Bonhams achieves another success with its Preserving the Automobile Auction

Preserving the Automobile
An Auction at the Simeone Foundation
7 Oct 2013
Philadelphia, Simeone Foundation Automotive Museum

The wholly unique motoring auction at the Simeone Auto Museum in historic Philadelphia realises more than $3.1-million with an 82% sell-through rate

Bonhams' forward-thinking auction focusing on original condition automobiles – a concept universally praised by historians, collectors and enthusiasts – scored another victory on Monday, October 7th with sales exceeding $3.1-million.

Hosted at the Simeone Automotive Museum in Philadelphia – named 2013 "Museum of the Year" by the IHMA, the second annual Preserving the Automobile auction sold to a full house joined by a bevvy of international bidders on the telephones.

Property from the collection of Alec Ulmann, founder of Sebring International Raceway, was 100% sold and at double the original estimate, while property from a private European museum and property from a separate important European collection were both 100% sold.

Highlights included the beautiful 1934 Aston Martin 1.5-Litre Sports 2/4 Seater, formerly owned by comedian Bill Cosby, that realised $264,000 after spirited bidding in the crowd and on the phones. The ex-Doris Duke 1910 Peerless Model 29 Park Phaeton Victoria by Brewster brought $231,000, whereas a rare early American car, the 1911 Stoddard Dayton Model 11A 5-Passenger Touring achieved an impressive $148,500 when it sold to a private American collector.

Overall, Bonhams' auction at the Simeone Museum was up 10% from last year and the sell-through rate of the automobilia was one of the highest to date at 95%, while the sell-through rate of the automobiles was a very respectable 80%.

"The immense interest shown in this sale proves the worldwide support for the movement of preserving cars," said Rupert Banner, Head of Business Development East Coast for the Bonhams Motoring Department. "We are very pleased to be at the forefront of this emphasis on stewardship and history and we're delighted with the response from motorcar collectors everywhere."

2013 has been an outstanding year for Bonhams, witnessing increased growth at every one of its US motoring auctions resulting in the highest year-to-date sales yet for the department. "Our department continues to prove its excellence at the top of the business," said Mark Osborne, Head of Motoring Department US. "This sale underscores the strength of the market and the continued interest in cars of importance."

Bonhams' next US collector car sale will be the Scottsdale Auction held in January at the Westin Kierland Resort & Spa in Scottsdale, Arizona, which will offer some incomparable automobiles as those already consigned attest. For more details on participating as a consignor or bidder, visit

For a full list of sales result from the last weekend's Preserving the Automobile auction, go to


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

  1. Jakob Greisen
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  2. Rupert Banner
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    FaxFax: +1 212 644 9007

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