Sure, Monterey is more focused on Ferraris, Porsches, and Astons, and it’s the seven- or even eight-figure cars that make the headlines. But America’s sports car nevertheless always has a solid presence in Monterey as well. And even though the consignments are still coming in, there are already some standout Vettes worth keeping an eye on during the flurry of auctions that will be Monterey 2018. Here are five of the most interesting.
Any major Corvette collection has to include a ’53, if only because it’s the Corvette genesis. But since only 300 were built in that first year and because many are part of long-term collections, they don’t often come up for sale. The one up for grabs in Monterey is #245 of that first 300, and it wears a 2003 restoration that was refreshed in 2011. The last time a ’53 crossed the block was at the RM Fort Lauderdale sale in April, and car #147 sold for $217,250.
Although 1973 was the last year that a chrome bumper could be found anywhere on the Corvette, as well as the second-to-last year for the big-block C3, nothing seems exceptional about this Elkhart Green coupe at first glance. Look at the odometer, however, and you’ll see only 76 miles on the clock. This is an all-original car in essentially like-new condition, and since it has never been titled or registered, it technically is new. Later C3s like this are very rarely so well preserved, and low-mileage like-new preserved cars have been all the rage among collectors over the past couple of years, so this has the potential to be a big sale.
The all-conquering L88 needs no introduction, but it’s worth nothing that just 80 examples were built in 1968, making it the second rarest year for the model after 1967. The one on offer from Mecum was, interestingly, never raced and has had only cosmetic restoration work that includes the really sharp Polar White paint over red leather. The very same car (but painted red) sold at Barrett-Jackson’s Las Vegas sale in 2015 for $330,000.
A big-block ’67 coupe always turns heads, and this one has the added benefit of side pipes and knock-off wheels, not to mention the eye-catching colors of white with red stinger over red leather. The only thing to pick on is that the Can-Am White is a 1969 color. This Vette was originally Goodwood Green, and white cars in ’67 got Ermine White paint. The car was last seen at Mecum Indy in May, when we rated it in #2+ condition (excellent+) and it hammered not sold at a $130,000 high bid. Hopefully a deal happens this time around.
Even though 1969 was the most prolific year of the L88’s three-year run, ‘69s are still extremely rare with just 116 built, and convertibles are worth more than coupes. Mecum’s 1969 L88, out of the Rick Davis collection, made an appearance at Kissimmee in 2012 and hammered not sold at a $400,000 high bid, but the car is worth more today than it was then.