Collectors’ car shopping gets no more serious or glamorous (or expensive!) than this summer weekend on the Monterey Peninsula in California, this year on 18-19 August to tie in as usual with the Pebble Beach concours.
With all the big auction houses represented – this is Bonhams’ 20th year there – and seemingly more stupendous motor cars on offer than ever, the Monterey Car Week auctions provide collectors with an unmissable opportunity to complete (or start…) a collection: there are trophy cars here by the score. All you need is to have done your homework…and have very deep pockets.
We’ll look forward to what’s on offer at the other auctions over the coming days, but here to start us off is a selection of the finest road car lots from Bonhams, with their presale estimates – where we have them. The Bonhams Quail Lodge Auction happens in Carmel, California, on August 18th.
1995 McLaren F1, £10 million-plus
This is number 44 of the 64 road cars and the first to cross the pond and be made US street legal. It’s only ever had one owner. Bonhams is billing it as the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to buy what for many is the ultimate road car. Hence the price!
1956 Maserati A6G/54 Gran Sport Spider, £2.4-2.7 million
The first – in effect the prototype – of nine Frua-bodied spiders built on the third series of the A6G 2000, this drop-dead gorgeous convertible with Frua coachwork had its six-year restoration overseen by Maserati authority Adolfo Orsi. No wonder it has won its class at the Villa d’Este concours, and been displayed at the Museo Enzo Ferrari in Modena.
1966 Shelby Cobra 427, £1.2-1.5 million
Incredibly, the penultimate 427 Cobra produced has covered just 1880 miles in 51 years. It’s not even as if this example of the 410bhp Anglo-American icon has been missing at all – its history is known and complete. As Bonhams says, “Unquestionably one of the most authentic and original 427s.”
1955 Lancia Aurelia B24S Spider America, £910,000-1.1 million
It was once sold in a very poor state for 1500 dollars, but today after what is said to have been the most accurate and painstaking of restorations by marque experts is totally bella in every way. Even the labels on the cloth used inside were re-created. All matching numbers, with the hot “Nardi” camshaft, and all that sophisticated engineering – the Aurelia is acknowledged as the first true gran turismo – this Lancia is just…perfetto.