HomeEventsAmbassador’s car collection consigned to Bonhams auction

Ambassador’s car collection consigned to Bonhams auction


Collecting cars was just one aspect of the life of the late Ted Gildred, a San Diego-area real-estate developer and former U.S. ambassador to Argentina. Gildred’s cars have been consigned to Bonhams’ Quail Lodge Auction during Monterey Car Week 2019 and will be offered at no reserve, the auction company announced.

The collection includes several Porsches, Ferraris, a race-prepped Alfa Romeo Giulia Spider, even an Oldsmobile.

Gildred was U.S. ambassador to Argentina for three years during the Reagan administration, and he later founded the Institute of the Americas at the University of California San Diego. 

Bonhams, Ambassador’s car collection consigned to Bonhams auction, ClassicCars.com Journal

His interest in Latin America likely was triggered by his father, also a real estate developer, who flew a single-engine airplane from San Diego to Ecuador in 1931, just four years after Lindbergh’s solo Atlantic Ocean crossing. Ted Gildred, who died earlier this year at age 83, twice re-created his father’s flight. 

His son, Theodore Gildred III, plans to do the same flight in 2031, the 100th anniversary of his grandfather’s historic trip.

Ted Gildred was born in Mexico City, educated in Europe, and among other things founded the Torrey Pines Bank. In 1986, he sponsored a car for the 24 Hours of Le Mans and planned to be a co-driver until moving out of the cockpit after being nominated to serve as an ambassador.

Upon his death in January, a friend described Gildred: “I don’t know anybody who lived life as fully as he did,” Kit Sickels, a friend for 50 years, told The San Diego Union-Tribune. “I can’t think of anything that he didn’t attack and do well.”

Among his cars going to auction are a 1956 Porsche 356A 1500 Carrera GS Coupe, a 1957 Porsche 356A 1600 Speedster, a rally-proven 1959 Porsche 356A 1600 Convertible D, a one-year-only 1973 Porsche 911 Carrera RS 2.7, a 1995 993 Porsche Carrera RS 3.8, a 1967 Ferrari 330 GTC and a race-ready 1963 Alfa Romeo Giulia Spider.

The 22nd annual Bonhams auction at The Quail Lodge is scheduled for August 15-16.


Larry Edsall
A former daily newspaper sports editor, Larry Edsall spent a dozen years as an editor at AutoWeek magazine before making the transition to writing for the web and becoming the author of more than 15 automotive books. In addition to being founding editor at ClassicCars.com, Larry has written for The New York Times and The Detroit News and was an adjunct honors professor at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University.


  1. Ambassador Gildred was a freaking automobile epicure, as well as holding on to many strange examples of auto-oddity. I see that, as I, he loved Porsches. I see that he had an heroic collection. But all that aside, I want with all my soul the race prepped ’63 Giulia. That’s literally something no-one sees everyday, if they ever see one at all. I’m gonna guess the word "snarl" was invented for the Alfa; if not, shoulda. What would make someone hide such a flamboyant example of bella Italia? Jesus knows I’d fake/forge papers to put insurance and plates on it, just to rip through the ‘hood on Sunday morning, and terrorize the FWD Jap import cats at night.
    How did no-one know these cars were buried? I know the rich and mega rich are terrified hoarders, but some of these cars are significant, and have histories. Oh, and when it all comes crashing down (thanks, Donald), are hoarded cars edible?


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