Highlights include top prices for several Ferraris, and for a Lamborghini Miura that was factory restored under the supervision of Valentino Balboni.
Some of the fastest production cars of the 1960s and 1970s went under the hammer at the inaugural Bonhams auction during the Spa Classic weekend on Saturday 25th May, realising a total of almost €3.4 million.
Leading the way was Lot 20, a 1964 Ferrari 275GTB Berlinetta offered with well-documented period competition history, which sold well above its €775,000 estimate at €902,750.
Another significant result was the €575,000 achieved for Lot 15, a 1968 Lamborghini Miura P400 Coupé that was factory-restored under the supervision of Lamborghini's legendary chief test driver Valentino Balboni.
The world's fastest production car at the time, the Miura was reportedly capable of a top speed of 280km/h. Just over 470 of the P400 model were manufactured, of which this early car is a prime example. Bought by the vendor in January 2005, it was the subject of a comprehensive restoration under the supervision of Valentino Balboni at the Sant'Agata factory that took three years, consumed some 4,000 man-hours of labour, and cost €160,000. The car was offered with a file containing more than 600 photographs of the restoration and a signed letter of confirmation from Balboni, dated days before his retirement that same month after 40 years with the marque. During that time he is said to have driven 80 per cent of the cars produced, of which the Miura model was reportedly his favourite.
Following the completion of its restoration in May 2008, the car was displayed in the factory's Centro Eccellenza at Lamborghini's request.
Other highlights of Saturday's auction include the €437,000 paid for Lot 31, the last 3-litre Porsche 911 Carrera RS to leave the factory. The 1974 Coupé exceeded its pre-sale estimate in the 911's 50th anniversary year.
Meanwhile, a 1973 2.7-litre version of the same car with extensive historic racing history (Lot 11) also exceeded its pre-sale estimate, selling for €181,700; a 1968 330GTC Berlinetta with coachwork by Pininfarina (Lot 17) sold for €270,661; and a rare and desirable 5-speed 1968 Mercedes-Benz 280SL (Lot 16) more than doubled its €45,000 estimate to achieve €105,800.
Philip Kantor, Head of the Mainland European Motoring department, said: "The Bonhams Motoring team's first visit to the Spa Classic was both enjoyable and successful. We put together an auction offering a diverse selection of motor cars, and were pleased to welcome a large crowd of bidders and onlookers to the auction on Saturday.
"We sold a number of exceptional motor cars, including of course the wonderful Miura P400 that was restored under the watchful eye of the legendary Valentino Balboni.
"The sale is the first of two new auctions the Bonhams Motoring team will host in Belgium this year, the second being at the Zoute Grand Prix on 11th October."
For a full list of results from this sale visit: www.bonhams.com/auctions/21284.
NOTES FOR EDITORS
Bonhams, founded in 1793, is one of the world's largest auctioneers of fine art and antiques. The present company was formed by the merger in November 2001 of Bonhams & Brooks and Phillips Son & Neale. In August 2002, the company acquired Butterfields, the principal firm of auctioneers on the West Coast of America. Today, Bonhams offers more sales than any of its rivals, through two major salerooms in London: New Bond Street and Knightsbridge; and a further three in the UK regions and Scotland. Sales are also held in San Francisco, Los Angeles, Carmel, New York and Connecticut in the USA; and Germany, France, Monaco, Hong Kong and Australia. Bonhams has a worldwide network of offices and regional representatives in 25 countries offering sales advice and valuation services in 60 specialist areas. For a full listing of upcoming sales, plus details of Bonhams specialist departments go to www.bonhams.com