In Depth

The amazing cars for auction at RM Sotheby's Monterey

Hundreds of millions could change hands in California this weekend

One of the highlights of the famed Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance is RM Sotheby's annual Monterey auction, which sees collectors trade huge sums in California for the rarest and most exquisite cars around.

Some classics can sell for tens of millions, but more modern offerings and racing cars often go under the hammer as well. Last year's sale saw around £134m spent in auction and post-auction private sales and 36 cars went for million-dollar-plus prices.

This year's 101-strong auction features so many incredible cars it feels unfair to single out just a few, but here's some of the most expensive, eye-catching and mouth-watering offerings.

1955 Jaguar D-Type (£15m-£19m)

Tied for the title of car with the largest pre-sale estimate is this 1955 Jaguar D-Type, which could go close to breaking the £20m barrier. This particular model missed Le Mans in 1955, but returned triumphant a year later with Ninian Sanderson and Ron Flockhart at the wheel. Liveried in Ecurie Ecosse colours, under the bonnet sits a 250bhp inline six. It could become the most valuable British car ever.

1939 Alfa Romeo 8C 2900B Lungo Spider (£15m-£19m)

Alongside the Jag is this extremely rare Alfa Romeo 8C 2900B Spider. Only 12 are believed to exist and "buying one places its owner in the foremost echelon of automotive enthusiasts", says RM. They rarely come onto the market as they often form long-term centrepieces in collector's garages – something which could spark a bidding war big enough to make this model the most expensive car at the auction.

1966 Ford GT 40 (£2.9m- £3.25m)

The Ford GT40 is a legend on track thanks to its 1-2-3 sweep of Le Mans in 1966, swiftly followed up by victories in 1967, 1968 and 1969. This car is one of 31 built specifically for the road but instead of being sold, it was retained by Ford and used as a promotional and marketing vehicle. It later found its way into private hands and was eventually prepped for historic racing. The V8 has been bored out to 351 cubic inches for an estimated 450bhp and is one of two GT40s in the auction.

2005 Maserati MC12 (£1,23m-£1m)

This is one of the more modern offerings within the huge lot and was built to signal Maserati's re-entry into motorsport after a 37-year hiatus. On track, the MC12 was a force to be reckoned with, notching up two FIA GT constructors titles, but Maserati built 50 of them for road use too. While it has the same chassis as the Ferrari Enzo, the MC12 has radically different bodywork, with much larger race car-like overhangs and wings. Under the bonnet sits a 630bhp, 6-litre V12.

Ferraris galore

Of course, classic car auctions can't really go ahead without legions of eye-poppingly expensive Ferraris. In lot this year is a 1955 750 Monza Spider valued at more than £3m, a 1962 Ferrari 268 SP, two 1984 512 Boxer Berlinettas, a legendary 1990 F40 and, estimated to make more than £9m, a 1958 250 GT long wheelbase California Spider, among countless others.

The auction gets underway on Friday 19 August and concludes the next day.

For more on cars and the latest luxury news follow @the_week_portfolio on Instagram

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