Monterey Car Week Notches World, Marque and Model Records
First place, start to finish!
This year’s Monterey Car Week in August – auctions, shows, concours and car camaraderie ––ascended the podium again.
At RM Sotheby’s, a 1962 Ferrari 250 GTO became the highest selling car ever at auction, generating an astounding $48,405,000 million. And, at Gooding & Company’s 15th annual Pebble Beach Auctions, a 1935 Duesenberg SSJ, is now the most valuable pre-war car ever sold at auction, bringing $22 million. Another Duesy, a 1931 Model J SWB Sport Convertible Sedan, was the top seller at Worldwide Auctioneers Pacific Grove event at $1.32 million.
For the 21st annual Bonhams Monterey, classic European sportscars dominated, led by a magnificent 1948 Alfa Romeo 6C 2500 Competizione Berlinetta, $3,525,000, and a rare 1937 Mercedes-Benz 540K Sports Roadster which sold for $3,277,500.
Topping Mecum Auctions’ 10th annual daytime event was a 1933 Duesenberg Model J Convertible Coupe Disappearing Top Roadster (Lot S93), which brought $3.85 million, followed by a 307-mile 2014 hybrid-drive Ferrari LaFerrari (Lot S111), $3.19 million.
And Drew Alcazar, after racing at Laguna Seca during the day, sold the first unencumbered 2007 Ford GT at public auction during his 18th Russo and Steele Monterey auction for $1,540,000.
A 1953 Lancia Aurelia PF200C, owned by Anne Brockinton Lee of Nevada, was the Rolex Circle of Champions “Best of Show” at The Quail, A Motorsports Gathering, and Best in Show at the week’s culminating Sunday event, the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance® was a 1937 Alfa Romeo 8C 2900B Touring Berlinetta, from the garage of David and Ginny Sydorick, Beverly Hills.
And, the week’s other events, RetroAuto, Concours Italiano, the Carmel Mission Classic and the Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion, also provided hours of racing thrills and car-culture excitement for thousands of attendees.
“It was another amazing Car Week for Monterey County. This series of events draws visitors and attention from around the world and is a cornerstone for our destination’s hospitality industry,” says Tammy Blount-Canavan, president and CEO for the Monterey County Convention & Visitors Bureau. “Our organization paid particular attention this year on ensuring visitors were prepared to be responsible guests with our Sustainable Moments initiative, which focuses on protecting our region.”
Europe Shimmers at Bonhams and Mecum Posts Record Increase
Bonhams, the longest continuous auction on the Monterey Peninsula, returned, per tradition, to the Quail Lodge & Golf Club, Carmel; the event was held with The Quail, A Motorsports Gathering 2018.
Auctioneers Malcolm Barber, James Knight and Rupert Banner offered 135 cars and delivered a 82-percent sell-through for a total of $37.7 million. The Walter and Emily Mead and Robert Koons collections were totally sold.
Other European sportscars included a 1960 Ferrari 250 GT Series II Cabriolet that achieved an auction model-record $1,682,500. A 1953 SIATA 208 S Spider –– one of 37 built –– attracted $1,655,000; the surviving-example 1928 Bentley 6½-Liter Open Sports Tourer by Barker, $1,655,000; and a 1948 Talbot-Lago T26 Record Sport Coupe de Ville, featuring one-off Saoutchik coachwork, brought $962,000.
Porsches were led by a 1996 911 GT2 Clubsport, $1,105,000; 1997 993 Turbo S, $489,000; 1989 930 Turbo “Slantnose” Cabriolet, $456,000; and a 1991 964 Carrera 4, $156,800, a world auction record for the model.
America wasn’t left out at Bonhams with the sale of a 1921 Stutz Series K Bearcat –– in one family since new –– to an American collector for $478,000, a new auction record. All prices include buyer’s premium.
“Our strength as an international business brought a carefully curated selection of cars together, which was appreciated by an equally broad cross-section of buyers,” says Banner, Group Motoring director for London-based Bonhams. Jakob Greisen, vice president of US Motoring, adds, “Fresh to market cars and especially cars with documented provenance were a key focus, and collectors responded enthusiastically.”
The three-day Mecum Auctions posted a 38-percent increase in total sales, reaching $47 million –– the highest-grossing Monterey auction in Mecum’s ten years on the peninsula. In all, 394 exceptional autos were sold by the Walworth, Wisconsin-based company.
A 2003 Ferrari Enzo (Lot S48.1) brought $2.86 million and a 1989 Porsche 962 (Lot S126) attracted $2.2 million. Another Duesenberg among the top sales was a 1929 Model J Convertible Sedan (Lot S116.1) from the Academy of Art University Collection, $1,155,000 million.
Two other stars, off and on the track, were the 100th Indy 500-winning 2012 Dallara DW12 Honda Indy Car (Lot S90), which fetched $1.127 million. The car was offered with an unusual engine lease agreement allowing the new owner to take possession of the car’s race-winning powerplant.
And, from the movies: The 1985 Modena GT Spyder California (Lot S189) in Ferris Bueller’s Day Off was just the ticket at $407,000.
“Much anticipation along with a very expensive and diverse line up set the stage for Mecum’s 10th year at Monterey. The record result of $47,000,000 in sales perfectly reflects the essence of Monterey, and for the first time ever the Top Ten sellers were all over $1 million each,” says John Kraman, director of Customer Relations and lead TV commentator/ analyst for the company. “The entire Mecum Auctions staff is very proud of this accomplishment and are already planning ahead for next year.”
RM, Russo and Steele
The record Ferrari GTO sale, chassis no. 3413 GT from the collection of vintage racing driver Dr. Gregory Whitten, contributed to RM Sotheby’s two-day total of $157,931,940 –– one of the company’s all-time performances and the highest-grossing auction of Monterey Car Week for the Blenheim, Ontario-based house.
Another highlight was the sale of the one-off 1963 Aston Martin DP215 Grand Touring Competition Prototype, at $21,455,000, the last competition car built during the David Brown era, which contested Le Mans in 1963 with Phil Hill and Lucien Bianchi driving.
The 1966 Ford GT40 Mk II, chassis no. P/1016, part of the trio of GT40s that swept to first, second and third overall at the 1966 24 Hours of Le Mans, brought $9,795,000.
In addition, the 1957 Porsche 550A Spyder sold for $4,900,000, and a 1956 Maserati A6G/2000 Zagato racer, $4,515,000, a new record for the model at auction.
A U.S.-spec 1990 Ferrari F40 attained an above-estimate $1,710,000, and a one-of-25 1998 Mercedes-Benz AMG CLK GTR broke the former record for the model at $4,515,000. A never-raced 2017 Mercedes-AMG GT3 ‘Laureus’ sold for $885,000, with proceeds befitting the Laureus Sport for Good Foundation.
Held annually on the waterfront downtown, Russo and Steele totaled $8.5 million in sales.
In addition to the Ford GT, a fully restored 1984 Lamborghini Countach sold for $308,000, and a 1972 Ferrari 365 GTC/4 $305,250.
“Another Monterey marathon extravaganza is in the rear view mirror and, as always, it was action packed, with clients and attendees alike enjoying our patented ‘Auction In The Round’ on at Fisherman’s Wharf,” says Alcazar, founder and CEO of the Scottsdale-based company.
“I believe I was the only auction owner who raced three cars at WeatherTech Laguna Seca for the morning sessions and then was back on the block at night,” he adds. Among those cars was a 1966 Shelby GT350, which ran in Group 6B – 1963-1966 GT Cars over 2500cc on Sunday.
Worldwide Auctioneers, Gooding & Company
Other top sellers for Worldwide Auctioneers Pacific Grove Auction were a 1962 Shelby Cobra (#20), $990,000; two Duesenbergs, a 1936 Model JN LWB Tourster (#57), $775,500, and a 1922 Model A Sport Phaeton (#60), $260,000.
The Auburn, Indiana-based company also sold two early Locomobiles, a 1916 Model 38 Collapsible Cabriolet (#1), $473,000, and a 1927 Model 90 Sportif (#12), $150,000. Finally, a 1958 Porsche 356A/1600 Speedster (#29) brought $425,000 and a 1939 Talbot-Lago T23 Major 4-Litre Cabriolet (#59), $397,000.
At Gooding & Company’s 15th annual Pebble Beach Auctions, the SSJ was one of 25 cars exceeding $1 million. Built for actor Gary Cooper, this is one of only two of the remarkable SSJs built, and this was the first time one has been sold at auction.
Renowned auctioneer Charlie Ross also gaveled down a 1955 Maserati A6GCS/53 Spider by Frua for the world record price of $5,170,000, and two Porsches also established world records, a 1959 Porsche 718 RSK, $3,740,000, and a 2007 Porsche RS Spyder, the first RS Spyder ever at auction, $4,510,000.
A highlight for the Santa Monica-based company was Admiral Robert Phillips taking a farewell drive in his French Racing Blue 1955 Ferrari 500 Mondial Series II after 58 years of ownership; this brought cheers and a resounding $5,005,000, a world-record auction price for the model.
In addition to enjoying the show-topping Lancia Aurelia PF200C at The Quail, A Motorsports Gathering, more than 5,000 applauded other award-winners among the 250 cars shown, such as the Spirit of The Quail, 1979 Volkswagen Tamiya Sand Scorcher, owned by Dean Lanzante, United Kingdom, and Octane Choice, 1958 Ferrari 250 Testarossa, The Hon. Sir Michael Kadoorie, Hong Kong SAR.
Four special classes included the “50th Anniversary of the Lamborghini Espada & Islero.” This was won for the 1969 Lamborghini Islero, Dr. Perry Mansfield, California, owner.
“The Great Lancias” class award went to John and Suzanne Campion, Florida, for their 1981 Lancia Beta Monte Carlo Turbo.
The “70 Years of the Iconic Porsche 356” class award returned home with Mike Malamut, California, for his 1951 Porsche 356 Pre A Split Window. And, “The Alois Ruf Reunion” class award was given to Bruce Meyer, California, for his 1988 RUF CTR Yellow Bird #001.
Seven manufacturers showcased cars: Polestar showcased its new Polestar 1; Karma Automotive the Revero; Gunther Werks the Sport Touring Porsche 993; Lamborghini the new Aventador SVJ; Rolls-Royce a custom Phantom for businessman Michael Fux; and Hennessey Performance its Venom F5.
“The success of our 16th-anniversary celebration was truly overwhelming,” says Gordon McCall, director of Motorsports for The Peninsula Signature Events. “Because of the support of our sponsors, the gourmet selection of food, the unbeatable program of events and, most importantly, the amazing collector car community, we are continuously proud of how far we’ve come as a staple of Monterey Car Week. We are thrilled to see what 2019 will have to offer.”
A 1933 Chrysler Imperial LeBaron C.C. Sedan, owned by Larry Nannini, was named Best in Show at the Carmel Mission Classic, held at the famous basilica. The other winning cars were a 1967 Buick Skylark GS400 Funny Car, John Lipori; 1957 Ford Thunderbird, Greg Hansen; and Marilyn Messina’s 1967 Silver Shadow Rolls Royce.
“We raised approximately $100,000 for our charities and had approximately 1,000 folks through the gate,” says Frank Dipaoli, co-founder of the annual car gathering. “The blessing of the cars was also very warmly received and welcomed by the crowd.”
The 33rd Concorso Italiano welcomed 800 cars and 8,000 car lovers for its annual “A Celebration of Italian Style” at the Bayonet Blackhorse Golf Course in Seaside.
Some of the winners and classes were a 1960 GT Touring (Lancia), owned by Zachary Schulman North Salem, N.Y.; 1965 Rivolta (Iso & Bizzarrini), Buddy Pepp, Beverly Hills; 1974 Pantera L (DeTomaso), Dennis and Liz Valdez, San Jose; 1982 Countach P400 (Lamborghini), Chris Paphmichael, Louisiana; 1971 Ghibli SS (Maserati), Carl and Glenn Mellinger, Santa Monica; and a 1951 195 Inter (Ferrari), Charles Webb, Stratford, California.
“We particularly want to congratulate Herb and Rose Wysard of Fullerton , California, whose 1951 Alfa Romeo 6C 2500 Super Sport captured the Best of Show award,” says Concorso President Tom McDowell. “Concorso Italiano continues to be a force in the automotive collector and enthusiast world. We are proud to showcase more exotics and collectibles than any other event during Monterey’s Automobile Week.”
A few miles away, the WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca historic races at the annual Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion celebrated the racing heritage of Nissan and Datsun. The event also featured automotive world debuts, a tribute to the great Dan Gurney, two-time Formula One champion Mika Hakkinen demonstrating a 1995 McLaren GTR, a 50-year anniversary celebration of Formula 5000 and the announcement of IMSA as next year’s featured marque on the eve of the sports car series’ 50th anniversary.
“We are pleased with the great turnout from fans and participants alike,” says Brad Littlefield, public relations manager. “It was a fantastic meld of historic racing fans and newer ‘Z’ enthusiasts enjoying everything from cars in the Pre-War era to GTP prototypes from the 1990s.”
Among the Special Awards was the Ken Miles Trophy, for the representation of a vintage car under 1500cc in Cy Yedor’s memory, to Randy Hill, 1956 Lotus Eleven; Henry Ford Trophy, the most significant Ford-powered entry, Joseph Diloreto, Ford-powered 1952 McLaren M6B, Group 5B; The John Fitch Corvette Excellence Award, to a significant Corvette driven in an exemplary manner, Jim Gallagher, 1967 Chevrolet Corvette, Group 6B; and The Phil Remington Award, remembering one of the great mechanics and fabricators, presented to the mechanic who demonstrates exceptional skill, Dave Klem, the Revs Institute; and The Spirit of Monterey, to the driver or entrant who excels in the Spirit of the Weekend, Herb Wetanson.
At Monterey Car Week’s culminating event, The Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance, Sydorick said of his deep blue Alfa Romeo 8C 2900B Touring Berlinetta: “It is a piece of automotive architecture mounted on a Grand Prix chassis that has technology that was top of the line for prewar cars. It’s a wonderful combination. It’s beautiful from top to bottom.” He rode home with two other awards for the classic Alfa: the Charles A. Chayne Trophy and the J. B. & Dorothy Nethercutt Most Elegant Closed Car.
“This Alfa Romeo 8C 2.9 has all that one would wish for in a car: speed, style and, frankly, sex appeal,” says Concours Chairman Sandra Button.
The event brought 209 cars from 17 countries and 31 states on the 18th fairway of Pebble Beach Golf Links. Other Best of Show nominees were a 1929 Duesenberg J Murphy Town Limousine from the Lehrman Collection, Palm Beach, Florida, and a 1948 Talbot-Lago T26 Grand Sport Figoni Fastback Coupé, Robert Kudela, Chropyně, Czech Republic.
This year, the Concours also raised $1.8 million for charity, Button explains. “Through the Pebble Beach Company Foundation, the primary charitable partner of the Concours, these funds will benefit over 80 local charities, impacting the lives of more than 10,000 children annually in Monterey County.”