With Monterey Car Week out of the way, we take a look at some of the biggest auction sales from 2017.
With big sales from all the major auction houses, Monterey Car week represents one of the most concentrated flurry of classic car sales every year. While the spotlight has been on rapidly rising Porsche models over the previous 18 months, this year’s top 10 is still largely dominated by Ferrari – a marque that is celebrating its 70th anniversary in 2017.
With a general period of cooling period in the growth of classic car values this year, the very top of the market continues to thrive. With some serious results posted in Monterey last week, here are the ten top sellers. A more detailed analysis of the 2017 Monterey auctions will follow.
1: 1956 Aston Martin DBR1 – $22,550,000 at RM Sotheby’s
The most expensive car sold during the 2017 Monterey Car Week also happens to be the most expensive Aston Martin, and British car ever sold at auction. A total of five DBR1s were produced for racing, and chassis no. DBR1/1 was the first.
Driven in period by Roy Salvadori, Stirling Moss, Jack Brabham and even Carroll Shelby, this is one of the most significant racing cars in Aston Martin’s history. Maintained by Aston Martin specialists R.S. Williams, it has been fitted with a reproduction engine for racing – although the original unit was included in the auction. It sold for $22,550,000.
2: 1995 McLaren F1 – $15,620,000 at Bonhams
Another record, this time for a McLaren F1 sold at auction. With just one owner from new, 9600 miles on the clock, as well as the fact it was the first of the seven cars officially federalised for use in the USA, this F1 is a seriously desirable machine.
It’s rare for one of the 64 road cars to come on the market, and every time one does find its way to public auction, the price seems to go up. Selling for $15,620,000, this car benefitted from service history from new, including a recent July 2017 service.
3: 1966 Ferrari 275 GTB/C – $14,520,000 at Gooding and Company
Ferrari built 12 competizione versions of the 275 GTB, endowed with an incredibly thin gauge aluminium bodywork, plexiglass side and rear windows as well as wider rear wheelarches to house the wider Dunlop racing wheels. Coming with racing history, and offered in turnkey condition, chassis no. 09051 sold for $14,520,000.
4: 1970 Porsche 917K – $14,080,000 at Gooding and Company
The Porsche 917K, especially with the Gulf livery, is one of the most iconic Le Mans racers of all time. This short-tail 917K was previously owned by Jo Siffert, and was also used during production of the classic Steve McQueen film Le Mans. It sold for $14,080,000.
5. 1961 Ferrari 250 GT SWB Berlinetta – $8,305,000 at RM Sotheby’s
Chassis 2985 is the 110th of 165 built, and was offered by RM Sotheby’s with Ferrari Classiche certification. It’s a steel-bodied example, and it won a Platinum award at Cavallino in 2016. It was sold as part of the single-owner ‘Ferrari Performance Collection’.
6. 1959 Aston Martin DB4GT Prototype – $6,765,000 at RM Sotheby’s
As the original template for all Aston Martin DB4 GTs, this prototype – a one-off ‘Design Project’ – was produced to turn the regular GT into a lean racing machine. Developed throughout its early racing career, this genuine one-off piece of Aston Martin heritage has been preserved throughout its life, and only ever subjected to respectful renovation work – being careful to retain all of the unique DP features.
7: 1955 Ferrari 121 LM Spider – $5,720,000 at RM Sotheby’s
With a competition history including entries at Le Mans and the Mille Miglia, chassis no. 0546 LM is the third of only four 121 LM Spiders built. After winning a number of events in the USA under the ownership of William Doheny, the CEO of Superior Oil, the car was involved in a tragic and fatal accident at Pebble Beach in 1956. It was extensively rebuilt, after which this example has remained in the USA.
8: 1959 Ferrari 410 Superamerica Series III Coupe – $5,335,000 at RM Sotheby’s
When Ferrari set about making the ultimate Grand Tourer, the 410 Superamerica was the result. Chassis no 1305 SA was one of 12 series III cars to be built, and it featured Pinin Farina coachwork, with desirable covered headlights and unique features such as the one-off tail lights. It sold for $5,335,000.
9: 1959 Ferrari 250 GT Series 1 Cabriolet – $4,840,000 at Gooding and Company
As the very last of the Series 1 Ferrari 250 GT Pinin Farina Cabriolets, chassis 1475 GT is an interesting mix of coachwork and mechanical specification. Recent restoration work has been carried out sympathetically, retaining much of the car’s hard-earned patina. Although no longer painted in its original Giallo Solare paint, the car retains its original engine, gearbox and other major mechanical components. It sold for $4,840,000 against an estimate of $5m-$7m.
10: 1950 Ferrari 166 MM/212 Export ‘Uovo’ – $4,510,000 at RM Sotheby’s
With one-off coachwork by Fontana, you can’t say that the Ferrari ‘Uovo’ (meaning egg), isn’t distinctive. Rarely seen in public over the last 30 years, this oddity was specially designed by Franco Reggiani for Count Giannino Marzotto and was quite a competitive racer when it was new. It sold for $4,500,000.