Fresh from bringing you the hottest supercars at the Mecum Monterey sale, we turn our attention to the coolest classics at the RM Sotheby’s sale. It’s part of the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance and includes a couple of cars expected to fetch close to £20 million. The auction takes place on 19 and 20 August 2016.
Jaguar D-Type: $20,000,000 – $25,000,000 (£15,385,000 – £19,230,000)
“Unequivocally one of the most important and valuable Jaguars in the world” – how’s that for an opening statement? It goes some way to explaining the jaw-dropping pre-auction estimate, although the fact that this Jaguar D-Type emerged victorious at the 1956 24 Hours of Le Mans is a major contributing factor. Yours for the not-so-small matter of between £15m and £20m. Wow.
Ferrari 750 Monza Spider: $4,000,000 – $5,500,000 (£3,080,000 – £4,230,000)
In truth, following the Jaguar D-Type was always going to be a struggle, but this 1955 Ferrari 750 Monza Spider is available for around a quarter of the price. It actually raced against a D-Type at the 1955 12 Hours of Sebring, with the Jaguar crossing the line 25.4 seconds ahead of the Ferrari driven by Phil Hill and Carroll Shelby.
Shelby 289 Cobra: $2,200,000 – $2,600,000 (£1,700,000 – £2,000,000)
Speaking of Carroll Shelby… This 1964 Shelby 289 Cobra has a reputation for being “the winningest Cobra of all time”, with a history of race results longer than than a list of advisories on a 16-year-old Renault Laguna MoT certificate. It was sold new to one of Carroll Shelby’s own employees, before Don Roberts and Bob Rodgers guided it to victory in races across America.
Ford GT40: $3,250,000 – $3,750,000 (£2,500,000 – £2,885,000)
Continuing the Carroll Shelby theme, the American was famously recruited to lead the GT40’s 1965 racing season under the Shelby American banner. This is one of 31 road-spec Mk1 Ford GT40s and one of seven road cars consigned to Shelby American for retail. It started life as a Warwick Green GT40, but was painted red during a painstaking restoration.
Ferrari 275 GTS: $1,500,000 – $1,750,000 (£1,155,000 – £1,345,000)
The Ferrari 275 GTS was launched alongside its sibling – the tin-top 275 GTB – at the 1964 Paris Motor Show. It was the first production Ferrari with independent suspension on all four wheels and was powered by a 3.3-litre V12 engine developing 260hp – 20hp down compared to the GTB. This 1965 example was delivered new to American racing driver Bob Grossman.
Bentley 8-Litre Tourer: $2,500,000 – $3,000,000 (£1,925,000 – £2,300,000)
We’re almost certain the cat doesn’t come part of the deal, although for a cool couple of million you might expect a few extras. This Bentley 8-Litre Tourer left the workshop in 1932, with the Le Mans-style Vanden Plas coachwork added in 1938. Thirty years later, it arrived in the US courtesy of Hans Dieter Holterbosch, the American importer of Löwenbräu beer.
Maybach SW38 Roadster: $1,250,000 – $1,600,000 (£960,000 – £1,230,000)
Mercedes-Maybach will reveal a six-metre long two-door coupe concept at the 2016 Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance, but it’s unlikely to offer the majesty and grace of this 1938 SW38 Roadster. Powered by a 3.8-litre six-cylinder engine, this roadster was good for speeds in excess of 100 mph, with Spohn Karosserie handling the coachwork. This very car spent a decade on display at the Imperial Palace in Las Vegas.
Ferrari 250 GT/L Berlinetta Lusso: $2,000,000 – $2,500,000 (£1,540,000 – £1,925,000)
Draw up a shortlist of the most beautiful cars ever to wear the badge and the Ferrari 250 Gran Turismo Lusso will be battling for position near the top. Launched at the 1962 Paris Motor Show, the Pininfarina-designed 250 GT/L refreshed the classic GT styling of the 1950s for a new decade. In 2013, this car was restored at a cost of… wait for it… $680,000 (£525,000).
Shelby 260 Cobra: estimate available on request
“The most important American sports car in history.” A bold claim, perhaps, but given this was the very first Shelby Cobra, it’s certainly a thick slice of automotive history. This car arrived in the US, without a motor, in February 1962, with the 260-cubic inch V8 fitted in a matter of hours. A legend was born and the rest, or so they say, is history. A priceless car in more ways than one.
BMW 507: $2,400,000 – $2,700,000 (£1,850,000 – £2,075,000)
BMW will be showcasing Elvis’ freshly restored 507 at the Concours d’Elegance, but RM Sotheby’s is offering this sea green stunner at the Monterey sale. One of only 252 built, this 507 has never been offered for public sale and was originally finished in Papyros – a rare shade of off-white. Its third owner was custodian for over 50 years.
Ford GT40: $3,750,000 – $4,250,000 (£2,885,000 – £3,270,000)
This Ford GT40 was built in 1966 and immediately sent to Ford’s own facilities in Dearborn, Michigan. It spent the first couple of years on promotional duties, being displayed at dealerships and taking part in parade laps. Since then, it has spent time in England, Australia and the US.
Ferrari 212 Europa Coupe: $1,300,000 – $1,600,000 (£1,000,000 – £1,230,000)
This stunning Ferrari 212 Europa Coupe was built in late 1952 and subsequently used by the factory for exhibitions. Indeed, it was displayed on the Ferrari stand at the 1953 Turin Motor Show. RM Sotheby’s claims it is “one of the most important 212s surviving today”, pointing to its coachwork and show history.
Shelby 427 Cobra: $1,500,000 – $2,000,000 (£1,155,000 – £1,540,000)
Our cup runneth over with Cobra goodness. We’re including this particular 1965 Shelby 427 Cobra as it just happened to be Carroll Shelby’s personal car. It was shipped to Shelby American in grey primer and a 428-cubic inch V8 engine. The only known owner is Mr Shelby himself, who kept the car for his entire life.
Bentley R-Type Continental Fastback: $1,300,000 – $1,700,000 (£1,000,000 – £1,300,000)
This is a rare Bentley, being one of just 43 left-hand drive R-Type Continental Fastbacks and nine fitted with a Cadillac-sourced automatic transmission. It was built in 1954 and delivered new to a yachtsman in Washington D.C. You might need a garage the size of a yacht in which to park it.
Ferrari 250 GT LWB California Spider: $12,000,000 – $14,000,000 (£9,230,000 – £10,770,000)
Arguably the most beautiful Ferrari ever created and certainly one of the most valuable. This is number 11 of a total of 50 Ferrari 250 GT LWB California Spiders ever built and was delivered new in New York City. In 2015, an unrestored example sold for $7.7 million (£5.9 million), so you can understand the hefty pre-auction estimate.
Alfa Romeo 8C 2900B Lungo Spider: $20,000,000 – $25,000,000 (£15,385,000 – £19,230,000)
No need to adjust your set, that is indeed a pre-auction estimate nudging £20 million. But then Alfa Romeo 8C 2900s don’t exactly come up for sale all that often. Furthermore, RM Sotheby’s claims it is “the Italian equivalent of the Bugatti Atlantic; the ultimate Italian sports car of its generation”. Suddenly the estimate makes more sense.
Lamborghini Miura SV: $1,900,000 – $2,200,000 (£1,460,000 – £1,700,000)
The Lamborghini Miura was always a beautiful car, but the arrival of the SV in 1971 meant that it finally had the brawn to match its beauty. A number of mechanical upgrades resulted in an additional 15 hp, while Lamborghini said goodbye to the iconic ‘eyelashes’ around the headlights. This is one of the final 10 SVs ever built.
Ferrari 365 GTS/4 Daytona: $2,150,000 – $2,600,000 (£1,655,000 – £2,000,000)
Speaking of beauty… This is number 91 of a total of 121 Ferrari Daytona Spiders ever built. It’s a US car with factory air conditioning and Borrani wire wheels, with power sourced from a 4.4-litre V12 engine. Another contender for the title of the most beautiful Ferrari ever created.
Mercedes-Benz 500 K Cabriolet A: $2,000,000 – $2,500,000 (£1,540,000 – £1,925,000)
This 1934 Mercedes-Benz 500 K Cabriolet A was delivered new in Switzerland to Curt Alexander Bally of the famous Bally luxury footwear company. It was later purchased by Walter M. Halle of Cleveland, Ohio, who would subsequently gift it to the Crawford Auto-Aviation Museum.
BMW M1: $450,000 – $600,000 (£345,000 – £460,000)
Our next pick is something a little more modern: a 1981 BMW M1. This particular example has led a sheltered life, spending the first three years in the hands of an Italian BMW dealer, before being sold to a private collector in Japan. It has covered a mere 12,838 miles and is said to be “one of the nicest examples on the market”.
Ferrari 250 GT Berlinetta Competizione Tour de France: $7,000,000 – $9,000,000 (£5,385,000 – £6,925,000)
This is one of just nine TdFs models built and the second off the production line. The car was delivered new in April 1956 and entered into the Mille Miglia just five days later. Further European race events followed, including a number of hillclimbs and the Tour de France in 1959. It’s also a previous show-winning car.
Mercedes-Benz 300 SL Gullwing: $1,100,000 – $1,500,000 (£845,000 – £1,155,000)
How refreshing to find an auction car in a ‘used’ condition. Describing this 1954 300 SL, RM Sotheby’s claims: “The car is in what can only be described as evocative condition; its paint is heavily patinated, its tan interior carries its age, and both would be a shame to refinish.” A statement you can use when listing your Vauxhall Astra on Auto Trader.
Ferrari 268 SP: estimate available on request
Back in 1962, V8 power was a new development for Ferrari, making this an important car in the company’s illustrious history. The 268 SP was an evolution of the earlier 248 SP, with displacement increased to 2,650cc. This is the third of six cars, and was used as a test-bed at the likes of Le Mans.
Porsche 911 Turbo Carrera: $250,000 – $325,000 (£195,000 – £250,000)
Another relatively new auction lot: this is a 1977 Porsche 911 Turbo Carrera. It’s one of 727 North American-spec Turbos built for the model year 1977 and features the likes of electric windows, air conditioning and tinted glass. Amazingly, it has covered a mere 17,000 miles.
Ferrari 500 Superfast: $2,800,000 – $3,400,000 (£2,155,000 – £2,615,000)
This flagship of the Ferrari range was unveiled at the 1964 Geneva Motor Show and essentially replaced the 400 Superamerica. Power was sourced from a 5.0-litre V12 engine developing 400 hp, enough to propel this Pininfarina-designed beauty to a top speed of 174 mph. This was the actual car on display at the Chicago Motor Show.