Ferrari detail. Ferrari Owners' Club
* * * *

Ferrari Happenings

Monterey - The Auctions
Report by Ed Brown, data & pics by Marcel Massini

Former 250GTO owner Steve Earle started a race meeting for his friends and their cars at Laguna Seca on the Monterey peninsula, California in 1974. These days it has become one of the historic calendar’s most anticipated events. Now spread over a full week (August 13th -21st) with two race meetings, six auctions, numerous marque focused corrals and displays as well as the “Automotive Miss World”, the Pebble Beach Concours. Once described by US chat show host and fellow petrolhead Jay Leno as a “beautiful show for beautiful people”, Pebble Beach celebrates the restoration talents of globally acknowledged specialists in a social hothouse, where knowing how to start your entry is often a rarity and being a dollar billionaire definitely helps.

Whether enthusiast or auctioneer, 2005 was a great week. The racers and the Pebble Beach Concours are covered separately, just click on the links.

Christies at the Monterey Jet Centre
Pre-auction media gave a reserve of $ 3.5 – 5 million for the Volpi inspired “Breadvan”. Sadly this was too much and the car remained unsold. Top price went to a UK registered Talbot which cost its new US owner $3,535,000 (incl. buyer's premium) at hammer fall, complimented by a 1965 151/2 Ferrari F1 racer and a well used Bugatti Type 43A roadster (heading home to Europe) at exactly the same money…. $1,115,000 each! On a sale night when revenues almost topped $10 million, the $ 895,000 successful bid for a Ferrari 250 Nembo Spyder conversion definitely helped!

Bonhams at Quail Lodge
Bonhams star car was the oft referred mini-GTO, the very pretty and racy Alfa GTZ2. $2million was hoped for but never happened! Elsewhere Europeans were left scratching their heads with the $510,000 raised for a John Greenwood built “Spirit of America” Corvette and $635,000 for a Porsche America Roadster…….yikes! By their standards Bonhams had a quiet night; maybe the opulence of car collector Sir Michael Kadoorie’s resort kept too many in the bar!

Russo and Steele at the Monterey Marriott
Specialists in Muscle, Pony and Americana this Phoenix based auction house has a refreshing approach and a gathering reputation for selling expensive Shelby Cobras….$1.5million secured a US enthusiast the unique Super Coupe, whilst $1,292,000 helped find an ex-team racer a new home. A Ferrari 330GTS achieved $330,000 and a European period raced Alfa Romeo GTA $93,500.All this helped Russo and Steele to a huge night and revenues just over $10 million

Goodings at Pebble Beach
In a marquee adjacent to the concours field the former CEO of RM Auctions had a great Sunday afternoon! With sales of US $22,089,000 and four world record prices who could argue! Star lot and largest bid of the week ($3,960,000 incl. buyer's premium) went to a Ferrari 275GTS/4 Spyder, complete with competition and film history having had a “bit part” in Steve McQueen’s Thomas Crown Affair.

$1,925,000 bought an example of the exceptionally rare Jaguar XKSS (1 of a rumoured 18, dependant upon who you talk to) and $1,815,000 for its elder brother, a Bonneville Salt Flats modified D Type. With a record $1,050,000 for a Porsche 550 Spyder and $2,000,000 for a Murphy bodied Duesenberg this was heady stuff and reminiscent of the late ‘80s! That age old cocktail – warm weather + alcohol = crazy price was still being served, typified by the $90,000 paid by an attendee for a VW camper van. Happy days!

RM Auctions at the Portola Plaza Hotel, Monterey
With 91% of entries (289) sold and two-day revenues of $32million RM topped the tree for 2005. They sold “their” black hued Talbot Lago T150C Teardrop for more than Christies…..$3,685,000 (incl. buyer's premium) whilst finding new homes for a pre-war Alfa Romeo P3 Monoposto ($2,100,000), a 1959 spec Ferrari 250 Tour de France ($1,457.000) and a 1970 Ferrari 512S racer ($1,947,000). The Ford GT40 Prototype cost a US purchaser a whopping $2,502,000, but surprisingly an Aston Marin DB4GT Zagato, Ferrari 375 MM and Dino 206SP all failed to meet reserve.

20th Concorso Italiano
If you were suffering from auction overload [I am and I wasn't even there - Ed.] this auction, a celebration of all marques (cars and bikes) Italian at the Black Horse Golf Club Monterey had something for everyone - 575 Ferraris, 110 Lamborghinis, 175 Alfa Romeos, 56 Maseratis, 75 De Tomasos, 60 Fiats, 24 Iso Bizzarinis, 27 Lancias, 2 Abarths and 7 Riva Boats! Overall winner was Angelo Ferro’s 1954 Maserati A6G 2000 Spyder. Final auction of the week was an unusually subdued Kruse International sale with the top seller an Auburn Boat-tail Speedster achieving $100,000 (incl. buyer's premium).

s/n 0147 E
s/n 0246 AL
s/n 1037 GT
s/n 4383 GT
212 Inter Vignale rebodied by Scaglietti
342 America Pinin Farina Coupé
250 GT TdF Berlinetta
Customised 250 Lusso

So the 2005 Monterey Auction series was over - a rumoured $77 million being spent over 5 days and 6 auctions. There were no crazy prices, apart from the camper van! Just enthusiasts willing to spend realistic money on cars in good condition and unquestionable provenance. Ferraris were limited, but the black Daytona at RM made $205,000, surely a sign of things to come?

The “Quail”
It's an automotive celebration like no other (their words not mine!) at the Quail Lodge. It is a pretentious environment where the cars are best left to do the talking and for 2005 La Carrera Panamericana was the focal point of celebration, combined with displays of pre/post war racing cars and motorbikes along with select Alfa Romeos. Great cars, superb displays.

Click here for Ferraris at the Quail.



Click here to return to the Ferrari Happenings page.


* *