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Gooding & Co. 2019 PB sale – Preview

As always, Gooding & Co., the official auction house of the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance, will be holding its traditional two-day sale (this year, Friday August 16th and Saturday August 17th) at the Pebble Beach Equestrian Center. The event will open at 5 p.m. on the Friday, while on the Saturday, the bidding will get under way at 11 a.m. The lots will be previewed on Wednesday 14th, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., and Thursday 15th, from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., as well as on the days of the sale itself, from 9 a.m. onwards. Payments of up to USD 250 K will be subject to commission of 12%, plus 10% on anything paid above this threshold. A total of 140 lots (including three automobilia ones) will cross the block over the two days, of which 38% (meaning 53 cars) will have no reserve price, and are therefore destined to find new homes.

Among the cars offered for sale, a remarkable 18 have been assigned estimates that break the million dollar barrier, while nine are expected to fetch at least USD 2 million, two USD 3 million, one 4 and one 5 million, two 6 million, one 7 million, and one 11 million. The most valuable car of the sale is a 1958 Ferrari 250 GT LWB California Spider (chassis #1055 GT). This matching numbers, Ferrari Classiche-certified car is estimated to be worth around USD 11–13 million. The auction’s cheapest estimate (USD 30–40K) has been assigned to a 1959 BMW Isetta 300 (chassis #592213), offered without reserve. The oldest car of the sale is a 1910 Stanley Model 6 Runabout (chassis # 5332), whose history includes a 70-year single family ownership (from 1937 to 2007). Still in quite remarkable original condition, it is being offered without reserve, with an estimated value of USD 140–180 K. The “baby” of the Gooding & Co. sale is a 2019 McLaren Senna (chassis #SBM15ACA0KW800210), offered with one owner from new and just 100 miles on the clock (estimate USD 1.4–1.6 million).

1958 Ferrari 250 GT Tour De France Berlinetta by Scaglietti (lot 17)

In 1956 FIA established the new GT class, and Ferrari responded to this development by creating a dedicated “road usable” GT, with a 3-liter V12 engine and a new alloy body, built by Scaglietti. It proved so successful in the Tour de France, which it won for five consecutive years (1956 to 1960), that it was dubbed the TdF, a nickname that stuck! The TdF offered here is a matching numbers car (chassis #0903 GT), the fourth of this model to feature the single-louver style, and one of the even fewer sporting the covered front headlights. It was delivered in 1958 with a competition prepared Type 128C engine, to meet the needs of its first owner, Swedish gentleman driver Sture Nottorp, who, in the July, entered it in the 1958 12 Hours of Reims (dnf). He parted company with the car in 1960, and in 1972, having passed through the hands of a further 4 Swedish owners, it was purchased by Scania engineer Lars Sääf, who, with a view to restoring it, dismantled it, carefully placing all the parts in labeled boxes. In 1973 Sääf drove to Maranello to buy as many original spare parts as possible; however, he subsequently lost interest in the project and the car was left stored in boxes until 2006, when he sold it, still dismantled, to Frenchman Jean Guikas, who put it through a complete restoration before selling it, in 2010, to its current, California-based owner. After undergoing a second restoration, this time in the USA, the car was shown at the 2012 Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance and at the 2013 Cavallino and Amelia Island events. This TdF is now available for purchase with a USD 5.5–6 million estimate.

1975 Ferrari 312T (lot 31)

The T series is remembered for helping Ferrari to emerge from a lean period and start recording successes on the Formula 1 circuit once again, mainly with Niki Lauda in the driving seat. The car offered (chassis #22), one of the only five built for the 1975 season, was mainly used by Lauda himself. Driven by Lauda, it won its debut race, the 1975 BRDC International Trophy at Silverstone (UK), and was then used in nine of that season’s Grand Prix races, both by Lauda and by teammate Clay Regazzoni. With Lauda at the wheel, it won the French Grand Prix at Paul Ricard, finished 2nd in the Dutch GP in Zandvoort, and took 3rd place in the German GP at Nürburgring. A few years later, in 1979, it was sold to a UK buyer, and subsequently, in 1986, entered the Jacques Setton collection in France. It changed hands a further time, in 2005, before being purchased, in 2009, by its current owner, who restored it and showed it at the 2017 Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance. During its present ownership it has had outings on the race track every once in a while. It is now offered for sale with a USD 6–8 million estimate.

1961 Aston Martin DB4 GT coachwork by Carrozzeria Touring (lot 33)

Famously, only 75 short wheelbase DB4s were built in total. Of these cars, which took the name GT, only 30 were produced in LHD configuration. Lighter (by about 200 pounds/91 kilos) than the traditional DB4, and with an extensively modified 3.7-liter engine capable of delivering 302 HP, the DB4 GT was almost unbeatable in tourism racing. The one crossing the block at the forthcoming Gooding & Co. sale (chassis #DB4GT/0130/L), a matching numbers car, was shipped new to the USA in December 1960, and purchased new, in the fall of 1961, by Montana resident John D. Sconfienza. Wearing its original color scheme of Fiesta Red over Fawn Connolly leather, it was immediately put on duty. In fact, during the drive back home from LA, Sconfienza entered the car in the Bonneville Speed Trials, achieving a double passage average of 134.4 mph (215 km/h). He kept the DB4 until 1968. Two owners later, in 1982, the car was prepared for vintage racing and widely campaigned before being sold, in 1999, to a new owner. Restored and returned to road specification, but with a different color combination, it changed hands once more, in 2002, before entering its current collection in 2006. In 2007 it finished 2nd in its class at Pebble Beach. This car, which has spent its entire life in the USA, is now offered for sale with an estimate of USD 4–4.5 million.

1913 Isotta Fraschini Tipo IM (lot 26)

The Isotta Fraschini Tipo IM, a unique model of which only six specimens were built, is one of the most admired early projects of engineer Giustino Cattaneo. This Tipo IM (chassis #0451) is one of three cars shipped to the USA to compete in the 1913 500 Miles of Indianapolis. All the cars, fast but not well prepared, failed to finish, although #0451, driven by Teddy Tetzlaff, lasted the longest, retiring with a broken drive chain after 118 laps. The car was then returned to Isotta Fraschini Motors, the American subsidiary of the Italian firm, in New York, to be prepared for the 1914 Indianapolis race, where it was driven by Ray Gighooley and, again, did not finish, this time retiring on lap 41 following an accident caused by a blown tire. After being repaired in New York, and given fenders and lights to make it road legal, it was sold, in 1917, to its first private owner, Claude Worthington Benedum, the 19-year-old son of America’s most important oil wildcatter. Tragically, a year later, in October 1918, after enlisting for WWI and training as a pilot, Claude contracted pneumonia and passed away. The family established a foundation in his name, to which the Isotta was registered. Following the death of Claude’s father in 1959, the car was sold and the new owner undertook a “restoration” of the Isotta, work that included the addition of many incorrect details. In the mid-1970s the car was sold in California to a collector, who kept it until 1993, when it was purchased by the current owner, who, after returning the car to its original, Indy specs (a not inconsiderable undertaking), exhibited it a couple of times at Pebble Beach. It is offered with an estimate of USD 3–4 million.

1938 Tatra T77A Limousine (lot 107)

One of the most revolutionary cars ever built, the Tatra 77 was conceived by the legendary engineer Hans Ledwinka. With its aerodynamic lines and rear-positioned, air-cooled, 3.5-liter V8 engine, it represented, in the mid-1930s, a whole new automobile concept. The specimen being offered at the Pebble Beach sale (chassis #35719) was delivered new in Czechoslovakia, and just a year later, commandeered by the German army. In 1950, several years after its confiscation by the Russian army in 1945, it was purchased at a surplus auction by a certain Vitaly Linkevich. He then kept it for the next 50 years. In 2000, the consignor learned of the existence of this 77A in Russia  and managed to purchase it. Immediately afterwards, the car was sent to Czech Tatra specialists Roman Spacek and restored in incredible detail, before being shown, in 2008, at Amelia Island, where it took Best in Class. One of the best Tatra 77As of the around 20 known survivors (255 were originally manufactured), it is now offered for sale with an estimate of USD 450–650 K.

1941 Mercedes-Benz 540 K Cabriolet A by Sindelfingen Karrosserie (lot 163)

In the pre-war years, there was nothing more exclusive than a Mercedes Kompressor. Powerful, fast, and  beautifully refined, the Kompressor was, at the time, the motoring enthusiast’s must-have car. The two-seater Cabriolet A, powered by the largest (5.4-liter) engine, is one of the rarest versions, of which just 83 specimens were produced. Built with a rolling chassis (equipped with the very rare five-speed gearbox) and dark green bodywork, this one (chassis # 189932), completed in October 1939 in RHD specification, is a late production car. After the outbreak of the Second World War, there was no market in Britain for German cars, and the 540 remained in storage until April 1941, when it was sold, in Finland, to Baron Gustaf Wrede. He later sold it to a buyer in Sweden, where it was used for an ice race before, in 1948, being exported to the USA. In 1954, it entered the ownership of the Kreissle family of Sarasota (FL), who fixed and  restored it. It remained with this family for 50 years. In 2004, the Kreissles sold it to MB specialists Herbert von Fragstein. Shortly afterwards, it was purchased by its current owner. This rarely seen car with a well-known history is  not perfect by today’s standards, but it has an amazing patina and all the important parts are still the original ones. It has been assigned a pre-sale estimate of USD 1.5–2.2 million.

Image copyright and courtesy of Gooding & Company.
Photos by Mike Mae, Brian Henniker, Mathieu Heurtault, Josh Hway

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