The official auction house in cooperation with Pebble Beach is Gooding&Company and their tent is
just down the street from the Lodge that will host the concours on Sunday. Set up as always in a huge tent
the guests and bidders are welcomed by one of the sales star lot, the “Admiral´s Ferrari”. Named after his
long term custodian the light blue Ferrari 500 Mondial is certainly one of the highlights coming from a long
therm collection ticking all the boxes for the serious Ferrari Collector. Ferrari do very often dominate the sales
result of the auctions but Gooding has a very varied line-up this year with pretty much for every taste. On the
other spectrum of the Ferrari is another car with superb provenance, coming from the highly respected Collier
Collection, the famous Clark Gable Duesenberg SSJ. Only one of two (the other belonged to Gary Cooper)
and with such a famous first owner car is maybe the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for the American collector
to get his hands on a car like this. Duesenberg itself is an iconic brand in the US and Duesenbergs are
always very well presented at the various concours but this is certainly the top of the list in American pre-war
cars. Further Ferraris include a wonderful 195 S Le Mans Berlinetta, a 275 GTB/C as well as a 250 GT TDF.
But just when entering the main tent one could see three rather small racing cars that all made a big
impression at the time starting with a Porsche 550 Spyder alongside the most beautiful car of the auction, the
two-tone black over crème Maserati A6 Frua Cabriolet. One of two Maserati A6 on show the car was admired
by many collectors this morning and might end up in a bidder war. Even more famous might be the A6 Zagato
but this one-off might lack the elegance of the “normal” Zagato design being a little bit nose-heavy. In addition
to the Maseratis the Siata 208 CS Corsa Spider might be even more exotic. Last but not least another
Porsche has to be mentioned as in addition to the 550 Spyder also the later 718 RSK could be acquired in
the same sale.
After leaving the Gooding tent one could not make a more dramatic change in location than down to the
Portola Plaza that hosts the RM Sotheby´s auction. After two years of wait finally the new ball room is
finished and will become the centre of the RM Sotheby´s display for the next days. Entering the building the
first that springs to the eye is the superb display of the private treaty sales of the company featuring not only
the recently added Ferrari 275 P that is certified as a double Le Mans winner now after new research by the
factory but also a wonderful Bentley Speed Six, the former Pebble Beach winning Mercedes-Benz 680 S
Saoutchik as well as one of the most sought after pre-war car of all, the Alfa Romeo 8C 2300 Touring Spider.
This particular example is named after the Rimoldi family who owned this car for most of its life.
Behind the private treaty showroom RM Sotheby´s have set up a room for the three star lots of the sale
headlined by the Ferrari 250 GTO of Gregg Whitten. The car is said to set a new all-time auction record with
an estimate of 45-60 million dollar adding very much to the overall estimate of no less than 180 million for the
two days sale. Not less fascinating but most likely with a smaller list of potential buyers is the Aston Martin
DP215 Project cars that still holds the speed record on the main straight of Le Mans for a front engined race
car. Less elegant but more brutal in appearance than the GTO the car might be more for the serious collector
whereas the GTO also qualifies as an entry ticket to the very small club of GTO-owners that is very much
regarded as the who-is-who of the classic car scene. The third car in the room is the Ford GT40 MKII of the
winning trio in 1966 finishing third overall.
Upstairs even more cars are located indoors as the new building does feature a second floor. Flanking the
balcony are the 250 GT SWB and the 250 MM bringing two more iconic Ferrari on the market.
After watching the well restored cars it was time to watch restored people as the McCall Jet Centre Party
again attracted a lot of people having some plastic surgery. Obviously a normal sight in southern California the
amount of Botox and surgeries left some of the European visitors kind of speechless. The McCall party in one
of the social highlights of the week apart from the Quail Lodge gathering and it does not only attract the car
fanatics but also the society having their get together during car week. In between the planes and several
interesting cars the booze and finger food was served and it seemed that the concept of the party becomes
more and more popular as the number of people seemed to grow over the years. It would be unfair to play
down the party to a sole social meeting of the society as most of the collectors coming over to Monterey
could be seen as well chatting with each other about their cars and the upcoming events. After Gordon
McCall welcomed everybody and raced a glass to the late Dan Gurney the party was well underway until the
sun set. At about nine o´clock the amount of people became less as many left for dinner in typical American
Tomorrow will be the day when the concours cars are out for the first time with the Tour d´Elegance starting
early in the morning with the drive down to Big Sur. For the first time this year a good amount of entered cars
will be seen on the road and not few are taking the opportunity to see them for free in Carmel for the lunch
stop. Furthermore the Bonhams Auction will go into its final day of the preview as the daytime auction will
start the auction marathon of the “big three”....
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Report & Images ... Peter Singhof