Monterey Auction Recap 2009

The top of the market stayed strong in Monterey. Numerous million dollar plus lots sold, including a 1965 Shelby Cobra Daytona coupe which set the U.S. auction record at $7.25 million.

Downmarket, it was a different story. For the first time in recent memory, there were bargains to be found at the Monterey auctions. The economic downturn has had an effect on the hobby for well over a year, but the recession was painfully obvious this year with a great number of cars selling at or below their low estimates. Sell-through rates at the auction houses ranged from just under fifty percent to over eighty percent, so there were certainly ready buyers in Monterey. However, prices for less than perfect cars were noticeably down.

The top five sales of the weekend were:

1. 1965 Shelby Cobra Daytona Coupe- $7.7 million (Mecum)

2. 1962 Ferrari 250 GT SWB California Spider-$5.1 million (Gooding)

3. 1933 Alfa Romeo 8C 2300 DHC- $4.2 million (Gooding)

4. 1935 Duesenberg Model SJ Roadster– $3.3 million (Gooding)

5. 1952 Jaguar C-type– $2.8 million (RM)

All of the above include a buyer’s premium of between six and ten percent. Official totals have yet to be reported by the auction companies, but unofficially, Hagerty observers at all of the auctions reported total sales of approximately $118 million, off about $20 million from last year’s total, even with RM adding a third night for the Nick Alexander Woodie Collection and with Mecum entering the fray in Monterey.

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