How high is up? That is the question that is resonating around the collector car world as it gears up for its biggest week of the year. The Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance and the Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion have been bringing larger and larger contingents of car-lovers to California’s scenic Monterey Peninsula for decades now. Among the throng are well-heeled — and not so well-heeled — vehicle fanatics who flock the the weekend’s various collector car auctions. Though a hobby to many, this has become big business.
2017 Mecum Auction Monterey Sales Totaled $34 Million
Guests to last year’s Mecum Daytime Auction at the Hyatt Regency Monterey Hotel and Spa on Del Monte Golf Course saw 328 vehicles sold. The combined value of overall sales total was $34 million.
While you might guess that a collector car auction would be dominated by vehicles 50 years old or older, last year’s Mecum Monterey auction was topped by three modern supercars, all of which commanded seven-figure prices. A 2014 Ferrari LaFerrari with just 566 original miles hammered for $3.45 million. A 2015 Bugatti Veyron Grand Sport Vitesse, one of a production run of just 150, brought $2.35 million. A nearly new 2017 Ferrari F12tdf commanded a winning bid of $1.25 million.
So what’s teed up to capture the big dollars at this year’s Mecum Monterey Auction? Some of the auction footage — the auction runs on NBC Sports Channel around the country — could look like a not-so-instant replay. That’s because several of the featured cars are similar to the big winners in 2017.
For instance, there is a 2015 Ferrari LaFerrari (picture above) that has just 419 original miles on its odometer. So it barely has the cellophane peeled off it. This particular LaFerarri, finished in spotless Giallo Modena paint, has the 6.3-liter V-12 hybrid powertrain including the Formula 1-inspired HY-KERS Kinetic Energy Recovery System. The curvaceous body is formed of carbon fiber, and it incorporates active aerodynamics with an adjustable spoiler and movable diffuser flaps. Ferrari has certified its maximum top speed at 217 miles per hour.
If you seek something a bit more “vintage” there is the 1958 Porsche 550A Spyder, which is not only a strikingly beautiful example of the breed but also graced with a rich race history. One of just 39 built, this example was driven in competition by Ernst Vogel, who was also a virtuoso composer and professional concert pianist. The meticulous restoration, 30 years in the making, includes new bare metal aluminum bodywork panels crafted by the Kimmins brothers of Lake Havasu, Arizona. The 1750cc DOHC flat-four Carrera engine is mated to Porsche five-speed manual transmission. It employs new Mahle pistons and cylinders and new Carillo rods. The engine and mechanical systems restoration was overseen by noted Porsche expert Bill Doyle of Jackson Hole, Wyoming.
By the calendar this 2012 Bugatti Veyron Grand Sport 16.4 is six years old, but with just 850 miles on its elegant odometer, it is difficult to describe it as a “used car.” Its performance potential is immense. The 8.0-liter W-16 engine is quadruple-turbocharged and is said to offer 1,000 horsepower. A dual-clutch seven-speed DSG transaxle and all-wheel-drive get the power to the pavement. Oversized carbon-ceramic disc brakes and active aerodynamics help keep it on the pavement. The ninth of just 11 examples produced for the U.S. market, this Veyron has a factory-rated top speed of 253 miles per hour. It is claimed to rocket from zero to 60 mph in just 2.48 seconds.
Listen to Mecum Auction TV Host John Kraman on the Monterey Auction
Noted as the “daytime auction,” Mecum Auction’s Monterey event will take place on Thursday, Friday and Saturday, August 23-25 at the Hyatt Regency Monterey Hotel and Spa – Del Monte Golf Course, 1 Old Golf Course Road Monterey, CA 93940. Gates for the auction open daily at 8 am, and it is one of the biggest bargains in the entire car-spangled weekend. Advance ticket price is $20 per person, per day and advanced ticket sales are offered until 11:59 pm CDT, August. Children 12 years and younger get in free.
More information is available at https://mecum.com/auctions/monterey-2018/.
Photo credits: Mecum Auctions