On Saturday, October 24, at the RM Sotheby’s Elkhart Collection Auction, the 1957 BMW Isetta, chassis number 509090, formerly owned by me, sold at a hammer price of $31,000. When RM does post the result on their website, the published number will show as $34,720, as they will include the 12% buyer’s commission in the total shown. (This is a tactic that all auction companies engage in, as a way to display an even higher sale number than the hammer price. As they would argue, this is the more accurate representation of the dollars coming out of the purchaser’s pocket. But it’s still not the same as the hammer price.)
While it was no surprise that the car sold (after all, the auction was No Reserve), and even though I had previously estimated a hammer price of $30,000, I had begun to underestimate myself after watching Friday’s live stream, where the majority of cars met, or more typically exceeded, their pre-sale auction estimates. There was a sell-out in-person crowd in Elkhart, plus phone and internet bidding. With few exceptions, cars stayed on the block only for one to two minutes, and the bidding was aggressive and quick-paced. In the Isetta’s case, the pre-sale estimate of $35-45,000 was a tad optimistic.
I’m very happy for the new owner, whoever s/he may be. I hope that the car gets driven and shown a bit more than the previous owner managed to (not) do!
I’ve purposely held back the final few chapters of the Isetta Saga, pending this sale. Watch for the Saga’s conclusion to appear on this site in the very near future. (Then what am I going to write about?)
6 thoughts on “RM Sotheby’s Sells My Former Isetta for $31,000”
Nice work. You WILL certainly find something else to write about, I’m sure.
Hi Mike, haha, yes, that was a bit of a joke…. Yes, there’s lot to write about still. Thanks for reading! Best, Richard
Thanks, Mart! Best, Richard
Very cool that you’ve kept this on your (and our) radar screen. Ideally, you will somehow manage to follow the trail to its next owner. Presumably the ensuing chapters of the Saga will give your readers a idea of how the Isetta’s value has changed over the years since you sold it.
Bob, it was dumb luck that I stumbled across the car for sale! It was those Fiat 8Vs which first drew me to the Elkhart auction. Anyway, yes, watch for the final few chapters of the Isetta Saga, coming soon!