Ferraris at the 2020/2021 Monterey Auctions And a Bit of Covid History
Volume 46 Issue 19
Sep 11, 2021
Rick Carey reviews selected V-12 Ferraris from the Monterey auctions. Ferraris from Gooding, Bonhams, RM Sothebys and Mecum auctions are featured.
For all practical purposes there was no 2020 in the auction world – aside from pressing the established auction houses to make a quick and successful shift to online-only and then gradually transition to live/online.
Denizens of auction venues retreated to their screens, following online sales and only occasionally venturing out into the “real world” to partake of a carefully socially-distanced preview. As all know to their disappointment there was no “Monterey Car Week” in 2020.
Amelia 2021 was the bellwether for a Covid-restricted world. RM Sotheby’s and Bonhams took the plunge with live events there while Mecum persisted in its spectator-friendly live auction format wherever they could find a willing venue.
Live auctions ramped up as bidders and consignors – most of them old geezers eligible for early SARS-CoV vaccines – realized it might be safe to travel. With blessed coincidence states, municipalities and venues relaxed masking mandates as summer evolved (along with the Delta variant’s threat.)
It all came together in Monterey where the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance (®, © or ™ as may apply) led the resumption of the world as we knew it.
The underlying theme of the week, whether it applied to racing at Laguna Seca, the auctions, various gatherings or simply hanging out on the streets of the Monterey peninsula, was: “Whoo, it’s good to be back” with friends, colleagues and acquaintances while making new connections.
The most common response to being greeted with “It’s good to see you” was “And it’s good to be seen”.
That’s the real story of Monterey 2020/2021.
But there were cars to sell.
All the auctions loaded for bear with exceptional consignments, having relegated list fillers to online only auctions. Comparisons with “2020” don’t exist, since there wasn’t a 2020 as far as Monterey is concerned: 2019 is the benchmark.
Bidders who may not have come close to a real, live auction car in eighteen months were out in force and armed with deep pockets from a thriving economy and boatloads of U.S. government stimulus money.
The total consignment across the five auction (Worldwide took a pass on its Pacific Grove sale) was 1,020 lots, down 21.2% from 2019. But 820 of them sold, an 80.4% success rate, by far the best sell-through since 2007. $350,949,925 changed hands in successful transactions.
It was not a Monterey record (set back in 2014 when 791 lots changed hands for a total of $454.2 million helped by 250 GTO S/N 3851 GTs $38.1 million.)
A sparse 98 Ferraris accounted for 9.6% of the Monterey consignments. 91 of them (11.1%) sold, but they brought $112,838,560 in total, 32.2% of the week’s total sale. 28 of them sold on hammer bids >$1 million, adding up to 45.4% of the week’s total, led by Gooding and Company’s 250 GT LWB Cal Spyder S/N 1253 GT which topped the Ferrari chart at $10,840,000 all-in: David Gooding seems to have, with good reason, a lock on sumptuous Cal Spyders.
Without dwelling extensively on details, there was serious money at Monterey this year chasing serious Ferraris. Nowhere was that better seen than with the <25 year old Ferraris: all 26 of them sold, bringing a total of $23,147,740 with five selling >$1 million topped by RM Sotheby’s F60 America S/N 215096 which brought $3,635,000.
Dinosaurs might compare the F60 America result with RM’s 166 MM S/N 0314 MM which brought just $220,000 more and wonder, “What’s going on?”, a question answered by RM Sotheby’s sale of 268 SP S/N 0798 for $7,705,000 proving that there is balance, after all, in perceptions.
Best of all, though, was just being there and partaking of an atmosphere that had evaporated for eighteen months.
Selected Monterey Car Week Auction Ferraris - V12s
212 INTER GHIA CABRIOLET, S/N 0233 EU (1952). Blue with cream leather, blue piping. Estimate $1.7 million to $2.1 million. Concours restoration, 1 condition. Hammered sold at $1.65 million plus commission of 10.30 percent = final price of $1.82 million. Borrani wire wheels, Avon tires, woodrim steering wheel. Ghia’s 1952 Geneva show car, then at the Turin show. Discovered in a Grand Blanc, Michigan, barn in 2011 with Chevy power. Purchased by Tom Shaughnessy who reunited it with its original engine. Displayed at Pebble Beach in 2017, Platinum and the Wayne Obry Memorial Cup winner at Cavallino in 2018. Excellent paint, inviting interior and bright chrome. Bright, crisp gauges. The underbody is restored better than new, too, but not overdone. Sold by Gooding at Amelia in 2018 for $1.6 million and now showing 10 more km on its odometer. While it doesn’t have the appeal of a car that was raced when new, it does have neat details and is eligible for many of the same desirable events. Lot # 056. Bonhams.
250 GT BOANO, S/N 0667 GT (1957). Dark blue metallic with tan leather. Estimate $775,000 to $900,000. Older restoration, 2- condition. Hammered sold at $900,000 plus commission of 10.56 percent = final price of $995,000. Represented as matching numbers. Restored in 2016 and still looks fresh. Lovely paint, chrome, and interior. Negligible wear to the driver’s seat. It looks like there used to be Scuderia shields on the fenders and it shows through the paint. Minor blistering along the crease on top of the right rear fender. A mostly lovely low roof Boano that shows a few minor issues upon closer inspection. A no-sale here at a $960,000 high bid in 2015 (later reported sold at an undisclosed price) and a $925,000 no-sale at RM’s Arizona sale in 2018. There are several years between this car’s auction appearances but the bids for it are consistent and reasonable. The estimate is surprisingly low. Lot # 264. RM Sotheby’s.
250 GT LWB BERLINETTA, S/N 1031 GT (1958). Giulietta blue with tan leather. Estimate $5.75 million to $6.5 million. Recent restoration, 2 condition. Hammered sold at $5.45 million plus commission of 10.09 percent = final price of $6 million. Borrani wire wheels, Englebert by Michelin tires, woodrim steering wheel. Ordered new by French industrialist Jacques Peron with numerous special features including a 250 TR-spec engine. Rushing to finish the car in time for the 1958 Tour de France, Ferrari declined or ignored most of Peron’s requests. Understandably displeased, he nevertheless finished fourth in the car at the Tour but sold it shortly thereafter. Later enjoyed many years as a historic racer and recently restored by Patrick Ottis in its original colors. Shown at the Pebble Beach Concours in 2016, well-maintained since. There are minor blemishes to the driver’s seat, a small paint chip on the left rocker panel and front end, and slight blemishes on the chrome. These minor imperfections do little to take away from the overall quality and history. Owned, maintained and enthusiastically used for almost four decades by David and Mary Love, this is a recognized TdF with impeccable provenance. Restored to the highest standards by Patrick Ottis and in nearly perfect condition, it would not have been a surprise to see it bring even more than the successful bid here. Lot # 331. RM Sotheby’s.
250 GT PF CABRIOLET SERIES I, S/N 1075 GT (1958). Oro Andalusia with brown leather. Estimate $4.5 million to $5.5 million. Concours restoration, 1 condition. Hammered sold at $4 million plus commission of 10.13 percent = final price of $4.4 million. Borrani wire wheels, Pirelli tires, covered headlights, grille-mounted Marchal fog lights, books, tools. 1958 Earls Court display car. Excellent paint, chrome, interior and everything else. Classiche certified, FCA and other Platinum awards. Second in class at Pebble Beach in 1964 (yes, 1964). Rescued by Tom Shaughnessy after fire damage and subsequently restored in its original exterior color to show winning standards. As desirable as the 250 GT Spyder Californias are, the 250 GT Pinin Farina Cabriolets are even better proportioned and more balanced in their design. The new owner should be very happy with the price it brought, an excellent value. Lot # 137. Gooding & Company.
250 GT LWB SPYDER CALIFORNIA, S/N 1235 GT (1959). Red with beige leather. Estimate $10 million to $12 million. Recent restoration, 2+ condition. Hammered sold at $9.85 million plus commission of 10.05 percent = final price of $10.84 million. Cold air box, performance camshafts, limited slip axle, long range fuel tank, external fuel filler, unrestored hardtop, covered headlights. Built for Dott. Ottavio Randaccio with extensive competition features. Excellent fresh paint, chrome and interior. The underbody is restored to better than new but not overdone. There’s not much period racing history for this exceptional 250 GT LWB Cal Spyder, but with its outstanding specifications it remains a singular Ferrari and, a relatively good value at this price. Besides, it is seriously good looking and purposeful. Lot # 036. Gooding & Company.
400 SUPERAMERICA PF AERODINAMICO COUPE, S/N 4251 SA (1963). Green tinted silver gray with green leather. Estimate $2.2 million to $2.6 million. Older restoration, 2- condition. Hammered sold at $2.3 million plus commission of 10.22 percent = final price of $2.53 million. Borrani wire wheels, Pirelli tires, fitted luggage, covered Marchal headlights. Restored in 2005 and winner of several awards in high level concours over subsequent years, then driven on long distance tours. Excellent paint, chrome and lightly stretched upholstery. The engine compartment is meticulously restored and maintained but no longer fresh, an observation that also applies to the underbody. A wonderful restoration with careful miles since it was done, freshly serviced and new tires. Offered by Bonhams at Quail Lodge in 2001, a mere twenty years ago, where it had a mellowed older restoration and no-saled on a reported bid of $260,000. It has been extravagantly restored since then, and the world is a very different place where bespoke Ferrari values reside. The bidders liked this 400 SA, and for good and sufficient reason. It is visually distinctive and has performance to match its design. Lot # 045. Gooding & Company.
250 GT/L BERLINETTA LUSSO, S/N 4513 GT (1963). Engine #4467. Black with natural leather. Estimate $1.4 million to $1.6 million. Older restoration, 2- condition. Hammered sold at $1.6 million plus commission of 10 percent = final price of $1.76 million. Borrani wire wheels, Pirelli tires, Marchal headlights and fog lights. Good repaint and interior. Chipped right front wheel arch edge. Good chrome. The engine compartment is orderly but dusty and showing age. Classiche Red Book certified. This result for an engine-swapped Lusso with some use and age is even more extraordinary than the $1.87 million achieved by RM for the Paul Andrews Lusso on Thursday. The price performance of these two cars implies the decline in Lusso values over the past three years has now turned into a dip on the value curve. Lot # S110. Mecum Auctions.
500 SUPERFAST, S/N 6305 SF (1965). Black with natural leather. Estimate $2 million to $2.5 million. Older restoration, 2- condition. Hammered sold at $1.7 million plus commission of 10 percent = final price of $1.875 million. Borrani wire wheels, Michelin XWX tires, ANSA exhaust, wood dash and console trim, power windows, AM/FM pushbutton radio, Talbot Berlin mirrors. Classiche Red Book certification. Bought new by Count Guido Monzino. The paint and chrome are starting to show their age but not any serious flaws. Some dirt and grime in the wheel spokes. Very good interior. Not a show car but nothing is wrong with this Superfast, and it is one of the most desirable large classic Ferrari Gran Turismos. Hammered not sold at a $1.7M high bid on the block but announced sold a couple of days later with this result. The new owner faces the pleasing opportunity to drive it for several years before plunging into the daunting and expensive task of restoring it, but it is too good and too intriguing to set off down the restoration road before putting many more exciting kilometers on the odometer. Lot # S112. Mecum Auctions.
275 GTB, S/N 07675 (1965). Giallo Fly with dark blue leather. Estimate $2.5 million to $3.25 million. Older restoration, 3+ condition. Post-block sale at $1.62 million plus commission of 10.31 percent = final price of $1.79 million. Outside laced Borrani wire wheels, Michelin XWX tires, alloy spare wheel. Raced in Italy when new but later with a number of owners. Originally Argento Metalizzato, now with a good recent repaint in Giallo Fly. Erratic chrome, blistered trunk hinge. Good lightly worn upholstery. Even panel gaps. An ordinary, driver quality short nose 275 GTB. This is all the money for this 275 GTB, an ordinary price for an ordinary example. Lot # 130. Gooding & Company.
330 GT 2+2 SERIES II, S/N 8937 GT (1966). Nocciola with black leather. Estimate $120,000 to $160,000. Visually maintained, largely original, 3- condition. Hammered sold at $220,000 plus commission of 12 percent = final price of $246,400. 5-speed, Borrani wire wheels, Pirelli P4000 tires, RCA radio, power windows, wood dash. Showing 35,344 miles, which are represented as actual. The paint is mostly sound and the color is interesting, but unfortunately that’s the best part about this 330 2+2. The rest could use some attention, and it has been driven just 200 miles in the past 15 years. There is significant pitting and some surface rust on the wheel spokes as well as some dirt and grime under the hood, and no battery. Significant wear to the steering wheel, while the seats look dry and are flat on the bottom. The gauges are also mildly faded. The 330 GT 2+2 is one of the less expensive classic V-12 Ferraris but it’s a classic V-12 regardless, so it’s unusual to see one with some neglect like this. After basic (but still expensive) mechanical fettling it would make a fine driver, although you’d still feel a little self-conscious around restored thoroughbreds. Bonhams and the consignor cleverly put this 330 GT 2+2 at no reserve and estimated it as a restoration project which seems to have led to an enthusiastic bidding contest that eventually more than fully valued it as a decent driver. The new owner is looking at some significant expenses before it’s checked out and rendered safe and reliable on the road, along with the inevitable “while you’re at it” add-ons. It should have sold within the estimate range and is expensive at this price. Lot # 128. Bonhams.
275 GTB/C, S/N 09079 (1966). Red with blue leather, blue gray cloth inserts. Estimate $8 million to $10 million. Competition restoration, 2+ condition. Hammered sold at $7 million plus commission of 10.07percent = final price of $7.7 million. A 300+ hp 6-carburetor engine, outside fuel filler, Borrani wire wheels, Avon tires, fire system, Marchal headlights and driving lights. Ex-Scuderia Filipinetti, GT class winner at Le Mans in 1967, later raced by Jacques Rey with some success. Later burned in a garage fire and rebodied in aluminum by Brandoli during restoration. Restored again in 2006, 2nd in class at Pebble Beach. Classiche Red Book certified. Restoration freshened in 2013 with period parts reinstalled to replace later historic competition modifications, then restored again in 2018 and again competition prepared at a cost of some $750,000. Now has a Piet Roelhofs race prepared 6-carburetor engine and transaxle with the original engine and gearbox included. Excellent paint, interior and bright trim. Even gaps, flush fits. Clean, sharp engine compartment. Back in 2015 when Bonhams sold this car at Scottsdale it showed 7,178 km compared with the 9,025 km on the odometer today. It is probably irrelevant that it cost the consignor $9.4 million in 2015 and sold for much less, not to mention the cost of its most recent restoration and preparation. The new owner got a lot of 275 GTB/6C with an important race history for the price paid here. Lot # 238. RM Sotheby’s.
512 BBi, VIN ZFFJA09B000048723 (1983). Red with black leather, red bars. Estimate $375,000 to $450,000. Unrestored original, 2 condition. Hammered sold at $380,000 plus commission of 11.32 percent = final price of $423,000. Borletti air conditioning, Pioneer cassette stereo, alloy wheels, TRX tires, Daytona style headrest seats, manuals, tool roll, spare. New tires. 954 km from new. Very good original paint and interior. The seats are lightly stretched, the underbody is original and clean, all appropriate to the 954 km showing on the odometer and claimed to be original. Gauges and interior switches and controls are clean, bright and crisp. Classiche Red Book certified. Fox Collection. Cataloged as reading km on the odometer but calibrated in mph on the speedometer, this 512 BBi showed 911 km when sold here in 2017 for $429,000. It has been well-preserved since then and there is zero reason or justification for it to have brought less than four years ago, but sometimes that happens and puts a good value in a largely original car into the hands of a new owner. Lot # 310. RM Sotheby’s.
400i 5-SPEED, VIN ZFFEB07B000051899 (1984). Argento with tan leather. Estimate $75,000 to $125,000. Unrestored original, 3 condition. Hammered sold at $152,500 plus commission of 12 percent = final price of $170,800. Michelin TRX tires, power windows, air conditioning, Blaupunkt cassette stereo. From the collection of Ron Tonkin, the first and only owner after being federalized in 1985, and his dealership badge is still on the trunk. Minor paint flaws at the front. Lightly worn interior. Delamination at the edges of the rear window. Trim around the windows has minor corrosion. Clean wheels. Right front headlight doesn’t fit flush. Tidy engine bay freshly serviced at Ron Tonkin Gran Turismo. A one-owner car with the desirable and rare 5-speed manual, always in the care of Ferrari professionals. This price indicates a great deal of reliance on this 400i’s single and continuous history with Ron Tonkin and leaves little concern that important maintenance, or even minor attention, may have been deferred. Even at that, and with the rare 5-speed, it is heroically expensive, the most expensive 400i other than the one RM sold at Maranello in 2017 for $415,415 but that one had 3,300 km and had been owned from new by the Rolling Stones’ Keith Richards and enjoyed a huge premium for his ownership. Ron Tonkin counts for a lot, but not as much as Keith Richards. Lot # 357. RM Sotheby’s.
TESTAROSSA, VIN ZFFSG17A6J0075197 (1988). Rosso Corsa with tan leather. Estimate $120,000 to $150,000. Unrestored original, 2- condition. Hammered sold at $109,000 plus commission of 12 percent = final price of $122,080. Goodrich tires, tools, manuals, clean Carfax. A well-maintained fully original 1988 Testarossa. The odometer shows 18,810 miles, yet the paint shows little wear or fading. A small chip sits near the bottom of the driver’s door, but no other imperfections visible. All of the moldings and trim appear aged, however. The seats appear to be comfortably broken in and slightly discolored. The dash and carpet are as new with no damage or fading. Lightly used, solid and fastidiously maintained to the point where it has been FCA judged 100 points. Belt serviced in 2018. There is little if any premium in this result for this Testarossa’s low miles, originality and preservation, a very good value for the new owner even if its preservation is overlooked and it is just driven as the solid car that it is. Lot # 091. Bonhams.
F40, VIN ZFFMN34A9M0087895 (1991). Red with red cloth. Estimate $1.8 million to $2.1 million. Unrestored original, 2 condition. Hammered sold at $2.2 million plus commission of 10.23 percent = final price of $2.43 million. Speedline wheels, Pirelli tires, Schedoni luggage, air conditioning, heated windshield, books and tools. Showing 2,897 miles, negligible age and no flaws. Has sat most of its life, but has also been consistently maintained over the years and has a 2021 engine-out belt service. This F40 has done just 94 miles since 2017, when it sold here for $1.54 million. This result four years later is a massive difference but not a fluke, as all three F40s offered in Monterey this year sold quite well. The 16,000-mile example at Bonhams brought $1.6M, and Gooding’s 2,500-mile car brought a staggering $2.9M. Analog supercars were hot this year at Monterey so the F40, perhaps the ultimate in analog supercars, naturally attracted a lot of attention and set some recent record prices. Lot # 221. RM Sotheby’s.
F512 M, VIN ZFFVG40A0S0100590 (1995). Rosso Corsa with tan leather. Estimate $400,000 to $500,000. Unrestored original, 2 condition. Hammered sold at $420,000 plus commission of 11.19 percent = final price of $467,000. Modular wheels, Continental tires. From the Fox collection. Number 20 of 75 US market 512Ms. Bought new by actor Lorenzo Lamas. Classiche certified. 14,477 miles. The right headlight cover looks a little cloudy but the rest of the car is clean and clearly well cared for. Good F512Ms can command nearly twice as much as the next most desirable in the series - the 512TR. This isn’t a record price for a F512M but it’s close, and deservedly so for a car with significant mileage (by Ferrari standards) but wonderful presentation. A more used and less carefully kept example sold for just $229,600 over at Bonhams Quail Lodge, which just goes to show how much condition matters in this hobby. Lot # 311. RM Sotheby’s.
612 SCAGLIETTI, VIN ZFFAA54A250142862 (2005). Nuovo Grigio Ingrid with crema leather. Estimate $275,000 to $325,000. Unrestored original, 2- condition. Hammered sold at $290,000 plus commission of 11.72 percent = final price of $324,000. Includes tools and books. Represented with just 3,030 miles and as one of 60 stick-shift 612s sold in the United States. A few light paint nicks and scratches on the front bumper, and the underbody is clean but shows light usage. The driver’s seat has some minor stretching to the leather, but the interior is clean and well kept. Well-maintained, seldom driven and finished in a rare but attractive color combination. The main draw, though, is that gated shifter between the seats. RM Sotheby’s sold five late-model stick-shift Ferraris right in a row on day two of its Monterey sale this year. There was a bidding frenzy for every single one, especially for this 612. Manual 612s hardly ever come to market, and whatever the going rate is for a flappy paddle car, more than double it when you come across a manual one. The last time this car crossed an auction block was two years ago in Amelia Island, and it brought $291,000. That it brought more this time around wasn’t a big surprise. Lot # 249. RM Sotheby’s.
599 GTB FIORANO, VIN ZFFFC60A390167772 (2009). Nero with cuoio leather. Estimate $550,000 to $650,000. Unrestored original, 2- condition. Hammered sold at $640,000 plus commission of 10.78 percent = final price of $709,000. Carbon ceramic brakes, Daytona seats, shields. Represented with just 4,730 miles. One of 30 cars equipped with a 6-speed, and 20 of them came to North America. Good paint overall with a filled paint chip under the driver’s side headlight and a few small chips along the rear brake duct intakes. The underbody is clean but shows light aging. The driver’s seat has light creasing in the leather. Very well-maintained and has little use. On modern Ferraris, a third pedal and that famous open-gate shifter command a gigantic premium. The later the car is, the higher the premium, and on 599s a stick shift can essentially double the price of a car. Most of the ones on offer in Monterey this year sold very well, and it’s hard to see values going anywhere but up. This 599 last appeared at Gooding & Co.’s Pebble Beach sale three years and about 200 miles ago, when it sold for $517,000. Not quite Bitcoin, but certainly not a bad return on investment, either. Lot # 250. RM Sotheby’s.
SA APERTA, VIN ZFF72RHA8B0177989 (2011). Rosso Fuoco with nero leather, red stitching. Unrestored original, 2 condition. Hammered sold at $900,000 plus commission of 10 percent = final price of $990,000. One of 80 built to commemorate Pininfarina’s 80th birthday. 4,355 miles and still like new. Reported sold for $880,000 at Mecum Indy only a few months ago, but found a more Ferrari-heavy audience in Monterey. The SA Aperta is already a highly sought after modern Ferrari with values having eclipsed their original prices long ago. RM sold another example the day before for $1.1M, and the difference was down to lower miles and a more interesting color on the RM car. Lot # S106. Mecum Auctions.
LAFERRARI, VIN ZFF76ZFA4F0211245 (2015). Rosso Corsa with black, red leather. Estimate $2.75 million to $3 million. Unrestored original, 2- condition. Hammered sold at $2.95 million plus commission of 10.17 percent = final price of $3.25 million. Carbon fiber fog lamps, carbon fiber mirrors, sport exhaust. From the Fox collection. Driven just 787 miles and has little road wear to show for it. The front splitter has a few tiny stone chips on the carbon fiber portion. The seats show near negligible wear, although there are noticeable scuffs on the driver side floor mat. According to RM Sotheby’s, the suggested retail price on this car with its selected options was $1,451,878. But LaFerraris got a lot pricier once they hit the open market and became available to anyone with deep enough pocket and not just a select group of invitees with Ferrari connections. Most LaFerraris sold at auction have brought somewhere in the low- to mid-$3M range, as confirmed by this result and the LaFerrari over at Mecum that brought $3.41 million. Lot # 319. RM Sotheby’s.
F60 AMERICA, VIN ZFF85BHA4G0215096 (2016). Blu NART with red leather driver’s seat, navy blue leather passenger’s seat, both with a US flag motif running. Estimate $3.5 million to $4.5 million. Unrestored original, 2- condition. Hammered sold at $3.3 million plus commission of 10.15 percent = final price of $3.635 million. Carbon fiber hardtop, chrome fuel filler door. The first of 10 F60 Americas, built to celebrate 60 years of Ferrari in North America. Represented with 2,105 miles. The paint has only minor chips on the front bumper, otherwise the car is like new inside and out. $2.5 million when new (depending upon how well the first owner got on with his/her Ferrari dealer) and built in an almost negligible 10 unit production run for the U.S. only. It’s surprising to see even 2,105 miles on a nearly singular Ferrari supercar showing that someone actually cared about the sensory experience of driving it. Now someone else can share that experience at a mere million dollars more than the MSRP. Drive and enjoy. Lot # 254. RM Sotheby’s.