Cashed up Germans shatter auction records

GET your calculator out, because this info comes from Deutschland, where auctioneers RM Sotheby’s have just conducted a massive sale of delectable cars — and the Germans, of course, deal in euros.

At last count, $A100 equalled 61 euros. 

It was the company’s first German auction and it reached total sales of €18.7 million with 86 percent of all 229 lots on offer finding new homes. 

The two-day sale drew bidders from 46 countries, with lots of them determined to go home with the car of their dreams.

Great, if you have the means.

The Thursday session was led by the top result of the entire sale when a 1937 Mercedes-Benz 540 K Cabriolet offered from a private Swiss collection, achieved €2.255 million to fall squarely within its pre-sale estimate.

With coachwork by Sindelfingen, the supercharged 540 K was presented as a high-quality restoration and retained its original chassis, engine, gearbox and bodywork.

Stealing the spotlight during the Friday sale session was a trio of legendary Lancia rally greats.

A remarkably well-preserved Azzurro-painted 1975 Lancia Stratos HF Stradale was first up. Offered with just three owners and showing only 11,800km from new, the Stratos surpassed high estimate to a final €545,000 (est. €480/520K). 

A 1982 Lancia 037 Rally Stradale was next under the gavel. It was also an exceptionally original car and one of the lowest mileage examples in existence with just 3500km from new. Bidding saw it soar to €770,000, nearly doubling its high estimate (€350/400K). 

And then there was the 1985 Lancia Delta S4 Stradale, a very original, 2200km example of Lancia’s iconic Group B homologation Special.

It simply shattered its pre-sale estimate of €450,000 – €550,000 to achieve a final €1.040 million to applause from the Essen crowd. 

Umm, if your calculator is still working, you’ll find that price tops $1.6 million in our money.

Both the 037 Rally Stradale and Delta S4 Stradale achieved world-record prices by a significant margin over any examples sold previously.

Another 85 modern and emerging collectibles from the much-buzzed-about Youngtimer Collection also starred at RM Sotheby’s Essen sale.

A highly desirable 1990 Mercedes-Benz 560 SEC AMG 6.0 ‘Wide-Body’ surpassed its pre-sale estimate to bring a final €149,500. 

A highly original 1992 Nissan 300ZX Twin Turbo from the Youngtimer Collection sold for a final €32,200 to eclipse its high estimate. 

One of the most highly anticipated lots of the Collection, a 1979 Mercedes-Benz 500 TE AMG, had more than 10 bidders raising their paddles for the pre-merger wagon, which eventually exceeded all expectations and made an astonishing €143,750, more than doubling pre-sale estimate of €60/70K and establishing a world record price for the model. 

Similarly, a 1984 Mercedes-Benz 500 SEC AMG 5.4 ‘Wide-Body’ also ignited a bidding battle, bringing a final €161,000, and far exceeding pre-sale expectations and establishing a new world record.

“We are thrilled with the success of our first auction in Germany,”  company president Kenneth Ahn said.

“We look forward to returning next year and to expanding business with German collectors.”

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