“We’re all very excited to be going back to Monterey after having to take off last year, 2020, because of the pandemic and missing car week,” Mecum Auctions CEO Dave Magers told Yahoo Finance Live.
Mecum Auctions is one of the world’s largest collector car auction companies and will have 600 vehicles crossing the auction block in Monterey, Aug. 12-14. Magers said pent-up demand among car collectors could drive prices higher. “I think that momentum is going to continue into Monterey. This is typically a high $40 million, low $50 million sale for us. And I would expect that this year we will exceed that number and set a new record for Monterey for Mecum Auctions,” said Magers.
Mecum’s Monterey 2019 auction had $32.2 million in sales which rose to $38 million with the addition of post-auction deals. Monterey Car Week was canceled in 2020 because of the COVID-19 pandemic although there were some online auctions. The biggest auction houses, Gooding & Company, Bonhams, RM Sotheby’s and Mecum are expecting strong sales this year as live auctions return to Pebble Beach.
They sold $370 million worth of collectible cars in 2018 during Monterey Car Week, but total sales fell to $245 million in 2019 just before the COVID-19 pandemic, according to Hagerty Insurance, which tracks global collector car sales.
In 2020, because of the COVID-19 pandemic, Hagerty told clients, “Given the drastic differences in virtually everything between 2019 and 2020, comparing overall sales results between the two years would yield misleading results.” But Hagerty said prices for cars sold online, during the height of the pandemic, were slightly stronger than the year before.
‘This car raced and finished fifth’ at Le Mans
Mecum’s auction is held on the Del Monte Golf Course at the Hyatt Regency Monterey Hotel and Spa. Admission is $20 if purchased online and $30 at the door. Headlining the auction is a 1952 Ferrari 340 America.
A 1952 Ferrari 340 America could sell for more than $5 million at Mecum’s auction in Monterey.
Magers said Ferraris are always top sellers but, “this car raced and finished fifth in the 24 hours of Le Mans which makes it a very special Ferrari.” The car was restored by Ferrari and Magers said it could fetch $5 million when the gavel falls.
Another car expected to grab attention is a rare 1936 Delahaye Type 135 Competition Court Teardrop Coupe body by Italian coachbuilders Figoni et Falaschi.
A 1936 Delahaye Type 135 Competition Court Teardrop Coupe could sell for $6 million at Mecum’s Monterey auction.
The Delahaye is just one of 30 that were produced with the teardrop body design, “And in my opinion, of all of the vehicles that I would see, you know, year in and year out. Delahaye is the art of the automobile. These are, all of the Delahaye’s, are works of art and I think this one probably is top of the list,” Magers said.
He said car historians are also excited about the potential sale of a car referred to as “The Last Cobra.” It’s a vehicle designed by legendary car designer Carroll Shelby.
A 2004 Ford Shelby Cobra Concept is expected to fetch close to $2 million when the gavel falls at Mecum’s Monterey auctions.
In 2003, Shelby announced he was joining forces once again with Ford (F) to develop a high performance sports car. The secret project was code named “Daisy” and the result, a 6.4L/605 HP 40-valve aluminum V-10 is expected to grab $2 million when it crosses Mecum’s auction block.
“One of one. There was only one of these manufactured. It never went into production,” according to Magers. The Shelby Cobra concept won several awards, including Best of Show at the Detroit Auto Show in 2004.
“This, I think, is the crown jewel of any Shelby collection,” Magers said. “And even if you don’t have a Shelby now, this would be just a fantastic car to own.”
Adam Shapiro is co-anchor of Yahoo Finance Live 3pm to 5pm. Follow him on Twitter @Ajshaps