Auction Preview: RM Sotheby’s Monterey 2017

The RM Sotheby’s Monterey auction is consistently one of the top sales to watch on the collector car auction calendar each year. In 2016, they sold a Le Mans-winning Jaguar D-Type for $21.78 million and the very first Shelby Cobra for $13.75M. There isn’t anything quite so historic this year, but there are still lots of amazing cars on the lot list, including significant Aston Martins and rare Ferraris. Here are 13 of the cars that we’ll be keeping an eye on.

1947 Rolls-Royce Silver Wraith Drophead Coupe
Presale estimate: $425,000 - $600,000
Hagerty Price Guide: N/A
Lot 130

1947 Rolls-Royce Silver Wraith Drophead Coupe

The Silver Wraith was Rolls-Royce’s first postwar model. The standard version was a rather conventional saloon, but this car is something else entirely with its flamboyant French-inspired drophead coupe bodywork by Inskip of New York. Two of these cars were built, and it this one is represented as the last Rolls-Royce fitted with American bodywork.

1971 Ferrari 365 GTB/4 Daytona “Harrah Hot Rod”
Presale estimate: $750,000 - $900,000
Hagerty Price Guide: $640,000 - $775,000
Lot 126

It’s no secret that casino magnate Bill Harrah liked cars. He owned hundreds of them, and one was this modified Daytona, which in stock form was already pretty much the fastest street legal car you could buy at the time. Legend has it that he raced a helicopter between Reno and Lake Tahoe in this car, and the Ferrari won, averaging 146 mph.

1949 Aston Martin 2-Litre Sports ‘DB1’ Le Mans
Presale estimate: $1,050,000 - $1,300,000
Hagerty Price Guide: N/A
Lot 149

1949 Aston Martin 2-Litre Sports ‘DB1’ Le Mans

One of several significant racing Astons offered by RM this year, this 1949 2-Litre Sports was specially built for a private customer with a lightweight body and custom modifications. It finished fourth in class and 11th overall at Le Mans. The second owner had the engine upgraded by Aston Martin in 1953, and a sale-turned-theft in Japan in 1994 left the car in the hands of a Yakuza boss for a time. Through all the owners, legitimate or not, this car remains unrestored in excellent condition.

1925 Bugatti Type 35C Grand Prix
Presale estimate: $1,100,000 - $1,300,000
Hagerty Price Guide: N/A
Lot 243

1925 Bugatti Type 35C Grand Prix

Bugatti Type 35 was pretty much the car to beat on the racetrack in the 1920s. They literally won hundreds of races, including the Targa Florio for five years in a row. This one had a brief career in Africa that included a win at the 1928 Moroccan Grand Prix. Gooding sold another Type 35 with slightly better provenance at Scottsdale this year for $3.3M.

1995 Porsche 993 GT2
Presale estimate: $1,100,000 - $1,400,000
Hagerty Price Guide: $699,000 - $1,350,000
Lot 137

1995 Porsche 993 GT2

The GT2 is for many the ultimate version of the 993 generation of the 911 with its twin-turbocharged powertrain, rear-wheel drive configuration, and numerous performance upgrades. Prices for these cars have also gone crazy in recent years. While it had an MSRP of around $200,000 barely 20 years ago, good examples in desirable colors have brought seven-figure prices at recent auctions.

1964 Maserati 5000 GT Coupe by Michelotti
Presale estimate: $1,100,000 - $1,400,000
Hagerty Price Guide: N/A
Lot 117

1964 Maserati 5000 GT Coupe by Michelotti

The 5000 GT combined Maserati’s 3500 GT model with the massive V-8 from the 450S racing car and coachbuilt bodywork. When new, the 5000 GT was extremely expensive and buyers included the likes of the Shah of Iran. This one was bought by Briggs Cunningham and features unusual but gorgeous streamlined bodywork by Michelotti.

1935 Aston Martin Ulster Competition Sports
Presale estimate: $2,500,000 - $3,000,000
Hagerty Price Guide: N/A
Lot 150

The Ulster is probably the best known of the prewar Astons. A lot of them have an enviable race history, and this example is no exception. It raced at Le Mans to a fourth-in-class finish, won its class at the Targa Abruzzo and ran but did not finish at the Mille Miglia, which opens this car up to a host of vintage driving events.

1970 Porsche 908/03
Presale estimate: $3,500,000 - $4,500,000
Hagerty Price Guide: N/A
Lot 256

Gooding’s 917K is stealing the show as far as Porsche race cars go, but this 908/3 is hard to ignore. The 908 was one of Porsche’s more successful prototype racers, with numerous wins in high-level races and a competitive career that lasted all the way up until 1980. This one finished second overall at the Nurburgring 1000km in 1970 with Hans Hermann and Richard Attwood driving.

1950 Ferrari 166 MM/212 Export “Uovo”
Presale estimate: $5,000,000 - $7,000,000
Hagerty Price Guide: N/A
Lot 152

This funky-looking car is a one-off, appropriately nicknamed the “Uovo,” which means “egg” in Italian. It was designed for Count Giannino Marzotto, who won the Mille Miglia twice driving Ferraris. The unusual bodywork was designed with light weight and aerodynamics in mind, and it even has a windshield made out of crystal. While competitive, this car didn’t have any major race wins in Europe. It was eventually brought to the West Coast and raced further. Other 166 MM Berlinettas have brought prices in the $5-6M range at auction in recent years, so it’s reasonable to expect this unique car to do at least that well.

1959 Aston Martin DB4GT Prototype
Presale estimate: $6,000,000 - $8,000,000
Hagerty Price Guide: $2,100,000 - $3,200,000
Lot 147

1959 Aston Martin DB4GT Prototype

The DB4 GT was one of the fastest and most advanced GT cars of its day. Aston built 75 of them plus another 20 Zagato-bodied cars. This one is the prototype. The car won its debut race at Silverstone and set a lap record, then ran at Le Mans but was a DNF. It was faithfully restored at the factory in 1989.

1961 Ferrari 250 GT SWB
Presale estimate: $8,500,000 - $10,000,000
Hagerty Price Guide: $8,400,000 - $11,600,000
Lot 220

1961 Ferrari 250 GT SWB

This SWB is part of a fairly large collection of Ferraris consigned by RM for Monterey this year, and this one is clearly the most valuable. A numbers-matching, Ferrari Classiche-certified restoration, it has won an award at the Cavallino Classic and run two times at the Colorado Grand.

1956 Aston Martin DBR1
Presale estimate: N/A
Hagerty Price Guide: N/A
Lot 148

1956 Aston Martin DBR1

The DBR1 brought Aston Martin its first overall win at Le Mans in 1959, and RM Sotheby’s rightly touts it as “the most important model in Aston Martin history.” The car they’re offering is the first of the five DBR1s built, and while the 1959 Le Mans car would arguably be the one to have, this one was driven by Roy Salvadori, Stirling Moss, Jack Brabham ,and Carroll Shelby in period, plus it won the Nürburgring 1000 KM.

1937 Mercedes-Benz 540K Sport Cabriolet
Presale estimate: N/A
Hagerty Price Guide: N/A
Lot 257

1937 Mercedes-Benz 540K Sport Cabriolet

One of two 540Ks in RM’s Monterey catalog, this Sport Cabriolet by Sindelfingen is one of the most gorgeous cars in the sale, and it has concours credentials to back it up. It won Best of Show at the 2015 Arizona Concours and won its class at Pebble Beach in 2014. Even the engine bay, housing the supercharged straight-eight, looks like a work of art.