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10 most expensive cars at the Monterey Auctions

Andrea Divirgilio / August 16, 2011

Monterrey Auction Sale

RM Auctions, which perhaps has some of the finest and largest collection of vintage cars in the world, is going to hold its auction at Monterey in the later part of August. It is slated to showcase some vibrant and memorable pieces of automotive history in this auction and the current list is a display of some of the most expensive from that list:

1970 Porsche 911S

1970 Porsche 911S

Price: unknown

This 1970 make of the Porsche 911 belonged to Steven Mc’Queen and was showcased in hit movie Le Mans, based on the famous car race. Used as a personal transport and as the main vehicle of the hero, this car remained out of sight for close to 30 years before it was bought out again by Steven McQueen himself. This customized version of the car was fitted with then advanced features like air-conditioning and stereo system, but more than anything, it remains an automotive masterpiece for its engine.

1955 Ferrari Monza Spider

1955 Ferrari 750 Monza Spider

Price: $ 2.5-3.5 million

One of the most unique cars in history which combined a limited edition production run, multiple accolades at famous races, featured a unique body style and was also owned by a string of famous car collectors. Starting with Luigi Chinneti, this car was imported to the United States after it was showcased at the 1955 Brussels Motor Show, and later sold to John von Neumann. It was Mr. Neumann who took this 3 liter 4 cylinder car to its multiple racing wins across western U.S. and having Phil Hill to man the car in many of those races. Other features of the car including the engine are the 260 HP of power, 5-speed manual transmission, and 4-wheel hydraulic drum brakes. Incidentally, only 35 of these were ever made.

1953 Ferrari 375 America Coupe

1953 Ferrari America 375 Coupe

Price: $ 1.75- 2.1 million

As we had covered this previously, this remains one of the most expensive vehicles to go on auction at the Monterrey event. With the design expertise of Enzo Ferrari, this tourer car was created after the auto genius was pressured by his wealthy clients to produce grand tourer vehicles. From the original lot of 12 cars, this one differentiated itself on the basis of its engine, which was packed with power. 4523 cc, 375bhp, V-12 engine took this car from 0-100 km/ph in just 7 seconds, and could go to a maximum of 257 km/ph. Also featured special hydraulic drum brakes and a 4-speed manual gearbox which were landmark features of the cars of that time.

1935 Bugatti Type 57 Grand Raid Roadster

1935 Bugatti Type 57

Price: $ 1 million- 1.3 million

This car also joins the league of those which are limited in number, have customized designs and have gone through a long history of owners, and accolades won over the years. The car is 1 of the 2 Bugatti Type 57 created by Worblaufen, Switzerland who added a number of customizations. Overall, it also happens to be a part of the 10 Grand Roadsters to be ever built by the company. It features a 135 HP engine with 3257cc capacity, straight 8 cylinders, Zenith carburetor, 4-wheel mechanical brakes and 4-speed manual transmission. Also, the introduction was extremely well timed as it competed in the 1935 Concours de Elegance where it gained the top spot, and later in 2005 after it was fully restored, it gained the 2nd spot at Pebble Beach shows.

Delahaye 135MS Speciale 1939

1939 Delahaye 135MS

Price: $ 950,000-1.25 million

One of the iconic convertibles from its generation, this vehicle packed in a 3557cc engine, electro-mechanical 4-speed gearbox, independent front suspension transverse leaf springs, and rear suspension with elliptic leaf springs and multi-option use of its hood which could open and close in various degrees. Though it has changed hands during the initial years, this car remains under the ownership of a single family for the past 30 years who also overlooked the restoration of the vehicle in the 1980’s.

1953 Siata 208/S Spider

1953 Siata 208S Spider

Price: $ 875,000- 1.17 million

This was another car amongst the collection of Steve McQueen, and one those made in limited numbers, in a total quantity of 35 cars. This particular piece remained with the actor for 2 years before he sold it off. The original version of the car was in Gray color, but was later changed to the prominent red that it is now, and it underwent a lot of changes in terms of customizations. However, the car still had the hydraulic drum brakes, 2-liter engine with 4-speed manual transmission, independent suspension and brakes and not to forget, the great looks. Its accolades include the ‘Best Italian Car’ Award in Concours on Redeo race, after it had received all the final modifications and restorations along the way.

1958 BMW 507 Roadster

1958 BMW 507 Roadster

Price: $ 800,000- 1.2 million

This vehicle became famous for the owners that initially bought this car. Ursula Andress, a famous actress in the James Bond franchisee movies got this car as a gift from ‘king of rock ‘n’ roll’ Elvis Presley. Since then it has changed hands but is currently owned by the Lyon family, from whose collection the car will eventually go on auction. The car itself featured a 3186 cc, 155 HP engine with a V8 format, a 4-speed manual transmission, independent front suspension with torsion bars and 4 wheel brakes. As per records, only 253 examples of this car were ever built.

1935 Rolls-Royce Phantom II Continental drop head

1935 Rolls Royce Phantom II

Price: $ 800,000- 1 million

Every Rolls Royce that was ever produced, oozed of elegance like no other and have proved to be specimens of automotive craftsman, just like this one. No wonder it featured as the only drop head coach along with being one of the only 2 TA series continentals. Such was the beauty that the car got featured in the prominent Laurance Daulton book ‘Those elegant Rolls Royces’. The unique design was conceived by Sir Fredrick Henry Royce with the aim of accommodating 4 passengers along with their luggage, when they go on journeys along the European country sides, hence the ample space of comfortable seating alongside. The engine of the car had 120 HP of power generation capacity, from the 7688 cc engine, OHV- 6 cylinder design, single updr

aft carburetor, 4 speed manual transmission, and mechanical drum brakes.

Bentley 4 1/2-Liter Open Tourer 1929

1929 Bentley Open Tourer

Price: $ 700,000- 900,000

This edition of the Bentley came into existence at a time when Bentley wasn’t doing very well, before Woolf Barnato won 4 consecutive races at Le Mans in the 1920’s to give the car maker the leverage it needed to concentrate on its new models such as this. As was the trend that time, the coach was built by independent coach builder Vanden Plas, who built 84 Bentleys by 1925. The car changed hands over the years and came a phase when it almost seized to exist, but major restoration was done by the Boone family, after which the awards kept on coming. The top honors include the 1970 NIRCCA Award Excellence, 1970 RROC 1st place in vintage Bentley amongst others, and all of them were for the brilliance of the restoration done on the car. The engine featured 100 HP of power @ 3500 RPM, 4398 cc capacity, 4-cylinder, 4- speed manual transmission and 4-wheel drum-brakes.

The list could be even more extensive than what you see here, as a couple of entries with a similar range of expected bid have been kept out. This was mainly done to show a variety of vehicles and some of the key highlights of the auction.

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