Tucked away in a bay between San Francisco and Los Angeles lies the city of Monterey. The coastal clique is well-known within the golfing fraternity but, for one week of the year, the greens and clubhouses give way to the world’s most exclusive car show: Monterey Car Week.
From the latest hypercars to the rarest classics, this festival of all things automotive is unrivalled, drawing in high-rollers eager to boost their collections and part ways with tens of millions in the process. This year, the established auction houses once again wheel out their greatest offerings with estimates to match. Here are five of the most exclusive cars heading under the hammer in 2023.
1957 Jaguar XKSS
Jaguar’s serial Le Mans-winning D-type needs no introduction in the world of motorsport, but when the British carmaker pulled the plug on its own racing programmes, in 1956, it wound up with a problem. With a factory full of unsold D-types and their constituent parts, they needed a home, so Jaguar adapted the race-spec D-type for the road, giving way to the legendary XKSS.
25 were made – 16 in period, and nine later as slightly controversial ‘continuation cars’ – meaning the originals command much higher prices. This particular XKSS – chassis 707 – has spent its life in the hands of collectors in the US and UK and is the first XKSS to come up for auction since 2017.
2001 Ferrari 550 Maranello Prodrive
It’s rare to find cars made in the 2000s with multi-million-pound price tags, but this 2001 Ferrari 500 Maranello cuts against the grain. Created during Ferrari’s golden age of Formula 1 dominance, the most successful 550 racers were prepared and run by British firm Prodrive.
This particular creation won five races, took 14 podiums, and recorded 10 pole positions out of 34 starts – including five runs at Le Mans – in its racing career. In 2004, it was driven by the late rally legend Colin McRae, at Le Mans, and finished third in its class.
1933 Bugatti Type 55 Roadster
Car Week’s known for its exceptional pre-World War II cars and this Bugatti Type 55 Roadster is one of the finest in this category. A rich mix of Bugatti grand-prix car parts wrapped in a svelte black-and-yellow roadster body, the 55 Roadster is one of the rarest classics from the historic French automaker, as only 16 were built.
Sold new to Algeria, this Bugatti took on – and won – the Bouzaréa Hill Climb, near Algiers, before it was refurbished in 1950 and headed back to France. It went to Ralph Lauren in 1986 (the fashion tycoon eventually sold it in 2003), and, now, it’s up for grabs once again for a hefty sum.
1964 Ferrari 250 LM
The 250 number usually means big money in Ferrari world and this 250 LM – built for Le Mans, as its name suggests – is no exception. Expected to fetch around $20m when it graces the auction block, the 250 LM was the last car to win Le Mans for Ferrari before it came back with a victory this year.
After a storied racing career in the UK, Austria, Africa and France, the car has been part of collections in the US and Japan. Now, coming up for grabs once again, this one’s reserved for only the most determined (read: wealthy) collectors.
1967 Ferrari 412 P
No surprise to find Ferrari dominating this list, but the 412 P is quite unlike anything else. Shaped like a UFO, it’s hard to believe it dates back to the late-1960s, and, with just four built, it is one of the rarest Italian racers. With no estimate given for the lot, it’s safe to assume it will fetch a handsome sum, given Christie’s sold a similar P3, back in 2005, for $5.6m.
Want more motoring content? We celebrate 75 years of Porsche, in 10 milestone moments…
Become a Gentleman’s Journal member. Find out more here.
Become a Gentleman’s Journal Member?
Like the Gentleman’s Journal? Why not join the Clubhouse, a special kind of private club where members receive offers and experiences from hand-picked, premium brands. You will also receive invites to exclusive events, the quarterly print magazine delivered directly to your door and your own membership card.