Monterey Car Week has finished for another year and while prices were soft in the non-elite range, many new world auction records were broken, including the outright records for the most expensive cars made in Great Britain and America respectively, and an even more significant record in the most expensive pre-WW2 car ever sold. Our coverage of the top 30 cars sold in Monterey includes all the links to the auction pages and many more images of all the auction action in the gallery.
Two of the biggest records were smashed on the first big night of Monterey Car Week auctions when RM-Sothebys sold the 1956 Le Mans-winning D-type Jaguar for US$21.78 million and the original 1962 Shelby Cobra prototype for $13.75 million. Both cars, sold just a few lots apart, became the most valuable cars ever made in Great Britain and America respectively. The third big record was $19,800,000 fetched by RM Sotheby's for the 1939 Alfa Romeo 8C 2900B Lungo Spider, adding 50 percent to the record for a pre-WW2 car. All the details and links are in the respective reports for each car further down this page.
We'll look at an analysis of the marketplace in the next few days when all the numbers are in, though at first glance, the marketplace appears in flux with so many very recent cars (Ferrari La Ferrari and McLaren P1 in particular) selling into the top 30.
These are the 30 most expensive:
$2,035,000 – 2014 McLaren P1
One of four cars from Mecum in the top 30, this 2014 McLaren P1 boasted Serial no. #02 (the earliest P1 serial number offered to the public), and was expected to sell for even more than its final price – the estimate was $2,500,000 to $3,000,000. The original car was sent back to McLaren to be refitted with an exposed carbon fiber body, and the sale included the original painted body as well. The 900 horsepower hybrid had only 576 miles on the clock.
$2,090,000 – 1963 Ferrari 250 GT/L Berlinetta Lusso
$2,090,000 – 2014 McLaren P1
Number #90 of the total 375 P1 production-run, this car was sold with less than 1,200 miles on the odometer. Completed in March, 2014, it was built as a US-market car and is one of very few examples finished in McLaren Orange exterior color.
$2,112,000 – 1985 Ferrari 288 GTO
It would seem that prices of the far-more-recent second generation GTO are heading in the same direction as the original legendary 250 GTO. Only 272 of the second Ferrari model to wear the GTO moniker were built, and it is just four years since the Ferrari 288 GTO first cracked the million dollar mark at auction.
$2,255,000 – 1971 Lamborghini Miura P400 SV
One of only 150 SVs built of the ultimate Miura configuration, this car was owned by Lamborghini Engineer Claudio Zampolli. Zampolli was an engineer at Lamborghini from 1966 to 1975, and worked alongside Bob Wallace testing and improving the Miura from the S model onward. Having collaborated with the Miura's original chassis designer, Gian Paolo Dallara, on the revised rear suspension for the SV, Zampolli's role at Lamborghini was overseeing the model's production and road testing cars prior to delivery. There can be no higher validation of the model than this.
$2,365,000 – 1973 Ferrari 365 GTS/4 Daytona Spider
One of 121 Daytona Spiders built and made for United States delivery with factory air conditioning and Borrani wire wheels. Has been part of a prominent private collection for the last 15 years.
$2,420,000 – 1985 Ferrari 288 GTO
As previously mentioned in this article, the 288 GTO is appreciating like crazy at present and can be expected to continue to do so. This particular car has been in the collections of Robert Rubin and Joseph Perella, is in exceptionally original condition and has less than 13,000 km on the odometer.
$2,502,500 – 1968 Ferrari 330 GTS
A well known car that was once owned by Casino magnate Bill Harrah and appeared on the cover of the December 1969 issue of Road & Track where it was dubbed the "Harrah Targa."
It has subsequently been part of the Robert Donner Jr. Collection for the last three decades and has still only done 27,000 miles since new.
$2,750,000 – 1964 Ferrari 500 Superfast Series
Only 36 of these cars were ever built, and they were exclusively for Ferrari's best clients. This particular car was the 1965 Chicago Auto Show car.
$2,805,000 – 1904 Mercedes-Simplex 28-32HP
At the turn of the previous century, the Mercedes-Simplex 28-32 HP was in a class of its own, with 65 mph performance, reliability, style and comfort. It accordingly attracted a long list of elite owners across the world and began establishing the reputation of the brand we now know as Mercedes-Benz. It was far from a cheap car when new, costing 20,000 marks in Germany, which equated then to roughly $7,500, a sum which would have purchased eight Cadillacs or three Packards. Regardless, there were plenty of takers, with more than 1500 Mercedes-Simplexes being sold in this era.
This particular vehicle was the first of its type to be imported into England and as the full auction description explains, it was the subject of an extensive five-page report in the English automotive magazine The Automotor Journal. Its entire history since that time is well documented and it has been a regular competitor in the annual London to Brighton Veteran Car Runs never once failing to complete the event.
$2,900,000 – 1966 Ford GT40
One of just 31 GT40 Mk 1 road-spec cars that has undergone an exacting restoration by GT40 expert Robert Ash.
$3,080,000 – 1954 Aston Martin DB2/4 Spider
One of just three Aston Martin DB2/4 spiders bodied by Bertone, and the actual 1954 New York Auto Show car. Rare, fast, gorgeous, famous.
$3,245,000 – 1967 Ferrari 275 GTB/4
One of just 330 Ferrari 275 GTB/4s produced, with original leather upholstery and having done just 28,000 miles in its fifty years. A bargain price for the model.
$3,300,000 – 2003 Ferrari Enzo
A one-owner example showing 2,050 miles of Ferrari's last generation supercar with performance straight from F1 and styling from the windtunnel.
$3,300,000 – 1957 Maserati A6G/54 Spider
One of only ten Frua Spiders built on the A6G/54 chassis, with this particular car driven by Juan Manuel Fangio at the Modena Autodromo in March 1957
and a formerly part of the Alfredo Brener Collection. A rare and exotic coachbuilt Maserati fully documented by marque historian Adolfo Orsi.
$3,685,000 – 2014 Ferrari LaFerrari
"We chose to call this model LaFerrari because it is the finest expression of our company's unique, unparalleled engineering and design know-how, including that acquired in Formula One." This is how chairman Luca di Montezemolo summed up the successor to the Enzo when it was launched at the Geneva Salon in March 2013. The complete 499 car production run was sold at the show. This car was one of the 120 delivered to the United States market and crossed the block with just 230 miles on the odometer.
$4,000,000 – 1931 Bugatti Type 51 Grand Prix Roadster
The first in the series of the 40 Bugatti Type 51s built, with a history that includes five starts in the Monaco Grand Prix, ownership by Earl Howe, and drivers such as Earl Howe, Brian Lewis, Piero Taruffi and Tazio Nuvolari, a complete history and a fascinating story. Might easily have sold for more.
$4,840,000 – 1979 Porsche 935
An extremely successful race car with a well documented history and award–winning restoration with wins in the 1981 24 Hours of Daytona, 1983 12 Hours of Sebring and first in class and second overall at the 1979 24 Hours of Le Mans. Driven by Rolf Stommelen, Paul Newman, Brian Redman, and Bobby Rahal.
$4,840,000 – 1966 Ford GT40 Mk I Road Coupe
Built at the Ford Advanced Vehicles factory Buckinghamshire, England, this car (P/1028) was the first road car delivered to North America. It was briefly used as a test and evaluation car on Ford's Michigan test track, then served as Ford North America's official Promotional GT40. In many ways, these early road cars were production racing coupes converted for the street, but they still carried many of their competition features. A very significant car in the history of Ford.
$5,170,000 – 2014 Ferrari LaFerrari
The 217 mph hybrid LaFerrari replaced the Enzo atop the Scuderia's hierarchy, and there was a lot of interest to see just how much the two LaFerraris on offer in Monterey would sell for. This was the higher-priced of the two, and the owner doubled his money in two years.
$5,225,000 – 1955 Ferrari 750 Monza Spider
One of the finest 750 Monzas in existence, this was the car driven by the famous Jim Hall in his very first road race in 1956 and owned since then by Hall, who took the microphone before the auction began (above). Prior to Hall, it was driven by such legends as Phil Hill and Carroll Shelby.
$5,445,000 – 1950 Ferrari 166MM Berlinetta
It was the Tipo 166 introduced in 1948 that first established Ferrari as a leading manufacturer of racing cars. While the earliest 166 Sports and Spider Corsas were successful in their own right, it was the 166 MM (Mille Miglia) that dominated sports car racing in the late 1940s and early 1950s. The 166 MM is the only Ferrari to win all three of the great European sports car races: the 24 Hours of Le Mans, the Targa Florio, and the Mille Miglia. This car is an unrestored and historically significant competition Ferrari driven by Nuccio Bertone in the 1950 and 1951 Mille Miglia and by Emilio Giletti to a win in the 1952 2-Liter Italian Sports Car Championship.
$5,720,000 – 1956 Ferrari 250GT Competizione Tour de France
One of Ferrari's most celebrated dual-purpose GT racers, this car was the second 1956 250 GT Berlinetta Competizione built and one of nine with the original-style bodywork. The beautifully-restored car comes with a great period racing history, having competed in both the 1956 Mille Miglia and the 1959 Tour de France.
$10,400,000 – 1932 Bugatti Type 55 Roadster
This is possibly the finest Type 55 in existence. The Type 55 is a road-going version of the Bugatti Type 54 Grand Prix car, and this Roadster was the Bugatti factory's entry in the 1932 Mille Miglia driven by Achille Varzi and Count Castelbarco. The car underwent an exacting restoration that was completed in 2013 by Marque Authority Laurent Rondoni.
$11,990,000 – 1933 Alfa Romeo 8C 2300 Monza
Not many cars have ever sold for more than ten million dollars, signifying how special this third-series 2.3 Monza with Brianza Coachwork is. It was owned and raced by many prominent Italian drivers between 1933 and 1950, and was the winner of the 1947 Sport Nazionale Championship with Renato Balestrero driving.
$13,500,000 – 1960 Ferrari 250GT SWB Competizione Coupe
This car was was one of the first Competition SWB Berlinettas built, and was driven by Hugus and Pabst to seventh overall and fourth in the GT class at the 1960 24 Hours of Le Mans. It was also driven in testing by Phil Hill, Richie Ginther, and Wolfgang von Trips, so it has quite some history.
$13,750,000 – 1962 Shelby Cobra 260 Roadster
The most expensive car ever produced in the United States
The first Shelby Cobra (CSX2000) was always going to set a new auction benchmark for an American automobile as it never left the care of Carroll Shelby and spawned many a legend. It was offered by the Carroll Hall Shelby Trust (cars going to charity have an additional edge on the auction block). It didn't disappoint.
CSX 2000's strong sales price represents a new record for an American car sold at auction, besting the previous record ($11.0 million for a lightweight 1968 Gulf/Mirage Ford GT40), which was also set in Monterey in August 2012. Both raced at Le Mans and were used in the Steve McQueen film, Le Mans.
$18,150,000 – 1959 Ferrari 250GT California LWB Alloy Spider
This car was always going to sell big, being one of nine alloy-bodied LWB California Spiders with covered headlights, disc brakes, and full competition specification. The car's race record includes fifth overall at the 1960 12 Hours of Sebring and it won a Platinum Award and was the Competizione Cup Winner at the 2011 Cavallino Classic.
$19,800,000 – 1939 Alfa Romeo 8C 2900B Lungo Spider
The most expensive pre-WW2 car ever sold at auction
The ultimate Italian sports car of its generation, this car is one of 12 extant Touring Spiders and the first "Immortal 2.9" to be offered at public auction this century.
The car now holds the record of being the most expensive pre-WW2 car ever sold at auction, beating out the 1936 Mercedes-Benz 540 K Special Roadster owned by Baroness Gisela von Krieger of Prussia (above) which sold for $11,770,000 at Gooding and Company's Pebble Beach auction in 2011.
$21,780,000 – Jaguar D-Type Le Mans winner
The most expensive British car ever sold at auction
This 1955 Jaguar D-Type (chassis no. XKD 501) was the first D-Type supplied by Jaguar to a non-factory team, the famous Scottish Racing team, Ecurie Ecosse, which used it to win the 1956 24 Hours of Le Mans with drivers Ron Flockhart and Ninian Sanderson. The car has spent the last two decades in one of America's leading automotive collections.
The record-setting Jaguar is only the fourth British car to have sold for more than $10 million at auction and comfortably exceeds the $14.3m fetched by the previous record holder, a 1962 Aston Martin DB4 GT Zagato (above) also sold by RM Sotheby's in New York in December 2015, which in turn beat the record of $13.75 million established at this sale in 2015 for a one-of-two-only 1998 McLaren 'LM-Specification' F1.