The Market


£6.3m for Bonhams at the 2023 Goodwood Members’ Meeting

£6.3m for Bonhams at the 2023 Goodwood Members’ Meeting 17th April 2023

Results for the Bond St firm’s regular slot alongside the lower-profile racing event at the West Sussex circuit were broadly in line with previous figures: a gross of just over £6.3m – the second best ever for a MM sale – at a respectable percentage sold-by-number of 73%.

The auction saw the debut of a new man on the rostrum, Richard Stafford, pictured, top, trained in the black arts by the experienced auctioneers at the company’s HQ. He made a fine job of the first 30 lots before, to heartfelt applause from the saleroom, handing over to Bonhams veteran Malcolm Barber. We wish Richard well for the future.

Listing nearly 100 cars, the catalogue lacked quality in depth. Neither of the headlining significant Austin-Healeys (below) sold, though the ex-works 1963 Mini Cooper S rally car – 3rd in class on the 1964 Monte Carlo Rally – achieved £143,750 inc. premium (est. £120k to £150k).

At a glance:
* Gross, motor cars: £6,305,638 (2022, £6,836,362)
* Percentage sold by number: 73% (2022, 91%)
* Top-selling car: 1931 Bentley 8-Litre Le Mans-Style Tourer £563,500 gross, £490,000 net (est. £550k to £650k)    

Pre-War entries have always been a popular feature of Bonhams’ auctions and top slot fell to the 8-Litre Bentley, an unfashionable landaulette rebodied like so many others as a Le Mans-Style Tourer sometime after the War. Some way adrift in second, the ex-Richard Burns, blue/yellow Prodrive Subaru Impreza WRC99 rally car estimated at £430k to £520k achieved £448,500.

Bonhams’ customary selection of No Reserve Aston Martins was topped by a 1970 DB6 Mk2 manual Vantage sold to the UK trade for restoration. It went for £270,250 plus 5% duty, a £600k+ DB-era Aston once work by one of the best-in-the-business Aston specialists is completed. An automatic non-Vantage MK 2 was bought for £185,150, a Mk 1 auto for £172,500.

We liked the unrestored, 4,300 miles, ‘plain vanilla’ in colour and spec, US-market 1977 Porsche 911S 2.7-Litre Coupé that sold for £80,500. A rare ‘Ölklappe' 1972 2.4 911S in Sea Blue with Beige leatherette just beat low estimate to go for £209,300. All prices gross.

Bonhams' next outing at Goodwood will be at the Festival in July. An early consignment is that darling of the auction tent and Aston Martin specialist, the ‘Wrong Arm of the Law’ DB4 GT, pictured, below. As Peter Sellers’ character in the classic British 1960s b/w film might say, it will be a “diabolical liberty” if this does not find a new, long-term owner this time round.

Bonhams at the Goodwood Members’ Meeting, 16 April 2023 – results (2022)

Gross: £6,305,638 (£6,836,362)
Number of cars not sold: 26 (7)
Number of cars withdrawn: 4 (1)
Total number of cars: 95 (76)
Number sold: 69 (69)
Percentage cars sold by number: 73% (91%)
Percentage by value average low/high estimate: 52% (82%)
Percentage of cars met or sold below low estimate: 68% (36%)
Percentage of cars sold below avge of estimates: 87% (62%)
Percentage of cars sold met/exceeded top estimate: 9% (14%)
Average price of cars sold: £91,386 (£99,078)
Average year of cars offered: 1961 (1964)
Percentage of cars offered at No Reserve: 35% (32%)

Photos by K500