Bonhams Quail Lodge 2011 – Auction Report

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
Sale %
Sold < Low Est
Sold > High Est
Average Sale
Total Sales
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.

Bonhams Quail Lodge 2011 – Auction Report

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

1968 Fiat-Abarth OT 1300 Coupe
Lot # 2 1968 Fiat-Abarth OT 1300 Coupe; S/N 100GC00132481; Engine # 157856; White/Oxblood vinyl; Estimate $40,000 - $60,000; Recent restoration, 2 condition; Hammered Sold at $40,000 plus commission of 17.00%; Final Price $46,800 -- Fiat 850-based 1280cc, 75hp engine, freshly restored to very high standards and better than new. Not so highly sought as earlier Abarths, but with more room and a bigger, more powerful engine, the price of this impressively restored OT 1300 is good value for money.
1927 Chevrolet Series AA Station Wagon, Body by Martin-Perry
Lot # 7 1927 Chevrolet Series AA Station Wagon, Body by Martin-Perry; S/N 3341253; Green, Black fenders/Black vinyl; Estimate $20,000 - $30,000; Older restoration, 3+ condition; Hammered Sold at $27,000 plus commission of 17.00%; Final Price $31,590 -- Ex-Harrah Collection. Varnished wood spoke wheels, three row seating, opening windshield with visor. A high quality older restoration with little wear. The interior could have been done within the last several years rather than decades. The wood and paint have aged very nicely as has the whole car with the exception of rot on the lower radiator surround due to a leak. The underside is very clean with little wear and the varnish is starting to flake off the wheels. The ex-Harrah's provenance commands a premium, and it helped this car go slightly over top estimate. Surviving Chevrolets of this era are rare in themselves and this is an unusual body style. This will be great for a collection or parade car.
1987 March-Cosworth 87C Indy Car
Lot # 8 1987 March-Cosworth 87C Indy Car; S/N 87C6; Blue, Yellow 'Kraco'/Black cloth; Estimate $40,000 - $50,000; Competition restoration, 3- condition; Hammered Sold at $50,000 plus commission of 17.00%; Final Price $58,500 -- Represented as driven by Michael Andretti to two poles and four wins (Milwaukee, Michigan, Nazareth, Miami) and second in the PPG Championship in 1987. Cosworth DFX 2.6 liter turbo V-8. Repainted but otherwise as-raced with no indication of anything more than display since it was acquired in 2005. No Reserve. Sold by RM at Amelia in 2005 for $57,200 in fresher but otherwise the same condition as it appeared here.
1937 Panhard X76 Dynamic 4-Dr. Sedan
Lot # 14 1937 Panhard X76 Dynamic 4-Dr. Sedan; S/N 200128; Engine # 200128; Maroon, Beige/Beige cloth; Estimate $110,000 - $130,000; Cosmetic restoration, 3 condition; Post-block sale at $64,957 plus commission of 17.00%; Final Price $76,000 -- RHD. Mediocre repaint over erratic prep. Dull brightwork. Cracked steering wheel rim, poorly repaired headlight grilles then aluminum painted. A car that needs a lot of expensive work, but a marvelous car with center-located steering wheel and a an almost endless list of gorgeous Machine Age design details. Offered at Christie's Rétromobile auction in 2004 at a high bid of $58,748, sold by Poulain in Paris in 2007 for $68,576, then by Bonhams in Fairfield last year for $90,675. It is a daunting task to address this Dynamic's many needs but it is still one of the great, imaginative, automobiles of the Thirties and deserves the effort it will take to bring it to presentable condition. It is so "French" and its character and style more than offset the mediocre condition to make it a good value at this price.
1979 BMW M1 Pro-car, Body by Frank Stella
Lot # 15 1979 BMW M1 Pro-car, Body by Frank Stella; S/N 94301053; White 'Art Car'/Black Watch cloth; Estimate $450,000 - $600,000; Unrestored original, 3+ condition; Hammered Sold at $770,000 plus commission of 10.91%; Final Price $854,000 -- Sound, original and well preserved but dusty inside. Dirty chassis. Paint, including Stella's art, is good and has been clearcoated over. Done for Peter Gregg outside BMW's art car program A Stella canvas begins at a million bucks. This one is bigger and can be driven, fast. As an M1 Pro-Car it's expensive but as a Frank Stella artwork it's cheap. "No art is any good unless you can feel how it's put together. By and large it's the eye, the hand and if it's any good, you feel the body. Most of the best stuff seems to be a complete gesture, the totality of the artist's body you can really lean on it." The M1 Pro-Car can be leaned on in several ways.
1927 Lancia Lambda SWB Roadster, Body by Casaro
Lot # 16 1927 Lancia Lambda Seventh Series SWB Roadster, Body by Casaro; S/N 16140; Engine # 6185; Black, Maroon, rust/Red leather; Black leatherette top; Estimate $100,000 - $125,000; Unrestored original, 4 condition; Hammered Sold at $178,000 plus commission of 13.93%; Final Price $202,800 -- RHD. Rumble seat upholstered in Red leather. Attractive roadster coachwork by Casaro. Pretty complete including top and frame and remarkably sound but definitely a barn find. It has been started since its discovery but beyond that it is very much a project. The bidders' willingness to pay big money for this Lancia is evidence of the fascination of the classic Lancia, and the potential which is has for preservation class participation and an eventual restoration.
1964 Lotus Elan S2 Roadster
Lot # 18 1964 Lotus Elan S2 Roadster; S/N 26/4086; Red/Black Vinyl; Estimate $25,000 - $35,000; Visually maintained, largely original, 3- condition; Hammered Sold at $29,000 plus commission of 17.00%; Final Price $33,930 -- Older paint with spider webbing and lots of orange peel. Seats moderately worn and chrome bumpers worn. Described as, and appears to be, an unmolested original car with 27,000 miles that appears to have had nothing done to it other than a light detailing in years. An older cosmetic restoration. The catalog states that the car had never been an accident and it appeared to be a good solid car. With the low original mileage also stated, the bidders were encouraged and the seller achieved a respectable result.
1965 Lotus Cortina Coupe
Lot # 19 1965 Lotus Cortina Coupe; S/N BA74EK59800; White with Green coachline/Black vinyl; Estimate $30,000 - $40,000; Visually maintained, largely original, 4+ condition; Hammered Sold at $36,000 plus commission of 17.00%; Final Price $42,120 -- Lots of dents and dings in the body covered by a rattle can paint job. The Green coach line is polished through to the body color. The driver's seat is heavily worn and duct taped together. The chrome is pitted, door and window gaskets are older and the underside is heavily worn. Three owners from new (after being Lotus's factory demo) with its original California black plates. Odometer shows 4,842 miles, probably just starting its second time around. The car is original save for the older repaint which made it quite attractive to a buyer who will likely modify and use it for vintage racing. The seller should be very pleased with this result which includes a significant premium for originality.
1966 Porsche 906 Carrera Coupe
Lot # 24 1966 Porsche 906 Carrera Coupe; S/N 906007; Engine # 906153; White, Red nose panel/Red vinyl; Estimate $900,000 - $1,100,000; Competition restoration, 2 condition; Hammered Sold at $810,000 plus commission of 10.86%; Final Price $898,000 -- Lefthand drive. One of two cars from Porsche with this number, the other being the "Kanguruh" flat-8 raced at the 1967 Targa Florio. First raced in Australia by Alan Hamilton and winner of the 1967 Australian Championship in spyder form. Sold to Richard Wong Wei Hong and raced in SE Asia before selling to Teddy Yip in Macau. Restored to coupe configuration in Belgium in recent years, comes with documentation, the spyder body, engine block, heads and more. Good paint and interior. Looks freshly restored. This is a heck of a car, and a wonderful restoration of it to like new condition without going overboard. According to the catalog the restoration has addressed the items appropriate to modern historic racing performance and safety, a claim the car's appearance supports. This is top of the market for a 906, especially for one with no history in the premier events of the day.
1955 Ford "Beatnik Bubbletop" Custom
Lot # 25 1955 Ford "Beatnik Bubbletop" Custom; S/N U5UG116632; Blue/Pearl; Estimate $100,000 - $125,000; Customized restoration, 2+ condition; Hammered Sold at $80,000 plus commission of 17.00%; Final Price $93,600 -- 4-seat interior with one-piece clear top, six carbs sticking through the hood. Good paint, chrome and interior. A marvelous creation, or an anachronism, take your pick. No Reserve. First sold five years ago at RM Monterey for $396,000, crossed the block at RM Amelia in March with a no-sale bid of $140,000. It's really something (just not everyone's thing) and will turn heads at a modest price with its result here.
Lola B03/51 Mugen Formula Nippon
Lot # 35 2003 Lola B03/51 Mugen Formula Nippon; S/N HU21; White/Black fiberglass; Estimate $80,000 - $90,000; Competition car, original as-raced, 3 condition; Post-block sale at $64,103 plus commission of 17.00%; Final Price $75,000 -- Mugen-Honda 3-liter V-8. Driven by Andre Lotterer in 2003-5 finishing 4th, 2nd and 4th in the Formula Nippon championship. Restored in 2009 by Nakajima Racing with some subsequent use but still clean and orderly. This car is cataloged with the same chassis number as a Lola T900 Indy Car sold by Gooding at Pebble Beach in 2009. There's probably a place for this car on some historic GP grid or other and if so it should be very competitive, at far less money than a Cosworth DFV-powered ex-F1 car.
1956 Jaguar XK 140 Drophead Coupe
Lot # 404 1956 Jaguar XK 140 Drophead Coupe; S/N S818031DN; Engine # G57288S; Light Blue/Dark Blue leather; Dark Blue cloth top; Estimate $70,000 - $90,000; Older restoration, 3+ condition; Hammered Sold at $78,000 plus commission of 17.00%; Final Price $91,260 -- Lightly pitted chrome wire wheels, whitewalls, fender mirrors, fog lights, bumper overriders. Excellent paint and body with good gaps and light wear along the panel edges. Light wear to driver's seat cushion and convertible top. The underside is finished in black and the entire presentation is that of a tidy, well looked after older restoration completed in 1981. There is no way this car's restoration looks like it was done thirty years ago. Maybe thirteen, but even then it would be commended for the quality of its materials, workmanship, attention to detail and sympathetic preservation. Its attributes brought it a strong price, particularly after the commission.
1936 Ford Model 68 Deluxe Phaeton
Lot # 406 1936 Ford Model 68 Deluxe Phaeton; S/N 32050750; Washington Blue/Brown leatherette; Tan cloth top; Estimate $80,000 - $100,000; Older restoration, 2 condition; Hammered Sold at $50,000 plus commission of 17.00%; Final Price $58,500 -- Stainless steel spider wheel covers, trim rings, double wide whitewalls, an enclosed rear-mounted spare, Greyhound hood ornament, wind wings and an outside mirror. Excellent chrome, lightly worn interior and new top. Deep paint with some orange peel and a few minor blemishes. Nice enough to be presented at a show but not too nice to drive. The underside is presented much better than when new, but not over the top. Ex-Jack Hogan Ford Collection. No Reserve. This Ford was presented from the Hogan collection by Bonham's in 2007 and sold for $105,300, close to double the sales price achieved here, but came back to earth when sold at Auburn Fall last September for $54,450. This is one of the most desirable Ford V-8 body styles and is a good value at this price.
1947 Bentley Mk VI Drophead Coupe
Lot # 407 1947 Bentley Mk VI Drophead Coupe, Body by Graber; S/N B136BH; Engine # B68B; Blue/Cream leather; Blue cloth top; Estimate $120,000 - $150,000; Older restoration, 3 condition; Hammered Sold at $100,000 plus commission of 17.00%; Final Price $117,000 -- RHD. Blue steel wheels, wide whitewall tires. The chrome is very cloudy and both doors are sagging. The seat is lightly worn and the top boot is soiled and rather nasty looking compared to the rest of the car. The panels are decent and the paint application very good, but the surface is now marred with polishing swirl. Overall a nice looking driver. This is a highly attractive car with lines evocative of a prewar French model (or a large '40 Ford.) It brought $139,443 at Bonhams Olympia sale in 2007 and $110,000 at RM in Arizona earlier this year. This transaction shows how to make a small fortune trading collector cars.
1933 Stutz DV-32 Sedan
Lot # 408 1933 Stutz DV-32 Sedan; S/N DV641595; Engine # 33306; Orange, Black fenders, Burgundy coachline/Grey cloth; Estimate $85,000 - $115,000; Older restoration, 3 condition; Hammered Sold at $75,000 plus commission of 17.00%; Final Price $87,750 -- Cream wire wheels, wide whitewalls, dual sidemounted spares with Stutz script mirrors, trunk rack, modern signal lights. The fenders are blistered and although the front and rear bumpers have been replated the door handles are quite worn. The interior wood has been nicely refinished and the interior is not worn. The doors close with a very nice double click. A very stout car, but one that deserves a more thorough renovation. The Stutz is rare in any form and although a sedan, the DV-32 is comparable to any of the best American marques. The buyer got a helluva lot of car for the money but at a full retail price.
1916 Crane-Simplex Model 5 7-Passenger Touring, Body by Healey
Lot # 410 1916 Crane-Simplex Model 5 7-Passenger Touring, Body by Healey * Co.; S/N 2178; Engine # 2233; White with Orange chassis and coachline/Black leather; Black vinyl top; Estimate $150,000 - $200,000; Older restoration, 3+ condition; Not sold at Hammer bid of $122,000 -- Varnished wood spoke wheels with whitewall tires, single rear-mounted spare, Watson Stabilators, Bi-Flex bumpers, Gray & Davis headlamps. A very well looked after older restoration; the paint is cracked in many places and the chassis displays some wear. The circa 1960's leather is brittle looking and the brightwork is lightly pitted. Although nicely patinated, the color scheme on this car is dated and doesn't do it justice. The catalog states that the car is bodied by Brewster but the tag observed reads "Healey & Co.," one of five coachbuilders to originally supply bodies for the Simplex-Crane. These cars don't bring a fraction of what their Simplex cousins do which is surprising because they offer a lot of the same value. This car needs attention even to bring it back to touring condition and a complete restoration is probably not far in its future. The bidders took that into account when they stopped at this bid.
1959 Sadler-Meyer Special Sports Racer
Lot # 412 1959 Sadler-Meyer Special Sports Racer; S/N SC008; Engine # 3756519; Dark Blue, White stripe/Red; Estimate $650,000 - $750,000; Competition car, original as-raced, 2- condition; Not sold at Hammer bid of $540,000 -- RHD. Centerlock Halibrand alloy wheels, 339 cubic inch Chevy V-8 with six carbs, a T-10 4-speed and Halibrand quick change center section in its deDion rear suspension. Built by Bill Sadler for John Van Meyer using bits from Van Meyer's prewar ARCA special but now far from its historic Giant's Despair hillclimb winning, Pontiac-powered configuration including bodywork alterations that completely reshaped the nose. Attractively and thoroughly restored. The appeal of this special is its early Giant's Despair and northeast circuit racing history, both of which have been lost in its reconfigured body and Chevy power. It was introduced on the block by Bill Sadler, who must have wondered what he was seeing but didn't give it away. The bidders weren't misled.
1949 Jaguar Mark V Drophead Coupe
Lot # 413 1949 Jaguar Mark V Drophead Coupe; S/N 647008; Engine # Z3907; Black/Saddle leather; Tan cloth top; Estimate $75,000 - $100,000; Older restoration, 3 condition; Hammered Sold at $71,000 plus commission of 17.00%; Final Price $83,070 -- Lefthand drive, driving lights, fender mirrors, skirts, whitewalls, hubcaps, trim rings, full tool tray, two element bumpers. The bumpers and grille have been replaced and the rest of the brightwork has been highly polished to the point of rubbing through in places. The top is lightly soiled and the leather interior is lightly worn although enough so to be inviting. The driver's door is sticking out in the lower rear corner and the paint has a few blemishes. An aged restoration from the early 80's and now a decent driver. This is a good solid car but aged. It needs some care to be brought up a cosmetic notch and the price was appropriately restrained in recognition of its condition.
1965 Jaguar E-Type SI 4.2 Coupe
Lot # 414 1965 Jaguar XKE SI 4.2 Coupe; S/N 1E31973; Engine # 7E59099; Silver/Burgundy leather; Estimate $90,000 - $115,000; Recent restoration, 2+ condition; Hammered Sold at $85,000 plus commission of 17.00%; Final Price $99,450 -- Chrome wire wheels with redline tires. Freshly restored after being bought from an estate in 2010. Deep chrome and excellent paint. The underside is extremely clean and the interior is unworn. There was some debris trapped in the headlight lenses and the passenger door was hard to close. Not the best in the world but excellent and sharp looking and with an extensive service history that enhances its value. The price paid here is appropriate to the car's history and its fresh restoration as well as the enduring beauty of the first covered headlight series of XKEs.

Bonhams Quail Lodge 2011 – Auction Report Continued

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  1. Perhaps your silence on the matter is intentional, but this seems to be an awful auction result for Bonhams. I’m looking for the bright spot and simply cannot find it. Wish them the best in the future, although I have to wonder if Mecum, RM, Gooding et all have wounded them too badly…at least in Monterey.