LONDON – RM Sotheby’s announced final featured entries for its fifth annual Paris sale, February 7th at Place Vauban during Rétromobile week. The 84 vehicles on offer are led by an original 1953 Ferrari 166 MM Spider, chassis no. 0272 M.
The fifth of 13 166 MMs built for 1953, the car features unique spider coachwork, though its specific builder remains a mystery. Most historians believe that it was designed by Aurelio Lampredi and is thought to have been built by Ferrari itself. One of 0272 M’s earliest track outings was at the 1953 Mille Miglia, with original owner Dr. Alberico Cacciari and R.H. Bill Mason—father of Pink Floyd drummer and noted Ferrari collector Nick Mason—at the helm. During this time, the car was also used in the production of the 1953 Shell movie about the Mille Miglia, directed by Bill Mason himself.
Raced in numerous events across Italy throughout the 1953 season, the car was campaigned once again in the 1954 Mille Miglia by Emmanuel de Graffenried and G. Parravicini. While entered under the Scuderia Ferrari name, the 166 was used exclusively by MGM Studios for its movie The Racers starring Kirk Douglas, with the two pilots acting as stuntmen for the film. Following the race, the car was exported to California to continue filming, after which it was raced and shown frequently throughout the U.S. West Coast, including at the Monterey Historics and the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance, as well as at the Cavallino Classic. In more recent years, the car has participated in numerous events, including the Mille Miglia Storica, Le Belle Macchine d’Italia, and the Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance. The 166 MM is offered at RM Sotheby’s Paris sale retaining its original mechanical components, including frame, engine, gearbox, rear axle, steering box, and all carburetors, as well as most of its original bodywork. With a fascinating history, 0272 M would be an exceptional acquisition to show, drive and enjoy at the world’s most prestigious concours and vintage racing events.
“A 166 MM is truly a joy to drive - smooth and with plenty of horsepower on tap channeled through its might V-12 and five-speed gearbox,” comments Augustin Sabatié-Garat, Auction Manager, RM Sotheby’s Europe. “The reliability of this particular early Ferrari racer is clearly demonstrated by its long and continuous competition history and incredible originality, further set off by its unique coachwork and Hollywood connection.”
The Paris sale is also set to feature the eighth of just 10 riveted Iso Grifo A3/Cs built for 1964, chassis no. B 0209. Bred with endurance racing in mind (A3/Cs won their class at Le Mans in 1964 and 1965), the example offered in Paris is one of the very desirable ‘riveted’ A3/Cs, made by Carrozzeria Sports Cars of Piero Drogo in Modena. The bodies were made in ‘avional’, a special alloy of aluminum, copper and magnesium that is very light and elastic but difficult to weld, meaning it needed to be riveted in a fashion similar to an airplane.
Finished in dark red over black leather seats, the A3/C was delivered to its first French owner in November 1964 and was quickly sold to Paris resident Jean-Phillippe Smet, better known as none other than the late musician Johnny Hallyday. Beloved throughout France, Hallyday is pictured in and around the car in Paris in late 1964 and early 1965. Following Hallyday’s ownership, the Iso spent significant time in long term ownership, including 24 years in Prince Pierre Sangusko’s castle, and more than 15 years in Michel Hommell’s Manoir de l’Automobile museum in Lohéac, France. It has since been displayed at the 2017 Chantilly Concours, where it garnered the ‘Special Award’ within the Great Musicians’ Cars class, and it comes to Paris with less than 27,000 km covered and having spent its entire life in France.
Sabatié-Garat adds: “The offering of a riveted Iso Grifo A3/C is extraordinarily rare in its own right. Add to that its exceptional French provenance and former ownership by the late, and much loved, Johnny Hallyday, and you have a once-in-a-generation opportunity for collectors. We’re tremendously honoured to bring an important car owned by such a cherished French icon to public auction for the very first time.”
Additional featured highlights for RM Sotheby’s fifth annual Paris sale include:
- 2017 Bugatti Chiron, one of the first 20 examples to be delivered worldwide
- 1993 Bugatti EB 110 Super Sport Prototype, an ultra-rare prototype with unique factory modifications and showing just 3,300 km from new
- 2014 McLaren P1, with numerous McLaren Special Operations custom features and just 6,000 km from new
- 1965 Ferrari 275 GTB Alloy, a matching numbers, Classiche certified example clothed in desirable ‘long-nose’ alloy bodywork
- 2005 Maserati MC12, one of just 50 ever built, and one of six cars offered as part of a private collection entirely without reserve
- 1958 BMW 507 Roadster Series II, highly original throughout and having had just two German owners from new, including single ownership for more than four decades
Coinciding with the world-famous Rétromobile week (7-11 February 2018), RM Sotheby’s Paris auction will be held at Place Vauban immediately after the Festival Automobile International, which runs through 4 February. This exciting event features a stunning display of beautiful concept cars and pays tribute to car designers from around the world. For further information on Festival Automobile International, please visit www.festivalautomobile.com.
For further information on RM Sotheby’s Paris sale, to view the complete digital catalogue, or to register to bid, please visit www.rmsothebys.com. Interested bidders are invited to call RM Sotheby’s London office at +44 (0) 20 7851 7070 to speak with a car specialist.
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About RM Sotheby’s
RM Sotheby’s is the world's largest auction house for investment-quality automobiles. With more than 35 years’ experience in the collector car industry, RM’s vertically integrated range of services, from private treaty sales and auctions (including both RM Sotheby’s and RM Auctions events) 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 February 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 www.rmsothebys.com.