If you thought last year’s sum ($306 million) of Monterey Car Week auction totals was difficult to comprehend, then you’ll need a cool cloth on your head to wrap your brain around the fact that this year’s collection of six auctions realized over $450 million in total sales. As with previous auctions this year, the bulk of that increase can be found in high-end Ferraris with over 39 examples from the Maranello constructor fetching over $1 million and nearly six of those yielding more than $10 million apiece! A brief overview of each auction includes:
Bonhams- With the consignment of a collection of select Enzo-era Ferraris—including a much anticipated 250 GTO—it is perhaps no surprise that this year’s Quail sale set a record for the company with $108 million of total sales and a 92% sell through rate.
The car everyone was watching was the 1962 250 GTO formerly of the Maranello Rosso collection, which pundits were suggesting could fetch as high as $78 million, based on the private sale of another GTO earlier in the year for $52 million. As such, the pundits were surprised and a little disappointed when the GTO ended up selling for $38 million, despite this being a new world record for a car being sold at auction. However, considering the car’s history and the fact that it was severely damaged in Henri Oreiller’s 1962 fatal accident, the price attained was probably more realistic and, in fact, was squarely within Bonhams’ pre-sale estimate. Other significant Ferrari sales included a 1958 250 GT Series 1 Cabriolet for $6.82 million and a 1973 Daytona Spider for $2.64 million.
Gooding- Gooding & Company generated more than $106 million at its Pebble Beach Auction, during Classic Car Week. During the two-day sale, Gooding sold 107 of 121 lots, which resulted in an 88% sell through rate, with an average price of $990,699 per car and 30 cars selling for over $1 million. Auction records were broken with 16 cars including a 1961 Ferrari 250 GT California Spider selling for $15.2 million, a 1955 Aston Martin DB3S selling for $5.5 million and a 1956 Maserati 250F hammering for $6.62 million.
Mecum- Mecum’s daytime auction saw an unprecedented 645 vehicles cross the daytime’s auctions block with $34.7 million in total sales. Six cars surpassed the million mark with the top lot of the sale going to a 1961 Ferrari 250 Cabriolet Series II selling for $2.25 million. Other significant sales included a rare 1972 McLaren M20 Can-Am selling for $2 million, while a 1930 Duesenberg Model J Torpedo Berline Convertible for $1.43 million.
Rick Cole- Rick Cole returned to the Monterey peninsula this year with a new auction concept, that got rid of a “live” auction and allowed potential buyers to bid from anywhere via their smartphones. When the bidding closed Cole sold a reported 24 of 37 lots for an impressive $25.5 million. However, at the time of closing, his headlining car, the 1955 Ferrari 410 Sport, had not sold but was in post-sale negotiations. Later, Cole confirmed the sale of the 410 for a reported $23million bringing the total of his “low key” sale to a stunning $48.5 million.
Russo and Steele- Russo’s waterfront auction this year saw 101 of 185 lots sell for a grand total of $12.2 million, a significant (74%) increase over last year’s Monterey sale. Top lots of the sale were a pair of Mercedes-Benz, a 1956 Gullwing selling for $1.32 million and a 157 300 SL roadster selling for $1.21 million.
RM Auctions- Top auction of the week, based on total sales, was RM’s two-day sale, which hauled in an astounding $143.4 million with a 91% sell through rate. With 20 cars selling over $1 million, the top three lots of the sale were, of course, Ferraris with the 1964 275 BTB/C Speciale fetching $26.4 million, while a 1964 250 LM brought $11.5 million and a 1967 275 GTB/4 sold for a remarkable $10.1 million. Other significant sales included a 1965 Ford GT40 roadster prototype for $6.9 million and a 1911 Mercer Raceabout for $2.5 million.