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To the Pinnacle and beyond – RM’s three-part Pebble Beach sale

This year, RM will be the first of the ‘international’ auction houses to get proceedings underway in Monterey, as the Pinnacle Portfolio – special enough to warrant its own evening sale – will go under the hammer on Thursday, ahead of the traditional two-day sale on Friday and Saturday...

We first looked at the snappily titled Pinnacle Portfolio when it was announced back in early June. With a lotlist comprising some of the most collectable cars in the world, we expect the Thursday auction not only to set the tone for the rest of the week’s sales, but also to provide insight into the current values of models that haven’t been sold on the open market for some time. A prime example is the McLaren F1, the first to be offered publicly since Gooding’s unsold car last year – and although the LM-spec engine and GTR-spec aero might affect the sale price one way or another, it should give us a clue as to whether the supposed £8m private sale of Rowan Atkinson’s (twice-crashed) F1 earlier this year was representative.

Price barometers

Other potential price barometers for models rarely seen on the open market include the one-of-29 alloy-bodied Mercedes 300 SL, one-of-20 Lamborghini Reventón, and one-of-19 Ferrari F40 LM. Regarding the latter, an example was most recently sold by Bonhams at Pebble last year for $2.2m; so, considering the rocketing values of standard F40s since, is RM’s $2m – $2.5m estimate for its also-unraced car a little conservative? We’ll also find out whether RM can sell a Toyota 2000GT for more than a million dollars for the third year in a row (estimate $1m – $1.3m), and whether the two notable Bugatti Veyrons for sale will finally signal the now-out-of-production model’s ascension into the collector-car stratosphere. Oh, and we mustn’t forget the three blue-chip Ferraris – a 250 LM, a 250 GT SWB Berlinetta Competizione, and an open-headlamp 250 GT LWB Cal’ Spider.

Blue-chips and rarities

It’ll come as no surprise that Ferraris head up the lotlist for the main sale, too. The 1950 Ferrari 275S/340 America Barchetta – one of nine Works-entry barchettas from the 1950s – is expected to fetch $7.5m – $10m, while the estimate for the 1956 Ferrari 250 GT Berlinetta Competizione that earned its brethren the ‘Tour de France’ sobriquet by winning the famous race is available ‘on request only’. Also co-headlining is an ex-Works Ecurie Ecosse Jaguar C-type (one of the three lightweight Factory cars), expected to fetch ¢9m – $12m. Meanwhile, other notable machines consigned include the ex-Onassis Bentley R-Type Continental, a one-of-three Jaguar XK120 Supersonic by Ghia, the Maserati Ghibli Spyder Prototype, the recently rediscovered and restored Bizzarrini P538, Zagato’s 2013 Aston Martin Centennial DB9 Spyder concept, an Aston Martin DB6 Shooting Brake by Radford, a Tatra T87, and the first McLaren P1 ever to be sold at auction – with a $1.9m - $2.1m estimate that suggests the owner is set to make a tidy 60% profit.

Photos: RM Sotheby's

The full lotlist for RM's three-part Monterey 2015 sale can be found in the Classic Driver Market.