9 significant Ferraris prancing to 2023’s Monterey auctions
Ferraristi, please make your way to the Monterey Peninsula. As the Monterey’s top-shelf collector car auctions finalize their dockets, we’re seeing a lot of red. Over 130 Ferraris will be on offer, which makes up almost 15 percent of the entire auction field. We’re also expecting an F-Car to sit at the top of the heap when the smoke clears, with Bonhams’ 412 P and RM Sotheby’s 250 LM likely to set records if they sell.
Not into the ’60s stuff? No problem—Monterey’s truffle box is full of significant Ferraris from all walks of life. Here’s a cross-section of what to expect.
1964 Ferrari 250 LM
Well, that was quick. Prior to Artcurial’s highly-publicized 250 LM sale this year, we hadn’t seen a public offering of a 250 LM since 2015. Now, another 250 LM headlines an auction this time at the RM Sotheby’s Monterey sale. It’s a time-proven market principle; push a seldom-sold car into the limelight, and if it does well you can expect similar cars to follow shortly thereafter.
In this case, there really isn’t a fleet of 250 LMs to pull from—they only built 32 of these suckers—but the timing of these two consignments can’t be ignored. Though beautiful and remarkably original, Artcurial’s 250 LM (chassis no. 5901) carried no real racing provenance, despite the LM’s very raison d’etre being top-level motorsports competition. It failed to meet its reserve in February, then successfully sold for $17.12M last month.
By contrast, RM’s LM (chassis no. 6053) brings with it a wealth of motorsports history. Its appearance as one of six 250 LMs at the 1968 24 Hours of Le Mans is likely its most significant showing despite an unfortunate DNF on the 99th lap due to gearbox troubles. Earlier successes arrived in the form of four overall victories and a class win during the 1965 British Racing and Sports Car Club (BRSCC) season, achieved at a series of significant circuits including Brands Hatch, Snetterton, and Silverstone. It even gained an official entry to the 1966 24 Hours of Daytona, piloted by legends Innes Ireland and Mike Hailwood. As at Le Mans, a gearbox malfunction sidelined the LM 6053 on the 90th lap.
Nothing monumental, but it might be enough to entice some heavy bids, especially since 6053 still carries the drivetrain used at its Le Mans outing. Combined, these two sales should give us a rare baseline “update” to the market for these ultra-rare eight-figure racers.
2001 Ferrari 550 Maranello Prodrive
If it’s a more modern Ferrari with racing provenance you’re after, RM’s 2001 Ferrari 550 Maranello by Prodrive is among the most significant to come to market in some time. According to the listing, chassis no. CRD03 holds the most official entries into the 24 Hours of Le Mans of any twelve-cylinder Ferrari, with five showings between the 2002 and 2006. It’s one of a dozen Le Mans participants crossing the block in Monterey, but none have that many appearances.
Of those five starts, 2004 offered this car’s strongest Le Mans finish, with rally icon Colin McRae taking third in class. La Sarthe was just one of CRD03’s playgrounds; this 550 racked up five overall race wins and 14 podiums, including a second place finish in the 2003 American Le Mans Series and third in the 2005 Le Mans Endurance Series.
Quite the rap sheet, but here’s the most interesting bit—Ferrari was neither involved nor did it sanction the successful 550 GTS project. The motorsport mavens at British outfit Prodrive were the masterminds behind this conversion with backing and oversight from Frédéric Dor’s Care Racing Development.
Despite this lack of “real” Ferrari involvement, RM expects the marque’s overall triumph at this year’s 100th running of Le Mans to burn bright the hearts of attending collectors with a pre-sale estimate between $8.0M-$9.5M.
1985 Ferrari 288 GTO
Contrary to recent Montereys, this year’s catalog is surprisingly light on analog supercars, with “only” three F40s and a lone F50 up for grabs—a surprising outcome given that segment’s meteoric rise in recent years.
Also on the block is Broad Arrow’s 1985 288 GTO, one the rarest and most desirable of the analog exotic breeds. It’s one of just 272 made, and should be the most expensive of the analog offerings at a $4.25M- $4.75M pre-sale estimate. If this holds true, this has the potential to set a new record for the model, previously established by RM’s $4.4M sale of a low-mileage GTO at last year’s Monterey festivities.
1973 Ferrari Dino 308 GT4
At the core of that 288 GTO are the bones of the popular and (relatively) pedestrian 308 family, which makes it all that much more fun to trace bloodlines of a twin-turbo, 400-hp homologation special back to Gooding & Company’s diminutive 1973 308 GT4. Really, it all starts here; according to the listing, this chassis no. 07202 is the first production 308 ever built, serving as the debut car at the 1973 Paris auto show.
Long coming in way down on Ferrari collectors’ wish lists (at least the Mondial is a convertible!), the 308 GT4 has enjoyed a bit of a renaissance in the past few years as folks appreciate its distinctive Bertone styling, usability, and the convenience of the 2+2 configuration. Still, prices of driver-condition GT4s remain well under six figures.
Not this one, though. As the production kick-off for one of Ferrari’s most visible family lines, this was always going to be incongruously expensive relative to its siblings. Couple this with its remarkable condition and documentation, and its $500K-$700K pre-sale estimate makes a little more sense.
1954 Ferrari 500 Mondial Spider Series I
Speaking of condition, get a load of this 1954 500 Mondial Spider. Seen better days, hasn’t it? As part of the famous “Lost & Found” collection that suffered damage in the early 2000s from Hurricane Charley, you’d be forgiven for ascribing this Mondial’s sorry state to gale-force winds.
Not so. Chassis no. 0406 MD suffered this fate in-period, reportedly involving both impact and fire damage during a race in the early 1960s. The car has been mothballed since, and out of public view for decades.
RM says the car comes with a model-appropriate Lampredi four-cylinder and transmission, but even that’s going to require some serious shopwork to install, as sometime in its rough life, the finicky four-cylinder was replaced with an American V-6 of unknown repute.
Still, RM expects this scrap to go for just over $1M, and we wouldn’t be surprised in the least if that turns out to be the case. At this point, you’re paying more for the documentation and provenance than you are the physical car, especially since the last sale of a clean 500 Mondial claimed almost $2.1M at Gooding’s Monterey sale last year.
If it does go for a cool million, the new owner can expect to invest that and more into the restoration. But, at the end of that tunnel is an early competition Ferrari with real history.
1960 Ferrari 250 GT SWB California Spider
If that Mondial is too much trouble, this 250 GT SWB California Spider offers more of a plug-and-play competition Ferrari experience. Although the Cal Spider wasn’t really intended for competition, this example has some impressive race history. It’s also one of the most beautiful mechanical shapes in modern history.
Chassis no. 1883 GT participated in the 1962 Targa Florio, where it took an impressive third in class. Couple this with numbers-matching drivetrain and status as a Turin Motor Show car, and you can look for a winning bid somewhere within RM’s pre-sale estimate range of $9.5M-$11.5M.
1968 Ferrari Dino 206 GT
Now, that’s a color. This 1968 Dino 206 GT didn’t leave the factory in Viola Metallizzato Dino, but it’s period correct and sure does looks right. Well, everything looks “right” with a 206 GT, and this numbers-matching example appears to be very clean.
Best understood as an early version of the later 246 Dino, the 206 was handcrafted from aluminum against the steel 246. Its 2.0-liter V-6’s aluminum block was also lighter than the 246’s iron heart. The 206 is also far more “prototypical” than the 246, with oodles of handbuilt on-the-fly production changes that can differ from car to car.
Regarding raw market value, it’s a simple numbers game. The two cars may look the same to a casual observer, but only around 150 206 GTs were made compared to 3800 246s, and the market treats them differently. Broad Arrow’s estimate for this one is $750K-$950K.
2014 LaFerrari Prototype
With a veritable invasion of modern Ferraris at each and every Monterey auction, it’s tricky to find a standout in a sea of prancing hypercars, but boy does Mecum have a zinger in the form if its 2014 LaFerrari prototype. It’s known internally as “F150 Prototipe Preserie PS1,” and is one of the last LaFerrari pre-production mules before Ferrari’s seminal hybrid hypercar entered full-scale production.
This isn’t the first time we’ve seen this car; at Mecum’s 2022 Monterey sale, a quartet of pre-production Ferraris joined the fray, three of which were embryonic LaFerraris in various stages of development. This “Preserie PS1” was the most baked of the bunch, but it appears the car was removed from the docket prior to the sale.
It’s back for round two, but how will the market respond? Ferrari prototypes are surprisingly hard sells, as the majority of them—including this LaFerrari—are not able to be registered and thus unusable on public roads. They serve primarily as garage art with the occasional showing at an event or, if you’re brave and have the car running, an open track day.
Thus, we’ll be surprised if bidders drive this LaFerrari beyond Mecum’s pre-sale estimate range of $2.7M-$3.2M, considering you can buy the drivable production version for not much more than the high estimate.
1951 Ferrari 212 Inter “Supergioiello” Coupe
We’re ending things where Ferrari (nearly) began. This fabulous 1951 212 Inter is one of Ferrari’s earliest production cars, landing just four years after the marque’s 1947 kick-off. These early grand tourers are still considered a bit of a deep cut in Ferrari circles, possessing all the quirks and delicacy of mid-century Ferraris without the performance and tractability of the later 250 series. Gorgeous and spectacularly special cars to be sure, but they’re not usually headline grabbers like the 250 LM.
This 212 Inter is a particular outlier, and is considered one of the most collectible cars available during the week. It’s been under the same ownership since 1958, marking this 65-year span as the “longest ownership tenure of any Ferrari ever offered at auction,” according to the listing.
Newspaper magnate Rodolfo Junco de la Vega, Jr. was inspired to buy a Ferrari after seeing Piero Taruffi rip a Ferrari through a Carrera Panamericana stage while on assignment. He struck up correspondence with Taruffi soon after, and the racer quickly found a lightly used Ghia-bodied 212 Inter available in Rome. A deal was made, and chassis no. 0213 EL made the arduous journey down to Don Rodolfo’s home of Monterrey, Mexico.
With his passing in 2020, the Inter prepares to leave his estate for the first time since 1958. New-to-market cars frequently command a premium, RM’s presale estimate for de la Vega’s Ferrari is $1.5M-$1.8M.