RM Auction's "Art of the Automobile" on November 21 in Manhattan

RM Auction's "Art of the Automobile" on November 21 in Manhattan

On November 21 at Sotheby’s in Manhattan, RM Auctions will stage “Art of the Automobile,” selling an extraordinarily well-edited selection of just 34 vehicles, 18 of which are expected to sell for more than $1 Million USD. While pouring through the online catalogue (all gorgeously photographed by Michael Furman for RM), I was struck by the deep history of each irreplaceable car. These are the treasures of celebrated lives, of absurd wealth, of empires won and empires lost. Epic stuff.

Choosing just a handful of cars (plus a carriage!) to feature was no easy task, but these are my five favorites with links to the detailed product descriptions at the RM Auctions online catalogue which, If you have 10 minutes to peruse in full, you really must…

1955 Lincoln Indianapolis Executive Study by Carrozzeria Boano Torino

Estimate: $2,000,000 - $2,500,000

 This car was shown earlier this year at the Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance, and when I saw it rolling onto the lawn, my world stood still. In every sense of the word, this is a showstopper, taking Italian-borne styling motifs to American 1950s hyperbole and the result is jet-age perfection. (complete details)


1959 Ferrari 250 GT SWB "Competition" Berlinetta Speciale by Carrozzeria Bertone

Estimate: $6,500,000 - $8,500,000

 Inside and out, this is the most beautiful car I’ve laid my eyes upon in a good, long while. One of six custom-bodied Ferrari 250 GT SWB (Short WheelBase), it was designed by the legendary Giorgetto Giugiaro when he was just 21-years-old. Giugiaro would later design supercars including the BMW M1, Maserati Ghibli and Bora; together with numerous Alfa Romeos and the original VW Golf and Scirocco. (complete details)



1933 Rolls-Royce Phantom II Continental Sports Coupé by Freestone & Webb

$2,000,000 - $2,800,000

 Take a look and you’ll see the seeds of opulence, grandeur and commanding reserve that continue to define the modern Rolls-Royce Phantom and (in particular) the new Ghost coupe. (complete details)




1964 Ferrari 250 LM by Carrozzeria Scaglietti

Estimate: $12,000,000 - $15,000,000 

Hard to imagine, but back in the 60s this racecar was licensed for the street, and was put to regular use by its owner on Mulholland Drive in Los Angeles. I’m not a huge racing aficionado, partly because racecars no longer look like – cars. If they still looked like this I’d sleep at the track. (complete details) 


1892 Brewster Park Drag

Estimate: $225,000 - $325,000

I'm either losing my mind or there's something fascinating about this horse-driven carriage, once owned by wealthy businessman Hamilton McKown Twombly and his even more fabulously wealthy wife, Florence Adele Vanderbuilt. As was the fashion of the day, the society uber-couple lived in Manhattan but kept a summer manse, Florham, in New Jersey. With over 100 rooms, Florham mansion sat on 1,200 acres of land and was designed by the preeminent architectural firm McKim, Mead, and White, with the creative input of the landscape designer Frederick Law Olmsted (who co-created Central Park with partner, Calvert Vaux).  Hamilton and Florence would travel from Manhattan to Florham by train, and this carriage would meet them at the station, together with the horses and four whim-catering staff (who are seated outside, of course), and whisk them home. The age of the automobile would soon begin, and this carriage was sold in 1910 to make way for a fleet of Rolls-Royces. The Great Depression would soon begin, too, requiring the sale of Florham to cover the family’s losses. Today Florham is part of Farleigh-Dickinson University. (complete details)