The Market


‘Back to business’ for Bonhams in Bond Street

‘Back to business’ for Bonhams in Bond Street 4th December 2016

Last weekend’s mayhem in Milan was a hard act to follow; but in the scheme of things, the well-presented sale of 27 cars at Bonhams’ global HQ went as well as expected.

Key points:

* £3,749,090 gross, 67% sell-through by number
* Top-selling car the 1989 Aston Martin V8 Vantage Volante ‘Prince of Wales’ hammered for £580k (est. £600k to £700k), £651,100 all-in
* 50% of cars sell below low estimate
* Extraordinary 1926 Rolls-Royce Phantom I ‘The Phantom of Love’ (below) sells for £561,500 gross

Lacking a headliner, it was hard for Bonhams to truly set pulses racing at its traditional end-of-year, blue-riband event. The heavily trailed pre-War cars gained many column inches in the press and a slot on the BBC evening news, but were hardly ‘investor grade’ – ‘historically significant’, it’s impossible to deny.

So, it was down to more usual auction fare to measure the state of the market post-Milan, the subject on everyone’s lips this afternoon.

‘PoW’ Aston Martin V8 Volantes seldom come to auction and this one – less-fancied 7.0-litre engine, middling mileage of 37k and no stranger to the departure lounge – sold spot-on at £651,100 gross, some way off its estimate. The DB4 found a buyer immediately after it had been offered in the saleroom and (together with the Porsche Carrera GT) is simply listed as ‘Sold’, so are not included in the gross.

It was a game of two halves for the Zagato-bodied Astons: the 2003 DB7 sold (£309.5k with premium), the 2013 V12 did not. Nor did the strangely appealing, non-metallic green Countach 25th Anniversary. Everyone admired the 1988 Porsche 911 Carrera Club Sport… though not enough to bid it past its reserve.

We liked the maroon 1958 Bentley S Series Continental Flying Spur (above, well bought at £109,020) and the 1950 Jaguar XK 120 Roadster. The latter was a good car and had previously gone for £130.3k at Bonhams’ 2015 Goodwood Festival event so, at £169.5k gross/£150k hammer, the vendor should have got most of their money back.

Perhaps we can learn as much about the state of the market from this as we can from RM selling a couple of ‘okay’ Maserati Ghibli 4.9 SSs in Milan for around £254k each, when Bonhams achieved £203.1k for a good one (pictured, top and bottom) only a few hours ago.

Bonhams at Bond Street, 4 December 2016

Total gross cars: £3,749,090
Number of cars not sold: 9
Number of cars withdrawn: 1
Total number of cars: 27
Number sold: 18
Percentage cars sold by number: 67%
Percentage by value average low/high estimate: 41%
Number of cars sold below low estimate: 9
Percentage of cars sold below low estimate: 50%
Number of cars sold below avge of estimates: 12
Percentage of cars sold below avge of estimates: 67%
Number of cars sold above top estimate: 3
Percentage of cars sold above top estimate: 17%
Average age of cars offered: 1975

Official Results:

1953 Bristol 403 £56,350
1965 Mercedes-Benz 230 SL Hardtop £87,740
1963 Aston Martin DB5 Withdrawn
2015 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 £81,020
1989 Aston Martin V8 Vantage Volante ‘PoW’ £651,100
1914 Vauxhall 25Hp 'Prince Henry' Sports Torpedo £516,700
2001 BMW Z8 Convertible with Hardtop Not Sold
2004 Porsche Carrera GT 'Sold'
1926 Rolls-Royce Phantom I £561,500
1960 Aston Martin DB4 Series 2 'Sold'
1958 Jaguar XK 150 £169,500
1999 Ferrari 550 Maranello Not Sold
2003 Aston Martin DB7 Zagato £309,500
1971 Ferrari Dino 246 GT Not Sold
1963 Jaguar E-type S1 3.8-Litre Coupé £169,500
1988 Ferrari 328 GTS £143,740
1973 Porsche 911S '2.4' Targa £147,100
1990 Lamborghini Countach 25th Anniversary Not Sold
1968 Maserati Mistral 4000 Spyder Not Sold
2013 Aston Martin V12 Zagato Not Sold
1957 Mercedes-Benz 300 SL Roadster Not Sold
1971 Maserati Ghibli SS 4.9-Litre Coupé £203,100
1988 Porsche 911 Carrera Club Sport Not Sold
1962 Jaguar E-Type S1 3.8-Litre Roadster £219,900
1950 Jaguar XK 120 Roadster £169,500
1958 Bentley S1 Continental 'Flying Spur' £109,020
2011 Mercedes-Benz SLS 63 AMG £153,820
1973 Porsche 911S 2.4 Not Sold

Photos by K500