Horse trading

Gone under the hammer: (clockwise, from above) a 1959 250GT LWB California Spider, a 1969 365 GTB/4 Daytona Berlinetta and Rolling Stones' Keith Richards' 1983 400i.
Gone under the hammer: a 1959 250GT LWB California SpiderPHOTO: SOTHEBY'S
Gone under the hammer: (clockwise, from above) a 1959 250GT LWB California Spider, a 1969 365 GTB/4 Daytona Berlinetta and Rolling Stones' Keith Richards' 1983 400i.
Gone under the hammer: a 1969 365 GTB/4 Daytona BerlinettaPHOTO: SOTHEBY'S
Gone under the hammer: (clockwise, from above) a 1959 250GT LWB California Spider, a 1969 365 GTB/4 Daytona Berlinetta and Rolling Stones' Keith Richards' 1983 400i.
Gone under the hammer: a Rolling Stones' Keith Richards' 1983 400i.PHOTO: SOTHEBY'S

Ferrari and Sotheby's collaborate on a special single marque auction to mark the Prancing Horse brand's 70th year

To commemorate its 70th anniversary, Ferrari collaborated with RM Sotheby's for an exclusive Legend And Passion auction of classic and modern cars from its stable.

Held last Saturday at Maranello, the homestead of Ferrari, this is the largest single marque auction of its kind, with a curated selection of 42 cars on the block.

Topping the auction list was the final 210th unit of the limited-edition hybrid-electric LaFerrari Aperta. It will get a one-of-a-kind 70th anniversary livery in metallic Red Focus with metallic Bianco Italia double racing stripes on the bonnet and rear deck. An undisclosed buyer phoned in the highest bid of €8.3 million (S$13 million), setting a new world record for a 21st-century car and one yet to be built.

The previous record last December at Daytona was for a LaFerrari coupe at US$7 million (S$9.5 million). The proceeds of both these Ferraris go to the charity Save the Children.

Not far behind, at an eye-watering €7,855,000, was a 1959 Ferrari 250GT LWB California Spider in show-car condition. The almost six-decade-old classic has clocked only 32,586km and won no fewer than 36 classic car awards between 1988 and 2003. The last owner had kept it in his rarely shown private collection for almost two decades.

A rather unique Ferrari on the block was a "barn-find" 1969 Ferrari 365 GTB/4 Daytona Berlinetta. With more than 1,200 Daytonas produced between 1969 and 1973, there were just five lightweight "Alloy" competition cars and this one- and-only road-going version has an aluminium body.

Discovered in Japan after being tucked away for almost 40 years, it has been thoroughly evaluated by marque expert Marcel Massini as the real deal with a Scaglietti body, matching engine and transaxle numbers. It is also a certified low mileage one-off with just 36,390km on its odometer.

Presumably the new owner will be undertaking a full restoration, making it even more valuable than the €1,807,000 he paid for it.

In all, the Fiorano trackside event saw 38 Ferraris going under the hammer, of which 19 sold for well over €1 million each. And the total value of the Sotheby's event was €62,111,110.

No less illustrious was Rolling Stones guitarist Keith Richards' 1983 Ferrari 400i. This single- owner, five-speed manual, 2+2 GT car is still in remarkable original condition, with a barely run-in 3,627km on the clock. The Stones memorabilia was a relative steal at a closing price of just €345,000.

Yet another noteworthy sale was a Ferrari 812 Superfast wind tunnel model, transacted at €600,000. It isn't even the real car and just a 1:2 scale handmade model moulded from carbon-fibre composite made for aerodynamic testing.

It goes to show that typically rare and authenticated pieces wearing the Ferrari badge are much sought- after collectibles. Such is the enigmatic and lasting appeal of the Prancing Horse from Maranello.


•The writer contributes to Torque, a motoring monthly published by SPH Magazines

VIDEO

Watch the auction at http://str.sg/4VtX

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 16, 2017, with the headline 'Horse trading'. Print Edition | Subscribe