As we shift into the back half of summer, all eyes in the automotive world turn to California's central coastline. Aside from the Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance, The Quail, and numerous events happening on the Monterey Peninsula, there are auctions galore. From August 17-19 you'll find numerous high-profile venues offering high-dollar vehicles, and by that, we're talking eight-figure selling prices.
Our emails are blowing up with listings from major auction houses like Gooding & Company, Bonhams Cars, and RM Sotheby's. There are dozens upon dozens of delectable classics with estimates of $1 million or less, far too many to mention here. If we raise the bar to $10 million, we narrow the list down to a more manageable seven, or rather, six with a wild card that gets mighty close to the eight-figure barrier.
It's rare to see one car with such a value at auction, never mind several. If these classics meet their estimates, you're looking at over $100 million in classics going back nearly a century. RIP, bank accounts.
Gooding & Company estimate: $8,000,000 - $10,000,000
Photo Credit: Gooding & Company
90 years ago, this vintage Bugatti was climbing hills with its 130-horsepower straight-eight engine. Specifically, Gooding & Company lists this Type 55 Roadster as racing at the Bouzaréa Hill Climb in Algeria, where it finished first overall in 1935 but scored a DNF the following year. Its ownership history includes fashion mogul Ralph Lauren, and it's a matching-numbers machine with a well-documented history.
Gooding & Company estimate: $9,000,000 -$11,000,000
Photo Credit: Gooding & Company
Billed by Gooding & Company as "wonderfully patinated," this is an original Ferrari that's unrestored. Perusing the photo gallery, the car certainly shows some imperfections. But some might say such imperfections add something special to this Berlinetta. It shows four owners throughout its lifetime, and apparently, this is the first time it's ever been offered for public sale. The original 3.0-liter V12 engine still resides under the hood, and 53,053 kilometers show on the odometer.
RM Sotheby's estimate: $9,500,000 - $11,500,000
Photo Credit: Sevian Daupi / RM Sotheby's
This is the second Ferrari 250 on the list, but whereas the previous 1962 model is all original, this one underwent a full restoration that wrapped up in 2016. Listed as chassis number 1883 GT, it retains the matching numbers engine, transmission, and rear axle and is reportedly the second of 56 SWB models built for 1960. If that's not rare enough, the auction description states this California Spider is one of just 18 made with uncovered headlights.
RM Sotheby's estimate: $12,000,000 - $14,000,000
Photo Credit: Zach Brehl / RM Sotheby's
It's not often a Jaguar XKSS comes up for sale. Only 16 were built, so when one crosses the auction block, folks tend to notice. RM Sotheby's calls this particular Jaguar "one of the absolute most original and best-preserved," noting it still has its original inline-six engine block, head, transmission, rear axle, and bodywork. The car was maintained well in its early years, and while the auction description doesn't mention a full-on restoration, it does state that repairs to upholstery and paintwork were performed as needed.
RM Sotheby's estimate: $18,000,000 - $20,000,000
Photo Credit: Patrick Ernzen / RM Sotheby's
We stick with RM Sotheby's for a legendary Ferrari from a legendary period of racing. Listed as chassis number 6053, this 1964 250 LM raced against Ford GT40s at Le Mans in 1968 and still has the same engine and transmission used in that event. It's one of 32 built, and despite being a race car, it has the distinction of never being involved in a major crash. That didn't stop a complete restoration by Ferrari Classiche, which concluded in 2021 with the car as seen here.
Bonhams Cars estimate: $40,000,000
Photo Credit: Bonhams Cars
Should this exceptionally rare 412P Berlinetta fetch the estimate above, it will become one of the most expensive vehicles ever sold at auction. It's one of just two privateer race cars that saw action in 1967, competing at Spa, Brands Hatch, and Le Mans. It helped Ferrari capture a manufacturer's title for that year, and according to the auction description, it's still a number-matching machine to this day. The Ferrari underwent a nine-year restoration process; it's road legal and still sees occasional drives under current ownership.
RM Sotheby's estimate: $8,000,000 - $9,500,000
Photo Credit: Rob Cooper / RM Sotheby's
Here's the wild card that slips just under the bar but hey, what's another 500 grand when you're close to $10 million? This 550 Maranello isn't without some star power either, having been raced by Colin McRae to a podium finish at the 2004 24 Hours of Le Mans. In fact, RM Sotheby's states this car has raced five times at the iconic event, the most for any individual V12-powered Ferrari. It's listed as one of 10 550 Maranello Prodrives raced during this period, capturing five wins and numerous podiums.