Articles: These 8 Classics Caught Our Eye At RM Sotheby’s Villa Erba Sale

These 8 Classics Caught Our Eye At RM Sotheby’s Villa Erba Sale

By Jacopo Villa
June 4, 2015

Photography by Federico Bajetti & RM Sotheby’s

RM Sotheby’s never fails to amaze with its awesome selection of cars. This is a biennial auction held at Villa Erba during the Villa d’Este Concours d’ Elégance, and it’s an additional treat in a series of awesome events: where else do you see a Ferrari 250 SWB Coupé and California, Cabriolet Series I, 288 GTO, F40, F50, and Enzo all together in a few square meters?

Few companies besides RM Sotheby’s can do such a thing. Of all cars that were auctioned, Ferraris were, as always the favored marque during the auction. Nevertheless, here are the vehicles that caught our eye during the sale.

1938 Fiat 1500 B Berlinetta by Touring:

This well-known Fiat Berlinetta was one of the most interesting cars present at the Action. Not “another” Alfa Romeo 6C, this rare and beautiful car is a Carrozzeria Touring masterpiece. Its elegant color combination, straight-six cylinder engine, and its incredibly detailed dashboard make this Fiat one of the prettiest cars offered by RM Sotheby’s. We thought the new owner got a deal at just €162,400.

1939 Lagonda V12 Drophead Coupé:

V12 engines pretty much the most prestigious type of engine you will ever find in a “normal” production car. This pre-war V12-powered Lagonda is a wonderful thing to see, especially when finished in a stunning silver grey and bright blue combination. For 1939, this car was a state-of-the-art piece of technology: the engine was composed by Cromidium, Dralumin, steel, aluminium, and phosphor-bronze. The combination of a powerful engine and fast open air touring body style should make this car an absolute joy to drive even today. Sold for €280.000

1955 Austin Healey 100S:

The Healey Hundred on steroids, the 100S (for the Sebring race track) was developed between 1953 and 1954 and was a lightweight and powerful sportscar. Its engine was manufactured by Morris but had an “Austin” label on it. Still, buyers could expect a number of modifications over the standard 4-cylinder engine on which it was based: it had larger camshaft, bigger valves and forged steel connecting rods. This example presented at Villa d’Este was the seventh produced of the third batch of team cars…of the total 50 produced. With only 39 100S left, seeing an original one an increasingly unlikely event.

1949 Alfa Romeo 6C 2500 Villa d’Este:

One of the most iconic Alfa Romeos of all time. Seeing such a car in Villa d’Este was an unique experience. It was a show-stopper, too: it had a wonderful blue paint over a milk white interior, with matching stitching. What a joy. How is possible for an owner thinking about selling such a car I’ll never know, but it’s always good to see such a car in the flesh. Sold for €784,000

1953 Fiat 8V Vignale Cabriolete:

Fiat is not commonly associated with collector’s cars, and picturing a Fiat model with a potent and racy V8 engine difficult. Ninety percent of Fiat 8V owners will never experience the open air pleasure of such a rare car, and just one lucky owner will both feel the wind and hear the sound of the Fiat 8cyl engine. In fact, this is the only 8V cabriolet in existence, selling for €1,120,000.

1967 BMW Glas 3000 V8 Fastback by Frua:


This car can only appeal to a true connoisseur, and it looked stunning in person. This unique model was produced after BMW had acquired German manufacturer Glas in 1966, and it is one of the few BMW-badged cars to have been designed by a third party, in this case, Giorgetto Giugiaro at Frua. It represented the continuation of the famed 3000 V8 produced by Glas, and this car was to represent a new approach to building a GT car. This car was shown in period at the Frankfurt, Geneva, Paris and Barcelona auto shows, but despite the success it had, it never reached full production. 

1950 Ferrari 195 Inter Berlinetta by Ghia:

Early Ferraris have a charm that few others can match. In particular, this car, which was presented in a stunning color combination of Bordeaux and black, was one of the highlights of the auction. This 195 Inter Berlinetta with a body by Ghia was entered in period in the Liege-Rome-Liege, and it was the fourth of thirty-six Ferraris built by Ghia. A unique find, and an awesome-looking car.

1969 Ferrari 365 GT 2+2:

This particular Ferrari sold for a good price, especially in the rarified market of V12-powered Ferraris. It is a 2+2 Berlinetta Gran Turismo, and it’s also a vintage Ferrari that was sold for less than the manual transmission-equipped 2007 Ferrari 599 HGTE that RM Sotheby’s also offered. Next time you plan to buy your next supercar, be aware of the classic cars you may be missing! Also, this was the one used by Road & Track in 1969. At €246,400 it’s a nice price for a classic V12 Ferrari. 

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Amadeo Destrini
Amadeo Destrini
9 years ago

I am mesmerized by the Fiat Berlinetta! What a truly fabulous example of 1930’s art deco. It is odd looking on one hand but bellisima on the other. We all love the dramatic, sexy ferraris and other sports cars of the past, but this Fiat is captivating. Thanks for the great photos of these unique cars…

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