Bonhams Maranello Rosso Auction, Quail Lodge, Carmel Valley, August 14, 2014
Report and photos by Rick Carey, Auction Editor
It has been a quarter century since a 250 GTO was offered publicly.
There was, therefore, considerable interest when Bonhams announced they had consigned 1962 Ferrari 250 GTO s/n 3851 GT along with nine other Ferraris from the Maranello Rosso collection of Fabrizio Violati. Remarkably, all were offered without reserve.
‘Considerable interest’ is a considerable understatement. It was the talk of the Monterey peninsula with pretty much every conversation including the question, ‘What do you think the GTO will bring?’
Taking advantage of the event, Bonhams positioned the ten Maranello Rosso cars in a special session on Thursday afternoon. By timing it then it had no competition from other auctions, except Mecum, and they were closing down ‘The Daytime Auction’ by the 5PM start time at Bonhams. Most of the eyes in Monterey were intently focused on the Bonhams auction block at Quail Lodge.
Then there was a delay in the auction’s start. It was attributed to a (typical 5PM) traffic jam on Highway One heading south from Monterey to Carmel Valley. It may be a measure of the interest in the GTO and its Maranello Rosso stablemates that some registered bidders weren’t familiar with Monterey traffic, particularly the southbound lane drop passing Carmel-by-the-Sea which is always a nightmare.
Robert Brooks didn’t take my suggestion that Bonhams host an open bar during the delay.
The GTO was, somewhat inexplicably, the third of the ten Ferraris to run, but even after it sold most people waited for the anticlimax of the others, several of them cars of sufficient stature to be headliners at any other auction.
The marquee was packed, standing several rows deep and spilling outside where Bonhams had TV monitors displaying the auction. The delay damped enthusiasm a little but when the session concluded there was still plenty to talk about. Most of the cars were somewhat tired, having been displayed statically for many years at Maranello Rosso. Condition played a part in the results, as described below.
At the end of the day the Maranello Rosso segment was a social and commercial success, even without an eye-watering result for the GTO. It demonstrated that buyers still want good cars, but exercise restraint and good judgment.
Here are the overall numbers:
Bonhams Maranello Rosso
Cars Offered / Sold
Sold < Low Est.
Sold > High Est.
10 / 10
Just to put that in perspective, $65 million is nearly as much as Bonhams sold at Quail Lodge in its three highest grossing auctions at this location combined.