No luxury car auction is complete without the requisite German and Italian representatives in the top sales of the day. No Sotheby’s auction is complete without an exquisite selection of rare beauties and well preserved icons of history with only the best stories behind them. Monaco 2016 was no different. Though the 1968 Ferrari 275 GTS/4 NART Spider by Scaglietti didn’t sell for exorbitant amounts as was previously expected, in fact it wasn’t sold at all, other exceptional figures of automobile history were auctioned and found new owners with whom to extend their lives.
5. 1955 Mercedes-Benz 300 SL Gullwing; Sold for $1,392,160
The Augusta family have carved their well-deserved niche in the Italian business world for their success in aircraft and motorcycle manufacturing. This Gullwing has been owned by that family since the day it rolled out of the factory in October 1955. Introduced in 1954 at the International Auto Show in New York, the 300 SL Gullwing has enjoyed immense popularity since its debut for being the first production fuel-injection and fastest car at that time. This car, chassis 5500799, put out 215 DIN-hp/240 SAE-hp (DIN is the engines power with all fixed accessories and SAE is the engine’s power without) on a 3.0-litre SOHC 6-cylinder engine with Bosch mechanical fuel-injection and four-speed manual transmission. It gave a top speed of 161-mph and completed the 0-60 sprint in about 8 seconds.
4. 1948 Tucker 48; Sold for $1,518,720
What is this American classic doing in Europe and how did it get there? After the company’s fall from grace by the early 1950’s, Tucker number 1049 was sold at the factory bankruptcy auction in Chicago and changed hands, over the years, with a number of individuals whose interest in the car ranged from tourism and profit to an appreciation of its charm. It was restored from 2003 to 2007, then sold to a British car collector under whose care it won numerous awards at different major shows in the UK. This post-war car put out 166-bhp from a 335 cu. in. OHV horizontally opposed 6-cylinder engine and Tucker Y-1 4-speed pre-selector transmission. Tucker 1049 is the only Tucker in Europe, and is one of the final eight of a total 51 Tucker’s ever produced.
3. 1966 Ferrari 275 GTS by Pininfarina; Sold for $2,024,960
The 275 GTS premiered at the 1964 Paris Auto Show and was chiefly intended for the American market. Unlike its prolific sibling, the 275 GTB, only 200 of this marque were built. This Ferrari Classiche certified 275 GTS, chassis 07805, is three owners from new, has never been restored and is in excellent condition. From a 3.3-litre Colombo V12 engine with triple Weber carburetors and 5-speed manual transmission we get 260-bhp and a whole lot a fun.
2. 1997 Porsche 911 GT1 Evolution; Sold for $3,132,360
This, the most modern car on our list, is the only road-legal 911 GT1 race car. Only 41 GT1’s were built, 18 racing and 23 street cars making it rarer than its competition the McLaren F1. This GT1 Evolution has a well-documented race history and has a total of 13 wins and 31 starts, which include three consecutive Canadian GT championship wins. It is two owners from new and has never before been offered for public sale. The GT1 Evolution puts out more than 600-bhp from a 3.2-litre twin turbo flat-six and underwent a full restoration from 2014 to 2015.
1. 1951 Ferrari 340 America Barchetta by Touring; Sold for $8,226,405
No, this isn’t the Ferrari we expected to top the list, but it is just as valuable and rare within its own right. Only twenty-three 340 America chassis were ever built and of that number 8 were bodied by Touring. The 340 America featured here, chassis 0116/A, is the third chassis and the second body respectively. With its 4.1-litre Tipo 340 V12 engine on a 5-speed manual transmission it produced 217-bhp and competed in 1951 Le Mans under Formula 1 ace Louis Chiron. Chiron was eventually disqualified for refueling on the course but not before he managed to snag the 11th fastest lap time. The 340 America competed again the following year but retired after mechanical difficulties. The 340 America was recently restored to its 1951 Le Mans configuration.