Pebble Beach auction now on Friday and Saturday
Gooding & Company is the official Pebble Beach auction house and its auction site is on Seventeen Mile Drive, just a few hundred yards from the Pebble Beach Concours show field. The main news is a change to the scheduling of the Gooding sale: it will, as usual, be spread over two days, but this year it will be held on the Friday (August 18th, from 6 p.m.) and Saturday (August 19th, from 11 a.m.) rather than the Saturday and Sunday. The viewing of the lots of Gooding’s Pebble Beach auction will start on Wednesday August 16th, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., and continue throughout the Thursday (from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.) and Friday (9 a.m. to 9 p.m.).
A total of 174 cars will be offered, plus a motorbike and three children’s cars. Thirteen of the cars up for sale have a lower estimated value above the USD one million mark. One of these has been assigned an estimated value of at least USD 13 million, and another is expected to fetch at least USD 12 million. Two are expected to fetch at least USD 5 million, one 4 million, and three 3 million, while are five expected to break the USD 2 million barrier. If all the “million plus cars” match these predictions, they will have a total value of at least USD 71 million. The buyer’s premium will be 10% + VAT and taxes.
The oldest car in the catalog is a 1907 Wolfe Five Passenger Touring (chassis #57), one of around 30 built in 1907. Offered without reserve, it is being sold to benefit a charity. The two most recent cars offered for sale are both 2015 models: a McLaren P1 (chassis #SBM12ABA5FW000308) with one owner and less than 1800 miles from new, and a Ferrari La Ferrari (chassis #ZFF76ZFA1F0209257) with one owner and less than 200 miles from new. The cheapest car in the auction, being offered without reserve and with an estimated value of 35–45 K USD, is a 1976 Alfa Romeo Alfetta GT 2000 (chassis #AR 116 15*0001227) in preserved condition, while the highest “price tag”, USD 13–16 million, has been assigned to a 1970 Porsche 917 K.
1970 Porsche 917 K
With an estimated value of 13–16 million USD, this is certainly some car! The iconic 917, the Porsche racing car par excellence, is a legend in itself, because it is the model that, with its five-liter 12-cylinder engine, allowed the Stuttgart firm to “scale the Olympus” of large-capacity cars. It was at the wheel of a 917 that Hans Hermann took first place overall in the 1970 24 Hours of Le Mans, notching up the firm’s first “overall” success in the French marathon. Car # 917-024, the second one built with that number (not so unusual for the firm back then), was completed in 1970 with K (Kurz) specifications.
Test car with a movie career: 1970 Porsche 917 K (Photo © Matthieu Heurtault).
It was initially retained at Weissach as a test car and also used for Le Mans pre-race tests. Painted white, number 22 was assigned to Brian Redman and Mike Hailwood. Redman set the fastest lap of the trials, revealing the real potential of this new racing car. On June 25, 1970, after more tests at the Nürburgring and Ehra-Lessien circuits, it was bought by Swiss racer Jo Siffert, one of the most successful drivers of the period. In the meantime Steve McQueen had started filming his legendary movie “Le Mans”. In addition to the Ferraris and Lolas, he needed some Porsches for the racing scenes, and # 917-024 is one of the three 917s that starred in the movie. When the filming was complete, Siffert used his 917 to drive, in great style, to his birthday party.
After his death, the car, having played a similarly prominent role in his funeral, remained in Siffert’s hometown for a number of years before being sold to a buyer in France in 1978. Stored privately until 2001, the car remained in perfectly original condition, still with its Jo Siffert decals and Firestone Super Sports GP tires. Following its re-discovery, the car was bought, in 2002, by a Swiss collector and completely restored, leaving the frame (fortunately not replaced) fixed as it should be. Since the engine was missing, a correct one (number 917-021) was purchased in the USA; the aim was to enter the car in some classic competitions but, to date at least, this has not happened. This stunning car, an amazing piece of Porsche history, is being offered at Gooding’s Pebble Beach auction with an estimate of USD 13–16 million.
1974 Alfa Romeo Tipo 33 TT 12
In the mid-1970s Alfa Romeo, through its Auto Delta division managed by engineer Carlo Chiti, was heavily involved in racing, across different categories: F1, Touring (competing with both the Giulia Sedan and the Coupe GT versions of the 105 series) and Sports (with the almost unbeatable Tipo 33, project 105-33). The racing Tipo 33 was launched in 1967 and, to meet the ever-changing rules of racing’s governing body, it went on to be equipped with a series of engines. These, starting from the original two-liter version of the V8 cylinder engine, featured different mechanical solutions and cubic capacities.
The most legendary combination, launched in 1973, was the three-liter 12-cylinder boxer engine, with Lucas mechanical fuel injection, paired with the “TT” frame (TT standing for Telaio Tubolare, or tubular chassis). Only six cars with this combination were built in total, and all were hugely successful, winning seven of eight races of the 1975 World Championship and securing the Constructors’ Championship title for the firm. The car offered (chassis #AR11512*010*), built in 1974, is one of these six, and it played a crucial part in the World Championship victory of 1975. After its debut in the 1974 1000 kilometers of Imola, it went on to compete in all the races of the 1975 season, mainly driven by Derek Bell and Henry Pescarolo, winning the 1000 kilometers of Spa, the 1000 kilometers of Zeltweg and the Watkins Glen 6 Hours, and finishing second in the 1000 kilometers of Mugello (Merzario/Icks) and the 1000 kilometers of Pergusa. At the end of this successful season, Alfa Romeo retired the 33 #010.
A testimonial of Alfa Romeo’s racing heritage: 1974 Alfa Romeo Tipo 33 TT 12.
Five years later, in 1980, it was purchased by its current southern Californian owner. Still perfectly maintained, raced at classic events, and often seen, still with the original 1975 livery, at the Monterey Historics at Laguna Seca, it is now being offered for sale complete with a full set of spares and an extra (correct type) engine, as well as all the original Auto Delta documentation and the files telling the story of its first 42 years. It has been estimated to be worth USD 2,4–2,8 million.
1956 Maserati A6G/54 Berlinetta Zagato
Most likely one of the most technically advanced cars ever built, the Maserati A6 G 54, when dressed in a Berlinetta body designed and built by Zagato, is also one of the most beautiful looking cars ever built. Only 21 Zagato bodies were teamed with the A6G/54 chassis, all with small differences that make each of them unique.
The car up for sale at the Gooding & Co. Pebble Beach auction (chassis #2186, still paired with its matching number engine) is the very last of the series built. Soon after it was completed, on October 31st, 1956, it was delivered to its first owner in San Francisco, who allowed it to be used for the May 1957 cover of Motor Trend magazine. In 1959, under its second owner, it made its racing debut in Pomona, and continued to race after being sold to its third owner, based in Arizona.
Brought back to its original condition: 1956 Maserati A6G/54 Berlinetta Zagato (Photo © Mathieu Heurtault).
At the end of the car’s competition life, its engine was replaced with a Buick V8 and it was repainted. Remaining in the USA, mostly moving between California and Arizona, it was kept in this hybrid configuration until 1986, when it was sold to the owner of another A6G/54 (chassis #2175); this new owner installed the engine of #2175 under the hood of #2186. Over the next two decades or so, the car, which had essentially become an endless restoration project, was sold a number of times, in Europe initially but then, in 2007, after completion of all the work, to a buyer in Argentina. A few years later, the Argentinian owner agreed with the (by that time Italian) owner of #2175 to swap the engines back. Both were delighted to have the original engines back in their respective cars.
Soon afterwards the car was sent to Quality Cars to undergo a comprehensive restoration and be returned to its original configuration. The current owner showed it at the 2014 Villa d’Este Concours, in the special class celebrating Maserati’s 100th anniversary, at the Museo Casa Enzo Ferrari Maserati exhibition in Modena in 2014, and at The Quail motorsports gathering in 2016. It is offered with an estimated value of USD 4–5 million at Gooding’s Pebble Beach auction.
1966 Ferrari 275 GTB/C
The Competizione version of the 275 GTB is one of the rarest Ferraris manufactured. Indeed, only 12 were built in total. The “C” indicates the final evolution of the single cam Berlinetta, which, thanks to a series of special features — specifically, the extra thin alloy body, the lightweight Perspex glass for the windows (except the windshield of course) and the flared wheel arches to better accommodate the Dunlop Racing tires — was transformed into a true racing car. Other modifications included a basic interior, a huge fuel tank in the trunk and different sets of suspensions and brakes, teamed with Borrani wire-spoked wheels.
The 3.3-liter V12 engine was equipped with a high lift camshaft, 250 LM valves, competition pistons, a redesigned crankshaft and Weber 40 DFI/3 carburetors. The car offered (chassis #09051, still with its matching number engine) was finished in July 1966 and, instead of being sent to its intended first owner in Germany, was redirected to Italian amateur racing driver Renzo Sinibaldi, already a Ferrari owner, and registered in Rome.
Rare racer: 1966 Ferrari 275 GTB/C.
The car made its racing debut in July 1966 in the 500 kilometers of Mugello, where it finished 1st in class and 7th overall. This great start was followed by a string of successes in the remaining nine races of the season, which ended with Sinibaldi and his faithful 275 taking third place overall in the Italian GT Championship. After being raced for another two years, the car changed hands in August 1968, when it was sold to another Italian, Alberto Federici. It continued racing until the 1970 1000 kilometers of Monza, when, after a total of 22 races, it was retired from competitions. In 1971 the 275/C was sold to a buyer in England, the first in a quite long list of English ownerships before it was finally exported to the USA in 1993.
After changing hands another couple of times, it entered its current ownership in 2004. In early 2007 it was sent to Motion Products Inc. for a complete restoration. Upon completion of this work, the car was shown at the 2007 Pebble Beach Concours, where it received 99 points and finished second in class. It is now offered with an estimated value of USD 12–16 million.
1930 Minerva AM Dual Windshield Convertible Sedan by Hibbard & Darrin
During the years between the two World Wars, the Belgian manufacturer Minerva (now long gone) created some very interesting models, mostly equipped with the Knight sleeve valve engine, a truly sophisticated and advanced unit that ensured remarkably silent running. Minerva stood out for some of the finest finishing and craftsmanship of the period and its 149.5” wheelbase was perfect for luxury cars, like the one offered here: chassis #57804 equipped with an open body built by Hibbard & Darrin, one of the most renowned coachbuilders of the period.
The car has a wonderful history, too, with documents dating back to the 1940s, when the first recorded American owner, from Wisconsin, offered the car for sale. Its next owner, from Connecticut, bought it in 1948, and the correspondence that preceded this sale accompanies the car. In December 1959, its third known owner, living in upstate New York, made a down payment for the car, and settled the balance over time. Every few installments, he would remove a part from the car, and take it home for safekeeping. It was not until 1974, a full 15 years after the initial down payment, that the sale was complete and he was finally able to collect the rest of the car. Thereafter, it remained stored at the owner’s home until his death in 2016.
Chased by Wayne Carini: 1930 Minerva AM Dual Windshield Convertible Sedan by Hibbard & Darrin (Photo by Chip Riegel).
In early 2017, the car, still with only 62310 miles on the clock, was taken out of long-term storage to feature in the opening episode of 2017 series of Wayne Carini’s “Chasing Classic Cars”. The matching numbers Knight engine was carefully restarted and the car was rendered drivable, at least for shows, but nothing more was done to it. As a result, when recently exhibited at the 2017 Amelia Island Concours, it created a real stir for its original beauty and charisma. Although, in its current state, it remains a wonderful barn find, in the right skilled hands, it could become a perfect pre-war preservation car, capable of stunning judges and crowds at any classic car show. It is, indeed, one of the very few remaining known cars, anywhere in the world, with the potential to win a Best in Show title in preserved condition. It is offered for sale at the Pebble Beach auction with an estimate of USD 500–700 K.
1928 Mercedes-Benz S Type 26/180 Sports Tourer by Gläser
During the pre-war years the Kompressor Mercedes was the “must have” car for the handful of super wealthy individuals who could afford the luxury of what, by today’s standard, might be equated with the purchase (purchase, not leasing!) of a private jet. The S series was the work of legendary engineer Ferdinand Porsche, and the pairing of the compressor with the huge 6.8-liter, six-cylinder engine resulted in a really fast sports car. Only 146 were built (58 are known to survive today), mostly with the factory “Sindelfingen” body, although some went outside the firm to receive a special body.
Compressor Benz with a special body: 1928 Mercedes-Benz S Type 26/180 Sports Tourer by Gläser (Photo by Brian Henniker).
This is the case of chassis #35920 whose body, which has an extremely sporty shape, was most likely built as a one-off by the renowned coachbuilder Gläser of Dresden, Germany. The car was originally sold in Dresden, and subsequently, in the 1930s, in England, where it had two owners before being exported to the USA in the 1950s. In 1964, having had two American owners, the car was offered for sale through Ed Jurist and his Vintage Car Store. The car entered its current family ownership August 1964, when it was sold with a USD 15,000 price tag. Ever since, it has been considered part of the family! In the mid-1960s it was restored and then frequently used, to pick up the children from school or just to go out for an ice cream, and also exhibited at weekends. A second restoration in 2013 gave the 680 a new lease of life, and allowed it to be used in the 2015 Colorado Grand. It is now offered for sale with an estimate of USD 5–6 million.
For more information on the Pebble Beach auction, please visit the website of Gooding & Company. Interested in more cars? We’ve already had a look at the most exciting classic cars of Bonham’s auction on Monterey week 2017.
All photos courtesy of Gooding & Company.