A tiger-hunting Rolls-Royce, a Ferrari estimated at US$13 million (Dh47.7m) and a Steve McQueen motorcycle are among the highlights of auctions in California this week.
The sales coincide with Monterey Car Week, which runs until Sunday, and is an annual extravaganza that gathers rare vehicles and wealthy owners. Auction houses Gooding & Co and Bonhams will offer more than 500 cars, motorcycles and memorabilia.
Bragging rights may go to a Ferrari 250 Testa Rossa prototype that will be auctioned on Saturday at Gooding in Pebble Beach, which has a forecast price of more than $13m. Assembled in 1957, it competed in the Le Mans 24-hour race as well as in endurance races in Argentina and Venezuela. Its curvaceous red body and a 12-cylinder engine made the Testa Rossa the most popular Ferrari racing model in the 1950s and 1960s.
"This model won almost all races between 1957 and 1963," said Marcel Massini, a Swiss-based Ferrari historian. "It's an iconic car and an iconic design."
A star lot at Bonhams's annual two-day sale in Carmel is a red 1925 Rolls-Royce New Phantom.
Custom-designed for the Bengal tiger-hunting expeditions of India's Maharaja of Kotah, the four-door convertible is powered by an 7.7-litre, 6-cylinder engine and is expected to fetch $750,000 to $1m. The car was outfitted with a mounted double-barrelled shotgun, a rifle stand in the rear passenger compartment and a machine gun on a trailer hitch. A cannon could be mounted on the rear bumper.
"I highly doubt that anyone would go hunting with it," said David Swig, a car specialist at Bonhams. "It's more of a museum piece."
The Quote: I believe if you just go out looking for old cars, not for any particular model, you’re more likely to find a car you want. Jay Leno, the American comedian and avid car collector
Katya Kazakina / Bloomberg News