Auction Recap: Bonhams Scottsdale 2024
Bonhams concluded its first automotive auction of 2024 at its usual spot—the Westin Kierland in Scottsdale—with 68 cars selling for a total of just over $12M. More than 40 percent of that total was down to just one car.
Not counting the Covid-complicated Scottsdale auction in 2021, this year saw the fewest Arizona lots offered by Bonhams so far this decade. As usual for this auction, however, there were interesting and unusual cars to choose from, including several scruffy but charming oddballs consigned from the Maine Classic Car Museum and a group of prewar cars from the collection of late author Clive Cussler. Bonhams also sold the oldest car of Arizona Auction Week—a 1907 Mitchell Model E Runabout—for $33,600. And although overall results were down this year, Bonhams sold Scottsdale's most expensive car for the second year in a row. In 2023 it was a glorious 1912 Simplex for $4.845M. In 2024 it was an also glorious but very different 2022 Bugatti Chiron Super Sport for $5.175M.
We were on the ground in Scottsdale this year and looked over some of the sale's most interesting and significant cars. They're written up in detail below.
1973 Ferrari Dino 246 GTS
Sold for $431,250
Chassis no. 05710. Visually maintained, largely original, #3 condition
Nero over tan leather
Equipment: 2418-cubic-centimeter/195-hp V-6, five-speed transmission, Cromodora wheels, Michelin Defender tires, Momo Prototipo steering wheel, air conditioning, power windows, books, and tools
Condition: Sold new on the West Coast. Represented with a recent drivetrain rebuild. Older, 2015 repaint with numerous small scratches and chips on the nose. Heavy wear to the seats. Several blemishes on the wheels. Engine overhauled in 2015 as well. Driven regularly over the years and used in events like the Copperstate 1000. Never restored but got major attention when necessary. A driver Dino.
Bottom line: In 2024, this is what a driver Dino costs. Pre-pandemic, this money would have bought you the best 246 GTS in the world, but Dinos have come very far since then.
Lot 14: 1970 Volvo 1800E
Sold for $21,280
Chassis no. 18445131472. Visually maintained, largely original, #3 condition
California White over red
Equipment: 1986-cubic-centimeter/130-hp I-4, four-speed transmission, Bendix radio
Condition: Represented with single-family California ownership, and as largely original. Dirty but reasonably well-maintained engine bay. Clean paint and chrome with a few blemishes. Age and scrapes on the wheels. Track scratches on the windows. Remarkably well-preserved interior with only the slightest wear and age present. An honest car that has clearly been used but loved the whole way. It’s still attractive, and as a Volvo 1800 it could very well have hundreds of thousands of miles left in it despite the 129,911 on the odometer. Sometimes "single family ownership" means neglect by at least one generation of that family. Not here.
Bottom line: The 1800E was the last iteration of Volvo's sexy P1800 coupe, with "E" denoting the Bosch fuel injection that feeds the unburstable B-series four-cylinder engine. Volvo 1800s are great classic cars in that they are easy to drive and built like tanks, not to mention having sexy looks. They used to be solidly in entry-level value territory, too. People have caught on to Volvo's best-ever looking car and they're no longer cheap, but they're still a good value. Barely 21 grand for this one, which has had caring ownership and needs nothing serious, shows that.
Lot 59: 1966 Maserati Mistral 4000 Coupe
Sold for $98,000
Chassis no. AM1091118. Visually maintained, largely original, #3- condition
Red over dark red leather
Equipment: 4014-cubic-centimeter/255-hp I-6, Lucas injection, five-speed, Borrani wire wheels, Michelin XDX tires, Ansa exhaust, wood rim steering wheel, added air conditioning, original AM/FM radio, power windows
Condition: Reasonably tidy engine other than some paint peeling off the cam covers. Some rust on the wheel spokes. Cracking and crazing in the paint that is mild but widespread. Heavily worn leather, but there are no rips or cracks and it still feels reasonably soft. Good chrome, brightwork, and weather stripping. Good configuration on a handsome Maserati, but the inconsistent presentation raises some questions not answered in the catalog.
Bottom line: A replacement for Maserati's 3500GT, the Mistral—named after the strong wind blowing from southern France—started the Maserati tradition of wind-themed appellations for its road cars. Maseratis of the '60s are generally undervalued compared to the equivalent Ferraris and Lamborghinis, but a Mistral in this spec and even in mediocre condition can expect a six-figure price. Despite having a reserve, though, the seller was apparently happy to let go of this one at a hefty discount to the new owner.
Lot 10: 1966 Wolseley Hornet
Sold for $7840
Chassis no. WA2S2829260. Older restoration, #3 condition
Glen Green and Spruce Green over Porcelain Green leather
Equipment: Right-hand drive, 1098-cubic-centimeter/38-hp I-4, synchro four-speed transmission, wheel covers, Kumho tires, wing mirrors
Condition: From the Maine Classic Car Museum Collection. Good paint and even gaps but there is surface rust on the door hinges and around window frames. Tidy underneath. Heavy wear on the front seat upholstery. Cute as hell even if a little more awkward than the Mini on which it’s based, and in clean, usable driver condition.
Bottom line: Ouch. This car sold in late 2020 for $25,760 at the RM Sotheby's Elkhart Collection sale, an auction held right in the pandemic boom that was full of above-market, sometimes inexplicably high prices. This result, 66 percent off from the 2020 result, was the opposite. It's half the low estimate and a cute, fun, usable, and dirt-cheap car for the new owner. The Riley Elf/Wolseley Hornet were luxury spin-offs of the original Mini. They're rarer than Minis while also generally being worth less, but not this much less.
Lot 42S: 2022 Bugatti Chiron Super Sport 300+
Sold for $5,175,000
Chassis no. VF9SW3V32NM795009. Original, #2 condition
Black and orange over black with orange stitching
Equipment: 7993-cubic centimeter/1578-hp quad-turbo W-16, seven-speed dual-clutch transmission
Condition: One of 30 built and eight sold in the U.S. Represented with 255 miles. Like new, and pretty much is new.
Bottom Line: After hitting nearly 305 mph with a pre-production model in 2019, Bugatti released these aptly named 300+ models that are supposedly identical in spec to the record-breaking car, albeit wearing speed limiters. This was the first 300+ model offered publicly in America. Another one sold at auction in London in 2022 for £4,195,625 ($4.7M). This was also the most expensive car of the week and is currently the second most expensive Bugatti Chiron sold publicly, after the one-off Chiron Profilée sold for €9,792,500 ($10,690,854) in Paris last year.
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