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Monterey auto auction features Steve McQueen cars

The 1968 Ford GT40 Gulf/Mirage Lightweight racing car

The 1968 Ford GT40 Gulf/Mirage Lightweight racing car Credit: RMAuctions / Pawel Litwinski

OK, it's fantasy time. But, really, isn't that what travel is all about? I'm sticking with that, because right now I'm dreaming about going to Monterey, Calif., for the RM Auctions on Friday and Saturday.

RM offers automobile auctions around the globe, and, as usual, the one in Monterey is stocked with collectibles that would be pretty great to see in person. A number even have celebrity connections, including four owned by actor and car and motorcycle racer Steve McQueen. Among them is the 1968 Ford GT40 Gulf/Mirage Lightweight racer (pictured) that was the camera car for the filming of McQueen's "Le Mans." It's so desirable, RM's catalogue requests interested parties inquire about the estimate. Suffice it to say, more expensive than a bread box, less than a billion dollars.

Other McQueen cars on the auction block are a sherbert-green 1953 Hudson Hornet Sedan (estimate, $40,000 to $60,000) that he owned when he died in 1980. Additional autos with Hollywood pedigree are a cherry-red 1965 Shelby 427 Competition Cobra, which was used in James Garner's "Grand Prix."

The list of impeccably groomed cars goes on, of course, and includes an adorable banana-yellow 1972 Ferrari 365 GTB/4 Daytona, sprightly white 1973 Porsche Carrera RS Lightweight and swoopy gumball orange 1955 Aston Martin DB3S Sports Racing Car.

Sunday, visitors can get fresh air nearby at the 62nd Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance, a car show that takes over the 18th fairway of Pebble Beach Golf Links. Tickets are $200, giving access to 200 automobiles competing in 20 categories and, ultimately, Best in Show.

Past winners have included Ralph Lauren, in 1993 for a 1930 Mercedes-Benz SSK Count Trossi Sports 2-Seater and in 1990 for a 1938 Bugatti Type 57SC Atlantic. Bugatti, in fact, has seen the most wins over the years, with nine Best in Shows.

I'll continue the fantasy by flipping through the RM Auctions catalogue: It's filled with cars that would be so great for a road trip to, say, California.

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