Access The Knowledge


Our Research & Cataloguing team provides our clients with confidence that the cars RM Sotheby's presents are thoroughly vetted and accurately described. This team routinely identifies the originality of major components, uncovers decades of new history, and adds original source documentation to automobile history files—a value-added service unique to RM Sotheby's. The largest, most dedicated Research team in the industry, their efforts are all part of the RM Sotheby's advantage and help us to continuously raise the bar globally by providing unparalleled knowledge and expertise for every consignment.


As soon as your car is consigned, the Research and Editorial team begin digging through the extensive RM Sotheby’s library, reaching out to contacts in specialist fields, and sourcing a variety of historical information. The largest dedicated research team in the business, our goal is to ensure that we portray every vehicle accurately, with a host of historical material for the new owner.


When a consigned vehicle has been in a historic event, race, or prominent collection, the Research and Editorial team searches for images or video featuring the car. Often this means working together with photographic archives to research any events before settling on photographic rights for each image or video.


Where possible, the Research and Editorial team orders historical certificates or build sheets for consigned vehicles. These show the original specification of the car – often proving that the vehicle retains the original engine or is finished in its original colors. Each of these certificates is an important piece of the vehicle’s provenance.           


Many of RM Sotheby’s best-selling cars have had an extensive racing history, and it is our job to ensure that every race, rally, and hill climb is accordingly researched and appropriately presented online and in the catalog. Sometimes we even discover a forgotten winsuch as in the case of two-time Le Mans winning 1963 Ferrari 275 P.


RM Sotheby’s employs two full-time archivists to catalogue their extensive motoring library, housed in both the head office in Canada and the London office. The team is always adding new books as the market evolves and cultivates relationships with many important motoring authors in order to stay at the forefront of research trends.


Every member of the Research and Editorial team maintains important relationships with varied contacts in the motoring field. From archivists and marque historians to enthusiasts and forum addicts, each contact is integral in helping RM Sotheby’s properly describe each and every vehicle that passes through our auctions.


Each car sold with RM Sotheby’s comes complete with a history file compiled by the Research and Editorial team. A combination of history collected from the previous owners and research performed by the team; these files are beautifully presented in RM Sotheby’s logoed binders and available to view at each auction. Passed with the vehicle to the next owner, each file represents our commitment to presenting every vehicle as accurately and completely as possible.


At each auction, members of the Research and Editorial team are present to remove important tools, manuals, and accessories from each lot. Every item is photographed and catalogued before being safely stored for the duration of the auction. Available to view alongside the history files, these items are then placed in the vehicles post-sale and transported to the new owner.