Perhaps more than any other company in Scottsdale this year, Bonhams stepped things up in terms of top-shelf consignments. To that end, the firm had four of the 10 highest sales of the week. Bonhams totals for the one-day auction were $36.3 million, which is just about double what it achieved last year. At day’s end, 86 cars sold from 105 offered, for a sell-through rate of 82 percent and an average sale price of $422,494, which was more than twice the average price last year.
Top sale for Bonhams — and indeed anybody in Scottsdale — was also the most anticipated and talked-about car in Arizona this year. The rare 1963 Jaguar Lightweight E-Type, one of just a dozen built and the winner of the Australian GT Championship in period, brought $7,370,000. Not far behind in either price or sheer cool factor was the 1952 Ferrari 340 America Competizione with voluptuous Vignale bodywork that sold for $6,380,000. When the car was driven up onto the block the specialist behind the wheel revved the 4.0-liter V-12 liberally, which made quite an impression. Bonhams’ two big pre-war lots sold as well, with the 1928 Mercedes-Benz Type S selling for $4,812,500 and the 1931 Alfa Romeo 6C 1750 Gran Sport selling for $2,805,000.
The Bonhams sale would have been even more impressive if their star car had hammered sold but, at $10.65 million the 1960 Ferrari 250 GT California Spider failed to go to a new home. Other big no-sales included the yellow Ferrari Enzo at $2.35 million, a 2015 Porsche 918 at $1.25 million and a 1972 Ferrari 365 GTB/4 Daytona at $540,000.
Further down the price spectrum, some of the more interesting lots included a genuine Porsche 914-6 for $60,500, a 1950 Opel Olympia for $26,400, a Pininfarina-bodied 1966 Fiat 1500 Cabriolet for $28,600 and an unbelievably well-kept 1977 Honda Civic for $15,400. There was also a 1970 Abarth 1300 Scorpione SS that was tiny enough to make the Ferrari 308 next to it look like a Range Rover. As distinct as it was, however, it was also impossible to miss and sold for $116,600.
Overall top 10:
- 1963 Jaguar E-Type Lightweight, sold for $7,370,000
- 1952 Ferrari 340 America Competizione Spider, sold for $6,380,000
- 1928 Mercedes-Benz Type S Sports Tourer, sold for $4,812,500
- 1931 Alfa Romeo 6C 1750 Gran Sport Spider, sold for $2,805,000
- 1964 Porsche 904 GTS Coupe, sold for $2,310,000
- 1966 Ferrari 275 GTB/2 Coupe, sold for $1,732,500
- 1960 Ferrari 250 GT SII Cabriolet, sold for $1,430,000
- 1913 Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost London-Edinburgh Sports Tourer, sold for $698,500
- 1955 Austin-Healey 100 S Roadster, sold for $539,000
- 1956 Porsche 356A Speedster, sold for $528,000
Bonhams’ next collector car auction is at the picturesque Grand Palais in Paris on February 9, 2017. In addition to dozens of pieces of automobilia and motorcycles, highlight cars include a 1976 Lancia Stratos rally car, a 1935 Aston Martin Ulster and a 1934 Alfa Romeo 6C 2300 Pescara.