Car auctions smash records on way to $475m

An stunning lineup of Lamborghinis at a show which is part of the 2014 Monterey Car Week.
An stunning lineup of Lamborghinis at a show which is part of the 2014 Monterey Car Week.
A superb lineup of luxury sports cars and supercars at a 2014 Monterey Car Week show.
A superb lineup of luxury sports cars and supercars at a 2014 Monterey Car Week show.
Jaguar's ultra-exclusive Lightweight E-Type prototype at the 2014 Monterey Car Week.
Jaguar's ultra-exclusive Lightweight E-Type prototype at the 2014 Monterey Car Week.
The 2014 Monterey Car Week.
The 2014 Monterey Car Week.
A superb Jaguar E-Type at the 2014 Monterey Car Week.
A superb Jaguar E-Type at the 2014 Monterey Car Week.
A beautiful classic Jaguar at the 2014 Monterey Car Week.
A beautiful classic Jaguar at the 2014 Monterey Car Week.
An appropriately painted Aston Martin at the 2014 Monterey Car Week.
An appropriately painted Aston Martin at the 2014 Monterey Car Week.
The 2014 Monterey Car Week.
The 2014 Monterey Car Week.
The BMW i8 at the 2014 Monterey Car Week.
The BMW i8 at the 2014 Monterey Car Week.
The 2014 Monterey Car Week
The 2014 Monterey Car Week
The 2014 Monterey Car Week.
The 2014 Monterey Car Week.
The 2014 Monterey Car Week.
The 2014 Monterey Car Week.
The 2014 Monterey Car Week.
The 2014 Monterey Car Week.
The 2014 Monterey Car Week.
The 2014 Monterey Car Week.
The 2014 Monterey Car Week.
The 2014 Monterey Car Week.
The 2014 Monterey Car Week.
The 2014 Monterey Car Week.
The 2014 Monterey Car Week.
The 2014 Monterey Car Week.
A classic McLaren racer goes through its paces as part of the 2014 Monterey Car Week.
A classic McLaren racer goes through its paces as part of the 2014 Monterey Car Week.
A Mark I Ford Cortina at the 2014 Monterey Car Week.
A Mark I Ford Cortina at the 2014 Monterey Car Week.
A selection of historic racers at the 2014 Monterey Car Week.
A selection of historic racers at the 2014 Monterey Car Week.
A blue chromed Chevrolet Corvette at the 2014 Monterey Car Week.
A blue chromed Chevrolet Corvette at the 2014 Monterey Car Week.
A Lamborghini Miura set for auction at the 2014 Monterey Car Week.
A Lamborghini Miura set for auction at the 2014 Monterey Car Week.
A classic Ferrari set for auction at the 2014 Monterey Car Week.
A classic Ferrari set for auction at the 2014 Monterey Car Week.
Race cars on display and ready for auction at the 2014 Monterey Car Week.
Race cars on display and ready for auction at the 2014 Monterey Car Week.
A Maserati MC 12 GT1 Centenario at the 2014 Monterey Car Week.
A Maserati MC 12 GT1 Centenario at the 2014 Monterey Car Week.
A Maserati MC 12 at the 2014 Monterey Car Week.
A Maserati MC 12 at the 2014 Monterey Car Week.
A 1928 Maserati Tipo at the 2014 Monterey Car Week.
A 1928 Maserati Tipo at the 2014 Monterey Car Week.
Maserati at the 2014 Monterey Car Week.
Maserati at the 2014 Monterey Car Week.
A 1962 Maserati Tipo 151 at the 2014 Monterey Car Week.
A 1962 Maserati Tipo 151 at the 2014 Monterey Car Week.
A selection of BMWs at the 2014 Monterey Car Week.
A selection of BMWs at the 2014 Monterey Car Week.

The annual auto auctions in Pebble Beach and Carmel roared into the record books with a total of US$400 million (NZ$473.5m) in sales during Monterey car week in California.

From Ferraris to Fords, the four-day total was a 28 per cent increase over last year, according to Hagerty Insurance, which insures and tracks classic car values. The lavish auctions are hosted each year by companies like RM Auctions, Gooding & Co and Bonhams.

The auctions coincide with the annual Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance, which draws some of the wealthiest car fans in the world to the Monterey peninsula.

Despite the record sales, a handful of high-profile classics - with their headlines matching their price tags - failed to find new homes.

"There was a great deal of hype heading into the Monterey auctions," said McKeel Hagerty, founder and chief executive of Hagerty. "On the surface it was a record year and several individual record sales were set - including the highest price ever paid for a car at public auction."

That world record was set Friday (NZ time) when Bonhams sold a 1962 Ferrari 250 GTO for US$38.1m, including buyers' fees. The sale shattered the previous record set of just less than US$30m in 2013 while a rare 1964 Ferrari GTB/C Speciale sold for US$26.4m making it the fourth highest car auction sale ever.

The GTO's final price was certainly eye-watering, but it was below what many experts expected, given that they have sold recently in private sales for US$50m. And other big-name cars didn't sell or sold for less than expected over the weekend.

They included a 1965 Ford GT40 prototype that sold for millions below its estimate, and a 1966 Ferrari 365 P Berlinetta "Tre Posti" and a 1995 McLaren F1 that couldn't hit their eight-figure reserve prices and didn't sell.

"Collectors showed discipline in their bidding and were willing to let some cars pass rather than be drawn into a frenzy," Hagerty said. "The Blue Chip collector is a sophisticated buyer and they proved this this year in Monterey."

The cream of the collecting world remained classic Ferraris, with the prancing horse marque grabbing nine of the top 10 sales. A 1967 Ferrari 275 GTB/4 that had actor Steve McQueen as its first owner sold for more than US$10m.

Only the Ford GT40 prototype broke Ferrari's streak, an ironic footnote considering the race cars the prototype established did the same thing to Ferrari's racers in the mid 1960s.

Ferrari generally has grabbed numerous top 10 sales in previous Pebble Beach weekends, though this year, the brand dominated other high-value marque names, such as Aston Martin, Alfa Romeo, Maserati, Duesenberg and Mercedes-Benz.

The middle of the market saw impressive gains over last year's Pebble Beach results. The average sale price was up 29 per cent to US$535,648, while the median sale price rose to US$99,000, according to Hagerty.

The lower end of the market continued to see excitement over Japanese brands, as younger buyers started collecting. Their involvement has forced high-profile auction houses to include more early Mazdas, Toyotas and Nissans in their lineups.

Over the weekend, a 1967 Mazda Cosmo and a 1972 Nissan Skyline each blew past their pre-sale estimates and sold for more than US$200,000 each.

The weekend's final US$400m tally could tick higher if auction houses close private deals today or tomorrow for cars that didn't sell. Most cars are auctioned with undisclosed minimum prices. If a car fails to hit that mark but gets close, the seller may negotiate privately after the auction is over.

-MCT/Los Angeles Times

Jon Shirley wins the Best of Show at the Concours d'Elegance with his 1954 Ferrari 375 MM Scaglietti Coupe in Pebble Beach, California. The Concours tops a week-long celebration of automobiles and car culture on the Monterey Peninsula.
Jon Shirley wins the Best of Show at the Concours d'Elegance with his 1954 Ferrari 375 MM Scaglietti Coupe in Pebble Beach, California. The Concours tops a week-long celebration of automobiles and car culture on the Monterey Peninsula.
Jon Shirley's 1954 Ferrari 375 MM Scaglietti Coupe is surrounded by guests after it won the Best of Show at the Concours d'Elegance in Pebble Beach, California. The Concours tops a week-long celebration of automobiles and car culture on the Monterey Peninsula.
Jon Shirley's 1954 Ferrari 375 MM Scaglietti Coupe is surrounded by guests after it won the Best of Show at the Concours d'Elegance in Pebble Beach, California. The Concours tops a week-long celebration of automobiles and car culture on the Monterey Peninsula.
Jon Shirley wins the Best of Show at the Concours d'Elegance with his 1954 Ferrari 375 MM Scaglietti Coupe in Pebble Beach, California. The Concours tops a week-long celebration of automobiles and car culture on the Monterey Peninsula.
Jon Shirley wins the Best of Show at the Concours d'Elegance with his 1954 Ferrari 375 MM Scaglietti Coupe in Pebble Beach, California. The Concours tops a week-long celebration of automobiles and car culture on the Monterey Peninsula.
The Mercedes-Benz AMG Vision Grand Turismo concept car is displayed on the putting green at the Pebble Beach Golf Links in Pebble Beach, California. The "concept lawn" is part of the Concours d'Elegance.
The Mercedes-Benz AMG Vision Grand Turismo concept car is displayed on the putting green at the Pebble Beach Golf Links in Pebble Beach, California. The "concept lawn" is part of the Concours d'Elegance.
The Mercedes-Benz AMG Vision Grand Turismo concept car is displayed on the putting green at the Pebble Beach Golf Links in Pebble Beach, California. The "concept lawn" is part of the Concours d'Elegance.
The Mercedes-Benz AMG Vision Grand Turismo concept car is displayed on the putting green at the Pebble Beach Golf Links in Pebble Beach, California. The "concept lawn" is part of the Concours d'Elegance.
The Mercedes-Benz AMG Vision Grand Turismo concept car is displayed on the putting green at the Pebble Beach Golf Links in Pebble Beach, California. The "concept lawn" is part of the Concours d'Elegance.
The Mercedes-Benz AMG Vision Grand Turismo concept car is displayed on the putting green at the Pebble Beach Golf Links in Pebble Beach, California. The "concept lawn" is part of the Concours d'Elegance.
A Maserati Alfieri concept car is displayed on the putting green at the Pebble Beach Golf Links in Pebble Beach, California. The "concept lawn" is part of the Concours d'Elegance.
A Maserati Alfieri concept car is displayed on the putting green at the Pebble Beach Golf Links in Pebble Beach, California. The "concept lawn" is part of the Concours d'Elegance.
Technicians put the finishing touches on a Pagani Huayra supercar during The Quail, A Motorsports Gathering car show in Carmel, California. The event is held during the Pebble Beach Automotive Week which culminates with the Concours d'Elegance.
Technicians put the finishing touches on a Pagani Huayra supercar during The Quail, A Motorsports Gathering car show in Carmel, California. The event is held during the Pebble Beach Automotive Week which culminates with the Concours d'Elegance.
A 1934 Hispano-Suiza K6 Fernandez et Darrin Coupe Chauffeur (left) and a 1934 Hispano-Suiza J12 Fernandez et Darrin Coupe de Ville sits on the 18th fairway of the Pebble Beach Golf Links during the Concours d'Elegance in Pebble Beach, California. The Concours tops a week-long celebration of automobiles and car culture on the Monterey Peninsula.
A 1934 Hispano-Suiza K6 Fernandez et Darrin Coupe Chauffeur (left) and a 1934 Hispano-Suiza J12 Fernandez et Darrin Coupe de Ville sits on the 18th fairway of the Pebble Beach Golf Links during the Concours d'Elegance in Pebble Beach, California. The Concours tops a week-long celebration of automobiles and car culture on the Monterey Peninsula.
A 1960 Maserati Tipo 61 Spyder is prepared for the Concours d'Elegance on the 18th fairway of the Pebble Beach Golf Links in Pebble Beach, California. The Concours tops a week-long celebration of automobiles and car culture on the Monterey Peninsula.
A 1960 Maserati Tipo 61 Spyder is prepared for the Concours d'Elegance on the 18th fairway of the Pebble Beach Golf Links in Pebble Beach, California. The Concours tops a week-long celebration of automobiles and car culture on the Monterey Peninsula.
A 1928 Maserati Tipo 26 Monoposto is parked on the 18th fairway of the Pebble Beach Golf Links during the Concours d'Elegance in Pebble Beach, California. The Concours tops a week-long celebration of automobiles and car culture on the Monterey Peninsula.
A 1928 Maserati Tipo 26 Monoposto is parked on the 18th fairway of the Pebble Beach Golf Links during the Concours d'Elegance in Pebble Beach, California. The Concours tops a week-long celebration of automobiles and car culture on the Monterey Peninsula.
An entrant sits on a 1907 White Model G Runabout Prototype during the Concours d'Elegance at the Pebble Beach Golf Links in Pebble Beach, California. The Concours tops a week-long celebration of automobiles and car culture on the Monterey Peninsula.
An entrant sits on a 1907 White Model G Runabout Prototype during the Concours d'Elegance at the Pebble Beach Golf Links in Pebble Beach, California. The Concours tops a week-long celebration of automobiles and car culture on the Monterey Peninsula.
Judges inspect a 1930 Ruxton C Baker-Raulang Roadster during the Concours d'Elegance at the Pebble Beach Golf Links in Pebble Beach, California. The Concours tops a week-long celebration of automobiles and car culture on the Monterey Peninsula.
Judges inspect a 1930 Ruxton C Baker-Raulang Roadster during the Concours d'Elegance at the Pebble Beach Golf Links in Pebble Beach, California. The Concours tops a week-long celebration of automobiles and car culture on the Monterey Peninsula.
Sisters Minerva (left) and Octavia Miller sit on the running board of a 1928 Chrysler Imperial Traveler LeBaron Phaeton during the Concours d'Elegance at the Pebble Beach Golf Links in Pebble Beach, California. The Concours tops a week-long celebration of automobiles and car culture on the Monterey Peninsula.
Sisters Minerva (left) and Octavia Miller sit on the running board of a 1928 Chrysler Imperial Traveler LeBaron Phaeton during the Concours d'Elegance at the Pebble Beach Golf Links in Pebble Beach, California. The Concours tops a week-long celebration of automobiles and car culture on the Monterey Peninsula.
A judge inspects his notes during the Concours d'Elegance at the Pebble Beach Golf Links in Pebble Beach, California. The Concours tops a week-long celebration of automobiles and car culture on the Monterey Peninsula.
A judge inspects his notes during the Concours d'Elegance at the Pebble Beach Golf Links in Pebble Beach, California. The Concours tops a week-long celebration of automobiles and car culture on the Monterey Peninsula.
A man cleans a 1959 Ferrari 250 TR59 Fantuzzi Spyder during the Concours d'Elegance on the 18th fairway of the Pebble Beach Golf Links in Pebble Beach, California. The Concours tops a week-long celebration of automobiles and car culture on the Monterey Peninsula.
A man cleans a 1959 Ferrari 250 TR59 Fantuzzi Spyder during the Concours d'Elegance on the 18th fairway of the Pebble Beach Golf Links in Pebble Beach, California. The Concours tops a week-long celebration of automobiles and car culture on the Monterey Peninsula.
TV personality and car collector Jay Leno rides a 1930 Bohmerland motorcycle around the grounds during the Concours d'Elegance at the Pebble Beach Golf Links in Pebble Beach, California. The Concours tops a week-long celebration of automobiles and car culture on the Monterey Peninsula.
TV personality and car collector Jay Leno rides a 1930 Bohmerland motorcycle around the grounds during the Concours d'Elegance at the Pebble Beach Golf Links in Pebble Beach, California. The Concours tops a week-long celebration of automobiles and car culture on the Monterey Peninsula.
An entrant is pushed off stage on his Jawa Motors motorcycle after receiving an award during the Concours d'Elegance in Pebble Beach, California. The Concours tops a week-long celebration of automobiles and car culture on the Monterey Peninsula.
An entrant is pushed off stage on his Jawa Motors motorcycle after receiving an award during the Concours d'Elegance in Pebble Beach, California. The Concours tops a week-long celebration of automobiles and car culture on the Monterey Peninsula.
View of the 18th fairway looking towards Carmel during the Concours d'Elegance at the Pebble Beach Golf Links in Pebble Beach, California. The Concours tops a week-long celebration of automobiles and car culture on the Monterey Peninsula.
View of the 18th fairway looking towards Carmel during the Concours d'Elegance at the Pebble Beach Golf Links in Pebble Beach, California. The Concours tops a week-long celebration of automobiles and car culture on the Monterey Peninsula.
An entrant reacts after winning an award for her 1951 Jaguar XK120 Fixed Head Coupe at the Concours d'Elegance in Pebble Beach, California. The Concours tops a week-long celebration of automobiles and car culture on the Monterey Peninsula.
An entrant reacts after winning an award for her 1951 Jaguar XK120 Fixed Head Coupe at the Concours d'Elegance in Pebble Beach, California. The Concours tops a week-long celebration of automobiles and car culture on the Monterey Peninsula.
A 1908 Daimler TC48 Roi des Belges receives an award during the Concours d'Elegance at the Pebble Beach Golf Links in Pebble Beach, California. The Concours tops a week-long celebration of automobiles and car culture on the Monterey Peninsula.
A 1908 Daimler TC48 Roi des Belges receives an award during the Concours d'Elegance at the Pebble Beach Golf Links in Pebble Beach, California. The Concours tops a week-long celebration of automobiles and car culture on the Monterey Peninsula.
An entrant sits in her 1929 Hispano-Suiza H6B Hibbard & Darrin Cabriolet during the Concours d'Elegance in Pebble Beach, California. The Concours tops a week-long celebration of automobiles and car culture on the Monterey Peninsula.
An entrant sits in her 1929 Hispano-Suiza H6B Hibbard & Darrin Cabriolet during the Concours d'Elegance in Pebble Beach, California. The Concours tops a week-long celebration of automobiles and car culture on the Monterey Peninsula.
Guests sit with a row of champagne bottles during the Concours d'Elegance at the Pebble Beach Golf Links in Pebble Beach, California. The Concours tops a week-long celebration of automobiles and car culture on the Monterey Peninsula.
Guests sit with a row of champagne bottles during the Concours d'Elegance at the Pebble Beach Golf Links in Pebble Beach, California. The Concours tops a week-long celebration of automobiles and car culture on the Monterey Peninsula.