No, we probably don’t have the dough necessary for the Voisin, but who cares? Lust is free!
There are six big auctions going on during the Monterey Car Week Aug. 15-21, and they all have websites listing all the cars they’re selling. So all you have to do is go to the websites and pick your favorites. What did we find attractive? Read on and see.
Lot 227: 1935 Avions Voisin C28 Aerosport
Unless you’re Peter Mullin or Ken Gross, you, like us, maybe hadn’t known about Voisin until it won Best of Show at Pebble in 2011. This is not that exact car, but it is a product of Freres Voisin, the eclectic airplane and automobile manufacturer with unique tastes and rods holding the fenders in place. Voisins are all things of beauty (except maybe that Biscuter, but even that is kind of cute), and this one is a giant among them all. The frame is original and many parts are original Voisin parts, but the ravages of time and WWII took their toll on the original body. For a while it had a Hispano-Suiza body on it. The current owner began a restoration in 2006 that took eight years, finishing the body in “elegant silver metallic.” The result, just looking at the pictures, is superb automobilia.
It’s Lambo lust over at Gooding & Co.
Gooding & Co., Aug. 20-21, Pebble Beach Equestrian Center
Lot 002: 1968 Lamborghini 400 GT 2+2
Gooding lists 160 lots at this year’s Pebble Beach auctions, from a perfectly splendid Ferrari 250 GT LWB California Spyder that could go for $20 million to a 1933 Alfa Romeo 8C 2300 Monza that could fetch $15 million. So why were we drawn to this well-used, well-driven, unrestored “barn find” Lamborghini? Who can explain love (or lust, anyway)? The Jaeger odometer on the dash reads 79,195 miles, and the “Pirelli” lettering has all been curbed off the front tires. But it has the original black California plates and even the original “Estes-Zipper Motors” license plate frame. It is calling to us. The estimate is between $300,000 and $400,000, but we optimistically note that it is being offered “without reserve,” so you never know.
Russo and Steele, Aug. 18-20, Fisherman’s Wharf
Lot 7056: 1984 Toyota Century
If what we’ve been saying is right, and the Japanese collector car market is going to take off, this would be an excellent place to start your collection. And if we’re wrong, this would still be an excellent place to start. The Century is so exclusive that it’s not even made in a regular old Toyota factory — it’s made by a special division of Toyota called “Kanto Auto Works.” Heads of state, emperors, owners of large numbers of bowling alleys, all were driven around in one of these, preferably with doilies on the headrests and fancy aftermarket cupholders. The Century is so tailored to traditionalists that it wasn’t changed significantly in 30 years. This 1984 right-hand-drive model was brought into the U.S. by a U.S. serviceman stationed in Japan: “I instantly knew this is what I wanted to take home,” he said. It is also what we’d like to take home.
The 2014 McLaren P1 is the best-driving car ever made, they say.
Mecum Monterey, Aug. 18-20, Hyatt Regency Monterey Hotel and Spa – Del Monte Golf Course
Lot S81: 2014 McLaren P1
Is it wrong to want to buy a 2-year-old car at an auction? If it’s wrong, we don’t want to be right. It calls out to us from the computer screen, despite its questionable and possibly tasteless green goblin paint job with matching tasteless green wheels. You can paint cars, can’t you? This is supposed to be the best driving car in history, says everybody. It was a tossup between this and a 2015 Porsche 918 … and a 2014 Ferrari LaFerrari… and the 2016 Aston Martin Vulcan, none of which were tastefully painted. It’s the realm of the supercar, and that realm resides in the medulla oblongatas of crazy nouveau riche charlatans who made their fortunes last week selling ridiculous products on infomercials. We don’t care, these cars look cool, like high-gloss, phosphorescent plastic tool grips in the 99 cent bin at Harbor Freight Tools. We want them. We want them all.
Runners-up: 1976 Lamborghini Silhouette prototype (Lot S92), 1976 Ford Bronco (Lot T113), 1929 BMW R62 (Lot F162)
1960 Scarab GP car
Rick Cole Auctions, Aug. 18-21, Marriott Hotel, Monterey near Fisherman’s Wharf
Lot 15: 1960 Scarab Grand Prix car
Wouldn’t it be cool to have this? All-American boy Lance Reventlow was taking on all comers in all forms of racing, it seemed, back in this era. This car, serial No. RA1-GP2, was driven by Chuck Daigh, who rebuilt and dyno-tuned the engine. Though the team never realized the success they felt they could have, it was a noble effort. Plus, the car looks pretty svelte.
Runner-up: 1950 Ferrari 166 Inter Barchetta (Lot 26)
These looked like fun when we saw them in Europe.
Bonhams, Aug. 19, Quail Lodge Auction
Lot 30: 1984 Peugeot 205 Turbo 16
“How can you waste your Bonhams wish on this, this, pedestrian everyman’s car?” you squeal. Well, look, if we already have all of the above, we’d need something to just scoot around town under cover of anonymity, wouldn’t we? And what better way to scoot than in a Peugeot 205 Turbo 16, the VW GTI of France? But this is no pedestrian trawler, it is a Group B race car, one of the Killer Bs! Bonhams expects it to go for between $200,000 and $300,000.
Runners-up: 1964 Cheetah (Lot 26), 1931 Bugatti Type 51 (Lot 36), 1935 Mercedes 500K (Lot 57)