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 »

Ford auctioning concept cars for charity at Monterey event

Over in the States the Monterey Car Week is one of the biggest automotive events on the calender and the associated auctions are well known for drawing out unique metal. At last year’s RM Auctions event there was a special Ford-themed sale that put some of the various blue oval concept cars from the last decade under the hammer. For 2011, Ford and RM Auctions have once again teamed up to sell off a couple of unique concept machines.

With proceeds going to charities, the concepts up for grabs are the 2001 Thunderbird Sports Roadster Concept and the 2005 Shelby GR-1 Concept Platform Model.

The Thunderbird Concept (pictured in red) was first shown at the 2001 Detroit Auto Show as a retro-themed production Thunderbird with some extra goodies. The Concept’s long rear-end is shaped by a fiberglass tonneau, like the original Sports Roadster it’s named after. In the cabin the retro theme continues with styling that nods to the Thunderbirds of the ’50s and 60s. Read the rest of this entry »

Ex-Steve McQueen cars heading to auction

The Monterey car week is a massive classic car event on the American calender and with it scheduled for August, details are now being revealed. One of the major highlights of the event are the auctions, especially the RM Auctions event and this year some of the cars are very unique.

No Monterey auction would be complete without some movie star cars and this time around its a pair of ex-Steve McQueen cars that are on the consignment list.

First up is a very tidy 1970 Porsche 911S that was delivered to McQueen while he was on the set of the movie Le Mans. The car actually made an appearance in several of the movie’s opening scenes and is in mostly original condition with just 12,400 miles on the clock. Read the rest of this entry »

Mercury Monterey ad from 1970

He’s at my mercy, now for the coupe de grace

Historic Jaguar C-Type gets top dollar at auction

Jaguar C-Type Phil Hill fq

The legendary race driver Phil Hill’s son, Derek, drove this historic 1952 Jaguar C-Type to an auction world record this week, selling for US$2,530,000 at RM’s Sports & Classics of Monterey event in California.

One of just 53 examples built, XKC 007 was imported in August 1952 by Western distributor Charles Hornburg, who promptly hired 25-year-old Phil Hill to race the car in September on the 6.5-mile street circuit around Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin. Following the C-Type’s overall win at Le Mans in ’51, this was the North American racing debut for the C-Type. Hill didn’t disappoint, taking the car to an overall win in the Sheldon Cup on Saturday (Jaguar’s first major victory in the all-important U.S. market) and a 4th overall in the Elkhart Lake Cup race on Sunday, trailing a trio of V8-powered Cunningham’s. Hill subsequently raced the car to another overall win at Torrey Pines in December 1952.

XKC 007 passed through nine owners over the past 57 years, and one even took it to a 157mph top speed at Bonneville. The new tenth owner is getting a true piece of motorsport history.

Additional top-sellers at RM’s Sports & Classics of Monterey event included two other million-dollar cars – a race-bred 1955 Aston Martin DB3S, which brought an impressive US$1,980,000, and a stunning 1935 Duesenberg Model SJ Disappearing Top Convertible Coupe for US$1,430,000.

Limited edition Morgan reaches the USA

Morgan Aeromax SuperSports fq

Another year, another boutique automaker showing off another limited edition version of automotive genius at Gordon McCall’s Motorworks Revival, aka The Jet Center Party. This time it happened to be Morgan, showing off its new Aero Super Sports.

For those of you who might not be following the comings and goings of this cottage carmaker as close as Richard Hammond, the Aero Super Sports is basically an Aeromax targa. It features the same aluminum chassis and BMW 4.8-litre V8, backed by your choice of a six-speed manual or automatic transmission. The difference here is the two-piece top that can be removed and stowed in the boot. It was first shown at Villa d’Este but popped up in Monterey last week along with 50 or so other incredible vehicles.

Only 200 of these 2010 Morgan Aero Super Sports are going to be sold and apparently 80 slots are already taken, for a paltry US$187K apiece.

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.

Miller V16 racer going to auction

Miller V16 Racer fq

Back in 1931 the Bugatti Veyron would have been pure science fiction and Bugatti was still racing and building cars under the watchful eye of its founder Ettore Bugatti. At the same time in the States, Bugatti’s American counterpart Harry Miller was building some of the most influential racing machines in motorsport history. In the same way the Bugatti Type 35 was the pinnacle of inter-war grand prix racing in Europe, Miller’s cars dominated Indy racing in America. During the mid-1920s, they accounted for over 80% of the Indy 500 field. Miller made cars won that race nine times, and his advanced engine design created with Fred Offenhauser — remained in use through to the 1980s. Now for auction is possibly the most advanced car Miller ever produced.

Bearing a 303-cubic-inch, 300-horsepower, sixteen-cylinder engine, the 1931 Miller V16 racing car is a unique piece of machinery. It competed in several runnings of the Indianapolis 500, and remains the only sixteen-cylinder car that Miller ever made. It was restored by a man named Chuck Davis in 1978, who managed to track down the original engine, which had been separated along the way from its chassis, and reunited the two ahead of an extensive restoration project. It’s since been on display at Goodwood, Pebble Beach and Amelia Island, and numerous Miller Club events. It is now up for auction at RM Auctions’ event in Monterey, USA next month. It’s expected to fetch somewhere between $600,000 and $1 million USD.

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