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Ferrari 550 GT1 Prodrive Sold for Online-Record $4.29M, Leads Car Week 2020 Auction Sales

There’s no Monterey Car Week 2020, but auction sales still boomed, relatively speaking.

Rory JurneckaWriterBonhamsPhotographerGooding Co.Photographer

The theme of 2020 is adjusting our expectations for just about everything, the classic-car market included. During the 2019 edition of Monterey Car Week, the primary three auction houses—that is, RM Sotheby's, Gooding & Company, and Bonhams—collectively sold some $216 million in collector vehicles. Some $311 million was achieved just a year before that. But what about Car Week 2020 auction sales?

With both Gooding & Company and RM Sotheby's holding their auctions exclusively online, and only Bonhams offering a live sale at Los Angeles' Petersen Automotive Museum (attended only by some registered bidders, no general spectators allowed), the atmosphere was markedly different. Total sales were a relatively meager $57.4 million, with more than half that amount driven by RM Sotheby's $30.4-million event. Those results sound impressive for RM Sotheby's (and they are given the circumstances), but keep in mind, last year RM Sotheby's alone sold $107 million.

Of course, the number of total vehicles offered was down as well. Last year, 543 vehicles were available between the three auction houses. This year, just 260 cherished toys were sent across the mostly virtual auction block, less than half of 2019's total. Looking through the top 10 Car Week 2020 auction sales, Ferraris claim seven spots and the top-three winning bids. We also see a continued shift away from the mid-century cars that used to populate the top of sales charts. During Car Week 2020, just four of our top 10 sales were cars built before the 1990s.

Top Car Week 2020 auction sales this year couldn't compete with 2019 for the total dollar amount, either. This year's top-selling entry, a 2001 Ferrari 550 GT1 Prodrive race car, sold for $4,290,000. That's a hefty chunk of change, make no mistake, but had it sold last year it would have clung to the No. 10 spot on Monterey Car Week's top 10 sales list. Nine other collector cars sold for more in Monterey last year, and the top seller was a nearly $20-million 1994 McLaren F1. No such magic this year. Regardless, here are the top 10 auction sales from the 2020 "Virtual Car Week" auctions.

2001 Ferrari 550 GT1 Prodrive

Sold: $4,290,000 (RM Sotheby's)

Endurance sports-car racing was low on Ferrari's list of priorities in the early 2000s. So, Care Racing Development hired the famous Prodrive group to turn the Ferrari 550 Maranello road car into a race-winning machine that could compete with the best in its class at the 24 Hours of Le Mans, among other venues. Some 12 Ferrari 550 GT1 Prodrive race cars were built, this being the second example made. While it never did taste victory at Le Mans, this particular car did win 14 races and claim 15 poles between its racing in both the U.S. and Europe. This is a strong price for a non-factory race car, but RM Sotheby's marketed it well, with this Car Week 2020 auction sales result falling right in the middle of the pre-sale estimate range.

1966 Ferrari 275 GTB

Sold: $3,080,000 (Gooding & Company)

Ferrari 275 GTBs generally get more valuable and desirable the further along in production they come from. This car is a second-series, "long nose" car with the early SOHC cylinder-head, and the desirable torque-tube driveshaft and six-carb specification that lends one Weber carburetor to every pair of cylinders.

Originally sold in Italy, this specific 275 GTB was brought to the U.S. via early Ferrari importer Luigi Chinetti. From there, it passed through several Americans' hands, but covered relatively few miles: just 1,200 in the past three decades. With just 50,000 miles from new, it's probably one of the more original 275s out there, still wearing its factory paint and interior. As such, it brought more than a million dollars more than a 1965 275 GTB at rival auction house RM Sotheby's.

2003 Ferrari Enzo

Sold: $2,354,000 (Gooding & Company)

Ferrari Enzos were built with a new design philosophy that placed aerodynamic efficiency quite a bit ahead of aesthetic considerations. Yes, the Enzo may be the ugly duckling of the Ferrari supercar lineup, but its naturally aspirated V-12 performance is still spellbinding even almost 20 years later (has it really been that long?), with a 221-mph top speed and a 0-60 time of just more than 3.0 seconds.

Color, mileage, and condition are critical with Enzos; this one was special-ordered in Nürburgring Silver and has covered a fair amount of miles, 7,100 at the time of auction. Sold in-line with its pre-sale estimate, this is a good Enzo to actually use without the fear of watching the miles creep up. An interesting Car Week 2020 auction sale, to be sure.

1959 Porsche 718 RSK Spyder

Sold: $2,232,500 (Bonhams)

Porsche is known for its rear-engine cars, but the brand's first bespoke race car was the mid-engine 550 Spyder, similar to the one actor James Dean died in. This RSK was an evolution of that design, with changes giving more power and improved handling, along with a more slippery body profile.

Known as "giant killers," both 550s and RSK models routinely showed larger, more powerful cars their taillights, and this example won at the 1959 Bahama Speed Week competition, while also contesting many other period events. It was also raced by Bob Holbert, a well-known Porsche racer and father of Al, the latter of whom would also go on to great things in motorsports. This Car Week 2020 auction sale was right on the money for a great example.

1995 Ferrari F50

Sold: $2,134,000 (Gooding & Company)

Sold by the same owner as the Ferrari Enzo, this Nürburgring Silver F50 was repainted from its original Rosso Corsa around 2002. That's generally not terrific for value with these cars, but the F50 does wear its silver paint well, and the color helps it to stand out among the mostly red examples in the 349-car production run. With both a naturally aspirated 4.7-liter V-12 and a six-speed manual gearbox, the F50 has become known as one of the last old-school supercars. This is another high-mileage example, with more than 10,000 miles on the odometer. A car to be driven, not polished.

1965 Ferrari 275 GTB

Sold: 1,980,000 (RM Sotheby's)

Launched in 1964, the Ferrari 275 GTB was based on an evolution of the 250 GT platform, and it is one of the most desirable Enzo-era (pre-Fiat) Ferraris built. Some 442 were made in total, with 250 of those being an early "short nose" car, as this one is.  Condition and ownership history are everything with 275s and this car was recently fully restored and Ferrari Classiche certified, which adds greatly to the appeal among show-driven collectors.

2014 Pagani Huayra

Sold: 1,848,000 (RM Sotheby's)

The 56th of 100 Huayras ever built, this example boasts a twin-turbo, 730-horsepower, 6.0-liter V-12 built by Mercedes-AMG, paired with a seven-speed paddle-shift transmission. These cars built by company head Horacio Pagani are known to be among the most detailed supercars in existence, with hours upon hours of handcrafted skill going into each one.

The result is something that lies somewhere between automobile and art, and with 5,500 miles on this Huayra's odometer, it appears it was treated more like the former than the latter, compared to many Paganis. A market-correct price toward the lower end of its estimate for this Car Week 2020 auction sale.

2014 Bugatti Veyron 16.4 Grand Sport Vitesse "Meo Costantini"

Sold: $1,750,000 (Bonhams)

Bugatti Veyrons are rare. This Veyron "Meo Costantini" edition is even more rare. One of just three ever built to honor Costantini, former head of Bugatti's factory race team and two-time winner of the Targa Florio open-road race, its special touches include carbon-fiber bits in the Bugatti Dark Blue Sport hue, polished aluminum highlights, a painting of the Targa Florio race circuit on the underside of the rear wing, and Costantini's signature just about everywhere it could be placed.

If those touches don't do much for you, remember this is one of 30 open-roof Grand Sport versions ever made, and it still makes a whopping 1,200 hp from its 8.0-liter, quad-turbo W-16 engine. For $1.75 million, the buyer got a whole lot of bragging rights.

1992 Ferrari F40

Sold: $1,628,000 (Gooding & Company)

The F40 is the most-produced of the five pinnacle Ferrari supercars (288 GT0, F40, F50, Enzo, and La Ferrari). Production was to be limited to 400 cars, but Ferrari couldn't turn down the opportunity for massive profit, especially with founder Enzo Ferrari's death shortly after the F40's launch led the company to a questionable future. In the end, Ferrari built more than 1,300 F40s, though only 213 to U.S.-specification, as this one is.

U.S. cars are really only desirable to Americans, as they received slightly different bumpers, aluminum fuel tanks rather than Kevlar fuel bladders, a third brake light beneath the massive rear wing, different seats, and the much-hated automated seatbelts of the day. Nevertheless, this is a nice car with less than 5,000 miles, full factory luggage, Ferrari Classiche certification, and a recent major service. A rather strong price, as lesser examples sell for close to the million-dollar mark.

1964 Ferrari 250 GT/L "Lusso"

Photo: @vconceptsllc | Teddy Pieper

Sold: $1,496,000 (RM Sotheby's)

Lusso means "luxury" in Italian, and unlike the legendary, race-dominating 250 GTO, the 250 GT/L was built for both comfort and style, as well as performance. With a 3.0-liter Columbo V-12 engine and elegant Scaglietti coachwork, the Lusso is still a highly desirable car; the late actor Steve McQueen's car set a new record for the model years ago at more than $3 million. This car comes out of long-term, single-family ownership, which is important provenance for a car like this. Also appealing, it was treated to $30,000 of reconditioning in 2017 before being shown at several concours events. It's also said to be the only Lusso built in this color combination from the factory. Nicely sold.

Car Week 2020 Auction Sales Highlights

RM Sotheby's

  • Total sales: $30.4 million
  • Sell-through: 74-percent, 109 total automobile and motorcycle lots
  • Top seller: 2001 Ferrari 550 GT1 Prodrive, $4,290,000

Gooding & Company

  • Total sales: $14.5 million
  • Sell-through: 68 percent, 53 total automobile and motorcycle lots
  • Top seller: 1966 Ferrari 275 GTB, $3,080,000

Bonhams

  • Total sales: $12.5 million
  • Sell-through: 63 percent, 98 total automobile lots
  • Top seller: 1959 Porsche 718 RSK Spyder, $2,232,500