1951 Ferrari 340 America by Vignale
The event that many consider the grand finale of the Monterey week, David Gooding’s Pebble Beach auction, will feature top-level Jaguar, pre-War Mercedes, Maserati and Ferrari motor cars in its customarily well-turned-out 2010 catalogue.
Although still inviting consignments, the sale, to be held on Saturday, August 14 and Sunday, August 15, has already received a boost by early entries: cars such as the 1927 Mercedes-Benz S Boattail Speedster, once owned by the Marx Brothers, an ex-Maserati-factory 1956 Maserati 200 SI and, from the estate of the late Gil Nickel, a 1951 Ferrari 340 America by Vignale.
The Marx Brothers’ Mercedes, apart from featuring in the Cary Grant/Katherine Hepburn film Sylvia Scarlett, was also the subject of an unlikely bet between Zeppo Marx and Phil Berg (Clark Gable and Gary Cooper’s manager), who wagered each other on whether the S would beat Mr. Berg’s Duesenberg Model J on the dry lakes of East Los Angeles. Many Hollywood stars witnessed the excitement – although it’s not known who won the bet…
1927 Mercedes-Benz S Boattail Speedster, bodywork by Murphy
The rare, Murphy-bodied supercharged Mercedes has resided in California all its life and still carries its 1950s yellow and black licence plates. This is the very first time it has ever been offered for sale at auction.
1949 Jaguar XK120 Alloy
1931 Bentley 8-Litre
The bare-metal Maserati – a prime Mille Miglia Storica/Le Mans Classic/Goodwood Revival entry if ever there was one – has been raced in period by Stirling Moss, Jean Behra and Piero Taruffi, while the big Ferrari, chassis no. 0140A, was purely a sportsman’s road car at the time, only seeing competition in recent times.
The yellow car debuted at the 1952 New York Auto Show and has, for the last 30 years, been in the ownership of the late Gil Nickel, who enjoyed running it in the Mille Miglia Storica, the Monaco Historics, the Laguna Seca Historics and the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance. At the time, the 340 America was Ferrari’s most potent road-racing car.
1956 Maserati 200 SI
All estimates are ‘on request’ until nearer the date of the sale.
For further information, see www.goodingco.com.
Text - Steve Wakefield
Photos - Pawel Litwinski / Scott Nidermaier / Simon Clay, all © 2010 Courtesy of Gooding & Company
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