Neptunus in the driving seat at RM Sotheby’s London Classic Car Auction
RM Sotheby’s are an exclusive collector car auction company originally formed in Canada nearly 50 years ago and now operating from locations across the United States, Europe and the Middle East.
In November 2023 the company was back in London for its annual auction that coincides with the famous RM Sotheby’s London to Brighton Veteran Car Run, the motor world’s most historic event which this year celebrated its 127th anniversary.
Staged in the grounds of Marlborough House, a Grade 1 Listed Mansion on The Mall close to the Royal residences of Buckingham Palace and St James’ Palace, Neptunus were appointed to build a spectacular temporary auction house to showcase the super car collection in an environment that also complemented and embraced the iconic location.
The temporary infra structure needed to be large enough to incorporate 127 Lots that were up for sale including some of the world’s most sought after classic motor cars, along with exclusive memorabilia from the Graham Hill Collection in recognition of the legendary British F1 driver.
The auction was staged on the eve of the London to Brighton Veteran Car Run which attracted 350 pioneering veteran cars and their intrepid drivers and passengers for one of the grand British occasions, organised by the Royal Automobile Club.
A 16-strong crew of Neptunus technicians took just four days to erect over 2,000 square metres of high-end space in which the classic car collection could be displayed for auction. Neptunus also oversaw the installation of floor coverings, interior walling, heating, trackway and toilets to provide RM Sotheby’s with a turnkey solution.
The event site consisted of three Alu Halls with the main structure, measuring 1,760 square metres by 4 metres in height, cleverly designed with clear roof skins and a large amount of glazed side panels to ensure marvellous views of the stunning surroundings.
The event space was open for preview on Friday, November 3rd ahead of the big auction on Saturday evening November 4th.
Neptunus were selected for this prestigious assignment because of the high quality of their product and their knowledge and vast experience of building temporary structures in the grounds of Marlborough House.
The building itself remains a Royal property, though it is leased by the Crown to the Commonwealth Secretariat and today is location for the Headquarters of the Commonwealth of Nations. As a full-time working environment, Neptunus were given an extremely tight time frame for construction and for the removal of all their equipment.
The auction was the 17th year RM Sotheby’s has hosted a sale in London and just the second year it has been held at Marlborough House. The occasion proved a big success with 87% of the Lots sold. The auction highlight auction was the sale of a 1993 Ferrari 512 Testarossa Spider, one of just three built by Ferrari that year, which sold for a record £2,226,875. Overall, RM Sotheby’s reported the auction netted over £14 million worth of sales which is the highest of any single day classic car auction in the UK during 2023.
Commenting on Neptunus’ performance, Event Manager Emilie Baker, said:” It was a pleasure working with Dan (Perry, Project Manager) and the team at Neptunus, onsite but also ahead of the event. The marquee looked amazing, everyone worked so hard, easily adapting to tricky challenges and deadlines. We really look forward to creating a new space with Neptunus soon!”