We won’t get to see the Monterey Car Week crowds throng the gleaming exotics on Broadway this year, but the show must go on—digitally, of course. Even though the 2020 Monterey Online Auctions will offer a third as many cars as normal, the run lists boast an eye-catching array of modern-era exotics. Let’s take a look at what makes these six cars so collectible.
1999 Lamborghini Diablo VT “Millennium” Roadster
Presale estimate: $200,000–$250,000
Hagerty Price Guide #2-condition (Excellent) value: $228,000
Although it is often overlooked by collectors, the Diablo holds an important role in Lamborghini’s history. It was the last Lamborghini to be designed by the great Marcello Gandini, who penned the Countach and Miura. The Diablo was the first to offer all-wheel drive—a feature on every Lamborghini since—and the first Lamborghini to break the 200-mph barrier. The Diablo was the last Lamborghini built prior to Audi’s ownership, which made their cars arguably better but less insane. The Diablo still hails from Lamborghini’s “parts bin” era, though; most switchgear was sourced from basic economy sedans and the headlights were stolen from the Nissan 300ZX.
The Diablo offered at Bonhams is one of only 30 Millennium Edition Roadsters ever built. Only ten examples were shipped to the U.S., all with Titanium Metallic paint. The original owner of this Diablo chose to spice things up and added the PPG Harlequin Purple highlights shortly after taking delivery. The color scheme may be polarizing, but Gandini himself added his stamp (or rather, scrawl) of approval after seeing the paint in person at a car show.
The naturally-aspirated 5.7-liter V-12 produced 492 hp, good for a 4.2-second 0–60 time, which is still fast 20 years later—remember, the Diablo has a gated six-speed manual. With a low estimate of $200,000, this is a great opportunity to scoop up a classic Italian V-12 that has yet to reach its value peak; Diablos will only continue to appreciate as millennials age into their collector-car-buying years.
1995 Ferrari F50
Presale estimate: $2,200,000–$2,600,000
HPG #2-condition value: $2,100,000
The Ferrari F50 doesn’t get enough love. It’s often thought of as the F40’s ugly younger sibling. I think the F50 looks great, but the poster in my childhood bedroom is probably to blame.
Even from a collectability standpoint, however, the F50 has a lot going for it. With only 349 produced, it’s the rarest of all modern Ferrari halo cars. (For context, Ferrari built 1315 F40s, 400 Enzos, and 710 LaFerraris.) The F50 was the last analog Ferrari hypercar and beautifully bridges the gap between the F40 and Enzo. The F50’s 513-hp, 4.7-liter naturally-aspirated V-12 gives it the same cylinder count as the Enzo, but its manual transmission and gated shifter link it with the F40.
All F50s produced were technically targas, although you rarely see pictures of them in open-air form; the top is incredibly difficult to remove and, once it’s off, you must install a separate engine cover and rear section. Typically, a dealer requires two hours for a top removal service. Evidently, the owner (or photographer) did not deem that process necessary for this photoshoot.
The F50 offered by Gooding is one of 55 sold in the U.S. First clad in Rosso Corsa, the car was repainted in Argento Nürburgring by its current owner to match their Enzo, which is also on this list. (The F50’s minor paint imperfections are visible in the listing.) Although not original to the car, the silver paint helps this car stand out from other F50s—over 75 percent of them left the factory painted red. The broken fuel gauge could be an issue, though, since the F50 gets only 8 mpg, granting it a range of only 224 miles.
The F50 is truly special. What other open-top Ferrari has an 8500-rpm redline V-12 mated to a gated six-speed manual? All this explains why F50s are worth twice as much as F40s, even though they’re not equally revered.
2003 Ferrari Enzo
Presale estimate: $2,200,000–$2,600,000
HPG #2-condition value: $2,750,000
The Ferrari Enzo, although advanced in its time, bridges the divide between Ferrari halo cars of the past and future. Where the F50 stands proudly as the last of its breed, the Enzo puts one foot in the past with its naturally-aspirated V-12 and one foot in the future with its automated manual gearbox and carbon-ceramic brakes (a Ferrari first). The 651-hp V-12 was good for a 3.1-second 0–60 time and a 221-mph top speed—performance that isn’t far off from the fastest Ferraris today. This Enzo and the F50 above have identical presale estimates, so the choice between the two comes down to personal taste.
In the early 2000s, when the Enzo was originally sold, it was panned as ugly and flashy, but the design has aged nicely over the past 15 years. As car design gets ever busier and more aggressive, the Enzo looks increasingly subtle. Just imagine an Enzo was parked next to a new Honda Civic Type R.
This Enzo offered by Gooding is from the same collection as the F50 above, hence the Argento Nürburgring paint. Fewer than 10 Enzos were produced in this stunning silver. With only 7100 miles and a single owner from new, this is the perfect Enzo for any collector who wants to actually drive their $2,500,000 car.
2008 Spyker C8 Laviolette
Presale estimate: $350,000–$450,000
HPG #2-condition value: N/A
Spykers are finally getting the recognition they deserve, it seems. From a performance angle, the Spyker C8 doesn’t really belong on this list—its Audi-sourced 4.2-liter V-8 is only good for 400 hp. What Spyker lacks in speed, however, it makes up for in character and design. For those who might not know, Spyker was a Dutch company that manufactured cars and airplanes until it went out of business in 1926. Over 70 years later, Spyker was reborn as a boutique car company designing aviation-themed supercars.
Spyker started selling the C8 as early as 2000, first as a spyder and later as a coupe (Laviolette). You don’t need to strain your eyes to spot the aviation influences in the C8’s design. The steering wheel looks like a four-spoked propeller and all the gauges look like they’re from a Supermarine Spitfire. Possibly the best feature is the chrome gear-shift lever with its exposed linkage.
If any collector is looking to add a Spyker to their collection, this is the one. The 2008 C8 Laviolette offered by Gooding is one of only 58 ever built and the only Black Olive Green C8 in existence. Factory-fitted luggage and both optional steering wheels are included. With only 45 miles on the odometer, it’s practically brand-new. Marque expert Jasper den Dopper claims that “This is the cleanest and lowest mileage Spyker C8 Laviolette in the world.” Den Dopper would know; he’s currently the only supplier of Spyker parts in the world.
2017 Lamborghini Centenario Coupe
Presale estimate: $2,000,000–$2,300,000
HPG #2-condition value: N/A
The Lamborghini Centenario was based on the Aventador SV and built to commemorate Ferruccio Lamborghini’s 100th birthday. Naturally, Lamborghini used the Centenario project as a test bed for new technology. This was the first Lamborghini to feature rear-wheel steering and many aerodynamic advancements that increased downforce while reducing drag. The rear diffusers are the largest ever incorporated into a passenger car; given the Centenario’s 217-mph top speed, that extra downforce makes sense. A 759-hp tuned version of the Aventador’s 6.5-liter, naturally-aspirated V-12 is good for a 2.8-second 0–60 time—if your neck can handle it, that is.
The Centenario is also one of the rarest cars on this list. Only 40 Centenarios were built—20 coupes and 20 roadsters. The one offered by Bonhams has only 700 miles from new and one owner. Though the bright yellow paint is very striking, it’s less outrageous than most Centenario paint jobs, which could possibly help this car’s future collectability. The one thing that could hurt this example in auction days to come is the Centenario’s infotainment system. Although it was given the most modern unit Lamborghini made at the time, all touchscreens will eventually seem dated.
2018 Bugatti Chiron
Presale estimate: $2,500,000–$2,800,000
HPG #2-condition value: N/A
Unlike the Lambo, the Bugatti Chiron wasn’t offered with a touchscreen. Bugatti knew the Chiron would be considered a future collectable and designed it to be timeless, so the speedometer is an analog unit and any HVAC or radio controls are just old-fashioned dials—very uncharacteristic for a modern hypercar.
The Chiron is a numbers car. It was built to be the fastest, most powerful car in existence. Its statistics are jaw-dropping indeed. The 8.0-liter quad-turbo W-16 produces 1479 hp and 1180 lb-ft of torque; combined with its monstrous brakes (eight-piston units up front and six-piston ones in the rear), that’s enough to propel the 4400-pound car from zero to 249 mph and then haul it back to zero in only 42 seconds. The top speed is electronically limited to 261 mph, not because the car can’t go faster, but because the tires would fall apart if it did.
The Chiron offered at Bonhams is very impressive. It was built with over $400,000 worth of options—one of which is the green carbon finish, which looks incredible—and is the only Chiron in the U.S. of its kind. Displaying only 400 miles from new, we can expect this Chiron to sell for close to its $3,000,000 sticker price.