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Maximum Monterey Part 2: Mecum markets a multitude of mega-exotics from... everywhere else!

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On: Thu, Aug 11, 2016 at 4:53PM | By: Andrew W Davis

Maximum Monterey Part 2: Mecum markets a multitude of mega-exotics from... everywhere else!

Now, don't panic. I know the list of Mecum's Ferrari/Maserati apex predators alone won't spend all of your quarter-billion-dollar inheritance from your granduncle Archibald, but I promise you will be able to spend it all in one place, between August 18th and 20th, to assemble the greatest collection of modern mega-dollar performance cars as his will requires.

After all, we still have the rest of the world's production of sine pari rides to choose from...

I promised you that Mecum had a dozen(ish) of the most bedroom-poster-worthy cars, and here's where I pay out. And just in case you think I had to fudge a few to hit that figure, just know that a $1.1-million-dollar Porsche 959 is the “cheapest” car on this list.

But first, a little note to all you carmakers/fan boys and girls/trolls: Blame everyone's old friend Alphabetical Order for putting the makes where they are. As for the models, that's its cousin Chronological Order. Why'd I choose to list them this way? Because. That's why.

[All “Stats” are cobbled together from reliable sources. Blame them if they're wrong...]

Lot S99— 2016 Aston Martin Vulcan — [Estimate: $2.3M-$3.3M]
: 7.0-liter V-12 (820 hp, Many lb.-ft. of torque); 0-to-60 mph: 2.9 secs.; Top speed: 224 mph

This is track-only terror is No. 11 of 24 produced, and its sheer existence is just one of the continuing miracles that are being performed by the wizards at the bankrupt-many-times-over-in-the-past Aston Martin.

If you thought the One77 was awesomeness wrapped in ugliness, you are both right AND in luck, as the corporate overlords at AM remembered they had an actual design department in time to create the sexiest GT3 racer equivalent... well, ever. But if you want a Vulcan, jump on this one.

As will be a common theme from here on out, if you weren't deemed worthy enough to get one of these fresh from the source, chances are pretty slim you'll get your mitts on one from here on out, used or otherwise...

Lot S91— 2006 Bugatti Veyron 16.4 — [Estimate: $1.2M-$1.5M]
: 8.0-liter quad-turbo W-16 (1001 hp, 922 lb.-ft. of torque); AWD; 0-to-60 mph: 2.7 secs.; Top speed: 253 mph

OK, before you roll your eyes at this “base model” Veyron, at least consider what it still has to offer: All the stats I listed above in a less-likely-to-lead-to-a-felony gray-over-silver color scheme, plus—as a one owner, 3,839-mile example—it has enough miles on it to be used regularly and without guilt.

[Not that you feel that emotion, of course. I'm just using that turn of phrase to fit in better with the plebeians, a part of which I am most certainly not. Moving on…]

The mere fact that it is likely going for half what the non-road-usable AM Vulcan above will fetch despite its smiting it in every performance category seems insane to me, especially when you consider the fact that there's no mention of any title or condition discrepancies.

But common wisdom says cars bottom out in terms of depreciation after a decade or so, so this might be your chance to grab one before their values start climbing again. Or just buy it to drive the snot out of it as God and Ferdinand Piëch intended. I would.

Lot S103— 1966 Ford GT40 Mk1 [P/1028] — [Estimate: $4M-$5M]
:“High Performance” 289 cu. in. V-8 with single Holly 4-Barrel carb (335 hp and conjecture)

That's right; we're going old-school with this one as befits an actual, honest to Hank-the-Deuce Ford GT40 Mk1 such as this. In fact, of all non-Le Mans-winning Mark 1s this one is deserving of a higher-than-normal level of respect for all her “firsts” and onlys”: She's North America's first road car, was one of Ford's first road-spec cars, was a Ford North American PR car [Damn, the test fleet must have been FREAKING AWESOME back then!] and VIP car [Ditto the “company car” fleet!], AND is the only GT40 road car “delivered from new with air conditioning, leather trim, luggage boxes, undersealed chassis, and painted with a special finish.”

Unfortunately for poor P/1028, however, she spent her early life being passed around like a joint at Woodstock in the US and Canada, losing, in the process, her “special finish” in favor of Gulf Oil turquoise-and-orange for one of their commercials, only to be repainted again in dark blue for some obviously evil reason.

But, as cars of this age go, 1028 has a shocking paucity of skeletons in her closet. It would seem that everything pre-futzing-with was saved with the car, and beneath the costume changes her original finish—the silver you see her wearing now—and as-built equipment were still there and in a condition befitting a car that somehow managed to rack up only 11k miles in its entire life. [Keep your “A quarter-mile a time” jokes to yourself.]

And while it kind of spoils the magic of its basic originality and “ownership by the same-family for 40 years” stories, the fact that a four-year total restoration using only correct NOS (unused original Ford) parts overseen by a “GT40 historian” was wrapped up this year means she's gotta be good to go. All of this works in your favor, of course, because this is NOT going to go for less than its high estimate, guaranteed.

[And as you have to spend as much money as possible, this single lot is likely to be one of your best chances of doing so (on an Anglo-American car, anyway).]

Lot S81— 2014 McLaren P1 — [Estimate: $2.5M-$3M]
: 3.8-liter V-8 (727 hp/531 lb.-ft. of torque) and AC electric motor (177 hp/96 lb.-ft. of torque) for 903 hp and 664 lb.-ft. of torque combined; 0-to-60 mph: 2.7 secs.; Top speed: 217 mph

Want to know why the estimate is so high on this P1? Well, as is the tradition in the United Kingdom, it's the first-born that gets all the goodies, and as this is P1 #02—the earliest serial number sold to the public—it's for all intents and purposes son No. 1.

But I warn you: This normally swoon-worthy statistic may be alleviated somewhat by this poor car's coloration. Look, I used to say things like “Nobody loves green more than I do”, but, yeah, this car's single former (theoretically) does. Or did. And what's worse is that this is the SECOND time this poor thing's been skinned; that dude—as usual, not sexist as no woman would admit to this affront to decency—decided that McLaren's legendary perfect paint wasn't good enough once he heard about the then-new option of exposed carbon fiber (fibre?), so he shipped it back to McLaren to be redone in that selfsame substance.

Now I don't know if #02 came all be-greened originally, but I cannot imagine that this was any sort of improvement, even if the conversion was (HA!) “free.” Speaking of that conversion, either that owner converted his garage into a bordello's billiard room or vice versa for all that green to fit into the nest he built for it.

[He sure as hell didn't drive it—as it has just 576 miles on it—so there was more staring AT the windshield than THROUGH it going on.]

Regardless, it carries first-son status, so I'm sure it'd get a healthy bid-bump no matter what color it was. Just promise me that you'll either repaint it a reasonable color or re-skin it in “bare” carbon fiber. I know it's a hell of a job either way considering every G-damn surface within and without is green now, but the results will pay for the headaches it takes to bring her back to respectability.

[The bill itself, of course, is another matter entirely...]

Lot S127— 1987 Porsche 959 'Komfort' — [Estimate: $1.1M-$1.3M]
: 2.8-liter twin-turbo flat-6 (444 hp, 369 lb.-ft. of torque); 0-to-60 mph: 3.6 secs.; Top speed: 190 mph

I want this known at the outset: I do not understand standard production Porsches. Apart from series changes—356 to 901/911 for instance—and “major” styling refreshings, Porsches be Porsches be Porsches.

But, as there's always an exception that proves the rule, I DO know the 959. And if there's one thing you should know about it is that the Italians are insane. If you didn't read my other article on this sale, please go to it and read the Ferrari F40 section before you go any further. I'll wait.

Back? OK. I want you to consider a world in which the same FIA rulebook that created the F40—a RWD, high-strung, low-slung, and supremely-fragile bullet—was the guide by which Porsche created the AWD, easy-as-a-911-to-drive and rugged as hell 959.

And this is not for lack of complexity or sophistication; if the F40 is a Sidewinder missile the 959 is the D-model Starship Enterprise. [You know, the three-nacelled one from the last ST:TNG episode. OK, yes, I'm a nerd. Shut up.]

See, Porsche went the extra step to think about how and where their rules-passing rally car would actually be used—crazy, I know—and, well, catalog, take it away:

“The 959 represented a first for implementing systems like ABS, adjustable ride height, adjustable suspension dampening, variable turbine geometry turbos, the use of Carbon Kevlar and other composites during construction and even lightweight hollow wheels. All while preserving a fine level of modern comfort.”

[In other words, it set the standard by which all subsequent rally cars are judged rather than the size-compensation-level of owners that stand around on grassy show fields bragging about their big… rear wings.]

Anyhoo, Porsche built 292 street versions of the 959 in two flavors: “Komfort” and “Sport”. For those unfamiliar with the beautiful and complex German language, “Komfort” means “comfort” (full interiors, audio systems, and the like) and “Sport” means, well, exactly what you think it does: Sans niceties.

So this “Komfort” 959—the 36th of either kind built—comes as fully-equipped as Porsche wanted to make them, including the aforementioned plus heated and electrically-adjustable leather seats, air conditioning, power everything, and an alarm system. It has been “improved” a tad by a former owner, though; however, his meddling seems to have stopped at installing a period-correct McIntosh sound system with CD player.

My one and only issue with this car is the fact that it's fresh from England and not Scotts Valley, CA. See, when it comes to 959s, I look for one word and one word only: Canepa. If ever there was a person outside of Porsche itself who knows these cars and how to maximize their potential, it's Herr Canepa. In fact, if I had a “classic” Porsche question—any classic Porsche question—I'd call him first.

So my recommendation is to buy this 959 and immediately ship it to Canepa Design—a surprisingly short hop from Monterey, by the way—and have it completely “gone over”. If everything checks out, then Mazel tov! you picked a winner. If not, then you might want to look into some of the, um… enhancement packages Canepa has wickedly devised to make a 1980s 959 run like a brand-new 918 Spyder [going only—as the drag racers would say—“on motor” of course.]

Hey! Speaking of the 918...

Lot S112— 2015 Porsche 918 Spyder with Weissach Pkg. — [Estimate: $1.9M-$2.3M]
: 4.6-liter V-8 (608 hp/398 lb.-ft. of torque) two AC electric motors (129 hp/155 lb.-ft. of torque in front, 156 hp/277 lb.-ft. rear) for 887 hp and 944 lb.-ft. of torque combined; AWD; 0-to-60 mph: 2.2 secs.; Top speed: 217 mph

Remember when I said a minute ago that I didn't understand production Porsches? Well, much as I did with the 959, I'm going to leave the 918 Spyder out of that category as well. I suppose you could set a limit on it like 332, the total number of 959s of any kind or purpose to be built according to Porsche, but that still includes a LOT of 911 special editions, for example.

Wait. What do I care? They're my rules and I say the 959 and 918 don't count, so they don't. And if the 959 is “regular” NCC-1701-D, the 918 is the 31st Century version shown in that one Enterprise time-jump episode.

[Yes, my knowledge of Trek is bad, but not Comic-Con “cosplay” bad, so we should all just accept it and move on...]

One thing I should address here is the not-so-friendly rivalry invented between the 918 and two other cars I've mentioned, the LaFerrari and the P1. Since you're buying all three it doesn't really matter, but if I had to choose one I'd go for the 918.

Sure, it's an odd duck styling-wise—it looks more like its pedestrian cousins than the LaFerrari but less than does the more futuristic-looking (but identical to the entire McLaren range) P1—but when it comes to ever-ready, face-peeling, insides-rearranging power, it cannot be beat by any other factory-built, drivable-everyday machine.

And it just so happens that this one is kitted-out the same way I'd do if given the chance (and money): Matte Black wrap with exposed carbon fiber—deleting the paint saves 2.3 kilos—and the “Weissach Package” which, through various additions and substitutions lightens the car by 90 lbs. (and your wallet by $84 grand).

But, judging by this car's $931,975 MSRP, its auction estimates, even after the car has been driven and enjoyed (hopefully) for almost two thousand miles, the buyer will still come out ahead by the price of at least three decent high-end homes here in Michigan (or the cheapest house in the most fashionable zip code in my beloved home state of California). Either way they win. But so will you. See, they'll have property that can serve only as a lucrative income source, while you'll have a money-hungry 918 Spyder.


In closing, if you should end up with money “left over”, remember that there are plenty of “vintage” and “cheaper” cars from these makes and more at this sale that you can spend the remainder on...

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