Countdown to the Monterey Sales 2017: RM Sotheby's

Countdown to the Monterey Sales 2017: RM Sotheby's 4th August 2017

In 2016 at Monterey, RM chalked up two big hits – the $21.8m Le Mans-winning D-type and $13.8m ‘No.1’ Cobra – but some other big guns failed to fire. This year, with only two eight-figure lots and more than 40% of the cars at No Reserve, they’re playing it safer.
 
The Canadians’ efforts in 2017 will be helped by a return to the warmer atmosphere of the Monterey Portola Hotel ballroom. Last year, building work moved the auction to a tent in the nearby parking lot.
 
What you need to know:
 
* 116 cars; average year 1966; 41% at No Reserve (2016: 102; 1962; 32%)
* ‘Estimate on request’ – read ‘$20m+’ – 1956 Aston Martin DBR1 heads the bill
* One to watch: 1961 Ferrari 250 GT SWB Lusso (pictured, top). Will $8.5m to $10m estimate be tempting enough to sell a steel SWB at auction?
 
Joining the headlining DBR1 in the ‘Aston Martin blue-chip’ section of the catalogue is DP199/1, the DB4 GT prototype. Estimated at $6m to $8m – at least double the value of a regular DB4 GT – the ex-factory car with Le Mans and Stirling Moss history can be bought for perhaps one third the money needed for the best 250 GT SWB Competizione. We rate it.

Attractive Ulster – the pinnacle of pre-War Aston Martins
Attractive Ulster – the pinnacle of pre-War Aston Martins
The very first DB4 GT, with Works 'DP' chassis number
The very first DB4 GT, with Works 'DP' chassis number

The 1935 Ulster, ‘CMC 614’, has traded privately since it failed to sell at Bonhams Goodwood for £1.4m to £1.6m in 2014. Never an official Team Car, but with Le Mans and Mille Miglia history, its estimate of $2.5m to $3m is helped by modern MM eligibility – these are popular and surprisingly fast ‘events’ cars. Let’s see if the pre-War sports market resurgence continues here too.
 
At the other end of the spectrum is the ‘Ferrari Performance Collection’, a mainly No Reserve selection of red road cars that includes a four-cam 275 GTB (in the zone at $2.75m to $3.25m), a 206 GT (originally Giallo Fly, slightly expensive today at $650k to $750k) and an F40. The latter is priced for rare (213 only) US specification, a very low mileage of 2,802 and bespoke Schedoni luggage: $1.3m to $1.4m.

Close-coupled Bentley Speed Six by Corsica at broad estimate of $3.5m to $5.5m. The best-of-the-best in 1930 – and today
Close-coupled Bentley Speed Six by Corsica at broad estimate of $3.5m to $5.5m. The best-of-the-best in 1930 – and today

The path for standard steel 250 GT SWBs at auction in recent years has been a rocky one. RM’s example benefits from attractive original metallic grey paintwork and four decades in the hands of arch-collector/restorers Charles Betz and Fred Peters. How near it gets to its $9.25m mid-estimate will set a marker for this iconic model in 2017.

The late-entry 1959 410 Superamerica Series III Coupé by Pinin Farina is an ‘old-school’ Ferrari for the more mature collector. Using Gooding’s ex-Shah of Iran, short-chassis, open-headlamp Series II car that sold for $5,087,500 all-in at Pebble Beach 2015 as a guide, $5.5m to $6.5m for RM’s this year certainly shows confidence. Also a last-minute addition, the striking 1955 121 LM with Scuderia Ferrari Mille Miglia and Le Mans history might seem something of a bargain. Factor in a less-fancied six-, rather than 12-cylinder motor plus a tragic back-story and the estimate of $6.5m to $7.5m makes sense.

1973 Carrera RS Touring – will this one be good enough in today's demanding market?
1973 Carrera RS Touring – will this one be good enough in today's demanding market?

A pair of 1973 2.7 Carrera RS Porsches will try their luck at RM. In a highly selective market, only the best examples really get top dollar today. RM is hedging its bets on the Signal Yellow RS Touring (a broad $650k to $850k). The Light Yellow RS Lightweight, at $857k to $950k with racing history but replacement block, compares well with Bonhams’ 2017 Goodwood Festival car (£830.3k, or $1m all-in).
 
As a whole, this auction has something for everyone. We predict the Aston Martin DBR1 will set the highest price of the weekend. The rest of the results, especially with so much selling at No Reserve, will reveal what the market’s saying in real time.
 
Photos by RM Sotheby's

Nearly 12 months on from THAT Porsche 911 GT2, will another bring in big bucks for RM? Est. $1.1m to $1.4m
Nearly 12 months on from THAT Porsche 911 GT2, will another bring in big bucks for RM? Est. $1.1m to $1.4m

You can download a complete lotlist of all cars offered by Bonhams, Gooding & Co and RM Sotheby's sorted by make and model HERE.

Monterey Week 2017 auction schedule:

Mecum – sales Wednesday 16 August to Saturday 19 August. Hyatt Regency Monterey Hotel and Spa, 1 Old Golf Course Road, Monterey, CA 93940. Gates open at 08:00. Auctions at 10:00 (16 August at 13:00). See www.mecum.com

Russo & Steele – sales Thursday 17 August to Saturday 19 August.  Downtown Monterey on the waterfront by Fisherman’s Wharf, 290 Figueroa Street, Monterey, CA 93940. Auctions at 17:00. See www.russoandsteele.com

Worldwide Auctioneers – sale Thursday 17 August. Pacific Golf Municipal Golf Links 77 Asilomar Avenue, Pacific Grove, CA 93950. Auction at 17:00 (preview Tuesday and Wednesday). See www.worldwide-auctioneers.com

Bonhams – sale Friday 18 August. Quail Lodge, 8205 Valley Greens Dr, Carmel-By-The-Sea, CA 93923. Auction at 10:00 (preview Wednesday, Thursday, Friday). See www.bonhams.com

RM Sotheby’s – sales Friday 18 August, Saturday 19 August. Portola Hotel & Spa and Monterey Conference Center, 2 Portola Plaza, Monterey, CA 93940. Auctions at 18:00 (preview Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday). See www.rmauctions.com

Gooding & Co – sales Friday 18 August, Saturday 19 August. Pebble Beach Equestrian Center, Corner of Stevenson Drive and Portola Road, Pebble Beach CA 93953. Auctions at 18:00 Friday 18 August, 11:00 Saturday 19 August (preview Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday).  See www.goodingco.com

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