Bonhams conducted its first Scottsdale sale on January 19, 2012, and achieved encouraging results. The numbers weren’t gaudy by any means, but the tone of the sale was stronger than the tallies would suggest. Following a flurry of post-block activity, 44 of 67 automotive lots were sold for a total of $6 million.
The top sale for the afternoon was a 1937 Mercedes-Benz 540K Cabriolet C that traded for $667,000, including buyer’s premium. The stunning ex-Marlene Dietrich Rolls-Royce Phantom I Transformal Phaeton garnered plenty of attention and sold for a healthy $524,000. Third highest lot was a beautiful 1947 Delahaye 135M three-position drophead coupe that had lively international interest in the tent, on the phone and online. After quick and confident advances, the car ended at a $474,500 sale price.
One of the best deals of the weekend transpired 18 lots later, when a 1968 Shelby GT500 KR fastback stalled well below expectations and sold for $70,200. The car was claimed to be numbers matching and was well presented, and the new owner landed the car at the low end of Hagerty Price Guide’s range.
Bonhams’ $6 million total places it well above the results of its average U.S. sale, and is the second highest result during the past 12 months only to its long-held Carmel event. Its venue at the Westin Kierland Resort and Spa was tasteful and convenient, its consignments were diverse, and the auction house drew buyers to the sale. Ultimately, Bonhams demonstrated that it can compete in Scottsdale, and we fully expect it to return next year with a more concentrated effort.
Brian Rabold is editor of Hagerty Price Guide.