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1929 Rolls-Royce Phantom I Tourer by Barker. Photo: FLUID IMAGES.

LONDON.- RM Auctions, the world’s largest collector car auction house for investment-quality automobiles, is delighted to announce a stunning series of early highlights for its eagerly awaited sale during the Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este weekend in Cernobbio, Italy, on the 25th of May. 

Returning to the spectacular Villa Erba on the shores of Lake Como, the highly anticipated sale follows RM’s magnificent debut during the Concorso weekend in 2011, which saw the auction generate more than €23 million in sales during two hours of furious bidding. As many as six lots garnered million-euro-plus results during the 2011 event, with two lots surpassing the €3 million mark. This year’s auction is set to continue the momentum, lifting the gavel on an elite, handpicked selection of 40 of the world’s finest automobiles. As established at the inaugural sale, and in keeping with the theme of the esteemed Concorso, entries will represent the ultimate in elegance, sophistication, rarity, and provenance. 

Max Girardo, Managing Director of RM Europe, says, “It will be wonderful to be back at Lake Como and supporting the Concorso d’Eleganza with what promises to be a truly spectacular selection of cars. The Concorso prides itself on being the pinnacle of taste and exclusivity and that is obviously the same ethos underpinning how RM conducts this auction and the cars offered within it.” 

RM has placed a strong emphasis on the world’s most admired marques for its second Lake Como sale, with examples from Ferrari, Cisitalia, Bugatti, and Rolls-Royce leading early consignments. 

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1962 Ferrari 400 Superamerica SWB Coupe by Pininfarina. Photo: Darin Schnabel © 2011 Courtesy of RM Auctions.

For discerning Ferrari collectors, a 1962 Ferrari 400 Superamerica SWB Coupe, chassis 3559SA—a model favoured by the company’s wealthiest customers in period—headlines early entries from the Maranello marque. A well-known, matching-numbers example with Pininfarina coachwork, 3559SA is one of only 36 examples produced in 1962. Stunning in its original Blue Sera Italver paintwork, it features all the most desirable specifications, including covered headlamps and four-wheel disc brakes, and benefits from extensive, recent exterior and mechanical upgrades and full Ferrari Classiche certification (Estimate: €1,900,000–€2,000,000). 

Enthusiasts of post-war Italian sports cars with Mille Miglia provenance will appreciate the early consignment of a 1947 Cisitalia 202 MM ‘Nuvolari’ Spider with fantastic period race history. Chassis 002S MM is generally regarded as the factory prototype and boasts several unique details that set it apart from the other 25 cars originally produced. Extensively campaigned in period by Mr. Dusio, founder of Cisitalia, 002S MM went on to compete in the 1947 Mille Miglia as one of four factory entered cars, where it was driven to 4th overall by Minetti and Facetti. The legendary Tazio Nuvolari finished the same race in 2nd place overall in a sister car, and it is for this reason that the model is commonly referred to as the “Nuvolari Spider” (Estimate: €450,000– €525,000). 

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1930 Bugatti Type 46 Superprofile Coupe | Arizona © 2013 Courtesy of RM AUCTIONS

Bugatti is surely one of the iconic marques of the pre-war era, and any Bugatti coming to market is worthy of particular note. RM’s upcoming Lake Como sale will feature a simply fabulous 1930 Bugatti Type 46 Superprofile Coupe, frequently referred to as the “companion” model to the legendary T41 Royale. Often described as one of the most elegant, imposing, and luxurious of all Bugattis, only 450 T46 examples were built between 1929 and 1933. Chassis 46208 is a matching-numbers car and features a stunning, faithful recreation of the “Superprofile” coupe coachwork, famously designed by Jean Bugatti. The recipient of a well-documented restoration, this stunning yellow and black example won honors at the 2011 Sydney Concours (Estimate: €800,000–€1,000,000). 

It’s fitting that an auction taking place in such exclusive surroundings should also feature a beautiful example from one of the world’s most exclusive car makers. The 1929 Rolls-Royce Phantom I Open Tourer is one of the most stately and refined cars of the pre-war period, with its silky-smooth 50 horsepower engine and four-speed gearbox. Secured for RM’s upcoming Lake Como sale is chassis 820R, a handsome open tourer with coachwork by Barker, and one of the 1929 motor show cars. It was subsequently exported to Kenya, where it served as the official transport for the then Princess Elizabeth, during her state visit to the country in 1952. It was during this visit that she was to learn of the death of her father, King George VI, and of her accession to the throne of Great Britain and the Commonwealth. Striking in its unusual yellow bodywork, which contrasts with the green leather interior, most recently 820R was displayed at the Windsor Castle Concours of Elegance in the UK as part of the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee celebrations (Estimate: €375,000–€450,000.