My Car Quest

September 21, 2019

The Monterey Collector Car Auctions – My Thoughts

by Mike –

I noticed a few things today when I was scanning the auction company web sites for the auctions at the upcoming Monterey Car Week, which is only seven weeks away.

Below are the number of cars listed by auction company as of today:

Mecum – 140

RM – 81

Gooding – 40

Bonhams – 21

Rick Cole Auctions – 18

Russo & Steele – none listed yet

Mecum does a great job maintaining their web site as does RM, usually. Mecum today has more information on their cars than the other auction companies.

Gooding is OK but Russo & Steele is always behind in sharing information; not only about upcoming events but the results which we are all waiting for after the auctions are over. Bonhams will eventually have useful information for each car but not today.

RM has photos but not much, if any, information for each car. Gooding has photos and the price estimate but no information on each car. Gooding is the only auction company listing the price estimate for Monterey today.

Rick Cole Auctions has detailed information and photos for all cars listed today. It appears they are not publishing the price estimate.

I wish all collector car auction companies would do the following:

* List the price estimate in the auction catalog and web site previews.

* Publish the information about each car along with good photos on their web site as soon as possible.

* Publish the results in real time as the auction is happening (not on Twitter or Facebook but on the company web site) – yes I know many have live streaming video of the auction but after a car passes over the block there is no information left about what happened – so if one misses the live event then the information is not available until the next day or for some auction companies for a few days after the auction is over.

* Move away from the “barn find” mania and stop pretending that dirt is patina and rust is an asset – smart collectors don’t buy this marketing strategy and it is getting silly.

Back to the number of cars listed today for the Monterey auctions; the Gooding number seems low compared to RM. Does that mean anything? I don’t know but I also find the RM selection more appealing, maybe this is just my personal preferences.

Mecum is a high volume auction company and their average price per car will be much lower than RM, Gooding or Bonhams. It is not surprising that Mecum has more cars now – their stated goal is 750 cars for Monterey – much more than any other auction company.

Below are some cars I find interesting.

1961 Ferrari 250 GT N.A.R.T. Spider by Fantuzzi – at RM

I wrote about this N.A.R.T. Spider before.

Ferrari 250 GT N.A.R.T. Spider by Fantuzzi

RM says,

Rebodied by Fantuzzi in 1965 and displayed at the New York, San Francisco, and Miami International Auto Shows; Class winner at this year’s Palm Beach Cavallino Classic.

Check back soon for complete catalogue description.

1979 Lamborghini Countach LP400S Series I – at RM

Lamborghini Countach LP400S

Lamborghini Countach LP400S

RM says,

Without Reserve. Check back soon for complete catalogue description.

1965 Shelby GT350 Fastback – at Mecum

1965 Shelby GT350

Mecum says,

– 1965 Shelby GT350 SFM5S260
– 1 of 506 street production models
– K-code 289 CI V-8 engine with 306 HP
– Ford toploader 4-speed transmission
– Side-exiting exhaust
– Fiberglass hood with air scoop
– Older high quality restoration
– Wimbledon White with Blue LeMans stripes
– Correctly styled Shelby Cragar wheels including spare
– Originally shipped to Koons Ford in Falls Church, VA in June 1965
– Original owner Dr. John Clift of Vienna, VA
– Glove box signed by Carroll Shelby
– Stewart Warner tachometer
– Ford push-button radio
– Trunk mounted battery
– Wood rimmed steering wheel
– Listed in the Shelby Registry

More information and photos of this 1965 GT350 are here.

I wrote a little about a Lancia Aurelia B24S Spider America and The Ugliest Ferrari In History to be auctioned by Gooding.

See you in Monterey, or Carmel or Pebble Beach!

Sell your classic car on My Car Quest – click here.

Summary
The Monterey Collector Car Auctions - My Thoughts
Article Name
The Monterey Collector Car Auctions - My Thoughts
Description
Are the collector car companies ready for Monterey Car Week?
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Comments

  1. Rollie Langston says

    Mike,

    Thank you for your early summary of the upcoming auction scene in Monterey. Always appreciate your insights and comments. Absolutely agree with you about the “dirt is patina” nonsense. By analogy, it’s kind of like picking up your date for a nice evening out and she shows up with unwashed hair and a dirty face. What’s to like about that?

    Seriously, showing up with dirt and rust and bragging about it, is just disrespecting the car. Patina is ageing gracefully, but remaining clean and respectfully well kept. Dirt is just dirt. I suggest forgetting about all this “barn find” hoopla, and referring to a car in “as found” condition. The only value I can see is it helps to authenticate the true condition of the car when found, (which, by the way, high quality close up photos will also do).

  2. bruce caron says

    Regarding your comment “Mecum is a high volume auction company and their average price per car will be much lower than RM, Gooding or Bonhams”. I disagree that volume of sales effects average price. One has to look at the marque of the cars each auction house is selling. Mecum is aka “muscle cars and more”. That says it all. RM, Gooding, and Bonhams sell high end European cars.

    That brings up another subject for a later time, selling a car at auction with the wrong target market. For example trying to sell a Shelby Daytona at Mecum.

  3. Mike as usual nice detail! I agree we live in a world that allows all of us to have instant communication if we choose. Auctions are the perfect event for this technology to be utilized. Live on the web plus instant posting of the results would be nice. I could see where this may be difficult for some of their web designers, but what if you were able to log into there site and click a box next to the cars you want results on and after the hammer slams you get a text indicating the sale price. I think they may be too busy counting their money to provide service.

    FYI I have found the Bonham’s site to be decrepit

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