Each year Ferrari lovers – along with some of the rarest Ferraris ever seen – flock to Palm Beach, Florida, for a five-day celebration of the Ferrari brand. It's called the Cavallino Classic, and includes numerous track events, educational symposiums, a driving tour and of course, parties. But the biggest show of all is the Concorso d'Eleganza on the Lawn at the Breakers, a celebrated grand hotel in Palm Beach where this month some 140 rare and pristine Italian sports cars, many worth millions of dollars, were on display for both admiration and scrutiny by some of the toughest judges in the land.
The next fortnight sees one of the most concentrated periods of auction activity outside Monterey Car Week. The action is spread across two main locations in Scottsdale, Arizona and Paris, France, where the Retromobile Exhibition is held in the city which pioneered auto racing 120 years ago.
The pace of automotive development is so fast that it's easy to forget that every generation has its own supercar heroes. The cream of today's technologically advanced automotive crop would not exist without the supercars of the past – cars that took risks with crazy styling, innovative technology and a desire to go faster than anyone else had gone before. We recently spent an afternoon at Dutton Garage in Melbourne, Australia, slaking our supercar thirst and tracking down some of the cars that really moved the game on when they were first launched.
Several storied automobiles crossed the auction block at RM-Sotheby's New York "Driven by Disruption" sale on December 10, the last big sale of the year before the Scottsdale round of auctions in January begin 2016. The star of the show was Fangio's 1956 Ferrari 290 MM which fetched US$28 million and became the third most expensive car ever sold. Janis Joplin's psychedelic 1964 Porsche 356C SC Cabriolet was expected to sell for between $400,000 and $600,000, but fetched $1.7 million to set a record for the Porsche 356. Finally, Roy Rogers' 1963 Pontiac Bonneville Nudiemobile fetched $308,000, which is a record for a Bonneville, but still less than his saddle ($386,500) or his Martin guitar ($554,500).
Earlier this week a 1960 Ferrari 250 GT short-wheelbase (SWB) Berlinetta (chassis 1995 GT – one just 167 ever built), sold for £7,392,000 (US$11,439,774), becoming just the 26th car in history to sell for beyond seven figures. The 55 year old red V12 Ferrari had been donated by the late Richard Colton, a Ferrari collector, to the Royal National Lifeboat Institution (UK). Read on for full details of this new inductee into the de facto auction car "hall of fame" plus pics and auction links to all 26 cars.
The Ferrari F12 Berlinetta is already one of the most powerful naturally aspirated cars on the planet, but that doesn't mean there isn't room for improvement. The new F12tdf opens up the possibilities, carrying 40 extra angry horses under the hood and tearing through twists with help from a new rear-wheel steering system. This is an extreme F12 optimized for both road and track.
It's not all that long ago, that a car selling at auction for more than the magical million dollar mark would bring a round of applause, recognizing the significance of the sale. The continuing rise in values of top tier collectible cars has now seen more than 1300 cars fetch more than a million dollars, with hundreds more sold each year and 2015 set for a new record. Less than a month after Monterey Car Week saw more than 80 "Million Dollar Cars" sell, a further 14 cars topped the magic million dollar mark across six auctions in eight days. Despite some forebodings that the collectible car market had finally "topped out", it appears that predictions of its demise were somewhat premature.
The Monterey Car Week auctions have come and gone, and the analysts are still trying to sort through the numbers to figure out what they mean. There were more auctions and more cars presented this year than ever before, and the two biggest collectible car auction houses (RM Sotheby's and Gooding & Co.) grew sales considerably year-on-year, but the overall gross take for the combined auctions comes in within a few dollars of last year's record numbers. Like all those who ply the trade as buyers or sellers, the market appears stronger at the top end and slightly softer in the middle.
The sixty fifth anniversary of the first Pebble Beach auto racing weekend is now much greater than anyone could have envisaged when California's Monterey Peninsula community began this journey. Originally a race and low-key concours boasting European style racing cars, it has now evolved into what is known as Monterey Car Week. Camera in hand, Somer Hooker attended almost everything of significance at the 2015 event.