Vintage Ferrari Sales Set Records at Monterey Car Auctions

3:37 PM PST 08/18/2013 by Sharon Swart
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Jay Leno holds court at The Quail car show in Monterey on Friday.

Jay Leno and Patrick Dempsey are among the stars at the automotive event, where cars with Hollywood histories have mostly fizzled.

PEBBLE BEACH, Calif – Vintage Ferrari sales are breaking records up in Monterey, Calif., this weekend, where the Cannes of the automotive world is underway.

On Saturday night, a 275 Ferrari N.A.R.T. Spyder hammered at $25 million (or $27.5 million, if you include the standard 10 percent commission). Another Italian beauty — a 1953 Ferrari 375 MM — sold on Friday night for slightly more than $9 million. Both sales went down at the RM Auctions sales.

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Meanwhile, entertainment biz folks are thin on the ground here, where multiple events are taking place over a long weekend on the Monterey Peninsula. Car enthusiasts Jay Leno and Patrick Dempsey did make the trek and milled around Friday's $550-a-ticket car show at The Quail. Dempsey caught up with Formula One champ Michael Schumacher, who spoke on a panel during the show with former Ferrari CEO Jean Todt. But other biz regulars at the annual Monterey motoring events are MIA, including Fox chairman Jim Gianopulos and attorney Alan Wertheimer.

"Too much work," was Wertheimer's excuse via text from Los Angeles.

And comedian Adam Carolla, who was racing his Nissan at the nearby Laguna Seca racetrack on Saturday, said, "I actually have to work tonight." He had a stand-up gig in the area. "Yeah, it helps pay for some of this," he said as he motioned to his car, which used to be raced by Paul Newman. (Carolla added he's working on a Newman documentary.)

There were several cars with Hollywood histories and provenances at the auctions here, but not many fetched big sales. At the Gooding & Company sale on Saturday night, a 1927 Rolls-Royce Phantom I Playboy Roadster that made an appearance in Giant went for $341,000, while the 1920 Locomobile 48 Sportif, seen in the 1992 Robert Downey Jr. film Chaplin, came off the block at $176,000 — both selling at the low end of their estimates.

Hedy Lamarr's husband's prewar French Delage D8-120 sold for $770,000 at Gooding. But the '63 Corvette Sting Ray race car featured in the Elvis Presley film Viva Las Vegas (estimated at $375,000-$475,000) didn't sell at Friday night's RM auction because it didn't fetch its reserve price.

Sunday's final auction at Gooding isn't expected to eclipse Saturday night's Ferrari record, but perhaps the motorheads will be exhausted anyway — after a full day of walking the Pebble Beach lawn, where the annual Concours D'Elegance is unfolding under foggy skies.

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