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‘Barn find’ BMW tops Bonhams’ 2022 Audrain auction

‘Barn find’ BMW tops Bonhams’ 2022 Audrain auction 4th October 2022

“Single family ownership and not seen publicly for over 40 years” – money can't normally buy that sort of provenance, though last Friday someone paid $2,315,000 inc. premium for a 1957 BMW 507 Series II Roadster with hardtop delivered new to Venezuela. It came out of over four decades with one family.

The car’s late-70s repaint to Pontiac Bright Blue Metallic (was attractive Silverblau new) was offset by desirable Rudge wheels, matching numbers and many other original components such as a Blaupunkt Köln radio.

At a glance:
* Gross, motor cars: $6,912,140 (2021, $8,321,850)
* Percentage sold by number: 86% (80%)
* Top-selling car: 1957 BMW 507 Series II Roadster with hardtop $2,315,000 gross, $2,100,000 net (est. $1.8m to $2.2m)
* Well sold? Buying and selling Astons at auction today can be a mixed experience but someone paid $280,000 all-in for a was it?/wasn’t it? ‘cosmetic’ – the catalogue is contradictory – 1986 V8 Vantage
* Well bought? Who does not like a Mercedes 300 SEL 6.3? The two-owner Tobacco Brown/Cognac one sold for $56,000 gross against its $60k to $80k estimate

Although the gross was less than last year, the Bond St firm got most of the cars away. Of the big-hitters, only the 1995 Porsche 911 (Type 993) Supercup once raced by ‘Essen Taxi Driver’ Harold Grohs failed to sell.

The 1958 Mercedes-Benz 300 SL Roadster (est. $1.1m to $1.3m) was a typical mid-market, US-spec ‘improved’ car in non-original colours and went for $975,000 net, $1,077,500 with premium. It was matching numbers.

At around 40 lots and with something for everyone, Bonhams proved sales linked to good quality events can work, even though almost half the cars failed to meet lower estimate, a result of so many entries (48%) listed at No Reserve.

Bonhams at the Audrain Concours, 30 September 2022 – results (2021)

Gross: $6,912,140 ($8,321,850)
Number of cars not sold: 7 (8)
Number of cars withdrawn: 1 (1)
Total number of cars: 44 (40)
Number sold: 37 (32)
Percentage cars sold by number: 84% (80%)
Percentage by value average low/high estimate: 76% (58%)
Percentage of cars met or sold below low estimate: 49% (44%)
Percentage of cars sold below avge of estimates: 81% (56%)
Percentage of cars sold met/exceeded top estimate: 8% (22%)
Average year of cars offered: 1961 (1963)
Average price of cars sold: $186,815 ($260,058)
Percentage of cars offered at No Reserve: 48% (35%)

Photos by Bonhams