Bonhams The Quail sale 2019 review

Bonhams started the Monterey Car Week 2019 auctions with its “The Quail Lodge” sale in Carmel (CA). A total of 217 cars crossed the block over the two days of the event, and overall the results were pretty respectable: 165 cars (76%) were sold, generating a total turnover of USD 32 million, including commission, which was 12% on amounts of up to USD 250 K, and 10% on anything paid beyond this threshold. It is worth noting that 122 of the cars (56%) were offered without reserve. Of the 95 cars that instead had a reserve price, 43 (45%) found new owners. The cars that sold fetched an average of around USD 194 K. In total, five cars went for more than a million dollars, one of them, a 1951 Ferrari 340 America Vignale Coupe Speciale (chassis #0132A), became the only car to sell for USD 3 million, and was thus the auction’s most expensive car. 

Taken together, the results of this sale confirm that the market, although less booming than two years ago, is still healthy; that said, the market now increasingly favors those who are willing to buy over those who are looking to sell. 

Two cars, both offered without reserve, recorded the lowest sale price of the event: they were a 1991 Nissan president Sovereign (chassis # JHG50-004220), offered with an estimate of USD 20–30 K, and a 1973 MG B Roadster (chassis #GHN5UD300883G), assigned the lowest pre-sale estimate (USD 15–20 K). Both these cars changed hands for USD 5.6 K, commission included. Four cars were sold after the auction ended, for undisclosed amounts that are nevertheless included in the total turnover of the sale. Notably, the youngtimers offered did pretty well. 

The six cars we previewed

Four of the six cars we featured in our preview of the Bonhams 2019 The Quail auction changed hands, one of them, the 1951 Ferrari 340 America Vignale Coupe Speciale, was the top lot, selling for USD 3,635,000 after being offered with an undisclosed estimate. Another of our “top six” took second slot: the 1953 Fiat 8V Supersonic with coachwork by Ghia (chassis #106.000043) sold for USD 1.625 million, somewhat short of its pre-sale estimate (USD 1.75–1.95 million). “Our” 1901 Panhard et Levassor 5HP, Twin Cylinder, Rear Entrance Tonneau (chassis #2362) and 1989 Porsche 911 Carrera Speedster (chassis #WP0EB0913KS173014) both sold, but for less than their pre-sale estimates: the Tonneau fetched USD 379 K following an estimate of USD 400–450 K, and the Speedster went for USD 145.6 K after an estimate of USD 160–210 K. The other two in our selected six, namely the 1958 AC ACE Bristol and the 1937 Delahaye 135M Competition Court Roadster with coachwork by Guilloré, were both no sales. 

The Bonhams sale Top Ten

1. USD 3,635,000: 1951 Ferrari 340 America Vignale Coupe Speciale.

2. USD 1,625,000: 1953 Fiat 8V Supersonic, coachwork by Ghia.

3. USD 1,380,000: 1965 Shelby 427 Cobra (chassis #CSX 3104), a genuine 427 in excellent condition, factory equipped with dual four-barrel carburetors. Sold new in Illinois, this car has spent its entire life in the USA. It had a pre-sale estimate of USD 1.275–1.475 million.

4. USD 1,327,500: 1955 Mercedes-Benz 300 SL (chassis #198040.5500668), matching numbers and perfectly restored following a 57-year single family ownership. Originally sold in Texas, it has always remained in the USA. It had been expected to sell for USD 1.35–1.55 million.

5. USD 1,050,000: 2017 Ford GT ’66 Heritage Series (chassis #2FAGP9CW0HH200047), commemorating the 1966 Le Mans winning car. One of only 138 manufactured in 2017, it was offered with one owner and less than 120 miles covered from new. Its pre-sale estimate was USD 1.25–1.9 million.

6. USD 907,000: 2017 Ferrari F12 TdF (chassis #ZFF81BFA8H0222634), one of 799 built, with extensive use of the Tailor Made Ferrari program. Delivered in Oregon where it has remained ever since. Offered in as new condition, and with about 1,100 miles covered from new. It had been expected to fetch in the region of USD 0,975–1.1 million.

7. USD 874,000: 1930 Bentley Speed Six “Le Mans Replica Tourer” with Vanden Plas-style coachwork (chassis #SB 2754). A matching numbers car, originally equipped with a single port block and a Weymann Saloon Gurney Nutting body. It sold well below its estimated value of USD 1–1.3 million.

8. USD 825,000: 1965 Aston Martin DB5 Sports Saloon by Touring (chassis #DB5/1839/L). Matching numbers manual car restored by marque guru Kevin Kay, and offered complete with extensive documentation, including the building sheet. It had been assigned an estimate of USD 1–1.3 million.

9. USD 643,000: 1962 Aston Martin DB4 Series V Vantage, coachwork by Touring (chassis #DB4/958/L), a highly desirable LHD, matching numbers, covered headlight Vantage version. It was offered from a 33-year single ownership. Its final price perfectly respected its estimated value of USD 550–750 K.

10. USD 621,000: 1958 Ferrari 250 GT Coupe Ellena (chassis #0861 GT). A matching numbers car, the 40th of the only 50 Ellena Coupes built. It was offered, without reserve, with a pre-sale estimate of USD 750–950 K.


A comment
Jakob Greisen, Bonhams VP of Motoring, “We had lots of international bidding, which resulted in a strong sell-through rate, and we witnessed the strength of youngtimer cars – a boon for the hobby and the industry as a whole.”

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