The Market


Bonhams’ €11.5m 2022 Monaco auction

Bonhams’ €11.5m 2022 Monaco auction 13th May 2022

After a four-year hiatus due to covid and the biennial nature of the Monaco Historics, the British firm returned to the Principality earlier today and sold three-quarters of its motor car catalogue, grossing €11,522,575 in the process.

Top-selling car was the 1927 Bugatti T35 B. In a deal done shortly after the event, the pre-War racer was announced sold for a round €2,000,000 with premium. Removing Bonhams’ chunky 15% premium, that nets down to €1,739,130, some way under its €2m to €3m estimate.

At a glance:
* Gross, motor cars: €11,522,575 (2018, €14,369,965)
* Percentage sold by number: 74% (2018, 77%)
* Top-selling car: 1927 Bugatti T35 B €2,000,000 gross, €1,739,130 net (est. €2m to €3m)
* Well sold? €414k against an estimate of €140k to €180k was big money for the 2005 Mercedes-Benz CLK DTM AMG Coupé. And add to that VAT and import duty on the hammer price if kept in Europe: in France or Monaco, that’s 20% VAT plus 10% duty. As a Middle East market car, it also required a certificate of European conformity – not an easy process
* Well bought? Priced to sell from Bonhams’ familiar Kuwaiti client, maybe the 1992 Aston Martin Virage Shooting Brake for €126,500 gross – but subject to the usual caveats of missing paperwork; another one liable to import duty

It wasn’t a day for old-school entries. The low-key event only just got the Bugatti Type 35 away, and non-sellers included the 1953 Alfa Romeo 1900 C and the 1951 Ferrari 212 Inter. These early 1950s cabriolets are looking dated in today’s market. The 1956 AC Ace Bristol (est. €350k to €450k, above) did sell, for €460k all-in, a great event car with interesting history.

In contrast, modern cars such as the CLK DTM did well. Another 'plus, plus, plus' entry from the Middle East, the 2009 Mercedes-Benz SL65 AMG Black Series Coupé, sold for nearly double its top estimate: €301,875 with premium before VAT and duty.

The ex-Beltoise 1965 Ferrari 275 GTS sold on the money for €1,495,000; the 1988 Porsche 959 Komfort delivered new to Qatar, but EU taxes paid (below), for €1,437,500 incl. premium.

After today, RM Sotheby’s, which holds a sale on Saturday, might have jitters over its €6m to €8m 1953 Ferrari 340 MM Spider, but will be heartened that Bonhams found a buyer for its ex-Alessandro Zanardi 1999 Williams Renault FW21 Formula 1 car for €362,250 gross, over double its upper guide price. The Canadians have several ex-Nigel Mansell cars including the great man’s own 1991 Williams FW14, multiple-victory ‘Red 5’ for €1.5m to €3m. Full report on that sale to come.

Bonhams at Monaco, 13 May 2022 – results (2018)

Total gross cars: €11,522,575 (€14,369,965)
Number of cars not sold: 9 (12)
Number of cars withdrawn: 0 (0)
Total number of cars: 35 (53)
Number sold: 26 (41)
Percentage cars sold by number: 74% (77%)
Percentage by value average low/high estimate: 58% (69%)
Percentage of cars sold below low estimate: 46% (63%)
Percentage of cars sold not met avge of estimates: 73% (85%)
Percentage of cars sold met/exceeded top estimate: 23% (5%)
Average age of cars offered: 1973 (1974)
Average price of cars sold: €443,176 (€350,487)
Percentage of cars offered at No Reserve: 37% (36%)

Photos by K500