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Pebble Beach classic car auctions net windfalls

Record breaker: The McLaren F1 that was up for auction fetched $A19.7 million over the weekend.

McLaren F1 and Porsche 917K break auctions records in US

21 Aug 2017

A 1995 McLaren F1 has sold for a staggering $US15.6 million ($A19.7m) at this year’s auctions at the annual Monterey Car Week in California, with a 1970 Porsche 917K racecar also posting a record $US14 million ($A17.8m) winning bid.

Auction house Bonhams sold the famed British 1990s supercar, which was presented as the first F1 imported to the United States and the 37th – of 64 units produced – to roll off the assembly line.

The 6.0-litre V12-engined tri-seater has been tagged as a single-owner vehicle first delivered in July 1996, and it comes with full service history based on time, given only 9660 miles (15,450km) has clicked over on its odometer.

Gooding and Company (G&C) – the official auction house of the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance – handled the 917K, which was sold as having both racing and film-star accolades to its name.

The example 917-024 was owned by Porsche racer Jo Siffert and was tested at Le Mans, France, and the Nurburgring and Ehra-Lessien, in Germany, in 1970.

Mr Siffert then owned the vehicle, before it was bought by Porsche engineer and author Walter Naher and was subsequently sold to French collector M. Pierre Prieur by 1978. It was then in 2001 discovered as a ‘barn find’ but “remarkably untouched” according to the auction house, with the exception of its missing 4.5-litre flat 12-cylinder engine that, when new, produced 433kW of power at 8400rpm.

A restoration process began a year later, with the engine from 917-021 and a replacement frame built in France – however all original documentation remained with the vehicle.

The 917K smashed the previously held record, with a 1982 Porsche 956 notching up $US10,120,000 in 2015 (at today’s currency $A12.78m).

G&C claimed that over $91m was auctioned over the weekend. Although the British McLaren and German Porsche scored the highest bids of the weekend, the field from both auction houses was otherwise dominated by Italian machinery.

Six Ferraris and a single Maserati all sold for at least $A2.58m – that being for a 2003 Ferrari Enzo at Bonhams.

A 1965 Ferrari 275 GTB sold for $A3.89m while a 1967 275 GTB/4 example fetched $A3.18m, both at Bonhams.

G&C also auctioned a 1954 Ferrari 500 Mondial S1 for $A3.99m, which fell just below a 2015 Ferrari LaFerrari ($A4.44m), a 1956 Maserati A6G/54 Berlinetta ($A5.56m) and 1959 Ferrari 250 GT S1 ($A6.06m).

Of the 178 lots at the G&C auction, 23 sold for beyond $A1m while of the 111 vehicles for sale at the Bonhams auction, a further 10 surpassed that figure.

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