Auction Preview: Russo and Steele Monterey 2017
If you’re going to find a deal anywhere on the Monterey Peninsula this year, it will probably be at Russo and Steele. In its 17th year in Monterey, Russo and Steele is offering another enticing mix of high-end European sports cars, rare American muscle cars, and numerous more affordable offerings.
Russo’s star car last year was a Mercedes-Benz 300SL Gullwing, which went for at $1.155 million. And while there are no 300SLs in the catalog this time around, there are plenty of rare and interesting offerings to choose from. Here are five noteworthy cars that we’ll be watching when the action starts next week:
People often admire the 427 Cobra because of how insanely quick it was, but the 289 cars were more drivable and still had plenty of power. This 289 has been with the same owner since 1975, purchased back when a Cobra was merely considered a used car. It was restored a few years ago and repainted from original Princess Blue to the current white. There are light modifications, like a 5-speed transmission for improved drivability, but the original bits are listed as available with the car.
Although the 250 PF is a less-expensive route to Enzo-era 12-cylinder Ferrari ownership, it is still an exclusive car since only a few hundred were built. This example has no representation of Ferrari Classiche certification, but it is presented as a matching-number car. A documented service history from new is also available upon request.
The 250-Series Ferrari included some of the company’s most famous and desirable models, and the Europa that was the first to carry the 250 name. Only 21 examples of the 250 Europa were built, and this one was fully restored in original colors and has proven itself at vintage driving events like the California Mille, Copper State 1000, and Colorado Grand.
With styling inspired by Alfa’s wild BAT show cars, the Giulietta Sprint Speciale is one of the automaker’s most visually arresting production models. But for many years, Alfa collectors didn’t pay them much attention, in part because they are somewhat heavy and underpowered. Things really changed after 2010, when prices shot up and good examples began pulling six-figure prices. This one is an older restoration and was driven regularly, but it appeared at both The Quail and the Arizona Concours in recent years.
Even if it isn’t the most desirable car in Monterey this year (and certainly isn’t the prettiest), this Jensen is the kind of thing you rarely see at auction, or indeed anywhere. The 541R was the hotter version of Jensen’s 541 four-seater GT car (indeed the world’s fastest four-seater in 1960) with 150 horsepower from its 4.0-liter Austin straight-six and a top speed of 125 mph. This one was a barn find, originally owned by the grandson of Lord John Maynaed Keynes. Since being rediscovered, the car received a $125,000 restoration and has seen very little use.