Monterey Classic Car Week 2014 is over.

You’ll be able to read the complete auction results in an upcoming issue of SCM, along with reports on the concours and gatherings.

For collectors, the most awaited moment was when the 250 GTO crossed the block at Bonhams on Thursday night. Some media fantasizers had predicted a final price in excess of $70m. Others said that if it didn’t hit $50m it would be called “a flop,” and the market would collapse as a result. Here’s the backstory.

From the moment the car was unveiled at Bonhams’ New Bond Street headquarters in London, insiders at that company thought the GTO would hammer right around $35m.

They were extremely realistic in assessing the market value of the car, and, based on its provenance, thought that it was in the middle of the pack.

The hammer was at just over $34m, with a final price all in of $38.1m.

A blow to the market? Hardly. Before the Sunday night Gooding auction and the close of the Rick Cole auction, total weekend sales were already over $350m, compared to the $308m overall total of 2013. The market continues to be strong.

The Week in Review

I arrived in Monterey on Tuesday, shot 13 cars for the 2015 season of What’s My Car Worth? on Wednesday, participated in a forum on collecting at Pebble Beach with Wayne Carini on Thursday and watched the GTO sell on Thursday night. After the sale, I attended a dinner hosted by BMW.

I spent Friday as emcee of the delightful Legends of the Autobahn concours, which featured Audi, BMW and Mercedes. Our 13th annual Monterey Insider’s Seminar took place on Saturday morning and was a huge success. Miles Collier’s keynote address, “Preserve or Restore – Three Tipping Points to Consider,” was thoughtful as well as entertaining. The standing-room-only crowd was engaged and attentive. That night, I attended the Mercedes dinner at Pebble and spent time chatting with Jay Leno about cars and collecting.

I zipped from there (in the M6 that BMW provided) to Concorso Italiano, where I was the emcee, ably assisted by Myles H. Kitchen. The new location (at The Bayonet & Blackhorse golf course), combined with the new day (Saturday, instead of Friday), made this the most successful Concorso yet.

Sunday, SCMers Michael Pierce and Allen Stephens joined me for a visit to the Pebble Beach Concours first thing, when there was still space around each car. I chatted with SCMer Jon Shirley, whose Ferrari 375 MM, with custom coachwork by Scaglietti, won the coveted Best of Show trophy. It is the first time a post-WWII car has been awarded this prize.The car is pictured above.

Then it was off to Gooding, where sales continued to be strong, even though the star car of the night, the three-seat 1966 Ferrari 365 P Berlinetta Speciale, failed to sell at a high bid of $22.5m.

I’ve posted over 250 photos on FaceBook to give you a first-hand look at Monterey Classic Car Week from my bird’s-eye view. I appreciated the chance to meet so many new people and to renew relationships with so many SCMers. Our world is all about the people, along with the cars they love.

And I’ve just booked my rooms for 2015.


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