The Best and the Brightest will be there, spinning their unique art fantasies in the California sun. Fashionistas, Hollywood stars and moguls, sports legends, they’ll be waiting to realize their long-time dreams–waiting for the auction at this August 13th-14th extravaganza to begin. What awaits them? Gooding & Company, a connoisseur of the finest automotive art, will be celebrating the designs of Ferrari, McLaren, Bugatti and other stars in the road racing galaxy. Amid the pounding waves of the Pacific Ocean, and the crush of celebrities, the $$$ signs gaveled down at this high-powered affair will be as jaw-dropping as a Van Diesel car chase. So whether it’s live, or online, Pebble Beach at the Parc du Concours is the place to be, to dream, and to feel young again, to be Born to Ride.
Crusin’ on Highway 55
Photos: Mike Maez
A French bikini on a California girl, the sun streaming down, and surfs up with Beach Boys’ music drowning away all everyday cares, Inspiring all sorts of fantasies, the 1963 Corvette Split Window coupe pulsates sexy art. It’s highly coveted, a “Silver Surfer” prize from rock drummer Neil Peart’s iconic collection. Totally California Dreamin’ with hood vents and hideaway lights, the 3-speed, manual transmission Split Window was only offered in ‘63. Peart is best known for his lyrics of angst and alienation. But this super Vette is all about blue skies, lovin’ and sunnin,’ and overcoming all bends in the road.
Sleek and Streamlined
Photos: Brian Henniker
Ocean liners and locomotives, to toilets and perfume bars, the clean, symmetrical lines were a 1930s’ wave of the future,” modernity with awe-inspiring appeal. Art Deco It captured the imagination of furniture makers, jewelry designers, and revolutionized car styling. An international phenomenon, American automobile manufacturers added their own “muscular” and sensuous elements to this aesthetic, particularly Duesenberg Motors, the racing car legend. Its stunning 1930 Model J, a speed merchant with a disappearing top was pure fast and furious, seizing life, living large, and a bow to the art of the period. That hood on the top also gave the 5-speed, straight 8 racer a hint of mystery, an enticing air of fantasy.That top may be hidden, but the magic of the J is easily apparent.
Dancing with Light
Bullitt. The Japanese Bullet Train. Meteors flashing through space. Supersonic jets. Our imaginations are fueled by speed. We crave highly-accelerated motion, quick, gravity-defying blasts of power. There are many pretenders to the “King of Speed” throne. They are flamboyant, wonderful extravagances that grab our attention. But there is only one king, one singular masterpiece, the ne plus ultra embodiment of that intoxicating, revved-up howl streaking to 7500 rpm. The 1995 McLaren F1. Built to exacting standards, and inspired to be provocative, the F1 boasts elegant bodywork, a 6-liter V-12 (Whew!), and such revolutionary materials as titanium, carbon fiber and gold. Auctions are also high-speed galas. Only 106 F1s were built between 1992-98, so expect this (estimated) $15 million rarity to go fast. Very fast!
Photos : Mike Maez
Love at First Sight
Unforgettable, it was a song of passion, a world turned upside down by her, she was everything, a passing sight that made hearts beat uncontrollably. Nat King Cole, another legendary exciter from the 1950s, would undoubtedly burst into song to describe this unforgettable artwork.The open-air 1959 Ferrari 250 GT California Spider Competizione is that remarkable, a $12 million joy that rekindles the innocence and swagger of the 50s. Rarely seen at auctions, for only 106 of these models were produced, this is a true “Italian thoroughbred,” an awe-inspiring machine with tricolore livery, red, white, and central green stripe. Acquiring it will demand some real passion dollar-wise, but this Spider offers an opportunity to own a historical V-12 with “highly-sought after covered headlamps, stylish body, and the pedigree of competing in numerous Italian circuit races.The Spider is more than unforgettable. As Nat King Cole would say, it is a heartthrob.
Photos: Brian Henniker
A Vision of Paradise
George Clooney thunders around Lake Como, past the famed Villa D’Este hotel, in his five-figure Ducati. Vroooooooom! He sweeps through curves, and creates a stir among those sipping Proseccos at that grande dame hotel sitting majestically on the crystal-clear blue lake.“Sex on wheels” with impeccable Italian styling is even more pronounced in a 1949 Alfa Romeo 6c 2500, a machine once owned by a member of the Egytian royal family. Known as the “Villa D’Este,” this lightweight dark-green sporting coupe is pure La Dolce Vita. An award winner at numerous Concours, yet estimated to be auctioned for only $1.25 to $1.50 million, the gang in Clooney’s Oceans Eleven would have a few apt words.That’s a steal!
Where is James Bond? Tangling with Dr. No or Goldfinger? If he is as resourceful and a true lover of shapely bodies, Bond will forget seductive women and lust after this 1961 “competition-oriented” DB4GT, a wondrously-preserved Aston Martin developed by AM’s racing master John Wyer. This body beautiful GT is more than a Hollywood spectacular. The left-hand drive gem was “crafted to defeat the Ferrari 250, and it’s primed for new extravagant bursts of road running. The Bondian gizmos, unfortunately, are not part of this dream package. But of impeccable provenance, this rare Aston Martin would bring out the best in Bond. Make him forget the ladies for a while, and lead him to those hair racing turns. Watch out Goldfinger. Bond is back behind his favorite wheels.
Art was flourishing in 1929. Henri Mattise created more than 300 etchings, and the Museum of Modern Art opened in New York City. The 1920’s were roaring, and in the racing world maestro Ettore Bugatti styled his own artistic masterpiece, the Grand Prix 35B. Reaching a once unthinkable 215 km/h, the ‘29 Bugatti 35B with its supercharger, 6000 rpm, and 8 pistons was an elegant, lightweight phenomenon, the winner of several Grand Prix races. Now this Gooding-offered, museum-quality competition car with the original chassis, frame, gearbox and engine, still epitomizes excitement, the outright decadence of the Flapper Age. Just the name Bugatti stirs awe, and living in the fast lane. So come prepared to bid about a cool $4 million, and your life might just become as flamboyant as The Great Gatsby.
Thunder Under the Hood
While Lynyrd Skynyrd and Iggy Pop were racing up the charts in 1977, this turbocharged Porsche 934/5 was roaring at the 12 Hours of Sebring.Even veteran track aficionados watched in amazement. Here was a loud beast, one of only 10 produced, part of the famed Brumos Racing team, swooping down straightaways.The 934/5 qualified first at Sebring—and has never before been offered for sale. Collectors may value that “virgin” allure. Even more appealing, this rare Porsche, a work of exquisite craftsmanship, and exemplary stylish lines, has a timeless aura—mirroring Carly Simon’s 1977 hit, “Nobody Does it Better”—than Porsche.