Auctions | A Continuous Lean.

At Auction | The First All-American F1 Cars

Sep 10th, 2015 | Categories: Auctions, Autos, Jared Paul Stern | by Jared Paul Stern

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Heir to both a Danish nobleman’s title and the vast Woolworth fortune by birth, Lance Reventlow had Cary Grant for a stepfather, a Bond Girl for a wife and James Dean for a best friend. The only child of heiress Barbara Hutton and her second husband, Count Kurt von Haugwitz-Hardenberg-Reventlow, he became a successful racing driver, race car constructor and entrepreneur before dying in a tragic airplane accident at the age of 36. Another of his stepfathers, Russian Prince Igor Troubetzkoy, had exposed him to the world of grand prix racing at a young age. Troubetzkoy, the first grand prix driver to compete in a Ferrari, won the 1948 Targa Florio at the wheel of a Ferrari 166 S. Reventlow was later determined equal the feat in an American car.

In the 1950s Reventlow set up Reventlow Automobiles Inc. (RAI) in Venice, California, to construct Chevrolet-powered race cars called Scarabs to go racing “for America” in grand prix competition. Chuck Daigh drove a Scarab to victory in the 1958 Riverside International Grand Prix in California, trouncing the likes of Ferrari and Maserati. Daigh and Reventlow himself drove two Formula 1 Scarab single-seaters in the 1960 F1 season, making their debut at the Monaco GP, though success proved more elusive. Nonetheless the dashing racers won fame as the world’s first all-American team of F1 cars, while Reventlow, who had just married Jill St. John – later to star as Tiffany Case in Diamonds Are Forever – captured the attention of the celebrity press.



The $9 Million Monsters of Monterey.

Aug 9th, 2015 | Categories: Auctions, Autos, Jared Paul Stern | by Jared Paul Stern


While lots of people come to gawk at the insanely gorgeous cars on the lawn at the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance every August, there are also plenty of men with very deep pockets who come to do some serious shopping. There are a few blue-chip auctions during Monterey Car Week, of which the headliner is the three-day event produced by RM Sotheby’s. This year they’re also staging an auction-within-an-auction, with one of the world’s best car collections, called the Pinnacle Portfolio, going up for sale. RM is billing it as “the most significant and valuable private automobile collection ever presented at a single-day auction,” including everything from early model Ferrari race cars to the final production Enzo, gifted to the late Pope John Paul II.

In addition to the 25 Pinnacle cars, which include both classic and modern machines, are some of the most expensive and desirable cars in the world are set to cross the auction block. Top of the class is a 1953 Jaguar C-Type Works race car (top photo), which finished fourth overall at the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 1953, and is the second of only three “Works Lightweight” cars ever built by Jaguar in thin-gauge aluminum. It’s expected to bring in $9 million or more, making it one of the world’s most expensive Jaguars. It’s easily the most beautiful car in the sale in our opinion, though the competition is fierce – the 1950 Ferrari 275S/340 America Barchetta by Scaglietti (below) isn’t exactly an eyesore either. It could fetch $8 million-plus, in case you were wondering.


1950 Ferrari 275S/340 America by Scaglietti / Darin Schnabel ©2015 Courtesy of RM Sothebys.

At Auction: Pan Am Pilots’ Rolexes from the ‘50s & ‘60s

May 12th, 2011 | Categories: Auctions, Jared Paul Stern, Watches | by Jared Paul Stern

The major spring sales of ‘important timepieces’ are taking place in Geneva this weekend with some eye-popping offerings on the vintage Rolex front. Pick any of the auctions at Sotheby’s, Christie’s and Antiquorum and you’ll find rarities you can lust after, if not actually afford. An ultra-exclusive chronograph from 1942 is likely to fetch over a million bucks at Christie’s on May 15 and break the world record, while there are dozens of rare “Paul Newman” Daytonas of every description. Some of the oldest examples show some wear and patina that might “devalue” them but only adds to their appeal in our eyes.

At Auction: Nautical Curiosities from J.P. Morgan’s Corsair

Apr 27th, 2011 | Categories: Auctions, Jared Paul Stern | by Jared Paul Stern

The second in a series of enormous steam yachts named Corsair was built for J.P. Morgan in 1890 by Neafie & Levy of Philadelphia, replacing an earlier craft used by the financier as a ferry between his Hudson River estate and office on Wall St. In 1897 the 241-ft. Corsair II became the flagship of the famed New York Yacht Club when Morgan was elected Commodore; in 1898 it was bought by the government and renamed the USS Gloucester, serving as a gunship in the Spanish-American War. Morgan, who commissioned an even larger Corsair to replace it, entertained great men of the day from Teddy Roosevelt and Thomas Edison to Mark Twain aboard the floating mansions fitted with every possible luxury.