11 August 2014

2014 Monterey Auction Preview: Cars above $1 million

Prevailing opinion about Monterey 2014 seems to be not only that it will be the single biggest number the peninsula has seen in its storied auction history, but that it may stand that way for some time in the future. While it would be foolish to say that the cars assembled represent a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, it is certainly as stunning a collection as one could imagine. Following is a list of some of the biggest, which is representatively heavy on the marque from Maranello.

1962 Ferrari 250 GTO
Bonhams, Lot 3
Estimate: not given
Hagerty Price Guide: $46,000,000-$57,000,000
The story of Monterey 2014 will largely be written seven hours after the first car of the weekend is sold. Bonhams managed to bring one of the world's most expensive cars to market without reserve, marking the first time a 250 GTO will be offered publicly since 2000. At that point a GTO was worth “only” around $8 million. Prices have ballooned since and expectations are high to say the least.

1964 Ferrari 275 GTB/C Speciale
RM Auctions, Lot 239
Estimate: not given
Hagerty Price Guide: not listed
RM's star lot is one of only three 275 GTB/Cs built for FIA homologation, and is the evolution and spiritual successor to the Ferrari 250 GTO. A price close to the $27.5 million achieved by RM for a 275 GTB/4 NART Spyder a year ago wouldn't be a surprise, and more could be forthcoming if a handful of under bidders from Bonhams' GTO are still feeling the void.

1995 McLaren F1 Coupe
Gooding & Company, Lot 44
Estimate: $12,000,000-$14,000,000
Hagerty Price Guide: $6,500,000-$9,150,000
Four years ago, Gooding sold an F1 at Pebble Beach for $3.575 million, and last year Gooding surprised many observers when it sold another at the same venue for $8.47 million. This year's figure should see a similar leap, which will be an excellent encapsulation of how vibrant the top of the market currently is, particularly for this modern Blue Chipper.

1955 Ferrari 410 Sport
Rick Cole Auctions, Lot 1000
Estimate: not given
Hagerty Price Guide: not listed
Rick Cole—having started the peninsula's auction history in 1986—marks his return to Monterey by featuring one of the baddest "Bad Boy" Ferraris of the 1950s. This 410 Sport carries its original running gear and body, and reportedly has never suffered a crash. With only four of the model made, they are rarely seen, and an open 410 S has only appeared at auction once before. RM sold a closed car for $8.25 million in 2012, though that was admittedly a lifetime ago as far as Ferrari prices are concerned.

1957 Mercedes-Benz 300SL Roadster
Mecum, Lot S191
Estimate: $1,750,000-$2,250,000
Hagerty Price Guide: $960,000-$1,600,000
In 2011, many enthusiasts watched the Ferrari market catch fire and wondered aloud why the same wasn’t true with the 300SL. Following four years of stagnant values, the SL has since risen 139 percent in value, which is about as strong as it gets—even in today’s superheated atmosphere. This particular car was restored in 2012 and then shown at both the Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance and The Quail, a Motorsports Gathering, in 2013, where it was well received. A year ago the low estimate might have bought two excellent examples, which makes one wonder what the same amount will get a year from now.

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