Auction Preview: Rick Cole Monterey 2016

Rick Cole’s was actually the first Monterey collector car auction way back in 1986. He recognized the sales opportunity presented by the throngs of enthusiasts and collectors in town for the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance. Subsequently, a Rick Cole sale was held every year into the ‘90s. The auction returned in 2014 and is now conducted in an unorthodox format, with bids coming online, but with the cars organized in one location for viewing. It has typically been a smaller sale, and this year there are 43 cars available on August 19. Following are five to look out for.

1973 Ferrari 365 GTB/4 Daytona
Presale estimate:
$750,000 – $850,000
Hagerty Price Guide: $710,000 – $850,000

This final year Daytona, finished in Ferrari Light Yellow (Fly Yellow, colloquially) and equipped from new with air conditioning, was reportedly sold at Bill Harrah’s Reno dealership to a North Carolina customer. Today, it is mostly original but in typical Ferrari fashion, it appears to have been babied and looks much younger than it is as there are barely 7,000 miles on the odometer.

1963 Chevrolet Corvette GM Styling Convertible
Presale estimate:
Hagerty Price Guide: N/A

A small number of early second-generation Corvettes were built with unique styling cues for GM execs, and this is one of the better-known examples. Built for Bunkie Knudsen, then president of General Motors, the car is a ’63 327-ci, 360hp Fuelie (fuel injected) convertible that features an intricate side exhaust from the 1961 Mako Shark show car as well as unique colors and interior. It was reportedly Knudsen’s personal car for two years and by the 1980s it needed a total restoration, which it received. Rick Cole doesn’t have any presale estimates on this car, but its auction history can allow us to guess at its value. At Mecum Houston in 2014 it hammered not sold at $775,000 and it failed to sell again at Scottsdale the following year at a high bid of $850,000. Bidders have shown their willingness to pay at least three-quarters of a million dollars for this neat piece of GM history, will they go higher this time around?

1967 Porsche 911S
Presale estimate:
$240,000 – $260,000
Hagerty Price Guide: $165,000 – $299,000

Finished in the attractive combination of Irish Green over brown with houndstooth cloth inserts, 1967 was the first year for the top-spec 911S, and Rick Cole’s example has been restored. It was sold new in Europe to a former German racing driver (Wilhelm Sebastian, winner of the 1931 Mille Miglia), but has been in the United States for many years. As early 911s go, the ’67 S is a highly collectible model not only for its rarity and extra performance, but also because it was the first car available with the now famous Fuchs alloy wheels.

1963 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 (big tank) Split Window Coupe
Presale estimate:
$750,000 – $850,000
Hagerty Price Guide: $299,000 – $575,000

Mickey Thompson drove everything from land speed record cars to dragsters and Indy cars. Thus, it was only natural that he was selected to receive an example of Chevrolet’s track-focused Z06 version of the new C2 Corvette in 1963. Thompson eventually acquired five Z06s, but Rick Cole’s example is represented as the car Thompson used as his daily driver and as a promotional vehicle for his speed equipment company. The car was bid to $575,000 at Mecum Kissimmee last year, but failed to sell.

1974 Porsche 911S IMSA Race Car
Presale estimate:
$450,000 – $550,000
Hagerty Price Guide: N/A

Paul Newman had an impressively long and successful racing career, including SCCA national championships, a second place finish at Le Mans and a class win at Daytona in 1995 when he was 70 years old. In 1977, Newman co-drove this 911S at the 12 Hours of Sebring. Although the car enjoyed a lengthy, competitive racing career after that race, it finished well down the field there and Newman didn’t drive the car again. It would be a desirable car even without the Newman connection, though, and it just sweetens the deal. This car was hammered not sold at Mecum Houston two years ago at a high bid of $325,000, which was reasonably refused given the history. Porsche values have risen sharply since then, so Rick Cole’s much higher presale estimate seems reasonable.

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