RM Sotheby's choice venue, the Portola Hotel in Monterey, hosts the biggest auction in company history next month.
14 July 2022
By Forest Casey
At the corner of Alvarado St and Del Monte Ave in downtown Monterey, once a year, a one-of-a-kind museum of sorts springs up. Like a whirlpool wrapping around the porte-cochère of the Portola Hotel & Spa, some of the greatest examples of automotive history are represented annually, with this year's event running from August 18 to 20. The offerings are procured by RM Sotheby's, the world's premiere auction house for classic cars, and if early indications are correct, the list of examples on display in 2022 will rival any previous sale in company history in terms of breadth of automakers represented and the sheer value of these special automobiles.
As with last year's event, shown in the photos above, the near-encyclopedic grouping of automobiles will continue beyond the entrance of the Portola into the expansive courtyard of Custom House Plaza and the lobby of the Monterey Convention Center. Not simply confined to one era or style, this year's Monterey lineup is comprised of over 190 lots of cars and memorabilia, including three extensive collections. Guests of the Portola Hotel will be able to have a front-seat view during the auction preview, which will be held starting on Wednesday, 17 August, with these thrilling collections and our headlining Ferrari all on-display:
The Oscar Davis Collection
A tribute to a singular life and a monumental collection of pre- and post-war sports cars, the collection of Oscar Davis includes cars celebrated at prestigious concours like Pebble Beach as well as driven on cross-country road rallies like the Mille Miglia. Mr. Davis, an immigrant to the United States and veteran of World War II, made a fortune revolutionizing the high-end swimming pool industry. He spent his fortune on his first love: European sports cars. The collection includes fine coachbuilt examples from brands like Alfa Romeo, supercharged Bugatti cabriolets, as well as post-war racers with impressive competition history from brands like Ferrari and Maserati.
Masterworks of Design
Dazzling is perhaps the best descriptor for these handbuilt automobiles. With most prestige brands in the pre-war era relying on outside ateliers to construct unique designs to clothe their upgraded powerplants, the examples on this list are essentially works of art, commissioned in a bygone era. Assembled in French, German, and Swiss workshops by true artisans, these motorcars are all considered Masterworks of Design. Be sure not to miss three especially extraordinary examples: A 1924 Hispano-Suiza H6C with a Tulipwood body by a French aerospace outfit, a British Daimler 45 HP with a body built in 1926 from sheets of German silver especially for a Maharaja of India, and one of only three 1937 Mercedes-Benz 540 K Special Roadsters made with a long-tail, covered-spare style body, available for the first time at auction. Constructed of precious materials, curated with an eye for artistry, the examples on this list are undeniably stunning, even to the untrained eye.
From The Terence E. Adderley Collection
Recently announced, the colorful offerings From The Terence E. Adderley Collection represent an inspired take on selecting the best of any given generation of automobiles. Though based out of Troy, Michigan, not far from Motor City limits, Mr. Adderley was intent on collecting the most exclusive examples of any given period, including a 1935 Duesenberg Model J Convertible made by Rollston and a 1932 Stutz DV-32 Super Bearcat with an ultra-rare, lightweight, fabric body made by Weymann (one of only two believed to survive). Along with these pre-war Full Classics, Mr. Adderley also selected four worthy post-war European sports cars, including a 1956 Mercedes-Benz 300 SL Gullwing, two Porsche 356 examples including a 1956 356 A 1600 Super Speedster by Reutter, and a 1971 Ferrari 365 GTB/4 Daytona Berlinetta by Scaglietti, one of five painted in Rame Metallizzato. Truly, something on offer for any enthusiast of quality, provenance, and rarity.
The "Best Ferrari Ever Built"
Every successful auction needs a headlining lot, one which draws attention to the event even by itself. This 1955 Ferrari 410 Sport Spider, no. 0598 CM, is one of four ever made, so it satisfies any enthusiast searching for a rare racer. Driven by names as famous as Juan Manuel Fangio, Phil Hill, Masten Gregory, and Carroll Shelby, this prancing horse was more than a mere also-ran. In fact, Carroll Shelby achieved more victories with this car than any other, using its mighty, 4.9-litre "big block" Lampredi V-12 engine to its fullest potential, winning eight times outright and scoring ten podium finishes. An icon from the golden era of sports car racing, Shelby was reunited with no. 0598 CM and added an inscription to its massive fuel tank, reading, "Mr. Ferrari told me this was the best Ferrari he ever built." No better compliment could be given.
For more information about RM Sotheby's signature Monterey auction, as well as to register interest for bidding, please click here. Stay tuned to this space for more classic car content in the run up to 18-20 August 2022.