2016 Russo And Steele Monterey Auction – Preview
An auto-flavored spectacle by the bayby Jonathan Lopez, on
If you’re interested in attending a collector car auction during Monterey Car Week, there are plenty to choose from. However, if you’re looking for the utmost in excitement and non-stop action, the choice is clear – Russo And Steele. Touting the motto “for enthusiasts, by enthusiasts,” R&S uses an “auction-in-the-round” format that lets those in attendance get up close and personal with their dream machines as they roll across the ground-level block. The bidding is fast and furious, with a steady stream of lots offering fresh opportunities to blow your bank account every few minutes. The auction chant is equally continuous; a non-stop flow of numbers and words that rises and recedes alongside competing attempts to snag that special ride once and for all. It’s like a motorsport of money, a drag race with dollar bills as fuel.
This year’s event will take place over the course of three consecutive evenings, with 250 individual vehicles scheduled to go under the hammer, from muscle cars to exotics, luxury cars to dedicated racers. We’ll be on the scene next week to bring you all the action as it occurs, but before we do, we’ve collected all the big lots right here for your reading pleasure.
Update 8-18-2016: We’re at the Russo and Steele Auction right now. Check out our video walk around in the preview below.
Continue reading to learn more about the 2016 Russo And Steele Monterey Auction.
The Big Ones
1955 Facel-Vega FV1 Coupe (Lot #7183)
This one’s a little off the beaten path compared to your normal lineup of mid-‘50s GT cars. Facel-Vega first started as a producer of military aircraft components, but later switched to making cars. The FV1 Coupe was one of their first, debuting in March of 1955 and offering prewar panache and luxury for well-to-do buyers.
Responsible for the body design was M. Brasseur and Facel-Vega founder Jean Daninos, while the steel chassis underneath was created by U.K. race car designer HWM.
The look is an interesting mix of features that render the car as a uniquely stylish two-door. Up front is an egg-crate grille, while the bubbly roof complements gentle curves and a raked windshield.
Chrysler helped with development, and even provided its 291 cubic-inch Hemi V-8 for motivation. Output when new was rated at 200 horsepower.
Inside is a gorgeous leather interior fitted with plenty of polished trim.
While historical records aren’t definite, it’s believed Facel-Vega produced between 26 and 31 examples of the FV-1.
This particular example is one of only three sold as new to customers in the U.S., most likely to award-winning director Lewis Milestone. It’s equipped with a two-speed automatic transmission and a factory radio.
The car got its first restoration in 1994, at which time it was repainted its current Ivory exterior color from the original Silver-Gray Metallic. In the corners are Robergel wire wheels.
2015 Porsche 918 Weissach Spyder (Lot #7125)
As Stuttgart’s entry in the hybrid hypercar front, the 918 Spyder is easily recognized as one of the ultimate street-legal performance machines of the modern era. This particular example takes the incredible speed potential even further by equipping the Weissach Package, an $84,000 option that cuts curb weight by almost 140 pounds through the utilization of additional lightweight materials.
Propelling it into the realm of the unique is a Viper Green paint job – the only 918 we’ve ever seen in this hue. Complementing the body color are 10-spoke alloy wheels finished in black. Inside, you’ll find more custom touches, such as contrast piping that matches the exterior. There’s also an optional front-axle lift system.
Making the go is a 4.6-liter V-8 paired with two electric motors, which together produce 887 horsepower and 944 pound-feet of torque. Routing it all to the pavement is a seven-speed PDK transmission and AWD system. A sprint to 60 mph takes around 2.5 seconds.
What’s more, this thing is practically brand new, with just 1,136 miles registered on the odometer.
Read the full review here.
2014 McLaren P1 Coupe (Lot #7182)
Going head-to-head with the 918 is the British hybrid hypercar answer – the P1. Designated as the spiritual successor to the world-eating McLaren F1, the P1 uses the very latest in motorsport-derived go-faster technology in a bid to outdo the likes of Porsche and Ferrari. That means active aerodynamics, adaptive suspension, and a 3.8-liter V-8 boosted by two turbochargers and an electric motor to produce 900 horsepower and 1,100 pound-feet of torque. A run to 60 mph takes less than 3 seconds. Production is limited to 375 units total.
This particular example comes draped in SVO’s unique Volcanic Orange Coarse paint, plus it’s got carbon ceramic brakes and all the trimmings you’d expect for the model.
The question is – which will take the top bid, the 918 or the P1?
Read the full review here.
1954 Mercedes-Benz 300 S Cabriolet A Convertible (Lot #7096)
The Mercedes-Benz 300 is just one of those cars that’s dripping with class and presence. It’s elegant, opulent, and considerably cutting edge for its time, and it’s considered a truly iconic luxury car.
The 300 S is the shorter wheelbase variant, and was first revealed at the Paris Motor Show in October of 1951, with a coupe, roadster, and cabriolet making the list of body styles. Production was quite limited, with only 203 examples of the 300 S cab built.
This exclusivity was paired with a good deal of capability as well. The 300 S came equipped with a high-compression 3.0-liter engine delivering 150 horsepower to the rear axle. Combined with a lightened curb weight, this enabled the car to reach a top speed of 110 mph.
This particular example was delivered new from the factory to Los Angeles in 1954, and comes with sealed-beam headlights and fog lights from Bosch, deep black lacquer paint, and whitewall tires mounted on black hub wheels. Meanwhile, the foldable roof is finished in beige.
Inside, you’ll find leather upholstery in dark red coloring, plus chromed details and Walnut wood trim. Appropriately, the instrument panels come with English faces.
1956 Cadillac Eldorado Biarritz Convertible (Lot #7193)
If you’re looking to turn heads with inimitable style, then an early-model Cadillac Eldorado is sure to fit the bill – especially if it looks like this one. Fresh from a frame-off restoration performed earlier this year, this two-door drop top gives the impression it just rolled off the assembly line, especially when gazing into its three coats of Chantilly Maroon burgundy paint. There’s new chrome and stainless steel detailing front to back, which is polished to a brilliant reflective finish. Up top, the electric convertible roof was redone with a new electric motor and hydraulic components, while alloy “Sabre” wheels with a chrome-plated finish sit at the corners. And of course, don’t forget the rear fender fins.
Peek inside, and you’ll find an interior that’s decked out in burgundy and white leather upholstery, matching the exterior. The custom cabin also follows the original 1956 design.
The mechanicals are equally fresh. The 365 V-8 under the hood, Hydra-Matic transmission, and ancillary components were all serviced with the restoration, including the suspension and brakes as well.
Topping it off are dual 4-barrel carburetors on the engine, plus a “Bat-Wing” air cleaner element.
2004 Ford GT Prototype PB2-1 (Lot #7012)
R&S is actually offering up several Ford GT’s in Monterey, including this one – a pre-production prototype built in May of 2005. This is actually the last of the pre-production GT’s that Ford built (excluding the new generation, of course), and was used to test out manufacturing and electrical systems prior to the construction of the customer cars.
After finalization, PB2-1 was sent to SVT (Special Vehicle Team, Ford’s tuning division) as a program car for a next-gen model. As such, it comes equipped with a slew of unique parts, including a new exhaust manifold, a smaller supercharger pulley for more boost, and aesthetic enhancements like an embossed fuel filler cap.
There are 50,000 miles on the odometer, most of which were accrued during testing. Given its prototype nature, this particular model is not intended for street use.
1965 Bentley “t” Series Open Wheel Race Car (Lot #7004)
Bentley was founded in 1919, and was heavily involved in racing for several years. Some of its greatest successes have been at the 24 Hours of Le Mans, including wins in 1924, 1927, 1928, 1929, and 1930. However, the marque took an extended break from racing after that, not returning until several decades later. This Bentley Exhibition Chassis Club Racer, bearing chassis number 2 S.S.S. C-2, is the exception.
According to R&S, this racer is thought to be “the only factory chassis sold to be a road-going competition car during Bentley’s 71-year hiatus from factory involvement in circuit racing. This is the one that got away.”
Funny enough, yes – this thing was driven on English roads.
Originally just a prototype chassis, Lyncar Engineering took on the responsibility of converting it to a full-fledged alloy-bodied racer. The design used comes from Alan Padgett.
Mounted underneath the torpedo-like bodywork is an all-aluminum Rolls-Royce 6.23-liter V-8 engine with dry-sump lubrication. In its road configuration, induction comes by way of a single four-barrel carburetor, while the racing spec gets a supercharger and two carburetors.
1967 Chevrolet Corvette 427/435 Roadster (Lot #7005)
No R&S auction would be complete without a slew of high-dollar ‘Vettes on the block, and this ’67 Roadster handily fulfills that obligation. It hails from the final model year of the second-generation, making it considerably desirable amongst collectors. What’s more, it offers the ultra rare red-on-red color scheme, and is believed to be one of only five such combos in existence. It offers matching numbers with the original body and drivetrain, and received a frame-off restoration in 2007 by the Naber Brothers from Houston, Texas.
The eye-catching paint is Rally Red, and is offset by a black “Stinger” hood scoop. The convertible top is finished in black, while the red interior is vinyl.
Under the hood is the solid-lifter RPO L71 427 V-8 engine. Output when new was rated at 435 horsepower. Sending the muscle to the rear axle is a Muncie M21 four-speed manual gearbox.
This thing gets a host of factory options, including an RPO G81 Positraction rear end with 3.70:1 gears, K66 Transistor Ignition, an N11 exhaust, F41 suspension, J50 power brakes, N40 power steering, and an AM/FM radio. It also retains the original details like the spare wheel, jack, tools, seat belts, and even the factory instructions for the soft-top roof.
Documentation for this vehicle is extensive. It comes with the original window sticker, tank sticker, registration documents, and shipping report, as well as a complete list of owners since new. Only 31,098 miles are on the odometer.
1993 Jaguar XJ220 (Lot #7100)
This sleek and sexy low-slung performance machine is the XJ220, Jag’s ultimate two-seater supercar. First debuting in 1992, only 271 examples were produced, and between 1992 and 1993, it held the record for fastest street-legal production vehicle in the world, clocking a top speed of 217 mph.
It’s powered by a 3.5-liter V-6 with two turbochargers making boost. Output when new was rated at 540 horsepower at 7,200 rpm and 475 pound-feet of torque at 4,500 rpm. The 0-to-60 mph sprint takes 3.6 seconds.
This particular example has seen fastidious maintenance and very few miles. It’s covered in Monza Red paint, and shows just 871 km (541 miles) on the odometer.
Read the full review here.
1965 Ford Shelby GT350 Fastback (Lot #7010)
When discussing classic American muscle cars, the Shelby GT350 Mustang stands in a class by itself. This is a high-performance street machine with true sporting credentials, modified from the factory by Shelby to be lighter, faster, and more fun in the corners.
This example comes from 1965, the first year the model was produced, and consequently, the most desirable. Only 562 examples were built. It’s got matching numbers, with the original 289/306 HP V-8 engine mated to the original Bord-Warner T-10 four-speed gearbox. In back, you’ll find the battery mounted in the trunk to take a little mass off the nose. There are vents behind the windows, an exhaust that routes to the side, and 15-inch Cragar Mag wheels. The exterior gets that timeless blue stripes on white paint scheme. Only 21,000 miles are on the odometer.
Read the full review here.
1957 Porsche 356 Speedster (Lot #7029)
The 356 story in America starts with Porsche importer Max Hoffman, who managed to convince the Porsche brass that U.S. consumers would buy a stripped down roadster with high-end handling chops. The gambit worked, and after it debuted at the 1954 New York Auto Show, the 356 Speedster quickly solidified Porsche’s image as a world-class performance marque.
The idea was to create something small, light, and nimble, then add adequate levels of power, rather than simply throw gobs of output onto a larger car. This approach made the 356 quite good for both racing and road duties, and was seen as a “giant-killer” capable of out-handling the larger, more powerful competition. This is the germ of Porsche engineering prowess.
This particular example was restored by specialists in Newport Beach, California, and comes complete in its original factory color combination with all the original documentation.
Read the full review here.
1988 Lamborghini Countach 5000 Quattrovalvole (Lot #7202)
Few vehicles encapsulate the excesses of the ‘80s quite like the Lamborghini Countach. Sporting massively flared aerodynamics, from the pumped up wheel arches to the tall rear wing, this thing draws stares no matter where it goes. Roughly 2,000 units were produced during its 16-year production run, with each subsequent evolution being more outrageous than the last. The 5000 Quattrovalvole was first introduced in 1985, and the name references the upgraded 5.2-liter V-12 engine mounted in the rear. Output when new was rated at 414 horsepower. Roughly 600 units were produced.
Read the full review here.
1967 Ferrari 365 GT 2+2 Coupe (Lot #7031)
When it was first introduced at the 1967 Paris Auto Show, the 365 GT 2+2 Coupe was a bit of an oddity. At the time, it was the largest, most luxury-laden Prancing Horse ever created, and subsequently, it gained a good deal of attention.
The reason for the break from tradition was that the 365 GT 2+2 was aimed at American consumers, and thus gained more girth, more comfort, and more space inside.
The longer body provided additional space for those seated in the rear, but came with a handsome Pininfarina design. Inside, passengers were treated to leather upholstery and wood trim, as well as power windows and standard air conditioning.
Mechanically, the 365 GT 2+2 was the first model to come with power steering and power brakes, making it a breeze to drive on long road trips. Mounted in front was a 368-horsepower, 4.4-liter V-12 engine, while the self-leveling independent suspension helped keep it in check even when loaded with luggage.
This particular example is a European model with matching numbers finished in Rosso Corsa red with a black interior. In the corners are Borrani wire wheels. With only 48,017 km (29,836 miles) on the odometer and a sonorous 12-cylinder exhaust note, this is one very highly desirable late-‘60s GT car.
Read the full review here.
Where: 290 Figueroa Street, Monterey, California 93940
When: Wednesday, August 17, 10:00 AM – 4:00 PM (Preview), Thursday, August 18, through Saturday, August 20, 10:00 AM – 4:00 PM (Preview), 5:00 PM (Auction)
How: General admission costs $30 per ticket, per day. You can buy tickets online here. Bidder registration costs $200 and includes one Bidder Number, one Guest Pass, an Official Auction Pocket Guide, a parking pass, and drink tickets. Find more information on bidding here. You can view the sales catalogue online here.