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  3. RM SOTHEBY’S TAKES THE CHEQUERED FLAG AT ITS REMARKABLE €20 MILLION LE MANS CENTENARY AUCTION

RM SOTHEBY’S TAKES THE CHEQUERED FLAG AT ITS REMARKABLE €20 MILLION LE MANS CENTENARY AUCTION

14 Jun 2023

RM Sotheby’s has successfully conducted its Le Mans Centenary sale, held in collaboration with the ACO, grossing a remarkable €20,101,950 in front of a packed salesroom and conducted close to the paddock of the world’s most iconic race. Boasting a sell-through rate of 75%, 18 countries were represented by bidders, of which 23% were new clients. Held on the eve of the iconic 24 Hours of Le Mans race, the auction was a remarkable one-off spectacle during what proved to be an amazing race weekend.  

The 1955 Ferrari 121 LM Spider by Scaglietti

The 1955 Ferrari 121 LM Spider by Scaglietti

It was undoubtedly a year to remember for the Scuderia Ferrari, with a stunning victory on track and the 1955 Ferrari 121 LM Spider by Scaglietti achieving the top price in the auction. Unquestionably one of the most significant competition Ferraris, the car boasts history in both the 1955 24 Hours of Le Mans and the Mille Miglia of the same year. It was raced by legends of the era, including Maurice Trintignant, Harry Schell, and Piero Taruffi. Attracting interest from around the world, this remarkable piece of motorsport history was the most expensive car sold on the night, and being one of a mere four in existence, the car thoroughly deserved its €5,742,500.

The 2007 Aston Martin DBR9 GT1

The 2007 Aston Martin DBR9 GT1

The 2007 Aston Martin DBR9 GT1, built by the highly regarded Prodrive team, has an illustrious competition CV that includes 3rd in the GT1 class and 22nd overall at the 2010 24 Hours of Le Mans. It also finished 3rd in both the 2008 Silverstone Tourist Trophy and 2008 24 Hours of Spa and is thought to be one of just 18 built, richly deserving its €2,255,000. The 1984 Lancia LC2 was the highly successful factory-backed sports prototype created to compete in the World Sportscar Championship. Driven by Wollek and Nannini, it took a stunning pole position in the 1984 race and was presented at the sale in its iconic Martini Livery and sold for €2,255,000.

The 1990 Nissan R90CK

The 1990 Nissan R90CK

Further highlights include the 1958 Lister-Jaguar 'Knobbly', which was one of the most original in existence and the only Knobbly to ever race at Le Mans, selling for €1,551,875. The 2008 Saleen S7-R, which won the LMGT1 class at the 2010 24 Hours of Le Mans and finished 13th overall, sold for €1,298,750. The 1954 OSCA MT4 by Morelli, a true icon of 1950s motorsport with strong heritage thanks to its creation by the Maserati brothers, sold for €1,270,625. The 1990 Nissan R90CK, which set the legendary pole position in the hands of Mark Blundell in the 1990 24 Hours of Le Mans, sold for €1,073,750. 

The 1965 24 Hours of Le Mans Starter Flag

The 1965 24 Hours of Le Mans Starter Flag

However, it was not just the cars that sold well: the 1965 24 Hours of Le Mans Starter Flag achieved one of the most remarkable results of the sale, bringing in an incredible €396,000. Appropriately, the flag heralds from the year in which Ferrari last won Le Mans, and it is fitting that it achieved such an astonishing result in the year Ferrari was once again victorious. The Porsche 919 Show Car, which had been on display at the Porsche Experience Centre in Le Mans since 2015, went for €216,000, while the Jacky Ickx Rothmans Porsche Race Suit, worn by the great man in his last full racing season, went for an excellent €31,200.

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