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Updated: Aug 22, 2019

This marks our second annual roster of the top 24 auction vehicles slated for the coming Monterey car week. I've invited seven esteemed market insiders to join me by sharing their three "gotta have" rides, and I think the choices speak directly to the hearts and soul's of our writers and the market at large.

Check each listing for sales results

Whereas last year's piece broadly covered six auctions, this year we focus on Bonhams, Gooding and RM-Sotheby's. Then we divide the task between three auction staffers choosing from their respective firms' lots, and five independents drawing one lot per auction house.

I'd like to thank Nick Candee, Jakob Greisen, David Gooding, Gord Duff, Gordon McCall, Glenn Mounger and Bill Warner for taking the time to share their choices.

Enjoy the ride—and I look forward to viewing your comments below!

- Eric Killorin


GORDON MCCALL - Founder & CEO McCall Events and Motorworks Revival

#1 1975 Ferrari 312T - Gooding

This is one of my favorites for two reasons... first, Niki Lauda, toughest competitor in motorsports, three-time World Champion, enough said. Two, this era brought forth some of the most outrageous F1 cars ever... remember the Tyrrell P34 6-wheeler? Along with cutting edge performance engineering, safety was starting to come to the forefront, versus the afterthought approach of the 1960s. This iconic 312T that Lauda won the French GP epitomizes an amazing era of F1 racing. Auction estimate: $6,000,000 - 8,000,000 SOLD $6,000,000

#2 1935 Riley MPH - Bonhams

In a world full of well organized rallys and tours, why bring sand to the beach with your "one of many" household named marques, when a hens' tooth Riley MPH could be yours? With an OHV inline 6, triple carbs, exceptional styling rivaling its era counterparts, along with less than two dozen works cars built, this Riley MPH will appeal to those with a unique sense of style and adventure. Auction estimate: $650,000 - 750,000 UNSOLD HI BID $590,000

#3 1978 BMW 320I IMSA Turbo - RM Sotheby's

Once again going down the path of being a bit "different" in terms of popular cars, here is another prime opportunity. As you wade through the vintage racing paddocks and weave through the sea of Porsche 935's that dominated the era, how about considering one of five factory works BMW 320i IMSA Turbos? To me, this era of racing was a bit reminiscent of the unlimited Can-Am era, in that manufacturers were going all out with outrageous horsepower quests, along with radical aerodynamic body cues as well. Although known initially as the "hand grenade" (what could possibly go wrong with a 600 HP, big turbo boosted 4-cylinder motor?), further development made these cars quite capable of running at the front of the pack and winning as well. Iconic racer names associated with these beasts such as Hobbs, Busby, Stuck, etc., will forever be linked with this special era of racing. Wow... truly a bit different and unique indeed. Auction estimate: $750,000 - 950,000 SOLD $731,000


GLENN MOUNGER - Chief Honorary Judge The Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance

#1 1935 Riley MPH - Bonhams

One of the pioneers of the automobile industry, particularly in the UK, Riley built some of the most exciting cars of the prewar era. Twin-cams, hemispherical combustion chambers and inclined overhead valves made for groundbreaking performance and reliability. This Riley has a known history and benefits from several detailed improvements, including the more reliable mechanicals selected in the updated but period correct six-cylinder engine, representing the MPH series quite well. Having previously driven it some years ago, I can tell you the experience is like nothing else. The beautiful low-slung coachwork, the mechanical ‘feel” in the controls, it's like a Sopwith Camel on wheels. You literally give yourself up to the driving experience entirely. The Riley MPH delivers pure motoring joy in every respect. Auction estimate: $650,000 - 750,000 UNSOLD HI BID $590,000

#2 1953 Alfa 6C 3000 CM Superflow - Gooding

I was determined not to pick one of the most valuable cars for this article however, I just can't resist including this Alfa Superflow. I remember seeing it on the field at Pebble Beach a few years ago getting weak in the knees because of its incredible design. To me, the Alfa 6C Superflow represents a high-water mark of post war sports car design. It has just the right amount of futurism and dynamic sports car looks that captures my imagination and excites me to drive it. The low profile, the long hood, the Borrani wires and that incomparable six-cylinder engine with blaring Webers. You can see so much of future Alfa Romeos in this design. The stunning interior with the wood trimmed dash all illuminated by panoramic roof and side glass. Style, power, and unique design elements make this one my undeniable pick. Auction estimate: $6,000,000 - 8,000,000 UNSOLD $4,300,000 HI BID, CURRENTLY ON OFFER $5,500,000

#3 1955 Lancia B24S Spider America - RM Sotheby's

I thought this Lancia might be overlooked by others so I wanted to included it in my group. I’ve watched these cars at driving events for years and listen to the owners rave about how wonderful they handle and perform. Lancia built some of the most technically advanced cars nearly every decade throughout the 20th century. Amazing chassis and drivetrain engineering made for jaw-dropping prewar cars, but after the war, Lancia continued to build some astonishing sports cars. The Spider America has such grace and elegance. It’s a perfectly balanced car both visually with the Pininfarina design and revolutionary V6 engine. This example is topped with a rare Nardi intake giving the car a bit more power, but really it’s the magnificent stance and subtlety, particularly in these colors that captures my imagination. Auction estimate: $1,250,000 - 1,500,000 UNSOLD HI BID $975,000



#1 1961 DB4GT/0130/L - Gooding

Important because I owned this great GT over 17 years, racing from Laguna Seca to Road America to Road Atlanta. Because it inspired my (our) little 544- page book on the DB4GT? Nah: Because the 30th GT is a poster car for old race cars put back into most excellent condition to star on the greens of Pebble Beach. The auction description mentions only a few of the great stories in this car’s provenance! As to hammer price, this will be an indicator perhaps whether the 25+ Continuation DB4GTs from Aston Works enhance or moderate the value of Street Legal GTs with provenance. Reckon it will go for $4.2 million which seems to be the market clearing price these days. Auction estimate $4,000,000 - $4,500,000 SOLD $3,600,000

#2 1937 Delahaye 135M Competition Court Roadster - Bonhams

The glory that was France… me think this Delahaye will attract the most erudite collector anywhere in the world, and here it fetches up on the shores of the Pacific Ocean. I select this treasure as proxy for all pre-war cars for whom the collector age deme may be receding, BUT whose greatness in era and rareness transcend generations. While some Model T fans may now be on the wrong side of the sod, fans of coach-built grand routieres are just a world apart. I reckon this Guillore-bodied roadster will make at least the low end of the estimate. Auction estimate: $3,250,000 - 3,750,000 UNSOLD HI BID $2,750,000

3. 1994 McLaren F1 'LM-Specification' - RM Sotheby's

Just because a car is old, or ‘rare’, doesn’t make it valuable, e.g. the Triumph Mayflower (it never did). But if it is of exquisite excellence, and beauty, like this McLaren, we are in a different league. As one of two “LM-Specification,” this technical tour de force ranks as unobtanium. Now 25 years old, you could economize with an antique license plate as a "road car." Chassis #018 may not have won Le Mans, but with design DNA from Gordon Murray and Ron Dennis, this begs for adulation from all sectors of the performance car world. So cool. I reckon the McLaren could exceed the high estimate of $23 Million. Auction estimate: $21,000,000 - $23,000,000 SOLD $19,805,000


BILL WARNER - Founder & Chairman Amelia Island Concours

#1 1971 Maserati Ghibli 4.9 SS Coupe - Bonhams

I have owned a Ghibli (a 4.7 Spyder) and have always thought these to be the most beautiful cars of their era. So beautiful in fact, that “Hank the Deuce” and Wilt Chamberlain owned one. The 4.9 is perceived by aficionados as better than the 4.7, there really is not much difference in performance, only in rarity. Ivan Ruiz, THE Ghibli expert owned this car at one time, which is a great endorsement. The sound produced by the 4-cam V8 stirs the soul like no other V8 and traced its lineage back to the 450S race car. The only down size I experienced with mine is dealing with the Rube Goldberg belt drives. The whole system, including the AC compressor is hung off the front of the engine. Throw one belt, and call the tow truck. The cable drive for the water pump can be nightmarish, but that is the price of driving a truly beautiful car. In that it is both a 4.9 and a manual transmission, I would venture that a price in the $190,000 to $210,000 range would be expected. Auction estimate: $200,000 - 240,000 SOLD $159,040

#2 1958 Ferrari 250GT Series 1 Cabriolet - Gooding

Arguably the most beautiful Ferrari of all time. Nearly each one was different, i.e. bumpers, bumperettes, open headlights, closed headlights, side vents, no side vents, etc., etc. All were owned by the wealthy, powerful and talented (trombonist Jack Teagarden had one as did Grand Prix driver, Peter Collins, Count Volpi, Count Portanova, and Mohamed Al Faisal). Most collectors prefer the California Spyder, but the Series 1 is rarer, prettier, and were better constructed. In 1963, my boss bought one for $9,000—guess I should have made an offer, because this car should sell for $6M to $7M! Maybe more. If a Cal Spyder is worth $10-15M dollars, then the rarer Series 1 should be at least that. It just seems unappreciated. Auction estimate: $7,000,000 - 8,000,000 SOLD POST AUCTION $6,800,000

#3 1965 Ford GT40 Roadster - RM Sotheby's

I’ve known this car for years. One of five (six if you count the X-1 that Bruce McLaren raced), and though not as beautiful as the coupe, would certainly be more “streetable” if the new owner wanted to tour the car—highly unlikely—but possible. Rare, with a bullet-proof Ford thin-wall casting 289, a car that is simple to maintain and easy to drive. This GT40 was never raced, so racing provenance does not exist. This is THE prototype roadster and according to my friend, Harley Cluxton, who once owned it, was a built to examine the possibility of building a production version. All the ancillary items needed to make it streetable, made the project unviable. For someone who wants a really useable, fully sorted Ford GT40 built by FAV to tour or cruise, this is the ticket. What will they pay??? My guess is pretty much the house estimate. Auction estimate: $7,000,000 - 9,000,000 SOLD $7,650,000


GORDON DUFF - Global Head of Auctions RM-Sotheby's

For anyone who knows me, I’m a huge fan of the Duesenberg Model J. This particular car is not only rare, being one of just two Judkins Victorias built, but the quality of the restoration is extremely impressive. There was so much attention to detail put into it, down to the way the doors “click” shut. This particular Model J is also dialed in mechanically, having been sent to Classic & Exotic Service, one of the best shops in the country, for an open checkbook servicing. Following this, it was taken on several long distance tours, one of which I’ve had the pleasure of driving in. This is a car you could buy from the auction, and drive home to anywhere in the country, trouble-free. Auction estimate: $1,400,000 - $1,800,000 UNSOLD HI BID $1,250,000

This particular Alloy 120 is very special because not only is it the sole example originally finished in Blue Sheen, but it was just the fifth model ever built, and the first imported to the U.S. Add the fact that it’s had a concours-quality restoration, and comes with its original, hardly ever opened tool pouch, and you could say it checks all the boxes. This Jaguar would make an exceptional rally or touring car, and would be welcomed at almost any major event worldwide. Auction estimate: $350,000 - $400,000 SOLD $357,000

I’ve always loved the 550 Maranello, but for me, this example is especially exceptional due to being finished in what I consider the ultimate color combination of Tour de France Blue over a tan interior. It also shows fairly low mileage and has undergone a fresh servicing, and is a great way for entry-level enthusiasts to enter the world of Ferrari ownership. With a car like this, the more it’s driven and exercised, the less work it will require. And 30 years from now, I believe mileage will have very little influence on this model’s value variations, so it’s worth driving and enjoying it along the way. Auction estimate: $150,000 - $175,000 SOLD $156,800


DAVID GOODING - President and Founder of Gooding & Co

#1 1913 Isotta Fraschini Tipo IM - Gooding

I absolutely love any early example of a thoroughbred racing car and that’s exactly what you’ll find with the 1913 Isotta Fraschini Tipo IM. The Tipo IM is incredibly advanced for its time with its overhead cam four valve per cylinder engine, and most importantly, it is the first car ever to be equipped with four-wheel brakes. This Tipo IM, one of only two in existence, was part of a team of racing cars that participated in the Indianapolis 500 in 1913 and 1914. After 1914, the Tipo IM was retired and remained untouched until it was rediscovered and acquired by notable collector G. Whitney Snyder, who meticulously restored it in the 1950s. Coming from 20 years of single ownership, this car is new to the market and represents a time when innovation reigned supreme. Auction estimate: $3,000,000 - $4,000,000 SOLD $2,645,000

#2 The 1975 Ferrari 312T - Gooding

This example of the prancing horse is one of the most important and dominant Grand Prix models in the marque’s celebrated history. Never before has a 312T been presented at auction, and this example, having been an integral part in legendary Austrian driver Niki Lauda’s championship win, makes this a once in a lifetime opportunity. With Lauda behind the wheel of chassis 022, he achieved a victory in the non-championship 1975 BRDC International Trophy held at Silverstone, won the French Grand Prix, place second in the Dutch Grand Prix and finish third at the German Grand Prix. In total, Lauda qualified in pole position in all five championship races in which he drove this 312T, and his efforts in this chassis significantly contributed to both his and the Prancing Horse’s 1975 F1 world championship. Auction Estimate: $6,000,000 - $8,000,000 SOLD $6,000,000

#3 1930 Duesenberg Model J Sport Berline - Gooding

Last but certainly not least is our 1930 Duesenberg Model J, ordered new by the extravagant spender and socialite, Capt. George Whittell Jr. as a series of seven. The style and bodywork designed by Franklin Hershey was considered ahead of its time for the way the entire car was built without structural woodwork. Hershey introduced doors that would curve into the roof of the car and provide several extra inches of room for easier entry and exit. This feature not only exemplified Duesenberg’s revolutionary designs, but also pioneered the automobile industry’s shift to a more aerodynamic form. This Duesenberg has had great ownership history that includes J.B. Nethercutt, Bill Harrah and Oscar Davis. Auction estimate: $2,000,000 – $2,500,000 SOLD $2,040,000


JAKOB GREISEN - Head of Motoring Department and Vice President at Bonhams

#1 1958 AC Ace-Bristol - Bonhams

These are such elegant and pure in their design, and eligible for so many events. I love the 3-spoke wood-rimmed steering wheel, and the brisk six-cylinder Bristol engine. This very example is well documented and very original, retaining the original drivetrain and aluminum bodywork. A no-stories car. Auction estimate: $350,000 - 450,000 UNSOLD HI BID $300,000

#2 1932 Auburn 12-160A Boattail Speedster - Bonhams

With V12 power and stunning, two-seat Roadster bodies, the quintessential Auburn Boattail Speedster is up there among the most import pre-war cars ever built, and has the three elements which I see make a car collectible in spades; Aesthetics, Engineering and History. When this car was judged by the ACD guys, they all went crazy over how pure a car it is, and then Steve Babinsky restored it for $850,000. Needless to say, this car is superb and a better one might not exist. Auction estimate: $1,800,000 - 2,400,000 UNSOLD HI BID $1,300,000

#3 1935 Riley MPH - Bonhams

At the price of about 1/5th of a 1750 Alfa, these stunning and very sporty Rileys are a lot of car for the money. The body design is just fantastic, and you basically sit on the back axle with a stellar six-cylinder engine up front. You can do many tours and events with them, or just use it around the countryside on weekends. Auction estimate: $650,000 - 750,000 UNSOLD HI BID $590,000


ERIC KILLORIN - Owner Olympian Cars

#1 1960 Aston Martin DB4 - Gooding

Only in the past 10 years or so has the Series 1 DB4 earned kudos as the most desireable of the model range. Hugely import to Aston at the time, light weight and just damn handsome. DB4/134/L came my way in the mid-eighties and it proved to be the finest automobile I've owned. This lovely example has been converted to LHD and the stock twin SUs swapped out to three Webers. It also has been the subject of a total restoration and is fully matching numbers. To me, the estimate seems low which I suspect is the result of the drive conversion. Only 149 Series 1 vehicles were constructed. Auction estimate: $450,000 - 550,000 SOLD $522,000

#2 1967 Jaguar Pirana - RM Sotheby's

Each of us have memorable dates in time that have gone on to shape our lives in some form or another. May 27, 1968 was such a date for me, and on that day Dad took me out of school to attend the Parke Bernet Galleries auction in Brookline MA. Dad was quickly outbid on the 1924 Model A Duesy on offer, but my 8th-grade mind was already behind the wheel of the 1967 Jaguar Pirana (which made around $16,000). The Pirana was the brainchild of Editor John Anstey of The Daily Telegraph for wannabe Michael Caines of the era. Nuccio Bertone was charted with the task to create the ultimate playboy ride over a stock 1967 Jaguar 2+2 chassis and drivetrain complete with D-type competition road wheels. Though a one-off concept, the Gandini design of the Pirana soon revealed itself in the Lamborghini Marzal prototype and the production Espada. The Pirana has returned to its former glory and, 52 years later, I'm still behind the wheel! Auction estimate: $400,000 - 600,000 SOLD $324,000

#3 1924 Duesenberg Model A Roadster - Bonhams

My love with Duesenbergs is no secret, particularly the Model A and, with that, I am drawn to this freshly restored "Millspaugh & Irish" roadster. The Model A bristles with engineering innovations borne from the race track including four-wheel hydraulic brakes, overhead cam straight eight and liberal use of weight-saving cast aluminum. This example wears new reproduction coachwork and rides on the standard 134" wheelbase, cut down from the original 141" wheelbase (designated Model B by the factory). One can only wonder what coachwork might have been chosen to grace those precious additional inches? Auction estimate: $250,000 - 325,000 SOLD $235,200


Be sure to check back for posted sale prices after the gavels fall!


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