Behind the auction scene at Monterey/Pebble Beach

By Phil Skinner

Monterey/Pebble Beach week day two, terrific Wednesday (Aug. 15). One of the joys about coming to Monterey was the numbers of old friends you get to see, both favorite vintage vehicles and real people too.

This morning started off with a special preview breakfast at Russo & Steele and their new Waterfront Location. This year they are running more than 250 vehicles for three consecutive nights starting Thursday. A favorite of ours was a 1956 Alfa Romeo Veloce coupe that would be a blast to drive around the hills up here in Monterey.

We next visited the folks at RM where Rob Myers and his team have assembled a stellar cast of fabulous cars for their two night sale starting Friday. A number of people noted how the number of consignments are down from previous years, a little over 200 vehicles, to about 130, but how much better the quality and the values of these cars that are going to cross the block are.

No 1957 Chevy Bel Air convertibles here, but some of the most important Ferrari, Aston Martin, Maserati and other exotic sports cars are on tap. Of course there is a great collection of five Early Model V8 Fords all being offered at no reserve and the interest we saw on these cars was very high. Picking one favorite at this sale is tough, but we are partial to the one-of-a-kind XNT show car (pictured) set to cross the block Saturday night.

Our next trip took us over to Carmel Valley to visit Bonhams. This is their 14th year and they are celebrating with a new venue. Still located adjacent to The Quail Lodge Golf Course, the new facility has great parking, a well laid-out and spacious exhibition arena, and a great line-up of vintage motorcycles, cars and memorabilia.

Our favorite vehicle here had to be the 1960 Morris-Minor Panel truck (pictured), presented in Jaguar Service Parts livery. There were several motorcycles that I would love to have follow me home, but the favorite here was a 1965 Honda 300 Dream!

Lots to do: This evening, the new Barrett-Jackson Salon reception at the Monterey Jet Center is the hot ticket; tomorrow early is the send off of the Tour d’Elegance and then a chance to peek into the tents at Gooding & Co.; plus first day of auction action at Mecum with their fourth year at the Hyatt; and later that evening, Russo & Steele kicking off their 13th annual Monterey event!

Until next time…

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