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Five Timely Vehicles to Watch at the RM Sotheby’s Auction in Palm Beach

As this auction moves online, we’ve found some choice classics to bid on.

Rory JurneckaWordsRM Sotheby'sPhotographer

It was supposed to be a sunny few days of modern classic and classic car sales at the RM Sotheby's Palm Beach, Florida auction this weekend. With those plans upended by the current crisis, RM's quick thinking turned an on-site event into a virtual auction, with bids accepted on its website and through the telephone into next week.

RM Sotheby's is the first big-name traditional auction house to use this format in the current environment, but it won't be the last. Rival Bonhams is carrying on with its Bicester, UK MPH auction this weekend as an online sale as well, and we'll have results for you next week. Until then, here are five vehicles from the RM Sotheby's Palm Beach auction that seem particularly timely.

Estimate: $45,000 to $55,000

Current bid at time of writing: $22,500

Toyota FJs are known for their go-anywhere, do-anything ruggedness and this FJ45 long-wheelbase model looks like it'll do just the trick when it's time to get out of Dodge. With seating for two up front and rear bench seats that look like they'll hold at least six more adults, you'll have room for plenty of friends and family to join, social distancing be damned. While many FJs have been used to within an inch of their lengthy lives, this one's benefited from a recent frame-off restoration using OEM Toyota parts and has a 4.2-liter inline-six up front.

Estimate: $90,000 to $110,000

Current bid: $45,000

With an all-new Defender on the horizon (be sure to check back for our full review soon), it's a great time to be nostalgic for England's ultimate SUV. This Defender looks to be generally in good shape, with a few scratches and nicks that go to show it has actually been used. We see three front seats and six fold-up seats in the rear and suspect that the 3.5-liter V-8 engine will have no problem moving nine adults with ease. With a roll cage, upgraded suspension, and BFGoodrich Mud Terrain T/A Tires, plus a front bumper bar and Ramsey winch, it appears there will be few situations this rig can't handle.

Estimate: $150,000 to $200,000 

Current bid: $80,000

We know, we know… vintage VW buses are just too cool (and expensive) to be used as urban escape machines any longer. But if present day realities have you thinking differently, may we suggest you have a look at this Microbus. Nine people may be a lot to cram into even a Microbus right now, but think of all the canine friends you'll be able to bring along. You won't be feeling too cooped up either, with 23 windows to peer out of (including many that open).

Estimate: $100,000 to $150,000

Current bid: $53,000

Where's Batman when you need him? We're not sure, but we've found his car. This Batmobile replica isn't the real deal piloted by the late, great Adam West in the popular television series, but it's close enough for us. One of 27 replicas built by Fiberglass Freaks (yes, that's really the company's name), this Batmobile is based on a 1972 Lincoln chassis and is powered by a 350-cubic-inch Chevy V-8, paired with an automatic transmission. If we had the money, we'd guess just driving around town in the Batmobile would put some smiles on somber faces.

Estimate: $275,000 to $325,000

Current bid: $140,000

If ever you had real need for a "Rambo Lambo," the time is now, no? Usually we view these mil-spec Lamborghinis as not much more than ridiculous (though interesting) extravagance, but today we might almost be able to make a rational case for owning one. With a 5.7-liter V-12 lifted straight out of the Countach, a five-speed manual transmission, and a 76-gallon fuel tank (LM002s get about 8 miles to the gallon, don'cha know), there's certainly never been a more reasonable time to own one with oil prices mimicking that of water. This is said to be a late build, with O.Z. alloy wheels, an Alpine cassette stereo and a winch. We think there's no better vehicle from which to stare down the end of the world.