Hypercar Auction Mania
Factors Fueling Auction Mania On 5 High-Profile Hypercars
By Robin Jay
What do His Holiness Pope Francis, Apple Icon Steve Jobs, Grand Prix winner Michael Schumacher, Italian legend Enzo Ferrari, American muscle-car designer Carroll Shelby, and former frozen chicken business tycoon Christian von Koenigsegg have in common? Collectors are grappling to get into their cars – and willing to pay handsomely for the privilege. Automobiles owned by these icons of faith, technology and speed have, or will soon hit, auction blocks (some to benefit charities), with bidders registering in droves. Quick – get your bidding paddles!
What Sparks The Bidding Frenzy?
If you’re wondering what motivates bidding wars that bring a king’s ransom at high-profile hypercar auctions, we’ve uncovered four key influences: First, there’s the basic economic principle of supply and demand. These high-tech mega-machines are typically handmade and produced in very small quantities, rendering them rare mechanical works of art and tangible portfolio assets.
Second is the desire to sit in a seat once owned by someone of historic greatness – as if, somehow, the provenance might project similar qualities onto the new owners. A third influence, extreme speed and an engine-revving purr of power can spur one’s quest to splurge on a rare sports car. After all, supercars can exceed thousands of horsepower and hundreds of miles per hour, sparking an adrenaline rush at just the idea of owning and mastering a vehicle so potentially dangerous and life-threatening. A fourth scenario comes from behavioral scientists who say .there’s another factor that plays a significant role in a person’s supercar attraction: primal instinct.
“Using evolutionary psychology as a theoretical framework…conspicuous consumption serves as a means by which men communicate their social status to prospective mates,” wrote scientists Gad Saad and John G. Vongas in a 2009 issue of the empirical research journal Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Process. “… [Our] Study 1 reports that men’s testosterone levels increased and decreased…after driving an expensive sports car and an old family sedan, respectively.”
5 Supercar Auctions Making Headlines
Whether you have the purse to purchase a collectible supercar or simply appreciate the fine artistry, engineering and performance, you’ll enjoy this look at a few select high-profile hypercars that have been, or soon will be, up for sale to the highest bidder.
1. The Last LaFerrari Aperta Fetches Record Price For Children’s Charity
On September 9, 2017, Ferrari set a record when the very last (210th unit) LaFerrari Aperta sold for a staggering $7.9 million at auction during the Prancing Horse’s 70th Anniversary celebrations at the Fiorano circuit. Proceeds benefited ‘Save the Children’, an organization that helps disadvantaged children in more than 120 countries worldwide.
According to RM Sotheby’s, the hybrid LaFerrari Aperta is ‘the result of seven decades of ingenuity…that embodies every aspect of the company and its founder, the late Enzo Ferrari.’
2. The Most Valuable British Car Ever Sold At Auction: A 1956 Aston Martin DBR1
At its flagship Monterey sale on August 18–19, 2017, the RM Sotheby’s highlight was the sale of this legendary 1956 Aston Martin DBR1, chassis no. 1, which achieved $22,550,000. The sum set a world record not only for an Aston Martin, but also for any British automobile at auction. Arguably the most important Aston Martin ever produced, DBR1/1 carries a racing history that includes overall victory at the 1959 Nürburgring 1000 KM, as well as the greatest names in motorsport, from Carroll Shelby to Jack Brabham, Roy Salvadori, and Sir Stirling Moss.
3. Steve Jobs’ BMW Z8 Sold At New York ‘Icons’ Sale December 6, 2017
BMW’s most iconic car of the 21st century, this Z8 went to RM Sotheby’s ICONS sale in exemplary condition, having just 15,200 miles. It was offered with its proper hardtop and hardtop stand, car cover, owner’s and service manuals, two keys, navigation CDs and, ironically, its BMW-branded Motorola cell phone, used by Jobs. Perhaps unsurprisingly, he was known to have hated that phone.
“Not only was the Z8 the halo car for an iconic brand and the Bond car for a generation, but it caught the eye of the most iconic and influential entrepreneur of our time,” said Don Rose, Car Specialist, RM Sotheby’s. “Jobs’ legacy is all around us, with over one billion iPhones sold to date. However, he only owned one Z8, and this is that car. The BMW is a perfect fit within our ICONS event, while making it difficult to determine whether the icon in this case is the car or the man… I say both!”
4. Lamborghini Huracán Built For His Holiness Pope Francis To Be Auctioned For Charity In May 2018
Donated to Pope Francis by Automobili Lamborghini, this 2018 Huracán was custom built in homage to the Vatican. The special edition model pays tribute to the Vatican City flag colors, painted in Bianco Monocerus with Giallo Tiberino details.
RM Sotheby’s will offer this one-of-a-kind supercar at its biennial Monaco sale, May 12, 2018, without reserve, with all proceeds to be donated to the Holy Father, who will allocate them accordingly to the Vatican’s preferred charitable organizations. For further information on the Lamborghini, please visit www.rmsothebys.com.
5. The Customer-Build Koenigsegg Regera – The First Fully Robotized Supercar – Now Sold Out
Any megacar enthusiast worth his salt knows Koenigsegg Automotive in Ängelholm, Sweden, has traditionally built the world’s fastest production cars since the brand’s inception. The Koenigsegg Regera continues the tradition, but with technology that produces outrageous speed, impeccable comfort, and a unique Direct Drive powertrain. The unrivaled system produces 670 horsepower and a breathtaking acceleration rate of zero to over 400 km/h in just 20 seconds. This power-to-weight ratio has never been seen in a road-legal electric drive system prior to the Regera.
But before you ring your investment banker and suit up in your racing gear, know this: Koenigsegg has recently announced the factory’s full allocation of custom-build Regera models has sold out! There’s no known auction date for one of these rare megacars to hit the secondary marketplace, but keep your eyes peeled and your fingers crossed if you dream of owning one, as a future auction-house sale is likely the only way you’ll ever get your hands on one.
“The Regera is a new high watermark for Koenigsegg Automotive,” said company founder and CEO, Christian von Koenigsegg (yes, he’s also the frozen chicken business tycoon we mentioned at the beginning of this story). “It has been our greatest technical challenge and, as such, it is also our greatest technical triumph.”