Head of the Mainland European Motoring department
He says: "After 13 years not many people can say that they still enjoy
a business they started in pretty late in life. Personally I'm in this happy position after many great moments in the auction business. There must be few products apart from the motor car that share such diversity, whether referring to the models or their owners! In the end it's all about the love of the product and 'closing the deal', be it a new venue or a great consignment. Of all those consignments three specifically spring to mind. I could have chosen more valuable cars I consigned over the years, but all of these motor cars were in one way or another exceptional – whether regarding provenance, condition or rarity – and their common denominator is the proof that auction is the most transparent form of obtaining the best current market price
for all involved."
The ex-Carlo Maria Abate 1959 Ferrari 250 'Tour de France'
"This was not only a great car due to its racing history (which included winning the 1959 Mille Miglia, 5th overall in the Tour de France of the same year and a class win at the following year's
1,000km Nürburgring), but probably the most original TDF in existence. It also had that aggressive stance of the last open headlight single louvre series of TDFs, the forefather to the infamous 250 'passo corto' or SWB. It was consigned by a good friend of mine and what really mattered was that he knew that I understood this particular car and loved it. In the end it's so often down to personal relationships with both the owner and the car. The price at the time was considered high by many and it sold into a very discreet private collection, from which it has as far as I know never resurfaced."
The ex-William 'Pim' Hascher 1929 Bugatti T43
"To the best of my knowledge it was the first 'drive through' sale anyone had ever organised in central Paris. This was not the highest value lot I had consigned but it was part of a deceased estate from a great 'larger than life' character and in his collection I had been after for many years. The car was a shortened chassis T43 Grand Sport, formerly the property of Dutch Bugatti aficionado Guillaume Prick. Estimated accordingly, it ended up returning to Holland after achieveing double that estimate, confirming that cars with interesting
stories always invigorate the imagination of potential bidders."
Single family ownership from new 1963 Aston Martin DB4 Special Series Convertible
"A recent highlight of the Grand Palais sale and something that one comes across very rarely as its untouched original condition, full history and specification was quite extraordinary. The owner's
children, who had never been allowed to actually drive the car were persuaded that only auction would determine the real value of such a rare model in the market. They were proved right when it smashed its
low estimate, virtually tripling it after a fierce battle between bidders from different continents."
Motor Car Specialist
He says: "I have counted the number of years that I have been in this fascinating industry and without ageing myself too much I'll simply say that in the last 20-plus years I have had the privilege of consigning some of the world's most significant motor cars. Upon
reflection, what sticks in my mind is the personal relationships and the pleasure of achieving a stellar result for a valued client. It is for these reasons that I recall most fondly the following three examples. Achieving world class results for the most significant
(and most fascinating) motor cars the world has ever seen, for valued
clients, and occasionally for dear friends, unquestionably makes my job rewarding in so many ways beyond mere money."
The Corgi 1912 Rolls-Royce 40/50HP Double Pullman Limousine
"This magnificent motor car belonged to a dear friend and when I heard that she was considering selling and perhaps, God forbid, through a competitor, I caught what seemed like the very next flight east to get the car signed up with Bonhams. That was the mission: that was the focus. We were going to take 'The Corgi' to Goodwood to be sold on the same soil upon which its successors are manufactured today. In fact we had selected the world's best and the most perfectly-tailored venue in the Bonhams international auction calendar for this highly significant Rolls-Royce. We had 'The Corgi' road tested, our press and PR department went into overdrive, we promoted the car's sale globally pre-event, and we placed 'The Corgi' on the catalogue front cover. We had been entrusted with selling a truly great motor car, we engaged in comprehensive yet well-targeted promotion, we deployed the world's most ideal sale venue, and we achieved a staggering world record price for the world's most famous car marque."
The ex-Clay Regazzoni, Ronnie Peterson, Brian Redman, Arturo Merzario 1972 Ferrari 312 PB Sports-Racing Spider
"When I first arrived in the United States I started attending competition events, which consignments. Just as importantly, however,
I forged relationships with fellow enthusiasts that have stood the test of time and this particular consignment was the fruit of such
a friendship. The owner of this car has been a friend and mentor over the years and has consigned some truly fantastic cars to Bonhams. For me this consignment epitomises the importance of personal relationships within our business world. The 312 PB is one of the defining competition car designs of the early 1970s, and a car which represents a high-tide of Ferrari achievement and record breaking success."
The ex-Pierre Boncompagni 1939 Talbot-Lago T150 C SS
"One of the many strengths of the Bonhams motor car department has been our ability to bring fresh, unrestored consignments to the market place. The T150 C SS in question had been lovingly preserved
for many years in 'as-last-raced' condition. For some tastes one might even say that it was a little scruffy, but we felt it was right to gamble on placing a somewhat derelict, albeit exceptionally
rare (one of just three) car on the front cover of our flagship Quail Lodge auction catalogue. We made a bold and dynamic statement to the market on the importance of unrestored motor cars, and aiming at a highly-sophisticated and cultured taste simply paid off. This consignment was another that gave me enormous personal satisfaction, as it not only achieved a world record price for the marque (which still stands), but the consignor was overwhelmed by the result – a testament to her late husband's inspired vision of responsible stewardship."