Monterey/Pebble Beach Car Week Robustly Returns with ‘Cars, Car Culture, Cars and More Cars’

  • story by David M. Brown
  • posted on 08/2021
  • posted in: Newswire

Monterey/Pebble Beach Car Week returned in concours-winning style to northern California August 9–15, as hundreds of collectible vehicles were shown, some awarded and others found new garages throughout the world for their next era of stewardship.

At the week’s culminating event on Sunday, August 15, the 70th Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance® in Carmel, a 1938 Mercedes-Benz 540K Autobahn Kurier owned by Arturo Keller was named Best of Show, while 38 former Best of Show cars welcomed the pre-War classic to the exclusive circle.

The official auction house of the Concours, Gooding & Company, sold the week’s two most valuable cars, a world-record-breaking 1995 McLaren F1, $20,465,000, and a 1959 Ferrari 250 GT LWB California Spider Competizione, $10,840,000.


At the three-day RM Sotheby’s auction, a 1962 Aston Martin DB4GT Zagato from the Paul Andrews Estate Collection –– one of only 19 built –– brought $9,520,000 for Monterey Car Week’s third highest sale.

And, another 1938 Mercedes-Benz 540K Special Roadster, owned by K. Heinz Keller, was named Rolex Circle of Champions “Best of Show” to culminate The Quail, A Motorsports Gathering at the Quail Lodge & Golf Club in Carmel.

At Bonhams, held each year with The Quail, a supercharged 1928 Mercedes-Benz 26/100/180 S-Type Sports Tourer, one of just 146 examples of the company’s flagship automobile, was the top car, fetching $5,395,000.


Mecum Auctions, at the Del Monte Golf Course on the grounds of the Hyatt Regency Monterey Hotel and Spa, sold a 2014 Ferrari LaFerrari, the top car at $3,410,000. And, at The Russo and Steele Collector Automobile Auction, another Prancing Stallion, a 1967 330 P4 Replica Spider, was the top seller at $302,500.

As always, the Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion races at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca attracted a wide variety of vintage cars and their talented driver owners from throughout the country. For Group 1A 1955–1961 Sports Racing under & over 2000cc on Saturday, August 14, Spencer Trenery, Emeryville, California, took first in his 1961 Cooper Monaco 350. On Sunday, Group 1B 1955–1964 GT, Frank Zucchio, Oakdale, California, was first in his 1960 Piranha Sports Racer 2000.

And, at the 35th Concorso Italiano in Seaside, the “Best In Show” was George and Bobbie Andreini’s 1965 Maserati Mistral Spider.


Concours d’Elegance, Gooding, Quail & Bonhams

To become “Best of Show” at the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance, the 1938 Mercedes-Benz 540K Autobahn Kurier was chosen from 230 superlative collector cars. Its long hood, aerodynamic design, advanced engineering and superlative performance were among the winning characteristics the judges cited.

“This Best of Show winner embodies so many sensational features — styling, speed, and performance. Unveiled at the Berlin Auto Show and built to rule the new German Autobahn in 1938, this rare automobile is truly an example of beautiful German design,” says Concours Chairman Sandra Button, noting that this ninth win for Mercedes-Benz ties the mark with Bugatti for the most Best of Shows at Pebble Beach.


Autobahn Kurier, “Highway Messenger,” refers to the famous network of highways built pre-war in Germany. Mercedes-Benz made only two 540K Autobahn Kuriers, and this is the only one existing.

The honor is the Kellers’ third win at Pebble Beach, coming after a 1986 win with their 1936 Mercedes-Benz 500K Special Roadster and a 2001 title with their 1930 Mercedes-Benz SS Erdmann & Rossi Roadster.

“It’s my triple crown,” says Keller, Petaluma, California. “This is the only remaining car of its kind, and I am the second owner from new. It’s a very special car, and we are very happy.” The car was last restored in 2006 and has continued to be shown, rallied and toured since. The couple also won the Elegance in Motion Trophy.

RM Sotheby’s- 1966_Ferrari_275_GTB_Competizione

This year’s race for Best of Show featured strong contenders, including Joanie and Scott Kriens’ 1937 Bugatti Type 57S Corsica Drophead Coupé; the 1966 Ferrari 365 P Pininfarina Berlinetta Speciale shown by RQ Collections; and Jonathan and Wendy Segal’s 1956 Maserati A6G Zagato Coupé.

Other award winners included the Class S winner, celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Lamborghini Countach; the Ansel Adams Award, a 1914 Packard 1-38 Five Passenger Phaeton, Joe and Janice Conzonire, San Marino, California; the FIVA Prewar Trophy, a 1908 Bailey Electric Victoria Phaeton, Larz Anderson Auto Museum, Brookline, Massachusetts; and the Chairman’s Trophy, a 1929 Bugatti Type 35B Grand Prix, The Pearl Collection/Fritz Burkard, Switzerland.

This year’s event raised $1.75-plus million for charity, bringing total charitable donations to $32-plus million. More than 95 local charities are benefitted, impacting the lives of 10,000-plus children annually in Monterey County.


Gooding & Company realized more than $107 million in sales, including a 1929 Bugatti Type 35B Grand Prix, which sold for $5,615,000, and a 1958 Ferrari 250 GT Series I Cabriolet, which achieved $4,405,000.

K. Heinz Keller’s 1938 Mercedes-Benz 540K Special Roadster was selected “Best of Show” at The Quail, A Motorsports Gathering for its design, engineering, sophistication and presentation. After acquiring the car in 1986 from a private owner in Colorado, Keller began an eight-year ground-up restoration.

Top honors were given in each of the 11 classes during the event. Among the special awards were the Spirit of The Quail, 1902 Indian Single Cylinder, Shawn W. Coady, Illinois; the Hagerty Drivers Foundation & Preservation Award, 1969 Ford Bronco “Big Oly,” Philip Sarofim, California; and the Octane Editor’s Choice Award, 1957 Fiat 600 / Eden Roc, Anne Brockington Lee / The Robert E. Lee Collection, Nevada.


Rimac Automobili, Lotus Cars, Pagani Automobili, Automobili Pininfarina, Gateway Bronco, Lamborghini, Hennessey, Acura, Bugatti and Bentley Motors unveiled models and made significant announcements. These included the U.S. premiere of the Lotus Emira, a mid-engine premium sports car; the first public displays of the Bentley Flying Spur Hybrid, GT Speed and special Mulliner, including the coach-built Bacalar and continuation Blower Car Zeros; and the Lamborghini Countach LPI 800-4.

“The Quail, A Motorsports Gathering is truly one of the world’s most prestigious motoring events,” says Kai Lermen, general manager of Quail Lodge & Golf Club. “Our 18th- annual celebration delivered the allure, excitement and passion The Quail has become known for, and we are looking forward to everything 2022 has to bring!”

At Bonhams 24th Quail Lodge Sale, seven cars sold for more than $1 million; the auction totaled $37,589,040, a sell-through rate of 90%. A 1948 Talbot-Lago T26 Record Sport Cabriolet Décapotable, $1,875,000, was the second most expensive car. Third was a 1952 Ferrari 212 Europa Cabriolet, $1,820,000, followed by a 1955 Mercedes-Benz 300 SL Gullwing, $1,710,000. Three Shelbys also were in the top ten: a 1966 Cobra 427, $1,050,000; a 1966 Cobra 427, $995,000; and a 1964 AC Cobra 289, $995,000.


“We were delighted to have returned to Monterey Week and to have welcomed our clients back to our sale room,” says Jakob Greisen, Bonhams Head of US Motoring. “We are thrilled and proud of these results which prove there is nothing like a live auction.”
Ferraris and Shelbys Flex at Mecum and RM Sotheby’s

During its three-day event, Mecum Auctions achieved sales of $57.4 million from 519 vehicles, an 80 percent sell-through.

Ferraris and Shelbys filled the first seven slots. CSX3045, a celebrated Semi Competition Cobra that is one of just 29 built, was the second top seller at $2.86 million, and the Ford Special Project, Codename: Daisy, a 2004 Shelby Cobra Concept car, was third at $2.64 million.


The three remaining Ferraris were a 1966 275 GTB/6C Long Nose, $2.64 million; a 1965 500 Superfast, $1.88 million; and a 1963 250 GT Lusso Berlinetta Scaglietti, $1.76 million. Another Shelby, a 1965 GT350R Fastback, brought $1.27 million; a 1929 Duesenberg Model J Murphy Convertible Sedan, $2.37 million; Porsche 918 Spyder Weissach, $1.6 million; and a 2004 Porsche Carrera GT, $1.21 million.

In addition, Serial No. 1 of the 2022 Acura NSX Type S, limited to 350 models, brought $1.1 million, with all proceeds to charity, including the Center for Science and Industry and an innovative STEAM education program for underserved youth. And a 2022 Triumph Scrambler 1200 Steve McQueen Edition motorcycle sold for $55,000, with proceeds to benefit the Boys Republic nonprofit youth-treatment community. The highest motorcycle sale was a 1953 Vincent Black Shadow, $148,500.

Finally, two collections, Big Al’s and Don Wallace’s, respectively, generated $12.05 million and Don $2.2 million.


“It was great getting back to business in Monterey,” says Sam Murtaugh, chief operating officer at Mecum Auctions. “The spirited participation from all in attendance was a breath of fresh air, as it was clear that car enthusiasts on the west coast were finally able to enjoy the engaging atmosphere of a live auction event. As the results have shown, this year’s Daytime Auction was Mecum’s most successful to date, and we look forward to build on that momentum heading into 2022.”

At the Monterey Conference Center, RM Sotheby’s generated $148.5 million, with 91 percent of the lots sold.

Paul Andrews Estate cars (25 of 26 sold) totaled $34,439,000. Three Ferraris were among the top sellers. A 1962 268 SP by Fantuzzi, a Scuderia Ferrari Works entry for the 1962 24 Hours of Le Mans, sold for $7,705,000, and a 1966 Ferrari 275 GTB Competizione by Scaglietti, a three-time 24 Hours of Le Mans entrant, 1967, 1968, and 1969, also brought $7,705,000. And, a 1958 Ferrari 250 GT LWB Berlinetta ‘Tour de France’ by Scaglietti, a two-time competitor at the Tour de France in 1958 and 1959, achieved $6,000,000.


The 11-car Fox Collection was highlighted by world-record model sales, including a 2003 Ferrari Enzo, $3,360,000, and a 2012 Lexus LFA Nürburgring, $1,600,000, breaking the record for Japanese road cars, excluding charity lots.

Additional records were broken throughout the auction as a 1995 Ferrari F50 sold for $3,965,000, a 1994 Bugatti EB110 Super Sport, $2,755,000, and a 1991 Jaguar XJR-15, $1,902,500.

Another car that garnered significant interest was the 1971 Lamborghini Miura P400 S, a U.S.-specification car, $2,095,000.


“This is another landmark sale for RM Sotheby’s, as we achieved a sale total that ranks in the top three best Monterey auctions of all time,” says Gord Duff, global head of Auctions, RM Sotheby’s. “Above all, this week has demonstrated that the market is as strong today as it has ever been, with collector-grade cars finding willing new buyers from all over the globe.”

Russo and Steele, Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion & Concorso Italiano

Russo and Steele showcased its traditional strengths: European sports, American muscle, hot rods and custom automobiles. Other top vehicles were a 1992 Dodge Viper RT/10 Roadster, $132,000; 1968 Ford Mustang Customized Fastback, $126,500; and a 2019 Ford Mustang Bullitt Coupe, $80,300.


“Our goal for Monterey Car Week was to come in at full throttle, and I am both proud and gratified by the work of the Russo and Steele team and our contractors,” says Drew Alcazar, auction president and CEO. “We are thrilled to be back to live action events and look forward to future auctions at Monterey.”

At Laguna Seca, for Group 1A, on Saturday, Gregory Meyer, Santa Clara, California, took second slot in his 1959 Sadler Mk4 5555, and Cameron Healey, Portland, Oregon, third in a 1953 Cooper Porsche Pooper 1850. Scottsdale, Arizona’s Rob Walton was seventh in a 1960 Maserati Tipo 61 2890. For the Sunday Group 1B race, Greg Powell, Oakland California, was second, in a 1958 Morgan Plus 4 2138, and Ranson Webster, Reno, Nevada, third, driving a 1961 Porsche Abarth Carrera 1966.

“This year’s Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion ran on all cylinders. Racing was clean and respectful, the cars were the real deal and the fans enjoyed wandering through the paddock and marketplace,” says Barry Toepke, director of Heritage Events and PR for the historic racetrack.


“New features like the Ragtime Racers who created a working 1920s-era garage, the Motul Indy Car Heritage Display, the Hagerty Drivers Club and the ‘Ford in Trans-Am’ display really worked well and added to the guest experience,” he adds. “We even added a Ferris wheel for families!”

Additional winners at the Concorso Italiano were Ralph Bonanotte’s 1967 Fiat Dino 2.0; Ivan Ruiz’ 1967 Iso Grifo; Tina Byrd’s 1927 Lancia Lambda with “Airway” Body; Alan Scott’s 1950 Moto Guzzi Gamalunghino; Ben Speelman’s 1964 Apollo 5000GT; Mike and Katherine Hampton’s 1973 DeTomaso Pantera GTS; Ross Garsen’s 1967 Lamborghini Miura P400; Richard Lane’s 1961 Alfa Romero Guilietta Sprint Speciale; and Tazio De Nicolo’s 1965 Ferrari 275 GTS.

“This year’s Concorso was a wonderful return to normalcy,” says Tom McDowell, chairman of the Concorso Italiano Foundation, Mercer Island, Washington. “People wanted to get together to celebrate their hobby: cars, car culture, cars and more cars.  Getting together to enjoy the essence of Italian automotive design is normalcy, and that is what we did — in spades.”