Around the houses, September 2012

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News from the main auction houses around the world

– Bonhams –

The Festival of Speed was again considered a huge success, especially for Bonhams, which sold £22m-worth of machinery on June 29.

The headline result was the £5,042,000 paid for ‘Tim’ Birkin’s 1929 4½-litre supercharged ‘blower’ Bentley. It set the Brooklands Outer Circuit record at 137mph and has now broken the record for the most paid for a British car at auction. However, the buyer remains anonymous.

Other notable results included the 1932 Alfa Romeo 8C-2300 Spider which Birkin and Earl Howe raced at Le Mans (£2,689,500) and the historic 1908 Itala Grand Prix car (£1,737,500). As expected the ‘Corgi’ 1912 Rolls-Royce 40/50hp Double Pullman Limousine also sold extremely well, eventually going for £4,705,500.

Bonhams will be shipping over to Quail Lodge soon for its sale on August 16/17 and has already confirmed the ex-GTC Gulf Team Davidoff 1997 McLaren F1 GTR ‘Longtail’ (POA). Another interesting racer ready to cross the block is the ex-NART and Geneva Motor Show 1972/75 Ferrari 365 GTB/4 Daytona Competizione Spider, one of just five Chinetti NART conversions. It raced at Le Mans in 1975 and is expected to reach £1.2-1.5m.

– RM Auctions –

More lots have been announced for RM’s Pebble Beach sale on August 17/18, one of which is a rare 1956 Ferrari 250GT LWB Berlinetta ‘Tour de France’ (POA). This particular car is the first 14-louvre example to be built and passed through the hands of Walt Disney Studios, which used it in the 1966 film The Love Bug. There are plenty of other cars from the Italian manufacturer in the sale including a 1967 Ferrari 275 GTB/5 (£775,000-1m) and a 1990 F40 (£420-470,000).

Also in the sale is Jo Siffert’s Can-Am Porsche 917/10 which you can read more about on p100 (£2-2.2m), a 2001 Audi R8 (£650-970,000), a 2001 Bentley Speed 8 (£1.2-1.6m), a 1968 Chevrolet L-88 Corvette FIA racer (£615-870,000), a 1987 Porsche 962 that competed in the 1988 IMSA Championship (£710,000-1m), a 1981 Porsche 935 that ran in IMSA in 1982 (£840,000-1.15m) and even an ex-Steve McQueen 1961 Cooper T65 MkII Formula Junior (£95-130,000).

– Gooding and Company –

Last month we mentioned the 1919 Miller TNT racer and the 1964 Ford GT40 prototype, but we can now add a hugely important Bentley 4½-litre Le Mans team car, a 1955 Ferrari 857 Sport and a Porsche RS60 Spyder to Gooding and Company’s lot list for August 18/19.

The Bentley (£3.5-4.8m) placed third at Le Mans in 1929 driven by Benjafield and d’Erlanger, and is the only remaining works car in ‘Bobtail’ form, while the 857 (£3.2-4.5m) was once painted yellow by Andy Warhol! Briefly a works team car, its pilots include Gendebien and Carroll Shelby. As for the RS60 Spyder (£1.6-1.9m), it is one of only 14 customer cars built and was raced extensively in period.

– Mecum –

Scroll past pages of muscle cars in the catalogue for Mecum’s Monterey sale on August 16-18 and you’ll soon come across an astonishing line-up of Porsches and other notable racers. In no particular order you will find: two factory-built 1977 Porsche 935s, the 1986 Sebring-winning 962, the 1974 911 RSR raced by Emerson Fittipaldi in the International Race of Champions, a 1987 962, a factory-built 1977 934, and the 1972 917/10 Spyder of George Follmer, plus a 1970 Lola T165-22 Can-Am racer, a 1971 Can-Am McLaren M8E and a 2006 Saleen S7R. All estimates on request.

– Artcurial –

The French auction house raised £6.9m in its second sale at Le Mans Classic on July 7. Star item was the 1992 World Championship-winning Peugeot 905 EV 13, which changed hands for £517,664. Elsewhere the Nürburgring 1000Kms class-winning 1966 Ferrari 275 GTC went for just over £1.2m, the 1988 WM P99 sold for £98,907 and the 1966 ASA for £247,267. However, quite a few of the headliners failed to sell, notably the 1973 Ligier JS2 and the 1970 JS1. Also, the 1978 Ligier JS11/15 and 1994 Ligier-Renault JS39B were withdrawn.

A full review of Silverstone Auctions’ Classic Sale will be in next month’s issue.

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