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Record Bids Expected at Gooding & Co Auction

Fabulous Finale to the Pebble Beach Concours

SANTA MONICA, Calif., July 27 -- A 1927 Bugatti Type 35C, expected to bring $2 to $2.5 million, which would be the highest sale price for a Bugatti Grand Prix car sold at auction, will most likely pace the bidding in what should be a record total at this year's Gooding & Company Pebble Beach Auction, the culminating event of the annual 10-days of historic automotive activities on the Monterey Peninsula.

Last year, the Pebble Beach Auction, official auction of the renowned Pebble Beach Concours d' Elegance, resulted in 64 vehicle sales totaling more than $22 million, including six world-record bids.

"This year we expect the bid totals to be no less than $20 million, but are much more likely to come in at about $25 million, a watershed amount for this sale," explained David Gooding, founder and president of the auction house. "In addition to the 75 remarkable cars like the Grand Prix Bugatti, we have unique automobiles, automobilia and automotive art from James A. Conant's collection, which should see record prices along with spirited competition.

"We have two very special lots, vehicles consigned by J. Peter and Florine Ministrelli who have pledged the full proceeds from their sales to the Ministrelli Women's Heart Center at Beaumont Hospital, Royal Oak, Mich."

The entire auction catalog will be on display at the heart of Concours-related festivities from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily beginning Thursday, August 17 in the Gooding & Company showroom at the Pebble Beach Equestrian Center. An exclusive, invitation-only preview reception will be held Friday evening at the Center.

James A. Conant's collection, much of which will be sold in a written-bid auction which closes at 5:30 p.m. Sunday, August 20, includes original artwork by Peter Helck, Stanley Wanlass, Carlo Demand and Walter Gotschke, all to be sold without reserve.

"We believe Helck's 'A Motor Race on the Continent in the Early Days' (which graces the cover of the auction's catalog, available for viewing at ) will be purchased for between $100,000 and $150,000, easily topping the $90,500 previous high for automotive art at auction," said Gooding.

"Adding the Conant collection, for which there is intense interest amongst collectors, to our already impressive selection of vehicles for this year's Pebble Beach Auction, further solidifies my belief the numbers will be unparalleled," he added. "This is a very good time for classic vehicles as collectibles -- good for buyers and the right time for sellers."

A 1938 Bugatti Atalante Coupe by Gangloff, a 1965 Shelby GT-350R Mustang, a 1971 Ferrari 365 GTB/4 Daytona Coupe known as the "Harrah Hot-Rod" and a 1955 Lincoln Indianapolis Coupe by Boano are featured consignments for the live auction which will begin in the evening of Sunday, August 20, shortly after the conclusion of the Concours.

Cars from the Conant Collection, offered without reserve, include a rare 1914 Stutz Bearcat, a 1902 Autocar Rear-Entrance Tonneau, a 1904 Searchmont Rear-Entrance Tonneau, a 1912 Columbia T-Head Cavalier Touring and a 1914 Locomobile Model 48 7-Passenger Touring.

"We have traveled the world to find not only the finest cars, but ones that have not been presented to the market for sale in many, many years," explained Gooding. "That is what makes our auction so different from others, both past and present."

Some of the more significant cars on consignment to Gooding & Company for the auction are:

1938 Bugatti Atalante

To be sold without reserve, this is one of the vehicles consigned by the Ministrellis for to benefit the Ministrelli Women's Heart Center. Chassis number 57633-463 was bodied by Gangloff and was custom-ordered from Bugatti. It included several modifications from the cataloged style, such as unique rear bodywork, bumpers and wheel discs. It is the only Atalante built new with such features. Starting in 2004, a no-expense-spared restoration was undertaken by Classic & Exotic Service, Inc.

1955 Lincoln Indianapolis Coupe by Boano

This wild, circa 1950s-chic, one-off design study was built by Carrozzeria Boano. First shown at the 1955 Turin auto show, the car was intended to lure Ford Motor Co. into a similar arrangement to the one Ghia enjoyed with Chrysler. Henry Ford II was reportedly so taken with the car, he bought it before the show closed. Ford subsequently offered Boano a contract to open an exclusive Ford design studio, but it all came to naught when Boano instead signed a deal with Fiat. In 2001, the car won Postwar Custom Coachwork Best in Class at the Pebble Beach Concours. It has also won awards at the Amelia Island concours, the Bethlehem concours and the Greenwich concours.

1971 Ferrari 365 GTB/4 Daytona Coupe

Known as "The Harrah Hot-Rod," this Ferrari was custom built for casino magnate and car collector Bill Harrah. The West Coast distributor for Ferrari, Harrah complained to Enzo Ferrari his new 512 BB Boxer was not as good as his previous Ferrari, a Daytona. Enzo responded by prepping a special "hot-rodded" Daytona, modeled after the competition 365 GTB/4s. It sports a high-performance-tuned motor, flared fenders and racing wheels. Famous for his 1,200-plus car museum in Reno, Harrah frequently used this car to commute between his Reno and Lake Tahoe Casinos.

1965 Shelby GT350 R-Model

Driven by Mexican racer Pedro Rodriguez, this car won its class at the 1967 Sebring 12 Hour race. Shelby-destined Mustangs began life on regular Ford production lines, but were assembled without hoods, grilles, rear seats, exhaust systems, or emblems. At the Shelby-American facility in Los Angeles, the cars were up-graded both mechanically and with special GT350 body modifications. Engine output was upped to 306 horsepower from the optional high-performance 289-cubic-inch V8. R-Model GT350s received additional modifications intended to make them an even more formidable competitor on the race track. A total of 562 Shelby GT350s were built in 1965, 37 of which were the lightweight race or R-models.

Gooding & Company ( ) provides unparalleled service for those in the close-knit world of classic car collecting. The auction house has set numerous world records including the highest price paid for an American car at auction (1935 Duesenberg Mormon Meteor) and a Ferrari road car (1967 NART Spyder). And at this year's inaugural Gooding & Company Palm Beach Auction in Florida, a Talbot-Lago Teardrop Coupe sold for $3,905,000.

Gooding & Company conducts the Pebble Beach Auction at the annual Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance and the Gooding & Company Auction at The Palm Beach International Concours d'Elegance in January. The company offers a wide range of services including private and estate sales, appraisals, collection management, estate and tax planning assistance.