The Market

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Stop press from the 2024 Paris sales: Bonhams

Stop press from the 2024 Paris sales: Bonhams 1st February 2024

The Bond St firm returned to the stylish Grand Palais Éphémère in central Paris earlier today for a marathon, 162-lot auction. After some 66 items of automobilia, scooters and motorcycles it was time for the motor cars. Of the 96 offered, 80 sold, topped by the Ferrari Enzo at €3.9m all-in. That’s an on-the-day gross of €14.1m at a solid 84% sold by number.

Unless they were offered without reserve, it was not the day for older entries: neither the 1931 Invicta 4½-Litre S-Type Low Chassis Sports (pictured, top) or the 1933 Maserati Tipo 8C-3000 Biposto found new owners.

The 2004 Ferrari Enzo that made it to the head of the listings was a one-owner, French-market car with just over 9,500km covered from new. Rare and attractive black with a red interior worked its magic and the car achieved the equivalent of around $4.25m making it the third highest Enzo sale on the K500 Index.


At a glance:

* Gross, motor cars: €15,119,625 (2023, €28,579,899)
* Percentage sold by number: 84% (2023, 77%)
* Top-selling car: 2004 Ferrari Enzo €3,910,000 gross, €3,400,000 net (est. €3.5m to €4.5m)    
* Well sold? Any of the multicolour, ex-Kuwait 2010 Aston Martin V8 Vantages that went for around €65k and will be subject to VAT and other duties of at least 20 per cent to stay in Europe. €80,000 cars, really?
* Well bought? In years to come, maybe the Enzo


Although lacking some of the stardust of RM’s evening event yesterday, as always at Bonhams proceedings were conducted in a friendly atmosphere, with the saleroom generally full of knowledgeable enthusiasts.

Other results of note (all prices gross):

* 1981 Lamborghini Countach LP400S Series II, €621,000. Sold well despite convoluted change of chassis number and colour in period.
* 1969 Lamborghini Miura P400 S, €954,500. A remarkable price for a ‘Frankenmiura’ S built up from parts from various cars including the engine and interior of different P400s.
* 1988 Ferrari Testarossa, €212,750. Strong result for the numerous (7,177 built, plus 2,780 variants) Testarossa down to this one’s striking black/black specification.
* 2009 Aston Martin V12 Vantage, €155,250. Another one liable to VAT and duty if remaining in the EU, facts that make the price paid for this Swiss-spec, effectively ‘new’ car all the more remarkable.
* 1973 Porsche 911 Carrera 2.7 RS Touring, €448,500. One of the more desirable first 500 ‘light’ cars, this one lacked its original block.

There were no fireworks today, to do well in early 2024 the catalogue needs several really special hypercars and in-vogue expensive classics such as  a Ferrari Dino GTS and a 275 GTB. But the 84% sell-through is the best we have recorded for Bonhams during Rétromobile Week over the last 10 years, helped enormously by so many (57%) cars at No Reserve. In 2014, in a sale that grossed €16.275m at 69% sold by number at the peak of the last boom, that figure was just 15%.

Bonhams in Paris, 1 February 2024 – results (2023)

Total gross cars: €15,119,625 (€28,579,899)
Number of cars not sold: 15 (32)
Number of cars withdrawn: 1 (3)
Total number of cars: 95 (142)
Number sold: 80 (110)
Percentage cars sold by number: 84% (77%)
Percentage by value average low/high estimate: 60% (56%)
Percentage of cars sold below low estimate: 58% (49%)
Percentage of cars sold not met avge of estimates: 71% (70%)
Percentage of cars sold met/exceeded top estimate: 14% (14%)
Average value of cars sold: €188,995 (€259,817)
Average year of cars offered: 1967 (1971)
Percentage of cars offered at No Reserve: 57% (48%)

All prices include buyer’s premium.

Photos by K500