Bonhams Greenwich 2012 – Auction Report

Bonhams, Greenwich Concours d’Elegance, Greenwich, Connecticut, June 3, 2012

Report and photos by Rick Carey, Auction Editor

In its fifth year at the Greenwich Concours d’Elegance Bonhams achieved its highest sale total and strong mean and median transaction values and sell-through rate in a diverse auction with Rupert Banner on the block.

A downpour Saturday morning – and a site delivered to concours and auction organizers in a mess after a big birthday party and concert two weeks before – didn’t seem to deter both visitors on Saturday and the auction bidders and guests on Sunday.

Some of the cars’ histories were unusually interesting, as were the cars themselves. In the end the rain clouds parted and both buyers and consignors went away with sunny dispositions.

Bonhams Greenwich
Cars Offered / Cars Sold
Sale %
Sold < Low Est.
Sold > High Est.
Average Sale
Median Sale
Total Sales
2012
90 / 62
68.9%
67.2%
6.8%
$84,929
$42,120 [49.6%]
$5,265,577
2011
82 / 56
68.3%
46.4%
21.4%
$68,942
$38,610 [56.0%]
$3,860,727
2010
78 / 55
70.5%
52.7%
18.2%
$53,116
$35,100 [66.1%]
$2,921,397
2009
89 / 44
49.4%
65.9%
11.4%
$100,132
$67,860 [67.8%]
$4,405,800
2008
49 / 27
55.1%
29.6%
3.7%
$95,603
$52,650 [55.1%]
$2,581,280

Bonhams Greenwich 2012 – Auction Report

(See Reference – Auctions Explained, A Note on Conditions and Character).

1953 Aston Martin DB2 Coupe
Lot # 413 1953 Aston Martin DB2 Coupe; S/N LML/50285; Engine # LB6B/50640; Dark Blue/Dark Blue leather, Plaid cloth inserts; Estimate $170,000 - $200,000; Modified restoration, 3+ condition; Not sold at Hammer bid of $135,000 -- RHD. Silver painted wire wheels, 6.00L-16 Dunlop Racing tires, braced rollbar, bucket seats, Vantage spec engine. Prepared for historic racing and used lightly for the purpose intended. Very good cosmetics let down by small details like curdled quarter window seals. Instrument panel wood looks like pine with terrible, runny varnish. Orderly, but done to be driven fast, not shown. While the race preparation of this Aston is impressive there are enough shortcomings in its workmanship to put bidders on the defensive and this is definitely a defensive bid leaving a potential purchaser plenty of headroom to take care of details without bumping up against the DB2 value ceiling.
1954 Chevrolet Corvette Roadster
Lot # 417 1954 Chevrolet Corvette Roadster; S/N E54S002776; Polo White/Dark Red leather; Beige cloth top; Estimate $70,000 - $90,000; Recent restoration, 2+ condition; Not sold at Hammer bid of $59,000 -- Pushbutton radio (not WonderBar). Excellent paint, chrome and (odd colored leather) interior. Quality restoration with only a little age. Sharp and crisp under the hood. Offered at Auctions America's Ft. Lauderdale sale last year where it no-saled at a reported bid of $61,000. One more bump here probably would have bought it and at $60,000 it is still a sound value.
1965 Ferrari 275 GTB Berlinetta
Lot # 422 1965 Ferrari 275 GTB Berlinetta, Body by Pininfarina; S/N 07871; Engine # 07871; Rosso Corsa/Tan leather; Cosmetic restoration, 3+ condition; Hammered Sold at $1,125,000 plus commission of 10.62%; Final Price $1,244,500 -- 6-Weber intake, chrome wire wheels, blackwall Michelin radials. Short nose body with long nose features and "interim" driveshaft configuration. Restored like new with very good paint and chrome. Engine is oily and shows age and use. Interior shows some use and age. A few assembly flaws like the upper left corner of the windshield where there is a 1/4 inch gap between the gasket and the body. Underbody is covered in old undercoat. Sold for $920,000 hammer, $1,012,000 with commission at RM's Monterey auction in 2008, the value increase in this car is modest when put up against similar Ferraris, but its condition today isn't the best, either. The Greenwich bidders hit its value spot-on and got good value for the money.
1960 Fiat 600 Multipla Taxi
Lot # 423 1960 Fiat 600 Multipla Taxi; S/N 100108074075; Dark Green, Black roof/Green leatherette; Estimate $35,000 - $45,000; Cosmetic restoration, 3 condition; Hammered Sold at $34,000 plus commission of 17.00%; Final Price $39,780 -- Roof rack, sliding back door windows, luggage platform where right front seat would usually be, taximeter and roof light. Mediocre repaint over flawed old paint, roof rack repainted over pitted tubing. Good upholstery and front bumper chrome but flaking rear bumper chrome. Orderly engine compartment. Superficially cosmetically redone but usable and plenty cute. No Reserve. Back in 1967 a couple vacationing in Italy bought this taxi to get around the country during a railway strike, then brought it back to the States. It was sold for $42,500, $46,750 with commission, at RM's Monterey auction in 2010 right after its cosmetic re-do and it could hardly have been much better then than it is now. By that standard, at least, it is a sound value here.
1961 Daimler SP250 Convertible
Lot # 424 1961 Daimler SP250 Convertible; S/N 100531; Black/Dark Grey leather; Tan leatherette top; Estimate $40,000 - $50,000; Older restoration, 2+ condition; Hammered Sold at $45,000 plus commission of 17.00%; Final Price $52,650 -- Chrome wire wheels, whitewall tires, steering wheel rim and spokes covered in grey leather, chrome generator cover. Concours restored with excellent paint, chrome, upholstery and underhood detail. Shows a little age but could be detailed back to concours. Sold by the estate of the first owner of the car, who bought it back from the second owner in 1986. Exhaustive history file, original colors and materials. A gem. History and benign stories are so important in cars' values, as this Daimler Dart illustrates. The price it brought is a premium from similar SP250s, but not a lot and no way nearly enough to make it expensive.
1960 Daimler SP250 Convertible
Lot # 425 1960 Daimler SP250 Convertible; S/N 100320; Silver-Grey/Burgundy leather; Taupe leatherette top; Estimate $30,000 - $40,000; Cosmetic restoration, 3+ condition; Hammered Sold at $38,000 plus commission of 17.00%; Final Price $44,460 -- Alternator, wheel covers, blackwall tires, Moto-Lita woodrim steering wheel. Good paint and major chrome, weak trim chrome, surface creased upholstery. Used but tidy underhood and chassis. Includes a set of period Minilite alloy wheels. A color changed, well-maintained driver with attractive cosmetics. Barry Flynn estate. More than its concours-restored stablemate from the Flynn estate this Daimler Dart establishes a rare and important benchmark in the values of these interesting, individualistic cars. It is very good and not unreasonably priced for its utility, equipment and history.
1963 Porsche 356B Super 90 Cabriolet
Lot # 429 1963 Porsche 356B Super 90 Cabriolet, Body by Reutter; S/N 157022; Engine # P805679; Red/Black leather; Black cloth top; Estimate $150,000 - $175,000; Recent restoration, 2 condition; Not sold at Hammer bid of $130,000 -- Silver painted steel wheels, hubcaps, blackwall tires, clock, no radio, dual outside mirrors. Excellent paint, chrome, interior and glass. Restored like new. Flush fits, flat panels, even gaps. Right rear wheel painted over dented rim. Represented as numbers-matching and documented with Porsche Kardex copy. Needs nothing. The difference between the value of a merely good Super 90 Cab and a great one is substantial. This one is far better than merely good and a little more than the reported high bid would not be excessive.
1953 Jaguar XK 120 Roadster
Lot # 432 1953 Jaguar XK 120 Roadster; S/N 671555; Engine # W3656-8; Silver/Burgundy leather; Black cloth top; Estimate $110,000 - $120,000; Recent restoration, 2+ condition; Hammered Sold at $120,000 plus commission of 15.83%; Final Price $139,000 -- Steel wheels, blackwall tires, skirts, tri-bar headlights. Restored in 1997 and still better than new except for painted over rust pits on the underbody. Judged 99.97 points by JCNA in 1997, AACA Grand National and Amelia Award in 2000. Still very neat and tidy. Includes tool kit, jack, the elusive underhood grease gun and JDHT certificate confirming numbers-matching engine and original colors. An especially sweet and attractive XK 120 that brought no less than its outstanding, sympathetically restored, condition deserved.
1957 MG A Roadster
Lot # 432A 1957 MG A Roadster; S/N HDL4330150; Light Blue/Dark Blue leather; Dark Blue cloth top; Estimate $38,000 - $40,000; Recent restoration, 2+ condition; Hammered Sold at $47,500 plus commission of 17.00%; Final Price $55,575 -- 1800cc engine, chrome wire wheels, Michelin XWX blackwall tires, painted wire spare, no jack or tools. Excellent paint and chrome, good interior and top. Waterspotted side curtain frames. Polished carb dashpots, maroon painted engine and valve cover. Done everywhere by Kurt Tanner and his meticulous painter father to high standards and better than new. Onlookers marveled at this MG A's paint, as they should have. It's beyond perfect. Offered at Mecum's Kissimmee auction in January of this year it no-saled at a $44,000 high bid, then sold at Auction America's Ft. Lauderdale sale in March for $35,900, $39,500 with commission. It found its home in New England and realized the potential of its really exceptional restoration. This is extraordinary MG A money. Consignors should take notice.
1954 MG TF Roadster
Lot # 446 1954 MG TF Roadster; S/N HDP46/1141; Engine # XPAGTF31294; BRGreen/Tan leather; Tan cloth top; Estimate $35,000 - $45,000; Recent restoration, 2+ condition; Hammered Sold at $42,000 plus commission of 17.00%; Final Price $49,140 -- Chrome wire wheels, Michelin XWX blackwall radials. Restored in 2008 in its original colors and still sharp and crisp. Very sharp and orderly underhood. Sold here last year for $33,000, $38,610 with commission, this result should not be taken as a reliable indicator of TF 1250 prices. It's expensive at this price, but not enough to be over the top.
1979 Kougar Sports 3.8 Roadster
Lot # 448 1979 Kougar Sports 3.8 Roadster; S/N P1B52479DN; Red/Black vinyl; Estimate $40,000 - $50,000; Visually maintained, largely original, 3 condition; Hammered Sold at $36,000 plus commission of 17.00%; Final Price $42,120 -- Silver painted wire wheels, curved plastic windscreen, Dunlop SP Sport blackwall tires, Moto-Lita leather rim steering wheel. Clean, orderly, lightly used car with a sound paint job over ripply plastic body panels. Bought new by Road & Track editor Tony Hogg, later owned by David E. Davis, Jr. Despite the praise heaped upon it by David E. it has only 15, 005 miles from new. Maybe the low miles have something to do with the 'no top, no windshield wipers, no doors; no seat adjustment ... no heater, and no fuel gauge' that David E. cited among its attributes. Now a new owner gets to experience the 'great whomping engine note ... the best sound this side of E. Power Biggs playing Bach's Toccata and Fugue in D Minor'. It is without doubt the best Jaguar XJ6 on the road, and modestly bought for its performance, attitude and history.