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.
Monterey Car Week's auctions began on a positive note tonight when the Pinnacle Portfolio became the most valuable single owner car collection ever sold at auction. Sales from the 25-car auction totaled more than US$67 million, exceeding the previous record by nearly 25 percent. The top sellers were a 1964 Ferrari 250 LM, which sold for $17,600,000, and a 1998 McLaren F1 "LM-Specification", which sold for $13,750,000. Nearly half the cars in the collection set new world records for the models.
With low profiles, origami-like angles, and razor-sharp contours, the wedge-shaped supercars of the 1970s were the epitome of outrageous automotive style. Whilst the likes of the Lamborghini Countach, the Lotus Esprit, and the BMW M1 were the on-road embodiment of this ethos, the Maserati Boomerang concept car that preceded them took this style to the limit. Now, more than 40 years after it made its first appearance, this one-off automotive icon will be offered for sale by auction.
Pebble Beach might sell more million dollar cars, Villa d'Este might be more exclusive, but the Goodwood Festival of Speed is without a shadow of doubt, the largest celebration of motoring's heritage on Planet Earth. It is the only event which brings the world's greatest cars and drivers, past and present, and puts them in one place for an entire four day festival. The final ingredient in the FoS recipe which ensures it will be difficult to replicate, is that the cars and drivers, regardless of age, all get to put the pedal to the metal amidst it all.
The Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este and the accompanying Villa Erba auction put on yet another spectacular show at the weekend, with 11 cars selling for more than a million dollars, 34 of the 39 lots on offer sold, and an average sale price of $880,000 per car. While the auction was spectacular, the three day show across the adjacent villas was beyond spectacular in every respect, with the finest of Europe's vast automotive heritage on display.
Italy's annual Concorso d'Eleganza Villa d'Este is one of the biggest automotive events of the spring season, and each year new concepts and designs come out of the show. Italian design house Zagato has a history of coming out strong for the event, introducing designs like the Lamborghini 5-95 and Aston Martin V12 Zagato. This year it celebrates 100 years of Maserati with the stunning Mostro powered by Maserati.
There’s been no secret that Maserati is working on an SUV derived from the Kubang concept of 2011, although original plans to have it on sale in 2014 have fallen by the wayside. The latest rumors suggest the Levante SUV will take its bow at the Detroit show in January 2016, but in the meantime patent drawings that provide the first glimpse of the production car’s styling have surfaced.
One of the world’s most exclusive and tradition-steeped events for historic cars and motorcycles takes place on the shores of Lake Como next weekend (22-24 May). Here's our guide to what to you can see at Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este and what's for sale at RM-Sotheby's Villa Erba auction preview where 15 vehicles are expected to sell for more than $1 million each, and two cars are likely to move into the 20 most valuable cars ever sold at auction, both fetching more than $10 million.