21/08/2012 RM Auctions at Monterey 17 - 18 August 2012: Review
1968 Ford GT40 Gulf/Mirage ($11,000,000), with 1956 Ferrari 250 GT LWB Berlinetta 'Tour de France' ($6,710,000) and 1955 Aston Martin DB3S ($3,685,000)
Twenty entries achieving over $1m each and five lots breaking the $5m mark contributed to RM’s best-ever Monterey-week sale. Overall, the auction grossed $95.2m and the star of the show was the ex-JW Automotive, Gulf Racing GT40 that sold for $11,000,000 – a new World Record.
RM’s customary slick presentation saw its familiar Portola Hotel & Spa venue transformed into a fairy grotto for car collectors with imaginatively themed backdrops displaying the cars to perfection.
As with all events at Monterey this year, the life and work of Carroll Shelby was celebrated in style. A line-up of three Shelby Cobras and a GT350 R Mustang was enough to get most people going – before they’d even stepped into the saleroom.
And when they did, the bidding came fast and furious, particularly on this year’s must-have, a ‘barn-find’ 1965 Shelby 289 Cobra Mk II, so original that bidding pushed it to a final figure (with premium) of $792,000. All five other Cobras sold, as you’d expect, in this year of Shelby retrospectives.
Ol' Shel' would have been proud: a magnificent selection of Shelby Cobras joined by a GT350 R
For the sake of diplomatic relations with my good friends in the USA, I won’t argue too hard for the GT40 to be categorised as a British car, so let’s recognise Shelby’s involvement with the Le Mans-winning model, and put the Gulf car’s phenomenal price of $11m down to the Texan, too. The other GT40, a nicely original example, achieved $2,860,000.
It’s Monterey week, right? Big Ferrari figures, then? Absolutely. The wonderful, very original 1955 Ferrari 410 S Berlinetta we drove last month sold for $8,250,000 (I wasn’t thinking of that figure when I drove it on a track, of course…), while the late-entry California Spider, a rare SWB car with covered headlamps, just beat that figure with its $8.58m selling price.
Ex-Team Bentley 2001 Bentley Speed 8 Le Mans Prototype, sold for $2,530,000
On the Aston front, the rare-at-auction orange DB3S went for $3,685,000, while the LHD 1960 DB4GT just broke the $2m mark at $2,035,000. Most experts rated the dark cherry, LHD 1962 Aston Martin DB4 highly. Bidders did, too, as the beautifully restored car sold for $572,000.
The two silver-painted pre-War cars had ‘Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance’ written all over them. Perhaps they could have sold nearer their upper estimates, but there’s no denying the style and presence of both the 1938 Talbot-Lago T23 Teardrop Coupé ($2,640,000) and the 1938 Horch 853A Special Roadster ($5,170,000).
'Barn Find' 1965 Shelby 289 Cobra Mk II, complete with original dust, sold for $792,000
1953 Bentley Continental R-Type Fastback, sold for $1,622,500
Away from the real ‘biggies’, high prices were achieved by the 1973 Porsche 911 Carrera RS Lightweight ($495,000 and greatly admired by marque experts in the room), the 1989 Ferrari Testarossa ($264,000 – makes a change from £30k in the UK, although it was a very low mileage car) and the car that kicked Saturday’s proceedings off, the $41,250, 1967 Fiat 500F saloon; a people’s car, of course.
Finally, having to choose which car I’d drive away from RM’s 2012 Monterey sale (no transporter for me, oh no), it would be the 1956 Ferrari 250 GT LWB Berlinetta 'Tour de France'. It looked good in the catalogue, the video and when driven across the block, selling well for $6,710,000.
The full results of RM Auctions' 17-18 August Monterey sale can be seen HERE.
RM Auctions' next collectors' car sale will be at Hershey on 11 - 12 October. Watch out for the Canadian company's London Battersea sale, to be held this year on 31 October.