Around the houses, September 2009

News from the main auction houses around the world

– Bonhams –

The annual Goodwood Festival of Speed sale on July 3 was a success, with Bonhams raising a total of £2.45 million. The 1922 Sunbeam 2-litre Strasbourg Grand Prix racer went for the highest price achieved in the sale when the hammer dropped at £463,500 – more than £160,000 above its estimate. A 1970 Lamborghini Miura P400S Berlinetta also sold well, achieving £359,000, which is the highest price ever paid for this model.

The company maintained an unblemished record in sales of ex-works Minis, with three cars changing hands (see auction results).

Automobilia sold well, especially the number plate ‘GPR 1 X’, which went for £10,350. “We achieved much interest for motor cars that are important, rare and seldom seen,” said James Knight, group head of Bonhams’ motoring department. “There were one or two casualties, however, and more general cars – those not particularly rare or compromised by condition or provenance – need to be priced realistically.”

As Motor Sport closed for press, Bonhams was handling the dispersal sale of reserve vehicles from the little-known Ward Brothers’ Collection, which includes the only surviving 1901 Panhard-Levassor 2.4-litre Forward Control Cab Phaeton that was expected to fetch £200-250,000.

The company has also announced a new fixture to its calendar to coincide with the ‘Weekend de l‘Excellence Automobile’ in Reims on September 26/27. This celebrates classic cars and motorcycles from 1925-69 and Bonhams’ sale will be the first auction at the event since its inception in 2007.

– RM Auctions –

More lots have been added to RM’s Monterey sale, including the 1968 Chevrolet Corvette L88 ‘Scuderia Filipinetti’ Le Mans racer (£310-430,000) and a 1953 Ferrari 166MM Spider Scaglietti (£860,000-1.1m).

The Corvette was entered at Le Mans five times, making its debut in ’68. The same chassis was used consecutively until 1973 – a record that remains in place today. The car failed to finish on its first four attempts, but in 1973, with Henri Greder and Marie-Claude Charmasson at the wheel, it finished 12th overall.

The 166MM was given to Dino Ferrari by his father Enzo as a design project with Scaglietti, and is known as the first Scaglietti-bodied competition Ferrari. The car was sold to Chinetti in 1954 and then raced by Danny Collins in Colorado.

Also in the sale is a 1935 Duesenberg Model SJ Convertible Coupé (£800,000-1m) and a 1963 Alfa Romeo TZ-1 (£230-290,000). The TZ-1 was entered into the 1964 Nürburgring 1000Kms and then that year’s Le Mans 24 Hours. It crashed in the fifth hour, but after receiving a new nose it went on to contest the Tour de France and the Tour de Corse, also in ’64.
The car was dismantled in 1965 and remained missing until 2002 when the chassis and bodywork were found. Soon after the engine block was located and the car restored.

– Coys –

Coys has a busy few months ahead, as not only is it having a sale on July 11 (the Coys MG Live Festival at Silverstone) and the 18th (Blenheim Palace), it is also hosting an auction at the Oldtimer Grand Prix at the Nürburgring on August 8. Included in the sale is a 1973 BMW CSL 3.5-litre Group 2 Batmobile (below left) which was raced in the German and European touring car championships from 1973-75. The car was then exported to the US where it was upgraded to Group 5 spec and raced in the IMSA sports car series. It has been rebuilt to Group 2 specifications and should sell for £150-190,000.

– Worldwide Auctioneers –

In its Auburn sale Worldwide Auctioneers is selling one of the most important Duesenbergs ever built. The 1927 Duesenberg Model Y Phaeton bridged a gap between Models X and J, is the only one of its kind in the world and has been in the same family’s possession since the 1950s. An estimate is available on request.

– H&H Sales –

H&H has already confirmed a 1930 Bentley Speed Six, expected to fetch between £400-500,000, for its September 16 sale at The Pavilion Gardens. A 1934 MG K3 is also included in the sale (£200-250,000).