Million-makers: The big-money stars of the Scottsdale sales

The Scottsdale auction week promises a slew of million-dollar cars, but which are the undisputed blue-chip stars from Bonhams, Gooding and RM? We take a look at the three candidates with the highest price expectations…

Gooding & Company: 1997 McLaren F1 GTR Longtail (Lot 137)

In visual terms, the McLaren F1 GTR Longtail is perhaps the most dramatically memorable racing machine of the last 20 years. But this particular car – chassis 21R – has its own history of racing success, too, and is claimed to be the most successful BMW factory car currently in private ownership. It was the first Longtail to post a victory, winning at Hockenheim and Helsinki, and also took four podiums in five FIA GT races with a main driving pairing of JJ Lehto and Steve Soper. Restored by McLaren and maintained by marque specialist Lanzante Ltd., Gooding & Company describes the FINA-liveried Longtail as "a most magnificent example of automotive engineering." Estimate: $5-7m

RM Auctions: 1958 Ferrari 250 GT LWB California Spider (Lot 112)

It’s not one of the three significant racing Porsches which is expected to bring the highest price at RM’s Scottsdale sale, but rather, as you might have guessed, a classic Ferrari. The 1958-built 250 GT LWB, chassis 1055 GT, is the 11th of only 50 LWB Californias built. It has a single competition outing under its belt, namely the 1962 Osceola Grand Prix in Geneva, Florida, in which it recorded a class win. More recently, the car has undergone an engine rebuild at Roelofs Engineering in the Netherlands, along with a fresh service at Newport Beach Ferrari. You can read a detailed report of the Cal’ Spider here. Estimate: $7-9m

Bonhams: 1951 Ferrari 212 Export Berlinetta ‘The Tailor's Car’ (Lot 173)

Although the catalogue cover for Bonhams’ Scottsdale sale shows a 1931 Alfa Romeo 6C with bodywork by Zagato, the lot with the highest estimate is in fact another Ferrari. The 1951 212 Export Berlinetta is widely known as ‘the Tailor’s Car’ due to its first owner being fashion designer (and gentleman racer) Augusto Caraceni. We’ve already reported extensively on this car. Estimate: $3-4m

Photos: RM Auctions, Gooding & Co., Bonhams