The Abu Dhabi Grand Prix may be a few months off yet, but auction house RM Sotheby's has already started assembling a group of cars for a sale that will coincide with the event.
The first in line are both red Ferraris capable of rattling your teeth at full throttle, but that’s where their similarities end. The second one isn’t exactly roomy, but the first one you couldn’t even fit a bag of shopping into. And that’s because it’s Michael Schumacher’s championship-winning Formula 1 Ferrari from 2002.
So successful was the vehicle in the hands of the German that the only uncertainty that year was who would come second at the end of the season. It was all over bar the shouting with six races to go.
This kind of thing isn't cheap, of course, and the F2002 is estimated to sell for $5,500,000 to $7,500,000, which would be around Dh20,000,000 to Dh27,500,000.
Offered alongside Schumacher’s former ride is a 1990 Ferrari F40, which appeared at the announcement of a partnership between RM Sotheby’s and Formula 1 at the Gulf Air Bahrain Grand Prix 2019 earlier this spring. At the launch event, four-time champion Sebastian Vettel signed the rear wing of the car, which makes a celebrity scrawl on a photograph seem a little lame by comparison.
The F40 has been restored to what the aficionados refer to as Red Book standard, which is a grade certified by Ferrari Classiche, the marque's official maintainer. It only has 1,140km on the clock, so it hasn't been used for the school run too many times. This one is expected to make $1,500,000 to $1,750,000 (Dh5,500,000 to Dh6,500,000).
Third in line is a 1979 Lamborghini Countach LP400, easily the most popular poster car of all time. Its stylings, which came straight out of the Italian design house Bertone, make it instantly recognisable, possibly more so than almost any other car, super or otherwise.
The name came from the Piedmontese dialect and means, apparently, “wow”. Many a small boy (or girl, for that matter) probably uttered something similar when they first saw one in the 1970s, possibly alongside some stronger profanity.
The auction will be the region’s first-ever major international collector car auction, and will take place on November 30 at Yas Marina Circuit, the day before the final race. More lots will be revealed in the coming months.