Amazing sale - terrific diversity of lots got loads of us to register in anticipation of grabbing a bargain...we were short on the £100k winning bid - almost regret it now!
Here's our story of a few enthusiastic friends participating - which is possibly not dissimilar to a few others...
(Results at the bottom of the page:
THE UNREALISTIC DREAM:
A few of us saw discussed the auction lots a month ago and started to discuss whether we should try and participate. We knew the reserves have been set comically low to engender interest and generate PR - but we reckon the hassle, lack of documentation, drama of getting cars registered MIGHT dissuade bidders. We were made of sterner stuff - we would manage to buy some jewels - some of which we would flog afterwards here in the UK for a profit which would enable us to keep one of the cars as a fun track/project car (well you gotta aim high!)
THE STARK REALITY:
Pre-event:- We find out that a couple of transport companies will be at the sale - you are looking at about £1500 a car to bring back to UK - much less for a motorbike- Stupidly very late in the day register to bid online - getting necessary bank proof of funds documentation takes ages and is a real Faff for a number of reasons- We find out on thursday night via email - a number of cars are "under seizure" which meant after paying up on monday after the sale - the cars cannot be collected for 10 days - potentially a transport drama...- We are interested in some of the 911 project cars - specifically the rally car which we believe had an SCRS engine in it- Also fancy the 131 Abarth Rally car, BMW 2002 racecar and the March 792 F2 car with the fabled exotic BMW M12 engine- Personally i fancy the Campagnolo Group 4 Porsche wheels - I figure if we buy a few cars - I can get these thrown in the transport truck for not much money...- We do our due diligence on the above cars and pay for a friend based in Italy to look at the cars on the Friday - the first day of the sale- We have drawn up a list of the cars with notes and approximate values based on being here in the UK ready to flip or in some cases as longer term holds (basically justifying additions to toybox)
The event:- We login on Thursday night - it works - we are in the game!- Our man at the sale looks at the cars we are interested - sends photos and comments - aside from absence of documentation - the cars we are interested on look good...- Bidding starts on the signs - HOLY **** - prices are often 5-10 times estimate - one online bidder seems to have bought half the lots- "Our" first car comes up - we bid online up to our agreed amount - then exceed it in the heat of the moment - but we are £14k short of the winning bid...ok it's early in the battle - we'll try and get the next one- It soon becomes apparent that buyers are paying "Retail +" - i.e they are not making rational decisions - that's ok - auction fever often takes a grip - prices may well settle down...- Wrong! Everything goes for top money - we are sometimes 50% down on our top bid which we believe to be a market price (our definition of market price at this sale seems like many others to be out of kilter?)- Signs of the madness - well away from classic stuff for which a passion purchase can always be justified - somebody pays 15k Euro for a 2007 Beetle Cabriolet - a 7k car at best. This car is not rare/collectable/desirable - WTF?!- Lots of experienced UK traders at the auction leave empty handed - prices are higher than they would have the balls to ask in showrooms- Day after the sale - feel a bit deflated no new toys are on the horizon - END OF PLAY TIME - BACK TO WORK :)
Conclusion:- The cars,bikes and boats have sold at in many cases - high water marks- RM's PR suggests that they attracted a huge number of new bidders- New bidders may not be fully aware of market values but nevertheless want to jump on this emerging "asset class" market- In many cases - these were not cars with full documentation and many needed expensive labour of love - you could have bought better examples - where available - more cheaply from dealers and got some come back if not as described...- A lot of the big hitting stuff was not sold at THAT much more than market - 275 GTB 6c Alloy was expensive - but not crazy if whatever reason you wanted that car...- These prices do not necessarily represent new market realities - my 964 RS at 52k kms (14k kms more than car sold at RM) - is probably not worth anything like £280k...sadly!
Some theories for bidding madness:- We all were excited at the prospect of no reserves and admittedly unrealistically low estimates- Loads of Italians faced with political uncertainty and unstable domestic banking scenarios - ploughing money into "tangible" assets- A number of new overseas bidders see some of the lots as portable storages of cash...- You have gone to the effort of registering to bid - you see crazy prices - get caught up in the moment - can't leave empty handed...- RM were reputedly committed to delivering a return of at least 25m Euros??? - other auction houses which were invited to tender did not see it this way - RM made a committment and reaped the rewards - all hearsay from the sale.....- Far fetched concpiracy theory - somewhat unrealistic but... - "friends" of the previous owner of the collection - agreed a deal to buy a lot of the stuff back through numerous individual bidders operating on behalf of a 3rd party...the auction process was contrived...obviously also unsubstantiated hearsay...- Conspiracy theorists can think what they like - but I reckon a lot of people wanted stuff more than I and thousands of others did and simply paid more - end of!
MONEY LAUNDERING THEORYTo be honest it seems hardwork and unlikely - Guarda di Finanza - presumably? - doubtless had involvement in drafting the following terms for registered bidders..
>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>"How can I invoice and pay for my purchase?
Invoicing Requirements - Successful bidders must provide a signed copy of their government-issued photo ID (i.e., passport or identity card), as well as their fiscal code (e.g., codice fiscale, NI number, SSN). Where a lot is being purchased by a company, we will need further information, including the company's registered address, VAT number (if applicable), details of the company representative, details of the beneficial owner, and a certified copy of the certificate of incorporation.
Also, please note that the Bill of Sale will be issued to the registered bidder, and we are unable to re-invoice to a third party.
Payment Methods - In addition to wire transfers, we will accept the following methods of payment at our discretion:
-Credit or debit card (excluding American Express), up to €5.000,00 per lot-Cash - maximum of €2.999,99 for all related transactions-Cheque or banker's draft (with lots to be released only once the funds have cleared)-Cheques above €999,99 must specify 'non transferable' to satisfy the non-transferability clause in Italy
Please note that we will not accept multiple methods of payment for a single lot.
In addition, payment must be from the party named on the Bill of Sale (i.e., the registered bidder)>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
WOULD WE HAVE ANOTHER GO AT THIS TYPE OF AUCTION?
- Of course we would! There were some great items for sale - it's just on the day they sold for more than we wanted to pay...If we were resourced to the extent market prices were irrelevant - the 131 Abarth Rally car was potentially a great buy at £100k - find another at this price of what we believed was a genuine competition rally car - not a converted stradale...although we did not have the time/opportunity we would have liked to do proper due diligence to be 100% - so maybe we were better off leaving empty handed?CLICK HERE FOR RESULTS >>>>>>>
The infographic below sums it up - a huge sale which attracted unprecedented interest from a huge number of new buyers - which is not a bad thing thing for those of us who pretend our hobby ever makes commercial sense....