The Market


Amelia Island 2020: Bonhams’ $21m auction

Amelia Island 2020: Bonhams’ $21m auction  5th March 2020

Leading the way at this year’s Amelia Island sales, Bonhams grossed just over $21m today at a sell-through-by-number of 75%. Top-selling car was the 1932 Bugatti Type 55 Super Sport Roadster, for $7,100,000 including premium.

In an almost seven-hour marathon, auctioneer Rupert Banner conducted the generally busy event solo. The immediate post-sale gross of nearly $21m is the best performance by the Brits in Florida since 2016, despite sell-through-by-number slipping below 75%.

There were few Europeans present to witness this, though – not unusual in out-of-the-way Amelia, and a reflection of more subdued trading in local markets.

Most felt Bonhams had put together the most varied catalogue of all the Amelia auctions; on the day, it produced the goods. Four cars topped $1m incl. premium.

At a glance:

* Gross: $21,059,641 (2019, $15,752,460)
* Percentage sold by number: 75% (2019, 85%)
* Top-selling car: 1932 Bugatti Type 55 Super Sport Roadster $7,100,000 gross, $6,450,000 net (est. $6.5m to $9.5m)
* Well sold? Great result on the highly fancied Edmonds Collection Bugatti Type 55, moved on in the room after spirited bidding at the low end of its broad estimate
* Well bought? Another Edmonds car, the super-rare LHD DB4 GT-engined Aston Martin DB4  that went for $725.5k all-in, older restoration and uncertain state of the Aston market notwithstanding
* One(s) to take away? The grey spats ’n’ discs XK120 Roadster for $89,600 gross or Professor Edmonds’ old 1953 Jaguar Mark VII Saloon that’s gone to a great US home for just $12,880 with premium

Much interest centred on the Steve McQueen Manx Dune Buggy from The Thomas Crown Affair (above), with bids flying to take it over low estimate, finally selling for $456k gross. The accompanying film car Rolls-Royce Two-Door Coupé had not been consigned from the same owner and was withdrawn pre-sale. No No Reserve robbery there, then.

The C-type Jaguar – a good middle-market car – had a punchy estimate and failed to find a buyer. There were few other significant non-sellers at the modern end of the spectrum – but continuing the  recent trend, old-school pre-War cars only sold if priced accordingly.

The gold Ferrari 330 GTS was marked sold at $1,475,000 with premium after it had crossed the block, later in the event.

In other news, Arizona outfit Russo & Steele cancelled its planned Amelia auction only days before it was due. In March 2019, R&S sold just six of the 76 cars offered on the first part of it's two-day auction in 2019.

Bonhams at Amelia Island, 5 March 2020 (2019)

Gross: $21,059,641 ($15,752,460)
Number of cars not sold: 29 (16)
Number of cars withdrawn: 1 (1)
Total number of cars: 116 (108)
Number sold: 87 (92)
Percentage of cars sold by number: 73% (85%)
Percentage by value average low/high estimate: 51% (60%)
Percentage of cars met or sold below low estimate: 75% (72%)
Percentage of cars sold below avge of estimates: 89% (85%)
Percentage of cars sold met/exceeded top estimate: 8% (8%)
Average price of cars sold: $181,549 ($145,856)
Average year of cars offered: 1953 (1950)
Percentage of cars offered at No Reserve: 55% (65%)

Photos by K500