Travel: Top Results From 2015 Monterey Car Week Auctions

Top Results From 2015 Monterey Car Week Auctions

By Nauman Farooq
August 18, 2015

Photos courtesy of RM Sotheby’s and Gooding & Company

The auction houses that operate during Monterey Car week, in the build-up to the annual Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance, are expected to offer out the rarest, most sought after vehicles on the planet, and for the 2015 event, they certainly didn’t disappoint.

This years event saw a 2005 Ferrari Enzo sell for $6,050,000 (RM Sotheby’s), the highest sum ever paid for one of these—although this example did come with the blessings of the late Pope John Paul II. A 1961 Ferrari 250 GT California SWB Spyder sold for $16,830,000 (Gooding and Co.), while a 1964 Ferrari 250LM changed hands for $17,600,000 (RM Sotheby’s)—and in the process, nabbed the title of the most expensive car sold at this years Monterey Auctions.

As you can see, classic Ferraris are still at the top of the market, so if you’re looking for an investment piece, you can’t go wrong with the Italian Prancing Horse. The Raging Bull is not far behind either, with a 1971 Lamborghini Miura P400 SV sold for $2,475,000 (RM Sotheby’s), and a slightly older 1969 Lamborghini Miura P400 S fetched $2,530,000 (Mecum Auctions).

One of the biggest surprises from this year’s auctions was the sale of the road-going 1998 McLaren F1 LM coupe, which went for $13,750,000. This may just be the most expensive F1 sold to date, but prices for these three-seat supercars are only expected to rise in the coming years—so it might just be a bargain. Whomever bought Rowan Atkinson’s twice-crashed “normal” F1 in a private sale for allegedly around $12 million U.S. a few months ago perhaps didn’t over-pay as much as some thought.

Given the Monterey region’s motorsport heritage, cars with a racing history are popular, as a Le Mans-winning 1982 Porsche 956 sold for a strong $10,120,000 (Gooding and Co.), while a 1953 Jaguar C-Type Works Lightweight Roadster demanded $13,200,000 (RM Sotheby’s).

Also on the rise are Porsche Carrera GTs, proving that modern supercars are at least maintaining their value, with some, like the GT, becoming quite sought after. Mecum Auctions sold two examples, both were 2005 model year cars: one earned $852,500, while the other GT saw $1,100,000—not bad, considering that these cars were roughly $550,000 when new.

Going back in time to another supercar, about a decade ago, the going rate for a BMW M1 was about $150,000. Those days are long gone now, as Bonhams sold a 1981 M1 coupe for $599,500. It’s the same story with the Maserati MC12, which a few years ago was down to about $750,000. Mecum, however, was able to fetch $1,732,500 for a pristine 2005 example. Chances are, the MC12 hasn’t stopped appreciating yet.

In total, about $390.6 million of cars changed hands at the 2015 Monterey Auctions, which is quite a bit down from last years total of $428.1-million. That said, if all these high-dollar cars seem too out of reach, not to worry, there is something for everyone in Monterey, JR Auctions sold a 1954 Volkswagen Beetle for just $27,500…only a few multiples of what it would have fetched when new.

Top 10 sales across all auctions

1. 1964 Ferrari 250 LM Coupe sold for $17,600,000 (RM Sotheby’s)

2. 1961 Ferrari 250 GT California SWB Spyder (closed headlight) sold for $16,830,000 (Gooding & Co.)

3. 1962 Ferrari 250 GT SWB Coupe sold for $16,500,000 (Gooding & Co.)

4. 1998 McLaren F1 LM Coupe sold for $13,750,000 (RM Sotheby’s)

5. 1953 Jaguar C-Type Works Lightweight Roadster sold for $13,200,000 (RM Sotheby’s)

6. 1956 Ferrari 250 GT TdF Coupe sold for $13,200,000 (RM Sotheby’s)

7. 1982 Porsche 956 Coupe sold for $10,120,000 (Gooding & Co.)

8. 1959 Ferrari 250 GT Interim Coupe sold for $8,525,000 (Bonhams)

9. 1959 Ferrari 250 GT California LWB Spyder (open headlight) sold for $8,500,000 (RM Sotheby’s)

10. 1950 Ferrari 275 S/340 America Barchetta sold for $7,975,000 (RM Sotheby’s)

Figures for this article were provided by Hagerty 

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Pietro  Lo Fria
Pietro Lo Fria
8 years ago

The market is absurd at the moment. I don’t know if these types are sustainable with or without another economical crash

Ana Riley
Ana Riley
8 years ago

Blogs have always been my source of entertainment because I just love reading and your blog has made me contended. So keep up the good work. christmas jackets

8 years ago

I’m sure Monterey Auto Auction is a worth seeing event. Would be interesting to feel the difference as till now I had only the occasion to try an online auto auction on Repokar Auto Auction in Los Amngeles. And the process is quite enthralling! I like to bid and I’m more than happy when I win!!!

Steven Melnick
Steven Melnick
8 years ago

I agree that the stories behind these cars should be showcased and while the prices keep getting bid up by wealthy collectors, bringing them to auction allows cars from private collections to see the light of day. Incredible results at Monterey, check out our recap of RM Sotheby’s auction on our site [url=”!RM-Sothebys-Record-Setting-Weekend-In-Monterey/cmbz/55d2136e0cf2836caada0416″] [/url]

Frank Anigbo
8 years ago

The focus of this article is the very antithesis of what classic cars (and Petrolicious) mean to me. The spectacle of these big auctions and their focus on who is going to spend the most and record smashing and what car demanded what money and everyone jumping up and down is ultimately damaging to the future of classic cars in the hands of people who care for them the most.

Leave this kind of reporting to websites and magazines that focus on collectors.

Ian Miles
Ian Miles
8 years ago

Find the focus on values of the cars being sold and not the cars themselves pretty pointless. Rich people pushing prices whilst other richer people buy these cars. What is far more interesting is the cars themselves. The McLaren F1 sold for what 13mn USD, yippie. The higher the prices the less likely anyone else is going to see it. However the histiry of that car is fascinating.–classic-car-auction/lots/1994-mclaren-f1/93420

Andrew Salt
Andrew Salt
8 years ago

Absolutely spiffing.

Bertram Wooster
Bertram Wooster
8 years ago

How nice.

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