Wrigley Gum Heir’s Porsche and a Pristine Ferrari Spyder to Highlight Miami Car Auction - Kanebridge News
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Wrigley Gum Heir’s Porsche and a Pristine Ferrari Spyder to Highlight Miami Car Auction

By Jim Motavalli
Wed, Feb 14, 2024 8:59amGrey Clock 5 min

An exceptionally rare 1967 Ferrari 365 California Spyder by Pininfarina, the ninth of just 14 built, will highlight an auction of classic cars and other vehicles in Miami next month.

RM Sotheby’s will conduct a two-day auction from March 1-2 with 119 motor vehicle lots at the first ModaMiami extravaganza. On offer will be boats, motorcycles, and a plane, too.

The Spyder is in exceptionally original condition, with certification from Ferrari Classiche that it retains its matching-numbers chassis, engine, transmission, rear axle, and body. The car is chassis number 9935, completed in May 1967 and in the hands of two long-term owners (four owners total). It was specified with China Red paint and a white-leather interior that matched the Los Angeles-based first owner Nancy Tewksbury’s 275 GTS. The coachbuilt car was bought by Donald Grove, a Princeton physicist, in 1971. Grove restored the car and kept it for 27 years. The Spyder is estimated to achieve between US$4 million and US$4.5 million.

A 1929 Duesenberg with LeBaron coachwork was originally owned by the man who ran both the Wrigley’s gum company and the Chicago Cubs.x
RM Sotheby’s

Another notable car at the auction will be a 1929 Duesenberg Model J “Sweep Panel” dual-cowl phaeton with coachwork by LeBaron. The car’s original owner was Phillip K. Wrigley, who took over the famous chewing gum company (and the Chicago Cubs) from his father, William Wrigley, Jr. The younger Wrigley traveled to the Duesenberg factory in Indiana to see his car being built. It is chassis 2177 with engine J-121, originally with a Murphy body.

After a year and 10,400 miles, Wrigley decided he preferred the dual-cowl LeBaron phaeton body on a friend’s car better, and so he retained his original chassis but swapped on the LeBaron body. It was the kind of thing that was possible on cars with body-on-frame construction. The Duesenberg is estimated to achieve between US$2.65 million and US$2.85 million.

This 1966 Porsche 906 Carrera S achieved more class wins than any other 906.
RM Sotheby’s

From the racing side of things comes a 1966 Porsche 906 Carrera S with competition history, initially driven by first owner Josef “Sepp” Greger. The car ran to victory in the two-litre class at the European Hillclimb Championship in 1966 and the European Mountain Championship in 1968. Under new owners, it competed in other German races in 1971 and 1972, then went to Macau, where it also raced but did not finish. It took part in some 80 races (achieving more class wins than any other 906) and was even used briefly as a road car. Under New York owner Jean Goutal, who bought the car in 2003, it was finally fully restored by Porsche racing specialist Kevin Jeanette’s Gunnar Racing. After three years of work, the Carrera is now virtually as-delivered, with many period details. The estimate is between US$1.8 million and US$2.8 million.

Fancy a very original Cobra? This 1964 289 example has never been crashed or extensively modified.
RM Sotheby’s

Other special cars in the RM Sotheby’s Miami auction include:

— The 1964 289-powered Mark II AC Cobra is a late production model with rack-and-pinion steering and a pair of dual-barrel carburetors from the factory. The car retains its original engine, which offers 271 horsepower. Originally sold in Illinois and then Ohio, the car was on the cover of the first Cobra World Registry in 1974. The Cobra was repainted in the 1980s in its current classic blue with white stripes. After extensive service in 2022 by Cobra specialist Rare Drive in New Hampshire (including a rebuild of the brakes and suspension) it is ready for the road. The car has never been in an accident or had extensive modifications. It’s estimated at US$1.1 million to US$1.3 million.

— The 1929 De Havilland DH60GM Gipsy Moth is a restored airplane from the early days of aviation that was used in the making of the 1985 hit film Out of Africa. In keeping with that history, the plane’s sale benefits a rhinoceros sanctuary in Kenya. This all-metal Gipsy Moth was built under a De Havilland license in the U.S. in 1929. It was then shipped to the UK, where it was eventually registered G-AAMY to celebrate the career of British aviatrix Amy Johnson, the first woman to fly solo from England to Australia in her own Gipsy Moth. In 1985, the plane was dismantled and shipped in two crates to Nairobi by way of Germany. It subsequently appeared in numerous scenes in Out of Africa , which starred Meryl Streep and Robert Redford and is based on the 1937 autobiography of that name by Isak Dinesen (a pseudonym for Karen Blixen). The plane has been regularly maintained and now has an uprated De Havilland Gypsy II engine that makes 135 horsepower, and is said to be eminently air-worthy. The plane is projected to bring US$140,000 to US$220,000.

Very few of these 27-foot 1941 Chris-Craft Model 115 Custom Runabouts were built, and “Runaway Jane” is the only survivor from that year. RM Sotheby’s
RM Sotheby’s

— The 27-foot 1941 Chris-Craft Model 115 Custom Runabout “Runaway Jane” is the only survivor of three of these triple-cockpit wooden boats built that year. It was restored by Michigan experts in 2002 and has been sympathetically maintained since then. Power now comes from an 8.2-liter Mercruiser V8 with more than 300 horsepower, considerably enlivening the original performance. Only 62 examples of this 27-foot craft were built over a 10-year period.The low estimate is US$175,000 and the high US$225,000.

A star of the hit film Out of Africa was this 1929 De Havilland DH60GM Gipsy Moth airplane
RM Sotheby’s

There are, of course, many other vehicles being sold, including a series of BMW M cars, and classic Mercedes, including examples of the 540K, the 770K, and the 300SL.



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BLACKSTONE’S PRIVATE-EQUITY RETURNS TRAIL THE S&P 500
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By Andrew Bary
Fri, Jul 19, 2024 3 min

The S&P 500 index has been crushing private-equity returns in the past year, and Blackstone ’s second-quarter results illustrate that trend.

As part of its earnings release early Thursday Blackstone said its corporate private-equity returns in the year ending in June were 11.3%. That compares with a 24.5% total return for the S&P 500.

In the prior year ending in June 2023, the S&P 500 topped Blackstone with a 19.4% return against 9.7% for the firm’s corporate private-equity business, which has $145 billion of assets and remains one of its most important areas along with real estate.

Blackstone is the leading alternatives firm with over $1 trillion in assets under management and has the largest market value of any public investment firm at more than $160 billion.

Driven by Nvidia , Microsoft , Apple , Amazon and other big technology stocks, the S&P 500 has handily topped most asset classes in the past several years.

Another sign of more difficult times for private equity came earlier this week from Calpers, the $503 billion California pension fund, when it reported it s preliminary returns for its fiscal year ending in June . Calpers is one of the first major endowments or pension funds to report results for the June fiscal year. undefined The pension fund, a major player in private equity, said its private-equity investments gained 10.9% net of fees—although that figure is lagged one quarter. Calpers’ public-equity investments were up 17.5% in the year ended June—its strongest asset class. Private equity remains a favorite of many pension funds and leading university endowments like those of Harvard and Yale. Their view is that private equity can beat public-market returns over the long term.

But the private-equity business has gotten tougher in recent years due to keen competition for deals, higher interest rates and a less receptive IPO market, which has made exits tougher.

And private-equity portfolios of firms like Blackstone look nothing like the S&P 500, given their investments in small to midsize companies.

Blackstone, for instance, bought a majority stake in Emerson’s climate technologies business last year and more recently purchased Tropical Smoothie, a franchiser of fast-casual cafes. It also holds a stake in Bumble, the publicly traded online dating site, and it’s an investor in actress Reese Witherspoon’s media company, Hello Sunshine. Blackstone’s corporate private-equity business runs $145 billion and has 82 investments, according to the firm’s website.

Blackstone’s private-equity business has strong long-term returns including a gain of over 50% in the year ended in June 2021 when it handily topped the S&P 500 index.

But the S&P 500 index has become difficult to beat more recently and it’s dominated by some of the best companies in the world. It carries less risk than private equity, given the cash-rich balance sheets of its leading companies like Apple , Microsoft and Alphabet .

Private-equity firms, by contrast, often use considerable leverage to boost returns. Investors can get exposure to the S&P 500 through index funds that charge 0.1% or less in annual fees and with immediate liquidity.

A key risk with the S&P 500 is its vulnerability to a selloff in the leading tech firms that now make up over 40% of the index. The recent rotation into smaller companies illustrates that.

Blackstone shares gained 1.1% to $136.31 Thursday in the wake of its earnings news as investors focused on rising investment deployments and positive management comments on the firm’s outlook.

The firm’s nearly $40 billion of inflows and $34 billion of capital deployment during the second quarter marked “the highest level of investment activity in two years,” Chief Executive Officer Stephen Schwarzman said in a statement.

Citi analyst Christopher Allen wrote in a note to clients on Thursday that while Blackstone’s overall performance was mixed, the outlook appears to be improving given fund-raising and deployment trends.

Investors also were heartened by Blackstone President Jon Gray’s comments about a bottoming in commercial real estate and strong capital deployment in that area.

But ultimately, the game for Blackstone and its alternatives peers is about performance—particularly beating low-fee public investments like the S&P 500. That seems to be getting more difficult.