Final results from Monterey 2011

Leading up to Monterey, there was plenty of hand-wringing and nervous conjecture. The stock market had a tumultuous week and the economic news of the summer could simply be described as dismal. Many were wondering how this would affect all of the cars on offer in California, if at all.

By all accounts, the numbers speak for themselves. More dollars changed hands during the week than ever before — in excess of $199 million, including buyer’s premiums, for all car, boat and motorcycle lots — and 31 million-dollar sales were logged during the four days of auctions. As David Gooding remarked following the sale of the week’s record-setting lot of the world’s most expensive car sold at auction, the $16.39 million Ferrari 250 TR prototype, questions about how the stock market’s performance impacts the collector car market should now be definitively answered. If only, perhaps, for the upper-most edge of the market.

Of course, since most people focus on the total dollar amount of the combined sales, it is largely forgotten that there are simply more cars on offer than ever before during this ever-expanding week (yes, “week,” and not “weekend” as it once was). Not to diminish the feat — $200 million in round numbers is an accomplishment no matter how you parse it — but the peninsula now hosts five automobile auctions (as opposed to three in 2001), and saw more than four times the number of lots offered compared with 10 years ago. What once was a must-see event has transcended that status by a magnitude, and now seems to be a phenomenon in possession of its own gravity.

Nonetheless, even with four times the number of cars, the sales total was roughly 6.5 times greater. Most impressive is that Gooding’s top three sales alone eclipsed the entire total of 2001, and RM managed to surpass the same figure with its top seven cars.

Following are the sales totals from each auction house*:

RM Auctions: $80 million
Gooding & Company: $78 million
Mecum: $22.2 million
Bonhams: $10.3 million
Russo and Steele: $8.3 million

*Results include buyer’s premium and may not reflect all post-block sales.

Brian Rabold is the editor of Hagerty Price Guide.

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