Following our last couple of posts, we watched (online) the RM Auction sale of the Bruce Weiner Microcar car collection with great interest, and boy what a sale, it certainly kept our attention and broke several world records.
The sale over two days had both memorabilia as well as cars and this saw toy microcars fetching more than we paid for Mario! The sale obviously generated the same ‘mad’ bidding behaviour we witnessed back in London in the 90’s. After the two days of bidding an unusual 100% sale rate was achieved but as no item had a reserve price this was to be expected. The auction saw $9.1million in sales (30% up on estimate), with many of the car lots achieving over $100k.
We watched the sale on RM Auctions line feed which held up pretty well and we were very grateful to Microcars online who were at the sale and kept their blog updated throughout the day with the hammer prices of all the lots. RM always have a very ‘full on’ almost theatrical style of auctioneering and you felt the excitement online so it must have been to quote the Americans ‘awesome’ to be there. Max Girardo the auctioneer will need a holiday after this, keeping up his enthusiasm for the 200 plus car lots, he’s certainly good at encouraging people to part with their money.
The star lot of the sale was a 1958 FMR (Messerschmitt) Tg 500 Tiger, a microcar with a top speed of a nearly 80mph (although the Subaru 360 beat it on track during the Micro Marathon!). This mini ‘beast’ in a rather fetching rose and black colourway, had an opening bid of $100k and finally went for a staggering $280,000 plus commission.
Apparently one guy brought 20 of cars on the first day, he is reported to have recently sold his business and thought he’d start an instant collection. The sales success was put down to being a ‘one type’ auction which meant that collectors from all over the world were at the sale or on the phone bidding against each other, plus RM did a superb marketing job, including this wonderful video building hype in microcar enthusiasts everywhere.
On a personal note the Multipla went for a hammer price of $57,500 which although a lovely example, seems rather inflated, especially as Multipla’s aren’t as rare as many of the unusual prototypes and small production cars in the sale. Although several examples have fetched high values particularly in the US, maybe we need to take a look at Mario’s insurance! The Subaru 360, a 1970 model fetched $22k so looks like Mario’s ‘brother’ is also increasing in value.
Of the lots we would have liked if we’d won the lottery, as seen in our recent posts, most went in excess of their estimates (we have good taste!), hammer price for the Fuji Cabin $110k, Peel Trident $90k, Jurisch Motoplan Prototype $90k, Inter 175A Berline $140k. The Frisky Family 3 which had an estimate of $15-20k ended up at $50k but the Mazda R360 Coupe and the Autobianchi Special were within their estimates at $25k and $30k respectively so maybe there’s still hope in increasing our family one day!
The top 12 lots are below, prices including commission and tax
1. 1958 F.M.R Tg 500 “Tiger” – $322,000
5. 1959 Goggomobil TL-400 Transporter Pickup “Coca-Cola” – $138,000
6. 1963 Goggomobil TL-250 Transporter “Dubble Bubble” – $132,25
9. 1955 Messerschmitt KR 200 “Vic Hyde” – $115,000
10. 1957 Messerschmitt KR 201 Roadster – $103,500
So at the end of the weekend a big result for the tiny cars, we will have to wait to see what effect it has on the ‘normal’ microcar market but whatever happens Mario is still priceless.