16 August 2016

Auction Preview: Gooding & Company Pebble Beach 2016

Much of the activity in and around Monterey every August leads up to the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance, but it’s actually the Gooding & Company auction a few yards away that’s the last big event to close out Monterey Car Week on Sunday. The sale runs on August 20 and 21. Last year’s Pebble Beach sale was Gooding’s most successful two-day auction ever with $128 million in total sales, and Gooding had four of the top 10 sales for the entire week. The caliber of cars on offer for this year’s sale is certainly on par, and here are 10 that we’ll be watching.

1959 Ferrari 250 GT LWB California Spider Competizione
Presale estimate:
$18,000,000 - $20,000,000
Hagerty Price Guide: $11,400,000 - $14,400,000

Most California Spiders didn’t do much racing, but a handful were fitted with competition equipment at the Scuderia. Nine long-wheelbase cars had alloy bodywork from new, but Gooding’s Cal Spider is even more noteworthy for performance bits like Dunlop disc brakes, competition gearbox, limited-slip differential, 136-liter fuel tank with external fuel filler, and a competition-tuned engine with Abarth exhaust. The car ran at the Bahamas Speed Week and the 12 Hours of Sebring as well as numerous SCCA national and regional events through 1964, and has since been restored. Any California Spider is a special car, but one with this kind of history and equipment commands even more value, which can translate to a few million dollars when talking about a car this expensive.

1958 Porsche 550A Spyder
Presale estimate:
$5,000,000 - $6,000,000
Hagerty Price Guide: N/A

Most of the 40 Porsche 550A Spyders built were sold to private race teams, but a few were retained for the factory to race. Gooding’s example is the second-to-last 550A built, and Porsche raced it in Europe during 1958. Specifically, it raced at the Nurburgring 1000 Km to a class win, the 12 Hours of Rheims to a class win and the 24 Hours of Le Mans to a second in class and fifth overall. After 1958, the car was sold to a buyer in Canada, where it continued to race until 1962. Gooding sold Jerry Seinfeld’s 1955 550 Spyder at Amelia Island this year for $5,335,000, but this car’s much richer history as a factory-raced car should command more than the celebrity connection of the Seinfeld car.

1961 Maserati 5000 GT Allemano Coupe
Presale estimate:
$1,500,000 - $2,000,000
Hagerty Price Guide: $1,000,000 - $1,550,000

The idea for the 5000 GT came from the Shah of Iran, who wanted a car that combined the 3500 GT’s character with the huge power of the V-8 found in the 450S race car. Maserati built such a car for the Shah, but also put the model into limited production for a little over 30 wealthy customers. Eight of Italy’s great coachbuilders formed bodies for the 5000 GT, and Gooding’s example has the more common Allemano bodywork, although it is the first of Allemano-bodied cars and has a different grille design and dashboard. After selling to an owner in Pittsburgh, the car passed through several hands before being separated from its motor in the 1980s. It was then reunited with its 5.0-liter engine and restored in the 1990s and early 2000s. 

1960 Ferrari 250 GT SWB Competizione
Presale estimate:
$15,000,000 - $18,000,000
Hagerty Price Guide: $14,500,000 - $16,900,000

Ferrari was known as a dominant force in GT racing in the 1950s and 1960s, and cars like the 250 GT SWB earned the company that reputation. Specially built competition cars had aluminum bodywork, and Gooding’s example was specifically constructed to take on the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 1960 with Testa Rossa cylinder heads, higher compression and SNAP exhaust extractors. Phil Hill, Richie Ginther and Wolfgang von Trips tested the car at Monza before it was sold to an American customer for whom Luigi Chinetti’s NART team prepared and raced it. At Le Mans, the car finished fourth in the GT class and seventh overall and was one of four SWBs to finish in the top 10. Le Mans was the car’s only major competition outing, but that’s more than enough to make it one of the most valuable cars in Monterey.

1979 Porsche 935
Presale estimate:
$4,500,000 - $5,500,000
Hagerty Price Guide: N/A

This car is probably the ultimate 935 Porsche from a collector’s standpoint. Its history is just unbelievable. In 1979, it finished second overall and first in class at Le Mans with Paul Newman and Rolf Stommelen driving. That finish alone would make it a highly significant car, but it enjoyed a competitive and successful career in top level motorsport all the way up until 1987. In 1981, it won the 24 Hours of Daytona overall and finished second in class at Le Mans, and in 1983 it won the 12 Hours of Sebring. These are just some of the 72 professional races the car entered, which include numerous podium finishes and class wins. Very few race cars of any kind can match that kind of success and longevity.

1950 Ferrari 166 MM Berlinetta
Presale estimate:
$6,000,000 - $8,000,000
Hagerty Price Guide: N/A

The 166 was the first model to really solidify Ferrari’s reputation as a manufacturer of racing cars thanks to a win at the first postwar Le Mans race in 1949 as well as numerous other victories. The car was available as both a berlinetta and a spider, and Gooding’s car actually started life with the standard spider bodywork by Touring. It raced at the Mille Miglia in 1950 with Nuccio Bertone driving and finished third in class. It ran again there in 1951 but didn’t finish. It then had a successful racing career throughout Italy in 1952. It was next sold in 1953 to a Milanese owner who wanted a closed car and enlisted Zagato to fabricate an aluminum roof. It continued racing throughout Italy until going to the U.S. in 1955. By the 1960s, the engine was broken, replaced by a small-block Chevy V-8 and a college student in Alabama was actually using it as his daily driver. Since then, the original engine was repaired and installed, but the rest of the car remains in original condition, making it one of the only unrestored early Ferrari race cars out there.

1972 Ferrari 365 GTB/4 Daytona Shooting Brake
Presale estimate:
$750,000 - $1,000,000
Hagerty Price Guide: N/A

It’s not the most graceful thing on four wheels, but the Daytona Shooting Brake on offer in Pebble Beach is truly unique and is relatively well known among Ferrari enthusiasts. The car came about after the owner of a new Daytona approached Luigi Chinetti Jr. with the desire for something more distinctive. Chinetti sketched out the shooting brake shape, and a company called Panther in the UK constructed the alloy bodywork. The nose is altered and lowered, but the biggest difference is out back, where three huge glass panels surround the rear cargo area. The rear window actually doesn’t open, but the two side panels open upward in gullwing fashion. The interior was heavily revised as well, with all of the gauges relocated to the central stack. The car has been displayed numerous times and featured in plenty of magazine articles, but rarely does such a unique car come up for sale, especially in a public setting.

1948 Cisitalia 202 CMM
Presale estimate:
$2,000,000 - $3,000,000
Hagerty Price Guide: N/A

The Cisitalia is an undeniably pretty car. Accordingly, it was the first automobile in the world to become part of an art museum’s permanent collection at New York's Museum of Modern Art. Cisitalias are also extremely rare, as each car was hand-built and the company had a fairly short life. Gooding’s Cisitalia is particularly special as the second of only two 202 CMMs built and wears stunning finned coachwork constructed by Alfredo Vignale. It was driven at the Mille Miglia by Piero Taruffi in 1948 but failed to finish, although it did finish fourth and win its class at Pescara a few months later. The car then went to Argentina and raced in South America for several years. It wound up in a Japanese collection in the 1980s, and has participated in the Mille Miglia Storica several times since. 

1933 Alfa Romeo 8C 2300 Monza
Presale estimate:
$12,000,000- $15,000,000
Hagerty Price Guide: N/A

With multiple wins at the Mille Miglia, Targa Florio, Le Mans and Spa, the Alfa 8C is one of the premier competition cars of the 1930s, although numerous examples were equipped as luxurious road cars. Short chassis competition cars were called Monzas in honor of the 1931 victory at the Italian Grand Prix, and Gooding’s example is a factory-built car raced throughout Europe during the 1930s and even the immediate postwar years. In the ‘80s, it was restored and has since been vintage raced on a semi-regular basis. This specific car didn’t achieve any great racing success, but that it’s a genuine 8C 2300 Monza that is all correct and fully documented is enough to make it an eight-figure car.

1932 Bugatti Type 55 Roadster
Presale estimate:
$10,000 - $14,000,000
Hagerty Price Guide: N/A

The Type 55 was conceived as a road-going Grand Prix car with the chassis from the Type 54 and the supercharged straight-eight from the Type 51. Jean Bugatti, Ettore’s son and the one responsible for the Type 55, also designed gorgeous roadster bodywork that was available alongside a coupe and cabriolet. Just 38 Type 55s were built, and 14 came with the Jean Bugatti-penned coachwork. Gooding’s example is reported to have most of its original parts and matching numbers throughout, which is important for classic Bugattis. It even raced at the Mille Miglia in 1932 as a factory entry with Achille Varzi at the wheel, but didn’t finish.


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