For quality collectables, there’s few events to match the Automobilia International Expo that runs for two days during Monterey week. Now in its 13th year, the 47 vendors are carefully selected by event founder Tony Singer, and the opening day attracts collectors from around the world keen to catch the rarest items. Nick Mason and Bruce Meyer were among the early birds.
Highlights included the debut of Automodello’s latest 1:12 ex-Jim Clark Lotus 49 . The culmination of four years work in association with Classic Team Lotus, this superb miniature priced at $899.95 would be the star of any Lotus model collection.
Other great new works included J. P. Nesse’s latest sculpture, a one-off piece featuring the legendary Mercer Raceabout. “I’ve been doing this work for 31 years now and this is the most complex yet with over 31 separate castings,” says Nesse who runs a customised Suffolk SS100 back in Michigan.
British born, US based artist Robert Carter’s bold paintings including several new Maserati studies with a Birdcage study selling very quickly. Ukraine born Masha can’t stop paint cars, and continued working at the show on her first pre-war composition featuring Tazio Nuvolari in a Alfa P3. “I came over to see friends in Scottsdale a few years back, and painted my a first car subject of a Cobra,” says Masha. “It just took off from there, and I’ve been lucky to meet some great people including Dan Gurney and Mario Andretti.”
Automobilia is a great place to search out vintage photographs including the work of Allen Kuhn (C&SC’s feature artist this month) while the recently discovered archive of the late Roy Spencer was shown by Sam Halsted.
Talking point for many Ferrari fans was a rare Bimbo children’s electric car on the Classic & Sports Car stand. Built in the 50s by S.I.L.A in Turin, it was sold through Ferrari dealerships in the US. Powered by a Ferrari starter motor, this quality design featured independent suspension and working lights. “We’ve had 15 of these over the years, and this is the most original I’ve seen,” says Jim Carpenter. “It was stored for over 50 years in a basement in North Carolina.”