What Larry likes at Gooding’s 2017 Monterey auction

A 1928 Mercedes-Benz S-type heads a line of cars heading to the block at Gooding & Co. sale | Larry Edsall photos
1928 Mercedes-Benz S-type heads line of cars heading to the block at Gooding & Co. | Larry Edsall photos

When my father was a child, his mother took in a pair of young immigrant brothers who needed a home. Sure, my dad’s family already was large, but his mom figured there was always room for one — or two — more, so the young Greeks were enfolded.

At some point, the brothers either opened or bought a soda fountain and candy store.

When I was a child, we’d occasionally visit my father’s hometown and the brothers would try to fill my brother and me with every wonderful confection in the building. We were, quite literally, kids in a candy store.

I thought of that candy store Thursday as I wandered through the tents that house Gooding & Company’s 2017 Pebble Beach auction. The sale begins Friday and concludes on Saturday.

My mission at the preview was to select a half dozen or so vehicles that, were the Greek brothers still around and in charge, I could have taken home for free. And while David Gooding is a good guy, and has his name on the building, even he isn’t in a position to offer the assembled vehicles except to those with a bidder’s number who are willing to raise their hands when the auction begins.

But I want that one and that one and that one and…

1938 Packard Super Eight fire truck
What kid (regardless of age) wouldn’t want his own fire truck? This unit first went into service with the Eau Claire Fire Department in Wisconsin and later served the Fall Creek community in the same state before being retired in 1999 and acquired by the consignor, who put it through a complete restoration. At 24 feet in length and 7 1/2 feet in height, I’d need a larger garage, but this unit can pump 500 gallons of water a minute. Oh, and it’s been driven less than 10,000 miles since new.
IMG_2435
1965 Ferrari 330 GT 2+2 Shooting Brake
This Ferrari station wagon was designed by Luigi Chinetti Jr. and Bob Peak and is believed to be the last of the Prancing Horses with bodywork by Vignale, which displayed it on its stand at the 50th Torino Motor Show in 1968. The car originally was produced with Pininfarina bodywork and was sold by the Chinetti dealership. But the car was back at the dealership two years later and Chinetti Jr., seeking something that could carry four people and luggage in comfort, worked with commercial illustrator Bob Peak to design the shooting break design, which also included an extended nose. Chinetti Motors used the car for about three years before selling it a second time. If you’re into music, you’d be interested in the fact that the car formerly was owned by Jason Cheetham, AKA Jay Kay, the lead singer of Jamiroquai.
IMG_2489
1951 Ferrari 212 Inter Coupe
O.K., so not everyone likes the shooting brake styling. Here’s an alternative, also with coachwork by Vignale. The car was purchased in 1953 by Italian soccer star Ermanno Aebi. By the early 1960s the car was in the U.S., where the original engine was replaced with a Buick V8. Fortunately, the car was purchased by Jack Stewart in the 1970s; he found the original engine and had it reinstalled. The car underwent a full restoration earlier this century. Interestingly, the car was invited to be shown at Pebble Beach in 2015 and 2016 but the restoration wasn’t finished. The owner also declined for 2017, saying the next owner should enjoy that experience.
IMG_290
1950 Alfa Romeo 6C 2500 Super Sport Cabriolet
The car’s Pininfarina-designed bodywork is wonderful, but it was the stunning green interior that sealed the deal. Only 383 of these vehicles were produced, and this one only recently changed hands after 50 years of ownership by a jazz-loving resident of Paris.
IMG_2447
1949 Alfa Romeo 6C 2500 Super Sport C Coupe
Here’s another of those 383 Super Sports, this one a coupe designed by Touring. The car was originally owned by Raymond Barbey who resided on Lake Geneva in Switzerland. But after owning the car for five years, he gave it to his brother, Raymond, who lived in Morocco. In the 1990s, the car went to Germany and more recently to the U.S.
IMG_2480
1974 Alfa Romeo Tipo 33 TT 12
Looks like I’m in an Alfa state of mind, but is that so bad? This is one of the Autodelta factory racers that helped win the 1975 World Sports Car Championship, when its drivers included Derek Bell and Henri Pescarolo. The car was acquired by its second owner in 1980 and now is being offered for the first time after a long and successful tenure in vintage racing. And it's a two-seater, great for date night -- or maybe giving a grandchild a thrill ride.
IMG_2478
1968 De Tomaso Vallelunga
I’m not usually a fan of De Tomasos, and living in Phoenix, I can only imagine how hot the interior must get with that huge rear window. Yet there is something about this low-slung sports car that really appeals to me. Maybe it’s the Giugiaro design, and the fact that it was named for the racing circuit north of Rome.
IMG_2471

Share your comments