Auctions Trend Modern as Duesenberg Takes Pebble Beach Prize

In a week where a 1932 Duesenberg J Figoni Sports Torpedo won this year’s coveted Pebble Beach Concours, most collectors attention was more focussed on moves and trends through the regular major Monterrey Classic Festival auctions.

Pebble Beach

707 Cars Sold for a Total of R6.8 Billion

This year’s Concourse featured Duesenbergs, Talbot-Lagos and Figoni bodied cars. The winner is said to ‘marry ‘American might with European style’. It beat a 1937 Talbot-Lago T150C-SS Figoni & Falaschi Teardrop Coupé, a 1930 Duesenberg J Graber Cabriolet and a ’51 Farina Talbot-Lago T26 Grand Sport Cabriolet to cut through the tinsel. The big action was however on the auction floors. Houses RM Sotheby’s, Gooding, Bonhams, Mecum and Broad Arrow had a very busy week.

They knocked 707 cars down between them, turning over a total of R6.76-billion. At an average price of R9.38-million per car! That said, only RM Sotheby’s achieved better results than it did in 2021. It posted a record-breaking turnover of R3.68-billion at an average price of more than R22.1 million per car sold. The Monterrey auctions however revealed a few new sales trends as some more modern cars starred through the week.


Top Sale Ferrari Missed Target

Pebble Beach once again proved that old Ferraris continue to lead the collectors market. The sacred cows may still be the likes of the 250 GTO, of which a 1962 version RM Sotheby’s sold for R882-million in 2018 and Pebble Beach was no different last week. That said, the highly anticipated Ferrari 410 Sport failed to reach its lofty estimated R425-R512-million when it sold for a snip at just R375-million.

Other Ferraris to sell at Pebble beach included an all-alloy 1958 250 GT Tour De France at R48.6 million and a ’55 250 Europa GT that stopped the gavel at R35.7-million They were however outdone by more modern Ferraris for the first time. Broad Arrow sold an ex-Mike Tyson 1995 F50 for 88.5-million, above its R85-million estimate, while 1992 F40 went for R66.3-million, well above its R42.5-million expectation, and a 1994 Bugatti EB110 Super Sport made R52-million.

Pebble Beach

Monterrey Gen Xers Preferred Modern Metal

These successes are put down to ‘Gen X collectors driving prices up’. They want to own cars they once hung as posters on their childhood bedroom walls. In another Pebble beach ‘poster car’ milestone, RM Sotheby’s sold a midnight purple Nissan Skyline GT-R for R2.56-million. Early ‘Godzillas’ now qualify to be imported to the US, since they are more than 25 years old and are being enthusiastically received by collectors looking for novelty.

Other Pebble Beach auction sales highlights included Gooding & Company’s 1937 Bugatti Type 57SC Atalante at R160-million (second image from top), RM Sotheby’s 1935 Duesenberg Model J convertible for R80-million and Bonhams’ 1931 Victoria Coachwork Stutz DV-32 Convertible by LeBaron at R24 million Gooding and Company set a new R4.5-million record for ‘beautifully original’ 1965 Series I E-Type Convertible. That’s the highest price ever paid for a non-competition or ‘Lightweight’ E-Type.


Poster Cars are the new Monterrey Auction Stars

All in all the Monterrey auction week may not have been any bigger than previous years. But there is good news for the average collector. The real movement happened in the more modern eras as ‘poster cars’ came to the fore. If anything, the all-time record sale for that Mercedes-Benz 300 SLR Urqhardt Coupê earlier this year drove estimates too high. And the real market rationed flat, and if anything down.

But classic cars continue to show their asset worth, which is good news indeed.

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