The Monterey Auctions, Back at the Top of the Heap

Rick Carey

Volume 47 Issue 19

Sep 17, 2022

Rick Carey reviews the auctions of Monterey 2022. Ferrari sales were strong.

    Let’s get the overall details out of the way first. The five Monterey auctions (now adding Broad Arrow at the Jet Center to Bonhams, RM Sotheby’s, Gooding and Mecum) peddled $491,722,351 in cars, the all-time Monterey record surpassing even the 2014 blowout of $454,243,403.


    While the total is headline-worthy, it was done with only 806 lots selling out of 1,026 offered, a 78.6% sell-through. It was the smallest consignment since 2009.


    How does the smallest consignment balance with the most dollars?


    The answer is “Quality, not quantity”, with the average transaction being $610,077, Monterey’s highest ever, and the median transaction (half sold for more, half for less) a stout $159,500, also a record.


    All the auctions pulled out the stops to find and consign exceptional, rare and rarely seen cars, many of them hiding for decades in long-established collections.


    It was intense, with the five auctions hosting ten auction sessions in a span of only four days. With the € roughly at par with the US$ and the £ Sterling under $1.20/US$1, international interest was muted; cars selling in dollars were historically expensive for British or EU buyers in their home currencies.


    And we all stayed at RM on Saturday ‘til nearly the bitter end to see the Ferrari 410 Sport S/N 0598 CM sell for $22,005,000 (all-in). What made it all worthwhile was to see the successful bidder hold up his bidder number after the hammer fell: Dana Mecum.


    Dana has not had a good 2021-22 dealing with life-threatening health issues. Acquiring a trophy Ferrari sports-racer like the 410 Sport ratifies all the best reasons for realizing a lifetime goal with a singular Ferrari.


    Which brings us to Ferraris at Monterey. In recent years Ferraris at Monterey have been overshadowed by other marques. Not so in 2022.


    Although there were only 91 Ferraris among the five auctions (8.9% of the consignment) of which 79 sold (86.8% sell-through, 9.8% of the lots sold) they accounted for $175,565,500 (35.7%) of the total sale, a staggering $2,222,348 average Ferrari sale and a median transaction of $880,000 (Mecum’s lot # S39, 2007 599 GTB Fiorano.) 40 Ferraris were bid to more than $1 million with 35 of them selling.


    Of that total, 28 were for Ferraris built in the last 25 years. 25 of them sold bringing a total of $29,118,900, 16.6% of all the Monterey Ferraris and topping out at $6,220,000 for the ex-Michael Schumacher four consecutive race winning 1998 F300 Formula One (S/N 187) at RM.


    These results are consistent with recent observations where late model limited edition cars have been ever-more popular and expensive.


    The simple fact is that 2022 was the best Monterey ever but teasing out some inferences it’s also clear that Rob Myers set his RM Sotheby’s team a goal of blowing RM’s competitors … particularly the Broad Arrow team … into the weeds.


    Markers were called. Recalcitrant collectors who’d been husbanding singular cars for decades were inveigled into bringing their rare specimens to Monterey with reserves that proved to be reasonable.


    It was a rare and wonderful gathering of Ferraris… and many other famed, even fabled, marques … and a privilege to be part of documenting it.