Pulling from the top shelf

While there are seemingly innumerable car auctions taking place up and down California’s central coast for Monterey Car Week, Gooding & Company is the only auction located next to the flagship Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance event. As such, the quality of the automobiles headed to the block is staggering, with record-breaking lots and world-class collector vehicles offered as the norm. This year, nearly 140 individual vehicles are slated to go under the hammer, with several potentially topping the eight-figure mark.

This is the place where the deepest of pockets show their worth, the auction where white-gloved treatment is expected and granted. Antiques and classics are in abundance, while more modern supercars and racers round it out. We’ll be on hand to watch it all go down, but before we arrive on the scene, we’ve broken down some of the more interesting (not to mention expensive) lots on offer in the following preview article.

Continue reading to learn more about the 2017 Gooding & Company Pebble Beach Auction.

The Lots

1970 Porsche 917K (Lot #044)

2017 Gooding & Company Pebble Beach Auction – Preview
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Estimated Value – $13,000,000 to $16,000,000

As is tradition, the Gooding & Co. Auction in Pebble Beach will offer several extremely desirable and interesting lots this year, but the big attention-grabber for 2017 is undoubtedly this ultra-rare, uber-prestigious, and incredibly iconic Porsche 917K. Highlights include a starring role in the classic racing film Le Mans, where actor/racing driver Steve McQueen wheeled it to silver screen glory. Complete in the instantly recognizable Gulf livery, Gooding & Co. rightfully refers to Lot #044 as “one of the World’s Greatest Racing Cars.”

The history behind the 917K is fascinating. It all starts in 1968, when, in response to an official rule change, Porsche sought to create a Le Mans-winning 5.0-liter racing machine. As such, Stuttgart pulled no punches, developing an aluminum space-frame with magnesium and titanium suspension. Outside, Porsche refined a new aerodynamic fiberglass body, adding NACA ducts and suspension-controlled aero flaps, creating both long tail and short tail variants to be used on either longer, faster tracks, or shorter, twisty tracks. Providing the power was an air-cooled flat 12-cylinder engine designed by none other than Hans Mezger. With dual overheads cams, twin-plug ignition, and a mechanically driven six-blade fan, output was rated at 580 horsepower at 8,400 rpm.

On track, the 917K absolutely dominated the competition throughout the ’70 and ’71 racing seasons, adding back-to-back victories at Le Mans to Porsche’s list of achievements.

The 917 debuted to the public at the Geneva International Auto Show in 1969. Following the sheet pull, Porsche continued to develop the platform, and by 1970, the 917K (K stands for “kurz,” the German word for short) was born. On track, the 917K absolutely dominated the competition throughout the ’70 and ’71 racing seasons, adding back-to-back victories at Le Mans to Porsche’s list of achievements.

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This particular example, built in 1970 as a test bed for Porsche, was used for training purposes at Le Mans, as well as testing in Germany. In 1970, legendary Porsche racing driver Joseph Siffert purchased the car directly from Porsche, having driven the 917K previously for the JWA Gulf-Porsche team. Afterwards, the car was used for filming in Le Mans, and it’s believed the King of Cool himself had several stints behind the wheel.

All told, the 917K is a rare thing indeed to see at auction. We can’t wait to see if it finds a new home.

Read our full review on the 1970 Porsche 917K.

1966 Ferrari 275 GTB/C (Lot #120)

2017 Gooding & Company Pebble Beach Auction – Preview
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Estimated Value – $12,000,000 to $16,000,000

The lust-worthy Prancing Horse you see before you is one of just 12 GTB/Cs ever created, and is considered to be the “Ultimate Evolution of the Single-Cam Ferrari Berlinetta.” Tailored specifically for competition purposes, the 275 GTB/C was outfitted with a lightweight chassis and thin window material to help reduce overall weight, not to mention simply stunning aluminum bodywork. Wider wheel arches help fit additional tire in the corners, housing lovely lightweight aluminum Borrani wire wheels, while a business-like interior and larger fuel tanks keep it focused on the win. Making it go is a 3.3-liter V-12 with high-lift cams, competition pistons, and three Weber 40 DFI/3 carburetors, all of which add up to a peak output of 333 horsepower.

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Making it go is a 3.3-liter V-12 producing 333 horsepower.

That means that in addition to looking amazing and sounding incredible, this Ferrari is also exceptionally quick. This particular example is chassis number 09051, boasting a successful racing history with campaigns throughout its native Italy. It comes in its original body, chassis, and engine, and is well documented, even including the original tool roll and an extensive history file. It’s also one of only eight left-hand drive examples in the world.

Read our full review on the 1966 Ferrari 275 GTB/C.

1956 Maserati A6G/54 Berlinetta (Lot #027)

2017 Gooding & Company Pebble Beach Auction – Preview
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Estimated Value - $4,000,000 to $5,000,000

In 1954, Maserati debuted the A6G/54, a grand touring sports car with roots in the successful A6GCS racers. Built on a tube-frame chassis and featuring the same brakes, steering, and suspension pieces as the competition vehicles, the A6G/54 had the right stuff to be an epic performer. Helping it go is a Colombo- twin-cam six-cylinder. Hewn from aluminum and fed by a trio of Weber 40 DCO3 carburetors, Hans Tanner once wrote that it had “instantaneous acceleration, faultless roadholding and excellent handling.” Frua and Allemano supplied the bodywork for the luxury cruisers, but Zagato was called upon for the performance-oriented models, blessing the high-performance machine with a gorgeous aluminum-bodied berlinetta style.

Built on a tube-frame chassis and featuring the same handling components as the competition vehicles, the A6G/54 had the right stuff to be an epic performer.

This particular vehicle is chassis 2186, representing the final example of the 21 Zagato Berlinettas built. It comes with a matching numbers engine, and is presented in its original color scheme.

1957 Arnott-Climax 1100 GT (Lot #017)

2017 Gooding & Company Pebble Beach Auction – Preview
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Estimated Value - $350,000 to $425,000

The Arnott family has strong ties to the world of motorsport, with a resume that includes the creation of the Arnott supercharger and motorcycle production. Daphne Arnott joined the family business in 1948 by designing and building F3 cars, and in 1955, she aimed to run at the 24 Hours of Le Mans. A new GT racer was created and equipped with a supercharged Coventry Climax engine. The racer was crashed in practice, but was consequently rebuilt in 1957.

Utilizing a tube-frame chassis under a lightweight aluminum exterior (plus eye-catching gullwing doors), the Arnott-Climax 1100 GT utilizes an independent suspension system and inboard rear brakes. The car competed at the 24 hours of Le Mans in 1957 as the solitary entry for the Arnott Racing Team. With Jim Russell and Dennis Taylor at the wheel, the GT managed 116 mph down the Mulsanne Straight. Unfortunately, the car dropped a valve and was forced to retire after five hours of racing, and the team was disbanded shortly thereafter. However, this one-off racer was maintained, and now arrives in Pebble Beach in its original livery design, and offered with extensive documentation.

1969 Mazda Cosmo Series II (Lot #008)

2017 Gooding & Company Pebble Beach Auction – Preview
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Estimated Value - $110,000 to $130,000

Introduced at the height of the Space Race, the Mazda Cosmo was the Japanese automaker’s premier halo vehicle, offering futuristic styling and an unusual rotary engine configuration. The Series II iteration was introduced in 1968 with a more powerful engine (128 horses), power brakes, a five-speed transmission, and a longer wheelbase. This is the genesis of the rotary-powered Mazdas we know and love today.

This particular example is in immaculate condition and has been superbly maintained over the years. Formerly owned by a Mazda employee in Japan for over four decades, it comes equipped with a rare factory air conditioning unit, and boasts an impressively low mileage of just 17,650 miles on the odometer. No doubt, this is definitely a nice addition to any collector’s stable.

The Details

2017 Gooding & Company Pebble Beach Auction – Preview
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Where: Pebble Beach Equestrian Center, Portola Road and Stevenson Drive, Pebble Beach, California, 93953
When: Wednesday, August 16th, through Sunday, August 20th
How: Tickets for viewing cost $40, while bidder registration is $200. You can find more information by clicking here.

Source: Gooding & Co.

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