FrontRunners: Pebble Beach Bidding

  • Sheila Gibson Stoodley

Of the five or six dozen cars that will be on the block August 17 at the Christie’s (310. 385.2699, www.christies.com) annual Pebble Beach auction, the 1931 Alfa Romeo 8C-1750 Le Mans Tourer (pictured here) has one of the more complicated histories. Its original 6C engine was removed and replaced with a racier 8C during the 1950s. When a subsequent owner discovered that the replacement engine was extracted from a Monza, he removed it and installed a more pedestrian 8C. “The great thing about this car is that it has the power, performance, and looks of an Alfa Romeo 8C without the cost,” says Miles Morris, head of the motor cars department at Christie’s. “If it was an original 8C, it would cost more than $1 million.” Instead, the car carries an estimated sale price of from $300,000 to $400,000.

Another automotive gem consigned to sale is a 1913 Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost ($550,000 to $650,000) that won Best of Show at the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance in 1962. While Morris acknowledges that “a ’62 winner is not as important as a more recent winner,” he looks forward to presenting it for auction. “It’s nice continuity to return it to where it won several years ago.”

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