Friday, August 19, 2016

The 10 Most Expensive Cars Sold at the Monterey Auctions, Day 1

The Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance, held on a glorious Sunday in mid-August, is the conclusion of perhaps the most car-centric week of any given year. A huge part of Monterey Car Week festivities are, of course, the auctions. Six auction houses blanket California’s Monterey Peninsula with more than 1000 vehicles for sale to bidders from Thursday through Sunday. --Two companies, Mecum Auctions and Russo and Steele, sold the first cars of Monterey 2016 yesterday. It was very much a warm-up day for the seven- and eight-figure cars that will sell in the next few days—not a single car went for more than $95,000. The only six-figure vehicle was a 1913 Excelsior motorcycle. These are the top 10 most expensive vehicles that sold on day 1 of the 2016 Monterey auctions, as observed by the folks from Hagerty Insurance.Although it’s currently impossible to buy a new Cadillac convertible of any type off the showroom floor, one lucky Pebble bidder just secured ownership of Caddy Eldorado droptop for about the same price as a reasonably optioned CT6 sedan. Designed by GM styling guru Harley Earl, this 1956 Eldorado convertible received a comprehensive frame off restoration in 2016, where nearly every component and subsystem was addressed.The engine and transmission received a complete overhaul, including the water pump, generator, power steering pump, voltage regulator, dual Carter four-barrel carburetors, and fuel pump. Although stainless-steel brake lines, a rebuilt master cylinder, and fresh linings ensure stopping performance on par with original spec, the new buyer is advised to leave lots of room to bring this land-barge to a halt. A fresh exhaust system was crafted, the team making sure to maintain the Eldo’s unique dual twin tailpipes that exit through the massive chrome bumper. Finally, the body was treated to a full reconditioning and multiple coats of paint and polishing, and a fresh leather interior was fitted based on the original style. Just three years later, this style would be replaced by the iconic, tailfin-riffic 1959 Cadillac that world steal the spotlight for generations, a factor that may have contributed in keeping this cars bid on the reasonable side.—Andrew WendlerAfter more than a decade of production, 1974 marked the end of the road for the venerable Jaguar E-type. Although the Series III (1971–1974) is generally seen as the least desirable E-type, the 1974 may be the worst of the bunch. Bulky bumper over riders were added both front and rear, and the new-for-1971 5.3-liter V-12 engine had been detuned the previous year, bringing it down from its height of 272 horsepower to a mere 244.--Although the Series III E-Type lost some of the sporting pretensions of its predecessors, the car proved to be a reasonable touring vehicle. Along with the introduction of the V-12, the Series III consolidated the E-type to one wheelbase: the 2+2 coupe’s. This meant the two-seat coupe was dropped, and the roadster now had nine more inches of space between its wheel centers.As far as 1974 E-Type roadsters go, this British Racing green on tan example appears to be the best of the worst. Equipped with a three-speed automatic transmission and factory air-conditioning, the auction house reports that the car sports a full restoration, was stored in a climate-controlled area, and won its class at the 2005 Rodeo Drive Concours d’Elegance.—Greg FinkFor the price of a new Lexus, it’s possible to pull up to the country club like Puff Daddy did roughly two decades ago. When the Bentley Azure came out in 1995, the only convertible that was possibly more expensive was the identical Rolls-Royce Corniche (or if you’re stretching the definition of convertible, a Ferrari F50). Despite a minor refresh in 2005 and a “T” designation that brought even more turbocharged power to the 6.8-liter V-8 (or "six and three-quarters litre", as Bentley would say), the four-seat Azure hardly changed through its end in 2010.The squared-off fenders, tiny chrome wheels, top-mounted gas cap, and four sealed-beam headlights make the Azure nearly as old and timeless as a Jeep Wrangler, except its exquisite interior and performance would still pass muster today. Consider this black over magnolia beauty cost more than $350,000 new and has just 21,467 miles. Mecum notes a “recent service,” so hopefully, there’s no more money or more problems.—Cliff AtiyehThis Ford Galaxie 500 is an absolute beast. Who wouldn’t want to flex the muscle of the 425-hp 427-cubic-inch R-code V-8 in this big red Ford? Making it all the more enchanting, this coupe has a four-speed manual transmission, just like the Galaxie that Dan Gurney drove in NASCAR in ’63 and like many of the Galaxie factory lightweights that stormed drag strips in the mid-1960s.The 13,000 miles on this car’s odometer are believed to be original—and a bit of a shame, as we'd have driven it a lot more. Whoever snagged this California-black-plate coupe seems to have gotten a smokin’ deal, because Hagerty values this bad-ass model in the $125,000–$225,000 range.—Rusty BlackwellThis looks like a nice first-day grab from the Monterey auctions: A first-year Sting Ray coupe in Daytona Blue with the signature one-year-only split-window styling and the non-functional hood vents that also went away after 1963. This car has the 300-hp L75 engine option, one step up from the base 250-horse configuration, paired with a four-speed manual transmission (the standard manual had only three forward speeds), power steering and brakes, and the factory AM/FM radio.People pay a lot more for ’63 Corvettes with one of the two higher-output versions of the 327 cubic inch V-8 (rated at 340 hp with a four-barrel or 360 fuel-injected), and especially so for the rare Z06. This buyer scored a good driver for a price well below the Hagerty Collector Price Guide valuation of $87,600 for an excellent example with these options, but well above the $48,800 for a car in merely good condition.—Kevin A. WilsonThe 308 GTB seen here features the standard five-speed manual, the only gearbox option (my, how things have changed at Ferrari), hooked to the 2927-cc V-8 making 240 horsepower. It’s said to have covered just 11,000 miles since new and to wear its original paint and interior. The car also has its original tool roll and appears to be a good, driver-quality 308, and it sold for an amount reflective of that status.There’s no mention of any recent engine service, though, which is easily the most expensive part of owning any vintage Ferrari, and it’s said to have been stored in a climate-controlled museum—the likely reason for the low mileage. Without regular exercise and a whole host of potential items to recondition, it’s possible that the new owner may be in for much more than the final hammer price.—Erik JohnsonThis 911 Turbo, complete with the larger, intercooled 3.3-liter flat-six engine added for the 1978 model year, is a well-equipped example, with air conditioning, a leather interior, a sunroof, an Alpine stereo, and stock chrome wheels.At 4.9 seconds to 60 mph, the 930 generation of the 911 Turbo was the quickest car we tested in the 1970s and was known as the “widowmaker” due to its propensity for snap oversteer once the turbocharger kicked in. Said to be a two-owner car with 103,000 miles on the odometer, this 930 comes with the official Porsche Certificate of Authenticity certifying its factory options, production date, and original MSRP.—Joseph CapparellaThe 993 was the last air-cooled Porsche 911, but its raspy, lawnmower-like exhaust doesn’t explain why collectors pay over list for a 20-year-old sports car. These cars represent Porsche in its most independent, uncompromised state, a company focused only on racing and selling road cars with two doors. Since the 993 was partially hand-assembled, only a few thousand coupes, cabriolets, Targas, and Turbos made it to the U.S. each year (with 4S models like these numbering in the hundreds, if not less).The Carrera S and all-wheel-drive 4S are the most desirable naturally aspirated models, since they share the Turbo’s bigger wheels and brakes, as well as its widebody design. (Enthusiasts can spot the whale tail’s open lip, square-shaped exhausts, and missing rear wiper.) For a clean, one-owner 993 with 47,325 miles, the price is reasonable so long as the service records exist. These cars will run forever, but need to be maintained and exercised often. And since you can’t even get into a new Carrera 4S for this money, the new owner has definitely scored a deal.—Clifford AtiyehDodge built just 96 Viper SRT TA 2.0s in 2015. Limited to three colors—Competition Blue, Yorange, and Venom Black—production was evenly divided among each hue. Starting with a base Viper SRT, the TA 2.0 brought with it model-specific suspension tuning, two-piece Brembo brakes, black fabric-covered fiberglass Sabelt racing seats with orange stitching, a carbon-fiber X-brace fitted over the engine that weighs 2.9 pounds less than the standard brace, and a handful of hard to miss aero bits, such as the front splitter and massive rear wing. All told, the rare package set Viper customers back $106,090 before options (which were few).With the Viper’s reign coming to an end, buying this near-new, 2313-mile Yorange TA 2.0 at a discount of some $11,490 appears to be a rather smart investment.—Greg FinkThe term “all-original” gets tossed about vintage circles pretty casually these days, but only rarely does it truly apply. This is one of those times. Said to contain absolutely zero reproduction parts, this unrestored Excelsior Twin motorcycle crossed the auction block just as it left the maker’s Chicago factory more than a century ago, some light corrosion and few telltale grease stains the only indicators of its true age.It sports the original acetylene headlamp and attendant Presto-Lite tank, two highly sought after items that are frequently missing or lost on this vintage of bike. This is one Excelsior that truly rises to the top.—Andrew Wendler
from Car and Driver Blog http://www.caranddriver.com/flipbook/the-10-most-expensive-cars-sold-at-the-monterey-auctions-day-1


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