Monterey Car Week

The world-famous Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance is finally upon us. Two huge auctions happen during this week. This year RM Sotheby’s auction is so big that it has been split into two; one purely focusing on the stunning Pinnacle Portfolio – more on that later – and the other on their traditional auction. There is also the Gooding & Company event. These auctions are key to understanding the position of the classic car market with some extremely rare cars likely to be breaking records. The cars are generally immaculate with a typical ‘as new’ look rather than the European preferred style of patina.

For example, a few weeks back we saw Mercedes Pagodas gong under the hammer for around £35,000. Compare this to RM Sotheby’s immaculate 280SL Pagoda, with its lowest reserve set at an eye-watering £113,000!

So, what is getting the Borro office excited? Firstly, there’s the gorgeous 1953 Jaguar C-Type ‘Works Lightweight’, the second of only three lightweights ever built. Its excellent racing provenance includes a 4th place at the 1953 24 Hours of Le Mans. The opportunity to buy one of these cars is truly once in a lifetime and, with its estimate of $9,000,000 – $12,000,000, it will be sure to break records for Jaguars at auction.

1956 Ferrari 250 GT Berlinetta Competizione 'Tour de France' by Scaglietti
1956 Ferrari 250 GT Berlinetta Competizione ‘Tour de France’ by Scaglietti

Classic V12 engined Ferraris are in abundance here and continue to achieve strong gains year on year. Our pick of the RM Sotheby’s auction is this 1956 Ferrari 250 GT Berlinetta Competizione ’Tour de France’. This actual car placed first in the 1956 Tour de France Automobile, making it the actual car that started the legendary TdF nomenclature. This car not only has significant racing pedigree but has also recently won a string of concours events.

‘The Tour de France is the first significant model in Ferrari’s successful 250 lineage – it predates the Testa Rossa, the SWB Berlinetta, the 250 GTO and the 250 LM, and, as such, represents an important milestone in the company’s history,’ says Alain Squindo, Vice President, RM Sotheby’s.

Unsurprisingly, the estimate is available upon request, and you can expect this car to be one of the big sales of the week. If you’re not bidding, make sure you are at least watching the live stream when this car passes through.

Gooding_Lola T70
Gooding_Lola T70

Over at the Gooding & Company auction this lovely 1967 Lola T70 Mk 2 Spyder really caught our eye. Historic motor sport continues to gain in popularity and the lifestyle is more than just racing; there is a huge social scene and it’s a great excuse to travel the world. What you do need is a great car with racing history and desirability to ensure you get invites to race at events such as the Goodwood Revival. This Lola T70 is just that car and at $550,000 – $750,000 this isn’t an unreasonable proposition. In the right hands it also has a real chance at winning races.

Gooding_Porsche 911 3.6
Gooding_Porsche 911 3.6

Remember the film Bad Boys? Will Smith drove a Porsche 911 964 Turbo 3.6, a car that almost every man secretly dreams about owning. This fine example is finished in metallic Midnight Blue and with a sniff over 30,000 miles on the odometer this is the ultimate car for the city slicker. Effortlessly cool, those who know you will be green with envy! Considering the prices of its little brother, the RS, and the fact that the 3.6 Turbo is in fact far rarer – 1436 versus 2282 – the estimate of £300,000 – $350,000 is excellent value.

Mecum_Steve McQueen 911 Turbo
Mecum_Steve McQueen 911 Turbo

RM Sotheby’s and Gooding & Company are not the only auctions happening this week in Monterey, we have also picked out a wildcard entry which comes from the lesser known Mecum Auctions. They are offering Steve McQueen’s very own special order Porsche 911 Turbo. Sadly McQueen passed away in 1980, and this being a 1976 car makes it the last ever special order car he purchased.

Steve’s love of cars and speed is well documented so you will not be surprised to hear that he had this car fitted with a switch on the dash to ‘kill the rear lights in case he was being chased on Mulholland Drive’! The estimate is on application, but we expect this to be the most expensive Porsche 930 Turbo Carrera ever sold.

That just leaves the Pinnacle Portfolio: the most valuable single collection of motor cars ever presented at auction. This selection of modern iconic European supercars has been causing quite a stir since it was announced a few months ago.

1998 McLaren F1 'LM-Specification'
1998 McLaren F1 ‘LM-Specification’

Undoubtedly, one of the biggest prices will go to the 1998 McLaren F1 ‘LM-Specification’ While not original, the aftermarket work has been carried out by McLaren’s very own Special Operations department, where they added an LM specification engine and incites such as satellite navigation.

2006 Bugatti Veyron 16.4
2006 Bugatti Veyron 16.4

The very first Bugatti Veyron produced with a chassis number ending ‘001’ is sure to cause a stir. The 2006 Veyron was the beginning of a new breed of hypercars, capable of speeds in excess of 250mph! Remarkably it is actually offered with an estimate lower than its bigger brother, chassis number ‘300’. While the later car is more powerful and ultimately a better car, the original is sure to be the wise long term investment and with an estimate over $600,0000 less than the 2012 car it’s a no brainer!

2005 Mercedes-Benz SLR McLaren
2005 Mercedes-Benz SLR McLaren

Finally an “as-new” 2005 Mercedes Benz SLR McLaren, with just 134 miles on the clock,  looks to be a great investment at just $300,000 – $400,000. Overshadowed by the Porsche Carrera GT and Ferrari Enzo, the SLR was much more than a supercar, it was the ultimate GT car, capable of crossing continents fast and comfortably. Unique collaboration between Mercedes Benz and McLaren also make this a car an interesting prospect. The SLR never quite sold in the numbers expected and, with under 1500 examples ever produced, this is an extremely rare car.

About the Author:

Tim Hutton has been involved in the automotive industry for 18 years, creating ideas and content for premium brands. When not writing about cars, you will find him driving them all around the world. Having learned to drive at seven in a racing car, petrol is very much in his veins.