Bonhams’ €11m 2019 Paris sale

Bonhams’ €11m 2019 Paris sale 8th February 2019

The catalogue might have been a little homely for some – “a sea of old stuff,” we overheard – but, during a six-hour marathon at the elegant and airy Grand Palais, the Bond St team still sold 93 cars at an acceptable sell-through of 66%.

The show at Rétromobile was terrific. It takes a lot to tempt people away from such a world-class event for two or three hours and Bonhams’ afternoon sale, dominated by unexceptional pre-War entries, lacked the wow factor needed to pull in the high-rollers.

At a glance:

* Gross: €11,036,435 (2018, €15,109,773)
* Percentage sold by number: 66% (2018, 76%)
* Top-selling car: 1939 Mercedes-Benz 540 K Cabriolet A, €1,581,250 gross, €1,375,000 net (est. €1.7m to €2.3m)
* Well sold? The 1926 Bentley 3-Litre Speed Weymann Drophead Coupé that went for €787,750 all-in against a guide of €400k to €500k. No arguing with that
* Well bought? Erm… the unexceptional 1974 Ferrari 365 GT4 BB hammered at €242,000? Est. €275k to €350k
* One to take away? Go on, the 365 GT4 BB

It takes all sorts...
It takes all sorts...
... it certainly does...
... it certainly does...

There’s little we can add – car collecting is a broad church. And for many, spending €16,100 with premium for a 1912 Hupmobile Model 32 Tourer gives them great pleasure. It’s not all about 2.7 RSs and four-cam Ferraris.

The hot-rodded 1955 Mercedes-Benz 300 SL 'Gullwing' sold for an OK €1,207,500, but virtually no other entries that could be considered truly collectable in the modern sense, such as the 300 SL Roadster, found new owners.

Honourable exceptions were the two Cricklewood Bentleys. And the 1950 Porsche 356 Split-Window 'Four-Digit' Coupé that went for a healthy €805,000 against a mighty estimate of €700k to €1m.

Bonhams at the Grand Palais, Paris, 7 February 2019 (2018)

Total gross cars: €11,036,435 (€15,109,773)
Number of cars not sold: 47 (33)
Number of cars withdrawn: 1 (1)
Total number of cars: 140 (136)
Number sold: 93 (103)
Percentage cars sold by number: 66% (76%)
Percentage by value average low/high estimate: 31% (52%)
Percentage of cars met or sold below low estimate: 73% (62%)
Percentage of cars sold below avge of estimates:  83% (78%)
Percentage of cars sold met/exceeded top estimate: 11% (16%)
Average price of cars sold: €118,671 (€146,697)
Average year of cars offered: 1953 (1957)
Percentage of cars offered at No Reserve: 31% (26%)

Photos by K500