Monterey 2018 Review by Kevin Watts


Well, the Monterey car week is over with interesting results. The week over all just didn’t seem as crowded as it has in years past and it was noticeable in the auction crowds. The numbers of people may have been slightly off but the sales, that’s another story. By all accounts the auctions were a huge success with a hair over $370,000,000 in sales with 849 cars recorded changing hands.

That’s a big number! Let’s dig a little deeper.

The very tippy top of the market is strong! When one single car represents 13% of the total sales, the top 3 cars are 23% and the top 10 cars equal more than 35% of the total sales, that’s all the proof you need! The super rare and truly historic cars command all the money. If the top 10 cars are 35% of the total sales what does that say for the rest of the market?

Overall Porsches stayed flat as we thought they would be, with the few exceptional cars bringing exceptional money, We were able to help a few of our clients get exceptional buys on a couple of big cars at Gooding’s.

The Porsche market has stabilized. What I see as the only differentiator is provenance and condition, and in this market you need them both to sell a car. Original paint, low mileage, and well-documented cars ruled! 

What I see happening are cracks starting to appear in the Ferrari armor! Overall the 250 GTO was the highlight of the auctions with the remaining lots having more no sales and fewer record prices than in years past. If I had to guess I’d say Ferrari sales were down close to 15% over years past with many bid to strong prices but not meeting unrealistic reserves. 

The high-flying Ferrari world seems to be bringing up other brands into their stratosphere. The Aston Martin I thought was a $12-14 million dollar car  hammered for $21,455,000! If you already have a GTO what do you buy? The GTO of the Aston world! I missed the mark on that one!

The modern supercar market fared worse with plenty of Bugattis, LaFerraris, and 918s going back to the same garages they came from. Could this be the correction we saw Porsches go through for the past few years or so? Yup!

Gooding & Co. knocked it out of the park! While the room had a few more open seats than years past, their selection was very good, overall quality was very good, and the results showed it. The specialist worked hard with us to extract every last bid and we left with a few cars and happy clients. RM/Sotheby’s didn’t care for my preview and asked I do not attend so I didn’t, but at least I know someone’s reading this, LOL! Bonham’s had a good sale and their selection seem to keep improving every year as do there sales. They had a really big NO-Sale at $9,500,000, which hurt the overall number; and it should have been sold.

Overall, Car week wasn’t as bad of a “Shit Show” as years past. Carmel by the Sea was again a great start to car week and Pebble Beach a spectacular ending!

I’m actually looking forward to next year.

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