In early December 2018 RM Sotheby’s announced that it would be offering a private collection of over 140 modern classics and future collectibles, mainly from the 1980s, 1990s and 2000s. This so-called Youngtimer Collection would be offered across four RM Sotheby’s sales held in Paris, Amelia Island, Fort Lauderdale and Essen during February, March and April 2019.

Included in the Swiss, single-owner collection were 34 Mercedes (including 13 pre-merger AMG models), 27 BMWs (inc. 12 Alpinas), 12 Rolls-Royces, 11 Bentleys, eight Porsches and Jaguars, seven Ferraris and four Aston Martins. Japanese marques were well represented with Acura (Honda), Datsun, Mazda, Mitsubishi, Nissan and Toyota, along with the occasional Audi, Cadillac, Chevrolet, Lamborghini, Lotus, Mini, Morgan, Range Rover, Renault and Weismann. Importantly, for the most part the cars were low mileage, expertly cared for and in very good condition. Two thirds of them were originally catalogued as being offered at no reserve, but this proportion later increased to 80%.

Unsurprisingly this unique consignment generated more than the usual amount of pre-sale publicity with automotive websites and social media feeds all going gaga at the prospect. Top Gear’s Chris Harris travelled to a warehouse in Switzerland to view the collection before it was split up and was reportedly so taken aback he became “temporarily paralysed by Optic Nerve Overload”!

With the Youngtimer cars being offered alongside RM Sotheby’s 663 other four-wheeled consignments over the four sales, we thought it’d be interesting to see how they fared relative to the other classics. Would we witness the beginnings of a market shift toward more contemporary collectibles, and would there be any conclusions to be drawn?

(All sales figures quoted are inclusive of buyer’s premium.)

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PARIS 6th Feb

Prices were strong across the 25 Youngtimers offered at the central Place Vauban venue. All but one car found a new home, with 60% of them going for sums within or above their estimated figures. Numerous new benchmark figures were also achieved thus indicating a possible shifting of collectors’ tastes.

2.Paris 060219

The first Youngtimer offered, a Mercedes-Benz 560SEC AMG 6.0 ‘Wide-Body’ (lot 122) provoked a long bidding contest and eventually sold, almost doubling its low estimate in the process to set a new world auction record for the model. Other strong performers included a Porsche 928 GTS (lot 132), an Audi Quattro (lot 154), a Mercedes-Benz E500 Limited (lot 184) and a BMW Alpina B12 6.0 (lot 186), all of which also comfortably surpassed expectations.

Among those that fared less well were a BMW Alpina B7 S Turbo (lot 174) which sold for a surprising €62k short of its lower estimate, and a Morgan Aero Supersport (lot 176) which failed to meet its reserve price.

Mercedes-Benz Finance >>

3.Paris 560SEC
lot car estimate result
122 ’89 Mercedes 560SEC AMG 6.0 wide body €150-200k sold €297,500
123 ’94 BMW Alpina B12 5.7 €175-225k sold €207,000
124 ’88 Ferrari 412 €60-80k sold €66,125
131* ’83 BMW Alpina B9 3.5 €40-50k sold €60,375
132 ’92 Porsche 928 GTS €70-85k sold €138,000
133 ’94 BMW 850 CSi 6-speed €140-180k sold €120,750
134 ’84 Rolls-Royce Silver Spur by Hooper €60-70k sold €50,600
135 ’87 BMW M6 €60-80k sold €57,500
139 ’07 Aston Vanquish S 6-speed €120-140k sold €132,250
145*’ 91 Mercedes-Benz 500SL AMG 6.0 €60-80k sold €44,850
146 ’06 Ferrari 575M Superamerica €575-650k sold €590,000
153 ’83 Aston Martin Tickford Lagonda €90-120 sold €80,500
154* ’85 Audi quattro €40-50k sold €77,625
164 ’89 Aston Lagonda Series 4 €100-120k sold €120,750
174 ’82 BMW Alpina B7 S Turbo €200-240k sold €138,000
175 ’69 Mercedes-Benz 300SEL 6.3 €70-90k sold €69,000
176 ’15 Morgan Aero Supersport €150-200k high bid €110,000
182 ’18 Mercedes G65 AMG Final Edition €250-300k sold €280,625
184*’ 94 Mercedes-Benz E500 Ltd €40-50k sold €86,250
186* ’00 BMW Alpina B12 6.0 €25-35k sold €48,875
187 ’80 Mercedes-Benz 450SLC 5.0 €50-70k sold €48,875
192* ’94 Mercedes-Benz E500 €40-50k sold €57,500
194 ’85 BMW Alpina B7 Turbo €80-100k sold €97,750
195 ’09 Lambo Murciélago LP640-4 €200-250k sold €195,500
197 ’02 Lotus Esprit V8 25th anniversary €60-80k sold €60,375

* No reserve

PARIS STATS

Youngtimers only

Cars offered: 25
Cars offered at no reserve: 6 (24%)
Number sold: 24 (96%) for €3,126,575 gross
Average price: €130,274
Average year: 1993
Sold above high estimate: 8 (32%)
Sold within estimate: 7 (28%)
Sold below low estimate: 9 (36%)

Sale excl. Youngtimers

Cars offered: 60
Cars offered at no reserve: 7 (12%)
Number sold: 41 (68%)

Whole sale inc. Youngtimers

Cars offered: 85
Cars offered at no reserve: 13 (15%)
Number sold: 65 (76%) for €32,104,838 gross

AMELIA ISLAND, FLORIDA 8th March

Among the 142 cars catalogued for this two-day sale were ten from the Youngtimers collection, all of which were offered and sold on the first day.

The very first lot, a Mazda RX-7, set a record for the model at auction, and then every other Youngtimer offered bar a Merc 560SL (lot 104) either met or exceeded its estimate. Another Merc, a 560SEC AMG 6.0 (lot 105), made mincemeat of its high estimate and this was immediately followed by a highly original Toyota Supra Twin Turbo Targa (lot 106) which sparked a contest between numerous bidders in the room and on the phones and eventually achieved a record $173.6k.

6.Fort Lauderdale Nissan
lot car estimate result
101* ’93 Mazda RX-7 $40-45k sold $50,400
102* ’96 Nissan 300ZX Twin Turbo $30-40k sold $53,200
103* ’88 Porsche 928 S4 $55-65k sold $67,200
104* ’86 Mercedes-Benz 560SL $60-80k sold $53,760
105* ’89 Mercedes-Benz 560SEC AMG 6.0 $120-140k sold $179,200
106* ’94 Toyotupra Twin Turbo Targa $100-120k sold $173,600
107* ’95 Porsche 928 GTS $80-100k sold $89,600
108 ’94 BMW 850 CSi $150-200k sold $184,800
109* ’05 Honda/Acura NSX-T $100-120k sold $128,800
110 ’04 Ferrari 575M Maranello $250-300k sold $263,200

*No reserve

AMELIA ISLAND STATS

Youngtimers only

Cars offered: 10
Cars offered at no reserve: 8 (80%)
Number sold: 10 (100%) for $1,243,760
Average price: $124,376
Average year: 1994
Sold above high estimate: 6 (60%)
Sold within estimate: 3 (30%)
Sold below low estimate: 1 (10%)

Sale excl. Youngtimers

Cars offered: 131
Cars offered at no reserve: 70 (53%)
Number sold: 107 (82%)

Whole sale inc. Youngtimers

Cars offered: 141
Cars offered at no reserve: 78 (55%)
Number sold: 117 (83%) for $38,269,040 gross

FORT LAUDERDALE, FLORIDA 29-30th March

Nineteen Youngtimers were sprinkled among the 368 cars offered at this two-day marathon and all were sold, with a dozen of them exceeding their pre-sale expectations.

Youngtimer highlights included a very well-preserved, 3,000-mile 1991 Nissan 300ZX Twin Turbo (lot 3012) which comfortably topped its pre-sale estimate to set a new record for the model at auction. An Aston Martin DBS (lot 1013) also smashed its pre-sale estimate while a one-off Bentley Touring Limo (lot 1017) more than doubled its mid estimate.

Aston Martin Finance >>

6.Fort Lauderdale Nissan

Not so impressive was the quintessentially American Stutz Blackhawk (lot 1020) – part of the collection but not otherwise a ‘youngtimer’ by any definition – which failed to meet expectation, as did the quintessentially European, mid-engined Renault 5 Turbo (lot 3015).

6.Fort Lauderdale Nissan

Day 1

lot car estimate result
1011* ’95 Chevrolet Corvette Indy pace car $20-30k sold $22,000
1012* ’88 Nissan 300ZX Turbo ‘Shiro Z’ $20-25k sold $26,400
1013 ’09 Aston Martin DBS 6-sp $80-100k sold $121,000
1014* ’97 Bentley Turbo R LWB $20-30k sold $48,400
1015* ’08 Cadillac XLR $25-30k sold $33,000
1016* ’82 Chevrolet Corvette $20-25k sold $35,200
1017* ’94 Bentley Touring Limousine $30-40k sold $71,500
1018 ’95 Chevrolet Corvette ZR1 $50-60k sold $47,300
1019* ’90 Cadillac Brougham Limo $30-40k sold $19,250
1020 ’73 Stutz Blackhawk $75-105k sold $55,000

Day 2

lot car estimate result
3007* ’91 Nissan 300ZX Twin Turbo $30-40k sold $66,000
3008 ’86 Ferrari 412 $70-80k sold $82,500
3009* ’93 Jaguar XJR-S $25-30k sold $41,250
3010 ’86 Mercedes-Benz 560SL $50-60k sold $46,200
3011* ’99 Mercedes-Benz SL600 V12 $20-30k sold $38,500
3012* ’90 Nissan 300ZX Twin Turbo $25-35k sold $44,000
3013 ’02 Bentley Continental R Le Mans $120-140k sold $126,500
3014* ’95 Porsche 968 Cabriolet $30-35k sold $37,400
3015 ’84 Renault 5 Turbo 2 $80-110k sold $68,750

*No reserve

FORT LAUDERDALE STATS

Youngtimers only

Cars offered: 19
Cars offered at no reserve: 12 (63%)
Number sold: 19 (100%) for $1,030,150
Average price: $54,218
Average year: 1992
Sold above high estimate: 12 (63%)
Sold within estimate: 2 (10%)
Sold below low estimate: 5 (26%)

Sale excl. Youngtimers

Cars offered: 349
Cars offered at no reserve: 109 (31%)
Number sold: 249 (71%)

Whole sale inc. Youngtimers

Cars offered: 368
Cars offered at no reserve: 121 (33%)
Number sold: 268 (73%) for $23,054,505

ESSEN, GERMANY 11-12th April

8.Essen

With RM Sotheby’s holding a sale at the Techno-Classica show for the first time, almost two-thirds of the original Youngtimer collection was offered at this one auction, with the collection comprising over 40% of the entire sale.

Thus far, 53 of the 54 Youngtimers offered had been sold. To ensure an even better sell-through rate, it was announced three days prior to the sale that the Youngtimers would be offered “entirely without reserve”. So, of the 90 cars to be offered, almost a third of them which previously had a reserve figure now didn’t, and with reserves no longer part of the equation every Youngtimer was effectively guaranteed to sell.

6.Fort Lauderdale Nissan

A Merc 560SEC cabrio conversion (lot 117) went for more than double its high estimate, while another Merc 560SEC AMG 6.0 ‘Wide Body’ (lot 137) which previously had a reserve sold for almost €30k above its high estimate. Others going for strong money included a Rolls-Royce Silver Seraph (lot 165) and a 1992 Range Rover (lot 168).

Among the underperformers was a Datsun 280Z (lot 171) which didn’t even get close to its low estimate, a similarly-afflicted BMW M5 (lot 144) and, most notably, a BMW Alpina B7 Turbo/1 (lot 141). Selling for £29k under its low estimate, the B7 was one of the four Youngtimers sold on the Thursday which had previously had a reserve…

Rolls-Royce Finance >>

6.Fort Lauderdale Nissan

The Friday at Essen saw more than ten bidders raising their paddles for the Mercedes 500 TE AMG wagon (lot 297) – perhaps the most highly anticipated lot of the entire collection. It eventually more than doubled its pre-sale estimate and established a world record for the model. Similarly, a 1984 Merc 500 SEC AMG 5.4 ‘Wide-Body’ (lot 298) also ignited a bidding battle on the second day, also achieving a new record price.

Just over half of all Essen’s Youngtimer lots sold for within or above their estimated prices, which meant that almost half failed to meet their low estimate. Among these was a BMW Alpina B7 Turbo Coupé/3 (lot 217), another Renault 5 Turbo 2 (lot 220), a 911 GT3 RS (lot 224), a Ferrari 412 (lot 296), the one and only Weismann (lot 302) and a 911 Turbo 3.6 (lot 335).

Ferrari Finance >>

12.Essen rears

That one unsold Youngtimer – the 2015 Morgan Aero Supersport (lot 340A) offered in Paris over two months earlier? It reappeared at Essen, and now unencumbered by a reserve figure it sold, albeit for over €60k less than its original low estimate and over €20k less than had been bid for it in February.

11.Essen 5 Turbo

Day 1

lot car estimate result
112* ’92 Jaguar XJS V12 Convertible €15-20k sold €24,150
113* ’01 Daimler Super V8 €18-25k sold €19,550
114* ’96 Bentley Turbo R €20-25k sold €28,175
115* ’79 Rolls-Royce Silver Shadow II €20-25k sold $12,650
116* ’89 BMW 750iL €15-20k sold €10,925
117* ’88 Mercedes 560SEC Cabrio conversion €10-15k sold €34,500
118* ’92 Mercedes-Benz 600SEL €15-20k sold €18,400
119* ’76 Mercedes-Benz 450SLC €18-25k sold €16,675
137** ’90 Mercedes 560SEC AMG 6.0 wide body €90-120k sold €149,500
138* ’97 Mercedes-Benz 600SL AMG €30-40k sold €40,250
139* ’96 Mercedes-Benz S600 AMG €30-40k sold €23,000
140** ’75 Mercedes-Benz 450SEL AMG 6.9 €30-40k sold €43,125
141** ’86 BMW Alpina B7 Turbo/1 €75-100k sold €46,000
142* ’97 BMW Alpina B12 5.7 €30-40k sold €46,000
143** ’84 BMW Alpina B9 3.5 €50-60k sold €51,750
144* ’99 BMW M5 €40-50k sold €28,750
165* ’00 Rolls-Royce Silver Seraph €30-35k sold €47,150
166* ’97 Rolls-Royce Silver Spur €39-40k sold €29,900
167* ’01 Mini Cooper S €20-25k sold €14,950
168* ’92 Range Rover €20-25k sold €40,250
169* ’91 Bentley Turbo R LWB €25-30k sold €23,000
170* ’98 Rolls-Royce Silver Spur limo €25-30k sold €46,000
171* ’75 Datsun 280Z €15-18k sold €8,625
172* ’82 Nissan 280ZX Turbo €15-18k sold €14,950
173* ’92 Nissan 300ZX Twin Turbo €20-25k sold €32,200
174* ’86 Mitsubishi Starion ESI-R €10-15k sold €19,550

Day 2

lot car estimate result
213* ’91 Jaguar XJS V12 €15-20k sold €10,350
214* ’90 Jaguar XJ12 €15-20k sold €8,625
215* ’96 Rolls-Royce Silver Spur €20-25k sold €18,975
216* ‘95 Range Rover €18-25k sold €25,300
217** ’87 BMW Alpina B7 Turbo Coupé/3 €140-160k sold €103,500
218** ’92 BMW Alpina B12 5.0 Coupé €100-120k sold €103,500
220** ’85 Renault 5 Turbo 2 €80-90k sold €69,000
221** ’00 Rolls-Royce Silver Seraph €50-60k sold €78,200
222* ’87 Mercedes-Benz 560SEC €25-30k sold €48,300
224** ’11 Porsche 911 GT3 RS €150-175k sold €138,000
242* ’91 Bentley Turbo R €20-25k sold €17,825
243* ’90 Bentley Turbo R LWB €20-30k sold €17,250
244* ’99 BMW 750i L7 €25-30k sold €23,000
245* ’00 BMW Alpina B12 6.0 L €25-35k sold €52,900
246* ’07 Daimler Super Eight €15-20k sold €29,900
247* ’93 Jaguar XJS V12 €15-20k sold €23,000
248* ’97 Mercedes-Benz CL600 €25-30k sold €28,750
249* ’91 Mercedes-Benz 560SEC €25-30k sold €39,100
277* ’74 BMW 3.0CS €30-40k sold €46,000
278** ’88 BMW M635CSi €50-60k sold €51,750
280** ’97 Bentley Continental T €70-80k sold €90,850
281** ’90 Rolls-Royce Corniche III €50-60k sold €62,100
Full list
lot car estimate result
282* ’90 Mercedes-Benz 560SEL Limo €30-35k sold €54,050
283** ’94 Porsche 928 GTS €70-90k sold €71,300
284* ’98 Mercedes-Benz SL600 €20-25k sold €39,100
285* ’93 Mercedes-Benz S600 €15-20k sold €13,800
286* ’96 Mercedes-Benz S600 AMG Coupé €25-35k sold €18,975
288* ’08 BMW M5 €25-35k sold €29,900
289* ’01 Mini Cooper S €25-30k sold €18,400
290* ’91 BMW 850i €30-40k sold €23,000
296** ’89 Ferrari 412 €80-100k sold €57,500
297** ’79 Mercedes-Benz 500TE AMG €60-70k sold €143,750
298** ’84 Mercedes 500SEC AMG 5.4 Wide-Body €90-100k sold €161,000
302** ’07 Wiesmann GT €170-200k sold €115,000
303* ’91 Bentley Turbo R LWB €30-40k sold €18,400
304* ’87 Rolls-Royce Silver Spur Limo €30-40 sold €28,750
306* ’92 Porsche 968 €20-30k sold €32,200
307* ’91 Rolls-Royce Silver Spur II €20-25k sold €21,850
311* ’10 BMW M5 €35-40k sold €41,400
312* ’92 BMW 850i €40-50k sold €28,750
313** ’89 Ferrari 328 GTS €70-90k sold €59,800
314** ’88 Porsche 928 Koenig €50-60k sold €70,150
316* ’98 Mercedes-Benz CL600 AMG 7.0 €20-25k sold €43,700
317* ’96 Mercedes-Benz S600 Coupé €20-25k sold €14,375
318** ’88 Mercedes-Benz SL560 €50-60k sold €34,500
322* ’90 Rolls-Royce Silver Spur II €20-25k sold €17,825
323* ’84 Nissan 300ZX Turbo 50th Anniversary €20-25k sold €25,300
333* ’88 BMW 635CSi €40-50k sold €32,200
335** ’94 Porsche 911 Turbo 3.6 €150-180k sold €138,000
338** ’82 BMW Alpina B7 Turbo Coupé €90-100k sold €57,500
339** ’15 BMW M5 ’30 Jahre’ €70-80k sold €54,625
340** ’17 Morgan Aero 8 €110-130k sold €92,000
340A**’15 Morgan Aero Supersports €150-200k sold €88,550
341** ’98 Mercedes-Benz SL70 AMG €125-175k sold €161,000
343** ’88 BMW M5 €50-70k sold €57,500
344* ’00 BMW 750iL €30-40k sold €43,700
345* ’91 Bentley Turbo R LWB €25-30k sold €21,275
346* ’93 Daimler Double Six €15-20k sold €23,000
347* ’96 Mercedes-Benz S600 AMG Coupé €20-30k sold €57,500
348* ’94 Mercedes-Benz S600 €25-30k sold €23,000
349* ’92 Bentley Turbo R LWB €30-35k sold €17,250
350** ’88 Mercedes-Benz 560SEL €40-50k sold €24,150
351* ’82 Nissan 280ZX €20-25k sold €16,100
352* ’79 Rolls-Royce Silver Wraith II €20-25k sold €22,425

* No reserve

** Also no reserve but not originally catalogued as such

ESSEN STATS

Youngtimers only

Cars offered: 90
Cars offered at no reserve: 90 (100%)
Number sold: 90 for €3,322,925
Average price: €36,921
Average year: 1992
Sold above high estimate: 34 (38%)
Sold within estimate: 12 (13%)
Sold below low estimate: 44 (49%)

Sale excl. Youngtimers

Cars offered: 122
Cars offered at no reserve: 43 (35%)
Number sold: 89 (73%)

Whole sale inc. Youngtimers

Cars offered: 212
Cars offered at no reserve: 33 (63%)
Number sold: 179 (84%) for $18,669,855

Conclusion

 

So what may we deduce from all this?

The Paris and Amelia Island sales featured the higher value Youngtimers, while both the Florida sales managed to shift a higher percentage of the Collection at or above their pre-sale estimates.

With the highest volume of Youngtimers (all at no reserve), the lowest average value and the lowest percentage sold at or above their estimates, the Essen Techno-Classica sale was a largely a case of pile ‘em high and sell ‘em cheap, at least as far as the Collection was concerned.

So are we seeing a rapid market shift toward more contemporary classics? Well, every car in the Collection was sold, but then the 80% of them offered at no reserve were effectively guaranteed to sell. That said, a majority (58%) of the Collection sold within or above their estimated price ranges so, 1980s-1990s models are certainly becoming more sought after and valuable. This is perhaps best confirmed by a youngtimer not part of this Collection – a 1985 Lancia Delta S4 Stradale (lot 257) with a €450-550k estimate which sold at Essen for €1,040,000.

And therein lies the main lesson. As has been the case for some years now, it’s only the exceptional and outstanding cars that command top money and prove to be the sounder investments, whether they be young or not so young.

RM Sothebys Results Website

ALL FOUR SALES COMBINED STATS

YOUNGTIMERS whole collection

Cars offered: 143
Cars offered at no reserve: 115 (80%)
Cars sold: 143 (100%)
Cars not sold: 0 (0%)
Sold above high estimate: 60 (42%)
Sold within estimate: 23 (16%)
Sold below low estimate: 60 (42%)
Oldest car: 1973 Stutz Blackhawk
Newest car: 2018 Mercedes G65 AMG
Average year: 1993
Least expensive: 1975 Datsun 280Z & 1990 Jaguar XJ12; €8,625
Most expensive: 2006 Ferrari 575M Superamerica €590,000
Total gross sales: €6,449,500 + $2,273,910 (approx £7,313,346)

All four sales excl. Youngtimers

Cars offered: 663
Cars offered at no reserve: 230 (35%)
Number sold: 486 (73%)

All four sales inc. Youngtimers

Cars offered: 806
Cars offered at no reserve: 345 (43%)
Number sold: 629 (78%) for €50,774,692.50 + $61,323,545
(approx £90.8m)

11.Essen 5 Turbo
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