QOTD: Witness to Auction Shenanigans?

Over the weekend at Monterey, RM Sotheby’s executed what will forever remain one of the worst screw-ups in auction history. With a piece of is-it-or-isn’t-it Porsche history on the block, the auctioneer started his patter at what the crowd (and the media screen) thought was thirty million dollars. That same media screen quickly rocketed to seventy mil before said auctioneer clarified he was saying seven-teen not seven-ty. Boos rained down upon the room and bidding predictably evaporated like chloroform. The car failed to sell.

Conspiracy theorists will forever debate what really happened, but our question for you today is this: what’s the biggest error — either in buying or selling — you’ve ever seen at a car auction?

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Junkyard Find: 2005 Mercury Monterey
With minivan sales in decline and the Mercury brand itself locked in a death spiral, the bosses in Dearborn decided to create a Mercury-badged version of the Ford Freestar: the Monterey. No, not this kind of Monterey, which sought slightly devilish middle-managers with a sense of style as potential buyers, but an option-loaded and sensible family hauler for the 21st century.Sales of the 2004-2007 Monterey started off weak and then bombed miserably, to be followed by the disappearance of Mercury itself by 2011. Here’s a rare example of this forgotten-but-interesting vehicle, found in a Denver self-service wrecking yard.
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Acura Freshens RLX's Face, Upgrades Tech for 2018

Acura is changing its flagship sedan for 2018 with a short list of important electronic upgrades and a much-needed makeover. Most evident is the absence of the chrome break the brand tried to make synonymous with its lineup for a decade. The RLX’s new hallmark is a diamond pentagon grille, already seen on the TLX and MDX.

It still looks like a bird of prey, but maybe one better suited for swooping down and plucking Acura’s tanking sales from the water like a fresh salmon — or perhaps a slightly smaller fish.

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Art and Science Dead? Cadillac Design Concept Will Debut Wearing Curves In Monterey

Cadillac will introduce a new design concept this coming Thursday during California’s Monterey Car Week.

At 10:45 p.m. EST on Thursday, August 18, Cadillac will debut a car the company says, “will feature an array of curved OLED screens, co-developed with LG Electronics.”

Cadillac has stayed relatively true to the edgy themes of 1999’s Evoq Concept for nearly two decades. But that theme, Paul Snyder, chair of the Transportation Design Department at Detroit’s College for Creative Studies, told Automotive News last January, has softened. “It’s gotten more artistic and less scientific,” Snyder says.

Could the curved OLED screens Cadillac describes in the company’s 65-word press release portend a new design direction for Cadillac? There’s no time like the present.

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Aston Martin CEO Throws Rocks at Glass House, From Glass House

Gearing up to sell its own four-door, all-electric sedan in a couple years, Aston Martin CEO Andy Palmer told well-heeled listeners in Monterey, California that Tesla’s “Ludicrous Speed” was plain ol’ dumb, Automotive News reported.

“We don’t do Ludicrous because Ludicrous speed is stupid,” Palmer said.

(But selling a variation of a four-door Aston Martin that’s been on sale for 6 years with a 200-mile range for $200,000 to $250,000? That’s genius.)

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I'm Wrong A Lot: Steve McQueen's Porsche Fetches Nearly $2M

Steve McQueen’s 1976 Porsche 911 Turbo Carrera fetched $1.95 million at auction, according to Hemmings Daily.

The specially ordered, air-cooled turbo Porsche had a few cool factory features including dual mirrors, limited-slip differential, black leather buckets and the original tag with McQueen’s custom-ordered slate gray color still riveted to the door jamb.

Considering a fine 1976 Porsche 930 with 64,000 miles on the clock went for nearly $300,000, I figured the auction for charity of McQueen’s car would fetch around the same.

I’m wrong. I can admit that to you now.

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Junkyard Find: 1972 Mercury Monterey Coupe

After seeing this ’72 Ford LTD Brougham coupe a few months back, it seems fitting that I’ve spotted the Mercury sibling to that car at the very same San Francisco Bay Area self-service wrecking yard. The images of this rust-free 42-year-old big Ford coupe should result in bitter tears flowing from Sajeev’s eyes, not to mention much wailing and gnashing of teeth among Rust Belt Ford lovers who haven’t seen such an unoxidized Mercury since the start of the Ethio-Somali War. Here we go!

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  • Sonik_fury I always dreamed, if I won the lottery, that I would have a garage very similar to Leno's. I love that he's a real car guy, not just buying them to show off.
  • 3SpeedAutomatic "...to make room for reality TV reruns..."What an insult!! Shows how far broadcast TV will stoop for a few extra bucks.I much appreciate Jay for keeping the "motor head" world alive in a Zoom society. However, maybe it's time for him to retire or semi-retire. There's enough material for him to do YouTube with most auto related companies willing to underwrite....but the number of shows would be at his own pace.I wish him well!!
  • Gregtwelve I had an '88 Turbo Coupe with 5 spd bought used and really liked it. I loved the looks, it had decent power for the time and a nice interior. Unfortunately the head gasket went at around 60K miles. I repaired it myself and sold it.
  • Mattwc1 I bought a Maverick specifically because I wanted utility and great fuel economy. My wife has a RAV4 hybrid that we really like. I think Toyota would print money with a smaller RAV4 based truck.
  • Varezhka Dunno. Looking at Maverick and Santa Cruz, having the engine in the front of the driver and a crew cab layout will mean the rear bed will be about the same size as kei trucks. And it will still be more than 16ft long. I'd rather get a Tacoma and/or a Hilux at that point.If we actually want a small truck with usable bed, it will have to be cab over layout with standard cab like Toyota TownAce Truck. We already know how popular that would be, even without getting into federal safety requirements.