Here's why the Monterey Car Week auctions beat expectations with $343 million in sales

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Used cars are hot commodities these days, after all.

The Monterey Car Week classic auto auctions in California pulled in a total of $343 million last week, beating the $320 million that was predicted by classic car insurer Hagerty.

A 1995 McLaren F1 supercar was sold at the Gooding and Company auction for $20,465,000. (David Paul Morris/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

The most expensive car sold during the week was a 1995 McLaren F1 that went for $20,465,000, but 82 cars traded hands for over $1 million each.

The annual event was canceled last year due to coronavirus restrictions, but this year's haul was 37 percent higher than 2019's $255,710,000 and top five all-time.

"What we saw this past weekend at the annual Monterey Car Week auctions was that there’s a lot of energy in the market — a measured energy," Hagerty CEO Mckeel Hagerty told FOX Business.

"The overriding observation is that bidders were thrilled to be buying cars at live auctions whether they were submitting bids via phone or actually at the sale itself."

The result was driven by a strong sell-through rate of 80 percent at the half-dozen auctions, compared to 2019's 59 percent, and higher average price of $428,004 versus $334,114.

"The auctions this year benefitted from pent-up demand from bidders, but also consignors who brought better cars, which is reflected in the fewer lots and higher average sale price," according to

Hagerty's Manager of Valuation Analytics John Wiley.

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"In summary, car enthusiasts are willing to pay premium prices for premium cars," Hagerty said.

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