Ferrari 250 Testa Rossa Prototype

Gooding & Company Pebble Beach 2011 – Auction Report

Gooding & Company, Pebble Beach, August 20-21, 2011

Report by Rick Carey, Auction Editor

The 2011 Gooding & Company Pebble Beach Auction was a milestone in car collecting, let alone one in collector car auctions.

In two evenings  Gooding recorded $78 million in sales, 84.25% sold and set the two most important auction records:

  • The record for an automobile at auction with the sale of 1958 Ferrari 250 Testa Rossa s/n 0666 TR for $14.9 million hammer, $16,390,000 with commission; and
  • The record for an American car at auction with the sale of 1932 Duesenberg Model J Long Wheelbase Coupe by Murphy chassis #2478, engine # J-460, for $9.4 million hammer, $10,340,000 with commission.

The result achieved by Gooding for the Testa Rossa is a great achievement, especially since the reserve was met at a $12 million bid and the contest between an anonymous bidder outside the tent concealed from the curious gazes of onlookers and represented in the person of Gooding’s Specialist Jakob Greisen and a telephone bidder speaking through Fiona Spence continued in $100,000 increments until the on-site (but out-of-sight) bidder declined to take the step to $15 million.

In terms of the record, however, adjustment for inflation and exchange rates still rates the famed sale by Christie’s of the Bugatti Type 41 Royale Kellner Coupe at the top of the pile.

The Bugatti brought £5,500,000 with commission at Royal Albert Hall on November 19, 1987. The U.S. Consumer Price Index (less food and energy) has grown from 120.4 in 1987 to 225.46 in 2011, an increase of 87.7%. The little table below shows that, no matter how it’s figured, the Royale still rules, and by a margin large enough to add another very nice Ferrari to a collection.

1987 Bugatti Royale Price
Inflation Adjusted Price
Current Exchange Rate
Current USD Price

So, no matter which way it’s calculated, the 2011 price of Ferrari Testa Rossa 0666 TR is at least $691,873 less expensive ($17,081,873 – $16,390,000) in current purchasing power than the Bugatti Royale.

That is something of a quibble in a momentous transaction, however, and a wonderful Pebble Beach Auction, but a meaningful quibble during a time when the word “investment” keeps creeping into the vocabularies of collectors, dealers, brokers and auctioneers.

Twelve cars sold for hammer bids over $1 million. The benchmark sale of the Testa Rossa firmly establishes Ferrari as the preeminent marque in collectors’ hierarchy, as significantly so does the sale of the Duesenberg ‘Whittell Coupe’ move Duesenberg into the stratosphere of collector car values.

By every measure Gooding & Company’s Pebble Beach Auction was a landmark event during a whirlwind weekend full of transactions that enhanced collectors’ expectations and measures of value.

Gooding & Company
Cars Offered / Cars Sold
Sale %
Sold < Low Est
Sold > High Est
Average Sale
Total Sales
Chg from prior year
127 / 107
135 / 106
159 / 128
140 / 112

Gooding & Company Pebble Beach 2011 – Auction Report

(See Reference – Auctions Explained, A Note on Conditions and Character).

1930 Ford Model A Open Cab Pickup
Lot # 1 1930 Ford Model A Open Cab Pickup; S/N Not Specified; Engine # 4411834; Maroon, Black fenders and accent/Brown leatherette; Beige cloth top; Estimate $25,000 - $35,000; Recent restoration, 2 condition; Hammered Sold at $39,000 plus commission of 10.00%; Final Price $42,900 -- Quail radiator cap, red wire wheels with whitewall tires, dual sidemounts with chrome rings, flower etched wind wings, oak bed floor and sideboards. Very well done throughout aside from door fits that are a bit high on the left and low on the right... maybe it's the ground it's sitting on. No Reserve. Professionally restored and little used, this Ford will be a handsome driver or utilitarian runabout. Always popular with hot rodders, its survival without being chopped, channeled and overpowered with an early Hemi or Chevy is remarkable in itself. It brought a healthy but not unreasonable price.
1967 Ferrari 330 GTC
Lot # 3 1967 Ferrari 330 GTC, Body by Pininfarina; S/N 10801; Engine # 10801; Red/Black leather; Estimate $275,000 - $350,000; Cosmetic restoration, 3 condition; Hammered Sold at $315,000 plus commission of 10.00%; Final Price $346,500 -- Chrome spoke Borranis, A/C, P/W, Becker Europa AM-FM. Repainted, new chrome and glass. Chassis squirted with matte black. Very poorly masked with gaps around the rear window. Frayed window felts. Only (believed to be) 47,519 miles but many owners and presented in auction car condition despite its 2008 FCA Platinum award. I was pretty impressed with this GTC until I noticed the gap in the repaint above the (new) rear window gasket and the chipped old paint that it revealed. The chassis wasn't particularly sparkling, either. It would not have been a particularly attractive buy at the low estimate, let alone 15% over it.
1909 Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost 40/50hp Roi des Belges
Lot # 5 1909 Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost 40/50hp Roi des Belges, Body after Barker; S/N 1203; Engine # 1203; Silver/Dark Green leather; Beige cloth top; Estimate $800,000 - $1,300,000; Older restoration, 2- condition; Hammered Sold at $750,000 plus commission of 10.00%; Final Price $825,000 -- RHD. German silver trim, Boa Constrictor horn, Bleriot "bullseye" acetylene headlights, Lucas side lights, dual windshields, Elliott speedometer, Smith clock, Chadburn's barometer, single sidemount, dual windshields, Rudge-Whitworth wire wheels. An excellent older restoration that still presents very well but is beginning to age visibly. Coachwork believed built by Willis about 1972 after it was found on Cow Roast scrapyard near Tring in 1946. One of few surviving pre-1910 "parallel bonnet" Ghosts. Owners include Jimmy Skinner, Rick Carroll, Bill Lassiter and Richard Solove. Bought for $332,500 at Christie's Lassiter sale in 1999, then re-restored by Jonathan Harley and sold for $626,504 (364,500 UK pounds) by Bonhams in London in December 2003, this Silver Ghost sold here from the Richard Solove Collection in 2007 for a very generous $1,485,000. It appears to be actively neglected since then. It has won a slew of awards over the years and is an honored example of early Silver Ghost and Rolls-Royce history that is a sound value at this price. The 2007 result was an auction enthusiasm anomaly.
1965 Porsche 911 Coupe
Lot # 8 1965 Porsche 911 Coupe; S/N 302461; Engine # 902496; Polo Red/Black vinyl; Estimate $125,000 - $150,000; Unrestored original, 2- condition; Hammered Sold at $125,000 plus commission of 10.00%; Final Price $137,500 -- Chrome wheels, blackwall Dunlop SP Sport tires, woodrim steering wheel, AM-FM. Impressively detailed and serviced after three decades in dry storage, original family owned until 2010 and 49,371 miles from new. Chassis re-undercoated crudely over old undercoat. Frayed window channels. Good original paint, chrome and interior. Comes with its original purchase agreement, registrations through 1971, owner's manual and tool kit. No Reserve. This price is half for the car and half for its originality and sympathetic re-commissioning, both of which are entirely appropriate. Finds like this are increasingly rare and appreciated.
1961 Mercedes-Benz 300SL Roadster
Lot # 9 1961 Mercedes-Benz 300SL Roadster; S/N 19804210002898; Engine # 19898010002959; Anthracite Grey/Red leather; Black cloth top; Estimate $700,000 - $850,000; Recent restoration, 2+ condition; Hammered Sold at $775,000 plus commission of 10.00%; Final Price $852,500 -- Two tops, Becker Mexico AM-FM, chrome wheels, Euro headlights, fitted luggage. Excellent paint, chrome and upholstery. Better than new. California black plate car, freshly and meticulously restored after many years in storage, disassembled for a restoration that never got started. Show-stopping presentation in dramatic colors helped this 300SL Roadster bring a deserved premium price. The new owner can be proud of the car and not unhappy with the price paid for it.
1921 Bentley 3-Liter 2-seater
Lot # 11 1921 Bentley 3-Liter 2-seater; S/N 3; Engine # 4; Aluminum, Black fenders/Green leather; Estimate $1,000,000 - ; Unrestored original, 4 condition; Hammered Sold at $875,000 plus commission of 10.00%; Final Price $962,500 -- RHD. White rubber tires on black wire wheels. Brass headlights, radiator and panel beading. Beat up but very complete and charismatic. Believed to be the oldest production Bentley surviving and the first Bentley delivered to a customer, with its original chassis, engine, rear axle, gearbox and most of the body. Front axle from chassis 261. Sympathetically restored in 1999 and extensively documented in the catalog with a continuous ownership history in the UK and US. This is a real, choice, wonderfully presented piece of automotive history. Its price is what it is. Its history is irreplaceable and its survival is a tribute to the enduring appeal of the Bentley marque and history.
1948 Chrysler Town and Country Convertible
Lot # 12 1948 Chrysler Town & Country Convertible; S/N 7405374; Engine # C3949666; Catalina Tan/Dark Red leather, Taupe cloth; Taupe cloth to; Estimate $140,000 - $180,000; Older restoration, 2- condition; Hammered Sold at $130,000 plus commission of 10.00%; Final Price $143,000 -- Fluid Drive, pushbutton radio, remote spotlight, wide wheel trim rings, whitewalls, fog lights. Well restored to nearly like new condition with very good paint, chrome, interior and top. No Reserve. Sold by Gooding at Scottsdale in 2009 for $125,000, today's price is indicative of the market's relative stability in the past two and one-half years.
1959 Ferrari 250 GT LWB California Spider
Lot # 13 1959 Ferrari 250 GT LWB California Spider, Body by Pinin Farina; S/N 1215GT; Engine # 1215GT; Yellow/Black leather; Black cloth top; Estimate $3,000,000 - $4,000,000; Recent restoration, 2- condition; Hammered Sold at $3,050,000 plus commission of 10.00%; Final Price $3,355,000 -- Chrome spoke Borrani wire wheels, blackwall tires, fog lights in grille. Known history from new, repeatedly maintained and restored by the best shops. No longer fresh but could be if the chassis had been cleaned up. Sold by Gooding in Scottsdale in 2008 for $3,300,000 and showing just over 500 more miles on the odometer since then. The restoration's age is beginning to show but more significantly it wasn't very well detailed for the auction. This is a reasonable price for a quality California Spider. Among all the headline cars at Gooding's this week this California Spider was almost an afterthought, a statement of the weekend's automotive abundance.
1957 Ferrari 250 Testa Rossa Prototype
Lot # 18 1957 Ferrari 250 Testa Rossa Sports Racer, Body by Scaglietti; S/N 0666TR; Engine # 0666TR; Red; White, Blue stripes/Beige cloth; Estimate $13,000,000 -; Competition restoration, 2+ condition; Hammered Sold at $14,900,000 plus commission of 10.00%; Final Price $16,390,000 -- Silver painted Borrani wire wheels. The first 250 TR. Raced by Ferrari in the 1000km of the Nürburgring, the Swedish GP, then rebodied in the current pontoon fender style and shipped to Venezuela for the Caracas GP where Von Trips and Seidel finished 3rd. It was 2nd in Buenos Aires with Von Trips, Gendebien and Musso, then a dnf after being crashed by Seidel in the Targa Florio. Raced at Le Mans for NART by Gurney and Bruce Kessler where it crashed and burned. Rebodied again it was sold to Rod Carveth and raced at Sebring and Le Mans. Later burned again in an insurance scam. Freshly restored in 2008 by Dennison International, Ferrari Classiche certified. Excellent paint and interior. Restored like new with some road grime from use and less than assiduous pre-sale detailing. The highest price ever paid for a collector car at auction accompanied by unusual auction theater as Gooding's Jakob Greisen represented a bidder standing outside the tent hidden from view. Reserve was met at $12 million, but the bidding went on between "the man behind the curtain" and a phone bidder in $100K bumps. This result is patently huge, nearly 25% over the reserve, which itself would have been a generous price for a car, even a race car, with 0666 TR's history of crashes, fires, repairs, rebodies, no significant wins and only two significant finishes. Do not expect to see this combination of exuberance recur any time soon.
1975 Ferrari 365 GT4 BB,
Lot # 20 1975 Ferrari 365 GT4 BB, Body by Pininfarina; S/N 18553; Engine # 87; Silver-Grey/Beige leather, Black stripes; Estimate $180,000 - $210,000; Visually maintained, largely original, 3+ condition; Hammered Sold at $192,500 plus commission of 10.00%; Final Price $211,750 -- Panasonic CD stereo, A/C, alloy centerlock 15" wheels with BFG T/A tires, removable roof panel. Sound but erratically detailed paint, good original upholstery. Wheels repainted over chips. Clean chassis and underbody. A presentable driver in attractive colors formerly owned by Clint Eastwood. Offered at Barrett-Jackson in 1999 where it was a $125,000 no sale, its condition is if anything better than it was then, a factor recognized by the bidders in the price they paid here, but not much appreciation in twelve years . Collectors just haven't tumbled to the charms of the 365 GT4 BB.
1950 Ferrari 195 Inter Coupe, Body by Touring
Lot # 26 1950 Ferrari 195 Inter Coupe, Body by Touring; S/N 0081S; Engine # 0081S; Light Gold/Brown vinyl, Camel broadcloth; Estimate $900,000 - $1,200,000; Recent restoration, 2+ condition; Hammered Sold at $900,000 plus commission of 10.00%; Final Price $990,000 -- RHD. Chrome spoke Borrani wire wheels, tinted glass sun visors. 1951 Turin Auto Show car, one of three bodied in this style. Stored many years and recently restored in original colors and materials by Terry Scarborough Racing, Original engine, body, gearbox, rear axle. Freshly restored to very high standards and better than new. Multiple concours awards including Platinum at Cavallino in 2009. Sold by RM at Monterey in 2007 for $429,000 after its discovery in a Sudbury, Massachusetts garage. The completeness of the car after some three decades and the accuracy of its cosmetic presentation are important pluses for this Ferrari and account for its healthy price.
1927 Rolls-Royce Phantom I 4-Dr. Sedan Kenilworth
Lot # 27 1927 Rolls-Royce Phantom I 4-Dr. Sedan Kenilworth, Body by Brewster; S/N S329FM; Engine # 20297; Black/Beige cloth; Estimate $100,000 - $140,000; Unrestored original, 3- condition; Hammered Sold at $65,000 plus commission of 10.00%; Final Price $71,500 -- Dual sidemounts, rollup division, rear window shade, drum headlights, whitewalls, varnished wood luggage trunk, bamboo side window blinds. Originally owned by Mary Ford, wife of movie director John Ford. Stored by the second owner. All there and sound but in need of comprehensive attention. Much nickel trim is down to the brass. Front seats have been replaced but rear is original. Sound interior wood with curdled varnish. Repaint peeling badly. No Reserve. Elegant and well preserved, the new owner got a fine example of Brewster coachwork on the Springfield Rolls-Royce PI chassis for a modest price. It will be rewarding to drive and show as-is for a while and will be lovely when ultimately it is restored.
1961 Alfa Romeo Giulietta Sprint Speciale
Lot # 28 1961 Alfa Romeo Giulietta Sprint Speciale, Body by Bertone; S/N AR1012000533; Silver/Blue leather; Estimate $180,000 - $220,000; Unrestored original, 3+ condition; Hammered Sold at $190,000 plus commission of 10.00%; Final Price $209,000 -- Motorola underdash radio, door windwings. All original and in exceptional condition, as delivered at Bertone's request to Briggs Cunningham. Driver's seatback stitching pulled but the leather is intact. Original, dirty, underbody. Dull but sound original paint polished through in places. Left rear fender repaired. Good chrome. 2010 Pebble Beach Preservation class entrant. Includes the original tool kit, owner's manual signed by Briggs Cunningham and warranty card. 27,275 miles from new. Sprint Speciales are a hot commodity these days and this one has not only the innate appeal of the SSs but also Briggs Cunningham's ownership and impressive preservation and originality. The new owner paid a full but fully justified price to obtain that rare combination of attributes.
1964 Porsche 904 Carrera GTS
Lot # 34 1964 Porsche 904 Carrera GTS ; S/N 904-026; Engine # 99099; Silver/Blue cloth; Estimate $1,000,000 - $1,300,000; Competition restoration, 2+ condition; Hammered Sold at $1,100,000 plus commission of 10.00%; Final Price $1,210,000 -- Freshly restored to historic racing specs. Unusual bare aluminum finish on the two-piece wheels. Fire system. Hillclimbed when new by Fritz Leinenweber with many first is class and overall, then by Michael Weber with similar success. Correct period type 587/3 4-cam engine and gearbox. Never wrecked. Looks sharp, but it's not the smoothest running 904 on the planet. Not all that long ago a good 904 was a half million dollars. Those days are gone forever, although this result is at the forefront of 904 values, a benchmark for other 904s to aspire to emulate.
1948 Ferrari 166 Spider Corsa, Body by Scaglietti
Lot # 38 1948 Ferrari 166 Spider Corsa, Body by Scaglietti; S/N 014I; Red/Brown snakeskin; Estimate $1,500,000 -; Competition car, original as-raced, 3 condition; Not sold at Hammer bid of $1,300,000 -- RHD. Short wheelbase, underslung rear frame, believed raced by Ferrari, then sold to Giampiero Bianchetti and raced through 1952. Rebodied by Scaglietti with this 500 Testa Rossa-style body in 1956 and acquired by Nico Gianella in Switzerland in 1957 who brought it to the U.S. when he acquired a Mobil gas station in Santa Barbara. Sold to Michael Peake in 1962, then to Norman Blank in 1969 who owned it until he died in 2003. Crudely repainted, otherwise aged and as-found but mechanically refreshed by Patrick Ottis with subsequent use in the Monterey Historics and Colorado Grand. Sold here in 2007 for $1,045,000 in as-found condition with no small amount spent on its engine and running gear since then, the bid on this car was surprisingly modest and not surprisingly declined by the seller. It would have been a good value for the money at Gooding's low estimate.
1985 Ferrari 288 GTO
Lot # 39 1985 Ferrari 288 GTO, Body by Pininfarina; S/N ZFFPA16B000054247; Red/Black leather; Estimate $700,000 - $850,000; Unrestored original, 2- condition; Hammered Sold at $680,000 plus commission of 10.00%; Final Price $748,000 -- A/C, P/W, Alpine cassette, Speedline modular wheels. Very clean and lightly used. 22,909 km from new. Ferrari Classiche certified, FCA Platinum, Coppa Bella Macchina, Alla Vettura Pronta per il Salone and Coppa GT awards in 2008 then another Platinum in 2009. Includes tool roll, books, service records, federalization paperwork and sales records. No Reserve. This is proven to be one of the best 288 GTOs in the U.S., and the bidders paid for every trophy and judging sheet. This transaction, even though it hammered sold below the low estimate, is at the leading edge of steadily growing 288 GTO values.
1955 Austin-Healey 100/4 BN1 "Le Mans" Roadster
Lot # 41 1955 Austin-Healey 100/4 BN1 "Le Mans" Roadster; S/N BN1L225762; Engine # 1B225762M; Black, White/Red leather; Estimate $90,000 - $120,000; Older restoration, 3+ condition; Hammered Sold at $84,000 plus commission of 10.00%; Final Price $92,400 -- Silver painted wire wheels, Dunlop SP 165SR15 tires, stopwatch mounted on transmission cover, large Lucas driving and fog lights. An older restoration to like new condition with use since. Upgraded to Le Mans specs, not delivered that way. Now getting its own patina. No Reserve. Wait. Was it clear this car wasn't build to Le Mans specs? Apparently not to the buyer, who paid Le Mans spec money for a BN1 with some louvers punched in the hood and a hundred dollar stopwatch mounted on the floor. It made more sense back in 2007 when this car was sold for $55,000 by Christie's.

Gooding & Company Pebble Beach 2011 – Auction Report Continued

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Show Comments (4)

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  1. SUPERB report on the Gooding auction. Rick Carey’s insights are always much appreciated. I’m hopeful the 250 TR went to the same buyer of the Fiat Transporter – that would be something to see.

    1. Its Ironic. The seller of the 250TR was the buyer of the Fiat 642 Transporter(Jon Shirley)! The 250TR is believed to have gone to a mystery buyer in Argentina, whom also bought&overpaid for the $2.2M steel bodied 300SL Gullwing,overpaid for that producers 250GT LWB California for $5.7M,and finally was the same guy who dished out the $880K for that lime green Ghibli 4.9SS Spyder!

      1. Shirley now has two Fiat Transporters?? I’m pretty sure he already had his Fiat transporter before this auction – in fact, I would border on certain because I saw it years ago in his incredible shop.

        What on earth is the Argentinian thinking on those trades? I need his bank account….!

  2. A great report on the outcome of the Auction. Gooding put on an auction event that was both exciting and valuable for both sellers and buyers. I still think there was something in the Kettlecorn they were sending out to the hungry crowd that got everyone in the bidding frenzy but it may have just been the hammering of some beautifu classics. Looking forward to Scottsdale next year.