Monterey Pre-Auction View


Well, gang it’s that time of year. Time for the continuing saga we call Monterey car week. Let the shit show begin.

Lots of exciting happenings on the peninsula this year with the events stacked up. This week will kick off on Tuesday the 21st with the Concours on the Avenue, in Carmel, our favorite event. This show is awesome if you’re a car guy; the organizers bring in a fantastic selection of all things automotive. Starting Wednesday, we get to work. We will spend the next two days going over the auction selections for a few interested clients and trying to give them an educated opinion on the real values of the offerings. There are plenty of 550 Spyders going up for sale, ranging from a poorly redone to average, but I don’t see an exceptional example out of the group.

As always the descriptions don’t tell you what’s left of the original car. As always you have to be very careful of the “Chandelier” bidders taking you for a ride once all the testosterone gets in the room. If you read the auction house contracts carefully you might notice (if you bring your lawyer to help you read it) that it’s perfectly legal for them to bid the cars up to their reserve. Meaning: Do not bid unless you really want to own it. The estimates are simply nutty on a few of the cars and between David Gooding, and RM Sotheby’s, they have a few duplicates.

I found it interesting looking at the estimates compared to each other. Gooding seems to have lower and more realistic estimates on the duplicate cars with RM hoping to make lighting strike! Every car is different and the level of restoration or originality will ultimately determine what the cars bring. The headliner Ferrari GTO at RM Sotheby’s will break the bank. A recent sale of a Series 1 GTO for 70 million should help the value of this Series II find a new home for someone afraid to miss the next GTO tour. The Aston Martin Le Mans car will be very interesting. The car doesn’t have the looks of a DB4 GT Zagato and it really didn’t accomplish much racing so the 18 million low estimate seems like wishful thinking; it should be a third less in my opinion but I’m sure the fake bids will carry it close to its reserve.

From outward appearances it would seem the quality of the cars has improved from years past and if every single car sells for its low estimate you’d have a record $500,000,000 (Yes, Five Hundred Million) in sales plus commissions! Hah, if they hit those numbers there will not be any auctions next year because they will all retire and live on their yachts in Monaco!

This is going to be fun to watch. There will be more Chandeliers than Buckingham Palace! My estimate is $350 million in real sales (so we won’t count out the cars bought by the auction houses for their Private Collections). Values will hold steady and flat.

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