Friday night classic car auctions in Monterey top $86 million in sales

This 1953 Ferrari 375 MM Spider, one of only 12 known to exist, sold at auction for $9.08 million, including commission.
This 1953 Ferrari 375 MM Spider, one of only 12 known to exist, sold at auction for $9.08 million, including commission.
(Darin Schnabel / RM Auctions)

A rare Ferrari, Mercedes-Benz and Bentley attracted the highest winning bids Friday night as key auctions at Monterey’s Classic Car week revved into gear.

More than $86.2 million worth of cars changed hands over the course of the evening, according to Hagerty Insurance.

The biggest prize of the night was a 1953 Ferrari 375 MM Spider, which RM Auctions sold for $9.08 million, including commission, according to Hagerty. The small, brilliant red race car is one of only 12 known to exist and has been owned by one family since 1968.

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RM also sold a 1939 Mercedes-Benz 540K Special Roadster for $7.5 million. Bonhams’ 1931 Bentley 4.5-liter Supercharged Le Mans Roadster sold for $4.7 million. Both prices include commission.

With several days of auctions already concluded, the total sum spent on cars in the Monterey auctions is up 33% over 2012. Prior to the week, Hagerty estimated that sales for the entire week would top $325 million, a 22% increase from 2012.

Saturday night will be the second night of auctions for RM, with all eyes on a 1967 Ferrari 275 GTB N.A.R.T. Spider. Its pre-sale estimate is $14 million to $17 million, with some experts quietly predicting it could hit $20 million.

The car, one of only 10 ever built, would break the record price for a Ferrari sold at auction if it tops $16.4 million, including commission. That record was set in 2011 by a 1957 Testa Rossa race car, which Santa Monica-based Gooding & Co. sold at its Pebble Beach auction.


Gooding’s 2013 Pebble Beach auctions kick off Saturday night and conclude Sunday night. The company is bringing 160 vehicles to the auction block over the two days, with 37 of them featuring pre-sale estimates of more than $1 million.

2013 also marks the 10th anniversary for Gooding as a company. it held its inaugural sale in Pebble Beach in 2004.


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