Bonhams 16th annual Carmel automotive auction – the longest running sale during the Monterey Peninsula Car Week – was a resounding success with a nearly 90 per cent sale-through rate and nearly $33 million realized.
The Bonhams pavilion, situated on the spacious western lawns of Quail Lodge in sunny Carmel Valley, hosted an incredibly busy viewing in a lovely garden party atmosphere. Buyers from around the world came to view some of the rarest and most important cars ever offered, which resulted in a packed salesroom on auction day. "It was the most attended preview and auction in memory," said Bonhams Group Director of Motoring James Knight.
The most popular car of the auction in terms of consistent crowds of admirers and cameras, as well sales price, was the utterly distinct 1931 Bentley 4.5-Litre Supercharged Le Mans racer from the Charles R.J. Noble Collection. Spirited bidding in the salesroom and on the telephones elicited excitement among the crowd as the car realised $4,647,500 from a private European buyer, resulting in a new record for a production blower Bentley.
Another crowd-creating and news-making car, the stunning one-off 1954 New York Auto Show, 1953 Ferrari 250 Europa Coupé by Vignale, made the audience erupt in cheers as it achieved an astonishing result and sold for $2,805,000.
The incredibly original Car and Driver test car 1962 Shelby AC Cobra from the Stan Hallinan Collection also achieved a new record for the model as it brought $2,068,000 to the delight of all in attendance.
The 1952 Earls Court Motor Show and 1953 Sebring 12 Hours, 1952 Frazer-Nash Le Mans MkII sold for $1 million, setting a new world record for the marque.
Overall, 10 cars sold for more than $1 million with several new world records achieved. Additional records achieved for marque models include: Austin-Healey 3000, Lamborghini Countach, Lancia B24S Spider America, Lotus 22, and a Mercedes-Benz Bus.
Furthermore, more than $1.6 million was realised for the automobilia section, always a popular attraction at Bonhams' sales, with a Ferrari 625 LM 2.5-Litre 4-cylinder engine selling for $326,500 and a rare 1925 Lalique Comete glass mascot making $120,100.
"We achieved outstanding results for exceptional motorcars and demonstrated once again the strength of the highest end of the market," said Bonhams Group CEO Malcolm Barber. "Our international team was on site servicing a clientele that spans the globe, and whether it's making records this month in California or last month in England, the Bonhams motoring group, as market leaders, is one of the finest anywhere."
A complete list of sales results is available at bonham.com/quail.
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