Monterey Car Week, the largest celebration of the automobile in the Western Hemisphere, is under way in Northern California. The festivities, which take place all over the Monterey Peninsula, from Carmel-by-the-Sea to Pebble Beach, start this afternoon and culminate on Sunday at the famed Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance.
In addition to ogling some of the rarest, most expensive two- and four-wheeled machines ever built, some of the more affluent antique car enthusiasts and collectors will have their eyes on the rare and vintage automobiles up for sale. Most of the world’s largest auction houses will be on hand to sell hundreds of millions of dollars worth of cars—ranging from a 1939 Porsche Type 64 to a 1995 Vector M12.
Here’s a preview of the most notable vehicles up for auction this week in Monterey.
The Ultimate Supercar
1994 McLaren F1 LM-Specification
This 1994 McLaren LM-Spec F1 is one of only two built to Le Mans specifications, meaning it’s an actual race car, with an unrestricted 680-horsepower V-12.
When asked to build the perfect production sports car in the early 1990s, one without any compromises, McLaren turned to its revered car designer Gordon Murray. He created the F1. Limited to just 106 examples between 1994 and 1997, only 64 of which were road-legal, it is not only one of the most celebrated modern supercars but one of the rarest as well.
“The McLaren F1 is the ultimate supercar and has long been regarded as the benchmark by which all others are compared,” RM Sotheby’s Car Specialist Alexander Weaver said in a statement.
This specific model was delivered new to Japan in 1994 and later upgraded in two phases. It was outfitted with an unrestricted 680-horsepower GTR racing engine in 2000 and a High-Downforce Kit in 2001, which saw the nose of the car revised and the addition of front-fender vents and an enormous rear wing.
The car is finished in platinum silver and features a cream leather interior.
Auctioneer: RM Sotheby’s (Lot 261) | Sale Price: Est. $21 to $23 million
Road and Track
1958 Ferrari 250 GT LWB California Spider by Scaglietti
In late 1957, Ferrari developed a new open-top 250 GT for North America. A stylish thoroughbred that was equally at home on road and track, the California Spider featured a racy, swept-back windscreen, minimal interior appointments, bucket seats, and a lightweight folding top.
There are two main variants distinguished by the LWB (Long Wheelbase) and SWB (Short Wheelbase) nomenclature. In total, 108 were built. Fifty of the LWB California Spiders were constructed between 1957 and 1960, powered by a 2,953 cc Colombo V-12 engine producing 237 horsepower.
Auctioneer: Gooding & Company (Lot 044) | Sale Price: Est. $11 million to $13 million
Best of Its Era
1962 Ferrari 250 California SWB Spider by Scaglietti
Collectible car experts Hagerty say this is likely the most original, pristine, short-wheel-base Ferrari California Spider in existence. It is the 55th of 56 SWB Spiders built and is one of only 19 with open headlights. It is also Classiche-certified and still has its original chassis, engine, gearbox, and differential. It has had only four owners over the past 50 years.
A grand touring car, the 250 GT is equipped with a 3.0-liter V-12, which pumps 243 horsepower through four gear manual transmission.
Auctioneer: RM Sotheby’s (Lot 331)| Sale Price: Est. $10.5 million to $13 million
1953 Aston Martin DB3S
Back in the 1950s, Aston Martin was a dominant force in racing, and many consider the DB3S Works as its pinnacle. Collectors prize the DB3S not only for their record on the track but also their beauty and drivability as road cars.
This beauty is the second of only three DB3Ss factory-prepped for Le Mans and one of ten that raced under the factory flag at Le Mans, Sebring, Buenos Aires, Spa, and in the famed Mille Miglia. Its biggest win came at the Goodwood 9-Hour in 1953.
The car was also owned and driven by famed racer Peter Collins, and is one of the few race cars from the 1950s that has the same chassis, body, and engine as when it left the factory.
Auctioneer: RM Sotheby’s (Lot 129) | Sales Price: Est. $8.75 million to $10.5 million
The First Porsche
1939 Porsche Type 64
This 1939 Type 64 is one of three race cars commissioned by the Nazi government and built by legendary carmaker Ferdinand Porsche for a race between Berlin and Rome— right through the heart of fascist Europe—that never occurred.
Based on the Volkswagen Type 1 “People’s Car” (which eventually became famous as the VW Beetle), the Type 64 is widely regarded as Porsche’s first car and the precursor to the 1948 Porsche 356, the company’s first true production vehicle.
Considered revolutionary for its time, the tiny car was designed under the guidance of Erwin Komenda— who would, a decade later, design the turtle-shaped 356. Its curvaceous body is made from thin sheets of hand-formed, aircraft-grade aluminum. In addition to looking fabulous, its aerodynamics are spectacular, allowing the car to maintain speeds of well over 80 mph even though it is equipped with a rather anemic air-cooled Volkswagen four-cylinder engine, which is estimated to make 40 horsepower.
If all goes as planned, the Type 64 will become the most valuable Porsche ever sold at auction, eclipsing the record set by a 1970 Porsche 917K race car auctioned for $14 million in 2017 by Gooding & Company.
Auctioneer: RM Sotheby’s (Lot 362) | Sale Price: Est. $20 million
Rarest of the Rare
1965 Ford GT40 Roadster Prototype
This is one of rarest Ford GT40s ever built. First, every GT40 is rare. There were fewer than 100 original ever built—87 production cars, plus 12 prototypes for Ford Le Mans development program. However, only five of those prototypes were Roadsters. This one, the GT108, was the eighth prototype made and the first Roadster to toll off the assembly line at the Ford Advanced Vehicles plant in Slough, England.
It was then shipped to Carroll Shelby’s Los Angeles headquarters where it was used as a development vehicle and promotional vehicle. Legendary drivers, including Jim Clark, Ken Miles and Shelby himself have spent time behind its wheel—and it’s also said to be the only known GT40 that Henry Ford II ever road in.
In 1983 and then again in 2003, the car was treated to a full mechanical restoration, with the emphasis on maintaining originality. Later in 2003, it won its class the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance.
In the engine bay sits a Cobra-spec 289 cubic-inch V-8 paired to a ZF manual transaxle. Items that differentiate the Roadster from the coupe include repositioned pillar-mounted intakes, a restyled nose, and Borrani wire wheels.
Auctioneer: RM Sotheby’s (Lot 252) | Sale Price: Est. $7 million to $9 million
1954 Maserati A6GCS
In my opinion, this spyder is one of the most beautiful drop-tops ever built. It was raced extensively in Italy and Ireland during the 1950s with great success, taking home first in class at Giro Calabria, Circuit of Senigallia, the RAC Tourist Trophy at Dundrod, and the Bologna-Passo Della Raticosa hill climb. It was also a frequent Mille Miglia competitor in the 1980s and ’90s.
The A6GCS was restored in 2013, just before it won the 2014 Pebble Beach Gran Turismo Award, which earned it a spot in the Gran Turismo video game series. And it is powered by its original 2.0-liter DOHC inline-six.
Auctioneer: RM Sotheby’s (Lot 230) | Sale Price: Est. $3.25 million to $3.75 million
1931 Studebaker Special Indy Car
This 1931 Studebaker Special was built by Studebaker’s director of testing George Hunt and famous Bonneville record holder Ab Jenkins. Entered at Indy three times, with its best result being sixth in 1932, it also raced and won at Pikes Peak in 1931. Powered by a 205-horsepower, 336-cubic-inch inline eight-cylinder engine, this is the car’s first time at public auction.
Auctioneer: Gooding & Company, (Lot 115) | Selling Price: Est. $500,000 to $750,000
1996 Vector M12
There were just 14 Vector M12’s built in the 1990s—this is the fifth to roll off the line—before the company his the financial skids in 1999. Unlike Vector’s earlier offerings, such as the W8, the M12 doesn’t have a bespoke chassis or drive train. Instead, it is based on the Lamborghini Diablo; Lamborghini was owned by the same company, Megatech, at the time. As such, the M12 is powered by a 7.0-liter version of Lambo’s V-12 engine, which produces about 500 horsepower and can propel the 3,600-pound vehicle to 60 mph in under five seconds. According to RM Sotheby’s, this M12 is the only one to be painted in purple from the factory.
Auctioneer: RM Sotheby’s (Lot 255) | Selling Price: Est. $250,000 to $300,000