The Bonhams 25th annual Festival of Speed sale took place on Friday 30 June and saw the exceptionally rare 1973 Porsche 911 RS Lightweight realise an astonishing £830,300. German marques thrived throughout the sale, with the perennially appealing 1962 Mercedes-Benz 300 SL Roadsterattracting the interest of the room and the car’s newest (and indeed only its fourth) owner securing the car for £897,500.
A much earlier example from Mercedes also achieved a top price – the 1911 Mercedes Simplex 28/50hp ‘Roi des Belges’ Tourer sold for £359,900 having been in single family ownership for the past 60 years.
Indeed, vintage cars were successful throughout the sale, with the 1914 Rolls-Royce 40/50hp Silver Ghost Open Tourer, originally the property of his Highness the Maharana Sir Fateh Singh Bahadur of Udaipur, achieving £550,300, well above its pre-sale estimate, after a prolonged battle between two committed bidders in the room and on the telephone. A similar battle saw the 1908 Hotchkiss 16/20hp Type T Roi des Belges also sell for considerably more than its pre-sale estimate of £80,000-100,000, realising £163,900.
British marques were well represented at the sale. The star was undoubtedly the resplendent and outstandingly original 1931 Bentley 8-Litre Sedanca de Ville, which sold for £779,900. Aston Martins were also popular, with the one-of-a-kind 1957 Aston Martin DB2/4 MkII Coupé Design Project 193 (DB Mark III Prototype) achieving £337,500 and the 1959 Aston Martin DB4 ‘Series 1’ Sports Saloon realising £326,300.
Ferrari, which celebrates its 70th anniversary this year, saw some of its most iconic models up for sale at the auction. The 1972 Ferrari 365 GTB/4 ‘Daytona’ Berlinetta was one of the first offered, and set the standard when it achieved £539,100. Widely considered one of the most elegant Ferraris, a1974 Ferrari Dino 246 GT Spyder finished in striking orange sold to an auction room bidder for £253,500.
James Knight, Group Motoring Director and the auctioneer for the sale commented: ‘We were delighted to celebrate the 25th anniversary of our Festival of Speed sale with such a fantastic range of motor cars. The results once again reflect the appetite for special motor cars, whether it be based on condition, originality, rarity, or provenance - or a combination of all of these.
On some lots I felt like an umpire as the bidders rallied their bids back and forth with pace and commitment. We sold motor cars to Australia, Japan, the Americas, Continental Europe and the home nations. The overall total of more than£10,000,000 is a fantastic way to bring the UK auction season to a close, and we focus now on accepting entries for our September Sales at Beaulieu and the Goodwood Revival Meeting.’
Other highlights included:
The ex-Col. Sorel, Col. Giles and David Scott-Moncrieff 1930 Bugatti Type 46 5.3 litre Weymann Sportsman’s Saloon achieved £281,500
1936 Alfa Romeo 6C 2300 Supercharged Special realised £253,500
1973 Iso Grifo 5.8-Litre Series II Coupé sold for £208,700 to a telephone bidder