The 2008 Russo and Steele “Monterey Sports and Muscle at the Marriott” automobile auction was held August 14th – 16th in downtown Monterey at the Marriott Hotel.
Russo and Steele’s 8th annual auction featured a diverse set of cars, including a Shelby 427 Competition Cobra, an incredible Bizzarrini 5300 GT Strada, several Ferraris and Lamborghinis, lots of American muscle, among many other interesting offerings. Although two cars were bid over $1,000,000, the Shelby 427 Cobra and the Bizzarrini 5300 GT Strada were the top two sellers at $829,250 and $572,000, respectively.
The Russo and Steele auction atmosphere is unquestionably different than the other Monterey Week auctions. Most likely you have seen a Russo and Steele auction on TV, but Sports Car Digest found the action to be much more extreme in person. TV cameras are everywhere, the auctioneer is screaming like a wild man, and the bidders and interested parties are swarming around the car crossing the block. Put together, it adds up to a very exciting and electric environment that must be seen. If you’ve never attended a Russo and Steele auction, put it on your list of things to do. At the very least it is good people watching, a favorite Sports Car Digest pastime.
Russo and Steele offered 150 automobiles for sale, with 72 finding a new owner, reflecting a 48% sales rate. The total sales volume was $9,100,000, inclusive of a buyer’s premium. Last year, Russo and Steele had over $10,000,000 in sales and a 62% sales rate. (Note: the 2008 numbers are preliminary as post sales have not been finalized).
Drew Alcazar, owner of Russo and Steele, said, “The marketplace in Monterey performed as we anticipated. The highly selective, discriminating and conservative trend was clearly evident and our savvy and astute bidders responded accordingly. Without a doubt, the market continues to show strength for extremely desirable and well-documented examples.”
Alcazar continued, “The quality and caliber of consignments this year far surpassed any to date. I believe that this selection of automobiles proves our all reserve format is working. The consignors get a measure of control over the sale of their automobile, the auction house has the opportunity to increase the quality of its selection offered at the sale, and bidders have the opportunity to buy some of these stellar automobiles that might not otherwise be available.”
Notable Auction Results:
1966 AC Cobra 427 CSX3012 Roadster – Sold for $850,000. This Cobra has a very interesting history that includes Lothar Motschenbacher and Elvis, as Motschenbacher raced this car in the 1966 USRRC Championship, and Elvis and CSX3012 were featured on the “Spinout” movie album cover.
Unfortunately, the Cobra’s history also includes a wreck or two, and from what Sports Car Digest can ascertain, it was essentially built anew in the ’80s around the remaining serial number salvaged from a wreck. And as the saying goes, that will leave a mark. Nevertheless, a no stories competition 427 Cobra should bring over $2,000,000, making this a pretty good deal for the buyer at $850,000.
1966 Bizzarrini 5300 GT Strada – Sold for $572,000. This Bizz was a solid #2 condition car, so the hammer price was market correct. We desperately wanted this spectacular 5300 GT to join the Sports Car Digest stable, especially since the price paid will most likely be seen as a bargain in a strong market.
1974 Ferrari 365 GTB/4 Daytona Spyder – High bid of $1,500,000 did not meet the reserve. Although the Daytona is a multiple Ferrari Club of America Platinum-level recipient, i.e. #1 condition, we still thought this bid would get the job done as it was all the money.
1970 Maserati Ghibli Spyder – Sold for $330,000. The seller must have been thrilled with this result, as it must represent one of the highest prices ever paid for a Ghibli Spyder. Nonetheless, it is a screaming buy when compared to the Ferrari Daytona Spyder seen above.
1971 Lamborghini Miura SV Jota – High bid of $2,000,000 did not meet the reserve. While a very unique and special Miura, it is not twice as good as the finest SV nor is it nearly four times better than a Miura S (see below). The seller should have scampered away with the money offered.
1970 Lamborghini Miura S – Sold for $423,500. Fresh from a $90,000 documented mechanical overhaul, this fly yellow Miura S was right on the money, if not a good deal. Little was written about this Miura’s history, nor if it was numbers matching, but if it checks out well, this was a nice acquisition for the buyer.
1973 Porsche Carrera RS Coupe – Sold for $302,500. Reportedly the selling price broke a world record, which was attainable only because it was a fully documented, numbers matching RS. It was sold with the Porsche Certificate of Authenticity, shipping documentation from Germany, its original German license plate and an impressive collection of historical documentation and records package.
1974 Ferrari 246 GTS Dino – High bid of $225,000 did not meet reserve. The seller of this very well prepared “chairs and flares” Dino should have taken the strong high bid. However, the seller is the original owner, the car only has 8,000 original miles, and it just finished a 3-year full restoration, so he was clearly looking for more.
1962 MGB Lightweight Sebring Race Car – High bid of $105,000 did not meet the reserve. This is one of the earliest MGBs built, with Sebring BMCD team history, Joe Huffaker preparation, plus a comprehensive and accurate restoration. We are sure the six figure bid was very tempting, but it was not enough on this day.
1967 Chevrolet Corvette Vintage Race Car – Sold for $99,000. This was a very good buy if it was in fact race ready. The Corvette has SCCA log books back to 1972, and a long, distinguished vintage racing history. Known as “Sally”, this vintage racer reportedly won 90% of its vintage races.
For complete auction results, visit www.russoandsteele.com/past_auctions.html.
[Source: Russo and Steele]