Over the past few years, a critical term from the museum world has become repurposed for civilian use. “Curation” has become a buzzword for all industries, encompassing everything from our music playlists to the arrangement of clothes in our closets. But, speaking from years of personal experience, asking a professional curator to pick their favorite artifact from a well-selected exhibit is a cruel question, almost like asking a parent to pick their favorite child: Practically impossible.
RM Sotheby’s upcoming Arizona 2021 auction presents such a diverse portfolio of classic automobiles it can be equally difficult to choose only one. And yet, the worldwide team of Specialists at RM Sotheby’s had no trouble making the tough call of picking their favorite examples from an impressive list. With a variety of options, ranging from future Ferrari classics to personal selections based on hours of seat time, here are ten genuinely curated choices from RM Sotheby’s team of experienced Specialists:
David Swig — San Francisco, CA
1952 Tojeiro-MG Barchetta
Estimate: $200,000 - $250,000
The design DNA of Carroll Shelby's Cobra can be traced back to John Tojeiro's small batch of racing barchettas built in the U.K. in the early 1950s. This basic design became the AC Ace, and the rest is history!
Jake O’Gorman — Blenheim, ON
1932 Marmon Sixteen Five-Passenger Sedan by LeBaron
Estimate: $300,000 - $375,000
The Marmon’s most impressive feature is the all-aluminum, sixteen-cylinder engine rated at 200 horsepower in an era when most production cars were four or six cylinders and produced a quarter of the power. These are wonderful cars to drive and seldom come to auction wearing Pebble Beach-worthy restorations. This Marmon Sixteen checks my “pre-war” box and is my pick of Arizona.
Ken Wallace — Washington, NJ
2019 Ford GT 'Lightweight'
Estimate: $900,000 - $1,200,000
My pick would be the 2019 Ford GT Lightweight. Ford has proven again they design and build some of the best performance cars that can be enjoyed equally both on the track or on the street.
Gord Duff — Blenheim, ON
1956 Ferrari 250 GT Alloy Coupe by Boano
Estimate: $1,200,000 - $1,400,000
Out of all the cars, my choice would be the Ferrari 250 Alloy Boano GT. I think it is excellent value for the car, as it is one of just 14 ever produced—the car is Classiche-certified, beautifully restored, and already set-up for vintage racing. I do not know of another Ferrari that is eligible for almost any event around the world, has all matching components, and that you can buy for under $1.5M that is also turn-key.
Felix Archer — London, U.K.
1965 Aston Martin Short-Chassis Volante
Estimate: $1,500,000 - $1,750,000
With only 37 of these cars built, this is a rare opportunity to buy what is, in my opinion, the most beautiful of all Aston Martin Volantes. The car has fantastic provenance, and this 'interim' Aston Martin model is essential for anyone looking for a 1960's drop-top!
Alexander Weaver — Los Angeles, CA
2019 Koenigsegg Regera
Estimate: $2,600,000 - $2,900,000
My Specialist pick has to be the Regera. Brutally fast, yet easy to drive. The transmission is an incredible feat of engineering that brings the power to a whole new level of acceleration.
Zach Oller — Stuart, FL
2001 Ferrari 550 Barchetta Pininfarina
Estimate: $300,000 - $350,000
I am a huge fan of front-engine, V-12 Ferrari sports cars with gated, six-speed manual transmissions. The unique color scheme of this example—which was finished in Argento Nürburgring over Nero—makes it extremely attractive and the aforementioned items make it a thrill to drive as well.
Evan Shone — San Francisco, CA
2000 Ferrari 550 Maranello
Estimate: $150,000 - $200,000
My choice of the auction is the Ferrari 550 Maranello. Not only one of the best Ferrari sports cars ever made but one of the best cars overall. This one is a great example!
Mike Fairbairn — Blenheim, ON
1965 Shelby GT350
Estimate: $350,000 - $400,000
This well-documented early example of Carroll Shelby’s road-going performance cars is also the epitome of the “race on Sunday, sell on Monday” ethos that gave us so many of the world’s truly great muscle cars.
Ramsey Potts — Savannah, GA
2015 Jaguar C-Type Evolution by Proteus
Estimate: $150,000 - $190,000
In the 2015 Proteus C-Type on offer in Arizona, you have the unique blend of both a beautiful C-Type tribute (and in this case, a car that has gathered quite a few Concours awards on its own) with the reliability of modern electronic fuel injection. Alongside good looks and blistering performance, this C-Type Evolution features a cockpit with just a few more inches of width to accommodate a “contemporary” driver as well. With this example, you could have that 1,000-mile car that will reliably speed you to your destination while also offering the timeless style of the iconic post-war Jaguar that catapulted the marque into the Sports Car Championship. The phrase “do-it-all” is all-too-common in modern manufacture offerings, however, I see this Proteus as a limited opportunity to own a classic look with contemporary underpinnings, while remaining enthusiastically Jaguar right down to the XK engine powering it!
Matt Malamut – Los Angeles, CA
1966 Mercedes-Benz 600 Six-Door Pullman
Estimate: $275,000 - $325,000
Anyone who pulls up in a Mercedes-Benz 600 Pullman is a boss as it instantly commands the respect of all who encounter it. They of course can be a lot of fun too as the current owner would attest, from cross-country trips with his friends to local ski excursions with his kids. This example is the ultimate spec: 6-doors, rear sunroof, European headlights, and the early wooden dash. With matching service by the Mercedes experts of the world, this is as Ferris Bueller would say, is “so choice.”