What does $400 million buy today? It was enough to take home about 1,200 of the world’s finest collector cars offered at the 2023 Monterey auctions held from August 17-19. That was down from $475M in 2022, and the sell-through rate was lower, too. Just the same, some stellar automobiles traded hands in Monterey at auctions held by Bonhams, Broad Arrow, Gooding & Company, Mecum, and RM Sotheby’s. The top sale was a 1967 Ferrari 412P racecar for $30.2M at Bonhams, while a 1957 Jaguar XKSS, one of just 16 made, was #2 at just over $13M.
What better prelude to the 72nd Pebble Beach Concours d’ Elegance® than to buy a car (or few cars) from the auctions held in conjunction with this pinnacle event? If you’re bidding or selling, the action is at the auctions, of course. We’ve assembled the auction itinerary here and selected some highlights from the Bonhams, Broad Arrow, Gooding & Company, Mecum, and RM Sotheby’s sales.
Fourteen years after Enzo Ferrari’s passing, the company he founded honored his memory with a car bearing not only his surname, but also his given name. When introduced in 2002, the Ferrari Enzo represented the culmination of the automaker’s expertise in both high-performance road cars and Formula One racing. F1 tech abounded, including carbon fiber and aluminum construction, carbon-ceramic brakes, and more. At its upcoming auction at Monterey Car Week, Bonhams is offering an Enzo that has been enjoyed as the founder would have liked: being driven.
Auction season is running at full speed going into Monterey Car Week this August 11-20. (Yes, a 10-day week!) Five major auctions will take place there, drawing buyers and sellers from around the world. Plan to be there? Whether you’re looking for your next dream car or planning to sell one from your collection, it pays to be prepared. Premier Financial Services has put together a quick refresher course with insights from auction and sales pros offering advice on finding the car you want and bringing it home.
It’s good to be king, because then you can order yourself a custom-built car like the Maserati made for the Shah of Iran in 1959. The monarch and budding car collector requested that Maserati build a special car by installing the V-8 engine from its 450S racecar into the 3500 GT production coupe. The result was the 170-mph 5000 GT. Maserati made 34 with bodies by various coachbuilders. At its Amelia Island auction, Bonhams is offering one of the 22 with bodies by Allemano, a restoration candidate with a pre-sale estimate of $500K-$800K
While the “Imperial” and “LeBaron” names became diluted on mainstream Chrysler cars in more recent history, the two had once created great American luxury together. LeBaron was America’s most distinguished designer of the period, creating bodies for the world’s top luxury automakers. The early 1930s Chrysler Imperials designed by LeBaron are among America’s most beautiful classics. Marjorie Merriweather Post, who owned General Foods Corporation, must have thought so when she purchased this 1933 Chrysler Imperial CL Dual Cowl Phaeton. Bonhams is offering the car at its Amelia Island auction, with a $375K-$450K pre-sale estimate.
The 2023 collector car auction season got off to a roaring start in January. The Bonhams Scottsdale auction reached $30M in sales, and RM Sotheby’s reported $44M. The big surprise came from Bonhams, where a 1912 Simplex brought $4.8M, a record for a pre-WWI car. Supercars were still supreme, though, with a Ferrari LaFerrari getting $4.075M at RM Sotheby’s and, earlier in the month, a Ferrari F40 topping the Mecum sale in Kissimmee, Florida at $3.135M.
The BMW 507 roadster, introduced at the 1955 Frankfurt Auto Show, is recognized as one of the most beautiful models that BMW ever produced. Only 252 hand-built 507s were produced, and despite their curb appeal, they were money losers that nearly sank BMW as a company. A 1957 BMW 507, discovered in a Philadelphia garage, sold last month at the Bonhams Audrain Concours Auction in Newport, R.I. for $2.1 million. Read the backstory on this historic BMW.
Auction sales from Monterey Car Week totaled a record-setting $469 million; more than $126 million than last year’s total. RM Sotheby’s three-night auction accounted for more than half of that total, setting a record with a staggering $239.2 million in sales. Catch up on results from all the auction houses.