Gooding & Co. auction: 20 world records at one sales event

As always, Gooding & Co., the official auction house of the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance, held a two-day sale during the Monterey week. This year though, for the first time, its auction took place on the Friday and Saturday rather than the Saturday and Sunday. The company offered 135 cars and recorded a good sale rate (81%), with 110 lots coming under the hammer for a grand total of USD 91,594,000 (10% commission included). Impressively, 20 of the cars of the Gooding & Co. auction fetched prices that broke existing world records.

Gooding & Co. auction leader: 1966 Ferrari 275 GTB/C

One was the auction’s most expensive car, a 1966 Ferrari 275 GTB/C with a pre-sale estimated value of USD 12–16 million, which sold for USD 14,520,000, a new world record for the model. Hot on its tail came the event’s second most expensive car, a 1970 Porsche 917 K: after a pre-sale estimate of USD 13–16 million, this car sold for USD 14,080,000 and so became the most valuable Porsche ever sold at an auction. The next most expensive cars sold at the Gooding auction trailed the first two by some considerable distance: the 4 million, 3 million and 2 million dollar barriers were each broken by two cars, while a further 14 passed the 1 million dollar mark.

The cars setting new record prices for their respective models included a 1956 Maserati A6G/54 (USD 4,400,000), a 1958 BMW 507 (USD 2,750,000) and a 1926 Mercedes 24/100/140 Phaeton, the latter, after some protracted bidding, finally coming under the hammer at USD 726,000 — nearly double its estimated value! Two Mercedes 300 SLs (a Coupé and a Roadster), both in highly original condition and coming from a single family ownership, sold for a healthy USD 1,677,500 and USD 1,034,000 respectively. The autction’s cheapest car, offered without reserve and with an estimated value of 35–45 K USD, was a 1976 Alfa Romeo Alfetta GT 2000 (chassis #AR 116 15*0001227) in preserved condition, which fetched USD 24,200.

The six cars we previewed

Four of the six cars we covered in our preview of this Gooding & Co. auction were sold, two of them fetching amounts that were by far the day’s top prices. One of these was the 1966 Ferrari 275 GTB/C, one of the only 12 built, raced between 1966 and 1970, and considered the final evolution of the single-cam Ferrari Berlinetta. A matching numbers car, well restored by Motion Products and complete with extensive files documenting its history, it was assigned a pre-sale estimated value of USD 12–16 million and sold for USD 14,520,000. The other top seller picked out by us was the 1970 Porsche 917 K, not only one of the most iconic models ever manufactured in Weissach, but also one of the very cars featured in the Steve McQueen movie “Le Mans”.

Gooding & Co. auction 2017: Porsche 917 K at Pebble Beach

Complete with a perfectly known history, which includes a long spell under the ownership of Swiss racer Jo Siffert, this beautifully restored car was offered with a USD 13–16 million estimate and fetched USD 14,080,000. Another of our selected six, the 1956 Maserati A6G/54 Berlinetta Zagato, became the fourth most expensive lot of the sale. The very last of a series of 21 built by Zagato, it was delivered new in San Francisco and campaigned in US Sports Car Races. Restored by Quality Cars in Italy a few years ago, it was shown at the 2014 Villa d’Este Concours d’Elegance. This matching numbers car, still with its original color scheme and boasting a known history, completely documented by Adolfo Orsi, was offered with a USD 4–5 million estimate and sold for USD 4.4 million, setting a new price record for the model.

We are pleased to report the sale of the 1930 Minerva AM Dual-Windshield Convertible Sedan with Hibbard and Darrin coachwork, another of our selected cars and a particular favorite of ours since we saw it on show at the last Amelia Island Concours. Discovered only last year by Wayne Carini, after being stored by its second owner for more than 40 years, it was offered in “barn find” condition. Highly original, accompanied by correspondence covering 70 years of its life, and with amazing custom coachwork, it was offered with a pre-sale estimated value of USD 500–700 K and sold for USD 484 K. Finally, two of our top six were no sales: one was the 1974 Alfa Romeo Tipo 33 TT 12, one of only six cars ever built in this configuration, which has an impressive record of achievements, and the other the 1928 Mercedes-Benz S Type 26/180 Sports Tourer by Gläser, a car that was most likely built as a one-off and has been with the same family since 1964.

The Top Ten at Gooding & Co. auction

The Top Ten cars at the Gooding & Co. sale, representing 7.4% of the lots crossing the block, sold for an overall value of USD 53.1 million (about 58% of the total value of the sale), and all of them broke the 1 million dollar barrier. Indeed, we have to go right down to number 23 in the list to find the first car sold for less than a million dollars. We have already mentioned the two cars that were, by far, the top-selling lots as they were among our selected six. They were followed, in third place, by a 1959 Ferrari 250 GT Cabriolet (chassis #1475 GT), the last of the 40 series I cars built, and a very correct and authentic example of the model. It sold for USD 4,840,000 after a USD 5–7 million estimate.

We have already described the fourth most expensive car in the review of our selected six, so we move on to the car in fifth place, a 2015 Ferrari La Ferrari (chassis #ZFF76ZFA1F0209257) with one owner from new and less than 200 miles on the clock. One of the 120 (out of total 500) built to American specification, it was assigned a pre-sale estimate of USD 3.3–3.9 million, which turned out to be spot on as it came under the hammer at USD 3,520,000. The auction’s sixth most expensive car was another Ferrari, this time a classic, specifically a 1954 500 Mondial (chassis #0468 MD) with a documented ownership from new. This Ferrari Classiche-certified, matching numbers car, winner of the 1955 Ethiopian Grand Prix, sold for USD 3,162,500 after an estimate of USD 3–3.8 million.

Seventh place in the Top Ten went to a 1958 BMW 507 (chassis #70081). This beautifully restored Series II car, fitted with knock-off wheels, came complete with a BMW Classic Certificate; it sold for USD 2.75 million, setting a new world record for the model and exceeding its pre-sale estimate of USD 2–2.5 million. Eighth place went to a Ferrari Classiche-certified 1965 Ferrari 275 GTB (chassis #07075), factory equipped with competition features and successfully raced in period. It, too, fetched more than its estimated value (USD 2–2.4 million), coming under the hammer at USD 2,585,000. Ninth spot in the Top Ten went to a 1955 Mercedes-Benz 300 SL Gullwing (chassis #198.040.5500080); this car, coming from a single family ownership, never restored and therefore in totally original condition, and having done only 16,000 miles from new, fetched considerably more than its estimated value (USD 1–1.3 million), selling for USD 1,677,500. The last car to make it into the Top Ten was a 1951 Ferrari 212 Inter Coupe Vignale (chassis #0175 E) that had clocked up about 100 miles since undergoing a comprehensive, world class restoration carried out by Canepa. Expected to fetch in the region of USD 1.5–1.8 million, it sold for USD 1,595,000.

Some more results of the Gooding & Co. auction at Pebble Beach

One of the most interesting cars we saw at the Gooding & Co. sale was a 1957 Mercedes-Benz 300 SL Roadster (chassis #198.042.7500180), “sister” of the 300 SL Gullwing that was the sale’s ninth most expensive car. In 1957, the car, in an attractive color scheme and supplied with a set of fitted luggage, was purchased by the very same family that owned the Gullwing. Kept absolutely original over the 60 years of its life, and driven for less than 38,000 miles, it exceeded its estimated value (USD 0.8–1 million), selling for USD 1,034,000.

Gooding & Co. auction Pebble Beach 2017: Roadster and Coupe 300 SL

An excellent result was achieved by a 1926 Mercedes 24/100/140 Phaeton bodied by Erdmann & Rossi (chassis #36010) and originally owned by Academy Award winning actor Emil Jannings. Offered with period photos and a known history, this car, one of the symbolic early compressor Mercedes, had been expected to fetch USD 275–375 K, but ended up almost doubling its upper estimated value with a hammer price of USD 726,000. Another interesting lot was a 1938 Peugeot 402 darl’Mat Special Sport Roadster with Portout body (chassis #400248), one of the most beautiful cars ever built, boasting a perfect provenance and an impressive racing history.

One of around 30 cars of this kind still surviving, it changed hands at USD 742,500 after an estimate of USD 700–900 K. It is worth noting that two humble cars, quite easy to find in Europe, but definitely rarer in the USA, performed very well. One was a 1951 Fiat 500C Giardiniera (chassis #249815), fresh from a restoration overseen by Raoul San Giorgi and looking perfect, which sold for USD 82,500 after an estimate at USD 70–90 K; the other was a 1952 Alfa Romeo 1900 M AR51 “Matta” (chassis #AR AR51*00408), delivered new to the Italian army, well restored in Italy and coming from the collection of Donald Osborne (the Italian car specialist in America). It surpassed its estimated value range of USD 45–55 K, selling for USD 67,100.

All photos of the gallery courtesy and © Peter Singhof. 

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