Tuesday, 28 August 2012 13:12

Jim's Blog - What's Monterey Mean to the Rest of the Hobby?

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RM's GT40 - Sold at $11m RM's GT40 - Sold at $11m

After a few days of recharging our batteries, the ACC crew is back in the office following the whirlwind of car events that make up Monterey car week. I couldn't be happier with the performance of my Charger on the 1,600-mile drive - 80 mph, a/c on, and 22 mpg on average. Aside from a flying 4x8 sheet of plywood that scuffed up my front bumper and passenger rear quarter panel while we were passing through Redding, California, the trip was pretty comfortable overall.

This year's sales totaled over $260m, compared to last year's $198m. That's for around 760 cars at five auctions. Average price? $342k per car. Sure, those numbers are inflated due to the many million-dollar sales this year, including the $11m GT40 that served as the film car for Steve McQueen in Le Mans, but there were quite a few lesser cars that brought big money as well. For example, a 1952 Hudson Hornet four-door sedan made $178k at the Gooding auction in Pebble Beach on Sunday night. It was a Twin-H powered car in great restored condition, but it's pre-sale estimate was just $50k to $70k. 

Granted, Monterey in August tends to be the highest grossing combined auction event in the American car world each year. But what do you think its impact will be on the rest of the market? Will there be price increases that filter down to the more common cars? Are we looking at an isolated boost for just the best of the best? Let me know what you think in the comments below. 

And look for ACC's complete coverage of this year's events in the next issue, which ships to the press in early October.

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Jim Pickering

Jim Pickering is the Editor of American Car Collector magazine and has been the Managing Editor of Sports Car Market magazine since 2006. As proficient with Snap-On tools as he is with a keyboard, Jim began his career as a professional mechanic while still in college at Pacific University in Forest Grove, Oregon, where he earned a B.A. in Creative Writing. He can often be found at Portland International Raceway at the Late-Night Drags, behind the wheel of his 12-second big-block powered 1966 Chevrolet Caprice. He is also currently restoring a 1972 Chevrolet K10 Cheyenne Super longbed in his spare time.