26/07/2012 RM Auctions at Monterey 17 - 18 August 2012: Preview
Driving it as it should be. The 'Estimate on Request' 1956 Ferrari 250 GT LWB Berlinetta 'Tour de France' is put through its paces
How do any of the Monterey-week auction houses do it? Year after year, assembling the most amazing catalogues? (You could say the same thing about auction reporters, their bank of superlatives running worryingly low – but that’s another matter.)
RM has been in the business longer than most and, yet again this August, has produced another magnificent selection of 120 or so cars, all to be offered for sale at its familiar Monterey Portola Plaza hotel venue, just by Fisherman’s Wharf.
1961 Rolls-Royce Silver Cloud II Drophead Coupé: $250,000 - 325,000
Ferrari, as a marque, has always been THE biggest-seller at high-end North American auctions. Year after year, it’s been dramatic one-offs or examples with extensive competition history that have stolen the headlines. For Monterey 2012, RM has catalogued 13 Ferraris, topped by the ‘Estimate on Request’ 410 S and also including a 1967 275 GTB/4 ($1,200,000 - 1,600,000) and the 1956 250 GT LWB Berlinetta 'Tour de France', a car that featured in the film ‘The Love Bug’.
The latter comes out of 14-year – one for every one of its sail-panel louvres – single ownership and is in wonderful condition with full Ferrari Classiche certification. The price? ‘Estimate on Request’, so give the RM team a call.
1956 Fiat Series 306/2 Grand Prix Transporter, ex-Maserati, ex-Scarab, ex-Shelby American, ex-Alan Mann: $850,000 - 1,100,000
In addition to the Maranello entries and shadowing the ‘Cobra Ferrari wars’ of the early sixties, RM’s catalogue lists two GT40s, six Cobras, two Shelby Mustang GT350s and a 1965 Shelby GT350 R, one of the rarest Shelbys, estimated at $900,000 - 1,300,000.
Plus, vying in fame with the Ecurie Ecosse Commer and Mercedes 1950s Renntransporter, there’s arguably the most famous racing transporter in the world: the ex-Shelby American, Bartoletti-converted Fiat Series 306/2 lorry. It’s currently in pale blue metallic, Shelby livery, but in its day served as a loyal workhorse to the Maserati Grand Prix team, Lance Reventlow’s Scarab GP and sports car equipe, Shelby Cobra and Alan Mann Racing, before also serving under various team colours in the film ‘Le Mans’. That is provenance with a capital ‘P’. Estimate: $850,000 - 1,100,000 and worth every dime: a wonderful piece.
Of the Shelby Cobras – in the first big US sale since Carroll Shelby’s death in May this year – our allegiances would be torn between the for-restoration, ‘No Reserve’ 1965 289 Cobra Mk II at $400,000 - 500,000 and CSX2290, a 1964 289 Competition Cobra raced in period and estimated at $1,200,000 - 1,400,000.
In addition to the orange DB3S, the Aston Martin quota includes a 1960 DB4GT (LHD, note, in beautiful Sea Green for $1,500,000 - 1,900,000), a ‘No Reserve’, early (the 13th built) 1950 DB2 Coupé with period racing history at $375,000 - 475,000, and an out-of-restoration, California-plate 1962 DB4 likely to achieve $475,000 - 550,000.
1964 Jaguar E-type Series I 3.8-Litre Roadster: $140,000 - 170,000, 'No Reserve'
Porsche racing cars headline the Stuttgart manufacturer’s listings at RM’s forthcoming sale but, in addition to the ex-Siffert 917 Spyder Can Am car and the ultra-rare 904/6, there are many road cars to tempt the enthusiast. We like the white-with-blue 1973 911 Carrera RS Lightweight ($350,000 - 450,000) and the 1957 356A 1600 Speedster ($190,000 - 240,000), for example.
LHD 1960 Aston Martin DB4GT: $1,500,000 - 1,900,000
Where a Porsche Speedster goes at a Pebble Beach week sale, there’s a 300SL Mercedes not far behind it. RM has two this year. ‘Gullwing’ fanciers can bid on the 1956 coupé ($850,000 - 1,000,000), while open-air enthusiasts will appreciate the matching-numbers, red/tan hide 1960 300SL Roadster estimated at $675,000 - 775,000.
1969 Triumph GT6+ Group 44 Factory SCCA Racing Car: $75,000 - 125,000, 'No Reserve'
And Monterey would not be Monterey without the opportunity to buy a car worthy of the great Pebble Concours around which the whole week centres. Yes, we’re talking cars from the elegant inter-war years. So, don your boater, blazer and white trousers and take an interest in not only the ‘teardrop’ Talbot but also the 1932 Packard Individual Custom Twin Six Sport Phaeton ($1,100,000 - 1,400,000), the 1930 Isotta-Fraschini Tipo 8AS Boattail Cabriolet ($1,750,000 - 2,500,000) and the 1929 Duesenberg Model J Disappearing Top Convertible Coupé ($1,800,000 - 2,400,000).
1965 Ferrari 275 GTB: $950,000 - 1,150,000
2001 Bentley Speed 8 Le Mans Prototype Racing Car: $1,900,000 - 2,500,000
Finally, the Editor’s pick (really top-dollar Ferraris aside) would be the ‘time-warp’ 1965 289 Cobra Mk II. All you need is a comprehensive mechanical restoration for safety and reliability – but leave the wonderful patina of the interior and body well alone.