Monterey's record Car Week


The 2018 Monterey Car Week features a record-breaking Ferrari and numerous seven-figure-fetching race cars

RM Sotheby's 250 GTO 2018

Photo courtesy of RM Sotheby’s // Darin Schnabel

Monterey Car Week has a big reputation to uphold, with millions of dollars changing hands each year for the world’s greatest and rarest classic cars. This month’s event was no exception, and even set a new standard for a car at auction.

The much-hyped sale of the 1962 Ferrari 250 GTO by Scaglietti sold for $48,405,000 to break the existing record set in 2014 by more than $10m, when a Ferrari GTO Berlinetta sold for $38,000,000. Bidding for the Scaglietti car started at $35,000,000, once Derek Bell had driven the car to the RM Sotheby’s auction block, but the auction price is still some way short of the private-sale record – believed to stand at $70m.

But that wasn’t the only racing car to make hit the headlines.

The unique Aston Martin DP215 Grand Touring Competition Prototype, driven by Phil Hill and Lucien Bianchi, sold for $21,455,000 at the same auction. An evolution of the DB4 GT, it fell just short of the record for a British car – at 2017’s event, the 1956 Aston Martin DBR1 sold $22.5m.

The gold GT40 MkII that claimed third in Ford’s famous 1-2-3 at the 1966 Le Mans 24 Hours took almost $10m, while the 1955 Porsche 550A Spyder fetched half that.

Maseratis also starred, including the 1956 Italian Sports Car Championship winning A6G/2000 Berlinetta and the A6GCS/53 Spider – just one of three and one of two surviving examples. The latter sold for more than $5m at Gooding and Company’s sale.

One of only 25 Mercedes-Benz AMG CLK GTRs produced went for seven figures again, clearing $4.5m – that’s three times the cost of a 1990 Ferrari F40. A 1989 RUF CTR ‘Yellow Bird’ changed hands for more than a million dollars and a 1963 Mercedes-Benz 300SL Roadster fetched nearly $2m.


Another record was broken at Gooding and Co’s sale, as a 1935 Duesenberg SSJ Roadster, powered by a gargantuan 7-litre supercharged eight-cylinder engine, became the most expensive pre-war car to be auctioned and the most expensive Duesenberg ever. Duesenbergs proved popular at Monterey, as the 1929 J Murphy Town Limousine was a finalist for the 2018 Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance ‘Best in Show’.

The recently restored 1937 Alfa Romeo 8C 2900B Touring Berlinetta, one of five built, won the prestigious ‘Best in Show’ award.

Elsewhere at Gooding’s auction, a V12 1958 Ferrari 250 GT Tour de France Berlinetta, winner of the Tour de France enduro from 1956-59, fetched more than $6m.

Perhaps an even more important step in Ferrari’s history, a 1966 Dino Berlinetta GT sold for millions, this one being the second Dino prototype ever produced. And the 1955 Ferrari 500 Mondial Series II, dressed in French Racing Blue and restored lovingly by a US Navy admiral, sold for $5m.

Bonhams’ Quail Lodge auction saw a 1948 Alfa Romeo 6C 2500 Competizione change hands for $3,525,000, while one of 37 Siata 208S Spiders and a 1960 Ferrari 250 GTO Series II Cabriolet also tipped seven figures.

A pair of important Bentleys sold too, with Major E G Thompson’s 1929 4.5-Litre Sports Tourer fetching $1,435,000 and the only Barker-bodied 1928 6.5 Litre Bentley selling for $1,655,000.

It was the 1989 Daytona 24 Hours-winning Porsche 962 that headlined at Mecum’s auction, selling for $2,200,000.

Alexander Rossi’s Dallara DW12 Honda IndyCar, winner of the 100th Indianapolis 500, took more than $1m at Mecum’s auction; the first rear-engined Indy racer, the 1961 Cooper-Climax T54 ‘Kimberly Cooper Special’ sold at RM Sotheby’s sale for ‘just’ $280,000.


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