The world’s richest car collectors are going to splash out on more than a quarter of a BILLION DOLLARS on motors this weekend in a staggering spending frenzy.
Wealthy petrolheads descend on Monterey in California every August for a series of car auctions at the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance.
Around 250 cars are expected to be sold over a record-breaking few days this year as classic and modern motors go under the hammer.
They range from dozens of classic Ferraris through to ultra-rare Bugattis and a 1997 McLaren F1 road car.
The main two sales are held by RM Auctions and Gooding & Co with both auction houses expected to sell in excess of £75 million EACH.
It’s thought a one-owner Ferrari 275 will be the star lot of the weekend. The 1967 GTB/4*S NART Spyder cost its owner £5,000 and but is being offered with a £10 million guide price.
The car, similar to the model driven by Steve McQueen in The Thomas Crown Affair, is regarded as “one of the greatest all-round Ferraris of the 1960s”.
It is anticipated at least 75 cars sell for in excess of $1 MILLION (£640,000) in the incredible weekend auctions.
The total figure, before premiums are added, should be in excess of £178 million ($275m) between the RM, Gooding & Co and Bonhams auctions alone.
A 1997 McLaren F1 is expected to become the most expensive modern car to ever sell on the open market with the British-built supercar expected to sell for around £6 million.
Even Toyotas are attracting interest with a 1968 Toyota 2000GT likely to receive bids around the $1 million mark.
A Bugatti Type 57SC Atalante, described as “an undisputed masterpiece of automotive art” is also an attention grabber.
The 1937 model has a supercharged 3.2-litre engine which develops 200bhp – an incredible figure for a 77-year-old car. Gooding & Co are not giving an estimate on the Bugatti but it is thought to be around the #10 million mark.
There are also a number of race cars going under the hammer including a 2002 Ferrari F1 car which was driven to three Grand Prix victories by Michael Schumacher and Rubens Barrichello.
It was the first Ferrari F1 car from 1977 to be driven to victory by two different drivers and has an estimate of £1.7 million.
Marcel Massini, a Ferrari historian attending the events, yesterday (Weds) described it as “the most impressive line-up ever for a weekend of automobile auctions”.
He said: “All the world’s money is here in Monterey and Pebble Beach waiting to buy a collector car or two.
“It is not just the more than 85 classic Ferraris available at the various auctions, but also several hundred other vintage and classic cars including spectacular Mercedes Benz, Bugattis, Alfa Romeos, Packards, Voisins, McLarens, Porsches, Lamborghinis, Aston Martin, Lancias and AC Cobras.
“Car collecting has now truly become mainstream. The variety is immense and the top auction houses have gone to great lengths to find the very best in the world.
“We will see a series of new world records, similar to what has happened in the art market lately.”