Leading up to Monterey, many industry wags—including us—wondered if the market was losing steam. Part of the wariness comes from the general economy but much of it, no doubt, owes to the simple certainty that good times can’t last forever. And the past two years have been so good for classic car values. That has to end, right?
At some point, surely. But not right now, and certainly not at Monterey.
With $469M worth of automobiles sold during 2022’s Monterey Car Week, it should come as no surprise that most of them were expensive. Like, really really expensive: two eight-figure cars, more million-dollar-plus cars than ever, and several broken records for hallmark models from Ferrari, Lamborghini, and Bugatti. And despite big growth in values all year as noted in the Hagerty Price Guide, more than a few cars in Monterey broke their price guide ceiling. Here are six of the most surprising.
Sold for $56,000 (Broad Arrow)
#1 condition (Concours) value: $31,700
The whole point of the Z600, predecessor to the original Civic, was to be a cheap way for frugal motorists to get from A to B reliably and have some storage capacity. Sold at motorcycle dealerships in the early 1970s because Honda didn’t have a network of car stores yet, the 598cc two-cylinder city car is not the kind of thing people ever thought would be collectible.
And yet here we are. Early Hondas are starting to get credit for their clever designs and the important roles they played in the company’s history, and that’s reflected in the values of clean specimens like this one. Hagerty Price Guide values for the Z600 are already up 41 percent over the past three years, but this little yellow thing charmed its way past the top and blew past the $40K high estimate. Although it was Broad Arrow’s third-cheapest car, it was one of the week’s biggest home runs.
Sold for $168,000 (Gooding & Company)
#1 condition (Concours) value: $92,300
With its reputation for engine maladies long since remedied, Twin Cam MGAs are one of the most desirable cars to come from the folks at Morris Garage. They’re in a different ballpark value-wise than the everyman pushrod cars, but this white roadster isn’t even playing the same sport.
At $168,000, it sold for 82 percent above its #1 value and 234 percent above its condition-appropriate value in our price guide. For reference, Mecum offered another MGA Twin Cam that was nearly as nice two days prior, and it was a no-sale at $80K. Only four MGAs have sold for six figures, ever. Just one ‘A has sold for more than this one, and that was an MG Works Team Sebring car with race history.
Sold for $117,600 (Gooding & Company)
#1 condition (Concours) value: $62,900
Both R107 (1971-81) and W113 (1963-71) versions of classic SLs sold well all over Monterey this year, but this 450SL finished in Dark Brown truly struck gold. At nearly twice its current condition #1 value as well as three-and-a-half times what its #1 value was just three years ago, the all-original 9,235-mile Benz won big on originality and low mileage.
Another hard-to-ignore SL was the 1971 280 SL at RM Sotheby’s that brought an eye-popping $324,000, against a #1 value of $198,000 and a $200,000 – $250,000 estimate.
Sold for $406,500 (RM Sotheby’s)
condition #1 (Concours) value: $165,000
At the end of the Porsche 928’s long 1977-95 run came the GTS, which is not only the last of the series but also the quickest and most highly-developed. A slow seller when new, the 928 GTS is also rather rare, and according to RM Sotheby’s just 26 US-market cars came with a 5-speed manual like this one (automatics carry a discount of as much as 50 percent in the Hagerty Price Guide).
Naturally, then, RM’s 16,645-mile Midnight Blue Metallic 928 was going to attract some Porsche-loving eyes. Nobody expected this number, however. Not RM Sotheby’s, who put a $225,000 – $275,000 estimate on it. And not us, who value a 928 GTS in #1 condition at $165K in the price guide. The car even caused more of a stir than Beatle George Harrison’s 928 S, which sold for “just” $100,800 the previous day.
It’s also double the previous record for a 928, as long as you ignore the $2M car from Risky Business that sold last year. That wasn’t the only staggering Porsche sale on the peninsula: over at Gooding & Co. a paint-to-sample Caledonia Green 1978 930 brought $478K against a #1 value of $187K.
Sold for $780,500 (RM Sotheby’s)
condition #1 (Concours) value: $479,000
Like the 928 GTS, the Ferrari F512 M was the last in a long-running, popular series of cars, in this case the Testarossa. It was also the rarest, with barely 500 built. Naturally, it’s also the most valuable.
Price guide values for the F512 M have already nearly tripled (299 percent) over the past decade, but at $780,500, this two-owner 8890-mile black on black example sets a new bar. In fact, the record price for a F512 M was broken twice in a single day: a 7,200-mile Rossa Corsa car sold for $720,000 a few hours ahead of this one.
Sold for $110,000 (Mecum)
condition #1 (Concours) value: $61,200
Ok, we’re really not sure what happened here. Yes, a ’68 DeVille is a lot of car, but it’s typically not all that expensive. It was also the 12th lot of the day on Friday, hardly peak buying time. Mecum even had a perfectly reasonable $30,000 – $45,000 estimate on it. Somebody ignored all that and paid $110,000 for this very good but not perfect DeVille.
No, this doesn’t mean that your uncle’s Caddy is a six-figure car all of a sudden. Sometimes in an auction two people just have enough money to throw caution to the wind.