One of my destinations during Monterey Car Week 2019 was the RM Sotheby’s auction, which was held at the Monterey Conference Center. I paid $40 dollars admission to view the auction cars during the preview hours.
While I couldn’t document every car in the catalog, here are some highlights from the Monterey 2019 auction:
1994 McLaren F1 LM
The McLaren F1 is considered by many to be the “Greatest of All Time” of the supercar world. Just 106 of these amazing vehicles were built between 1992-1998. Of those, only 64 were road legal, and of those, only two were upgraded by the factory to “LeMans specifications.” This is one of those cars. As if the regular F1 weren’t special enough, the LeMans spec gets an unrestricted 680 hp engine (up from 618 hp in the standard F1), and a High Downforce Kit (HDK) with a revised nose with front fender vents and a huge rear wing.
For a car spotter like myself, seeing this car in person was the equivalent of finding the Holy Grail. It was an absolutely stunning example and perhaps the most outstanding vehicle of Monterey Car Week 2019. On the auction block, the car’s high bid was $18 million, slightly below the estimate of $20 to $25 million. With the buyer’s premium, the final sale price was $19,805,000. Congratulations to RM Sotheby’s and to the new owner!
2019 McLaren Senna (Serial No. 434/500)
McLaren’s latest hypercar, the Senna, is the latest and greatest in its lineage of “Ultimate Series” cars, which include the P1 and the F1. The Senna is limited to just 500 units worldwide. This one, car #434, is painted in Victory Grey with Papaya Spark accents. The car’s twin turbocharged 4.0L V8 engine produces 789 horsepower and was designed as a track-focused design with minimal comforts and amenities. The car did not meet its reserve price at the auction.
1996 Vector M12
Earlier this year, I had yet to see a Vector automobile in real life. The RM Sotheby’s Scottsdale auction in January 2019 saw two incredible examples come up for sale from the personal collection of Vector founder Jerry Wiegert. The WX-3 and WX-3R models were purchased by notable supercar collector Kris Singh. Then, eight months later, I was privileged to see this Vector M12 at the RM Sotheby’s Monterey auction. Three Vectors in one year! Sadly, bidders were not as impressed with this car as I was. The car did not meet its reserve price and did not sell.
1993 Jaguar XJ220
The Jaguar XJ220 is something of a “forgotten” supercar. Its release was clouded in controversy by a production change from a V12 engine to a twin-turbo V6 engine. Still, this car has always been a personal favorite of mine. Just 282 examples were produced between 1992-1994. This one was finished in beautiful Silverstone Green over Sand Leather and showed just 9,000 km since new. It sold for $423,000 (including buyer’s premium).
1984 Lancia Rally 037 Stradale
I am not going to pretend that I am an expert on Group B rally cars, or on the Lancia brand at all. The truth is, I know nothing about them. But I do know that this car looks pretty awesome. The Sotheby’s listing says it is one of just 217 examples produced for homologation, and that makes it pretty special. Featuring a 250 hp supercharged 4-cylinder engine and a weight of 2,579 lb (1,170 kg), the car was light and fast. However, bidders were lukewarm on this car and it did not meet the reserve price.
1958 Facel Vega FVS Series 4 Sport Coupe
Facel Vega was a short-lived French automobile manufacturer from about 1954-1964. Their vehicles combined gorgeous French styling with the reliability of an American V8, sourced from Chrysler. This Series 4 Sport Coupe is 1 of just 67 cars produced, and one that I would absolutely love to own. The car sold for $263,200 (including buyer’s premium).
1990 DeTomaso Pantera Si
Italian automaker DeTomaso launched the successful Pantera in 1971. Powered by a mid-rear engine Ford V8, it was sold in the US through 1975. However, production continued outside of the US through 1992. A complete re-design of the Pantera took place in 1990, with the legendary Marcello Gandini heading up the design. This 1990 Pantera Si has a very Ferrari F40-esque look to it, along with some very unique touches, such as the spoiler at the base of the windscreen! The car was never sold in the US, and is 1 of just 43 examples produced. The car sold for $240,800 (including buyer’s premium).
2008 Bugatti Veyron 16.4 and 2005 Saleen S7 Twin Turbo
The RM Sotheby’s catalog featured plenty of impressive dream cars, and these two are prime examples. On the left, a 2005 Saleen S7 Twin Turbo. The American-built supercar boasts 750 horsepower from its twin-turbocharged 427 cubic inch V8 engine. I love the car’s design and wide stance, which looks menacing from every angle. The S7TT fetched a price of $643,000.
On the right, a 2008 Bugatti Veyron 16.4 from the personal collection of John Lingenfelter. Finished in Black Blue Metallic with Dark Bugatti Blue, it shows just 1,500 miles on the odometer. This Veyron is one of just 252 coupes produced worldwide, of which only 76 were built to U.S. specification. The car sold for $1.05 million, including buyer’s premium.
2014 Pagani Huayra Tempesta “Scozia”, 2014 Ferrari LaFerrari, 1995 Ferrari F50
This shot shows exactly why RM Sotheby’s was worth the price of admission. Where else can you go to see a collection of modern day hypercars such as these offered for sale? At the far left we have a 2014 Pagani Huayra Tempesta “Scozia.” The Italian hypercar is 1 of 100 coupes produced (with approximately 30-40 in the U.S.). The car was ordered with many options including the $221,000 Tempesta package, a bespoke Scottish tartan upholstery pattern on the seats, and a custom luggage set at a cost of $20,000. With fewer than 1,500 miles from the original owner, the car was a quick sale at $2.04 million.
In the center, a 2014 Ferrari LaFerrari with just 442 miles on the odometer was an unbelievable find to the right buyer. It is one of just 499 coupes produced by Ferrari, and is believed to be the only one with this combination of Grigio Ferro paint over a red interior. The car sold for $2,947,500 (including buyer’s premium).
Last but not least, the car at the right is a 1995 Ferrari F50 (chassis no. 3351). While the F40 has surpassed many other modern Ferraris in terms of popularity, the F50 is a true collector’s car. Just 349 were built for the whole world, with only 55 for the North American market. This car is #16 of 55 US-spec cars, and has undergone an extensive restoration and Ferrari Classiche certification. The final sale price (including premium): $3,000,000.
1967 Jaguar Pirana by Bertone
Though it looks very much like a Lamborghini Espada, this is not a Lamborghini. It is a one-off creation by Marcello Gandini, working for Bertone. The car is a Jaguar Pirana, a luxurious grand tourer that features the 4.2L engine and same wheelbase as Jaguar’s 2+2 E-Type. The car debuted at the 1967 Earl’s Court Motor Show in England and went on to tour many other motor shows. It was used as a platform to display new technologies such as a special overhead air conditioning system, AM/FM radio with cassette, and newly-developed Triplex safety glass. The Pirana fetched a healthy $324,000 for this interesting piece of British and Italian automotive history.
1961 Maserati 5000 GT Coupe by Ghia
In the upper echelon of the collector car world, rarity is everything. Collectors that are invited to bring cars Pebble Beach Concours, Villa d’Este, and other prestigious shows are all about restoring unique, one-off, custom-bodied cars that nobody else has. But, there’s a problem. There are a lot of people in the world who want to restore a barn-find classic, but with more and more people looking, the supply of barn-find “unicorns” is limited. This Maserati 5000 GT has an incredible story, which you can read at the RM Sotheby’s listing. This one-off Ghia-bodied Maserati 5000 GT has an incredible provenance that someone paid $533,000 for – and they still have to restore it.
1962 Ferrari 250 GT SWB Berlinetta by Scaglietti
Perhaps the only thing that can outpace the cost of a modern Ferrari is a classic Ferrari. This 1962 250 GT SWB Berlinetta, chassis no. 3359 GT, is a stunning example of a classic Ferrari that has been immaculately restored. The car has its numbers-matching engine and gearbox, and has received a full Ferrari Classiche certification. For the Ferrari enthusiast, this car is a fine example that is sure to go up in value. It sold at Monterey 2019 for $8,145,000 (including buyer’s premium).