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RM Sothebys and what to consider when buying a Classic Car

Over the past decade, collecting significant cars has evolved into an exercise in connoisseurship on par with collecting fine art–a pursuit that predates the invention of the automobile. In February 2015, RM formed a strategic partnership with Sotheby’s, one of the world’s oldest and most respected auction houses, to become RM Sotheby’s. This partnership adds over 275 years of experience in the auction and private sale of the world’s most desirable fine art and collectibles, as well as appraisals, collection management, financial services, and global marketing. The partnership has proven valuable in further strengthening RM’s role as an adviser, market maker, and financier in the collector-car industry. By working in concert with the Sotheby’s team and its network of 80 offices in 40 countries, RM has established the largest client network of any collector-car auction house in the world.

Here are a few items to consider when purchasing a collectible automobile.

  1. Condition
    Is the car entirely original, or has it been restored? If it was restored, how recently and thoroughly was it completed, and was it carried out to period-correct standards? In what state are the paint, chrome, interior, and other components of the car?
  2. Specification
    Is this the most desirable presentation of this particular model or year? Does it include the best combination of optional equipment? Is it equipped with the most powerful engine? How popular or rare is its color combination?
  3. Authenticity
    How does the car’s presentation today compare to the day it was built? Is it a numbers-matching car with its original engine, transmission, chassis, and body? Can its originality be substantiated with factory records and other documentation?
  4. Provenance
    Who acquired the car new, and is the sequence of subsequent owners known and documented conclusively? Are any of these owners prominent to the extent they might add value to the car? In the case of a competition car, was it raced by any famous drivers, or did it win any notable races? With a road car, did it secure notable awards at prominent concours d’elegance events?
  5. Price
    How do prices compare both at auction and privately for this particular marque, model, and year? How much do condition, provenance, and specification play a part in its value?

Considering buying or selling a collectible automobile with RM Sothebys? Contact me and I will gladly put you in touch with a representative from RM Sothebys!

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