The Market


Bonhams’ £11.2m 2022 Revival sale

Bonhams’ £11.2m 2022 Revival sale 17th September 2022

This afternoon, the Bond St firm sold 80 lots from its 117-car Goodwood Revival catalogue in an often light-hearted yet businesslike auction held, as usual, ‘Over the Road’ from the circuit.

Duties on the rostrum were split between coming man Sholto Gilbertson (top) and veteran auctioneer Malcolm Barber (below, right). The atmosphere, boosted by healthy bidding over the telephones and within the room, was positive, with some laughs along the way. Dealers from the UK and Europe were out in force, the latter attracted by a weak pound, which must also have generated interest from the US.

Without the feature lot Aston Martin DB3 racing car finding a new owner the gross inevitably suffered, but it was still the best at the event since pre-Covid days in 2018.

At a glance:

* Gross, motor cars: £11,176,075 (2021, £10,271,300)
* Percentage sold by number: 68% (2021, 74%)
* Top-selling car: 1964 Cooper-Zerex-Oldsmobile 3.9-Litre £911,000 gross, £800,000 net (est. ‘Refer Dept.’)
* Well sold? Gilbertson revealed that his colleagues were running a sweepstake on the eventual price of the 2009 Mercedes-Benz SLR McLaren 722 S Roadster. It sold for £687,000 all-in against a £240k to £320k guide. The reason? A Middle East car but to Swiss market spec’ and – most importantly – finished in rare Crystal Fayalite Green. It looked fabulous
* Well bought? In a day of mixed fortunes for pre-War cars, the terrific 1922 Sunbeam Grand Prix Racing Two-Seater 'Strasbourg' (above, left) was snapped up by a connoisseur for £597,400 gross, way under its £700k to £800k estimate

The ex-Works DB3 had been on the market for a while and did receive serious bids today, yet none approached its lower estimate of £2.8m. Blame the lack of enthusiasm for 1950s competition cars at auction in 2022, and the fact that super-competitive racers can pick up faithful reproductions or a ‘bitza’ with the loosest claim to authenticity† for a price in the £100ks.

Other results of note (all prices gross):

* 2017 Rolls-Royce Dawn Convertible, £264,500, Estimated at £100k to £160k, the vibrant gold drophead attracted wild bidding despite big customs and duty bills coming down the track and minimal paperwork. It did make everyone smile – how can you value that?
* 1964 Aston Martin DB5, £425.5k. Highly original ’5 ideal for proper (£300k+) restoration with saveable original interior
* 1964 Porsche 904 GTS†, £614,200. Purchased for €693k at RM’s Collection Petitjean sale in June 2020; it will most likely end up now as a usable modded historic racing car
* 1989 Aston Martin V8 Vantage Volante 'Prince of Wales', £460,000. Bought by the UK specialist trade to restore to original (and very 1980s) Mercedes-Benz metallic red with grey. Reversion to original RHD in the balance
* 1971 AC  428 Coupé, £128,800. These cars are rare and have a certain roguish charm. This one was hard fought over and almost doubled its low estimate to sell for £128,800

There was no discernible trend in non-sellers other than the DB3 and the state of the competition car market in 2022. One or two other racing cars failed – proving once again these are best handled by a specialist dealer.

In general, this was a good result for Bonhams, a sale conducted in the spirit of the world’s greatest historic motoring event that turned in some solid results despite the lack of a high-profile headliner.

Bonhams at the Goodwood Revival, 17 September 2022 – results (2021)

Total gross cars: £11,176,075 (£10,271,300)
Number of cars not sold: 37 (21)
Number of cars withdrawn: 3 (2)
Total number of cars: 117 (82)
Number sold: 80 (61)
Percentage cars sold by number: 68% (74%)
Percentage by value average low/high estimate: 51% (58%)
Percentage of cars sold below low estimate: 43% (54%)
Percentage of cars sold not met avge of estimates: 73% (77%)
Percentage of cars sold met/exceeded top estimate: 11% (13%)
Average value of cars sold: £139,701 (£168,382)
Average year of cars offered: 1967 (1957)
Percentage of cars offered at No Reserve: 14% (20%)

Photos by K500