Rare cars go up for auction this week in Monterey – USA TODAY
For auctioneers, the Monterey Week of Cars in northern California marks another opportunity to introduce the masses to classic automobiles.
And one of the better-known houses, Mecum Auctions, says it’s now starting to move toward the higher end of the market. It says 20 of the cars it will be offering this week will have estimated values above $1 million.
“Traditionally, we’ve done well with European exotics. But this year we’ve gotten more of the rare, limited production late-model exotics,” says John Kraman, Mecum’s consignment director.
The Monterey Week of Cars is a series of events centered around classic cars in the affluent, coastal communities south of San Francisco. Automakers use the occasion to show off new models and make product announcements. Classic-car owners gather to kick the tires. And several major auction houses, like Mecum at the Hyatt Regency Monterey, hold events in hotel ballrooms or under tents that bring in millions of dollars for rare, prized cars.
The week culminates next Sunday with the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance, one of the nation’s top classic-car shows, on the lawn of the famous golf course.
For Mecum, one of the most prized cars going up for auction Saturday — one of three auction days — will be a 1990 Ferrari F40, one of only 213 that came to the U.S. It’s “one of the most outrageous, high-performing cars ever built,” Kraman says. With only 557 miles on it, it’s expected to top $2 million in the bidding.
Another car sure to stand out is a British-built 1966 Ford GT40 MkI, the first one that was brought to the U.S. Used briefly a test and public-relations car by Ford, it’s expected to go for at least $4 million.