Auction Recap: Bonhams Amelia Island 2016

In 2015, Bonhams held their first ever Amelia Island auction at the Fernandina Beach Golf Club. Returning for their second year, they significantly improved both the quality of their cars and prices achieved. The 2016 auction brought $27,654,950 in total sales, doubling their 2015 return. Average price was $419,014 and 66 of 97 lots sold for a 68 percent sell-through rate. Bonhams successfully sold all of their big consignments, and four cars exceeded $1 million. Theirs was the first auction of the week, and its success helped set an optimistic tone for the rest of the Amelia sales.

Top sale of the day was the truly unique and undeniably gorgeous 1937 Bugatti Type 57SC by Vanden Plas for $9,735,000, while a Mercedes-Benz 540K, one of several at Amelia this year, sold for $2,970,000. Bonhams may not have had the most valuable cars on offer this year, but they arguably had some of the most interesting. The 1935 Riley MPH Roadster at $880,000 and 1935 MG PA Airline Coupe at $132,000 were some of the coolest prewar sports cars on the island, and an extremely rare Israeli

1964 Sabra GT sold for $93,500, a huge result for the model. Possibly the most fascinating car for sale in Amelia was the 1896 Armstrong Phaeton gas-electric hybrid. Jam-packed with technology that wouldn’t be widely embraced by the automobile for decades, it’s an amazing piece of design and an ideal mount for London to Brighton.

Other interesting lots included a beautifully restored 1934 Diamond T Deluxe Express for $91,300, a 1951 Allard K2 for $93,500 and a 1939 Lagonda V12 Drophead Coupe for $458,700. After bringing over a dozen 911s to Scottsdale and not doing very well with them, Bonhams went lightly on the Porsches in Amelia. There were only two 911s, including Andre Agassi’s slant nose 930 at $181,500, but one of the biggest surprises of the sale was a rare 1994 928 GTS in essentially showroom condition for the huge result of $132,000.

Overall top 10 sales:

1. 1937 Bugatti Type 57SC Sports Tourer sold for $9,735,000
2. 1937 Mercedes-Benz 540K Cabriolet A sold for $2,970,000
3. 1967 Ferrari 275 GTB/4 Coupe sold for $2,750,000
4. 1933 Maserati 8C 3000 Roadster sold for $1,001,000
5. 1955 Mercedes-Benz 300SL Gullwing Coupe sold for $902,000
6. 1960 Maserati 3500GT Vignale Spider sold for $880,000
6. 1935 Riley MPH Roadster sold for $880,000
8. 1910 Thomas Flyer Model K 6-70 Phaeton sold for $825,000
9. 1896 Armstrong Phaeton Gas-Electric Runabout sold for $462,000
10. 1939 Lagonda V12 Drop Head Coupe sold for $458,700

Bonhams’ next collector car auction will be at the Mercedes-Benz Museum in Stuttgart, Germany on March 19, 2016.

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