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Monterey, 12th of August, 2015

After the first concours event yesterday in Carmel the auction houses finally opened previews for their upcoming sales. We were able to have a visit at three of them before heading out for the McCall Jet Center Party at the Aviation Center.

First in the morning was the RM preview at the Portola Plaza in downtown Monterey. For the first time RM Sotheby´s extended their sales calendar at Monterey to include Thursday to sell the Pinnacle Collection of Supercars and rare classic cars. Highlighted by a couple of Ferraris including the 250 LM, the 250 GT SWB and the 250 GT California Spyder this will be an early indicator for the following days as this will be the highest launch into the Monterey auction week ever with just a few cars below the million dollar marque. Tomorrow at the same time we will know whether there are enough people in Monterey this year willing to spend that much money and it will also be of interest whether these cars will find a new loving home or whether they will end up in another investment portfolio.

But it's not not just the Pinnacle Portfolio that offers some great cars at the RM auction. Several blue chip cars will follow on the two subsequent days. The feature lots were displayed right at the entrance of the Portola, including the Ferrari 250 GT TdF, the 275/340 S and the Ecurie Ecosse Jaguar C-Type to name a few. Inside the ballroom the line-up continues with the Bentley Blower and several Ferrari, Aston Martin and Maserati. Outside the hotel the majority of the lots were waiting in the blistering sun to be inspected by their potential buyers.

Official auction house of the Pebble Beach Concours is again Gooding & Company and therefore their tent is again within the grounds of the gated community at the 17-miles drive. Entering the tent one is welcomed by the Ferrari 410 Superamerica, leading to the main tent with a superb collection of sports and race cars. Although the market is still dominated by Ferrari with the 250 GT SWB Speciale by Bertone and the 250 GT SWB California Spyder being the lots with the highest estimates, Gooding & Company seems to become especially known for their Porsche offering. As one could already see in Arizona and Amelia Island, the sale of the Pendel Collection a few years ago gave them a good reputation in selling the cars from Zuffenhausen. Highlighted by the Le Mans winning Porsche 956, the sale includes a very nice Porsche 904 GT as well as a 906 Carrera 6. What all auction houses have in common is a very high estimate for the early 911 and the 911 S but especially the lightweight 911 RS 2.7 version. Gooding will start their two-day auction on Saturday and they will finalize the Monterey Car week with their sale on Sunday after the Concours.

If one did not see enough cars at the two previous previews one could drive over to Bonhams at the Quail Lodge. Bonhams has partnered the second important event of the week for several years: the Quail Lodge Motorsport Gathering. Since a few years Bonhams is gaining grounds on the American market and this year’s sale has several highlights. Unsurprisingly the sale is led by a Ferrari as well, this time the 250 GT Interim followed by a 212 Inter Vignale and the Fiat 8V Supersonic, the second car of this style at Monterey after the Jaguar at RM featuring the same bodywork. Very unusual is the Veritas with Spohn body next to it.
After the auction previews one could go to the McCall Jet Center party, one of the most prestigious social events during the week. At the airport the local society and the many car related visitors could enjoy a good glass of wine or champagne in between a nice selection of cars and planes. After having started yesterday morning at the Quail Lodge, the Quail Rally also reached their final destination at McCall’s and the cars made a great addition to the field. After the national anthem and the opening by Gordon McCall even a few celebrities could be spotted, including Hollywood actor Keanu Reeves but also the designer of the famous Daytona Cobra, Pete Brock. As the party started in typical American manner at 5pm the field cleared at about 9pm as soon as the sun had set.

After a short night the entrants of the Pebble Beach Tour d´Elegance will line up at 7am in the morning in front of the Gooding tent to leave the Pebble Beach grounds towards Highway 1 on their way to the turning point at Big Sur, the later lunch stop in Carmel before going back into Pebble where most of the cars will be awaited by their detailers to be prepared for their great day on Sunday.

Text & images … Peter Singhof

Consolidated Monterey Auction Lots sorted by Estimate >>>

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