Mercury 1940 conv sedan,Dan Krehbiel flathead (4” crank), Columbia overdrive, correct foglamps and switch, hot water heater, factory radio, top & interior by Jerry Jenson, 978 total production, perfect in every way, show winner, no disappointments.
RM Auctions and Sotheby’s are moving from joint-venture to full partnership with Sotheby’s taking a 25 percent financial interest in the classic car auction house founded and led by Rob Myers.
Sotheby’s, established in England in 1744 and the oldest company listed on the New York Stock Exchange, has an option to increase its ownership percentage in RM in the future.
Full house at Sotheby’s New York facilities for Art of the Automobile sale in 2013
In the meantime, RM events will be rebranded as RM Sotheby’s auctions, beginning with the upcoming sale March 14 on Florida’s Amelia Island.
Toronto-based RM and Sotheby’s have worked together in the past, most notably in the fall of 2013 when the Art of the Automobile auction at Sotheby’s New York City facilities produced nearly $63 million in sales within two hours. Even before the new partnership, they had announced another Art of the Automobile sale for the fall of 2015.
RM gives Sotheby’s entry into the growing classic car marketplace.Sotheby’s gives RM access to the wider world of collectors of art, jewelry, wine, etc.
“The partnership that has been formed between RM Auctions and Sotheby’s is undoubtedly the most effective way for us to reach the ever-growing worldwide audience of collectors who take a keen interest in the collector car asset class,” Rob Myers, chairman of RM Auctions, said in a news release.
“No other organization in the world has a client base as far-reaching as Sotheby’s and since we have worked so closely and successfully with them in the past, it makes perfect sense that we form a strategic partnership that creates a truly worldwide platform for collector cars. It’s an exciting time in our company history, and for the hobby at large.”
Will Ferraris become the new sought-after masterpieces by art collectors?
“Sotheby’s is thrilled to join the clear market leader in this field,” said Bill Ruprecht, Sotheby’s president, chairman and chief executive. “RM has established a formidable position that will only be strengthened by this new phase in our relationship.
“Just last year, RM set a new benchmark for a collector car auction with their flagship Monterey sale totaling more than $140 million, eclipsing the previous record they had established in 2013. The incredible synergy between our businesses, including significant overlap of top collectors and a focus on new markets, will be further strengthened as we work together to expand the classic car collector base.”
“RM’s ownership of the high end of the market coupled with our global client network positions us for great success at a time when the market for investment-quality motor cars has never been stronger.”
The news release announcing the new partnership notes that, “This long-term investment comes as the more than $2 billion market for the finest automobiles continues to grow, presenting increasing opportunities for both companies.”
RM recently began its 36th year doing classic car auctions. It is based in Canada and has offices in California and Europe. Sotheby’s has 90 offices in 40 nations around the globe.
Only three cars finished the much heralded 1908New York-to-Paris Great Race, wheeling into the City of Light under their own power after months of slogging their way over muddy roads or territory with no roads at all. Today, more than a century later, paved roads would make a replica of that journey a snap, except for one thing: The city of Paris has vowed to ban all old cars from its city limits.
In an effort to curb air pollution in the French capital, the Parisian city counciladopted a planauthored by Paris mayor Anne Hidalgo that will restrict access by older vehicles to the city in a number of tiers. Beginning this July, trucks and buses registered before 2001 will be prohibited from entering the city between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m. Then next July, the 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. prohibition will extend to all cars registered before 1997 and motorcycles registered before 2000. The restrictions will grow tighter through 2020, when the bans will extend 24 hours and will include all vehicles built before 2011.
No exceptions for classic cars have been announced as part of the plan, nor have the penalties for violating the restrictions. The city has set up a fund to distribute up to 1,350 Euros (or about $1,500) per person to help Parisians forced to give up their older vehicles by the bans.
While Paris appears to be the first major European capital to ban old cars within its city limits, it’s not the first to discuss or implement anti-car measures to reduce air pollution. London mayor Boris Johnson and the Transport for London planning group have discussedexcluding diesels and cars older than the 2005 model yearfrom the city as early as 2020 orcharging their ownersto drive into certain parts of the city. And in 2008, a number of German cities banned the heaviest-polluting vehicles from entering its city centers. The proposals come as European Union countries face stringent EU regulations aimed at reducing NO2 levels, regulations that carry penalties of multi-million-Euro fines.
Last March, Parisexperimented with banning half of its carsfrom driving in the city, based on their number plates, after a days-long stretch of heavy smog in the city. The experiment lasted for one day, with ministers claiming the one-day ban helped lift the smog.
I am currently based in Las Vegas, but had recently lived in Cyprus for 12 years. This Cyprus auction slipped past me and people that I know didn't think to let me know it was happening. Until it was too late to post timely.
During my computer problems Marussia Formula One cancelled their January 21st auction of their assets. Feeling that their team would be able to start the 2015 season. They applied asking the other teams to allow them to use their 2014 car. All teams had to agree. Apparently all teams did except for Force India which gave a resounding 'NO' which still echos around the tracks. Watch for the auction of their remaining assets.
Caterham Formula One, which was crowdfunded for the last race, had some funds left over and felt that they too could start the 2015 season. They were hoping to be sold before the March starting date. Apparently that isn't going to happen and their assets will be sold over three auctions in March, April and May.
It’s fun to own a “classic” (read, pre-modern) car. It can also be ahassle. Before you dive in, it’s a good idea to know what you’re in for, both good – and bad.
Pre-modern cars have personality; they’reinteresting– something homogenized, same-same modern cars aren’t. Cars built in the ’70s and before were designed largely the way designers – rather than government bureaucrats – wanted them designed. Hence the wild fins, the jutting angles, the instantly recognizable differences between say a Chevy and a Ford (today, you tell them apart by the shape of the grille). Even such mundane-today things as steering wheels were distinctive to each brand/model back in the day, because back in the day there was no air bag mandate – and so, no fat blob of plastic in the center of the wheel, as today. If you have a classic car, you possess a piece of industrial art, a relic from a different time that’s more than just a two-dimensional photo or print.
Pre-modern cars also have meaningfully different operating characteristics.
Functional diversity was much greater when a Chevy had a Chevy engine (designed and built by Chevrolet) and a Pontiac (RIP) had a Pontiac-designed and built engine. Which differed greatly from a Ford small block.
Mopars starters had a unique sound when you keyed the ignition; Porsches and VWs (air-cooled, back then) could be identified by ear long before you actually saw the car. It’s anexperienceto drive these relics; even to just see them. Which accounts for the affection so many feel for them – a phenomenon that’s pretty much died off for modern cars, which are for the most part, appliances to be used for a period of time, then thrown away.
Driving a pre-modern car also involves much more actualdriving. You are much more an active participant than a passive lump along for the ride.
In a high-powered pre-modern muscle car, for instance, the rear end will fishtail all over the road if you punch it when the light goes green. You must learn tomodulatethe throttle; find that balance between traction and acceleration.
It is easy to lose control of the thing if you’re not skilled – which is actually part of the fun.
While modern performance cars are much more powerful – and quicker/faster – than almost any ’60s or ’70s muscle car was, the experience in the modern car is anesthetized by all the electronic assists, from ABS to “launch control.” The element of driver skill has largely been removed from the equation. Almost anyone can put a new Corvette’s gear selector into D, floor the gas pedal and run a 12 second quarter mile. Very few people could drive a ’68 L-88 427 at all, let alone full-tilt down the quarter-mile.
Pre-modern cars are also comparatively simple. While in some cases there may be vacuum hoses to deal with, the wiring is minimal and of course there will be nocomputerat all. Working on these cars is about turning wrenches, not parsing “trouble codes.” Even fairly big jobs such as removing/rebuilding the engine is a walk in the park compared with attempting the same job in a modern car. And smaller jobs such as brake work are vastly simpler, easier to do – and (typically) a lot less expensive, because there are fewer parts involved and no electronics at all. A “hands on” person can learn to do almost all routine service (and graduate to more involved jobs) themselves, which is empowering as well asfun.
Finally, most pre-modern cars actuallyare“investments.” Due to their collectibility (and the fact that no one’s making more of them) whatever you buy will probably be worth at least what you paid for it – and usually, more – as the years roll by. This helps justify buying the thing to begin with – and also eliminates much of the risk. If you get tired of it, if you decide it’s not for you – you can sell and recover most if not all (and then some) of the money you spent.
Pre-modern cars are… pre-modern. If you yourself are not – and don’t have personal experience driving pre-modern cars – it may come as a shock how finicky and maintenance-intensive they can be. Do you know how to set a choke? Can you deal with a part-throttle stumble caused by a sticky power valve? How aboutleaks? Be prepared for those, if you buy a pre-modern car with a sunroof (or T-tops). Generally, the brakes are marginal. You will have to adjust by keeping your speed down or by leaving yourself plenty of space (and time) to stop. Pre-modern cars can be handful to keep under control in the curves, too. Minor errors of input (a too-hard stab at the brakes; a bit of oversteering) can easily unsettle one. And – remember – there are no eNannies to safety net you out of trouble.
Oil and filter changes, ignition timing (and carburetor) adjustments must be done much more often. This involves both money and time. If you can’t keep up with it, expect the car to run badly and deteriorate more rapidly. If you have to turn to someone else to maintain the car, you will need to find someone who knows how to wrench on old cars – which is harder than it sounds given that carburetors and points have been out of circulation for 30 years-plus and many mechanics have never touched either. Parts can be hard to find, too – especially if you go for an orphaned model (like my Pontiac) whose parent company no longer exists. It is a very good idea to talk with owners of whatever make/model it is you’re thinking about beforeyoubecome an owner. Ask them about parts availability – and about weaknesses/problems that particular car may have. Just as an aside, there is a weird old motorcycle I have thought about buying off and on. One reason I haven’t is that itsrotary engine (yup!) has a very special – and very expensive (and almost impossible to find) spark plug. Which you kind of need for the thing torun…
You will need specialty insurance coverage, too. Which will often have “limited use” provisions – and may require the vehicle be kept stored indoors, in a secure garage.
Bottom line:Buying – and owning – a pre-modern car is not unlike buying – and owning – a specialty-breed dog that has, uhhm,unusualneeds. It can be very rewarding. But it’s rarely cheap – and comes with its own set of challenges.
This site contains copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available in our efforts to advance understanding of classic automotive related auctions, unusal autos and motorcycles, race related sporting events and other auto related material.
We believe this constitutes a "fair use" of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without fee or payment of any kind.