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$260 Million Car Auction Breaks Pebble Beach Record

Monday, 20 Aug 2012 | 10:30 AM ET
1936 Mercedes-Benz 540 K Special Roadster
Source: goodingco.com
1936 Mercedes-Benz 540 K Special Roadster

Call it the Concourse L'Argent.

The annual series of car auctions known as the Pebble Beach Concourse d'Elegance, held as always on the famous golf course in Monterey, Calif., shattered its own total sales record this weekend.

The five biggest auctions racked up a sales total of $260.3 million, up from last year’s $197.5 million, according to Hagerty, the collectible-car insurance company and price tracker.

The sales jump came despite the fact that fewer cars were auctioned off this year. Last year, 882 lots were sold, for an average sale price of $223,950. This year, 754 lots sold for an average sales price of $345,272.

That means the average sales price jumped more than 50 percent.

The numbers could go even higher later today or tomorrow, since the early results don’t include post-auction sales of cars that didn’t go at the auction.

Pebble Beach Collectible Car Sale
Millionaires and billionaires just love collectible cars, reports CNBC's Robert Frank. And they're getting a chance to buy this weekend at Pebble Beach.

The overall numbers weren't the biggest surprise of the weekend. A 1936 Mercedes 540K Special Roadster (see my “test drive” here) topped the price list as expected, but it didn’t break the $15 million mark that collectors anticipated. Meanwhile, a 1960 Ferrari nearly staged an upset, coming in a close second place at $11.2 million.

Here are the top 10 sellers for the auctions run by Gooding, RM, Mecum, Bonhams, Russo and Steele.

1. 1936 Mercedes-Benz 540K Special Roadster sold for $11,770,000 (Gooding)

2. 1960 Ferrari 250 GT California LWB Competizione Spyder sold for $11,275,000 (Gooding)

3. 1968 Ford GT40 Gulf/Mirage Coupe sold for $11,000,000 (RM)

4. 1957 Ferrari 250 California GT SWB Spyder sold for $8,580,000 (RM)

5. 1955 Ferrari 410 S Berlinetta sold for $8,250,000 (RM)

6. 1956 Ferrari 250 GT TdF Coupe sold for $6,710,000 (RM)

7. 1957 Ferrari 250 GT California LWB Prototype Spyder sold for $6,600,000 (Gooding)

8. 1955 Ferrari 857 Sport sold for $6,270,000 (Gooding)

9. 1928 Bentley Le Mans 4 1/2 Liter sold for $6,050,000 (Gooding)

10. 1972 Porsche 917/10 Spyder sold for $5,830,000 (Mecum)



-By CNBC's Robert Frank
Follow Robert Frank on Twitter:
@robtfrank

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  • A reporter and editor, Robert Frank is a leading authority on the American wealthy for CNBC.