£2.37m BMW 507 keeps Bonhams’ Christmas spirits alive at annual Bond St sale

£2.37m BMW 507 keeps Bonhams’ Christmas spirits alive at annual Bond St sale 2nd December 2018

There wasn’t much in the nature of festive cheer at the Bond St team’s home gig at company HQ. Only the 1958 BMW 507 broke £1m on the day. Without that, the eventual gross would have been weaker still.

A combination of a slightly unbalanced catalogue (too many Astons, no Porsches, and racing Jaguars better-suited to a Goodwood event) and a slowdown in confidence in the UK market conspired against the Bonhams Motor Cars team, which had put on a sparkling display of cars in the heart of London’s West End.

At a glance:
* Gross: £5,070,750 (2017, £8,605,939)
* Percentage sold by number: 34% (2017, 61%)
* Top-selling car: 1958 BMW 507 Series 2 (pictured, top), £2,367,700 gross, £2,100,00 net (est. £2.1m to £2.2m)
* Well sold? In the scheme of things, and with a slug of goodwill to all men, the BMW 507. The DB5 was a quality car and deserved to go for the right money
* Well bought? £253k all-in for Aston Martin DB7 Zagato was a ‘buy’
* One to take away? Not many to choose from, but we’ll go for the Aston DB Mk III Drophead Coupé. THE Feltham car to have, nicely presented and well-priced

The top-selling BMW 507 had once been owned by the model's designer, Count Albrecht Graf von Goertz – albeit only in 1971. A nice touch, and it was a desirable S2. Against this was a replacement engine and a repaint from silver grey to bright red. At the equivalent of $3m all-in, the eventual sale price was probably market-correct for the telephone bidder who won the car.

Punchy guide prices probably sank the shiny black RHD Dino GTS ‘Chairs and Flairs’ (non-original engine, and a ‘look-at-me’ beige leather interior that had replaced the original black cloth/Alcantara) and the nice short-chassis DB6 Volante. The Ferrari 500 Superfast (no Classiche certificate, in need of restoration) was no stranger to the market and failed to sell.

The 1966 Citroën DS 21 Décapotable was a lovely original thing, rare in RHD and priced on the money at a lower-estimate £150k. That’s £172.5k gross with Bonhams' 2018 15% buyer’s premium applied to all sales up to £500,000.

As reported elsewhere on K500, on the same day Austrian auction house Dorotheum held a successful family collection, all-Mercedes sale in Vienna, benefitting from every car offered at No Reserve. The prices there were healthy, but vendors in the UK are unwilling to go down that route. Until they do, or accept market-realistic estimates, the trend for a declining sell-through by number will continue.

Bonhams at Bond St, 1 December 2018 – Results (2017)

Total gross cars: £5,070,750 (£8,605,939)
Number of cars not sold: 19 (14)
Number of cars withdrawn: 0 (0)
Total number of cars: 29 (36)
Number sold: 10 (22)
Percentage cars sold by number: 34% (61%)
Percentage by value average low/high estimate: 21% (53%)
Percentage of cars sold below low estimate: 50% (36%)
Percentage of cars sold not met avge of estimates: 90% (77%)
Percentage of cars sold met/exceeded top estimate: 0% (14%)
Average value of cars sold: £507,075 (£391,179)
Average year of cars offered: 1974 (1966)
Percentage of cars offered at No Reserve: 7% (0%)

Photos by K500