Top 10 most valuable cars coming to auction at Pebble Beach



2015-06-26 11:35:19

The world’s most anticipated collector car event, the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance, is just around the corner

When the world’s car collecting elite gather in one place, you know some serious money is about to be spent.

The world’s finest cars go on show at the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance – the most anticipated event in the car collecting calendar – next month in Monterey, California. 

All the top auction houses will also be there. They will be bringing out the big guns, hoping to see record bids as the excitement builds.

In this list, we look at the top 10 most valuable cars heading to Monterey for auction this August. Dominated by Ferrari, it tells you all you need to know about the top end of the classic car market…

10. 1998 Ferrari 333 SP

Image: RM Auctions

What is it worth? Estimate available on request (roughly translates as "don’t bother unless you’ve got more cash than Scrooge McDuck")

Why? This is the only Ferrari to ever win the iconic endurance races that are 24 Hours of Daytona and the 12 Hours of Sebring. It’s been in the hands of Ferrari geeks since its competition days, and is in impeccable condition.

Where is it selling? RM Auctions’ Monterey Auction (August 15-16)

9. 1965 Ford GT40 Roadster Prototype

Image: RM Auctions

What is it worth? $8m-10m

Why? The Ford GT40 was built to challenge Ferrari’s dominance at the 24 Hours of Le Mans, which it managed with finesse, winning the title in four consecutive years . This is the first of only six Roadster models built, and the eighth of only 12 prototypes, so it’s pretty darn important in terms of competition history.

It’s the only GT40 Roadster to have survived in its original form, and was built especially for Shelby American as a test vehicle, with legendary drivers such as Carroll Shelby and Jim Clark all taking it for a spin.

It’s also a well-known car on the collecting scene, having won an award at the 2003 Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance – a factor that could push its final price past the record for an American car at auction.

Where is it selling? RM Auctions’ Monterey Auction (August 15-16)

**8. 1952 Ferrari 250 Mille Miglia **

Image: Bonhams

What is it worth? $9m-12m

Why? Built by Ferrari for the world famous Mille Miglia, a race that traces 1,000 miles through the Italian countryside, this is about as Italian a car as you can get. It is also the first 3-litre, V12-engined car in Ferrari’s Gran Turismo family, kicking off the line that would culminate in the 250 GTO.

It was driven by Formula 1 winning driver Phil Hill, and is the first car Battista “Pinin” Farina worked on with Enzo Ferrari. Quite simply, this car is a landmark in Ferrari history.

Where is it selling? Bonhams’ Quail Lodge Auction (August 14)

7. 1967 Ferrari 275 GTB/4

Image: RM Auctions

What is it worth? $8m-12m

Why? Steve McQueen drove it. McQueen was one of the world’s biggest car collectors and pretty much bought any motor that tickled his fancy.

He ordered this one from new while working on his classic car-chase film Bullitt and, unlike almost every other car in this list, comes in Chianti Red instead of Ferrari’s famous Rosso Corsa.

It was then restored by Ferrari’s Classiche department (the in-house team responsible for repairing the finest classics) and put on display at the Ferrari museum in Maranello.

Where is it selling? RM Auctions’ Monterey Auction (August 15-16)

**6. 1964 Ferrari 250 LM Scaglietti **

Image: RM Auctions

What is it worth? $8.5m-12.5m

Why? Built as a replacement for the celebrated 250 GTO, the 250 LM (LM stands for Le Mans) was the last Ferrari to win the famous French endurance race, and therefore has its place in history firmly cemented.

There were just 32 examples ever made, and this was one of the few not immediately handed over to race teams, instead being owned and enjoyed by some of the world’s top collectors. It has been picking up a string of accolades ever since.

Where is it selling? RM Auctions’ Monterey Auction (August 15-16)

5. 1995 McLaren F1

Image: Gooding & Company

What is it worth? $12m-14m

Why? The McLaren F1 was a game-changer. Produced in 1995, it is among the finest supercars ever created, and collectors can actually drive them on the streets comfortably. As Gooding & Co states: “Praise alone cannot satisfy the F1’s effect on the motoring community.”

This example is one of the finest in existence and is particularly complete, with add-ons including factory-made luggage and a gold-plated titanium tool kit, with a rolling toolbox to match.

Such is the important of the McLaren F1, many of the current owners of Ferrari 250 GTOs also own one, securing its place at the top of the collector car market.

Where is it selling? Gooding & Co Pebble Beach 2014 (August 16-17)

**4. 1961 Ferrari 250 GT SWB California Spider **

Image: Gooding & Company

What is it worth? $13m-15m

Why? The 250 series is the most sought-after of all lines produced by Ferrari, and the GT models (those designed for the track) are the most coveted of all the 250s.

The 250 GT SWB (short wheelbase) California Spyder, as its name suggests, was produced especially for the US market, featuring all manner of improvements. The scant few ever made were snapped up by American stars on release.

It also saw a strong racing career, winning awards at Le Mans and Sebring.

This is among the finest of the 56 short wheelbase examples around, and is boosted in value by its rare covered headlights and hard-top; the majority produced were convertibles.

Where is it selling? Gooding & Co Pebble Beach 2014 (August 16-17)

3. 1966 Ferrari 365 Tre Posti

Image: Gooding & Company

What is it worth? $16m-20m

**Why? **The three-seater Ferrari 365 P Berlinetta Speciale represents the culmination of three of the greatest minds in automotive history, Enzo Ferrari, Luigi Chinetti and Sergio Pininfarina.

Ferrari took care of the mechanics, Pininfarina provided the beautiful body and Chinetti (the man responsible for selling Ferrari to the world)…well, he kept it, naturally.

It is unique, produced as a prototype for the first mid-engined 12-cylinder Ferrari designed as a road car, and was the last car created by Pininfarina for a private client. It toured the world on its release, and was then kept by Luigi Chinetti himself.

It features an extensive selection of unique styling additions, including an expansive moon roof with state-of-the-art bronze-tinted glass and covered headlamps, classic egg-crate grille and sweeping rear sails.

If you’re a Ferrari devotee, you should be hyperventilating by now. 

Where is it selling? Gooding & Co Pebble Beach 2014 (August 16-17)

2. 1964 Ferrari 275 GTB/C Speciale

Image: RM Auctions

What is it worth? Estimate on request (upwards of $20m)

**Why? **There are only three of them, and the car is one of the finest Ferrari ever produced. A successor to the 250 GTO and the 250 LM, the 275 GTB/C stepped it up a gear with a 3.3-litre V-12, increasing its BHP to 320, while the GTO sports a 3.0 litre.

Although more powerful, the car was too light for the GT class, yet the FIA let up in June 1965 and allowed Ferrari to compete for the remainder of the season.

During its competition history of just three months, it finished third at that year’s 24 Hours of Le Mans, marking the fastest time by a front-engined car – a record that still stands.

Where is it selling? Gooding & Co Pebble Beach 2014 (August 16-17)

1. 1962-63 Ferrari 250 GTO Berlinetta

Image: Bonhams

What is it worth? No reserve (possible record breaker - more than $52m)

**Why? **Reputation.

The Ferrari 250 GTO is currently the world’s most valuable car, and looks set to remain so, with another example coming up for sale with Bonhams at Monterey this August.

One sold for $52m in 2013 in a private deal, marking the highest priced sale of a car in history.

It’s considered to be the ultimate Ferrari, embodying all the characteristics that make the Maranello marque the monumental force it is in the automotive world.

There are faster, more powerful and, arguably, more beautiful Ferraris, but none surpass the sheer collectability of the car. It has seen a rise in value like no other ($18,500 from new to $52m in 2013) and has become something of a bellwether for the classic car market – if GTOs are doing well, all is OK.

There were just 33 250 GTOs ever built, with Ferrari eluding the FIA’s requirement of 100 cars by using irregular chassis numbering. Built for homologation into the Group 3 Grand Touring Car racing category, it went on to win the 2,000cc class in 1962, 1963 and 1964, with few able to keep up.

Today it is something of a status symbol; if you’re a billionaire who collects cars, you essentially have to have one, or face being the laughing stock of your billionaire friends. 

The example at auction has spent 49 years in a single family and has a great competition history in Italian mountain climbs, as well as winning second place in the 1962 Tour de France (not the bike race).

It is one of the best known of all GTOs, meaning collectors have had plenty of time to hanker after it and imagine themselves behind the wheel – they won’t readily pass up the chance to make that a reality.

Where is it selling? Bonhams Quail Lodge Auction (August 14)

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