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Multimillion dollar sales at Pebble Beach would mean the collector car market is back

·Anchor
·4-min read

V-12 powered sports cars and rare Ferraris, each worth multiple millions of dollars, lead the line-up at this year's annual Gooding & Company Pebble Beach auction. 

"Ferrari has been in such strong demand for such a long time because they build absolutely fantastic cars," President and CEO David Gooding told Yahoo Finance Live. "There's everything about them that is magical." 

Gooding is the official auction house of the iconic Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance which concludes on Aug. 15. Last year's auction was canceled because of the COVID-19 pandemic but Gooding said pent-up demand is raising expectations for some big deals at his auctions which take place Friday and Saturday. 

"We have more registered bidders now than we've ever had in advance of the auctions," he said. "So definitely, we see that there are lots of people coming."

'It looks great. It sounds great'

A 1958 Ferrari 250 GT Series I Cabriolet is expected to earn between $4 million to $5.5 million when the gavel falls. "It's everything a Ferrari should be. It looks great. It sounds great. They're wonderful to drive and they're super desirable. Gooding said.

1958 Ferrari 250 GT Series I Cabriolet could sell for more than $5 million at this year's Gooding & Company Pebble Beach Auction.
1958 Ferrari 250 GT Series I Cabriolet could sell for more than $5 million at this year's Gooding & Company Pebble Beach Auction.

This particular Ferrari is number 34 of only 40 in the 250 GT series with body work designed by legendary Italian coachbuilder Pininfarina. It has a powerful 128D SOHC Alloy V-12 engine and was fully restored with Ferrari certification of its original parts.

"It's got its original engine, original gearbox original bodywork, and that's very important to a buyer. It gives them confidence that what they're buying, what they're perhaps investing in, is original and correct," Gooding said.

A 1959 Ferrari promises to also grab headlines if it sells, as expected, for between $10 million and $12 million.

A 1959 Ferrari 250 GT LWB California Spider Competizione could sell for $12 million at Gooding & Company's Pebble Beach Auction.
A 1959 Ferrari 250 GT LWB California Spider Competizione could sell for $12 million at Gooding & Company's Pebble Beach Auction.

Gooding calls the 1959 Ferrari California Spider, "without question, among the most recognizable, admired, and collectible sports cars of all time." Between 1957 and 1962, Ferrari built 106 California Spiders, 50 of which are the long-wheelbase variant and 56 are the short-wheelbase. 

They were all built on the 250 GT chassis and feature coachwork by Carrozzeria Scaglietti. This California Spider recently underwent a restoration that restored the car to its original condition, "and it now presents in the classic Italian tricolore, just as it appeared new in 1959," according to the auction catalogue.

'Selling in excess of $20 million'

Another V-12 super car revving excitement among collectors is a 1995 McLaren F1. "So we've heard of a McLaren F1, selling in excess of $20 million. So our estimate of in excess of 15 should definitely get people itching to buy," Gooding predicted.

A 1995 McLaren F1 is expected to sell for more than $15 million at the upcoming Gooding&Company Pebble Beach Auction.
A 1995 McLaren F1 is expected to sell for more than $15 million at the upcoming Gooding&Company Pebble Beach Auction.

The street legal Formula 1 racer is just one of 64 that were built. This particular car has 390 kilometers or 242 miles on the odometer making it pristine as the day it was delivered to its original owner. "We have clients from all over the world looking at that car," Gooding said. "They are the car of that era, of the 1990s. There was no other car that has that kind of Mystique," he added.

The 132 vehicles crossing the auction block at Gooding & Company are just part of the several auctions taking place during Monterey Car Week, which in 2018 had combined sales of $370 million. In 2019, total sales fell to $245 million as collectors worried about a global recession unaware that the COVID-19 pandemic was about to decimate the industry.

Gooding said his Pebble Beach auction, along with the others on the Monterey peninsula will be a test as the global economy emerges from the pandemic. "We think the prices are going to be quite strong. But the proof is in the pudding. That's the great thing about the auctions is we never quite know how these cars will perform," he said. "It's exciting because the market speaks in live real time."

Adam Shapiro is co-anchor of Yahoo Finance Live 3pm to 5pm. Follow him on Twitter @Ajshaps

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