Monterey auction in August to feature array of supercars

(July 11, 2016) WALWORTH, Wis. —The Mecum daytime auction in Monterey on Aug. 18-20 will be headlined by a spectacular array of supercars and sports cars from makers such as Ferrari, Porsche, Lamborghini, McLaren, Ford, Bugatti and Aston Martin. Classics from such renowned automotive marques as Duesenberg, Packard and Peugeot will also highlight the sale, while a select array of superbly turned out racing cars will be sprinkled throughout.

But that’s not all … a tremendous selection of pony cars, muscle cars and Corvettes will make up some of the 600 cars on offer, while the auction boasts 50 of the finest collectible motorcycles from around the world. It’s one of the finest selections Mecum Auctions has ever offered in Monterey.

Here are a handful of today’s featured lots for Mecum Monterey 2016.

1933 Duesenberg Model J Convertible Coupe

Every so often, like a debutante at the cotillion ball, a regal classic-era Duesenberg Model J is presented to the public, one with such impeccable style and breeding that onlookers are spellbound by its beauty and grace. Chassis number J-386/2421 is just such an automobile, a breathtaking masterpiece that has elicited the admiration of generations of Duesenberg aficionados. It is singularly rare, the only long-wheelbase Model J convertible coupe with Bohman & Schwartz coachwork.

Its impressive provenance includes early Hollywood celebrity ownership and inclusion in the famed Big Three Duesenberg collections, and it boasts ACD Certification and affirmation by the “who’s who” of Duesenberg historians.

To own a Duesenberg such as this means that forever one’s name will be linked with some of society's elites; magnates, barons, stars and starlets. A car of such import demands to be enjoyed, protected and preserved for the national treasure she is. J-386 has lived that cloistered existence most of her life, having been carefully tended to by three of the foremost Duesenberg collections: the Harrah Auto Collection in Reno, Nevada, the Blackhawk Collection in Danville, California, and Las Vegas’ Imperial Palace.

Of the 32 or so coach builders Duesenberg consigned to build custom bodies for the Model J, the most productive was the Walter M. Murphy Company, who was responsible for an estimated 140 of the 488 production total. Murphy's most-favored status with its exclusive clientele was certainly a reflection of not just the superior quality of its designers and craftsmen, but also the good fortune of residing on the outskirts of Los Angeles, the playground of Hollywood's elite.

1967 Jaguar E-Type Series 1 Roadster

One of the most talented and versatile entertainers of his time, Bobby Darin is best remembered for his 1959 smash hit “Mack the Knife,” the recording of which was recently inducted into the Library of Congress’ National Recording Registry. This is an enormous honor, one reserved for only 25 selections each year for their significant impact on American culture and history.

The selections for the 2015 registry bring the total number of recordings on the registry to 450, only a minuscule portion of the Library's vast recorded-sound collection of more than 3 million items.

1963 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 Tanker

This 1963 Corvette Z06 Tanker has earned the industry’s most-stringent judging accolades including Bloomington Gold certification, NCRS Top Flight and Chevy VetteFest Gold Spinner awards. One of 199 Z06 Split Window Coupes produced in 1963, this Sebring Silver example was factory-equipped with the RPO N03 36-Gallon fuel tank, of which only 63 were built.

The 1963 Z06 Special Performance package introduced a surplus of weapons-grade competition equipment. This assemblage of regular production options and special race-oriented components were not available outside of the Z06 package.

The Z06’s driveline was non-negotiable: a mandatory L84 327/360 HP V-8 with Rochester fuel injection linked to the requisite 4-speed manual transmission and Positraction rear end, however its special heavy-duty suspension and brakes gave birth to a true factory-produced race car. Armed with oversized finned drum brakes with internal stamped-steel cooling fans, ventilated backing plates and sintered metallic linings boosted by a special dual-circuit master cylinder topped with a distinctive copper-plated cap, the Z06 exhibited fantastic agility thanks to special heavy-duty shocks and springs and a 20-percent larger front sway bar. The optional N03 “big tank” afforded drivers fewer pit stops on the race track.

Discovered by Howard Baker in 1986, this Z06 Tanker underwent a two-year body-off restoration and was personally inspected by Z06 Historian Eric Gill, who described the car as “one of the finer-quality Z06 restorations I have seen.”

Subsequent ownership history reveals a “who’s who” of Corvette aficionados including Joe Warunek, Bill Braun, Joe Kish, Joe Lukason and Terry Michaelis. A recent historical investigation performed by Bill Gould of Auto Ancestry has uncovered ownership history back to 1967 — documented by correspondence and vintage photographs from previous owners.

1932 Hupp Comet #4 Indy Car

Russell Snowberger isn’t the household name of some of his contemporaries, even among fans of the era’s racing. But as anyone who drove against the builder/driver could attest, he was among the best who ever raced and a fixture of Indy Car racing for more than 50 years.

He started racing in 1921 at age 20, on the dirt tracks of Mid-Atlantic fairgrounds, but quickly graduated to higher levels of competition. By 1928, he had joined the American Automobile Association and qualified for the Indianapolis 500 in a Marmon. He led that race for four laps before retiring with supercharger failure, but he was back every year for the next 14 races.

Snowberger’s immense skill—he landed in pole position for 1931—could have landed him a ride with any of the large teams of the era, but instead, he resolutely pursued his own course, with homebuilt race cars that proved every bit the equal of the mighty Studebakers, Duesenbergs and Millers of the era.

For the 1932 race, he did have sponsorship, of a sort, as Hupmobile wanted to field an entry and convinced Snowberger to remove the Studebaker engine from his 1931 chassis, and replace it with a quad-carbureted Hupmobile Eight stamped HC001 that Snowberger prepared for the race himself.

The Hupmobile Comet improved Snowberger’s qualifying speed by 2 MPH over the prior year, and he started in fourth position. He finished 200 laps on the lead lap and tied for his best-ever finish, fifth place and an average speed of 100.791 MPH. He finished the season fourth in points overall.