RM Sotheby’s Live Moterey Auction Excels

By Christina Tsangaris

RM Sotheby’s is delighted to announce a raft of incredible new consignments for its flagship Monterey auction on 13-14 August in California. To say the latest consignments are impressive doesn’t do them justice – the sale now boasts some of the most historically significant, road and race cars ever made from across both the pre- and post-war decades.


Following on the heels of the recently announced Gulf Porsche 917K, arguably the most iconic Le Mans car of all time, come two further Le Mans and endurance racing legends. The Porsche 956 is for many the definitive group C racing car, and the 1983 Porsche 956 Group C, chassis no. 956 110, is certainly one of the most significant and original examples to survive. One of nine prepared by the Porsche factory for privateer racing in the World Endurance Championship and Le Mans, and was driven by David Hobbs, Derek Warwick, Dieter Quester, and John Fitzpatrick. One of just two privateer-delivered 956 cars to beat the Rothmans Porsche factory team 956s, it scored podium place finishes at Imola, Mosport, Silverstone, and an outright victory at the Brands Hatch 1,000 KM, as well as securing first place at Road America Can-Am and contesting Le Mans. Chassis no. 956 110 is also the only 956 that can claim a victory on American soil, being the sole example to race in the United States in-period. (Estimate: $4,500,000 - $6,000,000). Also offered is a 1981 Ferrari 512 BB/LM chassis no. 35527, a competition great from Maranello.  The car offered was campaigned by Luigi Chinetti’s N.A.R.T. team for the 1981 Le Mans 24hrs, driven by John Morton, Alain Cudini, and Philippe Gurdjian. It ran 3rd overall before retiring, at the fastest pace achieved by any BB/LM at Le Mans. (Estimate: $3,000,000 - $3,500,000)

V12 Ferraris of the Golden Era: Approximately 25 years earlier, the sports racing Ferrari of choice would have been the 1958 Ferrari 250 GT LWB Berlinetta ‘Tour de France’ by Scaglietti. Chassis no. 1031 GT is a two-time competitor at the Tour de France in 1958 and 1959, driven by privateer racer Jacques Péron, who specified its light-blue-over-Havana livery. Achieving 4th overall in the 1958 Tour de France and 6th at the Monza Lottery in 1959, this is a car with an enviable period history. Meticulously restored by marque expert Charlie Potts of California Classics in 2016 to achieve as close to the original delivery specifications of Jacques Péron as possible, this stunning competition-grade Ferraris is estimated at $5,750,000 - $6,500,000. And if a more refined GT Ferrari of the golden era is your choice, the 1963 Ferrari 250 GT/L Berlinetta Lusso by Scaglietti on offer is the perfect example.  A winner of the coveted Ferrari Cup in 2011 and 2014 at the Carmel-by-the-Sea Concours, it was also chosen First-in-Class at the Concorso Italiano in 2014. (Estimate: $1,500,000 - $1,750,000).

Pre-War Grand Tourers: Magnificent pre-war Touring cars are always a feature of RM Sotheby’s Monterey sales. This year is no exception and leading the category is the 1935 Duesenberg Model J ‘Sweep Panel’ Dual-Cowl Phaeton by LaGrande, featuring elegantly arching coachwork styled by American Art Deco master, Gordon Buehrig. Resplendent in its black-and-chrome exterior, this Model J Dual-Cowl Phaeton is fully restored to the highest standard and has been shown at the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance. (Estimate: $3,000,000 - $4,000,000). Another all-American classic is the 1930 Cadillac V-16 Convertible Sedan by Murphy, packed with many special features including a disappearing windshield for rear passengers and exotic inlaid interior woodwork. This Murphy-bodied Cadillac was built specifically for the son of noted GM dealer and horseracing legend Charles Howard, and the sole example executed in this style by the preeminent Pasadena based coachbuilder. With well-known provenance and numerous Best-in-Class victories, including at the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance, the car is an opportunity not to be missed. (Estimate: $1,500,000 - $1,800,000). Also offered is a 1937 Bugatti Type 57 Cabriolet, one of the most desired of all continental ‘Grand Routiers’, and which benefits from a full, frame-off restoration. The car is a multiple concours winner, including several appearances at Amelia Island and awards for Best of Show Pre-War in 2013 at the La Jolla Concours d’Elegance. (Estimate: $650,000 - $800,000).

By Christina Tsangaris