The Italian tax man got paid when the gigantic Duemila Route collection was sold by RM Sotheby's last weekend.

One of the single biggest car collections ever auctioned in Europe went under RM Sotheby’s hammer last weekend, raising a massive total of €51.26 million ($54.20 million).

A total of 817 lots were sold including 423 cars, 155 motorcycles, 140 bicycles, 55 racing boats, countless bits of automobilia, myriad parts, and a number of vintage bobsleds.

The Duemila Route (2000 Wheels) collection used to belong to Italian private security magnate Luigi Compiano until he was relieved of it - and much more besides - by the Italian government to recoup tens of millions of euros in unpaid taxes.

Compiano was undoubtedly a Porsche fan, accumulating more than 70 of them. And over 60 Jaguars, nearly 50 Ferraris, and dozens of Lancias, Alfa Romeos, and Maseratis. There was even a Pontiac Trans Sport.

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Some of the cars were pristine, some were in severe states of decay, and the rest covered every point in between. There were many race and rally cars in the collection, too.

Compiano’s appetite for “stuff” is truly staggering. According to New Atlas, authorities have also seized and sold a number of properties, a dozen meat slicers, model cars and trains, an heroically huge pornography collection, and two large lots of sex toys.

He may be a criminal, but Compiano would certainly be interesting company.

Held in Milan, Italy during the Milano AutoClassica show, the RM Sotheby’s sale was huge in every sense. 100 trucks transported the lots from warehouses near Venice to the 200,000 square-foot (18,580 square meters) venue, which had standing room only during all three days of the sale. Five auctioneers worked shifts totaling 30 hours to sell the lots. Some lots required 20 active phone lines, and more than 1,000 online bidders took part.

Ironically for a no reserve sale, there were few bargains to be had, though many lots did represent good value. Top seller was an alloy-bodied 1966 Ferrari 275 GTB/6C that sold for €3,416,000 ($3,618,227), followed by a 2004 Maserati MC12 that went for a record-setting €3,024,000 ($3,203,020).

A 2008 Ducati Desmosedici led the motorbikes, making €70,200 ($74,355), while a 1984 Class 1 powerboat with two Lamborghini V12 engines realized €117,200 ($124,138). And a vintage fire service bicycle went for a massive €10,530 ($11,153).

The strength of the prices is perhaps surprising as most of the cars came with little - if any - paperwork. Buyers also have to wait ten days for their bids to be cleared by the authorities, accruing storage charges in the process.

Bidders from 57 countries took part, many of them from emerging markets, and 83 percent of them were new to RM Sotheby’s. Around half were under the age of 50, as well.

RM Sotheby’s car specialist Augustin Sabatie-Garat said: “It feels like we have achieved the impossible here in Milan this week. The logistical challenges involved with putting this on this sale are mind-boggling, but we have risen to the challenge and achieved results that nobody could have anticipated. The auction venue was busier than we have ever seen in a sale room.

“This sale has proved beyond doubt that the classic car market continues to be very strong with continued interest from all sectors of the market,” Sabatie-Garat added.

Source: RM Sotheby'sNew Atlas

Gallery: RM Soheby's Duemila Route sale

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