Every year, ten’s of thousand’s of car enthusiasts gather in Monterey, California for the biggest collector car celebration in the world. Among the glamorous events are collector car auctions and this year Pretty Driven was given a “behind the scenes” tour of Mecum Auctions as they set up for their 2017 Monterey sale. We got up close and personal with some of the most beautiful cars on the planet as we went behind-the-scenes and soaked up all the wonderful insanity of setup.
While there wasn’t any bidding just yet, Mecum Auctions gave us a look at the auction arena set up and a look behind the curtain to see all the tools they use to keep everything running seamlessly.
One of our favorite cars was this 1977 Porsche 935 K3—Chassis No. 930-770-0907.
Historically, the Porsche 935 first appeared in 1976 to compete in Group 5 of the World Championship of Makes, but the car dominated in a wide variety of events, including the American-based IMSA and Trans-Am.
The 935 was referred to as a silhouette-racer since its body shape shared some semblance of similarity with its street derivative, the Porsche 930. The cars were continuously updated and improved in accordance with rule changes dictated by the various sanctioning bodies, and the famed brothers Manfred and Erwin Kremer were considered the virtuosi of 935 development.
The Kremer Brothers third iteration of 935—the K3—is considered the ultimate expression of the breed. The Kremers performed an amalgam of changes to the existing 935 platform that made them lighter, faster, better handling and easier to access critical components for maintenance and repair. This car is an original works-prepared 935 that was later updated to K3 specification in the early 1980s.
What makes this particular car so special is that it is an original works-prepared 935 that was later updated to K3 specification in the early 1980s. It has earned four first-place victories at the famed Nurburgring: March 3, 1977, with Joshed Mass; August 28, 1977, with Franz Konrad; October 25, 1987, with Wolfgang Rupp; and December 2, 2001, with Max Blees. Additionally, it has also earned podium finishes at Brands Hatch, Zolder, Zandvoort, Sauerland, Schwanbergrennen and Kassel-Calden.
This car has been a participant in more than 60 races spread across the European continent—as well as competing stateside at the 1978 Daytona 24 Hour. Its impressive resume indicates a 17-percent win/podium-finish record – all with extensive documentation—in two binders—that include 150 photos taken during the $250,000 restoration performed in 2015. Other documents included with the sale included ownership history, race history, period photos and original Wagenpass documents from both 1977-78 and after the K3 conversion through 2001.
This car also came with current FIA Historical Technical Passport valid to 2024 that certifies it for participation in FIA-sanctioned vintage-racing events.
Another car we found to be absolutely captivating was this 2009 Mercedes-Benz SLR McLaren 722S roadster.
The car comes as a collaboration between Mercedes-Benz and McLaren Automotive that began in 2003 with the goal to produce a car that paid homage to the Mercedes-Benz 300 SLR racers piloted in the 1950s by the great Juan Manuel Fangio and Sir Stirling Moss.
A stellar performer loaded with modern technology and wrapped in gorgeous carbon-fiber bodywork, the modern-day iteration was worthy of the SLR name, and in 2006, a new higher-performance version was dedicated to Moss, whose record in winning the 1955 Mille Miglia will stand forever as a milestone in that legendary contest.
Named the 722 Edition after the number on Moss’s Mille Miglia-winning racer, the car was introduced in 2008 with significant improvements that included a horsepower increase in its supercharged 5.4L V-8 from 617 to 650 HP, larger carbon-ceramic disc brakes, lighter 19-inch wheels and improved aerodynamics.
The SLR 722S made its debut in 2009, featuring a 10-mm lower ride height, special 19-inch alloy wheels, and exclusive Crystal Antimony Gray paint. Available in both coupe and roadster models, the 722S was the ultimate manifestation of the SLR concept.
Finished in Crystal Antimony Gray and sporting a Black semi-aniline-leather interior, the car presents in virtually as-new condition, showing just 1,950 original miles.
It’s hard not to gawk over the amount of pure muscle that each Mecum auction tends to bring with it. But it’s the glimmers of multi-million sports cars and one-of-a-kind classics that make it that much more special.