Mecum Monterey 2012 – Auction Report Page Two

1966 Ferrari 275 GTB Alloy Berlinetta
Lot # S095 1966 Ferrari 275 GTB Alloy Berlinetta; S/N 08143; Engine # 08143; Red/Black leather; Recent restoration, 3+ condition; Not sold at Hammer bid of $1,100,000 — Centerlock alloy wheels, Michelin XWX tires, full tool roll. Long nose body, represented as matching numbers with complete ownership history from new. Includes four new Borrani wire wheels and handbook. Fresh paint and major chrome but window and door trim not done. Good new interior. Paint job quality is mediocre with visible flaws. Underbody is clean but unexceptional. Visibly deficient in presentation and preparation, the seller should still be reconsidering declining this bid if there was money behind it. There is real potential here, but there is a ways to go to realize it.
1954 Ferrari 750 Monza Spider
Lot # S097 1954 Ferrari 750 Monza Spider, Body by Scaglietti; S/N 0462MD; Red/Faded Blue cloth; Competition car, original as-raced, 3+ condition; Not sold at Hammer bid of $2,800,000 — RHD. 857 engine installed, original block (but not much else) and a transaxle included, passenger’s seat hard cover, driver’s windshield, 5- speed gearbox, silver painted wire wheels. Freshly serviced. Old upholstery worn through. Edge cracked paint. Never really restored, erratic paint, good chassis and engine. A plain old race car. This is a hard sell at Mecum unless the seller is willing to accept a haircut or prepared to spend the time and money to bring it back to its original configuration. Leaving a lot of ‘promise’ to bidders isn’t calculated to achieve a generous price and this bid makes sense for what was on offer at the Hyatt.
1908 Simplex 50 Speedcar Roadster
Lot # S101 1908 Simplex 50 Speedcar Roadster; S/N 211; Maroon/Black leather; Concours restoration, 1- condition; Hammered Sold at $1,900,000 plus commission of 6.00%; Final Price $2,014,000 — RHD. Condor bulb horn, Warner speedometer and clock, Solar kerosene side lights, dual rear spares with round Sages luggage, Solar Type 796 acetylene headlights, 610 cubic inch T-head four, Simplex carburetor, Bosch magneto, double chain drive. Older show quality restoration with excellent paint, good upholstery and brilliant brass. Described as the oldest known surviving Simplex. Freshly restored and nearly impeccable. At this price the bidders plainly accepted the auction’s representation that this is the oldest known Simplex. Its condition and presentation are nearly concours-fresh and it has to be an endorphin-producing ride no matter what its history. In the absence of evidence of the originality of its configuration the new owner had to accept it for what is, a bit of a stretch at this price. (photo: Mecum)
1934 Packard 1107 Twelve Convertible Sedan
Lot # S103 1934 Packard 1107 Twelve Convertible Sedan; S/N 110774313; Dark Red, Maroon accent/Dark Red leather; Black cloth top; Older restoration, 3 condition; Not sold at Hammer bid of $180,000 — Chrome wire wheels, wide whitewalls, dual enclosed sidemounts with mirrors, radiator stoneguard, trunk rack. An older restoration to like new condition with age and use. A few edge cracks but still presentable. A good tour car. Offered by RM in Arizona earlier this year and reported sold for $180,000. No wonder it didn’t get cut loose here in Monterey.
2008 Cadillac CTS-V Factory Race Car
Lot # S110 2008 Cadillac CTS-V Factory Race Car; S/N SOLD ON BILL OF SALE; Black, Red, White/Black; Competition car, original as-raced, 3 condition; Not sold at Hammer bid of $180,000 — As raced, clean and orderly as expected for a factory race team car. Extensively modified and reconfigured with few factory parts other than the floor pan, steel roof and rear suspension. Eligible for SCCA racing where it should be a contender after preparation and safety checks. Still, a similar thrill is available at 1/6 the price with a road racing configured NASCAR cup car.
1972 Porsche 917-10 Spyder
Lot # S123 1972 Porsche 917/10 Spyder; S/N 003; White “L&M”/Black; Competition restoration, 3+ condition; Hammered Sold at $5,500,000 plus commission of 6.00%; Final Price $5,830,000 — The 1972 SCCA Can-Am championship winning twin turbo 917/10 driven by Mark Donohue and George Follmer. Attested extensively by Penske’s chief mechanic ‘Woody’ Woodward and documented with one of the best single-car books Monterey has seen [written by Stephen Cox, to give credit where it’s due.] Cleaned up and, visually at least, race ready. Breathtakingly powerful and singularly important in American (and Porsche) racing history, this is if anything a modest price for this car’s performance, appearance and history. It is the single car that ended McLaren’s domination of the Can-Am, and unfortunately set Can-Am on the path to irrelevance as the pinnacle of ‘run whatever you want’ road racing and a sound value at this price especially with an indifferent result GT40/Mirage selling for $11 million this weekend.
1956 Mercedes-Benz 300SL Gullwing
Lot # S128 1956 Mercedes-Benz 300SL Gullwing; S/N 1980405500637; Engine # 1989805500630; Red/Black leather; Visually maintained, largely original, 3 condition; Hammered Sold at $675,000 plus commission of 6.00%; Final Price $715,500 — Red fitted luggage, polished alloy wheels, Black fitted luggage, Nardi woodrim hinged steering wheel, Becker Mexico radio, bumper overriders. Fresh paint and chrome and the top of the engine is done but the compartment it sits in is aged and neglected. Doors fit well. Dressed up for the auction, but still tacky under the new outfit. Sold by RM in Boca Raton in 2004 for $211,325 with rust bubbles and indifferent presentation. It’s better today but still not a particularly attractive Gullwing, just a presentable driver that offers little confidence of its mechanical condition. As such this result is a major success. Driven for a while, it will soon demand comprehensive work which will quickly become a ‘while it’s apart’ restoration and put the owner underwater.

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Show Comments (5)

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  1. great coverage Rick with insiteful commentary. It seems like market forces are at work – with few exceptions, a near perfect vehicle and presentation are necessary to bring top dollar. And some interesting bargains to be had as well ! thanks !

  2. Love the honesty, the review on the Cadillac is frank, to say the least. At some auctioneers, one might expect such a car to be weeded out, or at least the information to be presented more accurately. Sad to see this is not the case at RM or Mecum. Such an issue is exactly what keeps more interested, yet novice buyers as myself on the sideline.

    1. GMan,
      The essence of the auction process is that the bidder is charged with the responsibility for examining the product and deciding what, if any, price to bid, a qualification that applies in any buyer-seller situation. The auction company isn’t the guarantor of the article, or the representation.
      While I agree in principle that Mecum would have done itself a favor by turning the Cadillac away at the door, on the other hand not all buyers expect, or want to pay for, a pristine ready-to-show car. Some, in fact, are looking for a project to adopt and nurture
      The situation at any live auction is much better than buying on-line: at least the bidders have the chance to see the car, slam the doors, open the hood, smell the interior and kick the tires.
      All the auction companies have a range of cars on offer. Even the most hoity-toity sometimes has to accept a [sub-] marginal car from a good consignor or as part of a package consignment with one or more particularly desirable cars.
      It’s not an excuse, but it is a reason.
      C’mon out and look at the cars. They’ll talk to you and it’s not difficult to separate the good from the bad.

      Rick

      1. Rick, Thanks, I’m planning to go to Mecum in Kissimee in January for my first taste as a potential buyer. I went to Barrett-Jackson in West Palm in April as an observer, which was a lot of fun! Thanks and hope to meet you somewhere along the way.

  3. Rick is right when he says that the bidders on the Simplex plainly accepted the auction’s representation that it is the oldest known Simplex. Unfortunately, among many Simplex owners this faux automobile created quite a stir when it was assembled from various parts years ago with the sheet metal done for the car at that time.