Auction Report

Could these 4 cars redefine the market in Monterey?

by Greg Ingold
4 August 2021 3 min read
Photo by Bonhams

With Monterey Car Week mere days away, we’re looking ahead to the auction offerings. Some of the best and rarest cars we see all year come up for grabs and sometimes spirited bidding can redefine the market. That’s exactly why we always look closely at these sales. And while the estimates provided by the auction companies aren’t always a perfect gauge for what a car might sell for, they are helpful, and here are four vehicles which we feel have a legitimate shot of exceeding their Hagerty Price Guide values and resetting the market.

Gooding & Company/Josh Hway

1966 Ford GT40 Mk I Alan Mann Lightweight

Gooding & Company, Lot 39

Estimate: $7,000,000 – $9,000,000

A GT40 at auction is always an occasion worth celebrating, but such a rare variant such as this Alan Mann Lightweight is even more special. Just one of two lightweights completed by the Alan Mann team in England, this car is fresh out of a 15-year restoration and is offered from 40 years of continuous ownership. This provenance alone is enough to garner attention, and when you add on the fact that this may be the only time an Alan Mann GT40 will be up for grabs in the long term future, Gooding & Company’s estimate looks appropriately high.

For comparison, the low estimate of $7,000,000 is on par with the prototype Roadster sold on two different occasions by RM Sotheby’s and the high estimate is on par with the 3rd place GT40 from the 1966 24 Hours of Le Mans. Anyone paying attention the GT40 market will certainly be talking about this car both before and after it crosses the block.

Bonhams

1994 Nissan Skyline GT-R V-Spec II

Bonhams, Lot 129

Estimate: $160,000 – $190,000

Simply put, at 4069 kilometers this could be the lowest-mileage, cleanest R32 GT-R you’ll ever find for sale. GT-Rs are superb driving cars and respond very well to upgrades, so a lot of people drove them and upgraded them. That means finding one kept in this level of care from new is noteworthy. Not to mention that this example is one of 1306 V-Spec II models offered in 1994 only. Bonhams’ estimate reflects this. The low estimate is 25-percent higher than current Hagerty Price Guide values, and it’s cars like this that tend shake up the market when they sell. If you pay attention to the JDM market, this is the car in Monterey to watch this year.

RM Sotheby’s/Rafael Martin

2003 BMW Z8 Alpina

RM Sotheby’s, Lot 312

Estimate: $275,000 – $350,000

Introduced in 2000, BMW’s retro-inspired Z8 perfectly captured the essence of the beautiful original 507 from the 1950s. Then, notable tuner Alpina got a hold of 555 Z8s to work over. Instead of making the Z8 more hardcore, Alpina actually softened the edges a bit by softening the suspension and toning down the horsepower a bit. Normally that kind of thing would be a major turn off to collectors, however Z8s worked over by Alpina regularly sell for more money than base examples. Low estimates for this car sit just at the top of the price guide range, but with 2900 miles on the clock, it isn’t a new in the wrapper car. We’ll be watching to see if bids reach the high estimate.

Gooding & Company/Josh Hway

1998 Mercedes-Benz CLK GTR

Gooding & Company, Lot 50

Estimate: $8,500,000 – $10,000,000

The CLK GTR is a serious dream car, especially for fans of the untamed GT1 homologation cars of the late 1990s. Fulfilling the requirement for 25 street-legal examples, the CLK GTR resembles the regular old CLK in name only, the rest is pure race car. Much like the McLaren F1 LM and 911 GT1 Strassenversion, the CLK GTR is high on the list of modern blue chip collector cars. They’re rapidly appreciating as well. The last recorded public sale was at $4,515,000 back in August of 2018, but Gooding & Company expects this example to sell for at least double that figure. With McLaren F1 prices in the neighborhood of $20M, a sale of the magnitude of $8.5-$10M would come as no surprise.

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