The Market


Monterey 2021: $5.4m 1928 Mercedes stars at Bonhams’ $33.6m sale

Monterey 2021: $5.4m 1928 Mercedes stars at Bonhams’ $33.6m sale 14th August 2021

Over a seven-hour marathon, Rupert Banner and new signing Maarten ten Holder sold 120 cars at Quail Lodge, a sell-through-by-number of 86%.

Although the quality was only marginally better than 2019, offering a smaller catalogue worked for the Brits: average price of cars sold rose from $143.4k to $241k; a fifth beat upper estimate.

At a glance:

* Gross: $33,590,630 (2019, $31,410,840)
* Percentage sold by number: 86%
* Top-selling car: 1928 Mercedes-Benz 26/120/180-S-Type Supercharged Sports Tourer $5,395,000 gross, $4,900,000 net (est. $3m to $4m, pictured, top)
* Well sold? A massive $654,000 was paid for the 1997 Porsche 911 Turbo S estimated at $260k to $320k
* Well bought? Some cars were cheap for a reason
* One to take away? The 1967 Mustang Holman Moody racer, purely for the name of its 1971 owner/racer: Peruvian Cristobal ‘Batman’ Galjuf, Sr. It sold for $145,600

The dramatic black Mercedes was sold after a spirited battle and proved the universal popularity of more sporting older cars with elegant lines.

As we saw in 2019, without the benefit of No Reserve, some of the more expensive entries struggled. Non-sellers included the Lancia Aurelia B24S Spider America, the Bucciali, the Ford Mk IV and DB4 GT recreations (above) and the F40. The 1955 Mercedes-Benz 300 SL ‘Gullwing’ was matching numbers but no longer in its original colours. Single ownership for over 40 years and continuous maintenance pushed its price to an estimate-beating $1,710,000 all-in. The old-school 1952 Ferrari 212 Europa Cabriolet sold at $1,820,000 gross, just under low estimate.

Once again, a significant proportion of cars was from the same Kuwaiti consignor, all offered at No Reserve.

The tent might have appeared sparsely attended, but bidding was healthy throughout the event. Both auctioneers conducted the sale at breakneck pace, though some wag thought it a “$5k bid bonanza”. It was like pedalling a mountain bike along the Bonneville Salt Flats in only first gear.

Bonhams at Quail Lodge, 13 August 2021 – results (2019)

Gross: $33,590,630 ($31,410,840)
Number of cars not sold: 19 (53)
Number of cars withdrawn: 0 (4)
Total number of cars: 139 (219)
Number sold: 120 (166)
Percentage cars sold by number: 86% (76%)
Percentage by value average low/high estimate: 65% (45%)
Percentage of cars met or sold below low estimate: 38% (81%)
Percentage of cars sold below avge of estimates: 63% (93%)
Percentage of cars sold met/exceeded top estimate: 21% (4%)
Average price of cars sold: $279,922 ($189,222)
Average year of cars offered: 1967 (1964)
Percentage of cars offered at No Reserve: 56% (56%)

With thanks to Hammer Price

Photos by Bonhams and K500