If you’re a high roller in the collector car world, the annual pilgrimage to Monterey is a way of staying involved in the hobby, networking, and moving chess pieces on the board of your collection. Still, even for the the rest of us who watch the bidding from the sidelines, witnessing sensational vehicles change hands for big bucks is a summer tradition. Although we’ll have to do it this year online and from the comfort of our own homes, we’d rather miss out on the titter of the audience and the occasional applause than go a year without August auctions altogether.
From Alfa Romeo and Porsche to Bugatti and Ferrari, here are nine cars with the highest pre-sale estimates (lowest to highest) heading into the three major auctions this August. Get comfortable and read on.
2017 Lamborghini Centenario Coupe
Bonhams, Lot #48
One of only 20 produced in celebration of Ferruccio Lamborghini’s 100th birthday, this three-year-old Centenario Coupe has seen only 700 miles of road time. Oh, but it yearns for more. With a multi-point fuel-injected 6.5-liter DOHC V-12 that produces 759 horsepower, it’s ready for a road trip—long or short. It features rear-wheel steering and aerodynamic advancements like large rear diffusers for extra downforce. That’s a good thing, since the Centenario can rocket from 0–62 mph in a stomach-clenching 2.8 seconds and hit a top speed of 230 mph.
1936 Mercedes-Benz 500K Offener Tourenwagen
Bonhams, Lot #33
If you value exclusivity in a classic, sporty package, perhaps this 1936 Mercedes-Benz 500K Offener Tourenwagen is just the ticket. Winner of multiple awards—including second in its class at the 2015 Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance—this 84-year-old German beauty is one of only 16 Sporting Tourenwagens built on the 500K chassis. The 500K, which boasted an ingenious swing-axle independent rear suspension layout, was arguably the most noteworthy production model offered by the Stuttgart automaker during the 1930s. This one was discovered in Europe by American aviator and car enthusiast Dr. Ralph W.E. Cox Jr., while on his honeymoon in 1950. It carries a 5.0-liter eight-cylinder OHV engine with a Roots supercharger that increases horsepower from 100 to 160 when engaged—modest by today’s standards but eye-popping in 1936. It previously sold for $1,435,000 at Bonhams’ 2014 Scottsdale Auction.
Gooding & Company, Lot #72
The F50 was the third model in Ferrari’s line of iconic supercars, starting with the 288 GTO in 1984. This 10,125-mile example is one of only 349 built between 1995–97, and one of just 55 examples imported for sale in the U.S. The F50’s 513-hp, 4.7-liter, naturally aspirated V-12 engine was developed from Ferrari’s 641 Formula 1 car of 1990, and—sporting a difficult-to-remove hardtop—it offers an exhilarating open-air driving experience … for the right owner, at the right price.
Gooding & Company, Lot #47
Debuting in 2002, the mid-engine Enzo was Ferrari’s successor to the F50 and named in honor of company founder Enzo Ferrari. Limited to a production run of 40 cars, the Enzo features Formula 1 technology, including a carbon-fiber chassis and semi-automatic transaxle with paddle shifter. One owner from new, it has only 7100 miles on the clock and has been meticulously maintained throughout its lifespan, with all records included in the sale. The supercar’s 6.0-liter, naturally aspirated V-12 engine produces 651 hp, a 0–60 time of 3.14 seconds, and a top speed of 221 mph.
1930 Alfa Romeo 6C 1750 Gran Sport Spider
RM Sotheby’s, Lot #TBA
We’re talking old-school cool right here. Originally launched in 1929 as an evolution of the 1928 Mille Miglia-winning 6C 1500, the Alfa Romeo 6C 1750 Gran Sport Spider was one of Alfa’s most popular and successful race cars in the 1930s. Production of the Sport and Super Sport lasted only two years, and the short-chassis cars bodied by Zagato (like this one) were among the fastest and most attractive. This 90-year-old beauty (chassis # 8513053) may be 30 years removed from winning its class at the 1990 Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance, but she’s still got it.
2018 Bugatti Chiron
Bonhams, Lot #20
A wee bit more modern that the previous vehicle but with an identical estimate. This two-year-old Chiron, finished a handsome shade of green, has been seen by a lot of people in its short life, having been displayed at Pebble Beach, the Quail, and the Petersen Museum. Graced with a monster 7.9-liter quad-turbocharged W-16 engine that produces 1500 hp, it is perhaps the most over-the-top factory vehicle on the market. It also has $400,000 in options on top of its $3M base price. With that said, as one of my fellow writers so accurately suggested, Bugatti knew the Chiron would be considered a future collectible and designed it to be timeless. That’s perhaps why the speedometer is an analog unit and any HVAC or radio controls are just old-fashioned dials—very uncharacteristic for a modern hypercar. Don’t worry, all knobs are gorgeous knurled metal.
RM Sotheby’s, Lot #TBD
How can something named Superfast be anything but super fun? The 11th of 36 built, the Superfast is the final evolution of Ferrari’s premium 400 Superamerica model. Featuring a 4.9-liter Tipo 208 V-12, mated to a factory five-speed (back when they weren’t common), the car boasts 395 horsepower, along with a great story. Ordered new by British industrialist Lord James Edward Hanson, it was actually Hanson’s second choice. He was reportedly a friend of Sergio Pininfarina, and he asked the coachbuilder about purchasing a 400 Superamerica after seeing one in France. When Pininfarina told Hanson that the Superamerica was no longer available, he opted for the new 500 Superfast instead. Actor Peter Sellers, a fellow Brit who was best known for his movie role as the bumbling Inspector Clouseau, also owned a Superfast. No, it wasn’t pink.
1959 Porsche 718 RSK Spyder
Bonhams, Lot #53
Among the last of 35 built, the 718 RSK packs a 150-hp, 1.6-liter DOHC flat-four with dual Weber carbs—as well as an impressive resumé of racing success. The 718 RSK was the culmination of years of competition Porsche spyders, and this one—in the capable hands of Porsche dealer and racer Bob Holbert—scored victories at Bahamas Speed Week in 1959 and reached the podium 15 times in SCCA races in 1959–60. The car hasn’t changed hands since 1974, so if you want it, you’d better take the leap now … or wait until it comes around again in 2066.
1934 Alfa Romeo 8C 2300 Cabriolet Décapotable
Bonhams, Lot #61
It may look simple to the uninitiated, but this 1934 Alfa Romeo 8C 2300 Cabriolet Décapotable was extremely advanced for its era, with sophisticated engineering and staggering performance. It musters 142 horsepower from its supercharged 2.3-liter DOHC all-alloy straight-eight engine, which is arranged as two four-cylinder units in tandem, with the cam-drive gears amidships. One of only five built, this Alfa retains its matching-numbers driveline and original Figoni Cabriolet bodywork. With a long and impressive backstory that includes residency in Italy, France, and the U.S., the 8C 2300 was last shown at the 2018 Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance, where it was awarded Best in Class. If bidding reaches its estimated $6.5M–$7.5M the car will be “best in class” at Monterey again this year.
[*Editor’s note: RM Sotheby’s has not posted estimates, so those shown are provided by Hagerty’s valuation team.]