Monterey Auctions

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Almost 1,200 cars sold during Monterey Cart Week across the auctions of Bonhams, Broad Arrow, Gooding & Co, Mecum and RM Sotheby’s, with a total sales value of $398,432,960, a big number, but less than $463 million sold last year with an average sales price of $568,000. 

The 2023 auctions saw the value of cars and the average sales price fall by 14% and 15% respectively. 

Excluding withdrawn cars, 69% of 1,167 cars that were offered sold, that’s below the 75% sell-through rate seen last year at Monterey and down on the average sell-through rate seen this year.  The Classic Valuer revealed that 63% of all cars that sold didn’t have a reserve.  When excluding those vehicles and analysing what percentage of cars with a reserve sold, the sell-through rate dropped to 57%. 

Photo Pawel Litwinski courtesy Bonhams

However, there were 58 world records set across the week’s auctions. The Pre-War cars, which have struggled in recent times, led the way.  “Demand was strong for pre-war cars and supercars particularly, said Giles Gunning, CEO of The Classic Valuer.   Pre-war cars bucked their long-term trend of declining prices with 15% of all cars sold that were built in the 1930s or earlier setting world record prices.  30 cars sold that were built after 2010, 9 of which set world record prices. A whopping 30%”. 

The headline lot of the week, sold by f Bonhams may have missed its estimate by c. $10,000,000 but it nonetheless topped the tables after a single bid secured the 412P Ferrari  for $30,255,000 – making it the most expensive car sold during Monterey Car Week 2023, and also the most expensive car sold to date this year.  It also comes in at number 5 on the all-time most expensive cars sold at public auction.

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