The Market


Bonhams’ £10.3m Goodwood Revival sale

Bonhams’ £10.3m Goodwood Revival sale 19th September 2021

Pitching it just right – not too many cars, no headliner at an unrealistic estimate – Goodwood’s auction partner held a busy sale at this year’s Revival, generating £10,271,300 for motor cars at 74% sold by number.

The event was conducted by Sholto Gilbertson (pictured, above) who maintained a brisk pace, comfortably filling the shoes of former man at the Bonhams rostrum, James Knight. The latter was present in an advisory capacity, and led a touching tribute before the auction to company founder Robert Brooks who died last month.

At a glance:
* Gross, motor cars: £10,271,300 (2019 £8,637,067)
* Percentage sold by number: 74% (2019 61%)
* Top-selling car: 1956/1980s Jaguar D-type £799,000 gross, £700,000 net (est. £900k to £1.2m)
* Well sold? Something of a model of the moment, the 1971 Iso Grifo 7.4-Litre Series II (above) that sold well above upper estimate for £345,000 all-in
* Well bought? Yes, it was a conglomeration of original and reproduction parts, but the ex-Valentine Lindsay historic race-eligible D-type (below) could not be built for anything near the gross price it sold for

Two collections dominated the catalogue. First, it was the predominantly British cars of long-term Bonhams client Stan West who passed away in 2020. All sold, and entries of note included the 1955 Bentley R-Type Continental (non-matching engine, RHD, manual, ‘heavy’ seats, older P&A Wood restoration) sold for today’s money at £642,200, and a ‘drivers’ Aston DB5 bought well under its £450k-£550k estimate for £423,200. The unusual and historically significant Zagato-bodied Bristol 406 (est. £140k-£180k) achieved £200,100. The latter car had been viewed by David Brown and John Wyer at the 1960 Earls Court Motor Show, prompting a visit to Milan to discuss special-bodied, lightweight versions of the DB4 GT for racing. The rest is history. All prices include buyer’s premium.

Later in the catalogue came a quartet of ‘Fox & Nicholl’ and ‘Syndicate’ 1929 2-Litre Lagondas consigned from the Forshaw family, the last family-owned cars to come out of the famous West Country garage, Aston Service Dorset. Only an optimist would hope to sell four almost identical models in one go, so moving two of them on – well under low estimates, for £230,000 and £178,250 gross – was not bad going. These are attractive cycle-wing cars in superb condition, though pre-War experts we spoke to on the day all commented on the small engine’s lack of performance in a medium-sized vintage car.

Elsewhere in the sale, the smart black Ferrari 250 GT Pinin Farina Coupé sold for £331,200 (say $455k), the Jaguar XJ220 for a world record £460,000 and the recent US import Ferrari 330 GT 2+2 Series II for an affordable £141,450. Also something of a bargain on the face of it was the LHD Porsche 964 Carrera RS, with recent work completed by respected British expert Peter Tognola, bought for £135,700. All prices gross.

A sell-through-by-number of nearly three-quarters at the Revival is the best recorded by the Bond St house since the high days of 2014. Factor in the number of cars offered – 82, the fewest since 2014 – and the obvious conclusion is that less is more. Even without a selling (important) headliner, the average value of cars sold this year was £168,38, not so far off the averages posted in more frenzied times for the auction market.

Bonhams at the Goodwood Revival, 16 September 2021 – results (2019)

Total gross cars: £10,271,300 (£8,637,067)
Number of cars not sold: 21 (40)
Number of cars withdrawn: 2 (4)
Total number of cars: 82 (103)
Number sold: 61 (63)
Percentage cars sold by number: 74% (61%)
Percentage by value average low/high estimate: 58% (50%)
Percentage of cars sold below low estimate: 54% (51%)
Percentage of cars sold not met avge of estimates: 77% (76%)
Percentage of cars sold met/exceeded top estimate: 13% (11%)
Average value of cars sold: £168,382 (£137,096)
Average year of cars offered: 1957 (1966)
Percentage of cars offered at No Reserve: 20% (7%)

Photos by James Brown for K500/K500 (top)