Monterey 2017

September 15, 2017 in Front Page, Front Page Slideshow

by Paul McNabb
Photography by Julia Yelvington

I headed to the Monterey peninsula for the 12th time in the last 13 years, this time with my grand-daughter handling photographic duties. We visited four auctions, the vintage racing at Laguna Seca, the Tour d’Elegance and of course the big show, the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance. Here are the hi-lites: A strange car was spotted in the melee of the Tour d’Elegance on Ocean Avenue Thursday morning.

It wore a Jaguar badge upon a graceful body that was anything but Jaguar. More on this one later.

Thursday afternoon at RM Sotheby’s auction-Two E-types sold for well over the $200,000 mark, both S1 convertibles. A 1950 aluminum bodied XK120 sold for $330,000 after sleeping in a barn the past twenty years or so. RM hired our friend, Jason Len and the staff at XKs Unlimited to go over the car to make it safe to drive; spotting up the paint and generally cleaning the car as well.

Their handiwork must have made the difference. Of course even bigger news might have been the Aston Martin DBR1/1 that sold for $22.55 million, the highest price ever achieved for a British car; barely eclipsing the D-type from last year.

We found more Jaguaria Friday morning at the Gooding & Co auction-We personally watched the bidding on a very original Jaguar XK120. The car seemed to stall at $82,500 but the auctioneer grittily worked the car in $2,500 increments up to a final sale of $110,000 before fees; still a bit below the $140-180k estimates.

A 1959 3.4 liter XK150S roadster did a bit better, selling at $159,500 but that seemed about right for this very clean example. An E-type OTS in a very rare Oyster Beige knocked it out of the park at $308,000.

Later Friday morning we hit Laguna Seca. XKs and E-types were well represented in the vintage racing. From the track we took the back way on the G20 to see about the Cunningham E-type selling at Bonham’s, arriving just as the car hit the stage. An impressive video whipped the audience into a frenzy which resulted in a sale price of $8.2 million before fees.

Saturday we were disappointed to see two perfectly restored E-type convertibles prepared by the Classic Showcase crew go unsold. One of the cars was bid to $220,000 but it was not enough for these cars.

Sunday morning I stuck to my tradition of parking in Carmel and walking in to the Lodge at Pebble Beach in time for the Dawn Patrol to witness the cars enter the field.

Julia was not thrilled with the idea at first but the walk on the golf course in pitch black with the stars above and the sound of the waves soon won her over. She proved adept at scoring the much sought after Dawn Patrol hats so that was a relief. Four Jaguars graced the field this year, all XK120s. An extremely original 1954 OTS took a well-deserved second place in the Postwar Preservation class. In the Postwar Closed class things got quite interesting. CMC, an English restoration shop, found a car that had languished awaiting a restoration for the last forty years. Originally an engine and chassis were ordered by legendary New Yorker Luis Chinetti from the factory and sent directly to Carrosserie Pininfarina.

The result was a stunningly graceful coupe which took second in class. The full story is available at pininfarinas-one-off-jaguar-xk120-took-6725-hours-to-restore/ and makes for interesting reading. Another custom, a Zagato bodied XK140 did not place. I think I’ve seen the 140 at other shows, which might have hurt its standing. The two cars side by side were quite stunning. All in all 2017 had plenty to offer the Jaguar enthusiast.

Here is the key to the pictures:

  1. First look at the Pininfarina Jaguar on Ocean Avenue
  2. E-types did well at RM/Sotheby’s
  3. Alloy XK120 sold high at RM/Sotheby’s
  4. Aston Martin DBR1/1 became the most expensive British car in history
  5. Super rare Oyster Beige E-type at Gooding & Company
  6. Jaguars well represented at Laguna Seca
  7. Cunningham E-type sold well at Bonham’s
  8. A pair of Classic Showcase E-types went unsold at Mecum
  9. Front and rear views of the Pininfarina Jaguar at the Concours
  10. Front and rear view of the Zagato Jagu
  11. Very original XK120 took second place