By Katya Kazakina, Bloomberg News with files from Driving
Originally published: June 4, 2015 – Driving.ca
A Ferrari that once belonged to the Pope, two Bugatti Veyrons and a $12-million McLaren F1 are just some of the gems being auctioned
A stunning collection of rare classic cars and supercars is going up for auction this summer and is expected to collectively fetch a record US$65-million.
One of the cars up for auction is a 1998 McLaren F1, estimated at more than US$12-million. The McLaren is part of a private collection of 30 automobiles that includes at least nine Ferraris (one of which is an Enzo that was once gifted to the Pope), two Lamborghinis (including one Miura) and two Bugatti Veyrons that will be auctioned by RM Sotheby’s on Aug. 13.
Only some of the cars being auctioned have been revealed, but others include a 1993 Jaguar XJ220, a 2008 Koenigsegg CCXR, a 2008 Lamborghini Reventon, a 1964 Ferrari 250 LM, a 1974 Ferrari Dino 246 GTS, a 2005 Saleen S7, a 1955 Mercedes-Benz 300SL Gullwing, a 1967 Toyota 2000GT, a 1956 Porsche 356 Speedster, a 2005 Maserati MC12, a 1994 Ferrari F40 LM, a 1995 Ferrari F50, and a 1988 Porsche 959.
The seller is an unidentified collector based in Florida. Sotheby’s is calling this the “Pinnacle Portfolio.” The magnitude of this single-source collection is mind-boggling.
The sale will take place during a six-day annual classic car extravaganza at California’s coastal towns of Carmel and Monterey and at the Pebble Beach golf course. Last year, sales at Bonhams, Gooding & Co., and RM Auctions reached almost US$400-million, a record tally boosted by escalating prices for high- end collectibles.
“The market has remained very strong,” said Ian Kelleher, managing director of RM Sotheby’s, a partnership formed when Sotheby’s took a 25 per cent ownership interest in RM Auctions in February. “People are not sitting on their hands. There are new buyers entering the market and younger collectors whose taste is evolving.”
In May, RM Sotheby’s tallied US$54-million from the sale of a single-owner collection of about 75 automobiles and memorabilia, Kelleher said. Bonhams set the record last year for a single collection sale at US$65.9-million. The August sale in California, estimated at more than US$65-million, is set to smash this record.
The 1998 McLaren F1 for sale in August may establish a new auction record for the model. The record — for a 1997 version – – is US$8.5-million, set at Gooding in 2013.
The McLaren F1 is known as a supercar — the fastest road version of a race car, which aren’t allowed to be driven on regular streets. The version for sale in California is a hybrid between the street McLaren F1 and the McLaren F1 GTR that raced at Le Mans.
The company produced 64 standard road F1 versions, upgrading two of them — including the one for sale — with a higher horsepower engine. Such supercars originally sold for US$1-million each, Kelleher said.
The unusual design features three seats in the front, with the driving seat flanked by two passenger seats and doors that open upwards like wings. The seats are snug and deep, making it difficult to exit gracefully.
“It’s not designed for hefty men,” Kelleher said. “It’s for someone who likes to go fast, someone who likes the sound of the engine. Comfort is secondary.”
Those who own the F1 model include fashion designer Ralph Lauren and comedian Jay Leno, Kelleher said.
“It’s one of the smallest clubs you can be in,” Kelleher said.