Bonhams Quail auction results 2017

On August 18, Bonhams, this year holding its twentieth Quail Lodge Auction during the Monterey Classic Car Week, offered 109 cars for sale, including 53 without reserve. The final figures make interesting reading: the auction achieved a good overall result — an 80% sale rate, corresponding to a grand total of USD 56,430,000 (10% commission included) — and set some new world records in the process. The most expensive car of the sale was a 1995 McLaren F1 offered with an undisclosed estimated value, which sold for USD 15,620,000 and thus set a new world record for the model.

The second most expensive car, a 1963 Jaguar E-Type Lightweight Competition Coupe, came under the hammer at USD 8 million, also setting a new world record for the model. These two top sellers were followed by a car selling for USD 3 million, two that fetched 2 million, and a further six that also broke the USD 1 million barrier. Three other cars also set new price records for their respective models: a 1957 BMW 503 Cabriolet (USD 583,000), a 1913 Premier Model F (USD 341,000), and a 1959 AC Ace-Bristol (USD 451,000).

Three cars that had been expected to be stars of the sale, namely a 1956 ex-Fangio Maserati 300 S (the factory prototype and a recent Villa d’Este class winner), a 1956 Maserati A6G/54 Gran Sport Spider Frua, and a 1958 Ferrari 250 GT TdF Alloy, all failed to sell. Meanwhile, a 1969 Austin Mini Cooper S Mk II, prepared to Monte Carlo Rally specifications and tipped to be the auction’s least expensive buy, actually fetched USD 52,250, leaving last place to a 1959 Autobianchi Bianchina Trasformabile, which sold for USD 49,500. The results of this auction, like those of the RM Sotheby and Gooding & Co. sales, confirmed that the market is strong for very special cars with a fascinating history, long-term ownership or successful racing career, while cars with a less limpid history, numerous replacement parts and a long series of previous owners are more difficult to sell, if they sell at all.

The six cars we previewed

Four of the six cars we covered in our preview of the Bonhams Quail Lodge Auction were sold, one of them fetching the second highest price of the day and setting a new world record for the model. We refer to the 1963 Jaguar E-Type Lightweight Competition (Ex-Team Cunningham, 24 Hours of Le Mans and Bridgehampton 500 entry). It was offered with a perfect history, including a glittering racing career, and in an excellent state of preservation. Although its estimated value was not disclosed, it was widely felt to be a far better car than the one that sold for USD 1.2 million some months ago. Its final price of USD 8 million confirmed this feeling, but came as a surprise even to experts of this brand.

The second car in our selection to find a buyer was one of the two known surviving 1933 Delage D8S “Conduite Interiour” Coupes with coachwork designed for Delage by Letorneur et Marchand. It was offered with an estimate of USD 700–800 K and sold for USD 649 K. The third of “our cars” to find a new home was the 1936 Talbot-Lago T120 Sports Cabriolet by Figoni, one of the only five known survivors among the forty T120 Cabriolets manufactured. Bought from its second owner by the seller’s father back in 1962, it was offered with an estimated value of USD 375–475 K and sold for USD 352 K. The fourth car in our selection to come under the hammer at Quail Lodge was the 1983 Lancia Rally 037 Stradale, never restored and boasting only one owner from new and an odometer reading (believed to be accurate) of just 9,342 kilometers from new. Offered without reserve, it sold for USD 264 K, falling short of its pre-sale estimated value (USD 300–400 K).

Bonhams Quail Auction: The Top Ten

The Top Ten cars at the Bonhams auction, representing 8.3% of the lots, sold for an overall value of USD 37.8 million (about 67% of the total value of the sale), and all broke the USD 1 million barrier. The number one spot, as mentioned, went to a 1995 McLaren F1 (chassis #SA9AB5AC5S1048044), the first McLaren imported into the USA. After a long fight between two bidders, this car, offered with an undisclosed estimate, just one owner from new and a perfectly recorded history, came under the hammer at UDS 15,620,000, a new world record price for the model.

Bonhams Quail auction - McLaren

The sale’s second most expensive car was the Jaguar E-Type Competition covered in the section on our selected six, while in the third place we find a 1965 Ferrari 275 GTB Alloy Long-Nose (chassis #07927) — a matching numbers car allotted to compete in the Monte Carlo Rally and offered with a perfect history and Ferrari Classiche certification. It surpassed its pre-sale estimated value of USD 2.7–3 million, selling for USD 3,080,000. The fourth most expensive lot was a 1967 Ferrari 275 GTB/4 (chassis #10507) complete with full service records. Offered with just over 500 miles on the clock since an engine rebuild and only three owners from new, it sold for USD 2,519,000 million, just reaching its pre-sale estimated value range (USD 2.5–3 million).

The auction’s fifth most expensive car was a 2003 Ferrari Enzo (chassis ZFFCW56A830133118), one of the only two of this first modern hypercar to be produced in the combination of Nero on Cuoio. It came with a single ownership spanning 12 years, a fresh service (completed in July 2017), and Ferrari Classiche certification, and sold for USD 2,040,500, after an estimate of USD 2–2.5 million. Sixth place went to another Ferrari boasting Ferrari Classiche Certification: a 1966 275 GTS (chassis #08335) matching numbers car with the rare factory hard top and less than 35,000 documented miles from new. It sold for USD 1,550,000 after an estimate of USD 1.85–2.2 million. The seventh most expensive car was a 1990 Ferrari F40 (chassis #ZFFMN34A6L0087030) with only one owner from new, less than 2100 miles on the clock, an impeccable history and original American specification and delivery. It came under the hammer at USD 1,457,500, exceeding its pre-sale estimate of USD 1−1.3 million.

Eighth place in the Top Ten went to a 1955 Lancia Aurelia B24 Spider America (chassis #B24S-1110) equipped with the highly desirable Nardi kit. Restored by a marque expert, it sold for a price (USD 1,265,000) perfectly in line with its pre-sale estimated value of USD 1.2–1.5 K. The ninth most expensive car was a 1964 Lotus Type 34 Single Seater (chassis #2) with an incredible track record, including four USAC race victories, with Foyt and Jones at the wheel, and eight USAC pole positions. Furthermore, it was owned, for very long time, by A.J. Foyt himself. Recently restored to original specification, it is one of the only two Type 34s still in existence (the other one, famous for winning at Indianapolis, is now in the Indianapolis Speedway Museum). Chassis #2 sold for USD 1,150,000 after a seemingly rather optimistic estimate of USD 1.8–2.5 million. The last car to make the Top Ten was a Ferrari Classiche certified 1956 Ferrari 250 GT Berlinetta Boano (chassis #0543GT) boasting a period SCCA racing career. Restored to a good standard, it sold for USD 1,133,000 after an estimate of USD 1.1−1.4 million.

Some other cars

The auction also included a full set of Rally cars, including different Group B road-legal and racing versions. In general, they fetched good prices, confirming the high level of market interest in these more recent racing, or racing-derived, cars. They included a 1986 Ford RS 200 EVO (chassis #SFACXXBJ2CGL00084), one of the only 24 EVOs built, unmolested, highly original and coming from a 25-year single ownership. Assigned an estimated value of USD 500−600 K and offered without reserve, it sold for USD 550 K.

A 1985 Audi Quattro Sport (chassis #WAUZZZ85ZEA905131) in highly original condition, with one owner from new and just 18,400 kilometers on the clock, sold for USD 484,000 after being offered without reserve with an estimated value of USD 450−550 K. Instead, a 1986 Lancia Delta S4 Stradale (chassis #ZLA038AR000000005), also with a single owner from new and an estimated value of USD 450−550 K, just failed to match its pre-sale estimate; this car, in original condition and with only 8,900 kilometers on the clock, came under the hammer at USD 440 K. Finally, a 1959 AC ACE Bristol (chassis #BEX 1003) set a new world record for the model; offered for sale by its original owner, this completely matching numbers car, restored to a high standard in 1999 and boasting an impeccable and documented history from new, was offered with an estimate of USD 300−350 K and sold for a hefty USD 451 K.

All photos of the gallery courtesy and © Peter Singhof. 

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