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A 2001 Ferrari could become the most expensive car ever sold at an online auction this week, when it is expected to sell for over $ 4 million.

The sale by RM Sotheby’s is part of a series of online auctions held this month by vintage car makers to replace the auctions usually held in Monterey, Calif., As part of the Concours d’Elegance. Due to the coronavirus pandemic, sales will be almost entirely online this year.

Prices and sales so far suggest that demand for classic cars – especially vintage Ferraris – has held up well throughout the pandemic. The sales force also suggests that wealthy collectors are willing to buy six- and seven-figure cars without inspecting or driving them, which could move more auctions online even after the Covid crisis.

Total vintage car auctions since the start of the year reached $ 711 million, down just 8% from a year ago. And the numbers are likely to climb much higher after the remaining summer auctions.

“People drive more, enjoy their cars more, and are just looking for something fun to do that gets them out of the house,” said McKeel Hagerty, CEO of Hagerty, a vintage car insurance company. He added that with interest rates so low and many rich people benefiting from strong markets and recent asset sales, the financial foundations of the vintage car market are strong.

“When collectors see an opportunity right now, they want to strike,” he said.

2001 Ferrari 550 GT1 Prodrive Rémi Dargegen

© 2020 Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

The big headliner this week is RM Sotheby’s sale of a 2001 Ferrari 550 GT1 Prodrive racing car, which was one of 12 built and which won several races in the early 2000s. between $ 3.9 and $ 4.9 million, which would make it the most expensive car ever sold in an online-only auction.

RM Sotheby’s also owns a bright yellow 1967 Ferrari 275 GTB / 4 from Scaglietti which is estimated to sell for between $ 2.5 million and $ 2.75 million. And he has a striking 2014 Pagani Huayra – one of 100 bespoke copies produced between 2011 and 2016 – that could fetch as much as $ 2 million.

967 Ferrari 275 GTB / 4 by Scaglietti

Darin Schnabel © 2020 Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

“The number of cars sold this summer may be down, but the prices haven’t taken a hit,” said Kenneth Ahn, chairman of RM Sotheby’s.

The current record for a classic car sold online is held by another Ferrari – a 1966 Ferrari 275 GTB Long Nose that cost $ 3.08 million at a Gooding & Co. online auction on the 7th. August. The auction totaled $ 14.5 million. with five cars sold for $ 1 million or more, including a 2003 Ferrari Enzo, a 1995 Ferrari F50, and a 1934 Duesenberg Model J Town Car.

“The demand for quality cars has not abated in these uncertain times,” said David Gooding, president and founder of Gooding & Co.

The move to online has helped attract young buyers to classic cars. Ahn said the average age of bidders at RM Sotheby’s has fallen by a decade this year, to between 50 and 60, with buyers in their 40s also becoming much more active. Analysts say millennials are the engine of growth as well, pushing up the prices of ’90s cars as well as vintage four-wheelers, Ford Broncos and vintage vans they can use on trips.

To improve their online sales, auction companies have added more detailed photographs and videos of the cars as well as more interactive features.

2014 Pagani Huayra

© 2020 Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

“Younger buyers go on their phones first,” Hagerty said. “So auction companies and dealers present cars in a more modern, consumer-grade way. “

The big question for the industry is how it changes after Covid. The world of classic cars has always been built around events – large gatherings of collectors, auction houses, enthusiasts and corporate sponsors across the country. While selling cars online is cheaper, allowing auction companies to reduce costs and fees, online sales cannot replace events.

Many expect that after the pandemic, physical auctions will be smaller and online sales will continue to deal with cheaper and more commonplace vintage cars.

“I think you might see the physical bids go down after that,” Ahn said. “But the social aspect of the car collection, with people coming together with other car collectors, is very important. So I think it will come back.”

2001 Ferrari 550 GT1 Prodrive Rémi Dargegen

© 2020 Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

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