If there is any downside to selling the world’s most expensive car at auction, it is that it becomes nearly impossible to escape the unfair comparison the following year. Bonhams entered its 2015 Quail Lodge auction with just such a task, and managed to produce a very successful event despite the fact that there were no $30M cars on offer. While numbers were naturally well down from 2014’s $106M figure, 96 of 109 cars sold for a total of $45.7M, which was far ahead of 2013’s $31M tally. Also encouraging was that the median sale price was actually up $6,000 from 2014.
Two of the auction’s brightest stars found new homes, with a beautiful 1953 Fiat 8V Ghia Supersonic matching the low estimate at $1.815M, including buyer’s premium, and a competition 1959 Ferrari 250 GT Interim selling for $8.525M. In all, 13 cars tipped past the magic $1M mark, each time garnering applause from the lively crowd.
Cars from the 1980s and later continue to do well in the market, as Bonhams sold a 1989 BMW M3 for $96,250, traded a 2005 Ferrari 575 Superamerica post-block for $357,500, and found a price of $599,500 for a 1980 BMW M1. As is the case with all auctions, a few bargains were present, with a nice 1966 Sunbeam Tiger—albeit with a non-original motor—moving on for $77,000, and a Jaguar XK120 coupe being whisked away for the same amount.
- 1959 Ferrari 250 GT Interim Coupe sold for $8,525,000
- 1971 Ferrari 365 GTS/4 Daytona Spyder sold for $2,640,000
- 1985 Ferrari 288 GTO Coupe sold for $2,365,000
- 1951 Ferrari 212 Inter Cabriolet sold for $2,200,000
- 1955 Lancia Aurelia B24 Spider America sold for $1,952,500
- 1953 Fiat 8V Ghia Supersonic Coupe sold for $1,815,000
- 1987 Porsche 959 Komfort Coupe sold for $1,457,500
- 1990 Ferrari F40 Coupe sold for $1,237,500
- 1954 Mercedes-Benz 300SL Gullwing Coupe sold for $1,166,000
- 1957 Mercedes-Benz 300SL Roadster sold for $1,144,000
Bonhams will host its next automotive event Sept. 5, at the National Motor Museum in Beaulieu. Its next American sale is schedule for Oct. 5 in Philadelphia, Penn., at the Simeone Foundation Automotive Museum.