Original Article – Car & Driver
August 18, 2015by Rusty Blackwell | Photography by Gooding & Company, Mecum Auctions, RM Auctions
There was plenty of money being waved around in Monterey, California, last week, particularly on the various auction blocks around the Peninsula. We shared lists and photos of the top 10 sales from each of the four days of auctions, and now we’ve gathered the top 25 from the entire weekend, which includes two new additions—a Porsche RS60 racing car and a Ferrari California Spider that were each sold post-block following no-sales during the live bidding.
According to Hagerty Insurance, which had employees in the crowd at each of the live auctions, at least 805 cars were sold for a total of more than $400 million. RM Sotheby’s brokered the most—$172.7 million with 126 cars. Gooding & Company edged out RM with a median sale price of $440,000, versus RM’s $420,750. Mecum Auctions moved the highest volume of cars, 335, but that was only 51 percent of the lots it offered. Bonhams had the highest sell-through rate, at 88 percent. Russo and Steele as well as newcomer JR-Auctions proffered more affordable cars, to the tune of $38,500 and $26,950 median sale prices. Rick Cole Auctions, which had cars (including this 1969 L88 Corvette) on display in Monterey but utilized online-only bidding, has yet to report its results to Hagerty.
Without further ado, these are the 25 priciest cars sold at auction in Monterey this year:20. 1965 Ferrari 500 Superfast Series I, sold for $3,025,000 (Gooding)
This big-engined Ferrari has a 5.0-liter V-12 that was said to be good for a top speed of 170 mph. Naturally, the original owner was Prince Sadruddin Aga Khan, “a gentleman of incomparable wealth, taste, and influence,” according to Gooding. 17. 1934 Packard Twelve 1108 Dietrich sport sedan, sold for $3,630,000 (Gooding)
We’d have a hard time arguing with Gooding’s statements that this rare Packard body style resulted in “arguably the most attractive closed automobiles of the prewar era” and that this is “arguably the most beautiful classic-era Packard.” If you still had money during the Depression, you flaunted it, and this now-restored, Dietrich-bodied sedan remains among the classiest ways to show off your wealth in the 21st century. 16. 1967 Ferrari 275GTB/4, sold for $3,877,500 (Gooding)
Famed Ferrari dealer Luigi Chinetti took a Lamborghini Miura and a Maserati Ghibli on trade-in from this car’s original owner. This unrestored coupe took second-in-class at Pebble Beach in 2013 in the Postwar Preservation class. 13. 1957 Ferrari 410 Superamerica Series II (open headlight), sold for $5,087,500 (Gooding)
Clearly Shah Reza Pahlavi of Iran had very good taste, because he was the first owner of this gorgeous Grigio Metallizzato over red coupe. According to Gooding, he and his wife, Princess Soraya, “developed a love for Ferraris” when they “were exiled to Italy in 1954.” Soon after, they collected the car from Enzo Ferrari himself; she got the car in a divorce and kept it for about a decade. Since the mid-1970s, it has graced concours d’élégance all over America. 12. 1960 Porsche RS60, sold for $5,400,000 (Gooding)
This car didn’t sell on the auction block (and thus wasn’t in any of our daily recaps), but Gooding has since found it a happy new owner. This Spyder’s first job was as a works racing car, and it was piloted by the likes of Jo Bonnier, Dan Gurney, Hans Herrmann, Graham Hill, Bob Holbert, and Stirling Moss at tracks such as Le Mans, Sebring, the Nürburgring, Nassau, and Mosport. (Talk about provenance!) While leading the 1961 Targa Florio with Moss behind the wheel, this magnificent mid-engine Porsche’s differential seized on the last lap, foiling a near-certain victory. Nonetheless, its significance is undisputed. 7. 1982 Porsche 956, sold for $10,120,000 (Gooding)
As a Porsche works racer, this marvel took overall victories at Le Mans, Spa, Fuji, Brands Hatch, and Kyalami in the hands of drivers Jacky Ickx, Jochen Mass, Derek Bell, Al Holbert, Hurley Haywood, and Vern Schuppan. Need we say more? 3. 1962 Ferrari 250GT SWB Speciale, sold for $16,500,000 (Gooding)
Nuccio Bertone, head of Carrozzeria Bertone, was this car’s first owner; he co-designed it with a young Giorgetto Giugiaro. This sultry one-off was shown at Geneva and Turin when new and was featured at the Pebble Beach Concours d’Élégance in 1982, 1997, and 2003. 2. 1961 Ferrari 250GT California SWB Spider (closed headlight), sold for $16,830,000 (Gooding)
The fact that this car was originally painted metallic blue and had a red leather interior—a charming change of pace in the red-over-tan sea of Ferrari-dom—doesn’t seem to have hurt its value, although Gooding’s description of the car more or less encourages the next owner to return it to its original colors. (Naturally, it was painted resale red by a car dealer in New York in the late 1960s, pretty much as soon as it was brought over to the States and traded in on a new Jaguar E-type.) In any case, California Spiders are among the most desirable cars on the planet, and this example’s closed headlights and short wheelbase add to the appeal.