If every car that crosses the block in RM Sotheby’s Driven by Disruption sale in New York later this week makes its top estimate, the sale will make $110,625,000. In this day and age of galloping collector car prices that’s not so unusual, until you realise there are just 30 cars. That’s an average price of $3.7 million. Which is astonishing.
Among the many incredible cars in the catalogue are a couple of massively big hitters, including a very special Ferrari that many commentators are predicting will become the single most expensive car ever sold at auction.
The car in question is a 1956 Ferrari 290MM, a comparatively little known model but still a championship winner. It was conceived with the sole purpose of winning the ’56 World Sportscar Championship; as Ferraris always were at that stage of history, the 290MM was relatively crude, with a De Dion rear axle on leaf springs and drum brakes all-round – Jaguar had already switched to fully independent suspension and disc brakes. But, with a 320bhp, 3.5-litre V12 engine under the bonnet, it was incredibly effective.
The car offered by RM Sotheby’s, chassis 0626, has a remarkable history. Its first outing was the ’56 Mille Miglia, with none other than Juan Manual Fangio at the wheel. Driving single-handed in torrential rain, he finished 4th overall. Podiums at the Nurburgring and Kristianstad followed, driven by the likes of Phil Hill, Olivier Gendebien, Alfonso de Portago, Wolfgang von Trips and Peter Collins. Legends all. 0626’s works career carried on into ’57, winning in Buenos Aires. It subsequently passed through a number of racers and collectors, none of whom ever crashed it, hence its stunning originality today.
Such a storied history, together with the fact it remains eminently usable and is a solid gold ticket into all the best events explains the whopping estimate RM Sotheby’s has put on 0626: $28 – $32 million (£18.5 – £21.2 million).
Click through the gallery below to see 0626 and more of the epic cars in the sale.
RM Sotheby’s Driven by Distraction sale takes place on 10 December. View the full catalogue here