Home Investments 1950’s Racers the Focus at Villa Erba Sale

1950’s Racers the Focus at Villa Erba Sale

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It’s 1 of 5, it’s the 12th of 13 Pininfarina Spyders built (pictured above) and last weekend this 1954 Ferrari 500 Mondial Spyder was the top seller at RM Sotheby’s (NYSE:BID) 5th Villa Erba sale.

The gavel fell at €3,717,500 (£3,285,141) for this Ferrari Classiche certified car that still has its original engine, gearbox and bodywork, at the auction that’s part of the glamorous Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este on the shores of Italy’s Lake Como.

But despite that not inconsiderable sum, the Ferrari racer was still some way shy of its €4,250,000-4,750,000 pre-sale estimate.

And the same is true of the auction’s second-top lot, the unique 1957 Porsche 550A Spyder by Wendler that found a new home for €3,380,000 (£2,984,878), a shade under its guide price of €3.4m-3.8m.

Classic & Sports Car – €3m-plus ’50s racers steal the limelight at Villa Erba sale

This early racing Porsche sold for over €3m

These 2 were among 5 cars to fetch in excess of €1m at a sale which totalled €19,798,085 – and they were by quite some margin the biggest sellers.

In fact, you could buy the 3rd-placed lot twice over and still have change from the value of that Top Ferrari, although the €1,805,000 (£1,593,643) paid for that 1965 Aston Martin Short-Chassis Volante is hardly pocket money – and, notably, this car sailed past its €1.5m upper estimate.

Behind these top three were a one-of-26 1955 Fiat 8V Coupé Zagato that beat its lower estimate to sell for €1,771,250 (£1,563,204) in the coachbuilder’s centenary year, as well as a 1931 Bugatti Type 50 Roadster that featured in a road test in the July 1958 edition of Road & Track and that hammered over its €1.4m lower estimate to achieve €1,411,250 (£1,246,156) Saturday.

One of a number of lots that failed to find a buyer was the 1-off 1967 Ferrari 330GTC Zagato, while a 1958 Cadillac Eldorado Biarritz was the auction’s most affordable lot, selling for €67,850 (£59,898).

Classic & Sports Car – €3m-plus ’50s racers steal the limelight at Villa Erba sale
Classic & Sports Car – €3m-plus ’50s racers steal the limelight at Villa Erba sale
Classic & Sports Car – €3m-plus ’50s racers steal the limelight at Villa Erba sale

Clockwise from top: Aston Martin Short-Chassis Volante; rare Fiat; Road & Track-tested Bugatti

“To achieve nearly €20 million in gross sales is a great result, and it’s testament to the high-quality cars that were on offer at Villa Erba,” said Augustin Sabatié-Garat, Car Specialist and the Villa Erba Auction Manager at RM Sotheby’s.

“We have once again demonstrated that the best 1950’s sports-racing cars with strong provenance remain the most highly prized collector cars in this hobby-driven market, while cars such as the Aston Martin Volante and Fiat 8V Coupé demonstrate how the appeal of timeless design and low production numbers are Key factors in driving demand among enthusiasts and collectors.”

You can view the full results here.

By Lizzie Pope

Paul Ebeling, Editor

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