Hunt’s McLaren M26 Fetches $1.2 Million

No one who attended the auction could pass the 1967 Chevy Nova “Innovator" without stopping to take a look. (Photo: Michael Pomeroy, NSSN)
No one who attended the auction could pass the 1967 Chevy Nova “Innovator" without stopping to take a look. (Photo: Michael Pomeroy, NSSN)
No one who attended the auction could pass the 1967 Chevy Nova “Innovator” without stopping to take a look. (Photo: Michael Pomeroy, NSSN)

CHARLOTTE, N.C.  — Spanning two days, two continents and real-time bidding from a global audience, last weekend’s RK Motors Collector Car Auction saw the hammer come down on 104 investment-grade racers, rare muscle cars and European classics, generating nearly $9.5 million in total sales.

Headquartered at the Charlotte Convention Center, the event was highlighted by the debut of an industry-first remote auction hub at Abu Dhabi’s Emirates Palace Hotel on Saturday. During a special four-hour window, consigned cars were auctioned in person to on-site attendees, as well as simulcast to bidders in the UAE through innovative high-definition, high-resolution, real-time streaming technology.

Topping the sales charts during the two days of non-stop action was a 2002 Mercedes-Benz CLK GTR. One of only six roadsters, the pristinely conditioned CLK GTR (chassis No. 3) has just 71 original miles and drew a hammer price of $1.3 million.  Powered by a 6.9L V-12 that pumps out an incredible 604 hp and 572 lb-ft of torque, the CLK GTR is capable of zero-to-60mph in just 3.8 seconds and a top speed of 199 mph.

Only miles away from the site of Sunday’s Formula One Grand Prix at Abu Dhabi’s Yas Marina Circuit, James Hunt’s iconic 1977 McLaren M26 hammered at $1.2 million on Saturday. Driven to Hunt’s last-ever Formula One win at the Japanese Grand Prix in 1977, the M26, chassis number 3, boasts a Ford Cosworth DFV 90º V8 that pumps out an incredible 525 horsepower at 10,600RPMs. Beautifully preserved, the McLaren is race-ready, and capable of 195 mph.

A 2012 Lexus LFA Nurburgring Edition was also a show stopper, reaching a hefty hammer price of $505,000.  One of 50 built and the only model offered with a white exterior and Alcantara interior, the supercar is powered by a 562 hp 4.8-liter V10 engine, and has only 366 original miles on its odometer.

The auction featured plenty of American muscle as well. A real head-turner was a the 1967 Chevy Nova “Innovator”.  The winner of the GoodGuys 2011 “Street Machine of the Year” award was completely redesigned and rebuilt in 2010 by The Roadster Shop in Mundelein, Ill. The “concept rod” is powered by a GM LSX454 big-block engine that cranks out an incredible 700H hp and 611 lb-ft of torque. Buyers took notice and the “Innovator” hammered down at $300,000.

Also muscling its way into buyers hearts was a Pontiac GTO Judge, one of only 17 GTO convertibles built in 1971, it brought a hammer price of $232,500. Impeccably restored by noted GTO expert Scott Tiemann, the vibrant Laurentine Green musclecar has a vaunted Pontiac 455 cubic inch High Output V8. Assisted by a Ram Air system, it churns out 335 horsepower and a tire shredding 480 lb-ft of torque.

The auction also featured the $156,000 hammer price on a stunning black 1967 Mustang GT which featured a huge 545ci big block, a perfect interior, and a flawless paint job.

NASCAR followers had their eye on one particular car, Dale Earnhardt Sr.’s 1977 Chevy Nova, which won the 1986 season-opener Goodys 300 at the Daytona International Speedway. The Nova has more recently participated three times at England’s Goodwood Festival of Speed including the 2009 celebration of NASCAR-Daytona’s 50th anniversary. The fabled racecar which underwent a complete mechanical and paint restoration last year, sold for $140,000.

Other notable sales included:
·  1970 Plymouth ‘Cuda – $137,000
· 1969 Dodge Charger Daytona – $136,500
·  1963 Corvette Stingray – $136,000
· 1971 Plymouth ‘Cuda – $135,000

“The opportunity to launch a two-day auction with sites both here in Charlotte and across the world in Abu Dhabi, combined with the debut of real-time bidding, truly made these collector cars available to bidders from throughout the world,” said RKMCCA Executive Vice President Bill Mathews.  “We look forward to our next auction, and are already conducting extensive outreach to locate pristinely conditioned, investment-grade cars for international bidders and collectors.”