HomeMediaRevised Monterey auction sales total grows to $264.5 million

Revised Monterey auction sales total grows to $264.5 million


With five of the six auction companies releasing their official post-Monterey results, the revised overall sales figure for the week grows to just shy of $264.5 million.

The previously reported figure of $245.5 was based on observations at the auctions by representatives of Hagerty, the insurance and vehicle valuation company, and did not include post-block sales and, in some cases, considered sold some vehicles that actually did not meet reserves while on the block.

Nonetheless, the revised sales total still is much less than the $370 million in sales by the same auction houses during Monterey Car Week 2018.

Here is the breakdown by auction company:

RM Sotheby’s

RM Sotheby’s reported sales of more than $107 million at its Monterey auction, which expanded to three days with the addition of “An Evening with Aston Martin,” which offered a single-marque docket.

Overall, the company posted a 74 percent sell-through rate and said it received bids from residents of 43 nations.

“Despite shifting market conditions observed throughout the Monterey Peninsula this year, RM Sotheby’s saw several stand-out prices achieved for exceptional collector cars,” the company said.

The top sale over the course of three days was a 1994 McLaren F1 in LM specification that sold for $19,805,000. Another highlight was the James Bond movie-promotion 1965 Aston Martin DB5 with functioning spy gear that sold for $6,385,000.

“It appears the macroeconomic concerns and headlines in the financial markets earlier in the week were correlated with the observed softening of the collector car market in Monterey this weekend – including total sales, sell-through rates, and average prices achieved compared to last year across all auction houses,” said RM Sotheby’s president Kenneth Ahn. 

“We remain cautiously optimistic about the strength of the collector car market and plan to work diligently with our global clients to effectively navigate the market as it finds balance.”

Gooding & Company

Gooding & Company posted sales of more than $76 million with a 77 percent sell-through rate, the company said in its post-Monterey news release. Its top sale was a 1958 Ferrari 250 GT LWB California Spider for $9,905,000 and the 1975 Ferrari 312T raced in Formula One by Niki Lauda going for $6 million.


Bonhams reports final sales of more than $32 million and a 76 percent sell-through rate for an auction that expanded to two days at The Quail Lodge in Carmel Valley.

“The highlight of this globally attended sale was the extraordinary 1951 Ferrari 340 America Vignale Coupe Speciale that had been in single family ownership for the last 50 years,” Bonhams said. “After enthusiastic bidding, the charismatic Italian competition GT was bought by a sophisticated European collector for $3,635,000.

“Of the multiple highlights from the two-day auction, three notable sales were also important sports cars – the rare 1953 Fiat 8V Supersonic formerly owned by American motorsport legend Briggs Cunningham sold for $1,625,000, the 1965 Shelby 427 Cobra achieved $1,380,000, and the 1955 Mercedes-Benz 300 SL Gullwing in beautiful condition made $1,347,500.

“The market is proving selective and we saw passionate bidding on the very best collectors’ cars, while modern classics brought strong interest,” said Bonhams group motoring director Rupert Banner.

“We had lots of international bidding, which resulted in a strong sell-through rate, and we witnessed the strength of youngtimer cars – a boon for the hobby and the industry as a whole,” added Bonhams motoring division vice president Jakob Greisen. 

Mecum Auctions

Mecum Auctions reported that its Monterey sales reached $38 million when post-block sales are included (the figure, it notes, also includes sales at the Blackhawk Exposition that took place within the auction venue). Mecum did not share a sell-through rate but did note that post-block sales are continuing and that the final sales figure should approach $40 million.

Three of the auction’s top-4 sales were Ferraris, including a 1967 275 GTB/4 for $2.75 million, a 2014 LaFerrari for $2.64 million and a 1966 275 GTS for $1.1 million.

Noteworthy was the fact that vintage Crocker motorcycles accounted for the Nos. 6 and 9 high-dollar sales, a 1936 small tank at $825,000 and a 1937 small tank selling for $715,000.

Worldwide Auctioneers

Worldwide Auctioneers has yet to report a final sales figure or a sell-through rate for its Monterey Car Week sale at Pacific Grove, though it said soon afterward that the 1898 Riker Electric Stanhope Runabout that was reported sold by Hagerty was actually a no sale. That means the likely sales total for the auction was $2.395 million, led by a 1931 Cadillac Series 370A Fleetwood roadster for $297,000.

Russo and Steele

Russo and Steele reported total sales of $7.1 million, with more than $3.1 million of that total produced by three sales — $1.21 million for a 1955 Mercedes-Benz 300 SL Gullwing coupe, $962,500 from a 1965 Shelby Cobra 289 roadster and $935,000 from a 1958 Mercedes-Benz 300 SL roadster.

The company also boasted that while overall Monterey sales were down compared with 2018 figures, Russo and Steele’s sales total was up — by $100,000.

The company did not share its sell-through rate, but it did say that it sold 146 cars at Monterey, compared with 196 a year ago. However, the average price achieved per car was up nearly 30 percent.

Larry Edsall
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, 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.


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