A driving passion for automotive excellence… A paramount passion for cars, exotic, antique or collectable is what drives Rob Myers. The original founder of RM Restorations and RM Classic Cars and the leader in the investment-grade collector car market in North America has taken his professional restoration and auction businesses and transformed them into a world renowned group of companies with anticipated annual sales of more than $100 million in 2004. Born in Chatham, Ontario, Canada, Myers received an early introduction to the collector car hobby through his father's surroundings of various antique and vintage automobiles. After years of working on his father's cars, Myers inaugurated the restoration business in 1976, using his single-car garage in Chatham, Ontario – his first professional endeavor. In 1979 the company was officially incorporated. Like all ‘car guys,' Myers has a great affection for his first car, which coincidentally is also the first one he totally restored – a Canadian-built 1959 Edsel Corsair. This experience set the stage for his future endeavors and sparked what has become a love affair with rare and exotic cars of all makes and vintage. 'I started out making repairs, engine and performance upgrades and eventually graduated to bodywork modifications and custom paint,' says Myers. 'By 1980, I was able to open a large, dedicated restoration and sales facility. I was determined to become a successful restoration and sales expert like car legends Bob Adams or Tiny Gould. My ultimate goal at that time was to establish a first-rate restoration shop like the legendary Phil Hill of Hill & Vaughn of Los Angeles, California.' Throughout the 1980s, Myers was actively buying and selling collector cars in association with his first business partner Dan Warrener, while sometimes bringing dozens of vehicles to collector car auctions. At one point Myers brought more than 118 cars to a Kruse International auto auction – most likely still a record today.
The house that RM built… 'We were doing such a large volume of business with other auction companies, something like several million dollars a year, that we finally decided it was time to open our own auction house,' he says. 'After Mike Fairbairn, another passionate ‘car guy' and collector car expert joined our team in 1988, we knew we had a core group of knowledgeable experts and dedicated auto enthusiasts on board to take the company forward. In 1991, we formed RM Auctions, Inc., located in Chatham-Kent, Ontario.' Today, RM Auctions, Inc., has established an enviable roster of prestigious collector car auction venues, including Monterey/Pebble Beach, Meadow Brook, Amelia Island, Toronto, Boca Raton, and the Biltmore in Phoenix. The RM group currently employs approximately 80 staff throughout the restoration facility, its dedicated automotive transport business, international sales division and RM Auctions, now the world's largest vintage automobile auction house. Each year the company is responsible for setting many of the world's top ten vintage automobile sales records. Some of the company's significant highlights include a 1962 Le Mans winning Ferrari Testa Rossa 330 TRI/LM that sold for a record breaking $6.5 million, a Shelby Cobra Daytona Coupe for $4.4 million, a Mercedes-Benz 540K roadster for $3.6 million, a rare Alfa Romeo Tip B race car for $2.1 million, a Ferrari 250 LM for $2.3 million and an ex-Fangio Ferrari 860 Monza racer for more than $2 million. 'Our philosophy is to surround ourselves with successful, highly skilled and knowledgeable car people,' says Myers. 'It's the people that grow any business and we're definitely a company of 'car people.' We're all enthusiasts. We know our business in depth – all types of cars from all eras – and we're extremely proud of the reputation we have established, both with our clients and in this industry.' The future of the past… An extensive advertising schedule with most collector car related publications has increased awareness of the RM Group of companies on an international level. The prestigious auction events themselves continue to generate interest from major television networks including CNN, MSNBC, HDTV and Speed Channel, in addition to extensive editorial coverage in national business and lifestyle publications such as Fortune, Forbes, Wall Street Journal, New York Times, Robb Report, Dupont Registry, and Popular Mechanics. Auction attendance has grown significantly with sales attracting the interest of over 150,000-targeted visitors annually. Over 500,000 promotional catalogs and brochures for these events are produced each year in-house and distributed to qualified buyers and sellers from all corners of the globe. RM's informative website continues to attract hundreds of thousands of car enthusiasts and media annually for its event information, and auction sales results.
Award winning investments… It is estimated that only 20 percent of investment quality collector cars ever reach the auction block, while the remaining represent a potential inventory worth billions of dollars. Coupled with an increasing demand for rare cars and world-class restoration services the company is well positioned to sustain its exponential growth. The products and services of the RM Group continue to garnish international awards and accolades including the world famous Pebble Beach, 'Best of Show' in 2004 for the 1938 Horch 853A Erdmann & Rossi Sport Cabriolet. While the company continues to build on established auction events, their reach and leverage in new niche markets will also contribute to the vision and strategy of future growth of RM's North American operations. The collector car industry has grown by leaps and bounds over the last 25 years. Today there are many less speculators and more people getting into the hobby for the pure enjoyment. The hobby of collecting cars has received much more press and promotion, especially over the last 10 years, due to new TV shows, car events and car clubs that have fueled the industry's growth. When asked about specific investment cars, Myers offers some advice. 'I believe that the great, rare and beautifully styled classics and sports racers from the 30's through 50's will continue to do well.' Automobiles with a low production run, unique style and originality will always be a safe bet. It is also important to keep in mind that a great investment is usually made on the 'buy' side. If a car brings you great pleasure to own and drive, than it will be a great investment for you.'