Bonhams & Butterfields, Quail Lodge, Carmel Valley, California, August 18-19, 2011
Report and photos by Rick Carey, Auction Editor
The Bonhams Quail Lodge auction during Monterey Week, August 18-19, 2011, was marked by several important transactions.
The sale’s top one, the BMW 507 for just over $1 million (with commission) was particularly noteworthy. It was almost exactly the same price RM got for its 507, yet they were very different cars. Bonhams’ example was, as described below, very attractively restored while RM’s was very original, illustrating the appeal of extremes in car collecting and collectors’ evaluation of their diametrically opposed attributes in nearly equivalent terms.
Also reflecting collectors’ widely varying priorities was the sale of the Frank Stella painted, ex-Peter Gregg BMW M1 Pro-car for $854,000. While the car itself, built to Pro-car series specs, might be worth $250,000 with its Peter Gregg provenance, the bidders gave it another $600,000 for Frank Stella’s signed and authenticated artistry. It’s not often a work of graphic art can be driven and the premium might even be described as modest.
It was a diverse consignment, from Father Divine’s Duesenberg Model J “Throne Car” through a selection of distinctive modern customs to a few dusty, worn barn-finds that piqued the bidders’ visions of their possibilities.
Bonhams & Butterfields
Cars Offered / Cars Sold
Sold < Low Est
Sold > High Est
Chg from prior year
129 / 62
102 / 79
103 / 60
77 / 43
Jonathan Sierakowski contributed many of the car and transaction descriptions and photos in this auction report. His help and support were indispensable.