The Market


Stop press from Paris 2023: Bonhams

Stop press from Paris 2023: Bonhams 3rd February 2023

The Le Mans 24 Hours celebrates it 100th anniversary in four months’ time. Today, the Bond St firm carried out a dry run of the ‘ultimate test of endurance’ by offering 145 lots in the elegant surroundings of the Grand Palais Éphémère in Paris. The results so far show a likely €28.5m+ gross.

Proceedings started mid-afternoon and were still going strong at 8.30pm. The wide spaces of the Grand Palais Éphémère – a semi-permanent structure built for the 2024 Paris Olympics that replaces the Bond St firm’s traditional base at the old Grand Palais, itself under renovation for the big event next year. The cars were artfully arranged and the bidders’ area just in front of the rostrum was full for most of the auction.

Top slot was a tie between the 1948 Talbot-Lago T26 Grand Sport and the after-saled 1988 Ferrari F40, both achieving €2,185,000 with Bonhams’ Olympian 15% buyer’s premium. The sell-through-by-number of 78% just bested RM’s revised figure for last night’s sale†. It’s a fair reflection of a generally healthy auction, albeit helped by nearly half of the cars offered at No Reserve.

At a glance:
* Gross, motor cars: €28,579,899 (2022, €18,786,975)
* Percentage sold by number: 78% (2022, 82%)
* Top-selling car: Tie between the 1948 Talbot-Lago T26 Grand Sport Coupé 'Chambas' €2,185,000 gross, €1,900,000 net (est. €2m to €2.5m) and the 1988 Ferrari F40 €2,185,000 gross, €1,900,000 net (est. €2.2m to €2.7m)

The 12-car Italian Porsche Turbo collection attracted much interest pre-sale. None carried reserves, and the best performance came from the 1991 964 Turbo 3.3-Litre Coupé that sold for €150,000 net/€172,500 gross. Est. €100k to €150k.

As you’d expect, the catalogue contained quite a few of Bonhams’ familiar non-EU cars. Most did pretty well. Perhaps the highlight was the much-fancied 1988 Aston Martin V8 Vantage X-Pack. Estimated at €200k to €300k, the blue, grey leather German-market car was fought over by the trade and finally sold for €391,000 all-in. Expect a €100k recommissioning bill on top of that after the usual customs fees and import duties have been paid.

Other results of note (all prices gross):

* 1969 Lamborghini Islero S, €218,500. Not a bad result for an average car in alarming bright green.
* 2015 Lagonda Taraf, €402,500. Extraordinary price for a model often collecting dust in showrooms worldwide.
* 2020 Pagani Huayra Roadster, Not Sold. Probably not the right time and place.
* 1934 Aston Martin Ulster, €1,552,500. Solid result for a two-seater Ulster. Not a Team Car but with 1935 Le Mans history and well sold.
* 2009 Mercedes-Benz SLR McLaren 722 S Roadster, €747,500. Showing just 45km from new, another non-EU car without papers hits the jackpot.
* 1972 De Tomaso Pantera Group 4, Not Sold. Interesting entry but where's the demand for the original at €650k to €850k when many would buy a replica for historic racing at half the price? It's a shame, but a fact of life in 2023 and affects many other models such as Cobras and GT40s.
* 1970 Ferrari 365 GTB/4 ‘Daytona’, "Sold". Nice-looking ‘Daytona’ in great colour post-saled most likely into the trade hence no stated price.
* 1932 Bugatti Type 55 Cabriolet, Not Sold. Smart and elegant rather than sporting. €3m to €4m should deliver more pizazz.

Bonhams at the Grand Palais Éphémère, 2 February 2023 – results (2022)

Total gross cars: €28,579,899 (€18,786,975)
Number of cars not sold: 32 (20)
Number of cars withdrawn: 1 (0)
Total number of cars: 144 (112)
Number sold: 112 (92)
Percentage cars sold by number: 78% (82%)
Percentage by value average low/high estimate: 56% (60%)
Percentage of cars sold below low estimate: 48% (53%)
Percentage of cars sold not met avge of estimates: 69% (74%)
Percentage of cars sold met/exceeded top estimate: 13% (14%)
Average value of cars sold: €255,178 (€ 204,206)
Average year of cars offered: 1971 (1967)
Percentage of cars offered at No Reserve: 47% (54%)

†Latest news of RM Sotheby’s in Paris 2023:

In a flurry of post-sale deals, the Canadians increased last night’s gross to €49,661,600 at 75% sold by number. Significant sellers include: 1938 Alfa Romeo 6C 2300B Mille Miglia Berlinetta, €850,000; 2015 Ferrari F12tdf 'Pre-Series', €785,000; 1928 Bugatti Type 43 Roadster by Lavocat et Marsaud, €850,000; 2009 Alfa Romeo 8C Competizione, €245,000. All prices gross.

2023 Paris Rétromobile week auctions overview with all results to follow...

Photos by K500