Summary Monterey Auction Report 2013

Report by Rick Carey, Auction Editor

Ferrari 275 GTB NART Spider
Ferrari 275 GTB NART Spider sold for $27,500,000

By now most people have heard about the 1967 Ferrari 275 GTB/4 NART Spider s/n 10709 sold at RM’s Monterey auction on Saturday August 17 for $27,500,000.

There was a real dichotomy of opinion before it reached the block. Some people – typically older, experienced, sober, realistic types – thought it would sell somewhere close to RM’s $15-17million estimate range.

Others gave hype, loose money in the collector car market, and the plain eye-appeal of the NART Spider more credit and called out up to $20 million, anticipating a bidding war between deep-pocketed trophy car collectors.

Little did we know.

A hint was the opening bid, a solid $10 million called in from the audience in the Portola’s ballroom without prompting from RM’s Max Girardo.

It was ambitious, but hopeless.

The next bid was $16 million, blowing the first bidder right into the potted plants. $17 million followed, but it was immediately countered by an unprompted $20 million bid.

That’s a $3 million bump, enough to buy any car in Monterey except the nineteen most expensive (of 64 cars sold for $1 million hammer bids or more this week, the most ever in Monterey by nearly half.)

Max Girardo wasn’t consulting chandeliers. This was real money coming from at least three places, an auctioneer’s dream.

The bidding continued in $1 million increments to its culmination at $25 million, $27,500,000 with commission. The crowd cheered and clapped – once the stunned amazement wore off.

Why? Well, 10709 is one of only ten Scaglietti-built NART Spiders. It’s a beautiful car. It is practical – that is, it can actually be driven and enjoyed on the road unlike Testa Rossas or the W196 Mercedes-Benz Silver Arrow GP car sold by Bonhams at Goodwood last month for $29.6 million.

Now that’s out of the way, let’s take a longer look at the Monterey collector car auctions – based somewhat tentatively on information received on the sales through August 22.

Monterey 2013
Offered / Sold
Sale %
% < Low Est
% > High Est
Average / Median
Total Sales
Change
Bonhams - 201392 / 7884.8%51.3%1.50%$399,749 / $126,500 $31,180,450167.3%
Bonhams - 201296 / 5557.3%70.4%3.70%$212,056 / $82,800 $11,663,07014.2%
Bonhams - 2011129 / 6248.06%59.7%14.5%$164,706 / $64,350$10,211,765-43.4%
Bonhams - 2010102 / 7977.5%55.10%16.70%$228,224 / $62,100 $18,029,690
RM Auctions - 2013119 / 10487.4%42.3%22.1%$1,201,858 / $352,000$124,993,25030.6%
RM Auctions - 2012119 / 10689.1%51.00%10.8%$903,200 / $313,500$95,739,150 22.4%
RM Auctions - 2011144 / 12385.42%61.3%7.6%$635,713 / $214,500 $78,192,70018.46%
RM Auctions - 2010224 / 20491.07%54.4%10.8%$323,564 / $101,750$66,007,100
Gooding - 2013127 / 11691.3%38.9%21.2%$965,675 / $368,500$112,018,350-1.5%
Gooding - 2012123 / 11089.4%45.0%15.6%$1,033,969 / $319,000$113,736,60045.5%
Gooding - 2011127 / 10784.25%44.9%12.2%$730,672 / $192,500 $78,181,90021.04%
Gooding - 2010135 / 10678.5%59.4%8.9%$609,361 / $181,500$64,592,300
Mecum Auctions - 2013720 / 36650.8%---- $85,641 / $41,730$31,344,590-2.8%
Mecum Auctions - 2012599 / 34862.3%---- $92,694 / $39,750$32,257,66045.3%
Mecum Auctions - 2011743 / 44459.76%----$49,993 / $27,560 $22,196,82242.26%
Mecum Auctions - 2010428 / 20848.6%---- $75,013 / $36,040 $15,602,627
Russo & Steele - 2013209 / 8641.1%----$81,653 / $52,000$7,022,172-29.4%
Russo & Steele - 2012281 / 15856.2%----$62,974 / $39,600$9,949,92017.0%
Russo & Steele - 2011222 / 14464.86%----$59,079 / N/A$8,507,3365.62%
Russo & Steele - 2010249 / 9939.8%----$81,363 / $44,000$8,054,975
Auction Totals
Monterey 20131267 / 75059.19%----$408,745 / $71,690$306,558,81216.4%
Monterey 20121178 / 77765.96%----$338,927 / $74,750$262,346,40033.5%
Monterey 20111365 / 88064.47%----$224,194 / N/A$197,290,52314.5%
Monterey 20101138 / 69661.16%----$247,538 / N/A$172,286,69245.6%

The summary is simple: $306 million changed hands for cars sold at Monterey in 2013, up 16% from 2012. Most remarkably, the 64 cars sold for $1 million hammer bids or more (there were 44 million dollar cars in 2012) accounted for $205.4 million, 67.2%, of the total for all 1,265 cars offered and 739 sold in Monterey, conclusive evidence of the segmentation of the collector car market into two segments. One, the top of the market for the most rare, sexy and desirable cars, is flush with loose cash. The other, the middle market, is dormant – with the exception of cars like 190SLs and 246 Dinos that have the cachet of attachment with Mercedes-Benz 300SLs and Ferrari F40s.

Some extraordinary results were realized, though, even in what might be considered middle-market cars.

There’ll be more soon on Sports Car Digest. It’s a staggering collection of cars and a lot to absorb.

[Source: Rick Carey; photo: Eugene Robertson, courtesy RM Auctions]

Show Comments (2)

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  1. I have the highest respect for those who can afford the super-priced exotics as long as they hide them away afterwards. The owners who drive them on the street with that sneer of heroic difficulty should carefully review their well developed immaturity.

  2. Jack,
    I don’t agree.
    These are cars to be shared, images of the past in their steel, aluminum and fiberglass flesh. They run and drive and the sight and sound of them doing just that in their native element is part of the obligation that collectors assume when they own them.
    One trip to the start of the Pebble Beach Tour d’Elegance with tonneaus filled with happy — often period clothed — occupants is more than enough to evidence the real pleasure of owning significant, rare or just plain funky old cars.
    If some snooty owner exhibits disdainful arrogance while at the wheel of an XKSS or Alfa 8C they deserve approbation, but most do not and we can share their pride and the thrill of the experience vicariously while savoring the sight, sound and smell.