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Monterey Peninsula, 16th of August

The Friday of the Monterey Classic Car week is reserved to the two meetings at the Quail in the Carmel Valley and the Concorso Italiano near the race track of Laguna Seca. Although both car shows they are very different in appearance.

First in the morning we entered the field at the Quail Lodge, maybe the most exclusive event of the whole week. With limited tickets sold well in advance the Motorsport Gathering is more than just cars with exquisite food and wine in a relaxed atmosphere surrounded by an interesting line-up of cars. This year Alfa Romeo had an own pre-war class with several 6C and 8C models including the 2.9 Touring Spider that already ran the Quail Rally earlier this week. Further classes were dedicated to the 50th anniversary of ISO Automobili and Bizzarini. Best of Show went to a fabulous Bentley 4 ½ Litre Blower with unique Gurney Nutting two seater Roadster bodywork.

During lunch time we went over to the Concorso Italiano in the next valley to have a complete different event. As the name indicates this is all about Italian car with line-ups of the different marques. Hundreds of enthusiasts share their cars with the spectators, be it Alfa Romeo, Fiat, Maserati, Lamborghini or Ferrari, the price range of the cars goes from small Fiat 500 to 12 cylinder Ferrari of the 1950s or 1960s. Interesting here is especially the amount of cars and the impressive line-ups of similar cars rarely seen elsewhere beside single marque meetings. Although the quality of the cars might be less impressive than at the Quail one has the impression that the car is more central with less glamour surrounding the event. Many owners and spectators are doing a picnic at the field during the day talking cars.

Friday is also the day of the first auctions. Bonhams had their single day auction during the day just a few hundred meters down the road in the Quail Lodge, RM did their first evening at the centre of Monterey in the Portola Plaza hotel. Whereas the Bonhams auction was said to be a little bit dragging the RM sale featured the first of many multimillion dollar sales of the weekend. The first car to go over the magic amount was a competition Cobra but just a few lots later the Ferrari 410 Sport fetched a staggering 7.5 Mio $ plus premium, the second highest price of the evening. After the Talbot-Lago and the Horch sold in the millions (although not reaching their lower estimate) the Gulf/Mirage GT40 came up the ramp. After a long bidders fight over several minutes the car finally hit the 10 Mio dollar marque, a price that is rarely seen on auction even these days with a lot of money in the market. It will be interesting to see how many lots this weekend will sell that high, RM has another car in this price region with the Ferrari SWB California Spider tomorrow. At the same time Gooding will have their first auction day that includes the cars from the late Sherman Wolf Collection and the Carroll Shelby raced Ferrari 857 S.

Tomorrow the day will start early in the morning at the Laguna Seca race track for the races of the “A groups” including the Cobra race that features 44 cars making this the biggest Cobra- race ever.

Text & images ... Peter Singhof www.ClassicCarPhotography.de