Monterey car auctions to sell $230 million worth of classics

Over in the States it’s Monterey Car Week, a huge event for classic car enthusiasts and one that draws out some of the finest classic metal in the world.

The event has also become famous for its auctions and this year there are five auctions to take place with hundreds of classics going under the hammer. Auction houses Bonhams, Gooding & Company, Mecum, RM and Russo and Steele have all been consigning cars for the past several months and will lure in the thousands of automotive enthusiasts that gather in the Monterey peninsula every August.

It can be hard for us Kiwis to understand the scale of these auctions but to help collector car insurance company Hagerty has compiled the estimated net worth of every car being offered up in Monterey this week. The total is an incredible $230 million US dollars. That’s a lot of action and some very pricey cars. Read the rest of this entry »

Shelby Daytona Coupe breaks auction record

Shelby Daytona Coupe fq2

With many ultra-expensive classics not reaching reserve price at auctions it came as a surprise to many that the Shelby Daytona Coupe that failed to sell back in May has found a new home. The price tag for this exclusive piece of racing history? $7.25 million USD ($10.7m NZ), a new record for an American car sold at auction. The special Shelby sold on Saturday at Mecum’s Monterey Auction.

Chassis CSX2601 was one of six cars built by Carroll Shelby to compete against the dominating Ferrari in the F.I.A. (Federation Internationale de l’Automobile) World Manufacturers Championship for GT race class. An experimental coupe body designed by Peter Brock was built on an existing Cobra chassis, immediately increasing the top speed by 25 mph. That car won its first race, the 1964 Daytona Continental (prompting Shelby to adopt the name), and five more coupes were built, including CSX2601.

After competing at Daytona, Monza, Spa and Nurburgring, CSX2601 made history when it clinched the 1965 World Manufacturers Championship for the United States and Shelby American on July 4 in Reims, France. Driving the car to victory was American race car driver Bob Bondurant.

Bondurant drove the Daytona Cobra Coupe across the Mecum auction block as it set the new high-bid record.

America’s most expensive classic returns to auction

Shelby Daytona Coupe old

Although it was hand-made in Modena, Italy, by Carozzeria Grand Sport, the Shelby Daytona Cobra Coupe is forever an iconic American car. Built mid-sixties to challenge the FIA’s GT class, the Shelby and its team were the first Americans to beat Ferrari on its home turf, taking the famous victory on July 4th, 1965. And now the very car that helped Carroll Shelby build his name and legend – the 1965 CSX2601 Shelby Daytona Cobra Coupe returns to the auction block on Saturday, August 15, 2009 in Monterey, California, USA.

Collector car specialist auction house Mecum Auctions attempted to sell the car at its 22nd Dana Mecum Original Spring Classic Auction in Indianapolis, Indiana, USA in May, but the car didn’t reach its ridiculous reserve. It was expected to bring between $10 million and $15 million USD but in the end bidding stopped at a measly $6.8 million USD. Apparently a post-auction bid of $7.5 million was received, but Mecum thinks it can get more with the right crowd in attendance.

Dana Mecum, president of Mecum Auctions said in a recent interview “Many vintage race cars have a strong American racing history to share — including this vehicle’s sister car the CSX 2299, but no car can claim a finer race hour than the Shelby Daytona Cobra Coupe CSX2601,” Mecum continued with acute patriotism “The legacy of its World Manufacturer’s Championship win stays with us more than four decades later, reminding us of one the proudest moments in U.S. race history and a competitive spirit of victory against all odds.”

The Daytona Cobra Coupe was also licensed for the road, and at one point the CSX2601 car was owned by an American businessman who also owned a string of gas stations. He used the car to drive the daily 300 mile trip to collect receipts.

Check back next month for results from the auction.

$6.5m USD not enough to win Shelby Daytona Coupe

Shelby Daytona Coupe s

There was a global hype leading up to Mecum’s Spring Classic Auction last weekend over in the states, and it was deserved. Among all the expensive American muscle was the 1965 Shelby Daytona Coupe one of only six ever made and the car that won the FIA World Championship (read news item). Bidding was expected to get up to $10m USD, with the potential to break several records for cars sold at auctions.

When the Daytona Coupe finally crossed the block in front of a packed house the bidding started at a respectable $4 million, quickly went to $5 million, $5.5, and then $6.5. Then bidding began to stall, eventually topping out at just $6.8 million USD. An ridiculous of money, but still not enough to reach the reserve price. With no one willing to bid higher, the Daytona Coupe rolled away unsold. However Mecum was confident that the car would eventually sell with some negotiation.

Several other notable Shelbys were no-sales as well, including a 1964 Cobra 289 competition model that reached $1.3 million, a 1963 Cobra 289 with a high bid of $525,000, and a 1966 Cobra 427 S/C that also hit the $1.3 million mark without finding a new buyer. The top sale of the auction was a 1966 Ford GT40 that went for a price of $2,300,000 USD.

Family of Chevrolet Chevelles for auction

We often get American news about car auctions from Barrett-Jackson, or RM but now it’s a Mecum auction that is making waves. Mecum’s auctions can be viewed live on the Discovery channel in the U.S, and they’ve already booked cars like an original Shelby Daytona Coupe for their 22nd annual Spring Classic Auction in May.

Also going up on the block will be auction owner Dana Mecum’s personal Chevelle collection. The cars will be sold as a group, meaning the winning bidder will be taking home a total of eight Chevelles ranging from a 1965 SS hardtop with a 327ci V8 to a numbers-matching 1970 convertible with a 450-hp LS6 V8 and four-speed transmission. The Chevelles look too good together to split up, it’s going to take a serious collector to adopt them all.

To find out more about the Chevelle collection and the upcoming Mecum auction. Click here to go to the website.