With the added perk of super-rarity, the Bentley Continentals of the Sixties remain among the most sought-after of the marque’s classic cars. Gooding & Company’s 2023 Pebble Beach Concours d’ Elegance® auction is offering a rare left-hand-drive 1961 Bentley S2 two-door saloon with coachwork by H.J. Mulliner that exemplified this model’s divergence from the parent company. It has a pre-sale estimate of $400K-$500K.
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.
The spark that launched Porsche’s road racing dynasty began with the “Fuhrman engine” in the landmark 550 Spyder racecar. Bringing that engine to the 356’s option list in 1956 and calling it “Carrera” boosted Porsche’s racing pedigree while also setting the foundation for special high-performance Porsche models to come. The expensive and complex Carrera engine was rarely ordered when new, and cars so-equipped demand a huge premium in the collector car market today. A 1956 Porsche 356A Speedster Carrera offered by Mecum Auctions in Monterey is expected to sell for up to $1.2M, or nearly 400% more than a Speedster without it.
Even as Porsche moves toward electrification across its line, the German automaker keeps ratcheting up the performance from its gas-fueled sports cars. The recently revealed 718 Spyder RS becomes the ultimate rendition of the Porsche Boxster and arrives next spring. The Spyder RS is basically the open version of the 718 Cayman GT4 RS available now. Both of these incredible mid-engine cars use a 493-hp naturally aspirated six-cylinder engine from the 911 GT3
The letters on your modern car’s trunk lid might have no real meaning, but the “S” on the back of a classic Porsche 911 signified a major performance upgrade over the standard car. Porsche’s marketing for the original 911S cautioned, “This is no car for a novice.” The 911S rewarded skilled drivers while being known to put a scare into those unfamiliar with its handling traits. RM Sotheby’s is offering a rare concours-restored 1968 911S at no reserve at its Amelia Island auction in March. Expect hot bidding.
On the heels of Porsche’s introduction of the 911 Dakar, Lamborghini has announced its plan to launch its own supercar that’s modified to play in the dirt, the Huracán Sterrato. Using the same 5.2-liter V-10 engine as the Huracán Evo, Lamborghini’s new off road-ready SUV can do 0-60 in around 3.2 seconds, has rally lights mounted on the Sterrato’s nose, and includes a built-in camera to record your adventures. Production of 1,499 Sterratos will begin in February of 2023, and U.S. pricing has not been announced.
Capitalizing on the 911’s rich rally-winning history, Porsche introduced its 2023 911 Dakar at the Los Angeles Auto Show. Porsche’s new overland 911 version – reflecting road testing of Dakar prototypes over 300,000 miles, including 6,000 off-road miles – is based on the Carrera 4 GTS, and equipped with a 473-hp twin-turbo flat-six, eight-speed PDK automatic transmission and all-wheel drive, capable of 0-60 in 3.2 seconds. Porsche plans to build only 2,500 911 Dakars, with a starting price of $220,000 in the U.S. and plenty of options to take that higher.
You might remember Lamborghini’s LM002. One of the first people to purchase an LM002 back in the 1908s was Sylvester Stallone, of “Rambo” movie fame, which inspired the vehicle’s “Rambo Lambo” nickname. Since that era, you may have always wanted to own this V-12, three-ton off-road monster that goes from 0-60 in under 8 seconds, and carries a 75-gallon fuel tank. At its Miami auction in December, RM Sotheby’s is offering a 1991 LM002, with under 6,000 miles on the odometer, which is #279 out of 328 made. Putting this Rambo Lambo in your driveway is guaranteed to make a statement to the neighbors.
The new Rolls-Royce battery-powered “Spectre,” arriving in late 2023, provides a “magic carpet ride” of luxury. In fact, the Spectre’s suspension uses an array of cameras and sensors to “read” the road surface ahead and preemptively adjust the ride on the go. Pricing is expected to be over $400,000, and orders are already coming in.