A one-owner McLaren F1, a rare Ferrari Aerodinamico and a 1966 Shelby 427 Cobra – with just 1800 miles on the clock. Yup, it’s auction time, Monterey Car Week style. And this lot’s just from the Bonhams sale…
AUG 09th 2017
Could this McLaren F1 fetch £10million at Monterey?
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.
Our five Ferrari favourites
1963 Ferrari 400 Superamerica Aerodinamico, “seven figures”
There aren’t many Superamericas and even fewer Aerodinamicos (the name refers to the covered-headlight body style). This car is said to be the 15th of 18 coupes on the longer Series II chassis, and one of only 30 Aerodinamicos that were built in total. So this V12-powered, all-disc braked luxury touring Ferrari of the 1960s is indeed a rare beauty. It is also a matching numbers car that has taken platinum at the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance.
1965 Ferrari 275 GTB Alloy Long Nose, £2.1-2.3 million
The story goes this two-valve long-nose 275 was used (hard!) by the factory as a test car for the Monte Carlo Rally…before, ahem, being spruced up back at the factory and then sold new to its first owner! Today, this Pininfarina masterpiece with its (rare) alloy body, all-independent suspension and all-disc brakes is a stunner.
1972 Ferrari 365 GTS/4 Daytona Spider, £2.1-2.3 million
A factory-built open Daytona, this ’72 car is in its original (and very period) body colour of Marrone Colorado. The car was delivered new to the US and featured at the ’72 Miami Motor Show. Today after restoration it’s a platinum award winner and what you could definitely call what its US licence plate once spelt out: QTE NICE.
2003 Ferrari Enzo, £1.5-1.9 million
Two owners, 17,302 miles, never raced or rallied. Even as Enzos go, this example of Ferrari’s F1-inspired special series model of the early 2000s is a bit special. For one thing, the 650bhp mid-engined V12 machine has said never to have been on a track, for another its Nero (black) paint and Cuoio (tan) leather makes it one of just two cars in the world with this combo.
1985 Ferrari 288 GTO, £1.4-1.7 million
Lucky Dr Meril of Garland, Texas: he managed to buy one of the 272 latterday GTOs made and then he kept it for the next 32 years, clocking up over 42,000 miles in it. The 288 GTO is as much beauty as beast, with its twin turbo V8’s 394bhp and an efficiently aerodynamic body allowing a 189mph top speed. Built to homologate a race version, it never did race but faced with such exquisiteness it never mattered.
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