The auction kicks off the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix 2019 with some insane cars crossing the block.
Earlier in the year, RM Sotheby's and Formula 1 racing announced the two brands would be collaborating on upcoming auctions. The first of which is coming up on November 30 at the Yas Marina Circuit alongside the 2019 season-ending Formula 1 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. Sotheby's is promising "an expertly curated selection of significant Grand Prix racing machines, road-going automobiles with motorsport connections, and blue-chip classics and supercars." We've taken a look at the list of featured lots, and there are some sensational cars ready to across the block.
There's plenty of Formula 1 cars and memorabilia, including a 2002 Ferrari F2002 that was driven by Micheal Schumacher at Imola, Zeltweg, and Magny Cours during his run to take the World Drivers Title that year. That will likely be the most expensive purchase at the F1 auction, but there are some other highlights and we think these are the ones to watch:
Alongside the Grand Prix car and also representing Ferrari is a 1990 F40 and, judging by the chassis number, we last saw this one disassembled and covered in dust in 2004 but has clearly had one hell of a restoration. It's going to be a rare opportunity for someone to own the last Ferrari model personally approved by Enzo Ferrari.
Representing Lamborghini is one of 50 Series I LP400S Countachs. This one spent most of its life in Germany and Switzerland before being overhauled by a Lamborghini specialist. This is the car that changed everything for road-going supercars with its cab-forward and mid-engined layout. This one is complete with the optional V-shaped rear wing and has had work done to give it the same downdraught 40 IDL Weber carburetors as used in the Miura.
Also ranking as incredibly rare and desirable is an Aston Martin One-77. Only 77 were made in 2009, as the name suggests, but there's only 76 left now as one was written off in a crash in Hong Kong. It comes complete on a full carbon fiber monocoque chassis housing a 750-horsepower 7.3-liter V12 engine that Aston Martin claimed was the most powerful naturally aspirated engine in the world at the time.
Another road car, using the term loosely, that has our attention is a Pagani Zonda Aether. Not only is this one of the most powerful Pagani Zonda models built, but also one of the last. It's powered by an almighty AMG 7.3-liter V12 engine making 760 horsepower. If that wasn't cool enough, it also has a manual transmission. This one-off is based loosely on the one-of-five Zonda Cinque Roadsters and is expected to sell for between $4.5 and $5.5 million.
Aston Martin isn't the only British supercar and racing brand represented as there are two Jaguar XJ220 models going across the Abu Dhabi block. One is a low-mileage 1993 road car that, amazingly, wasn't bought until 2000 and ticks all the right boxes for a collector. When it was finally bought, it was picked up with a couple of others by RM Sotheby's. This XJ220 was then sold to someone in the US that stored it, hence why it has under 5,000 miles on the clock. Still, it's recently been shipped back to the UK for a full engine rebuild and complete service by Don Law Racing as well as having new tires and a fuel tank fitted.
The other Jaguar on the ticket is a 1993 XJ220 C race car. Information from Sotheby's is light on this particular one, but if our history is correct, it's an ex-Tom Walkinshaw Racing team car, and number 50 ran along with GT class-winning number 52 at Le Mans in 1993.
Only 918 units of Porsche's hybrid supercar were made, and this 918 Spyder was built in 2015. Until the holy trinity of hybrid cars showed up, the word 'hybrid' was associated with fuel economy, but Porsche isn't in the habit of compromising performance. A naturally aspirated V8 engine provides power, as well as the soundtrack, to the tune of 608 horsepower at 8,700 rpm and 398 lb-ft of torque. Two electric motors deliver an additional 282 hp for a total of 887 hp and an utterly relentless 944 lb-ft of twist.
One of the most coveted sports cars still in existence is the Porsche 911 Carrera RS 2.7 Touring. It may be the ultimate distillation of a classic 911, but its existence was forced by the FIA when engine limitations put a dent in the Le Mans-winning Porsche 917 prototypes. Porsche moved to homologate the 911 RSR but was skeptical it could shift 500 of the RS 2.7. There was so much concern that senior executives at Porsche were issued with them as company cars to get them on the road. However, so much excitement was created by the existence of a new lightweight road-legal Porsche race car that it sold out in a week. In total, 1,580 were built before production ended.
Mercedes calls it "the most spectacular cross-country vehicle of all time," and we call it "a hilarious use of luxury and power."
Inside, the G63 AMG 6×6 are lashings of Mercedes' finest materials and comfort in the snug cockpit. On the outside, it's got six wheels, five lockable differentials, three rigid axles, and is powered by a 5.5-liter twin-turbocharged V8 built by AMG to make 536 horsepower and 560 lb-ft of torque. It's tall, it's wide, it weighs 8,322 lbs, but it will go from a standing start to 60 mph in 7.8 seconds on the road. Off-road, it'll go anywhere it damn well pleases.
Only 80 Diablo GTs were made after it launched in 1999 at the Geneva Motor Show. Essentially, it's a road-legal version of the Diablo race car complete with rear-wheel-drive, an enlarged 6.0-liter V12 engine with 12 individual throttles breathing through the roof scoop, new suspension geometry, and plenty of carbon fiber. Lamborghini claimed it was the fastest car in the world, but still felt it needed to throw in a matching carbon-fiber briefcase for its customers.
Cars like this, a turn of the century V12 supercar with a manual gearbox, are rising in cost so this will be a particularly interesting one to watch when the bidding starts.