Tue, Jan 9, 2024

Art & Auctions
€11m car star of RM Sotheby’s Paris auction

RM Sotheby’s will showcase some stunning cars at its Paris sale, taking place on January 31 during the Rétromobile Week in the marvelous rooms of the Carrousel du Louvre.

Among a selection of incredible competition and track-focused sports cars to be offered in Paris is a highly significant 1960 Ferrari 250 GT SWB Berlinetta Competizione by Scaglietti, a car which is the undoubted star of the auction.

The car, chassis number 1773 GT, is a very rare and highly desirable alloy-bodied Competizione version built in 1960, boasting an outstanding period racing history that includes 7th overall and 5th in class at the 1960 12 Hours of Sebring as a N.A.R.T. entry as well as four overall or class victories, including at the famous Nassau Tourist Trophy in 1960, and a total of 10 podium finishes from 1960-1961.

Built to top competition specifications and fitted with a Tipo 168 B engine delivering 275.5 hp at 7,200 rpm, aluminium bodywork and a factory roll bar, the car was completed by the factory on March 16, 1960. Delivered new to legendary racing figure George Arents, it was immediately prepared to compete at the ninth annual 12 Hours of Sebring, along with famous gentleman driver Bill Kimberly as co-driver, where it finished a highly impressive 7th overall and 5th in class.

Soon after, it was sold to another well-known American enthusiast, Robert M. Grossman of Nyack, New Jersey, who quickly secured 1st overall at the SCCA National GT race at Bridgehampton, New York.

After a number of long-term owners, the car went to the United Kingdom in 1994, where it underwent a comprehensive restoration, before returning to the US in 1999. The car was later acquired by The Pinnacle Portfolio and was immediately shipped to Wayne Obry’s esteemed Motion Products for a complete restoration back to its 1960 Sebring livery. The project was carried out with a near-fanatical level of detail and benefits from Ferrari Classiche certification and is today one of the finest 250 GT SWB Berlinettas in existence (Estimate: €9,000,000 - €11,000,000).

Few cars define their era in the same way as the legendary Porsche 956 and 962 sports prototypes. They formed the mainstay of top-level sports car racing throughout the 1980s, winning the 24 Hours of Le Mans six years in a row and dominating the World Endurance Championship between 1982 and 1986. The Paris sale features a 1991 Porsche 962 C, chassis No. 962-177, the final Porsche-built 962 monocoque chassis built. The car was raced in period by the legendary Brun Motorsport, which prepared chassis 962-177 to compete in the 24 Hours of Le Mans on 22-23 June. Driven by Walter Brun himself, along with team stalwarts Jésus Pareja and Oscar Larrauri, chassis 962-177 set the sixth-fastest time during practice for the French endurance classic. With that year’s regulations having reserved the top-10 grid positions for the latest 3.5-litre, normally aspirated generation of cars, the car was forced to start the race from 14th, but it made it to the finish in 10th place overall.

The car went on to compete in the Nürburgring 430km, resprayed from its original Repsol colours into the livery of logistics company FAT International, where Pareja and Brun took it to 7th place. After a number of further race outings, it was fully restored in 1994 by Joest Racing with extensive work, including a complete rebuild of its Type 935/86, twin-turbocharged, 3.2-litre flat-six engine and gearbox. With all four of its period competition outings being at World Championship level in the hands of Brun Motorsport, chassis 962-177 boasts an impeccable race record. It also holds a special place in marque history as being the very last Porsche-built 962 monocoque—the end of an illustrious and incredibly successful line (Estimate: €1,200,000 - €1,500,000).

Few track-focused hypercars have more presence than the 2007 Maserati MC12 Versione Corsa, the most powerful Maserati ever produced, equipped with a 745-hp 6-litre V-12. Only 12 of these remarkable cars were produced, derived from the marque’s all-conquering GT1 racer. Unveiled at the 2004 Geneva International Motor Show in 2004, the Tipo M144 or MC12 (for Maserati Corse, 12-cylinder) was the most extreme model yet to leave the Modena factory. Much of the new car’s DNA came from former rival Ferrari’s Enzo hypercar, although substantial improvements were made to the engine, chassis, and aerodynamics. Powered by a 5,998 cc, 65-degree, 48-valve, dry-sump V-12, the car developed 630 hp at 7,500 rpm, giving a top speed of no less than 330 km/h.

Maserati’s Reparto Corse developed a competition version that would notch up many international victories, including back-to-back wins in the Spa 24 Hours—the first on the model’s maiden endurance event. A string of constructors’, drivers’, and team championships would well and truly cement the MC12’s reputation as the car to beat. The Trident had returned with a vengeance. To satisfy demand from private customers wanting to experience the performance of the competition car, in 2006, Maserati launched the MC12 Corsa as a track-only car. The ‘Corsa’ was noticeably more powerful than its championship-winning stablemate, boating an astonishing 745 hp. Offered new to just a dozen carefully selected customers, ‘0008’ was supplied to Germany in 2007. With very little use, the car has nevertheless been treated to an engine rebuild by former Maserati Corse mechanics in Modena, while maintenance has been carried out by marque specialist Formula Automobile in Denmark. Confirmed by Archivio Storico Maserati as being in its original Arancio (orange) livery with black Sparco seats, this remarkable machine is offered complete with handbooks, fuel rig, spare wheels, and tyres. An unmissable opportunity for any serious Maserati collector (Estimate: €2,800,000 - €3,500,000).

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