It’s that time of year again, and by that we mean it’s the time of year car enthusiasts dream about: Monterey Car Week.
We’re talking four days of bliss for auto enthusiasts off the coast of California south of San Francisco. Automakers like Aston Martin, Bentley and McLaren are in attendance this year to show off their latest models and concepts. Cadillac is planning to unveil a concept car, and who knows what other surprises are in store. BMW is even throwing a 100th birthday celebration. It will show off the restored BMW 507 roadster once owned by Elvis Presley, which took two years of painstaking work to get back into tip-top shape.
Auctions are a big part of the annual event, too. Both for classics and newer model cars.
One of the better-known auction houses, Mecum Auctions, tells USA Today it’s now starting to move toward the higher end of the market. It predicts 20 of the cars it will be offering this week will have estimated values above $1 million.
“Traditionally, we’ve done well with European exotics, but this year we’ve gotten more of the rare, limited production late-model exotics,” says John Kraman, Mecum’s consignment director.
One of Mecum’s most prized cars going up for auction Saturday is a 1990 Ferrari F40. It’s one of only 213 that came to the U.S. and was sold new by Alger Ferrari.
It’s “one of the most outrageous, high-performing cars ever built,” Kraman says. There are only 557 miles on it and it’s expected to top $2 million in the bidding.
The week culminates on Sunday with the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance. It’s one of the nation’s top classic-car shows, on the lawn of the famous golf course.
Another car sure to stand out is a British-built 1966 Ford GT40 MkI, the first one that was brought to the US. Used briefly as a test and public-relations car by Ford, it’s expected to go for at least $4 million.