the Premio Verano, where, again, he took 1st place, followed by the Grand Prix Governador Carlos Evans at Mendosa, where he finished 2nd overall. At the final two races of the season, in Buenos Aires, Ibañez placed 2nd overall in both events. These stellar results netted Ibañez and 0192ET the Argentine Sports Car Championship.

    For 1954, 0192ET was refinished in two-tone red and white and campaigned in Brazil and Argentina, with both Ibañez and Rafael Sedano Acosta having driving duties. 0192ET posted several DNFs, with its best a sixth-place finish, with Acosta driving at the Premio Invierno, CAS, Autodromo de Buenos Aires. Its last known race during the ownership of Ibañez occurred on 19 December 19 1954 at Buenos Aires, with an 11th overall result.

    By 1956, 0192ET was owned by Juan Manuel Bordeu, also of Argentina, at the Autodromo de la Ciudad de Buenos Aires. Next, 0192ET passed through Luis Tula Molina, a businessman from northeastern Argentina, under whom the car was repainted green with a black hood, and later, sold in 1958 to Luis Escoda, who had the car refinished in red with white upholstery. Interestingly, by some accounts, Escoda sold the car to the owner of a poultry farm for 450,000 pesos; however, it was raced on 18 October 18 1959 at the Parque de la Indipendenza at Rosario, Santa Fé, by past driver Rafael Sedano Acosta, who used the comical alias "El Rosarino", and then, the car was reportedly sold that year by Escoda to his friend and fellow Argentinian, Alberto Luis Depego.

    Depego entered 0192ET into the 31 January 1960 1,000 km of Buenos Aires, with him and Luis Escobar scheduled to co-drive, but the car did not start the race. The next known race entry for the 225S was 5 June, at the Autodrome of Buenos Aires (AAAS), where it was driven by Depego, race-numbered 5 and finished 6th overall. Engine failure forced a DNF in November 1960 at the 500 Milas Argentinas at Rafaela, Santa Fé, and the car posted a DNS that December at the Autodromo de la Ciudad de Buenos Aires, a fate that befell the car again at the same venue the following September.

    Depego sold 0192ET in 1961 to Domingo Di Santo of Rio Cuarto, Cordoba, who damaged the engine during practice at the Cabalén racetrack, and subsequently, sold the Ferrari to another Argentinian, Humberto Evangelista. Mr Evangelista drove the car in competition through the end of 1966, with a second-place finish his best result, posted on 1 February 1963 at the Premio Ciudad de Chascomus. Thereafter, 0192ET was stored in Venado Turto near Buenos Aires, Argentina until 1980, when Hector Mendizabal acquired it. At this point, the 225S was painted red with a longitudinal yellow stripe and yellow decoration below the chrome strip on the body flanks, also sporting the script "Ferrari V12" on the sides.

    The next major phase in the life of 0192ET began in 1980, when it was exported from Argentina to Italy by Mendizabal, subsequently passing to Giuseppe Bianchini, who commissioned its restoration in 1983. The body was restored by Carrozzeria Casella of Torino and painted dark red, whilst the mechanical restoration was performed by Gianni Torelli of Campagnola-Reggio Emilia, Italy, who is recognised as one of the best engineers when it comes to 1950s sports cars.

    Once completed, 0192ET embarked on an equally active vintage racing career with Bianchini, beginning in May 1986, with entry into the Mille Miglia, followed by the AvD-Oldtimer-Grand Prix at the Nürburgring that year. Entries at the next four editions of the Mille Miglia followed with Bianchini, and then, in 1991, he sold 0192ET to one Mr Pederzoli of Modena, who raced the car at the Circuito delle Tre Province, placing 3rd. The next known race outing for 0192ET was the 1995 Mille Miglia. In 1996, Olivier Cazalières of Paris, France acquired the car, and in 1996/1997, AG Racing of Nice, France performed a mechanical restoration. Under Mr Cazalières, the car returned to the Mille Miglia in May 1998, and then, in late-June of that year, it contested the Ferrari Shell Historic Challenge at Dijon-Prenois, followed by July’s Coys International Historic Race Festival at Silverstone. In 1999, 0192ET was entered into the Tour Auto and Mille Miglia, the Shell Ferrari-Maserati Historic Challenge races during the L’Age d’Or meeting at Montlhéry and the “Tutte le Ferrari a Vallelunga” Shell Ferrari-Maserati Historic Challenge Finals.

    The French enthusiast magazine Auto Passion published a colour feature on 0192ET in its July/August 1999 edition, and in February 2000, he displayed the 225S in a special Ferrari exhibit at Paris’ famed Retromobile show. Subsequent race outings during 2000 included the Ferrari Days at Spa-Francorchamps, 2000 Historic Grand Prix of Monaco, and the Shell Historic Ferrari Maserati Challenge during the Ferrari Racing Days in Hockenheimring, Germany.

    In 2003, 0192ET was sold and became a part of a very important collection based in Brescia, Italy. Under his ownership, 0192ET was driven that year at the Le Mitiche Sport a Bassano meeting and most appropriately, the 2005 and 2007 editions of the Mille Miglia. Campaigned with few interruptions ever since new and accompanied by an extensive collection of photographs, 0192ET is very well-documented, having been pictured in the official Ferrari Yearbook 1953, issue 158 of the Prancing Horse, the Ferrari Club of America magazine, and within the definitive book Ferrari Argentina, Sports Cars, authored by Cristian Bertschi and Estanislao Iacona. Incredibly rare, steeped in history throughout its life and highly documented with remarkable provenance, 0192ET remains simply impressive as one of Ferrari’s groundbreaking early-1950s sports racers, with striking open coachwork by Vignale.

    1951 Piero Taruffi "Italcorsa/Tarf II" Speed-Record Car

    1951 Piero Taruffi 'Italcorsa/Tarf II' Speed-Record Car Photo: Paul Kane / RM Auctions

    RM pre-auction estimate: EUR160.000 - 200,000 (US$203,000 - US$253,500)

    Technical Description:: 195 bhp, 2,418 cc Ferrari 246 Dino DOHC V-6 engine with three twin-choke carburettors, Rover gearbox, independent front suspension, and chain-driven live rear axle.

    Piero Taruffi is rightly considered one of the greatest drivers and most innovative engineers of his era. Beginning with motorcycles, his stellar career included “Works” drives for Alfa Romeo, Bugatti, Cisitalia, Ferrari, Maserati and Mercedes-Benz, with victories including the 1951 Carrera Panamericana and the final Mille Miglia. His achievements, including several dozen speed records, have filled volumes of books.

    Alternately known as “Italcorsa” and “Tarf II”, this amazing vehicle was designed by Taruffi and followed “Tarf I”, which set six 500 cc and two 1,500 cc speed records. Its radical “bisiluro”, or twin-boom, design was built in 1951 for the 2,000 cc class. Power was by a 1,720 cc Maserati four-cylinder engine with two-stage supercharging developing 290 bhp. A chain drove the rear axle, and steering was via simple control sticks. Adjustable rudders compensated for prevailing winds.

    On 20 March 1951, Taruffi drove “Tarf II” to a pair of speed records for the “flying mile” and the “flying kilometre” at 298.507 kph (185.49 mph) and 290.552 km/h (180.55 mph), respectively. On 15 January 1952, Taruffi broke the 50-mile record at 231.744 km/h (144.00 mph). On 3 April 1952, four more records were achieved: 50 km at 226.700 km/h (140.87 mph), 100 km at 224.747 km/h (139.66 mph), 200 km at 219.833 km/h (136.60 mph) and a one-hour record at 217.414 km/h (135.10) mph.

    After 1952, “Tarf II” remained within the collection of Dott. Ing. Taruffi, followed by a museum display at Monza. It later made its way to Australia, and then, in 1986, it was acquired without engine by Mr T. Valmorbida of Victoria, for display at the York Motor Museum. It was restored for the Museum by Mike Rodsted, who also fitted the present Ferrari 246 Dino V-6 engine. Demonstration runs followed in March 1987 at the Vintage Sports Car Club’s Speed Classic Event in Fremantle. Between 2002 and 2008, “Tarf II” was displayed at the Fremantle Motor Museum.

    The car was recommissioned for racing, in anticipation of the 2007 Lake Gardiner Speed Week, and whilst the event was rained out, “Tarf II” has been maintained in running order ever since. Striking and impressively documented in Tarf II: World Land Speed Record Breaker by Graham Cocks, Tarf II is a fascinating and important part of engineering and motorsports history.

    2000 Ferrari F1-2000

    2000 Ferrari F1-2000

    RM pre-auction estimate: EUR680,000 - 850,000 (US$860,000 - US$1,077,400)

    Technical Description:: 808 bhp, 2,977 cc dual overhead camshaft V-10 engine, seven-speed sequential manual paddle-shift gearbox, independent front and rear double-wishbone suspension, and four-wheel vented Brembo carbon fibre disc brakes. Wheelbase: 3,010 mm (118.5")

    The conclusion of the 1999 Formula 1 season saw Ferrari take home the Constructor’s Championship, a feat the manufacturer had not achieved since 1983. Never content with anything but total success, the Scuderia began off-season work on a new car that could further challenge the day’s formidable McLarens and potentially return prodigy driver Michael Schumacher to the Driver’s Championships, which he had enjoyed several years earlier with the Benetton team.

    Led by chief designer Rory Byrne, Ferrari’s technical team started from scratch with a mandate for improved aerodynamics, a pursuit that was facilitated by the company’s new wind tunnel in Maranello. The resulting F1-2000 model was the first Ferrari to be conceived entirely in the wind tunnel, a milestone in race car development. Fundamentally revising the weight distribution of the primary components, Byrne and his team significantly lowered the centre of gravity from the prior car, improving aerodynamic efficiency and tyre wear. The suspension was modified with an improved design and new materials, and for the first time, it featured a comprehensive use of carbon composites.

    An all-new seven-speed paddle-actuated sequential transmission was mated to a new engine block, a 3-litre V-10 capable of developing 820 PS. Wrapped in a skin-tight shell of carbon fibre and Kevlar-reinforced epoxy, the F1-2000 débuted with a commanding 1-2 finish at the season opening Australian Grand Prix, driven by Mr Schumacher and teammate Rubens Barrichello. By the end of the 2000 season, the F1-2000 had taken the checkered flag 10 times, and in the process, earning Mr Schumacher his 3rd Driver’s Championship and Ferrari a repeat of the Constructor’s Championship. The victories marked the first time in 21 years that Ferrari earned both crowns and paved the way for four more dual championships over the next half a decade.

    Chassis number 204 is one of only eight cars produced and has the unusual distinction of being the most minimally raced example. Accruing only 1,128 km over its roughly 18 months of testing, qualifying and racing, 204 was driven on the Fiorano proving track by Luca Badoer in early July 2000, before being assigned to Schumacher for the Austrian Grand Prix on 16 July. Qualifying, respectively, for the 4th and 3rd positions on the starting grid, both Schumacher and Barrichello were immediately trailing the McLarens of Mika Hakkinen and David Coulthard. Before one lap was completed, the charging Hondas of Jarno Trulli and Ricardo Zonta, who started in 5th and 6th, made contact with both Ferraris, resulting in a caution lap and an early retirement for Schumacher and 204.

    This car subsequently returned to Fiorano for further testing by Badoer, with Schumacher taking several laps on 9 August, in preparation for the Hungarian Grand Prix of 13 August, where the German driver took 1st overall in chassis 203. After several more months of testing by Badoer, including an accident-causing mechanical failure at the Circuit de Catalunya outside of Barcelona in January 2001, 204 was retired and retained by then-Scuderia manager Jean Todt, who now serves as president of the FIA. On 29 March, 2004, chassis 204 was authenticated by Maranello headquarters with full Ferrari Classiche paperwork.

    Purchased by the current owner in 2006, this F1-2000 was restored to peak operating condition in 2008 by the Ferrari factory, a process that cost nearly 150,000 euros, as reflected by receipts that accompany the car’s documentation. This work included outfitting 204 with a new, proper Tipo 049 engine, which has since been driven only approximately 400 kilometres.

    With its chiselled athleticism and nearly boundless power, this wonderfully presented and sparingly campaigned F1-2000 is an indelible piece of motorsports history, as it was one of the crucial components of the dual championship 2000 season and enjoyed by the Ferrari Scuderia and Mr Schumacher. Equally worthy of distinguished exhibition as a display piece or the pulse-pounding competition for which it is now ideally prepared, this thrilling F1-2000 is a race-ready example that should capture the hearts of discerning motorsports collectors and Formula 1 enthusiasts everywhere.

    RESULTS

    1969 Alfa Romeo Tipo 33/3 Sports Racer

    RM pre-auction estimate: EUR725,000 - 825,000 (US$920,000 - US$1,050,000) Sold for EUR1,232,000 (US$1,561,140)

    2007 Peugeot 908 V-12 HDi FAP Le Mans Racing Car

    RM pre-auction estimate: EUR1,500,000 -1,800,000 (US$1,900,000 - 2,280,000) Sold for EUR1,680,000 (US$2,128,760)

    2007 Peugeot 908 V-12 HDi FAP Le Mans Racing Car

    RM pre-auction estimate: EUR1,500,000 -1,800,000 (US$1,900,000 - 2,280,000) Sold for EUR1,680,000 (US$2,128,760)

    1972 Ducati 750 200 Miglia Imola Corsa Replica

    RM pre-auction estimate: GBP 80,000 - 120,000 (US$126,000 -189,000) Sold for GBP 70,200 (US$110,640)

    1957 Ferrari 625 TRC Spider

    RM pre-auction estimate: EUR3,000,000 - 3,700,000 (US$3,800,000 - US$4,700,000) Sold for EUR5,040,000

    1925 Bentley 4½-Litre Le Mans Replica Tourer

    RM pre-auction estimate: EUR325,000 - 445,000 (US$412,000 - US$564,000) Sold for €408.800 (US$517,000)

    1936 Mercedes-Benz 540 K Sport Cabriolet A by Sindelfingen

    RM pre-auction estimate: EUR2,000,000 - 2,400,000 (US$2,532,000 - US$3,040,000) Sold for EUR2,324,000 (US$2,942,970)

    2010 Ducati Desmosedici GP10 CS1

    RM pre-auction estimate: EUR300,000 - 350,000 (US$380,000 - US$443,000) Sold for EUR251,550 (US$318,000)

    1930 Rolls-Royce Phantom II Roadster

    RM pre-auction estimate: EUR145,000 - 165,000 (US$184,000 - US$209,000) Sold for EUR156,800 (US$198,624)

    1952 Ferrari 225 Sport Spyder ‘Tuboscocca’ by Carrozzeria Vignale

    RM pre-auction estimate: EUR1,800.000 - 2,200,000 (US$2,280,000 - 2,788,000) Sold for EUR2,520,000 (US$3,193,870)

    Piero Taruffi "Italcorsa/Tarf II" Speed-Record Car

    RM pre-auction estimate: EUR160,000 - 200,000 (US$203,000 - US$253,500) Sold for EUR89,600 (US$113,568)

    2000 Ferrari F1-2000

    RM pre-auction estimate: EUR680,000 - 850,000 (US$860,000 - 1,077,400) Sold for EUR806,400 (US$1,022,115)

    About the Author
    Mike Hanlon After Editing or Managing over 50 print publications primarily in the role of a Magazine Doctor, Mike embraced the internet full-time in 1995 and became a "start-up all-rounder" – quite a few start-ups later, he founded Gizmag in 2002. Now he can write again.   All articles by Mike Hanlon
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