BLENHEIM, Ontario – RM Sotheby’s successfully completed the first catalogue sale to be offered via the auction house’s time-based Online Only digital platform this past week with the presentation of Online Only: The Palm Beach Auction. 259 motor cars and 21 lots of memorabilia opened for bidding on March 20, with lots closing in a staggered format from March 25 to 28.
The online-only auction totaled $13.7 million in sales, with an overall sell-through rate of 69 percent. RM Sotheby’s saw an unprecedented level of interest in its online platform, with nearly 900 registered bidders—23 percent more than the average number of registered bidders at live RM Sotheby’s South Florida auctions over the last four years. Bidders participated from 44 countries, with 36 percent bidding with RM Sotheby’s for the first time. Over the course of the auction (March 20-28), there were more than 615,000 page views within the Online Only Palm Beach section of rmsothebys.com alone.
Online Only: The Palm Beach Auction was originally RM Sotheby’s 18th annual South Florida auction, set to be held at the Palm Beach International Raceway on March 20-21. RM Sotheby’s made the decision to transition the auction to its Online Only platform due to the global COVID-19 pandemic, less than ten days prior to the scheduled auction date.
Developed in 2019, RM Sotheby’s Online Only platform is easy to use, providing consignors and bidders a platform that allows faster transactions to take place while still harnessing the level of service and global reach for which the RM Sotheby’s team is known. In this case, the Online Only platform allowed RM Sotheby’s to swiftly adapt to changing circumstances to continue to serve its clientele.
The Online Only sale saw lively bidding upon opening on March 20, with sustained interest through to the closing days (March 25–28). With interested parties watching from around the world, bidding accelerated as each lot neared closing time, with numerous lots extended by up to 30 minutes due to competitive last-minute bids.
Each car was presented with comprehensive photography as well as condition reports completed by RM Sotheby’s Car Specialists. Where available, additional information on each lot, such as history files, production certificates, restoration documentation, service invoices, owner’s manuals, and accompanying parts, was also available for viewing online on each individual lot page. RM Sotheby’s Car Specialists and dedicated client services team was also available to answer any questions from potential bidders and consignors.
Overall, the 259-car auction was led by a pair of supercars: a 1996 Porsche 911 GT2, a pristine, unmodified example of the mere 194 road-going GT2s built, which was added following the transition to an online sale and sold for a final $891,000; and a 2019 McLaren Senna, presented in virtually as-new condition with a host of desirable options and a mere 200 miles on the odometer, which brought a final $847,000.
Online Only: The Palm Beach Auction - Top Ten Sales
- 1996 Porsche 911 GT2 (CHASSIS NO. WP0ZZZ99ZTS392164) - $891,000
- 2019 McLaren Senna (CHASSIS NO. SBM15ACA6KW800146) - $847,000
- 1963 Shelby 289 Cobra (CHASSIS NO. CSX 2095) - $682,000
- 2015 Ferrari 458 Speciale (CHASSIS NO. ZFF75VFA0F0208869) - $324,500
- 1961 Jaguar E-Type Series 1 3.8-Litre Roadster (CHASSIS NO. 875195) - $280,500
- 1992 Lamborghini LM002 (CHASSIS NO. ZA9LU45A8LLA12287) - $275,000
- 1983 Lamborghini Countach LP 5000S (CHASSIS NO. ZA9C00500CLA12512) - $275,000
- 1966 Ferrari 330 GT 2+2 Series II (CHASSIS NO. 8627) - $260,000
- 2006 Ford GT (CHASSIS NO. 1FAFP90S76Y400701) - $242,000
RM Sotheby’s team of 28 specialists has continued to sell cars after the virtual hammer has fallen, with numerous additional sales already secured. The team will continue to connect buyers and sellers in the weeks following the auction. Motor cars still available for sale can be viewed here.
Complete results from RM Sotheby’s Online Only: The Palm Beach Auction are available here. RM Sotheby’s is currently exploring plans to hold additional RM Online Only auctions in the near future as the industry navigates these changing times.
* Results are listed in USD and include buyer’s premium (10 percent on all motor car lots, 15 percent on all memorabilia).
* Results include select transactions that occurred immediately following the sale.
* RM Sotheby’s Online Only: The Palm Beach Auction was previously the auction house’s annual South Florida live auction. The sale was shifted to the company’s online-only platform due to the global COVID-19 pandemic and announced as such on March 12, 2020.
* RM Sotheby’s launched an online platform in the fall of 2019, successfully offering memorabilia collections and single-lot or small-group motor-car auctions.
About RM Sotheby’s
RM Sotheby’s is the world's largest collector car auction house by total sales. With 40 years of proven results in the collector car industry, RM’s vertically integrated range of services, from auctions (live and online) and private sales to estate planning and financial services, coupled with an expert team of Car Specialists and an international footprint, provide an unsurpassed level of service to the global collector car market. In 2015 RM formed a strategic partnership with Sotheby’s, uniting the two companies for the full calendar of future automobile auctions. For further information, visit rmsothebys.com.