2018 RM Sotheby's Monterey Auction
2018 RM Sotheby's Monterey Auction

Monterey Car Week 2018 – Auction Summary

Our friends at Hagerty exhaustively covered the myriad of auctions held during the Monterey Car Week 2018, from Bonhams, Gooding and Company, Mecum, RM Sotheby’s, Russo and Steele and Worldwide. Their comprehensive summary report follows, offering several insights and perspectives into the overall direction of the collector car market.

Monterey Car Week 2018 – Auction Summary Report

Two record sales dominated the 2018 Monterey auction week, pushing preliminary sales totals to $368M — representing a 12% increase over last year. The award for the highest auction price ever went to the 1962 Ferrari 250 GTO that sold for $48.4M at RM Sotheby’s, and the most expensive American car sold at auction went to the 1935 Duesenberg SSJ Roadster that sold for $22M at Gooding & Company. Across three days and six auction houses, 1,341 vehicles sold with a median price of $95,200 (up $5,000 from last year) and with a sell-through rate of 61% (versus 59% in 2017). While the total sales number is a significant improvement from last year, it falls short of the 2014’s high-water mark of $428M.

Much like the da Vinci painting that sold for a record $450M late last year, the opportunity to purchase what is regarded as one of the all-time great automobiles resulted in a new auction record of $48.4M. Similarly, the opportunity to buy one of the most revered Duesenbergs in history raised the bar for an American car. The increase in seven- and eight-figure cars on offer this year boosted total sales, and while sell-through rate for eight-figure cars was at 80%, seven-figure cars slipped significantly to only 58% (versus 70% last year).

This year in Monterey, heavyweight bidders rose to the challenge posed by so many A-list cars, but the rest of the buyers weren’t so bullish. Bids were firm in Monterey this year with 46% of cars inspected bidding above market value per their condition, but more expensive cars performed better than less expensive examples. Entry-level collector cars (<$25K) only saw 20% of cars bid above market value, mid-market cars ($25K-$250K) had 47% of lots bid above market value, and the top of the market ($250K+) had 54% of cars bid above market value.

One very apparent this week was buyers’ appreciation of low-mile cars, and this wasn’t focused on a particular decade or type of car. A 19,000-mile 1978 Mercedes-Benz 450 SEL 6.9 sedan at Gooding ($156,750), a 4,231-mile 1995 Porsche 928 GTS with an automatic from RM Sotheby’s ($140,000), and a 19,995-mile 1977 Honda Civic CVCC from Mecum ($22,000) all soared past market values, demonstrating the allure of documented originality.

While the top of the Ferrari market appears to be firing on twelve-cylinders, aside from the 250 GTO and the Admiral’s 500 Mondial, the market for those worth $1M+ suffered this year. Despite six fewer being offered this year compared to 2017, the sell-through rate fell from 68% to 54%. The average price crept up with the GTO sale, but it fell over $1M to $1.3M when the GTO is excluded.

Prewar greats were more numerous this year with 114 offered, which is up from 90 last year. Sell-through rate did drop from 76% to 61%, but the average price almost doubled to $899K. Total sales also jumped to $62.9M. While both improvements were affected by the $22M result for the Duesenberg SSJ, the median price only fell from $102K to $101K. Other major prewar sales included a 1931 Bugatti Type 51 Grand Prix Race Car sold for $3,740,000 at Gooding and a 1933 Duesenberg Model J Bohman and Schwartz Convertible at Mecum that went for $3.85M, both selling above high estimate.

From the over 1,300 vehicles offered this year, at least 200 had been sold at an auction at least once before. Repeat sales in Monterey this year had an average annual return of 14%, an average holding period of 5.1 years. Some standouts for recent gains include a 1972 Ferrari 246 Dino GT that sold in 2012 for $214,500 and sold this year for $373,500 and an ex-Steve McQueen 1950 Hudson Custom Commodore Six Convertible that sold in 2015 for $71,500 and sold again this year for $98,000, both times at Bonhams.

Does the significant increase in total sales from last year mean a change is underway? At the moment, the market favors the best cars, but there are signs of weakness just below the summit. The abundance of prewar cars risked overwhelming the market, but collectors generally responded to the selection and added vehicles from that era. Entry-level cars remains the most active segment of the overall market we predict will continue to improve as Monterey isn’t reflective of that market.


Monterey Car Week 2018 – Overall Auction Data

Listed below are the raw results witnessed by Hagerty during the live auctions and may not factor in any post-sale deals that have occurred. These numbers include the appropriate buyer’s premiums.

Total preliminary results from all auction companies
Cumulative Total: $367.5M
841/1,376 lots sold: 61% sell-through rate
Average Sale Price: $436,982

2017 Cumulative Results through Saturday
Cumulative Total: $327.6M
757/1,277 lots sold: 59% sell-through rate
Average Sale Price: $432,793

Overall Top 10 Sales from all auctions through Saturday:
1. 1962 Ferrari 250 GTO SI Coupe sold for $48,405,000 (RM Sotheby’s)
2. 1935 Duesenberg SSJ Roadster sold for $22,000,000 (Gooding & Company)
3. 1963 Aston Martin DP215 Competition Prototype sold for $21,455,000 (RM Sotheby’s)
4. 1966 Ford GT40 Mk II Coupe sold for $9,795,000 (RM Sotheby’s)
5. 1958 Ferrari 250 GT TdF Coupe sold for $6,600,000 (Gooding & Company)
6. 1955 Maserati A6GCS/53 Spider sold for $5,170,000 (Gooding & Company)
7. 1955 Ferrari 500 Mondial SII Spider sold for $5,005,000 (Gooding & Company)
8. 1957 Porsche 550A Spyder sold for $4,900,000 (RM Sotheby’s)
9. 1998 Mercedes-Benz CLK GTR Coupe sold for $4,515,000 (RM Sotheby’s)
10. 1956 Maserati A6G/2000 Zagato Berlinetta sold for $4,515,000 (RM Sotheby’s)

Results broken down by Auction Company

RM Sotheby’s
Cumulative Total through Saturday: $157.6M
124/150 lots sold: 83% sell-through rate
Average Sale Price: $1,270,903

Overall Top 10 Sales:
1. 1962 Ferrari 250 GTO SI Coupe sold for $48,405,000
2. 1963 Aston Martin DP215 Competition Prototype sold for $21,455,000
3. 1966 Ford GT40 Mk II Coupe sold for $9,795,000
4. 1957 Porsche 550A Spyder sold for $4,900,000
5. 1998 Mercedes-Benz CLK GTR Coupe sold for $4,515,000
6. 1956 Maserati A6G/2000 Zagato Berlinetta sold for $4,515,000
7. 1934 Packard Twelve-Series 1108 Dietrich Convertible Victoria sold for $3,745,000
8. 2014 Ferrari LaFerrari Coupe sold for $3,305,000*
9. 1971 Lamborghini Miura P400 SV Coupe sold for $2,177,500
10. 1963 Mercedes-Benz 300SL Roadster sold for $1,930,000
* Charity car

2017 Cumulative Results through Saturday
Cumulative Total: $132.8M
103/116 lots sold: 89% sell-through rate
Average Sale Price: $1,289,135

Gooding and Company
Cumulative Total through Saturday: $114.7M
120/146 lots sold: 82% sell-through rate
Average Sale Price: $955,854

Overall Top 10 Sales:
1. 1935 Duesenberg SSJ Roadster sold for $22,000,000
2. 1958 Ferrari 250 GT TdF Coupe sold for $6,600,000
3. 1955 Maserati A6GCS/53 Spider sold for $5,170,000
4. 1955 Ferrari 500 Mondial SII Spider sold for $5,005,000
5. 2007 Porsche RS Spyder Race Car sold for $4,510,000
6. 1955 Porsche 550 Spyder Roadster sold for $4,455,000
7. 1931 Bugatti Type 51 Grand Prix Race Car sold for $3,740,000
8. 1959 Porsche 718 RSK Roadster sold for $3,740,000
9. 1967 Ferrari 330 GTC Coupe sold for $3,410,000
10. 1966 Ferrari Dino 206 S Coupe sold for $3,080,000

2017 Cumulative Results through Saturday
Cumulative Total: $91.5M
107/132 lots sold: 81% sell-through rate
Average Sale Price: $854,669

Bonhams
Cumulative Total through Friday: $37.7M
109/135 lots sold: 81% sell-through rate
Average Sale Price: $345,935

Overall Top 10 Sales:
1. 1948 Alfa Romeo 6C 2500 Competizione Coupe sold for $3,525,000
2. 1937 Mercedes-Benz 540K Sports Roadster sold for $3,277,500
3. 1955 Mercedes-Benz 300SL Gullwing Coupe sold for $1,875,000
4. 1960 Ferrari 250 GT Cabriolet SII sold for $1,682,500
5. 1928 Bentley 6 1/2 Liter Open Sports Tourer sold for $1,655,000
6. 1953 Siata 208S Spider sold for $1,655,000
7. 1929 Bentley 4 1/2 Liter Sports Tourer sold for $1,435,000
8. 2015 Porsche 918 Spyder Weissach Roadster sold for $1,407,500
9. 1936 Mercedes-Benz 500K Touring Phaeton sold for $1,215,000
10. 1996 Porsche 911 GT2 Coupe sold for $1,105,000

2017 Results through Friday
Cumulative Total: $55.2M
86/109 lots sold: 79% sell-through rate
Average Sale Price: $641,685

Mecum
Cumulative Total through Saturday: $44.7M
360/690 lots sold: 52% sell-through rate
Average Sale Price: $124,190

Overall Top 10 Sales:
1. 1933 Duesenberg Model J Bohman and Schwartz Convertible Victoria sold for $3,850,000
2. 2014 Ferrari LaFerrari Coupe sold for $3,190,000
3. 2003 Ferrari Enzo Coupe sold for $2,860,000
4. 1989 Porsche 962 Coupe sold for $2,200,000
5. 1969 Lamborghini Miura P400 S Coupe sold for $1,155,000
6. 1929 Duesenberg Model J Murphy Convertible Sedan sold for $1,155,000
7. 2012 Dallara DW12 Honda Indy Car sold for $1,127,500
8. 2017 Ferrari F12tdf Coupe sold for $1,045,000
9. 1936 Auburn 852 Supercharged Speedster sold for $1,017,500
10. 1973 Ferrari 365 GTB/4 Daytona Coupe sold for $825,000

2017 Cumulative Results through Saturday
Cumulative Total: $32.1M
296/645 lots sold: 46% sell-through rate
Average Sale Price: $108,478

Russo and Steele
Cumulative Total through Saturday: $7.3M
95/196 lots sold: 48% sell-through rate
Average Sale Price: $76,548

Overall Top 10 Sales:
1. 2017 Ford GT Coupe sold for $1,540,000
2. 1984 Lamborghini Countach LP500S Coupe sold for $308,000
3. 1972 Ferrari 365 GTC/4 Coupe sold for $305,250
4. 1983 Ferrari 512 BBi Coupe sold for $225,500
5. 2009 Mercedes-Benz SL65 AMG Black Series Convertible sold for $203,500
6. 1989 Porsche 911 Speedster sold for $181,500
7. 1932 Pierce-Arrow Model 52 Custom Club Berline Sedan sold for $176,000
8. 2012 Mercedes-Benz Sprinter Executive Series Van sold for $154,000
9. 2000 BMW Z8 Roadster sold for $154,000
10. 2017 Mercedes-Benz G550 Custom Wagon sold for $148,500

2017 Cumulative Results through Saturday
Cumulative Total: $8.5M
114/202 lots sold: 56% sell-through rate
Average Sale Price: $74,911

Worldwide
Cumulative Total through Thursday: $5.5M
33/59 lots sold: 56% sell-through rate
Average Sale Price: $167,267

Overall Top 10 Sales:
1. 1931 Duesenberg Model J Derham Tourster sold for $1,320,000
2. 1962 Shelby Cobra 260 Roadster sold for $990,000
3. 1916 Locomobile Model 68 Cabriolet sold for $473,000
4. 1972 Ferrari Dino 246 GTS Spider sold for $341,000
5. 1968 Jaguar E-Type SI.5 Roadster sold for $247,500
6. 1958 Buick Limited Model 756 Convertible sold for $181,500
7. 1929 Packard Deluxe Eight-Series 645 Roadster sold for $176,000
8. 1967 Maserati Ghibli Coupe sold for $170,500
9. 1969 Chevrolet Camaro Yenko Sport Coupe sold for $165,000
10. 1965 Rolls-Royce Silver Cloud III LWB Sedan sold for $145,750

2017 Cumulative Results
Total: $7.6M
51/73 lots sold: 70% sell-through rate
Average Sale Price: $148,226

[Source: Hagerty; photo: Darin Schnabel | RM Sotheby’s]