New Yorkers have been able since June 3 to admire in the company’s Upper East Side headquarters a marvelous piece of automotive technology – a multi-million-dollar orange eye candy, an original 1998 McLaren F1 supercar.
The sports car has already been attracting a crowd, from men in Italian suits, leather jackets to doctors from a nearby hospital – with the car estimated to be worth at least $12 million being part of a private collection of 30 autos that will go under the auctioneer’s hammer on August 13. The astonishing private collection also includes nine Ferraris, two Lamborghinis and two Bugattis, with the current owner being a mysterious collector from Florida. The million dollar sale will be part of a six-day annual classic car extravaganza at California’s coastal towns of Carmel and Monterey and at the Pebble Beach golf course. Last year sales made by Bonhams, Gooding & Co., and RM Auctions registered a record total of close to $400 million as the high-end collectibles have been constantly gaining in value and posted higher than ever prices.
“The market has remained very strong,” comments Ian Kelleher, managing director of RM Sotheby’s, established after Sotheby’s acquired 25 percent of RM Auctions this February. Bonhams last year set the record for a single collection, which sold for $65.9 million and the new collection being presented in August is widely expected to post a new high. Also, the 1998 McLaren F1 available is expected to top the record selling price for the model, set back at Gooding in 2013.