® ®
Made with StudioLine Made with StudioLine
Made with StudioLine

Monterey Peninsula, Wednesday 15th of August 2012

After the Concours on the Avenue yesterday and before the Pebble Beach Tour tomorrow today was the day to visit all the auction previews. In the next 4 days no less than 5 different auction companies will have their major auction with hundreds of cars going over the block.

With a very active market and high prices many high quality cars are coming on the market and with all the major collectors being present there are more cars in the million dollar range than ever before. Especially Gooding & Company has a very high quality lot list this year and if they succeed in selling most of their cars they will likely set up a new auction record for an overall auction result.
First in the morning we went to Mecum, the specialist in muscle cars also signed a collection of Porsche including a 917/10 that was presented in a glass cage in the auction room. In recent years the value of rare racing Porsches went constantly up and especially since the sale of the Pendel collection by Gooding in Amelia the type 934, 935, the cars of the Group C era and particularly the 917 are well sought after. Beside the Porsche Mecum has their usual variety of American Classics and Muscle cars out on the field.

After Mecum we went over to Russo&Steele who added a few Ferrari to their lot list including a rare 400 Superamerica. Other cars of particular interest are a Ferrari 250 GT SII Cabriolet and a tiny Stanguellini by Bertone that won the Concorso Italiano last year.

Just over the road RM Auction had their usual spot at the Portola Hotel. Next to the door the visitors were welcomed by a trio of modern supercars including a Mercedes-Benz CLK GTR, a Porsche GT1 and Carrera GT. In the lobby of the hotel the Ferrari 250 TdF, a Ford GT40, the bright orange Aston Martin DB3S and the Ferrari 410 Sport Berlinetta were presented. The ballroom featured a quartet of Shelby cars with three Cobras and a Mustang in front of a huge wallpaper honouring the life of the lately passed away Carroll Shelby. Center stage of the preview was the Horch Special Roadster that won Pebble Beach in 2004, the car was presented in front of a wallpaper of the waterfront at the 18 hole of the famous golf course that will host the concours on Sunday.

After RM we went to their major opponent during the Monterey week: Gooding&Company. As already mentioned before Gooding has set up a fantastic lot list with more potential million dollar cars than ever before. Highlight is the Mercedes-Benz 540 K Special Roadster that is expected to top last year's result at RM for a similar example due to its history. Other cars of particular interest are the Duesenberg of Clark Gable, a duo of Bentley (a very original Blower Bentley and a rare factory team car) and several Ferrari. No less than 2 California Spider will be at the auction, one from the collection of the late Sherman Wolf that also features the beautiful two-tone livered 340 MM and a 500 TRC.

Unfortunately the time was very limited so just a quick look around was possible today as the next fixed date is the annual group shot at the race track of Laguna Seca for the featured marque. This year the feature is the work of Carroll Shelby and so no less than 46 of the most important Cobras were set up under the bridge between turn 3 and 4. Even more impressive was the fact that even during this photo shoot several Cobras were standing in the paddocks so the actual number of these racers during the weekend might be even double the amount seen in the group shot.

After a quick look through the paddocks the day ended with the McCall Jet Center Party at the Monterey airport. During the party the guests could enjoy different food and wine and look at the latest private jets and supercars. This is also the finishing point of the Quail Rally we visited on Tuesday morning.
Tomorrow early in the morning we will have the first opportunity to look at some of the entrants of this year's concours at the Pebble Beach Tour down to Big Sur and to the centre of Carmel. After that we will visit the fifth auction preview at Bonhams.

Text & images ... Peter Singhof