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Ferrari Enzo Sets New $2.64 Million Online Auction Record at RM Sotheby’s

Ferraris starred with high prices, though many collector cars failed to sell.

Rory JurneckaWriterRM Sotheby'sPhotographer

A 2003 Ferrari Enzo was the top seller at RM Sotheby's Driving Into Summer online collector car auction, also setting a new record sale price for an online-only car auction at $2,640,000. Clearly, wealth in this country is still being spent despite broader global events and record unemployment levels, and while things weren't all roses for the auction house, the results should be encouraging enough that RM Sotheby's is looking forward to its next online auction, which starts this week.

While many of the auction's starring supercars found high enough bids to release them from their consignor's clutches at the end of the sale, still almost 40 percent of the cars offered had bids deemed too low to seal a deal. Some 61 percent of the 193 cars in inventory had sold when the online auction clock finished its countdown. Those cars that didn't sell are currently listed on RM Sotheby's website with "buy it now"-style prices, indicating how much money the sellers will accept.

RM Sotheby's global head of auctions, Gord Duff, called the Driving Into Summer auction, "our first online-only collector car auction curated specifically for the digital platform." Perhaps for this reason, late-model cars dominated the top-10 sales list by price, with the vast majority having been built in the past 20 years. Conventionally, a car is deemed a "classic" after reaching 30 years old. Moreover, six of the top-10 most valuable cars sold were Ferraris, with two Fords, a Shelby, and a Lamborghini rounding out the list. Here are seven cars of interest that we followed during the auction.

2003 Ferrari Enzo

Sold: $2,640,000

The top selling car in the auction was this one-of-400-built Ferrari Enzo, showing 1,250 miles on its odometer. With two owners from new (the original owner kept this Enzo for 15 years), the car has a full set of service documents from Ferrari of San Francisco, and generally looks immaculate. RM's pre-sale estimate on the car was $2.6 to $2.9 million, so the resulting sale price was at the low end of the range. These cars were about $650,000 when new, but many who wanted one weren't high enough on their local dealer's VIP list. We're still seeing strong premiums all these years later for what will likely be the last naturally aspirated, non-hybrid V-12-powered Ferrari "hypercar."

1985 Ferrari 288 GTO

Sold: $2,310,000

The runner-up in sales price to the Ferrari Enzo was Ferrari's first true limited-edition supercar, the 288 GTO, which resulted from a stillborn Group B racing project at Ferrari's motorsports department. Prices for the twin-turbocharged, V-8-powered, 308-based 288 GTO have risen through the years, and understandably so. While being the oldest, least powerful and perhaps least flamboyant of all the limited-edition Ferrari supercars, they were quite raw and the rarest to find today, with just 272 ever built. For those who are building a Ferrari supercar collection, a 288 GTO is essential to bookend the group. This car sold right in the middle of its $2.2- to $2.4-million-dollar estimate.

2017 Ford GT

Sold: $836,000

We continue to watch second-generation Ford GT supercars come to market as their mandatory two-year no-sell contracts close out. Colors, mileage, options, and previous owners seem to be the big value deciders for the Ford GT, which continues to be produced today. This car was ordered in Triple Yellow with Lightning Blue stripes and boasts the optional 20-inch carbon fiber wheels and titanium lug nuts, and has only been driven 1,471 miles so far. New Ford GTs started at around half a million dollars and while there were several extra-cost options, the pricing of those options has been difficult to identify. The first Ford GT off contract sold for $1.54 million at Barrett-Jackson last year and with more on the market today, we're seeing most prices between the mid-$700,000 to $1,000,000 range. This car sold for under RM's estimate of $850,000 to $950,000, indicating values may be continuing to fall as more new cars are produced.

2020 Lamborghini Aventador SVJ

Sold: $467,500

We've seen that some special low-production supercars like the Ferrari Enzo and Ford GT reward their buyers with not only stunning performance, but also stunning profits. Unfortunately for most newer supercar buyers, that's not the case. We loved the Lamborghini Aventador SVJ when it launched with a 6.5-liter V-12 engine and hefty price premium (this car's MSRP was $600,643 from a $522,948 base price). Unfortunately, the 900 SVJs produced haven't fared very well in the investment realm, with this car's owner taking roughly a $180,000 haircut after RM's sellers' premium is worked into the numbers. Let's see, 250 miles on the odometer, $180,000 loss… without even factoring original sales tax, insurance, gas, speeding tickets, valet charges, etc., this car cost its owner $720 per mile driven.

1990 Mercedes-Benz 190E 2.5-16 Evolution II

Sold: $231,000

The Mercedes 190E 2.3-16 was co-developed with English motorsports firm Cosworth and was essentially a homologation special so Mercedes could do battle with BMW's E30-series M3 in the DTM touring car racing series. Through the years, continual development including an increase in capacity to 2.5 liters from the inline-four engine, larger brakes, and even more aggressive aerodynamic enhancements led to the creation of the Evolution variants. This is the final Evo II model and the most desirable of all. These weren't originally available for sale in the U.S., but since they've surpassed 25 years of age, they've become importable and values have risen dramatically. The sale price wasn't out of line and we see more appreciation possible down the road as interest continues to rise.

1974 DeTomaso Pantera

Not sold: $81,000

Once upon a time, enthusiasts referred to Italian-American mashups as "hybrid" vehicles, but the DeTomaso Pantera is unlike any hybrid most younger enthusiasts have seen. Styled by American designer Tom Tjaarda at Italian coachbuilder Ghia, at the behest of Argentinian Alejandro DeTomaso, the Pantera boasted wedge-like Italian styling and an American Ford 351 Cleveland engine, mated to a ZF gearbox as used in the Ford GT40. Build quality was sub-par, but the mid-engine cars were about as quick as competition from Ferrari, Maserati and Lamborghini, while being far more affordable. This car looked pretty nice and, unusually, appeared to be mostly stock. That said, by 1974 big U.S. safety bumpers and emissions controls were having their way with the Pantera—earlier pre-'73 cars are more desirable. The high bid of $81,000 may have been a little light, but not by much. This car is still available for $120,000, an optimistic figure in our opinion.

1992 Mazda RX-7 Type R

Not sold: $46,000

Mazda's third-generation, "FD series" RX-7 is the rarest and most desirable of all RX rotary-engine cars, and while we got relatively few variants over the FD's three-year span on the U.S. market, the Japanese domestic market enjoyed a decade of production and several higher-performance models. This Type R was one of them, a lighter-weight, more focused take on the RX-7 formula sold in more limited numbers than the standard car. Most JDM models have been driven hard and put away wet, but this sub-6,000-mile example clearly dodged such a fate. Still, right-hand-drive JDM cars are a tough sell on our shores, and the seller wanted $60,000 to part with this one. For that price, we'd opt for a similar-condition, U.S.-spec R1 variant which shared a similar ethos.

RM Sotheby's Driving Into Summer Top 10 Auction Sales by Price

1.     Lot 294 2003 Ferrari Enzo (CHASSIS NO. ZFFCW56A030133033) $2,640,000
2.     Lot 279 1985 Ferrari 288 GTO (CHASSIS NO. ZFFPA16B000055223) $2,310,000
3.     Lot 161 2017 Ford GT (CHASSIS NO. 2FAGP9CW1HH200087) $836,000
4.     Lot 168 1958 Ferrari 250 GT Coupe (CHASSIS NO. 0861 GT) $671,000
5.     Lot 188 2020 Ferrari 488 Pista Spider (CHASSIS NO. ZFF91HMA7L0253232) $605,000
6.     Lot 225 2020 Lamborghini Aventador SVJ (CHASSIS NO. ZHWUM6ZD7LLA09029) $467,500
7.     Lot 193 1965 Shelby 427 S/C Cobra '4000 Series' (CHASSIS NO. CSX 4425) $396,000
8.     Lot 123 2006 Ford GT Heritage (CHASSIS NO. 1FAFP90S26Y401898) $385,000
9.     Lot 133 2019 Ferrari 812 Superfast (CHASSIS NO. ZFF83CLA6K0239105) $335,500
10.  Lot 249 2001 Ferrari 550 Barchetta (SERIAL NO. 375/488) $308,000