My Car Quest

November 13, 2019

Are There Car Bargains At Auction During Monterey Car Week?

by Mike Gulett –

Monterey Car Week has started – it has been starting earlier every year recently. This year there was a review of race cars from Laguna Seca in Pacific Grove on Friday and a new concours at a golf course on Route 68, also on Friday. This is nine days before the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance which was the original reason for this week of car elegance in mid-August on the Monterey Peninsula. We may have to change the name to Monterey Car Weeks.

This weekend there are historic races at Laguna Seca called the pre-historics and next weekend are the real historic races at Laguna Seca. Tuesday is the Concours-on-the-Avenue in Carmel-by-the-Sea which is always fun and free for spectators.

But as usual I am dreaming about the cars at auctions and wondering if there will be a bargain or two to be had this year.

But how does one measure a bargain? Is it a bargain because the price of a certain car is lower than expected? Or, can a bargain be had when one pays a high price? Like the world record price for that model?

Maybe a bargain can be had when one buys a special, certain car that is deeply desired by the buyer but is very rare and not available anywhere else. The price may seem high but not to the buyer; some collector car experts call this “buying too soon” – not too high but merely ahead of the market. The market eventually catches up with the price paid and in the meantime the buyer gets a special car to enjoy for many years that otherwise would not have been available.

I had this experience with the 1966 Bizzarrini GT 5300 Strada that I bought at auction in Monterey in 2008. I searched for more than four years for the right Bizzarrini GT 5300 and this was the best one.

Mike Gulett and Bizzarrini auction

The tension is high as several people are waiting for my next bid (including Rebecca my wife on the left)…

For many years the price I paid was the highest price for a Bizzarrini GT 5300 at auction, however the market did catch up and a few years later the price did not seem high to many would be buyers.

I am very happy I “bought too soon” if I had not acquired this special Bizzarrini when I did I would have never owned a Bizzarrini. Paying a record high price was the best outcome for me and a real bargain.

When you go searching for a bargain – look carefully, you never know what you may find.

Mike Gulett and Bizzarrini auction

That’s it – the final bid – Sold, Sold, Sold!!!

Let us know what you think in the Comments.

 

 

Bizzarrini GT 5300 at Russo and Steele Auction in Monterey

Bizzarrini GT 5300 at Russo and Steele Auction (2008)

All images compliments of Russo and Steele.
Summary
Are There Car Bargains At Auction During Monterey Car Week?
Article Name
Are There Car Bargains At Auction During Monterey Car Week?
Description
The price may seem high but not to the buyer, some car collector experts call this "buying too soon" - not too high but merely ahead of the market. Paying a high price may be the best thing for the buyer.
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Comments

  1. SKIP HINOJOS says

    YEAH, I REMEMBER WHEN I BOUGHT, MY FIRST BIZZARRINI 5300, I PAID $14K FOR IT, IN YEAR 2000. I BOUGHT IT FROM DAVE ROBERTSON. NOW THERE WAS A GUY WHO KNEW HIS CARS AND HAD MANY OF THEM.

    • Skip,

      When I started my search for the right Bizzarrini GT 5300 in 2004 the ones for sale were in the $250k range. I do not regret waiting for the best one even though the price had doubled by 2008.

  2. Diamonte Randal says

    The best IMO will always command a premium in ANY market! Like the long nose Grifo #369 that sold a number of years ago. It was very original and extremely low miles. A car like that should continue to appreciate like a fine rare painting. Mike is right buy the best one…

  3. wallace wyss says

    I didn’t make the auctions this year. But don’t some auction companies sell a car they themselves own at a bargain price to get publicity? Or buy it back if the bidding is too low? To me the worst peril in selling your car at auction is that they can sell a car to a frequent buyer and if that buyer says the car isn’t up to the description, they can return it, and demand their money back, meanwhile having put hundreds or thousands of hard miles on it.

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