Bonhams Paints the Palace Red
Ferrari F40 Leads Successful Return to Gstaad

Bonhams made a successful return to the Gstaad Palace with its first collector car sale in the Swiss Alps hotel for 14 years which achieved a raft of princely sums. Many lots surpassed or doubled their pre-sale estimates, resulting in a total of more than CHF 7.5 million and a sell-through rate of 89%.

Leading the sale, held in the stunning ballroom of the Gstaad Palace, was a rare 1991 Ferrari F40 which sold for CHF 1,995,000 to a telephone bidder. This example of the last great analogue supercars – and the final Ferrari to be overseen by company founder Enzo - had had only two Swiss owners from new.

With the sale attracting many Swiss collectors among the international audience, it was natural that Swiss-built cars would perform well in Gstaad. A second highlight of the day was a 1958 Alfa Romeo 1900C Super Spring Barchetta, achieving CHF 316,500. One of ten Alfa Romeos bodied by Carrosserie Ghia in Aigle, the Alfa had been designed by Giovanni Michelotti along the lines of a Riva speedboat, with a striking wraparound windscreen.

Another successful Swiss offering was a 1969 Monteverdi 375S Coupé, the brainchild of Swiss car dealer Peter Monteverdi, who had wanted to create a Swiss luxury marque to rival the likes of Ferrari. This hand-built sportscar, the 1969 Geneva Salon show car, doubled its pre-sale estimate to attain CHF 230,000. Further success was enjoyed by another example of Swiss craftsmanship – a 1959 Volkswagen Beutler which also surpassed its estimate, selling for CHF 158,700.

Porsches enjoyed a purple patch too, with a duo of 911s attracting much attention at the viewing and later attracting a flurry of bids to both achieve more than double their estimate. The first, a 1996 Porsche 911 (Type 993) Turbo, which had covered only 26,000 kms from new, sold for CHF 243,800, following an enthusiastic bidding battle. A 2011 911 (Type 997) Turbo S Coupé which had covered just 154 kms and had spent its life in storage, made CHF 172,500.

The Gstaad Palace garage was transformed into a boutique Bonhams showroom for the weekend, with further cars displayed outside with the verdant Swiss Alps providing a suitably stunning backdrop for the cream of the automotive world on offer.

Further highlights of the sale included:

2008 Mercedes-Benz SL65 AMG Black Series, sold for CHF299,000
This one-owner example of 350 limited-edition high-performance coupés topped its pre-sale estimate by CHF100,000.

1994 Ferrari 512 TR, sold for CHF 230,000
This Swiss-delivered and owned example of the original Testarossa's successor was another car which doubled its pre-sale estimate.

1969 Citroën DS 21 'Majesty' Saloon, sold for CHF 120,750
This incredibly rare Citroen, one of only 27 such models with striking coachwork by Henri Chapron, also broke through its ceiling estimate.

Maarten Ten Holder, Managing Director, Bonhams Collector Cars, who was the auctioneer of The Gstaad Sale, said: "This was a red-letter day for Bonhams, marking a successful return to Gstaad after an absence of 14 years.

"The strong interest shown by the bidders in the viewing and in the packed saleroom reflects the healthy appetite for collector cars in Switzerland and beyond and it is gratifying to see the Swiss-built cars performing so well.

"We are so pleased to have rekindled our relationship with the Gstaad Palace which has provided an exquisite venue for this sale. We thank Andrea Scherz and his team for opening up his beautiful hotel to us once again and we all look forward to coming back in 2024."

Bonhams will return to Switzerland in 2023 for The Bonmont Sale, which had its debut at The Bonmont Golf & Country Club, in 2019, and will be staged every other year, alternating with The Gstaad Sale, going forward.

Meanwhile, the Bonhams Eurocars team are currently inviting consignments to The Zoute Sale on 9 October, at Knokke-Heist on the Belgian coast, as part of the Zoute Grand Prix. Contact [email protected] for details.

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