23/08/2012 Gooding & Co., The Pebble Beach Auction, 18-19 August 2012: Review
David Gooding and Charlie Ross sell Lot 123, the 1936 Mercedes-Benz 540 K Special Roadster for a with-premium price of $11,770,000
It was another impressive Pebble Beach sale for the Santa Monica-based house. Top-seller was – unsurprisingly – the ex-Von Krieger 1936 Mercedes-Benz 540 K Special Roadster, a stunning car that achieved $11,770,000.
Hot on its heels in value in the two-day auction, conducted by David Gooding himself and the British auctioneer Charlie Ross, was Lot 49, the 1960 Ferrari 250 GT LWB California Spider Competizione. Although the suffix implies racing pedigree, the alloy-bodied car with a variety of competition-only parts never saw action on the track in period.
Its superb condition and rare specification, though, saw bidding on Saturday night finish at a World Record price of $11,275,000. Another Cal’ Spider, the very first prototype car, sold for $6,600,000.
Why the difference? Maybe condition and rarity, or perhaps just a Saturday night buzz that saw two bidders determined to ‘get their car’. For my money, the prototype is the more valuable. But then I’m a little short on $6.6m, let alone the full $11.275m.
Other Ferraris changing hands included the ex-John Edgar and Andy Warhol 1955 857 Sport ($6,270,000), the 1953 340 MM Spider ($4,730,000, like the record-breaking California Spider, a car out of the Sherman M. Wolf Collection) and the $2,365,000, 1962 400 Superamerica Coupé Aerodinamico. Neither the ‘Daytona’ Spider nor the 599XX sold.
The 1960 Ferrari 250 GT LWB California Spider Competizione sells for a hammer price of $10,250,00. That's $11,275,000 with buyer's premium, a new record for a LWB California Spider at auction
And bidding stalled just shy of the reserve on the ‘Clark Gable’ 1935 Duesenberg Model JN Convertible Coupé, just one of only 13 unsold lots at the event.
The 1973 Porsche 911 S 2.4 generated many admiring comments at the pre-sale viewings. Those wishing to pick up a bargain, however, were disappointed when the white car eventually sold for $214,500. Likewise, another car only recently appreciating in value, the 1962 Maserati 3500 GT, achieved $236,500.
Of the pre-War cars, eyebrows were raised when the little 1920 Bugatti Type 13, a ‘Brescia’, roared over its upper estimate to sell at $379,500. One of the hotly tipped cars of the sale, the 1928 Bentley 4 1/2 Litre Le Mans Sports ‘Bobtail’ sold for $6,050,000, helping the average price per car for the entire sale to an extraordinary $1,033,966.
That's big money, in anyone’s reckoning, and something to reflect on at the end of another record-breaking week of sales on the Monterey peninsula.