Like fog off the bay, the money rolled into Monterey last week. By Sunday, it had burned off. Our initial accounting has total sales approaching $352 million for the week. With five auctions and more than 1,000 cars on offer, getting outbid seemed to be the only excuse for not buying.

Many records were set, including the top sale of the week, a 1995 McLaren F1 sold by Gooding & Company for $20.5m, the most ever paid for the iconic three-place supercar. It was a return to form for the official auction of the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance. Its $107m in sales this year was well ahead of the 2019 take of $76.8m.

RM Sotheby’s sold the most cars by value, with $148.5m in total sales at its downtown Monterey auction. This included 44 seven-figure cars, the most sold by any auction company during the week. That and a 90% sell-through helped it eclipse its $107m total of 2019.

Bonhams Quail Lodge sale managed an 89% sell-through, claiming four auction records in posting total sales of $36.8m. Like its peers, its 2021 sales topped 2019’s.

Mecum’s preliminary tally of $57.4m not only surpassed its 2019 total, but also set a new record for the auction company in Monterey.

While every lot has not yet been accounted for, consensus is that the exuberance we have seen so far this year continued during Car Week. Sell-through percentages were high, as were average transaction prices. Fewer cars produced nearly $100m more revenue than 2019’s total of $254,483,185.

We’ll be busy in the next few weeks diving deeper into the numbers as we create our November issue, which will feature full coverage of the entire 2021 Monterey Car Week. –Jeff Sabatini, SCM Executive Editor



One Comment

  1. Also noteworthy is the fact that there was one less auction in town this year, and STILL $100M additional revenue was generated by the five live auctions. Our unique collector car industry truly does have it’s own economy, and it beats to it’s own drum.

    While everything around us has been chaotic, what a great time it is for playing with cars…whether buying, selling, driving, or displaying them.