$390 million of cars were auctioned off last week in the build-up to the Pebble Beach concours in California.
RM Sotheby’s, Gooding & Co., Bonhams, Mecum and Russo & Steele sold 741 collector cars, realising some astonishing prices. The hammer came down at more than $1 million on 80 cars, while seven made eight-figure sums.
There was talk of ‘Pebble Beach fever’ taking over bidders, and some prices certainly did seem high. But there was no doubting the quality of cars the ‘big three’ – RM, Gooding and Bonhams – offered. RM Sotheby’s did best, realising over $167 million from 126 cars, 35 of which sold for over a million.
But what we really want to know is which cars made the most money. So click through the gallery below to see the top ten most valuable cars sold at the 2015 Pebble Beach auctions.
10. 1950 Ferrari 275S/340 America Barchetta $7.975m (RM Sotheby’s) The first Ferrari with Lampredi’s jewel-like 3.3 V12 engine. Later upgraded with 4.1 V12 340 America motor. Run by the Scuderia in many great races, with the best drivers at the wheel. Years later bought as a wreck by a 15-year old…
9. 1959 Ferrari 250GT LWB California Spider $8.500m (RM Sotheby’s) Originally ordered by a Prince with many custom details, including bonnet and side intakes and open headlights. Widely regarded as one of the best.
8. 1959 Ferrari 250GT Berlinetta Competizione $8.525m (Bonhams) One of 7 ‘Interim’ 250GTs, featuring LWB ‘TdF’ chassis with alloy body very similar to later 250GT SWB. This one has some early racing history, including 3rd overall in ’59 Tour de France, and was completely restored in 2011.
7. 1982 Porsche 956 $10.120m (Gooding & Co) The most successful factory team 956, winning five races including ’83 Le Mans. Driven by Bell, Ickx and Schuppan.
6= 1953 Jaguar C-Type Lightweight $13.200m (RM Sotheby’s) One of 3 lightweight cars built, run by the factory team to 4th overall at Le Mans in ’53. Subsequently raced with much success by Ecurie Ecosse.
6= 1956 Ferrari 250GT Berlinetta Competizione $13.200m (RM Sotheby’s) Possibly the greatest racing GT of the mid-50s. This car was driven by the great Alfonso de Portago to victory on the ’56 Tour de France, giving the model its subsequent name.
4. 1998 McLaren F1 LM spec $13.750m (RM Sotheby’s) The penultimate F1 built, fitted with race-spec LM upgrades. Among them extra high downforce aero kit and 680bhp, 7,800rpm engine.
3. 1962 Ferrari 250GT SWB Speciale $16.500m (Gooding & Co) Exquisite one-off bodied by Bertone. Apparently used by boss Nuccio Bertone as his personal car.
2. 1961 Ferrari 250GT SWB California Spider $16.830m (Gooding & Co) Superb, well-documented and Ferrari Classiche certified example of the single most desirable road-going Ferrari.
1. 1964 Ferrari 250LM $17.600m (RM Sotheby’s) Campaigned with much success in UK hillclimbs and sprints for the first 20 years of its life. 23rd of 32 built; considered one of the best in existence.
Between them the top ten made $126.2 million, nearly a third of the total. There has been much talk of a slow-down in collector car prices recently, but not on this evidence.
By Only Motors Images via RMAuctions.com; Goodingco.com; Bonhams.com