Once a year the most prestigious car gathering in America (and a major automotive event worldwide) takes place on the Monterey Peninsula, the Pebble Beach Concours d’ Elegance.
The latest running (the 69th year of the elegant event) celebrated the 100th year of the British marque Bentley, with some 54 examples showing up to participate in the fun. In addition, the surrounding Monterey area at large had a number of collector car special events that took place over the six days, known as Monterey Collector Car Week.
Without question there’s truly something to see for car enthusiasts of any and all kinds, and in this recap the primary focus is the action from the various collector car auto auctions that took place.
Highlighted is the variety of American muscle cars, competition cars and street rods.
With WeatherTech Raceway (aka Laguna Seca Raceway) located nearby and its four days of vintage racing taking place, high-performance fans had plenty of opportunities to see their favorite historic cars flexing their muscles on the 11-turn, 2.238-mile circuit.
It’s known as the Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion (with some 550 race cars running on the track), and the days are full of excitement both on and off the track, as the pit displays are an event all on their own.
Monterey Car Week is considered to be the world’s premier collector car event, with plans already under way for the 2020 gathering, which will take place Aug. 7-12, with the vintage racing taking place Aug. 13-16.
Early in his drag racing career, former NHRA Funny Car World Champion Bruce Larson campaigned this Fuchsia Metal Flake-colored 289-ci “Dragonsnake” Cobra, originally built for drag racing (CSX2093). Running in the AA/SP class during the 1965 season, it was an 11-second quarter-mile performer. Weber carburetors, Belanger side-exit headers and M&H drag slicks are among the performance upgrades.
Going through the Worldwide Auctioneers Collector Car Auction was this flawless 1969 Dodge Daytona wing car, a 440-Magnum 4-speed example, with Drag Pak and Dana 60 rear axle. Original unrestored B5 Blue with dog dish hubcaps and redlines, it’s a classic and rare Mopar!
A 1966 Ford Bronco (first year of production) was offered at Mecum, this one being the “half-cab” model equipped with four-wheel drive, standard 170-ci inline six and synchronized 3-speed column-shift gearbox. Two-tone red with white and full wheel covers, top bid was $35,000; however, it didn’t meet the reserve. Early Broncos (1966-’77) are hot!
Russo and Steele sold this 1965 289 Cobra for $962,500, and it’s a desirable late-production car (CSX2328) with the rack-and-pinion steering system. Another feature of this particular Cobra is the factory-fitted side vents. Well-documented Cobras have always been highly sought after.
Baseball legend Reggie Jackson opened up his Seaside, California garage to all for a look at his collection of Chevrolet muscle cars, plus a selection of rare and desirable performance engine blocks, heads and induction systems. One of his most prized possessions is a red 1969 COPO 427 Camaro, restored to every last detail.
For Ford history lovers Superformance also displayed one of its “Cobra Daytona Coupe” tributes, a throwback to the legendary race car that Carroll Shelby built to go after and beat Ferrari, of which only six were created back in the day. This modernized version has technology from modern times (including tubular space frame, four-wheel independent suspension and 18-inch modern rolling stock) all the while looking the part.
Superformance was represented with an example of its 1963-era Grand Sport Corvette replica, which at first glance might look like a dinosaur compared to a modern-era production Corvette. However, using a newly built chassis and Lingenfelter LS7 (427-ci) power plant, it transforms a vintage-looking factory racer into a modern-day, all-out performance machine.
Part of the Mecum auction, this very creative 1930 Ford “Mod Rod” that was originally built by Mike Haas and Art Himsl ran the car show circuit starting in 1972 with power coming from a small-block 350 Chevrolet engine. The body started out as a ’23 T fiberglass shell that was heavily modified, and includes unique paint with differing side colors and murals. Also, check out those taillights from a 1970 Barracuda. The winning bid was $33,000.
During the 1979 SCCA (Sports Car Club of America) Trans-Am season this Chevrolet Monza was raced, and today it’s been brought back to its former glory in every detail. Offered at Russo and Steele, the historical racer has a Bo Laws-built 350-ci small-block Chevrolet race engine, with Holley 750-cfm double-pumper carburetor. The nostalgia Jongbloed wheels and wild body kit sets it off as a pure late-1970s-era competition vehicle.
Offered up at Russo and Steele was the 1994 Richard Petty STP Pontiac Grand Prix Cup car, which was driven by John Andretti in its glory days. Restored by Jim Barfield of Bill Elliott Motorsports, the 3,400-pound car is powered by a 358-ci GM V-8 that delivers in excess of 700 hp, shifted through a Jerico 4-speed transmission.
Russo and Steele had this 1973 DeTomaso Pantera GT5-S up on the auction block, well detailed and modified for extreme power. It was equipped with a 410-ci Fontana Clevor aluminum V-8 block, with Ford SVO Motorsport cylinder heads. The ZF transaxle and heads were polished to match the alloy block. It received a full Gary Hall restoration and is considered one of the “best of the best” in the Pantera world today.
A 1965 Mustang Shelby GT350 (289 ci/306 hp) 4-speed car that came out of the East Providence, Rhode Island Tasca Ford Sales dealership, this is a fully restored example (from Hank Fournier) that sold for $121,000 at Mecum, 1-of-562 produced that model year. Special equipment on the car includes tri-Y headers, traction bars, Koni shocks and R-model American Racing aluminum five-spoke wheels.