RM Auctions Monterey 2013 – Auction Report

RM Auctions, Portola Hotel and Monterey Convention Center, Monterey, California, August 16-17, 2013

Report and photos (unless noted) by Rick Carey, Auction Editor

It took a while but RM Auctions regained the top auction total in Monterey in 2013 helped along (far along) by the tongue-wagging highlight of the Monterey auctions, the sale of Ferrari 275 GTB/4 NART Spider s/n 10709 for $27.5 million.

That result is: 1) 22% of RM’s record-setting $125 million Monterey auction total; 2) A reported commission ($2,750,000) that by itself was sufficient to buy any of the cars sold in Monterey except the top two dozen; 3) Only $4 million less than the entire sale totals for Bonhams ($31,186,950) or Mecum ($31,570,450); 4) Over four times Russo and Steele’s sale total. The list could go on from there, but these are enough to portray the magnitude and significance of this transaction.

It’s no wonder that tongues wagged in the wake of the NART Spider transaction.

Twenty-five lots hammered sold on bids of $1 million or more, 24% of the 109 lots sold. Two more were bid to $1 million or more but didn’t meet reserve bringing the seven-figure or more total to twenty-seven, 22.7% of the 119 lots offered. That’s heavy money overload, even for an auction week where seven-figure cars are traditionally plentiful.

There were more surprises than the NART Spider, though. Some exceptional results are scattered throughout the auction. $3,520,000 for Johnny Rutherford’s Indy 500 winning 1974 McLaren M16C was an expectation-shifting result for an Indy Car. $253,000 for a 1967 Jaguar XKE Series I 4.2 Roadster wasn’t an anomaly, with both Bonhams and Gooding getting comparable prices for similar cars, but it does make Series I 4.2s the latest fad to take off. And no one can explain the $121,000 price for a beautifully restored but essentially undistinguished ’69 Alfa 1750 Spider.

The Alfa was the next-to-last car in the sale. Maybe two bidders were determined to go home with something. In this case the winner was the loser.

Another indication of the ebullience at RM is that 22.1% of the cars sold were on hammer bids over the high estimate.

It was edifying and a credit to the market power and intense effort of RM Auctions and its staff.

Here are the numbers:

RM Monterey
Cars Offered / Sold
Sale %
Sold < Low Est
Sold > High Est
Average Sale
Total Sales
Chg from prior year
119 / 104
119 / 106
144 / 123
224 / 204
239 / 205
173 / 147

RM Auctions Monterey 2013 – Auction Report

1970 Porsche 911S 2.2 Coupe

Lot # 105 1970 Porsche 911S 2.2 Coupe; S/N 9110300331; Engine # 6300487; Sepia Brown/Russet Tan; Estimate $150,000 – $180,000; Recent restoration, 3 condition; Not sold at Hammer bid of $120,000 – 2,195cc/180hp, 5-speed, Fuchs alloy wheels, ventilated seats – Represented as original engine and transmission, backed up with the Porsche CoA. Recently restored and enjoyed, mechanically thoroughly gone through. Paint has some small chips but is good overall, brightwork shows scratches and minor dents, clean interior with no signs of wear, fresh Michelin tires. An average car that can benefit greatly from some attention to its details. – Both attractively presented (in an unusual color) and highly desirable, it is surprising this 911S attracted such a modest bid and not surprising that the consignor opted to wait for a better opportunity.

1961 Ferrari 400 Superamerica SWB Coupe

Lot # 115 1961 Ferrari 400 Superamerica SWB Coupe Aerodinamico, Body by Pininfarina; S/N 2841SA; Engine # 2841SA; Blue Sera/Tan leather; Estimate $2,250,000 – $2,750,000; Recent restoration, 2+ condition; Hammered Sold at $2,500,000 plus commission of 10.00%; Final Price $2,750,000 – Chrome spoke Borranis, Michelin XVS tires, Blaupunkt AM-FM-SW radio, Ferrari build sheet copies, books, tools, jack – 1961 Paris Motor Show display car. A seriously gorgeous car done to high standards of fit and finish in a 2006 restoration that still is better than new. – Epic, sleek, streamlined and beautiful, but notably not Ferrari Classiche certified. It’s still hard to find a car more desirable than this. For this price, too.

1973 Ferrari 365 GTB/4 Daytona Coupe

Lot # 123 1973 Ferrari 365 GTB/4 Daytona Coupe, Body by Pininfarina/Scaglietti; S/N 16691; Engine # B2542; Dark Blue (Blu Scozia)/Tan leather, Black stripes; Estimate $550,000 – $650,000; Recent restoration, 2+ condition; Hammered Sold at $700,000 plus commission of 10.00%; Final Price $770,000 – Painted nose panel, popup lights, chrome spoke Borranis, Michelin X tires, Veglia A/C, P/W, Becker Mexico cassette stereo, manuals – Very good paint, chrome and interior. Engine compartment is like new. A sharp, clean car. 2012 Platinum at Cavallino and 24,986 miles from new. About as good as it gets in a Daytona, a brilliantly and accurately restored car. – An over-the-top Daytona that brought a deserved over-the-top price. It’s beautifully sinister in deep, rich Blu Scozia, too.

1950 Ferrari 166 MM Barchetta

Lot # 125 1950 Ferrari 166 MM Barchetta, Body by after Touring; S/N 0038M; Engine # 0038M; Red/Tan leather; Estimate $3,000,000 – $3,500,000; Rebodied or re-created, 3+ condition; Hammered Sold at $2,800,000 plus commission of 10.00%; Final Price $3,080,000 – RHD. Chrome spoke outside laced wheels, strange but historically appropriate multiple aeroscreens, Michelin XVS tires – Raced by Ascari, Chinetti, Louis-Dreyfus, Cornacchia, Serafini, Bracco as a barchetta, rebodied in ’51 or ’52 with a coupe body by Vignale and sold in Argentina by Jose Froilan Gonzalez. Eventually rebodied with this barchetta body. Many time Mille Miglia storica participant. A good older restoration with very good paint and interior. Chassis is older and shows use. Comes with the coupe body, too. Engine is 2,562cc, a 212 in displacement. – A sexy, get you in anywhere you want to go, car with a typically checkered history for the era of multiple bodies and engine upgrades but a traceable, illustrious racing history in the hands of the best of the period and participation at Le Mans and second overall in the Mille Miglia in 1950. The result suggests some astute thinking by the bidders and careful balancing of the car’s many variations to arrive at a sensible compromise price.

1960 Ferrari 250 GT Cabriolet Series II1960 Ferrari 250 GT Cabriolet Series II

Lot # 127 1960 Ferrari 250 GT Cabriolet Series II, Body by Pinin Farina; S/N 1939GT; Dark Blue/Cream leather; Black cloth top; Estimate $1,250,000 – $1,500,000; Recent restoration, 2- condition; Hammered Sold at $1,175,000 plus commission of 10.00%; Final Price $1,292,500 – Chrome spoke Borranis, Michelin X tires, Marchal headlights, behind-grille fog lights, Ferrari build sheet copies – Good paint, chrome and interior, color changed from the original Grigio Conchiglia (Shell Grey.) Engine compartment is like new. Underbody and chassis have been restored to nearly like new, then driven a little, but overall this is a quality example in excellent condition. – Two Series II 250 GT Cabriolets in comparable condition and colors sold in Monterey within rounding error of each other. The value implications are clear.

1969 Lamborghini Miura P400S

Lot # 129 1969 Lamborghini Miura P400S; S/N 4262; Silver-Grey, Black sills/Black vinyl, Beige cloth; Estimate $650,000 – $750,000; Unrestored original, 3- condition; Not sold at Hammer bid of $610,000 – Silver painted alloy wheels, Goodyear ‘Grand Prix’ VR70 tires, P/W, no radio – Stored since 1974, recently exhumed and quickly recommissioned to run and drive. Chipped and cracked original paint crazing on the right front fender and right door. Driver’s seat cloth insert worn through and foam disintegrating. That and the pedal pad wear makes the 3,956 km on its replaced odometer look more like 103,956. Needs a good home. – The condition of this Miura is more than patina, it’s age and neglect. Charming though it may be as a barn find, it needs thorough and complete work to do any more than be driven slowly across the auction block and the reported high bid recognizes the imminent project that will have to be undertaken. It could have sold with minimal regret for the reported high bid.

1964 Ferrari 250 GT/L Lusso Berlinetta

Lot # 131 1964 Ferrari 250 GT/L Lusso Berlinetta, Body by Pininfarina/Scaglietti; S/N 5537GT; Engine # 5537GT; Metallic Blue/Beige leather; Estimate $1,250,000 – $1,500,000; Recent restoration, 2- condition; Hammered Sold at $1,260,000 plus commission of 10.00%; Final Price $1,386,000 – Chrome spoke Borrani wheels, Michelin XVS tires – Represented as matching numbers. Restored like new with better paint and interior. Firewall painted over chipped old paint. Engine is fresh and sharp. Good major chrome but the window frames are pitted and thin. Chassis looks good. An initially promising presentation but the oversights are troubling. – Didn’t repaint the firewall? Ugly, pitted window frames? These aren’t major issues (although addressing the engine compartment is only the start of a ‘while you’re at it’ litany of issues to be faced while the engine is out) but are hints that call into question the thoroughness and attention to detail of other aspects of the restoration. At this price there’s no room for error and the new owner should hope the visible shortcomings are all that hasn’t been addressed. Notably, the present presentation has not been judged by Ferrari pros. Under the circumstances the seller should be very happy to get this price.

1956 Austin-Healey 100/M BN2 Le Mans Roadster

Lot # 134 1956 Austin-Healey 100/M BN2 Le Mans Roadster; S/N BN2L/231849; Engine # 1B/231849M; Silver/Red; Red top; Estimate $175,000 – $200,000; Recent restoration, 2+ condition; Hammered Sold at $180,000 plus commission of 10.00%; Final Price $198,000. No Reserve – Factory installed Le Mans equipment, overdrive, matching numbers, chrome wire wheels, leather hood strap, laminated windshield – Recent concours-quality restoration, very good exterior, small scuffs on driver’s side of rear bumper are the only real flaws. Interior and trunk space are clean and tidy. Very nice and fully documented including the blessing of the 100M Le Mans Registry. – Simply gorgeously and accurately restored by Healey specialists and as thoroughly documented and verified as anyone could wish for a 100/M, this is a benchmark price for a benchmark car.


  1. David Thompson says

    “More than good enough to be driven happily.”
    I see this a lot, Rick, in this report and the one for the Gooding Pebble Beach auction.
    This is for a $583,000 Daytona. Does anybody really drive a $600K car that derives its value from its condition and its rarity? I’m astounded.
    Love these reports – thank you much.

  2. David Thompson says

    ” . . . but it’s still a challenge to think of a 250 GT Pf Coupe as worth a third of a million dollars.”
    Again, what’s hard to believe is that our government has once again devalued a third of a million dollars that far.

  3. Rick Carey says

    I’d like to have time for a dialogue with you, but I don’t, so let me address these two comments and then leave the field.
    First, people do drive half million dollar cars and they drive them frequently on events like the Mille Miglia, Colorado Grand and Tour Auto not to mention tootling around town on Saturday afternoons.
    They drive 5 million dollar cars, as the assemblage of Alfa 8Cs on the lawn at Pebble Beach made clear.
    These are cars. They’re made to be driven. Some guys drive half million dollar cars. Others drive five million dollar cars. The rest of us drive $15,000 cars, which represent about the same portion of our net worths.
    It is no less risk for me to drive my Alfa Giulia GT Jr. than it is for some Facebook millionaire to drive a $500K Daytona.
    These are not sacred relics (thank goodness.) They’re just cars.

    As to the observation on 1/3 million dollar 250 GT Pf coupes, I think you’re confusing your socio/political views with reality. It is exactly the amazement that 1/3 million dollars for a Pf Coupe creates that demonstrates that the value of the currency is NOT reflected in such egregious prices. Results like this are detached from reality and from the other ways of acquiring similar hard assets including collector cars with much more value-for-money.
    I am sympathetic to your socio/political point of view, but not to its effect on the collector car market.
    The discussion could go on — and thank you for bringing it up — but this is the end of it.

  4. Peter M says

    As a child, I heard my late father speak sadly of not having quite enough money to buy a T35 Bugatti for 500 pounds in England in 1954. Instead he bought a glorious Invicta for much much less. But today I realize that 500 quid was a doctor’s annual salary in England. Yes, a jillion dollars for a delicious vintage Ferrari today is a more distant prospect, but expensive cars have always been beyond the reach of most of us.

    Keep the marvelous reports coming, Mr. Carey.

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