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Cut-price California

California dream: There was plenty of interest in this two-tone 1959 Ferrari California at the Monterey auction after the recent world record sale in Italy.

Classic Ferrari sells for one-third of the previous world record auction price

Ferrari logo28 Aug 2008

By DAVID HASSALL

ANYONE who thought that British DJ Chris Evans paid too much for a 1961 Ferrari California in May – a world auction record of $11.6 million – will be left in no doubt after a similar car sold in the US last week for about one-third that price.

The 1959 model 250 GT LWB California Spider, which is essentially the same model as the Evans car, but was not owned by a Hollywood actor, was sold by Gooding and Company at its annual Pebble Beach classic car auction for ‘only’ US$3.6 million (A$4.2 million).

Its price was almost matched by the final bid of US$3,190,000 for the rights to the chassis number one of the Bugatti Veyron 16.4 Grand Sport – set to become the world’s fastest convertible – when it rolls off the production line in the first half of 2009.

 center imageLeft: Rights to the first production Bugatti Veyron 16.4 Grand Sport sold for more than $3 million.

Top price paid at the annual Pebble Beach auction was a North American car auction record of US$7,920,000 for a 1937 Bugatti Type 57SC Atalante Coupe.

This was part of a collection of 15 rare Bugattis, said to be the best in the world, which realised a total of US$15.5 million.

Two Ferrari Daytonas – once the darling of the classic car set – brought contrasting results, with a 1972 GTB/4 coupe bringing only US$363,000 while a 1971 GTS/4 convertible sold for just over US$1 million.

More consistent were a pair of 1950s Mercedes-Benz 300SL Gullwings, including one that belonged to Oprah Winfrey, which each sold for around US$600,000.

A classic Lamborghini Miura P400 brought US$330,000 and a 1977 Countach LP400 US$396,000.

Looking for something a little cheaper? Among the cheapest cars sold at Pebble Beach were a 1963 Amphicar 770, a 1914 Peugeot Bebe two-seater, a 1969 Alfa Romeo 1750 GTV and a 1932 Ford Roadster, each of which sold for US$44,000, or even a 1997 Aston Martin DB7 Volante that went for US$50,600.

In total, the Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance auction realised US$64 million for 111 sold lots. This included 20 cars that sold for more than US$1 million, but a number of highly fancied cars failed to reach their reserve price.

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