Monterey 2013: Strong sales kick off auction week

Friday is the ramp-up day to primetime for the Monterey auctions. Four out of five of the auction companies are under way, including titan RM. Only Gooding hasn’t yet gotten out of the gate (they start Saturday night).

Expectations were high going into Friday, and there were few disappointments. Bonhams finished its one-day sale up about a third from last year, with $29 million in total sales, the leader being a 1931 Bentley 4.5-Litre Supercharged Le Mans Roadster that brought $4,647,500. Other strong sellers at Bonhams included a 1953 Ferrari 250 Europa Vignale Coupe, which sold for $2,805,000.

RM’s sale got off to a great start with a 1953 Ferrari 375 MM Spider and a 1939 Mercedes-Benz 540K Special Roadster selling for $9,075,000 and $7,480,000, respectively. The average sale price at RM was nearly a quarter of a million dollars, and some of the biggest cars are yet to come as part of a strong Saturday lineup.

The non-catalog sales Mecum and Russo and Steele did quite well, too. Mecum’s high sale showed that there’s some renewed strength in the pony car market, with a 1969 Ford Mustang Boss 429 Fastback selling for $609,500 as part of a $6.9M run for Mecum on Friday. Russo’s high sale was another Mustang, a 1967 Shelby GT500 Fastback that sold for $159,500. Russo’s best cars come up tonight.

Overall, it’s been an incredibly strong start to a weekend that has seen predictions for the total go anywhere from $300 million to $400 million. We predict that it will surpass last year’s total of $265 million.

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