Previewing the RM Auction at Monterey: Part 2
The RM Auction during Car Week this year in Monterey continues to be a treasure trove of rare and exotic sports cars that will soon be finding new owners. The second list of incredible offerings appears below, and an upcoming post will feature a few of the many race cars up for sale. The first of the highlighted cars can be found in Part 1.
The first proper Japanese sports car is also the most fascinating automobile that Toyota has ever created. It was a far cry from the sensible Crown and Corona sedans, Land Cruiser utility vehicle, and Corolla compact that debuted in 1968. The long hood masked a straight-6 similar to the one found in the Crown, but Yamaha breathed additional power into the 2.0L engine by fitting dual overhead camshafts, increasing output to 150hp. An aluminum body keeps weight low, and at 2,400lbs, the car weighs slightly less than a modern Mazda MX-5. Even though custom convertible versions were created for the James Bond film You Only Film Twice, the 2000GT’s lofty $7,000 price tag made it far more expensive than similar sports cars sold by the more established European automakers at the same time. Only 351 were ever produced, and the car on sale today is one of 54 imported to the United States. The exceptional quality of the 2000GT and the untouchable reputation of Toyota, combined with the car’s exclusivity and performance, have caused prices to remain sky high for years. RM estimates this Bellatrix Yellow example will sell for around $1,000,000, which seems a reasonable price.
Art deco-inspired prewar touring cars are in abundance at Pebble Beach, and few are as delightfully excessive as this 680S Torpedo Roadster. At 4,200lbs, the 680S is a legitimate land yacht, but the monster supercharged 6.8L I6 helped keep the massive Benz moving; at 180hp, the engine was an incredible accomplishment in the years just before the Great Depression. Like the 2000GT, the 680S is exceptionally uncommon, with 126 built in total. Unlike the Toyota, this car in particular has a rich history that will likely be reflected in the final selling price. The original buyer who commissioned the order never paid up, so Mercedes-Benz New York used it in their display at the 1929 New York Auto Salon. A complete overhaul in 2010 restored much of the car, and the 680S Torpedo was awarded a perfect score of 100 to take the title of Best of Show at last year’s Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance. A presale estimate is not available, but the 680S will raise some serious coin when it crosses the auction block.