This year’s Carmel Valley sale - now firmly established as a two-day event - lists 130 cars and motorcycles with the Porsche marque well represented by 10 entries, several of which are competition cars.
In fact, successful bidders at Quail Lodge this August could well leave their newly acquired Porsche in the area, as just a few weeks later the venue will play host to the Porsche Race Car Classic, and nearby Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca will be running the Porsche Rennsport Reunion IV.
For the former, might we suggest either the ex-Dick Barbour, 1960 Porsche 356 Super 90 'Automotion Roadster' ($150,000 - 175,000), or the 1963 DKW-Porsche TM Special ($75,000 - 95,000)?
And for the track? Well, how about the 1979 Porsche 935/80 ($550,000 - 650,000), the 1987 and 1988 12 Hours of Sebring-winning 1986 Porsche 962 IMSA GTP ($800,000 - 1,000,000), or the 1967 Porsche 911S ($150,000 - 175,000), a car that saw much racing in period.
Ex-Van Housen Motors/William Sturgis/Graham Hill, 1962 Cooper-Buick Type 61 'Monaco' Mark III: $225,000 - 275,000
Porsches aside, the headlining car must be the ‘Refer Department’, vintage 6½ Litre Bentley we previewed recently. In addition to this highly original car, there’s also another pre-War entry from Cricklewood, the 1925 3 Litre Bentley 100mph Supersports 'Brooklands' ($500,000 - 600,000) and two later models.
1957 Aston Martin DB2/4 MkII: $50,000 - 70,000
Of the other European inter-war cars in the sale, in addition to the Bentleys there’s a wonderful ex-Maharaja of Kotah 'Tiger Car', 1925 Rolls-Royce New Phantom Torpedo Sports Tourer ($750,000 - 1,000,000), the 1930 Bugatti Type 43 Supercharged Sports 2/4 Seater ($1,300,000 - 1,500,000) and the $100,000 - 125,000, 1927 Lancia Lambda Seventh Series Short Wheelbase Roadster.
Elegant Americana of this period includes the 1937 Duesenberg Model J 'Throne Car' Limousine Landaulet ($400,000 - 600,000, one of three ‘Duesies’ at Bonhams' Quail Lodge sale this year) and the 1932 Auburn 12-160 Speedster (a ‘Refer Department’ multiple show-winner).
1953 Facel Ford Comete: $45,000 - 65,000
1986 Porsche Typ 962 IMSA GTP: $800,000 - 1,000,000
Moving up to date, enthusiasts of 1950s and 60s classics have much to choose from. Ferrari, as a marque, is represented by just one car, the 1953 212 Inter Coupé ($1,100,000 - 1,400,000); however, this exciting post-War period includes other gems such as the 1957 BMW 507 Roadster (with hard top, for $850,000 - 1,100,000), the ever-popular 1961 Maserati 3500GT Spyder ($320,000 - 360,000) and a beautifully presented (in Sand with beige hide) 1968 Jaguar XKE Series 1.5 Roadster, for $130,000 - 145,000.
There’s also an Allemano-bodied 1962 Maserati 5000GT (the ‘Car of Kings’, for a princely $525,000 - 700,000) and the Sammy Davis Jr. 1963 Rolls-Royce Silver Cloud III Drophead Coupé, for $475,000 - 550,000.
The opening day of the sale, Thursday 18 August, finishes with a selection of collectors’ motorcycles including the 1954 AJS 497cc E95 'Porcupine' Racing Motorcycle ($750,000 - 950,000, another entry profiled before on Classic Driver) and a 1940 Brough Superior 982cc SS100, at $350,000 - 400,000.
1967 Porsche 911: $75,000 - 95,000
1957 BMW 507 Roadster with hard top: $850,000 - 1,100,000
Picking out a couple of cars as ‘alternative investments’, how about the 1953 Facel Ford Comete ($45,000 - 65,000) and the 1947 H.R.G. 1100? Built by the renowned Facel factory for Ford of France, the Comete was another in the line of elegant, American V8-powered French boulevardiers that included similar models from Simca.
At present, it’s powered by a classic 80HP, 2300cc flathead Ford V8 but, with its three-speed manual, would make a very handy California Mille-type car with the substitution of a more potent – but still period-correct – high-performance engine.
It’s not clear from the catalogue whether this very car comes equipped with the usually standard-fit 'Seduction' radio, but that alone would make it worthy of the purchase price.
The H.R.G. is an elegant two-seater with pre-War lines, good sporting credentials, an honourable history and the potential to enter many events worldwide. All for the oh-so-reasonable estimate of $25,000 - 35,000 – who says Monterey week auctions are only for millionaires?
1968 Jaguar XKE Series 1.5 Roadster: $130,000 - 145,000
1965 Rolls-Royce Silver Cloud III Convertible: $185,000 - 225,000
The 2011 Bonhams sale at Quail Lodge, Carmel, California, USA takes place over two days:
'Exceptional Motorcars and Motorcycles': Session I (lots 1 - 61), 18 Aug starting at 14:30.
'Exceptional Automobilia': Session II (lots 101 - 373), 19 Aug starting at 10:00.
'Exceptional Motorcars': Session III (lots 401 - 469), 19 Aug starting at 13:30.
Text: Steve Wakefield Photos: Bonhams ClassicInside - The Classic Driver Newsletter Free Subscription!