Around the houses, August 2010

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NEWS FROM THE MAIN AUCTION HOUSES AROUND THE WORLD

Gooding and Company

The auction firm has confirmed a few more interesting cars for its Pebble Beach sale on August 14/15. An ex-Moss/Behra/Taruffi 1956 Maserati 200 SI is expected to fetch in excess of £1.7 million. This particular racer, the works team and development car, was campaigned in many European and South American events in period. It finished on the podium at the Nürburgring, in Napoli, Caracas and Bari, and was also raced in the Cuban GP, Mille Miglia, Targa Florio and the Grand Prix of Rome.

Another car with motor racing history is the 1949 Talbot-Lago T26 which won the 1950 Paris Grand Prix with Georges Grignard driving. The car has recently been restored but will do well to top its estimate of £450-590,000.

Next up is a Vignale-bodied 1952 Ferrari 340 America that raced in the US through its early years and has since been campaigned in the Laguna Seca Historics. It is expected to fetch over £1.3m.

Finally, Gooding will be selling the 1927 Mercedes-Benz S Boat-tail Speedster that was owned by the Marx brothers. The car competed in the ‘Muroc Match Race’ against Phil Berg’s winning Duesenberg Model J as a result of a bet between Zeppo Marx and Mr Berg, Clark Gable and Gary Cooper’s manager. The Mercedes is estimated to sell for an impressive £2.7m.

The company has recently sold a 1936 Bugatti Type 57SC Atlantic to an undisclosed buyer while acting as official broker to the Williamson Family and Trust that used to own the car. Although Gooding and Company would not disclose the exact price, it did say that the car went for more than £19m, making it the most expensive car ever sold.

RM Auctions

RM has confirmed several lots for its Monterey sale on August 12-14. The company is advertising many notable entries, including more than a dozen cars that are expected to fetch over $1m (£690,000). Among the competition car lots is the only surviving Cougar Cobra. This 1967 Shelby American Can-Am car (£140-240,000) was the last produced by the Ford/Carroll Shelby partnership, and was Shelby’s first entry into Can-Am racing.

Also in the Monterey sale is a 1938 BMW 328 Roadster (£410-480,000), a 1938 Peugeot 402 Pourtout Special Roadster (£290-360,000) and a 1959 Offenhauser Sprint Car built by A J Watson (£50-60,000).

RM is selling James Bond’s Aston Martin DB5 (see p122) as driven by Sean Connery in Goldfinger and Thunderball. It is the first time the car has come up for sale, and it will go under the hammer at the Automobiles of London event at Battersea Evolution on October 27, where it is expected to sell for more than £3.5m. There are a few non-optional extras with this car… such as machine guns, a bulletproof shield, revolving number plates, an oil slick sprayer, nail spreader and a smoke screen, all controlled from toggles in the arm rest.

RM has sold a 1963 Ferrari 250 GTO (chassis 4675 GT) through private treaty. The sale figure has not been released, although it is widely acknowledged that BBC 2 radio presenter Chris Evans bought the car for more than £12m. RM is currently offering the rare 1967 Ferrari 330 P4 (chassis 0858) for private treaty sale.

Bonhams

The 11th edition of Bonhams’ Aston Martin and Lagonda Motor Cars sale was the most successful so far, making a total of almost £4.7m.

One of the biggest surprises was a 1968 Aston Martin DB6 Vantage ‘barn find’. Its £20-30,000 estimate passed swiftly as nine telephone bidders, fi ve absentee bidders and fi ve bidders in the room pushed the price up to £124,700.

Another interesting lot was Design Project ‘DP2155’, a 1959 DB4 rebuilt in 1990 by AM Works Service to 4GT spec with a prototype IRS set-up, which went for £485,500.

“This clearly demonstrates the strength of the collectors motor car market and that of the Aston Martin and Lagonda marques in particular,” said James Knight, group head of Bonhams Motoring Department.

The company has announced a new auction at the Royal Mirage Hotel in Dubai. Although this will be Bonhams’ first motor car sale in the city, it has hosted art auctions that have been a great success. The sale will also include various collectors’ watches and will be held in October.

Mecum

On August 13-14 at its Monterey sale, Mecum is selling the 1959 Ferrari 250 GT LWB that won the GT class at that year’s Le Mans. The car, which was raced by Jean Blaton and Leon Dernier, fi nished third overall and also came first at the ’59 Nürburgring 1000Kms. Estimates will be offered on request.

Mecum had a very successful Spring Classic Auction on May 19-23, where more than 1000 vehicles were sold – including wooden boats and tractors – making more than £28m. The top-selling vehicle was the one-of-a-kind Harley J Earl Corvette, which went for a staggering £634,621. And all this was managed with only 66 per cent of lots selling.

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