Results of Bonhams 2018 Amelia Island Auction

The Bonhams 2018 Amelia Island sale, held on Thursday March 8th, was the fourth auction organized to coincide with the Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance weekend. It saw several new world records set and generated a total turnover of USD 13.5 million, including the buyer’s premium (for car lots this was 12% on the value of transactions worth up to USD 250,000 and 10% on any amount paid over this threshold). With 88 of the 102 lots sold — 54 of the 102 had been offered without reserve —, the event achieved a sale rate of around 87%. Only one lot broke the million dollar barrier, and comfortably so, fetching USD 1.7 million; the other two lots that had been expected to do the same, including the 1973 Ferrari 365 GTS/4 Daytona Spider that had been assigned the highest pre-sale estimate (USD 2.4–2.7 million), both failed to sell. Interestingly, therefore, the second most expensive lot, coming under the hammer at USD 632 K, trailed the top seller at some considerable distance, fetching just a third of its price. None of the six cars we previewed, four of which were sold, made it into the Top Ten.

Some Records of Bonhams 2018 Amelia Island Auction

Four new world record prices at auction were set during the Bonhams 2018 Amelia Island sale. Two of the cars in question exceeded their respective pre-sale estimates: one was a 1992 Porsche 911 Turbo 3.3 Coupe (chassis # WP0AA2963NS480308) with 720 miles from new, offered in “as new” condition, which sold for USD 343,800 after an estimate of USD 275–325 K; the other was a 1989 911 Carrera 3.2 Targa (chassis # WP0EB0914KS160742) with 7,200 miles from new; offered without reserve, it fetched USD 169,120 after an estimate of USD 115–165 K. The other two record breakers both perfectly matched their estimates. One was a 1947 Delahaye 135MS Coupe by Pinin Farina (chassis # 800697), the only car in this particular Pinin Farina style, which sold for USD 478,000 after an estimate of USD 400–500 K, and the other was a rare 1919 Pierce Arrow Series 51 4-Passenger Tourer (chassis # 514350), one of the only two known to exist, which fetched USD 280,000 after an estimate of USD 250–350 K.

A Hypercar Leads the Pack

It is worth noting that the top price of the sale went to one of the event’s youngest cars, a 2015 McLaren P1 (chassis # SBM12ABA7FW000343), with only 720 miles from new, which sold for USD 1.7 million, just below its estimated value (USD 1.8–2 million). The car with the lowest estimated value (USD 15–25 K), offered without reserve, was a 1995 Jaguar XJS Convertible (chassis # SAJNX2741SC199049) with just two owners and 11,000 miles covered since new; it did far better than expected, selling for USD 30,240. As a result, the lot with the lowest sale price was, instead, a wonderfully restored 1920 Ford Model T Roadster, engine no. 3781976, offered without reserve, which sold for USD 9,520 after an estimate of more than twice that (USD 20–25 K). All the prices given in this report are inclusive of the buyer’s premium.

The six cars we previewed

Four of the six cars we selected for our preview of the Bonhams Amelia Island sale were sold. The 1965 Maserati Sebring Series II by Vignale, with matching numbers engine (still in quite good shape), fetched USD 248.6 K, a price considerably below its estimated value of USD 275–325 K. The 1913 American Underslung Model 34A Tourist Four Passenger Touring with a recreated correct body — this was the car awarded the AACA National Chocolate Town Trophy at Hershey in 2013 — sold for USD 192.6 K, just failing to reach its estimated value range of USD 200–275 K. Offered without reserve, the very unusual 1988 Porsche 911 Carrera 3.2 Targa “Rijkspolitie” sold for USD 84 K, a price towards the lower end of its estimated value range of USD 81–110 K. This is a car, equipped with a 1987 engine, that is still in pretty good shape despite its clock reading of 251,945 kilometers. Previously used by the Algemene Verkeers Dienst (AVD), a special traffic police unit, it still sports the modifications done for the police department. The last of our selected six to find a new home was the 1953 Jaguar XK 120 Roadster, a LHD car wearing its original color combination of silver on red, and still equipped with its original, matching numbers engine. Restored several years ago but well cared for ever since, it was offered without reserve and sold for USD 80.6, below its estimate of USD 90–120 K.

Finally, two of our selected six, the 1973 Ferrari 365 GTS/4 Daytona Spider by Scaglietti, estimated to be worth USD 2.4–2.7 million, and the 1936 Bentley 41/4 Litre Drophead Coupe by Park Ward, estimated at USD 200–250 K, were both no sales.

The Top Ten at the Bonhams 2018 Amelia Island sale

  1. USD 1,700,000. 2015 McLaren P1 (chassis # SBM12ABA7FW000343). This is probably the first time that such a young car with such a low clock reading (360 miles covered) has been the top lot at a classic car auction, moreover fetching almost three times the final price of the second most expensive lot. There is little that can be said about the car given that it has barely been driven. In line with the current trend among modern supercar enthusiasts, it will most likely be kept undriven in order to preserve its value: it is a waste, because it would be a fantastic grand tourer. It was the second youngest lot in the sale and had been expected to fetch USD 1.8–2.0 million.
  2. USD 632,000. 1959 Porsche 356A 1600 Carrera GS Coupe by Reutter (chassis # 105578). This matching numbers car, restored by specialist Billy Doyle, was originally equipped with several special options, such as the 400-mm wooden steering wheel and 80-liter fuel tank. Boasting a known history from new, it became the second most expensive lot at this Amelia Island sale despite failing to reach its pre-sale estimate of USD 650–750 K.
  3. USD 545,100. 1968 Ferrari 330 GTC (chassis # 11427). A matching numbers car that is among the last of this model produced. It rolled off the production line in Fall 1968, painted in Amaranto (burgundy red) over black, and equipped with the optional air conditioning system. It was delivered to its first owner in Palermo and remained there (other than for servicing in Maranello) until 1972, when it was exported to the USA. It changed hands several times in the USA before returning to Europe in the early 1980s to enter a Swiss collection. In 2015 it was sold to an American owner, re-imported into the USA and soon sent to RM Auto Restoration for a complete mechanical overhaul. It was offered with an estimated value of USD 550–750 K.
  4. USD 544,050. 1936 Horch 853 Roadster with replica coachwork by Appel Klassiker. Chassis # 853268 was found in Hungary in 2011, sadly without its body. Unfortunately, there are no clues as to what body originally dressed this car, which today sports a brand new Horch 853 Spezialroadster body that took six six years to make (from 2011 to 2017). A very rare design, the Spezialroadster was originally installed on only seven chassis. This is a gorgeous-looking car, well built and well restored, but obviously there is a big gap in its history. It was offered with an estimate of USD 700–900 K.
  5. USD 478,000. 1947 Delahaye 135 MS Coupe by Pinin Farina (chassis # 800697). This car, featuring a unique design for a Delahaye, came from a long-term private ownership and was exhibited at the 2016 Pebble Beach Concours. Originally sold in Belgium, it was offered at Amelia Island with an estimated value of USD 400–500 K. Its final price set a new world record for the model.
  6. USD 465,000. 1933 Rolls-Royce Phantom II Continental with convertible coachwork by Thrupp & Maberly with FML Panelcraft (chassis # 3MW). Originally ordered by Barbara Hutton for her husband Prince Mdivani this car has extravagant and interesting 3 position coachwork. With a known history since new, which includes just one owner during the past 40 years, it sold for considerably less than its estimated value of EUR 550–650 K.
  7. USD 450,500. 2001 Ferrari 550 Barchetta (chassis # ZFFZR52A810124147). The 169th of the 448 Barchettas built, this car was originally ordered in Giallo Modena on Giallo/Charcoal leather and with the prized Fiorano Handling Pack. Delivered new in the USA in October 2001, it entered its second ownership in 2004, still with only 2351 miles on the clock, and its third in 2016, by which time it had covered 8216 miles. It has still done less than 10,000 miles in total. Recently serviced and always well cared for, it was offered with an estimated value of USD 430–490 K.
  8. USD 445,000. 1957 Porsche 356 A 1600 Speedster by Reutter (chassis # 83853). Fresh from a nut and bolt restoration that took 3.5 years, this matching numbers car is equipped with the original, and rare, period hard top, and came complete with the correct books and tools. It fell just short of its estimated value range of USD 450–550 K.
  9. USD 368,000. 1995 Porsche 911 Carrera RS 3.8 (chassis # WP0ZZZ99ZTS390626). The factory specifications for this highly original car, still with a mere 28.973 kilometers covered from new, included an automatic air conditioning system, electric windows and the Club Sport spoiler package. Still wearing its original Grand Prix White paint on partial leather interior, it was first delivered to a customer in Japan, where it remained until 2016, when it was exported to the USA. It was given a pre-sale estimate of USD 350–450 K.
  10. USD 343,800. 1992 Porsche 911 Turbo 3.3 Coupe (chassis # WP0AA2963NS480308). With just 720 miles on the clock and a single owner for more than the past twenty years, this highly optioned car, still sporting its original “paint to sample” color, is believed to be the very last 3.3 Turbo imported into the USA. Still completely original, it fetched USD 343.8 K, a new world record price for the model that was well above its already high pre-sale estimate of USD 275–325 K.

Some of the other cars

The 1919 Pierce-Arrow Series 51 Four Passenger Touring Car (chassis # 514350) is one of the only two known to exist. Today listed in the Pierce-Arrow Society Roster, little is known of its early history. In more recent times it was owned by Jim Mozart, Pierce-Arrow collector and expert, who, during his long-term ownership, drove it to several tours and kept it properly maintained. Well restored about 30 years ago, it remains in wonderful condition, a perfect example of one of the most refined Pierce models ever built, with 4 valves per cylinder, a cast alloy body and a copper engine hood. It set a new world record for the model, selling for USD 280,000 after an estimate of USD 250–350 K. A new world record for its model was also set by a 1989 Porsche 911 Carrera 3.2 “M491” Targa (chassis # WP0EB0914KS160742), a sort of time capsule given that it has covered, from new, only 7400 miles, and has spent most of its life (up to 2016) in a single American ownership. It was originally painted, under the “paint to sample” program, in Minerva Blue Metallic on black leather with white piping, and was equipped with the quite expensive (at the time around USD 14 K) M491 “Turbo Look” option code. It sold for USD 169,120 exceeding its estimate of USD 115–165 K. The 1967 Aston Martin DB6 (chassis # DB6/3141/R) with 3-speed automatic transmission has a largely unknown history. All that is known is that it was purchased in 2005 in original condition and restored before being re-sold in 2006 to the next owner, who had it resprayed in “007 style” Silver Birch. It was offered with an estimate of USD 250–300 K, and sold for USD 291 K.

For more information, please visit the auction website of Bonhams.

All pics courtesy of Bonhams.

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