The Bonhams Amelia Island 2019 auction was held Thursday, March 7 at the Fernandina Beach Golf Club on Amelia Island, Florida, resulting in $16 million in total sales and an 84 percent sell-through rate. A selection of more than 100 automobiles were offered at Bonhams’ 5th annual sale held during the Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance Week.
The highlight of the 2019 Bonhams Amelia Island auction was the Don C. Boulton Collection of Brass Era automobiles. Fresh to market and representing some of the rarest antique American motorcars in the world, the Boulton Collection of antique ephemera and two dozen cars was 100 percent sold. Several world records were set, including $885,000 paid for the 1914 Simplex Speed Car; $698,000 for the 1904 Peerless Type 8 Roi des Belges; and $456,000 for the 1908 Welch 4-L 7-Passenger Tourer.
“The Don C. Boulton Collection represented another landmark one-owner, early and historic collection of cars for the Bonhams team that garnered interest internationally with fantastic results,” said Malcolm Barber, Bonhams Group Co-Chairman and auctioneer of this collection. “It was a veritable Aladdin’s Cave of memorabilia and historic cars from the early days of American manufacture that was put together over more than three decades and, as a result, attracted intense bidding and was 100% sold.”
The ex-Jacky Ickx 1968 GP-winning Brabham-Cosworth BT26 achieved $1.105-million after bidding between a buyer on the telephones and one in the audience, with the former ultimately winning. Another of the many highlights was the 1930 Cadillac 452 V-16 Roadster with coachwork by Fleetwood that was bought for $1,187,500.
Bonhams Amelia Island 2019 – Top Ten Auction Results
1. 1930 Cadillac Series 452 Fleetwood Roadster – $1,187,500
2. 1968 Repco Brabham-Cosworth BT26 BT26A – $1,105,000
3. 1913 Mercer Type 35J Raceabout Roadster – $896,000
4. 1914 Simplex 50HP Speedcar Roadster – $885,000
5. 1904 Peerless Type 8 Style K JM Quinby Company Runabout – $698,000
6. 1998 Ruf 911 Turbo R – $626,500
7. 1904 Thomas Model 22 Three-Cylinder 24HP Tonneau – $489,000
8. 1929 Bentley 4 1/2 Liter Sports Tourer Vanden Plas Roadster – $472,500
9. 1908 Welch Model 4-L 50HP Touring – $456,000
10. 1907 Tincher Model H 60HP Touring – $423,000
Jonathan Klinger from Hagerty commented, “The big story was the results for the motorcars from the collection of Don C. Boulton at Bonhams. The group was a fascinating variety of vehicles and parts from the brass-era, with everything from wrenches, magnetos, acetylene and oil lamps to 29 cars and motorcycles. For those into esoteric design and the early days of the automobile, it was an enticing group. The oldest was an 1886 Benz Patent Motorwagen Replica, while the youngest was a 1914 Simplex 50HP “Speedcar”. While 72 percent of the lots in the collection were offered at no-reserve, the average premium of the hammer price plus the commission (12 percent up to $250,000 and 10 percent after), over the low-estimate was 19 percent, which compares to 13 percent under the low-estimate for the remaining lots.”
“The mostly strong results for the Boulton cars should dispel the notion that nobody is interested in cars from the brass era. In theory, having such a large selection of vehicles (and hard-to-find parts) from this era attracted enough interested, knowledgeable bidders and collectors to bolster the results. We may very well see more auctions that cater to a specific group in the future,” continued Klinger.