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Top 10 classic car auction prices from May 2015

More than 500 classic cars were sold at major auctions across Europe and the USA last month, achieving a total of £28.6 million; more than 76% of those offered found buyers. Not only did every car in the top 10 sell for more than £1 million, every car in the top 20 topped that figure.

The highest price of the month - £6.5 million - was for a beautifully restored 1960 Ferrari 250GT SWB Berlinetta Competizione that was one of 45 original aluminium-bodied racers. Sold by RM Sotheby’s at its Villa Erba auction in Italy, the car was restored in the 1990s and has since done well at concours competitions; more recently it’s taken part in major historic racing events.

The newly formed partnership of RM and Sotheby’s sold eight of May’s top 10 cars, including three from the Andrews Collection, a 100-plus vehicle collection amassed over many years by American entrepreneur Paul Andrews and his son Chris. RM Sotheby’s ran a special sale in Texas to sell off 78 of their cars.

The highest achiever of the Andrews Collection sale was a restored 1962 Ferrari 400 Superamerica SWB cabriolet. The 1962 New York and Geneva show car was the last SWB Superamerica built. After prolonged bidding it sold for £4.9 million.

Although five of the top 10 were Ferraris, other marques were well represented too. Perhaps the rarest cars sold last month were pair of Duesenbergs, a 1935 SJ Town Car that made £2.3 million, and a 1931 Model J that sold for £2.3 million. Both cars had strong Hollywood connections: the SJ was designed for Hollywood icon Mae West, and the Model J had been featured in the 1962 film What Ever Happened to Baby Jane with Bette Davis and Joan Crawford.

Another car with a famous owner was the 1962 Aston Martin DB4 first owned by legendary actor, playwright and diplomat Sir Peter Ustinov. He ordered the car with the recently introduced Special Series Vantage engine, and had it delivered to the Montreux Palace Hotel in Switzerland on 27th July 1962. The DB4, which had been in a private collection for the past few years, was in need of some recommissioning. It sold for £1,513,500 - £500,000 above estimate.

Top 10 classic car auction prices May 2015

Year

Marque/Model

Total Price

1960

Ferrari 250GT coupe SWB

6,495,580

1962

Ferrari 400 Superamerica

4,953,960

1952

Ferrari 212 Barchetta

4,796,740

1935

Duesenberg SJ Town Car

2,352,240

1931

Duesenberg Model J

2,280,960

1963

Ferrari 400 Superamerica

1,853,280

1966

Aston Martin DB5 convertible

1,524,700

1962

Aston Martin DB4 convertible

1,513,500

1963

Ferrari 250GT Lusso Berlinetta

1,439,020

1934

Packard Twelve Sport Coupe

1,425,600

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By Claire Evans

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