Cars & Auto

Why the Mecum Daytime Auction in Monterey Matters So Much

The Mecum Auctions annual Daytime Auction in Monterey is the industry standard for luxury and collector car trends. This a geography where it is safe to say “money exists a little more than in other places.” According to Mecum, the August 13th – 16th (2021) event became “the most successful ‘Daytime Auction’ to date.” Overall sales reached $57.4 million, and its release also said that 80% of all cars were sold. To say that this auctions means so much to collectors and investors in these types of cars is an understatement.

The Monterey event itself is worth talking about every year, but 2021 shows that those with excess capital are willing to spend it. This year, like many other years, Ferrari had the top win. However, older models were represented in the auction but you would never know these are “older” solely looking at the odometers.

The 2014 Ferrari LaFerrari was the top sale for the Monterey show. It sold for $3,410,000. The Ferrari model has been the overall top sale in three of the last five years for all Mecum shows around the country according to records from Mecum. Here are the three Ferrari LaFerrari first place winners and the respective years they won at different auctions:

  • #1 2014 Ferrari LaFerrari
    1 of 3 in Nero DS Opaco, 211 Original Miles
    Sold for $4,700,000 – Monterey 2016
  • #1 2014 Ferrari LaFerrari
    Hybrid 6.3/949 HP, 565 Miles
    Sold for $3,450,000 – Monterey 2017
  • #1 2014 Ferrari LaFerrari
    418 Miles, Special-Order Rosso Fuoco
    Sold for $3,300,000 – Kissimmee 2019

Collectors Dashboard evaluates collectibles as an alternative asset class. The same capital that could have been invested into stocks or bonds is being used to buy high-end collectibles. Multi-million automobiles definitely fall into this category. Collectors have a passion to own certain prize cars, but investors are just looking for a profit. This keeps collectors and investors in a constant battle for who can win some auctions.

Here is a comprehensive list of the top 10 winners for the August 13th – 16th 2021 show. The show now formally dubbed and understood as the most successful daytime auction has plenty of sales to take note of. These ten sales should prove it:

  1. 2014 Ferrari LaFerrari (Lot S75) at $3,410,000
  2. 1967 Shelby 427 ‘Semi Competition’ Cobra (Lot S92) at $2,860,000
  3. 2004 Ford Shelby Cobra Concept (Lot S105) at $2,640,000
  4. 1966 Ferrari 275 GTB/6C Long Nose (Lot S78) at $2,640,000
  5. 1929 Duesenberg Model J Murphy Convertible Sedan (Lot F49) at $2,365,000
  6. 1965 Ferrari 500 Superfast (Lot S112) at $1,875,000
  7. 1963 Ferrari 250 GT Lusso Berlinetta Scaglietti (Lot S110) at $1,760,000
  8. 2015 Porsche 918 Spyder Weissach (Lot S97) at $1,595,000
  9. 1965 Shelby GT350R Fastback (Lot S102) at $1,265,000
  10. 2004 Porsche Carrera GT (Lot S69) at $1,210,000

The 1929 Duesenberg Model J Murphy Convertible Sedan was the fifth highest sale of the entire show at a comfortable $2,365,000. The car fits snugly between a 1966 Ferrari 275 GTB/6C Long Nose in fourth place and a 1965 Ferrari 500 Superfast at the sixth high sale. What is perhaps most significant is the age contrast in the top ten. The 1929 is the oldest car in the group and 34 years away from the next car in the top ten by age alone. A car with the name Sedan in the title was ahead of two Ferrari sales, two Porches and a Shelby GT350R Fastback.

The Duesenberg Model J was introduced in 1929 and the as delivered price was $20,000.00 when most cars of the era were around $500.00 new. Only 481 examples were produced between 1928 and 1937. A proverb of collecting is that low population of an object is a symptom of value. The car is a work of art and hand crafted to fit the tastes of royalty. The $2,365,000 sale price should not come as a surprise to something in the luxury car industry that is understood across the board to be so well made. As an American car it takes the owner not to a more simple time but to a more industrial age.

So what are some potential reasons for why the August 13th – 16th Monterey Mecum Auctions was the most successful Daytime Auction to date after a massive $100+ million auction in Indy? Several key issues come to mind.

The American economy is back in full force. It appears, so far at least, that the COVID variant that is all over the news just isn’t keeping people away from spending their cash.
The location itself, about 100 miles on scenic coastal Hwy 1 from San Francisco, is a legendary dream drive if you are driving the right car. It’s safe to assume some Silicon Valley stock options may have been a further boost.
As for an investing angle, some buyers are not just looking to drive the California coast on a postcard day. That said, Collectors Dashboard would assume that the proximity to Silicon Valley cannot rule out the idea that at least some of the buys were for the ultimate joy ride.
Collecting and investing in high-end cards is a very serious investment, whether it is fun or for profit. The cost of maintenance and storage is just part of it. What is the value of 200 square feet in a multi-million mansion? Also, each mile driven after the purchase is a calculated choice by the owner.