RM Sotheby’s Auction Sells 2020 Porsche 935 for $1.49 Million, VW Golf for $105,000
Plus, a Lamborghini Miura, RUF CTR2 Sport, Ligier JS2, and more.
The latest RM Sotheby's auction of collector cars just concluded, and the event was the auction house's most successful online-only sale yet. This RM Sotheby's auction was the third of this type the company has run, with $21.6 million in sales and an impressive 91-percent sell-through rate, meaning nine in 10 automobiles up for auction were sold.
Part of the success seen by this RM Sotheby's auction—dubbed RM's Online Only: The European Sale—was thanks to the Petitjean Collection, a grouping of nearly 100 collector cars from a single owner, all at no reserve. Most of the inventory was originally set to be auctioned in-person live from the Essen Technoclassica annual classic car show, as usual, until COVID-19 precautions moved the event online. As the RM Sotheby's auction name suggests, all of the cars offered for sale were based in Europe, with bidding in euros and converted to U.S. dollars for this article. Here are eight results from the latest RM Sotheby's auction that caught our attention.
2020 Porsche 935 Martini, Sold: $1,490,148
The top seller of this RM Sotheby's auction was a 2020 Porsche 935. This series of retro track racer was limited to just 77 cars, and all were snapped up by Porsche VIP clients after the model's introduction at the 2019 Porsche Rennsport Reunion VI.
Created to help celebrate Porsche's 70th anniversary and inspired by the fabled 935 race-car program of the 1970s and early '80s, the 2020 Porsche 935 is essentially a heavily modified 911 GT2 RS street car, but those modifications-including wide bodywork, a stripped-down race-style interior, and a massive rear wing—render it illegal for road use practically everywhere. With a base price of around $830,000, this sale price should make its Monaco-based consigner (who just took delivery of the car four months ago) very happy. Another instant collectible, perhaps.
1997 RUF CTR2 Sport, Sold: $770,150
As Porsche tuner and independent automaker RUF proves its longevity through the decades, we're seeing strong interest in collectors over its cars both contemporary and classic. This 1997 CTR2 Sport was the first of 16 such vehicles RUF produced with a widebody design, dual-level adjustable rear spoiler, and modified 3.6-liter flat-six engine, tuned to produce 520 horsepower—more than 100 hp better than the factory 993-series 911 Turbo the car was based on.
While most RUF cars are highly tuned street machines, this one was raced by prior owners, finishing second in its class at the 1997 Pikes Peak International Hill Climb and taking overall victory three times at the Virginia City Hill Climb. This was a strong price for a very interesting RUF with some actual competition history to its name.
1975 Volkswagen Golf Group 2, Sold: $105,638
Who'd pay more than $100,000 for a 1975 VW Golf? Consider that this was claimed to be the first Golf ever modified for motorsports, setting the stage for decades of racing Golfs to come.
The car was originally equipped with a 162-hp, 1.6-liter inline-four and later upgraded to a 1.8-liter four producing 175 hp. It was also re-shelled once in its life after sustaining track damage. All the typical race car goodies are here: uniball suspension, big brakes, BBS wheels, a roll cage, and a stripped-down aesthetic that saves hundreds of pounds in weight. This was a somewhat well-known car in Europe and will probably become the centerpiece of a VW enthusiast's collection. We hope it gets to see the track occasionally, too, after being a highlight of this RM Sotheby's auction.
1972 Ligier JS2 Coupe, Sold: $56,020
From the "never heard of it" files came this Ligier JS2, which was part of the Petitjean Collection. All of the vehicles the RM Sotheby's auction sold in this collection were said to have been stationary for some time and in need of some recommissioning before returning to the road.
The JS2 was developed as Ligier's second production sports car by Guy Ligier, an ex-Formula 1 team owner. With a mid-mounted Maserati V-6 and a backbone chassis similar to Lotus designs, this second-series JS2 used various European parts-bin pieces to create a finished product. This was a very interesting, if slightly awkward, car at a seemingly fair price. We'd love to drive one.
1970 Lotus Elan S4, Sold: $15,568
Speaking of backbone chassis designs, the classic Lotus Elan, shown here in later S4 coupe guise, was the first Lotus model to utilize this Colin Chapman design feature. By mating a central steel frame to the fiberglass-monocoque bodyshell, structural rigidity increased compared to the previous Lotus Elite, and Lotus went on to have a successful enough formula that it's shared with today's Mazda Miata.
This Elan S4 looked to be in generally good condition, but as another Petitjean car, it was in need of some fettling after sitting in storage for several years. Nicely bought with plenty of financial room to get it back on the road.
1968 Lamborghini Miura P400, Sold: $810,196
Another member of the Petitjean Collection sold in the RM Sotheby's auction, this Lamborghini Miura will have to spend some time with a specialist mechanic before it is roadworthy. None the less, the sales result seemed to compensate for that fact along with the slightly scruffy cosmetics this Miura had.
A relatively early car, this Miura was said to be the 57th ever built, and it has the early specification 4.0-liter V-12 engine, designed by Giotto Bizzarrini. The car was allegedly sold to Petitjean in 1979, with mostly static-display since. That boggles our minds as much as yours, but hopefully this Miura will be returned to the road by its high bidder after a 40-year hibernation. The price paid leaves at least $200,000 to do so and still make it a fair buy.
1991 Lamborghini Diablo, Sold: $149,489
While the Lamborghini Countach enjoys a large fan base that bleeds over into popular culture, its successor, the Diablo, never caught on quite as well. Designed while Chrysler owned Lamborghini, the Diablo was a stunning performer with a top speed exceeding 200 mph, and a mid-mounted 485-hp V-12, still of Bizzarrini design after all those years.
Notably, Diablos are also the last Lamborghini flagship to offer only a manual transmission. Audi took control of Lamborghini some years later, and the next-gen Murcielago would give buyers an option of a paddle-shift automated manual. This is a whole lot of car for less than $150,000, and it's tough to imagine they'll be valued this low forever. A good Countach is worth at least twice this price.
RM Sotheby's Auction, Online Only: The European Sale, Top 10 Results:
- 2020 Porsche 935 "Martini," $1,490,148
- 1939 Bugatti Type 57 Cabriolet, $871,348
- 1958 Mercedes-Benz 300 SL Roadster, $858,900
- 1968 Lamborghini Miura P400, $808,927
- 1964 Porsche 904 GTS, $784,037
- 1997 RUF CTR2 Sport, $770,150
- 1967 Aston Martin DB6 Volante, $709,375
- 1979 Lamborghini Countach LP400 S, $510,252
- 1981 Lancia 037 Stradale, $510,252
- 1955 Porsche 356 Speedster, $404,495