Zoute 2019: Bonhams’ €10.5m seaside break

Zoute 2019: Bonhams’ €10.5m seaside break 14th October 2019

The elegant Flemish coastal resort of Knokke-Le-Zoute has been a happy hunting ground for Bonhams since it first ventured there in 2013. Today, the sale is a highlight of the Bond St house’s calendar and the 2019 41-car catalogue generated a gross of €10,541,490, at 73% sold by number – both figures comfortably beating those posted at this year’s Goodwood Festival and Revival sales.

The sell-through was down on 2018’s 86%, but moving on the hot-rod alloy 275 GTB, the F40 and the Enzo meant a record gross at Zoute was on the cards. Of the big-ticket Ferraris, only the significant, special-order 250 GT Pininfarina Cabriolet Series 2 delivered new to Jean ‘Beurlys’ Blaton failed to sell. Its time, surely, will come.

At a glance:
* Gross: €10,541,490 (2018, €8,118,421)
* Percentage sold by number: 73% (2018, 86%)
* Top-selling car: 1965 Ferrari 275 GTB/2 Alloy ‘Long-Nose’ €2,875,000 gross, €2,500,000 net (Est. Refer Dept.)
* Well sold? The 275 GTB, a harder-to-please saleroom might have resisted its non-standard racing mods and unfashionable (but as-delivered) red paintwork
* Well bought? Surely the 275 GTB again? It’s a well-known racer, but one that was in the hands of arch-connoisseur Gregory Noblet, whose father was a Works Ferrari driver and finished second in his GTO at Le Mans in 1962. With Ferrari Classiche (OK, from 2004, in standard, triple-Weber spec with bumpers…) and a six-carb Roelofs engine, this car says “Le Mans Classic 2020”. And it’s road-registered
* One to take away? Maybe the €687,190 all-in grey 2016 Ferrari F12tdf with 6,000km on the clock which makes the Bonmont sale yellow car (CHF 862.5k plus taxes) expensive

The Ferrari Enzo was a European, one-owner example but had covered 26,707km, so sold accordingly at €1.5m (say $1.63m) with premium. It was the same story on the non-catalyst, non-adjustable F40 that achieved a with-premium €920k (c. $1m), but again had done 20,000km, and this time had three owners from new.

Cobras are probably best marketed in the US; Bonhams’ older restoration blue car failed to find a new home. Neither did the €1m+ O.M. Superba (a marque and model lacking widespread recognition), nor the smart, ex-Prince Charles of Belgium 1960 Ferrari 250 GT Pininfarina Coupé. On an even better day, Philip Kantor and the Bonhams Europe team would have got that one away.

All in all, a fine effort, one that puts the recent subdued British sales into some sort of perspective. As the Brexit drama plays out in the British parliament, two more high-level car auctions will be conducted in London this year: RM at Olympia on 24 October and Bonhams in Bond Street on 7 December. Expect K500 to give you the low-down on how many cars leave with a deal then.

Bonhams at Zoute, 11 October 2019

Total gross cars: €10,541,490 (€8,118,421)
Number of cars not sold: 11 (6)
Number of cars withdrawn: 0 (1)
Total number of cars: 41 (42)
Number sold: 30 (36)
Percentage cars sold by number: 73% (86%)
Percentage by value average low/high estimate: 64% (74%)
Percentage of cars sold below low estimate: 60% (39%)
Percentage of cars sold not met avge of estimates: 87% (75%)
Percentage of cars sold met/exceeded top estimate: 0% (14%)
Average value of cars sold: €351,383 (€225,512)
Average year of cars offered: 1967 (1969)
Percentage of cars offered at No Reserve: 17% (43%)

Photo by Bonhams