Category archives: Auctions

Salvadori’s Frazer-Nash ‘Replica’ on Bonhams’ Goodwood docket

Roy Salvadori raced, crashed and raced again in this 1951 Frazer-Nash Replica | Bonhams photos
Roy Salvadori raced, crashed and raced again in this 1951 Frazer-Nash Replica | Bonhams photos

In 1949, a Frazer-Nash finished third in the 24 Hours of Le Mans, prompting the car company to produce some 50 Frazer-Nash Le Mans Replica for the road and, well, for the race track as well, as it turned out.

One of those cars, a 1951 model formerly owned and raced by Britain’s Roy Salvadori, will be offered for sale September 10 at Bonhams’ Goodwood Revival auction at the Goodwood racing circuit in Chichester, West Sussex, England. Continue reading

Another major auction record falls at RM Sotheby’s

1939 Alfa Romeo 8C 2900B sets world record for auction price for prewar car | Larry Edsall photos
1939 Alfa Romeo 8C 2900B sets world record for auction price for prewar car | Larry Edsall photos

Records continued to fall at the collector car auctions Saturday on the Monterey Peninsula. Friday, RM Sotheby’s was the site of the highest prices ever paid for a British car and an American car sold at public auction. Saturday, an RM Sotheby’s bidder paid a record price for a prewar car when a 1939 Alfa Romeo 8C 2900B Lungo Spider sold for $19.8 million.

Observers from Hagerty, the insurance and vehicle valuation-tracking company, also reported what they called “another amazing result” as an alloy-bodied, long-wheelbase 1959 Ferrari 250 GT California Spider went for $18.5 million at Gooding & Company, which also got $13.5 million for a 1960 250 GT SWB Competizione Coupe in a post-block transaction. Continue reading

Auction records fall for British and American cars

Le Mans-winning Jaguar sets record for price paid at auction for a British car | Larry Edsall photo
Le Mans-winning Jaguar sets record for price paid at auction for a British car | Larry Edsall photo

“Numbers are expected to climb as those auctions move higher into their dockets today and overall figures should soar Friday as Bonhams stages its one-day auction at The Quail and RM Sotheby’s opens its two-day sale in downtown Monterey.”

— Classic Car News, Friday, August 19 report from Monterey Car Week

Well, there’s a prediction that proved correct — and then some — as records were set Friday for the most ever paid at auction for both an American car and a British car, and where the star car at yet another sale also sold for a big number.

The huge numbers were posted in a packed-to-overflowing auction area in downtown Monterey, where a bidder at RM Sotheby’s reached $21.78 million for the 1954 Jaguar D-type XKD501 that won the 24 Hours of Le Mans and where someone ponied up $13.75 million for the first 1962 Shelby Cobra (CSX2000). Both were world auction records for cars from their respective countries. Continue reading

Monterey auctions under way, a vintage motorcycle leads pack

Bidder assistant has arm raised for his client as auctioneer looks for higher offers at Mecum | Larry Edsall photos
Bidder assistant has arm raised for his client as auctioneer looks for higher offers at Mecum | Larry Edsall photos

Monterey Car Week auctions opened Thursday with Mecum Auctions and Russo and Steele starting their sales, which insurance and vehicle value tracker Hagerty reported as tracing very close to 2015 numbers. According to Hagerty observers at both venues, Mecum did $3.7 million in sales at an average vehicle price of $30,541 last year, while the respective numbers Thursday were $1 million and $29,144. Continue reading

Bob’s best of Gooding auction in Pebble Beach

The 1932 Bugatti Type 55 Roadster is one of the stars of the Gooding auction in Pebble Beach | Bob Golfen
The 1932 Bugatti Type 55 Roadster is one of the stars of the Gooding auction in Pebble Beach | Bob Golfen

So there you are, a kid in some kind of fantasy candy story, stacked high with all manner of sweet goodies, and you want them all. But you can only have a few of them and must leave the rest. What an ordeal.

That’s what I faced wandering around the motorized goodies at Gooding & Company’s auction preview in Pebble Beach, California, trying to pick among the mouth-watering collection of collector cars that will cross the block this weekend. If I could have only a few of them, which ones would I choose? Continue reading

Japanese collector cars making inroads at Monterey auctions

A 1967 Mazda Cosmo Sport will be offered at the Gooding auction at Pebble Beach | Gooding & Company
A 1967 Mazda Cosmo Sport will be offered at the Gooding auction at Pebble Beach | Gooding & Company

Japanese collector cars are kind of a new thing, with some of them making it into the higher echelons at auctions and private sales, and being included in museum collections. While much of the interest has been spawned by the latest generation of car collectors just coming of age, those special cars of the 1960s and ’70s have taken on a new luster for older enthusiasts.

The limited-production Toyota 2000GT sports coupe, built from 1967-70, has become a solid player among the high rollers, flirting with million-dollar bids at auction. To a lesser extent, the quirky and exotic Mazda Cosmo Sport 110S also has hit the big time, with the limited-edition rotary-powered sports coupes built from 1967-72 typically going well into six figures at auction. Continue reading

Enzo’s handwritten letter to be auctioned at Ferrari gathering

PR Barnyard Ferrari Event 2015-053
Ferrari gathering in 2015 during Monterey Car Week | Barnyard photos

Cars and bikes aren’t the only things up for bidding during Monterey Car Week –- a letter handwritten in Italian by Enzo Ferrari is offered during a charity auction at the 19th annual Ferrari Owners Club gathering, “Welcoming the Prancing Stallions Back to the Corral,” to be held August 20 from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. at The Barnyard in Carmel.

Continue reading

Stunning 1932 Bugatti Type 55 Roadster set for Gooding auction

The highly desirable 1932 Bugatti Type 55 Roadster was designed by Jean Bugatti | Gooding & Company photos
The highly desirable 1932 Bugatti Type 55 Roadster was designed by Jean Bugatti | Gooding & Company Photos by Mathieu Heurtault

One of the most-beautiful cars at Pebble Beach this year, a 1932 Bugatti Type 55 Roadster, won’t be seen on the grass at the famous concours d’elegance but at the nearby Gooding & Company auction tent.

The Bugatti, which competed in Italy’s iconic Mille Miglia in 1932, is among the leading stars of the top-end Gooding auction. The sleek roadster, described as being in immaculate restored condition, naturally commands a towering price tag, in this case a pre-auction estimate of $10 million to $14 million. Continue reading

‘1,000 Horsepower’ is theme for Auctionata’s September sale

1957 Ferrari Ellena is star car for '1,000 Horsepower' sale | Auctionata photos
1957 Ferrari Ellena is star car for ‘1,000 Horsepower’ sale | Auctionata photos

‘1,000 Horsepower” is the title of Auctionata’s next collector car sale, schedule for September 10. The sale will be the first held in neighboring Austria by the Berlin-based auction company. Continue reading

Pioneering woman racer’s trophies headed to auction

Joan Newton Cuneo on the track | MBA Auctions / Cuneo family archives photos
Joan Newton Cuneo on the track | MBA Auctions / Cuneo family archives photos

‘Before there was a Danica Patrick. Before there was a Lyn St. James or a Janet Guthrie. Before there was a Denise McCluggage or a Louise Smith. Before all of them, there was Joan Newton Cuneo, whose success racing cars in the early days of the American automobile made her a national celebrity.”

I wrote those words in 2013 as part of a review of Elsa A. Nystrom’s book Mad for Speed: The Racing Life of Joan Newton Cuneo. Nystrom, a college professor, had started research on a book about why Americans love to race cars when she stumbled across Cuneo, who became a national sensation, racing against and beating many of the best men racers in the country, in the early days of American motorsports. Continue reading