We're fanatical about great design; timeless design. Meticulous and considered making. The processes and polished results of dedicated and passionate craftsmanship – the creation of near, if not, absolute perfection. The motoring world is abundant with examples of artistic and technical ingenuity, a reason being why we regularly turn to cars when seeking inspiration for our collection.
Of particular interest was the recent Rétromobile show week in Paris; a highlight of our attendance being RM Sotheby's Fifth Annual Sale. Presenting the finest sports, racing and touring cars from both pre- and post-war periods, the sale was a supercharged showing of mastery in design.
Held in the exquisite grounds of Place Vauban, the sale achieved a total of €23,745,225 with 83 percent of the 84 lots successfully sold . Demonstrating continued interest in low-production modern-era hypercars, a 2017 Bugatti Chiron was the night's top seller, while a 2005 Maserati MC12, one of fifty ever built, came in second. Naturally, what we personally admired most was the event's more classic showpieces. Below we present three of our favourites – each a truly magnificent display of 70’s craftsmanship and design:
1970 Maserati Ghibli 4.7 Spyder by Ghia
Photos credited to Kevin Van Campenhout, courtesy of RM Sotheby's
Sold for €708 125
The Ghibli Spyder is considered by many to be one of the finest open grand touring cars Maserati has ever produced. Designed by the brilliant Giorgetto Giugiaro whilst working for Ghia, the Maserati Ghibli was conceived as a luxurious yet sporting GT car that would be ideal for jaunts across the continent. Production of the Ghibli began with a fastback coupé in April 1967, joined by the Spyder in 1969. According to information obtained from the Maserati factory, the car was manufactured in December 1970 with a 4.7-litre engine and was originally finished in Verde Gemma over a white leather interior.
While recently having been refinished in black, an inspection shows great authenticity throughout, particularly in the original, correctly coded Borrani chrome wire wheels, which are shod in Michelin 225/70 VR 15 tyres and include a matching spare in the boot. The interior is believed to be wholly original, displaying a well-kept dashboard and seats and is equipped with a Becker Mexico radio with its correct manuals and documents. Although factory information lists the car as originally delivered with an automatic transmission, a five-speed manual gearbox is presently installed, marking a desirable upgrade for sporty driving in true Maserati fashion.
1970 Lamborghini Espada Series II by Bertone
Photos credited to Peter Singhof, courtesy of RM Sotheby's
Sold for €161 000
A Series II Espada finished in Bianco with a Blu leather interior, accompanied by its original Italian libretto, as well as an exceptionally rare original owner’s manual and original tools. As the car had not been run for quite some time, it was fully restored to its original specification prior to the sale. Sent to Robert Fehr, a noted German Lamborghini specialist, this was a true frame-off restoration and no stone was left unturned in bringing the car back to good-as-new condition – an exception being the car’s leather trim that was saved (with only the seat cushioning being replaced) as it remained in pristine condition, retaining an attractive and tactile level of patina to a truly exceptional automobile.
1972 De Tomaso Mangusta by Ghia
Photos credited to Peter Seabrook, courtesy of RM Sotheby's
Sold for €286 250
Looking to create sports cars that rivalled Ferrari and Lamborghini, Argentinian racing driver Alejandro de Tomaso began with the Vallelunga before launching the Mangusta in 1967. Bold styling by Giorgetto Giugiario featured gullwing-hinged covers over the engine and luggage compartment. Its name was a jibe at the Shelby Cobra. Production ended after 401 cars. Today, only 250 are believed to have survived worldwide.
The car features the desirable four-headlight nose. Registered in February 1972, it was originally dark blue with black leather and featured heated rear window glass. It was comprehensively restored in 1997 by a GT40 specialist when the colour was changed to its current red. It retains rare features, including the Ferrero wood and leather steering wheel, original Campagnolo spare wheel, owner’s manual, warranty card, sales brochure, parts catalogue, original keys and fob.
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