RM Auctions had a storming first night at its two-day fixture in Monterey, amassing more than $22 million from the three leading lots alone.
When the top seller – the Gulf/Mirage Ford GT40 lightweight – surged to a $10 million hammer price there were gasps and applause in equal measure.
With a win at Spa in 1967, and a roster of former drivers including Ickx, Redman and Hailwood, the car was originally a Mirage but was converted into a Group 4 GT40 for JWA a year later. It was later the camera car for Steve McQueen movie Le Mans.
Second top price was the $7.5million bid for a one-off Scaglietti-bodied 1955 Ferrari 410S.
Third spot was snatched by the 1938 Horch 853A Special Roadster, which took $4.7million, virtually double the hammer price for a 1938 Talbot-Lago T23 Teardrop Coupé.
New world records were set when a "chairs and flairs" 1974 Dino 246 GTS made $425,000 and a very low mileage '89 Testarossa made $240k.
The story of the night, apart from the GT40, obviously, was the $720,000 shelled out for a ratty 1965 289 Cobra Mk2 that had had just one lady owner from new and fewer than 40,000 miles on the clock.
Please note: all the prices quoted above were hammer prices recorded at the sale, they do not include premiums or taxes.