Last week was Classic Car Week in Monterey California – a massive week-long car show with some of the best cars ever built, and multiple auctions where millions are spent. This year, it looks like at least $390 million changed hands between buyers and sellers, but we are still waiting on an official total. We should receive the official numbers closer to the end of August, once all sales from Rick Cole Auctions are reported, and all sales are finalized, so expect a slightly higher number – probably closer to $400 million.

This year, RM Sotheby’s auction alone pulled in $172 million in sales, and had the highest sale this year – a 1964 Ferrari 250 LM coupe that pulled in a whopping $17.6 million dollars. It is not as high as the 1962 Ferrari 250 GTO that sold for a record-breaking $38 million last year, but it is noteworthy nonetheless. Between all of the auctions, the average sale price was $497,000 and the median price was just over $96,000.

Total sales are actually down from last year, but that record-breaking sale of the ’62 Ferrari 250 GTO last year had an extra impact on the sales total. Despite the slight decline in overall sales, nobody is really sweating – just 10 years ago, recorded sales were only $79 million. Think about that for a minute. This year, it only took five cars to approach that total. A 1953 Jaguar E-type Lightweight Roadster sold for $13.2 million, a 1998 McLaren P1 LM Coupe went for $13.7, a 1962 Ferrari 250 GT SWB coupe went for $16.5 and its slightly older, but topless variant– a 1961 Ferarri 250 GT California SWB Spyder – went for $16.8 million. Add in the $17.6 million from the ’64 Ferrari I mentioned earlier and the five cars collectively brought in $77.8 million dollars. Sure, maybe all of this means little to you. If you are like me, you are lucky just to watch from the sidelines. Keep in mind, however, that there is more to it than some overly wealthy old guys spending a lot of money and trading expensive collectibles.

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Why it matters

Classic Car Week in Monterey is an experience unlike any other. It’s your chance to see a lot of rare and classic cars that are otherwise hidden away for safekeeping – I know I wouldn’t be driving my $16 million Ferrari to the mall for instance. Aside from seeing some of the best cars ever built, Classic Car Week stimulates the local economy and local government like you wouldn’t believe. Around 85,000 visitors hit Monterey like a freight train, spending money left and right. Sales tax revenue alone brought Monterey County $3.4 million in 2014, and you can bet most local businesses see a significant increase in profit as well. I highly suggest you plan to make the trip next year – even if it is only for a day. If you are interested in seeing what you missed this year, Jonathan Lopez has you covered with his take on things as he experienced them. Take a look at his five-part series starting with Day 1. I don’t know about you, but I am a little jealous that I wasn’t there to take it all in myself.

Source: Monterey Herald

Robert Moore
Editor-in-Chief and Automotive Expert -
Robert has been an auto enthusiast his entire life. He started working cars at a young age, learning the basics from his father in the home garage on the weekends. As time went on, Robert became more and more interested in cars and convinced his father to teach him how to drive when he was just 13 years old. Robert continued working on cars in his free time and learned as much as he could about engines, transmissions, and car electrical systems, something that only fed his curiosity more and eventually led him to earn a bachelors degree in automotive technology with a primary focus on engine performance and transmission rebuilding.  Read More
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