10 amazing cars that sold at Monterey this year!

The days leading up to the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance on the Monterey Bay Peninsula are a car enthusiasts dream as the world’s most coveted vehicles populate the streets of Carmel, manufacturers bring out their best and brightest displays, more car shows than you can reasonably attend, and of course, hundreds of cars for sale at the abundance of auctions throughout the week.


Although total auction sales for the week fell far behind those of the previous year (down 34% from 2018), there were still many amazing cars that crossed the block and found a new owner during Car Week 2019 and here are some of our favorites:


(Photo: RM Sotheby’s)

1. 1963 Chevrolet Corvette Split-Window Coupe

The ’63 split-window Corvette Sting-Ray has been a crowd favorite and this car was no different. With almost 86k miles, this wonderful example of a Corvette fetched $131,600 at RM Sotheby’s sale, which was in line with its estimate of $120,000-160,000.


(Photo: Worldwide Auctioneers)

2. 1957 Pontiac Star Chief Custom Safari Wagon

With just over 9,000 Safari Station Wagons built in total, they’re far from a common sight. The Star Chief was built as a low-production “halo car” for Pontiac to display their new, modern styling at the time. The car features a 347ci V-8 and recently finished a very detailed restoration except for the headliner and door panels which were kept original and in good condition. This example was offered without reserve and sold for $40,700.


(Photo: Mecum Auctions)

3. 1929 Ford Model A Roadster/The Emperor (George Barris)

This 1929 Ford Model A Roadster was turned into a custom hot-rod creation by the legendary George Barris. “The Emperor” was being auctioned off as part of the Blackie Gejeian Estate Collection, who was famous in the early days of hot rodding, and is a previous America’s Most Beautiful Roadster award winner. The car features a Cadillac 406 CI engine, six Stromberg 97 carburetors, and a 4-speed manual transmission and was purchased at a price of $115,500, well below its $300,000-400,000 estimate.


(Photo: Mecum Auctions)

4. 1927 Ford California Star

Another car to come from the Blackie Gejeian Estate Collection at Mecum, this entirely custom-built, mid-engined Hot Rod was designed by Don Verner and built by Ron Covell over 2,400 man hours. The “California Star” became a subject of controversy in the hot-rodding community when it was released since it wasn’t based upon an existing car, and therefore argued that it was not technically a “hot rod.” However, the car still went on to win the America’s Most Beautiful Roadster award in 1984. The “California Star” sold at Mecum for $77,000, well below its estimate of $100,000-$150,000.


(Photo: Gooding & Comapny)

5. 1931 Studebaker Special Indy Car

Time and time again, originality, racing history, and provenance prove to be the clear factor in a high price at auctions and this Studebaker was no different. With a well-documented racing history including winning the 1931 Pikes Peak Hill Climb and being a three-time entrant in the Indy 500, this 1931 Studebaker commanded a strong price at Gooding & Company’s Monterey Auctions this year selling for $1,105,000 (several hundred thousand above its $750,000 high estimate).



(Photo: Bonhams)

6. 1950 Oldsmobile 88 Club Coupe Street Rod

The Oldsmobile 88 is no stranger to being souped-up by performance enthusiasts, which lead to it becoming the king of nascar before being dethroned by the Hudson Hornet, and this example is no different. After completing a comprehensive restoration with light street rod modifications including a 1972 455ci Oldsmobile V8 engine putting out 470hp, this classic street rod sold for $100,800 at Bonhams Quail auction this year.



(Photo: RM Sotheby’s)

7. 1966 Shelby GT350

This Shelby GT350 had its original motor replaced after covering only 63 miles, but that didn’t stop bidders from going after this well-maintained example of a Mustang. The car had been upgraded with several modifications to increase its performance as a touring car, however, all of its original pieces were retained and included with the car allowing it to be used for road rallies, racing, or concours showing which lead to it being sold at a price of $340,500, above its high estimate of $325,000.


(Photo: Gooding & Company)

8. 1930 Duesenberg Model J Sport Berline

Known as the “Mistress Car” for allegedly being ordered for the mistress of Dusenberg’s most prominent customer of the time, Captain George Whittell Jr., this one-off, Murphy bodied Dusenberg Model J is an elegant example of American luxury cars during the 1930s. Featuring its original chassis, engine, and coachwork, this Model J commanded a price ofo $2,040,000 during Gooding & Company’s sale.


(Photo: RM Sotheby’s)

9. 2017 Ford GT

After the initial controversy surrounding the second-hand sales of the new Ford GT, many of the early examples have reached the end of their buyers “no-sale” clause in their purchase contract and have begun to hit the market and they’ve been commanding strong prices. Even with high-option cars reaching $500,000-600,000 MSRP, the new Ford GT has regularly commanded prices over $1,000,000 in the secondary market and has set the foundation for it being a valuable collector’s item down the line. This example was finished in Beryllium Orange with only 400 miles on the odometer, leading to it bringing in $1,242,500 when it crossed the auction block of RM Sotheby’s last Saturday.


(Photo: RM Sotheby’s)

10. 1965 Ford GT40 Roadster Prototype

Keeping with the Ford GT theme, this GT40 MKI Roadster is the first of five original GT40 roadsters built and is the only one to survive in original condition. This GT40 Roadster was raced in period by the likes of Ken Miles, Carroll Shelby, and Jim Clark and has been kept in wonderful care by its previous owners throughout several decades of recorded ownership provenance. This very special example fetched $7,650,000 at RM Sotheby’s Monterey sale, just passing its low estimate of $7,000,000, but it’s still a high price for and incredible piece of American automotive history.

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