Hidden for Four Decades
BMW 507 Sells for $2.3 Million at Bonhams Audrain Concours Auction

A rare example of BMW's glamorous Fifties flagship sportscar, a 1957 BMW 507 Series II Roadster, which had been hidden in a Philadelphia garage for more than four decades, stole the limelight in the Bonhams Audrain Concours Auction on Friday (September 30), selling for $2,315,000 and topping the successful sale, which was 88% sold.

One of only 252 507s produced, making it one of the most collectible and coveted BMWs, this largely original example had been offered from a single-family ownership of 43 years, having been acquired by the vendor's father in 1979. Unusually for such a glamorous statement car, the 507 was driven straight into a modest garage, where was remained without turning a wheel – only being started up from time to time.

Little wonder that this 'garage find' caused a stir in Newport's International Tennis Hall of Fame where Bonhams hosted the sale as the auction partner of the Audrain Newport Concours & Motor Week. The bidding opened at $1.1 million, climbing to north of $2 million, earning applause from the saleroom.

Eric Minoff, Senior Specialist, Bonhams US Collector Cars, who found and consigned the BMW, said: "This car was a dream discovery. It is truly incredible that such an important sportscar could be hidden from view, in an unsuspecting shed, for more than 40 years. It was the epitome of the Million Dollar Barn Find - truly a hidden treasure – and this 507 offers a superb opportunity for its new owner."

Another big hitter at the sale was a 1958 Mercedes-Benz 300 SL Roadster, also a match for the 507 in their heyday, which was the second most valuable sale at Audrain, achieving another seven-figure sum, $1,077,500.

Other desirable collector cars performing strongly at the second edition of the Newport auction included a brace of powerful, low-mileage Aston Martin V8s. A 1986 V8 Sports Saloon far surpassed its pre-sale estimate, making $280,000, while its sibling, a 1989 V8 Vantage Volante, offered from single-family ownership from new, sold for $207,200, topping its estimate.

The auction presented a boutique selection of 45 collector cars spanning more than a century of automotive excellence. One of the earliest offerings was a fine example from the very first sportscar brand in the USA: Mercer. The 1920 Mercer Model 22-70 Series 5 'Raceabout' Conversion, which was formerly in the important collections of Bill Harrah and Al Ferrara, realised $268,600.

Further notable results in Audrain included:

1994 Lamborghini Diablo VT, sold for $252,000. A well-preserved, low mileage, example of the 200mph supercar which comfortably achieved its pre-sale estimate.

1977 Porsche 930 3.0 Turbo Carrera, made $162,400, exceeding its top estimate. A matching numbers, restored example of the desirable first generation 3.0 Turbo Carrera.

Rupert Banner, Bonhams Collector Cars Global Head of Specialists, added: We were delighted by the enthusiastic reception to this sale and strong bidding in the saleroom, with many 'Newport sized' bids and battles.

"The prestigious Audrain Newport Concours & Motor Week has firmly established itself as a must-attend date on the international collector car calendar, thanks to Donald Osborne and his professional team. Our commitment will extend with auctions through to 2025, while supporting their other events including the Veteran Car Tour in the Spring and the upcoming Nashville Tour in November."

The Bonhams Collector Cars team will now cross the Atlantic for the Zoute Sale next week on Sunday October 9 at another world-class gathering, the Zoute Grand Prix, in the Belgian resort of Knokke-Heist. The sale is headlined by a rare 1985 Ferrari 288 GTO, delivered new to Walter Wolf, the former Formula 1 team owner.


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