2016 RM Sotheby’s Monterey Auction – Preview
Got a couple extra million dollars to burn? RM Sotheby’s has a few ideasby Jonathan Lopez, on
Over the course of the past quarter century, RM Sotheby’s has established itself as one of the preeminent auction houses in the world, regularly setting new sales records and offering up some of the finest collector cars in existence. The Ontario-based company just broke new ground earlier this year in Monaco, documenting the record sale of a 1995 Lamborghini Diablo SE30 Jota ($760,748) and 2004 Aston Martin DB AR1 By Zagato ($380,192). Even more impressive is the fact that RM Sotheby’s is responsible for four of the top 10 most expensive cars ever sold at auction, the majority of which exchanged hands at its flagship event in California. Now, with Monterey Car Week 2016 just over the horizon, we take a look at the top lots slated to go under the hammer.
Last year, RM Sotheby’s raked in a whopping $172.9 million in just three days, making it the highest grossing collector car auction ever. Three dozen of the individual lots surpassed the seven-figure mark.
What new records will we see established in 2016? Read on for the details.
Update 8-18-2016: We’ve taken a short video at the preview lot for the auction. Check out the video in our preview below.
Continue reading to learn more about the 2016 RM Sotheby’s Monterey Auction.
Pre-Auction Walk Around
Our man Jonathan is on the scene at RM Sotheby’s auction preview lot. Check out a few of the hottest vehicles that are going under the hammer in our video:
The Big Ones
1955 Jaguar D-Type (Lot #114)
Estimated Value – $20,000,000 to $25,000,000
The belle of the ball, as it were, is this 1955 D-Type Le Mans racer – chassis number XKD 501, the first chassis designated as a D-Type. It’s also the first team-series production D-Type, and under the guidance of the Ecurie Ecosse team, this particular example took the overall winner at the 1956 running of the famous 24-hour event. It’s considered the only complete, unaltered Le Mans-winning C- or D-Type in existence, and has seen only two private owners since Ecosse.
During testing, the D-Type showed it was capable of reaching 169 mph down the Mulsanne Straight
The D-Type uses a unitary monocoque construction, one of the first to do so. Fitted with the same 3.4-liter straight-six engine as the C-Type, the powerplant produced around 250 horsepower when new, which was sent the rear axle by way of a four-speed manual transmission. There’s independent suspension in front, a live axle in the rear, and four-wheel disc brakes. During testing, the D-Type showed it was capable of reaching 169 mph down the Mulsanne Straight.
Back in ’56, this car conquered the elements, overcoming driving rain that marked a soggy start to the famed endurance race. It also conquered the competition, coming first in a field of 49 cars, only 14 of which finished.
RM Sotheby’s says it’s “unequivocally one of the most important and valuable Jaguars in the world,” representing mid-‘50s Le Mans racers with historical importance and the utmost originality. And if it meets its expected sell price, it’ll be the seventh most expensive car ever sold at auction (unless, of course, it’s beaten by the next lot featured on this list).
Read the full review here.
1939 Alfa Romeo 8C 2900B Lungo Spider By Touring (Lot #234)
Estimated Value – $20,000,000 to $25,000,000
The gorgeous black beauty you see here is an Alfa Romeo 2900B, the superlative Italian street performance machine of the ‘30s. RM Sotheby’s calls it “the most advanced, modern, and compelling sports car that money could buy [at the time].”
This particular example is the long wheelbase “Lungo” iteration, bearing outrageously elegant bodywork by Carrozzeria Touring. The striking exterior is part of Touring’s lightweight, “superleggera” construction, and was shaped to be as aerodynamic as possible (Touring would attach felt strips to the body and capture photos of the car at speed to help fine tune it).
Motivation is derived from a 2.9-liter inline eight-cylinder engine, boosted by dual superchargers for a maximum output of 180 horsepower
Motivation is derived from a 2.9-liter inline eight-cylinder engine, boosted by dual superchargers for a maximum output of 180 horsepower. Power is routed through a four-speed manual transmission, while the suspension includes double-wishbones in the front, and a swing axle set-up in the rear. Making it stop are hydraulic drum brakes at all four corners.
The 8C 2900 hails from a long line of impressive performance machines, including the P3 and 8C 2300. Featured in the automotive biography Immortal 2.9: Alfa Romeo 8C 2900 A&B by Simon Moore, this example bears a fascinating history filled with serendipity. It was first raced in Brazil in 1949 at various amateur events, claiming several victories in the process. In 1950, however, it disappeared, with the chassis and body both taking separate paths. Incredibly, the car was reassembled from a slew of disparate sources 40 years later, with the authenticity of the body and chassis verified by 2900-historian Simon Moore.
The car’s restoration was completed by 2.9 specialist Tony Merrick in 1997. Two years later, it took second in class at the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance.
Not only is this Alfa exquisitely restored, it’s also unbelievably reliable, completing some 12,000 miles in various rally and driving events.
Just 32 2.9 chassis were ever constructed, only a dozen of which are Touring Spiders, the most valuable of the bunch. This is the first “Immortal 2.9” to hit the auction block this century, and is considered “the ultimate Italian sports car of its generation.”
Estimated Value – $12,000,000 to $14,000,000
The California Spider is undoubtedly one of the most desirable models to ever wear the Prancing Horse badge. It’s elegant, opulent, and very fast, bringing a remarkable level of purpose for a car as lovely as this open-top two-seater. Backing this claim to performance, the model competed in races like the 12 Hours of Sebring and the 24 Hours of Le Mans, showing solid results.
Mounted in the nose is a 223-horsepower, 3.0-liter Colombo V-12 engine, which mates to a four-speed manual transmission. There is independent suspension in front, a live axle in the rear, and four-wheel disc brakes.
The car saw its first restoration in the ‘70s, at which time it retained its red-on-black color scheme
This particular example, chassis 1055, was originally finished in Ferrari Rosso Rubino paint and came with a black leather interior. It’s 11th of the 50 LWB California Spiders produced, and was first shipped to New York, then purchased by a private owner in Texas. It has only one documented competitive outing, having been raced in an SCCA regional event in Florida, where it managed to clinch first in-class.
The car saw its first restoration in the ‘70s, at which time it retained its red-on-black color scheme. It was restored once again in 1994 in an exhaustively documented process by Sheehan’s European Auto Restoration, which was completed at a cost of $150,000. During that restoration, the car showed no signs of rust or collisions. In 2014, it was sold to its current owner in California, where it was finished in a period-correct shade of dark blue with a light blue leather interior. After it received the new paint and upholstery, Patrick Ottis rebuilt the mechanicals, including the V-12, suspension, and brakes.
The result, as RM Sotheby’s says, “is a perfect symphony of sound and beauty, blending the most achingly handsome automotive form with the most glorious, soul-stirring automotive aria of them all.”
Estimated Value – $7,000,000 to $9,000,000
The 250 Berlinetta Competizione is one of Ferrari’s most successful GT racers for the road and track, taking up a prominent position in the Prancing Horse’s competition resume. In addition to wins at the Targa Florio in 1957 and a GT class win at the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 1959, the 250 Berlinetta Competizione also managed an impressive three-year winning streak at the punishing Tour de France starting in 1956, giving the car its “TdF” nickname. In addition to being one of the most successful racers in Ferrari’s history, the car is considered the predecessor to such icons as the 250 GT SWB and 250 GTO.
This particular example is the second 1956 250 GT Berlinetta Competizione built, and one of only nine examples bearing its original-style bodywork
Making the go is a 260-horsepower 3.0-liter V-12, which mates to a four-speed manual transmission. Handling comes by way of an independent front suspension, a live rear axle, and four-wheel drum brakes.
This particular example is the second 1956 250 GT Berlinetta Competizione built, and one of only nine examples bearing its original-style bodywork. It was put to use at the 1956 Mille Miglia and 1959 Tour de France, as well as numerous other races. By the end of its career in 1959, this car had clocked some 32,000 racing miles on the odometer.
Unsurprisingly, it seems to have suffered some racing damage, as there are at least two incidents wherein the bodywork, headlights and taillights were swapped with units from a later model.
In 2000, the car was fully restored to its original condition. Responsible for the restoration was Classic Coach of Elizabeth, New Jersey, as well as David Carte of Classic & Sport Auto Refinishing in Edinburgh, Virginia.
In 2006, the car took best of Show GT and Platinum at the 2006 Cavallino Classic, as well as 3rd in class at the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance.
Incredibly, its current owners have driven it extensively, including in the 1000-mile Colorado Grand rally in 2008, and the California Mille, proving its roadworthiness.
1955 Ferrari 750 Monza Spider By Scaglietti (Lot #127)
Estimated Value – $4,000,000 to $5,500,000
Racing cars are a tricky buy in the collector car market, as finding one that’s original and accident-free is rare. This is an exception, and attached to it are names like Phil Hill, Carroll Shelby, and Jim Hall.
Powering this 750 Monza is a 260-horsepower, 3.0-liter four-cylinder engine, which mates to a five-speed manual transmission
Powering this 750 Monza is a 260-horsepower, 3.0-liter four-cylinder engine, which mates to a five-speed manual transmission. It’s got an independent front suspension, a De Dion rear axle, and four-wheel drum brakes. It comes in its original white with blue triangle paint finish, a unique combination.
This example was first raced at the 12 Hours of Sebring in 1955, with Phil Hill and Carrol Shelby at the wheel. The car managed to take the win at that race, but later review handed the victory to the D-Type of Mike Hawthorne and Phil Waters, who apparently crossed the finish line a little under 30 seconds ahead of the Ferrari.
The car later took (and maintained) first place at the Pebble Beach road races, then second place in Palm Springs. At the end of the 1956 season, it was sold to the Hall family, which would end up keeping it to this day – a full six decades, which is almost unheard of for a car like this.
This 750 Monza later returned to Pebble Beach and took another win, then collected a string of victories across the country, including in Kansas, Texas, and New Mexico.
Talking to RM Sotheby’s, Jim Hall recounts, “I remember driving it for the first time and was amazed by it. It had lots of torque and you had to shift through the gears quickly, but it had lots of go. The brakes were fantastic, even though they were drums. I thought it was a fabulous race car.”
1966 Ford GT40 “P/1057” (Lot #125)
Estimated Value – $3,250,000 to $3,750,000
In the world of endurance racing, there is no U.S.-bred vehicle as instantly recognizable as the GT40. As the story goes, the GT40 is the product of a bitter rivalry between Ford and Ferrari. After a business deal between the two automakers went south, the Blue Oval felt spited, and as such, created the GT40 to bring the fight to Europe at Ferrari’s established stomping grounds – the 24 Hours of Le Mans. Ford ended up with a string of victories, and the rest is history.
It was restored in the mid-‘70s by GT40 expert Robert Ash, and has been with its current owner for the past 25 years
This particular example is one of only 31 Mk. 1 road-spec vehicles, and enjoys its original 345-horsepower V-8 engine, plus a competition-spec exhaust. It’s also got a five-speed manual transmission, four-wheel independent suspension, and four-wheel disc brakes, plus original Borrani wire wheels.
It was restored in the mid-‘70s by GT40 expert Robert Ash, and has been with its current owner for the past 25 years.
And with the modern-day Ford GT once again cleaning up at the world-famous 24-hour race, odds are this original will command some very impressive prices.
2012 Bugatti Veyron 16.4 Grand Sport (Lot #120)
Estimated Value – $1,700,000 to $2,100,000
Just in case you thought automobiles produced prior to 1970 were the only things available at this auction, here’s something practically brand new. Used as a promotional car for Bugatti North America, this Veyron has less than 1,100 miles registered on the odometer. It’s 100 percent ready to roll, with over 1,000 horsepower unleashed by its quad-turbo, 64-valve, 8.0-liter W-16 engine. Properly applied, you’ll be seeing 250 mph at the top end. This is modern engineering at its finest.
Read the full review here.
2005 Maserati MC12 (Lot #211)
Estimated Value – $1,300,000 to $1,600,000
Here’s another modern-day marvel, this time from the Trident badge. Up for sale from the Riverside International Automotive Museum collection, this is Maserati’s legitimate supercar, offering stratospheric performance in a captivating package.
The MC12 was a superstar on the track, with a competition history that includes a stint in GT1 World Championship racing
Motivation is derived from a 630-horsepower, 6.0-liter V-12 engine, which mates to a six-speed paddle-shift transmission and is hauled down by Brembo brakes. The MC12 was built on the same platform as the Ferrari Enzo, but includes a removable hard top to let in the rushing atmosphere, and offers aero that creates more downforce than its Prancing Horse equivalent. Only 50 units were produced.
With bones like that, it’s no surprise the MC12 was a superstar on the track, with a competition history that includes a stint in GT1 World Championship racing.
This particular example was never registered for road duty, but it has seen quite a bit of track time, and comes with only 6,200 km (3,853 miles) on the clock. Included in that mileage is an outing with Derek Hill behind the wheel, who lapped Laguna Seca with father Phil Hill in the passenger seat in 2008. Phil passed away that following August, so this car is most likely the last vehicle to bear the racing legend around a racetrack.
Read the full review here.
Where: Portola Hotel & Spa, 2 Portola Plaza, Monterey, California 93940
When: Wednesday, August 17, 4:00 PM – 8:00 PM (Preview), Thursday, August 18, 10:00 AM – 8:00 PM (Preview), Friday, August 19, 10:00 AM – 4:00 PM (Preview) and 7:00 PM – 10:00 PM (Auction), Saturday, August 20, 10:00 AM – 4:00 PM (Preview) and 7:00 PM – 10:00 PM (Auction)
How: Admission to preview costs $40 per ticket, per day. Bidder registration costs $300 and includes a bidder’s paddle, catalogue, and admission for one bidder and one guest. The sales catalogue costs $150, and may be purchased separately. View the full sales catalogue online by clicking here. You can find more information about the auction by clicking here.