Each year, one of the world’s biggest car auctions on the calendar is the RM Sotheby’s Monterey auction, which coincides with the Monterey Car Week and the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance.
This year, we’ve selected a handful of highlights to keep an eye on when the hammer starts dropping this weekend, on August 24 and 25. Price estimates have been converted to AUD, to the nearest thousand.
2017 Mercedes-AMG GT3 'Laureus' ($544,000 - $816,000)
The first car on our list (which is reverse-chronological, new to old) is this one-off AMG GT3 car. It’s named for the Laureus Sport for Good Foundation, a charity which is set to receive the proceeds from this sale.
Its mirrored chrome paintwork makes it unique, while its 6.3-litre V8 is unrestricted by FIA rules for a free-breathing 485kW.
2014 Ferrari LaFerrari ($4,078,000- $5,437,000)
Italy’s member of the ‘hypercar holy trinity’ is seen here in its iconic Rosso Corsa, with fewer than 240km showing and a note that the proceeds of the sale will go towards the College for Creative Studies in Detroit.
MOTOR review: LaFerrari
A 6.2-litre V12 with electric motors makes for 708kW, but if you’re in Australia there’s one sitting in a Melbourne showroom with just 170km on the clock.
2014 McLaren P1 ($2,311,000 - $2,719,000)
Another of the ‘trinity’, from England this time, the McLaren P1 opts for turbo power in the form of a twin-charged 3.8-litre V8, also with an electric motor to add a few more kiloWatts. It’s output totals 673kW.
Sotheby’s says its only one of two finished in ‘MSO Liquid Silver’, and is the 24th P1 built. It’s had one owner and has been driven only 3540km since new.
2011 Ferrari 599 GTO ($782,000 - $884,000)
Back down below the million-dollar mark, this 599 GTO strikes us as an excellent buy if you can cop the cost. It’s one of Ferrari’s road-legal track-focussed supercars which is a rare sight given its build number of 599, to match its badge.
If that doesn’t convince you, an atmo 6.0-litre V12 revving to 8400rpm should.
2004 Porsche Carrera GT ($952,000- $1,223,000)
We couldn’t leave this out. A Porsche V10, a manual gearbox, and that styling. If you’ve got about $1.2m sitting around, this 283km example is just begging for an actual drive.
MOTOR review: Carrera GT
Finding one in Australia is tough, but last we saw $1.5 million was the asking price for one at the Gosford Car Museum.
1989 RUF CTR 'Yellow Bird' ($1,359,000 - $1,631,000)
With 52,200km on the odometer, the Yellow Bird up for grabs this year makes an excellent case for itself.
It’s been driven enough (and likely cared for enough) that it won’t have any surprises lurking, due to lack of use, while it’s rare enough that you’ll make your money back if you sell it down the track.
It’s number 10 of 29 original RUF CTRs which were given the Yellow Bird name thanks to one test car, painted a very loud shade of the same colour.
Geneva 2017: RUF CTR revealed
This one’s not actually yellow though, so that will confuse a few people.
1968 Porsche 908 Works 'Short-Tail' ($3,127,000 - $3,806,000)
Imagine showing up to a track day in this. You probably wouldn’t want to, unless you had the track to yourself.
This car is special because it was the Porsche team entry at the 1968 Spa 1000km, driven by Vic Elford and Jochen Neerpasch, which crashed into a telephone pole.
Now in restored condition, the original chassis has a new engine to replicate its original.
1966 Ford GT40 Mk.II ($12,234,000 - $16,312,000)
In the year Ford achieved a 1-2-3 victory at Le Mans, this car was the ‘3’.
MOTOR features: The story behind Ford's 1966 Le Mans win
Driven by Ronnie Bucknum and Dick Hutcherson, the #5 GT40 was restored to its original spec in the 1990s after some time being mistaken as one of the other GT40s (in the iconic blue livery).
It has since made appearances at several events including the Goodwood Revival and the Festival of Speed.
1962 Ferrari 250 GTO by Scaglietti ($61,171,000 - $81,561,000)
RM Sotheby’s doesn’t shy away from the GTO’s pedigree in its lot listing, calling it “the world’s most important, desirable, and legendary motor car.”
This is the third of the 36 250 GTOs built, and could become the most expensive car sold in the world if it tops the USD$70 million mark, though its estimate tops out at USD$60m, or AUD$81.5m.
Painful to watch: $50mil 250 GTO crashes at Goodwood
Sotheby’s says it’s ‘considered by marque experts to be one of the most authentic and original of all GTO examples’ and its career as a racer is riddled with wins. In fact, it’s almost entirely class wins. We’ll be watching this one closely.