The Bonhams Amelia Island 2016 auction was held Thursday, March 10 at the Fernandina Beach Golf Club on Amelia Island, Florida, resulting in nearly $27.7 million in total sales and 68 percent sell-through rate. A selection of 97 automobiles were offered at Bonhams’ 2nd annual sale held during the Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance Week.
“We are extremely pleased with our second sale here, which exceeded all of our expectations and showed the strength of our US team in sourcing interesting collector cars from around the country,” said Rupert Banner, Bonhams Deputy Group Motoring Director and the sale’s auctioneer. “The diverse selection of automobiles offered, many from private collections and from long term ownerships, proved to be well-appreciated by the broad selection of collectors who attend the Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance. In the warm Florida sunshine a series of bidding battles, frequently between domestic and international bidders, created new records for models and marques.”
The top result at Bonhams’ 2016 Amelia Island sale went to the 1937 Bugatti 57SC Sports Tourer by Vanden Plas. Bidding for this pre-war car started at $6 million, before quickly rising to $8 million. The Bugatti ultimately sold to a private American collector for a total sum of $9,735,000, making it the most valuable Type 57S ever sold at auction and the most valuable pre-war car ever sold at Amelia Island.
Further sales included the 1937 Mercedes-Benz 540K Cabriolet A with coachwork by Sindelfingen that sold to an American collector for $2,970,000, while a 1967 Ferrari 275 GTB/4 that had been in single ownership for 45 years made $2,750,000. Additionally, the 1935 Riley MPH set a new world record for the marque when it made $880,000, the 1933 Maserati 8C 3000 brought $1,001,000 and the Wade Carter Collection of automobiles sold 100%.
Another vehicle exceed all in terms of rarity and historical importance, the Connecticut-built 1896 Armstrong Phaeton Gas-Electric Runabout. The oldest — and likely first — known hybrid-driven car in the world, this automobile predates the Lohner-Porsche by four years and the Toyota Prius by 100 years. The Armstrong was purchased for $483,400 by Dutch collector Evert Louwman, who indicated it will be displayed at his museum in The Hague, Netherlands for all to enjoy.
Brian Rabold, Vice President of Valuation Services for Hagerty, commented, The overall numbers coming out of Bonhams were strong, more than doubling last year’s totals. All of the star cars sold, including the 1937 Bugatti Type 57SC sports tourer that sold for $9.735M including buyer¹s premium. The car became the second most expensive Bugatti to ever sell at auction behind the Kellner coupe from Christie’s 1987 famous auction. A 1937 Mercedes-Benz 540K Cabriolet A also did well at $2.97M. The third highest sale of the day was a 1967 Ferrari 275 GTB/4 that earned $2.75M. Despite the high ranking, this was the lowest price paid for a 4-cam 275 since 2013.”
“The sell-through rate overall was lower than last year, with the sell-through rate for modern classics being lowest (60%) of any era. In particular, none of the modern classics priced above $250,000 sold. Even so, a 1994 Porsche 928 GTS set a record for the model by selling for $142,000. Pre-war cars in the $250,000-$1,000,000 bracket also struggled,” continued Rabold.
Bonhams Amelia Island 2016 – Top Ten Auction Results
James Knight, Bonhams Group Motoring Director, added, “Our Amelia Island auction once again reaffirmed that there is a strong appetite for interesting, rare and fresh to market motorcars. These cars attracted multiple bidding battles to produce record and near record prices. I was also equally pleased to note that readily available models attracted continued interest as long as they were priced accordingly. By the time we finish the first quarter of 2016, we will have conducted six auctions in four countries and our healthy sell through rate to date clearly demonstrates an active market.”