Bonhams had a rousing success at its annual Goodwood Festival of Speed sale, held June 28, 2012. The auction set off at a breakneck pace — eclipsing last year’s total after only the sixth lot crossed the block — and finished with $33.8 million in total sales. Besides earning the highest final tally in the event’s recent history, a world record price for a British car at auction was set by Sir Henry “Tim” Birkin’s famous 1929 Bentley 4 ½-Litre Supercharged single-seat race car. One of the most significant Bentleys in existence, the car sold for slightly more than $7.8 million. Rounding out the top three was another world record price for the 1912 Rolls-Royce 40/50hp Double Pullman limousine that served as the basis for Corgi’s Silver Ghost model at $7.3 million, and $4.18 million for the ex-Alfa Romeo Works 8C 2300 Spyder Lungo that participated in the 1932 Le Mans.
Other notable sales include $977,000 for a 1954 Bentley R-Type Continental, a model that seemingly continues to inch closer to the million-dollar mark every time it appears at auction, and a very well-bought 1964 Alfa Romeo Giulia Sprint Speciale at $53,600.
The top five sales for the day were:
- 1929 Bentley 4 1/2-Litre Supercharged Single Seater sold for $7,836,911
- 1912 Rolls-Royce 40/50hp Double Pullman Limousine sold for $7,314,606
- 1932 Alfa Romeo 8C 2300 Lungo Spyder sold for $4,180,774
- 1908 Itala Grand Prix Car sold for $2,700,909
- 1928 Bentley 4-1/2 Liter SuperchargedTourer sold for $1,221,044
Bonhams’ motor car division returns to action on Aug. 16-17, 2012, in Carmel, Calif. An all-motorcycle sale will take place the first night, followed by an automotive auction the next day. Headlining the sale is a 1997 McLaren F1 GTR longtail and a 1966 Ford GT40.