Bonhams Simeone 2016 – Auction Report

Bonhams ‘Preserving the Automobile’ Simeone Museum, Philadelphia, October 3, 2016

2016 marked Bonhams fifth year for its Preserving the Automobile auction at the Simeone Foundation Automobile Museum near Philadelphia airport.

This has never been a big auction, but it is always a good one, for at least two reasons:

• Bonhams always manages to find intriguing examples of original and older restored cars; and
• It’s always a pleasure to come to Philadelphia to visit Dr. Fred Simeone’s fabulous collection of race cars.

Either reason would be sufficient to leave a few days early for Hershey and spend a couple nights in Philadelphia.

While this was Bonhams lowest sale total (and smallest consignment) in the sale’s history it didn’t lack for good cars, it just lacked for good expensive cars. Read through the selection below; it’s almost certain that among them there’s a puppy that will beg to be adopted, nurtured and find a happy family.

And come to Philadelphia next year; Bonhams will have more.

Bonhams Simeone
Cars Offered / Sold
Sale %
Sold < Low Est.
Sold > High Est.
Average Sale
Median Sale
Total Sales
51 / 47
$28,600 [88.0%]
74 / 64
$35,200 [68.0%]
60 / 48
$28,600 [35.8%]
66 / 55
$25,300 [50.8%]
62 / 50
$25,875 [50.2%]

Bonhams Simeone Museum 2016 – Auction Report

1907 Locomobile Model E Chassis
Lot # 203 1907 Locomobile Model E Chassis; Primer; Estimate $40,000 – $50,000; Incomplete restoration, 5 condition; Hammered Sold at $61,000 plus commission of 10.00%; Final Price $67,100. No Reserve. – – Known history since 1964, disassembled and partially restored after 1975 with much of the hard work done but with a confusing jumble of parts and no instructions provided. Once owned by Harrah’s (as a complete car) and sold from the collection of the Los Angeles Natural History Museum. The major items are cleaned and stripped but there’s plenty of grime left. – An intriguing project with serious possibilities although its potential is somewhat limited by its 1907 dating that is not LBVCR eligible. The Museum should be very satisfied with this result, and the buyer with the prospect of re-assembling this rare automobile.
1994 Rolls-Royce Silver Spur III 4-Dr. Sedan
Lot # 207 1994 Rolls-Royce Silver Spur III 4-Dr. Sedan; S/N SCAZN02C3SCX55376; Arctic White/Soft Tan leather; Estimate $30,000 – $40,000; Unrestored original, 2- condition; Hammered Sold at $18,500 plus commission of 10.00%; Final Price $20,350. No Reserve. – Cassette stereo. – Very good original paint, chrome, interior and interior wood. Exactly what a 22,879 mile Rolls-Royce should look like. – There is nothing, other than 23K miles, wrong with this Spur. It has led an exemplary life, although the limited miles and no evidence of recent service are a tad concerning, and is a quality automobile at a realistic price
1954 Cadillac Eldorado Convertible
Lot # 208 1954 Cadillac Eldorado Convertible; S/N 546272302; Black/Red leather; White vinyl top; Estimate $80,000 – $100,000; Older restoration, 3+ condition; Not sold at Hammer bid of $64,000. With Reserve. – Parade boot, skirts, bench seat, WonderBar radio, power windows, power seat, power steering, power brakes, chrome wire wheels, wide whitewalls. – Restored to concours condition many years ago. Numerous flaws in the paint. Very good chrome and interior. Underbody is like new, without undercoat, and only a little age. Engine compartment is orderly but a little dusty; one air vent duct hose is missing. – Bid to $64,000 here, more than double what it brought at Auburn Spring 23 years ago in 1993, fresh from a cosmetic restoration which has been vastly improved since but which now in turn shows its age. It could have been sold for the reported high bid.
1959 Mercedes-Benz 300d 4-Dr. Sedan
Lot # 209 1959 Mercedes-Benz 300d 4-Dr. Sedan; S/N 189010120011696; Engine # 189980129500313; Black/Grey cloth; Estimate $50,000 – $70,000; Visually maintained, largely original, 3 condition; Hammered Sold at $35,000 plus commission of 10.00%; Final Price $38,500. With Reserve. – Automatic, Blaupunkt multi-band radio, wheel covers, aftermarket air conditioning, Cibie driving lights, whitewalls, power windows. – Fair repaint over old paint. Good chrome and interior. Clean gauges with weak bezel chrome. Original undercoat in wheelwells. Good interior wood trim. Believed to be two owners from new and in condition appropriate to the 79,571 miles on its odometer. – A very satisfying car that suggests it is nothing more, or less, than it appears to be and is the pinnacle of luxury from its era. It isn’t sleek, it isn’t svelte, it doesn’t have a swarm of questionable power accessories; it’s just visual class stratification, both then and now, and is a highly reasonable acquisition at this price.
1932 Willys 6-90 Silver Streak Roadster
Lot # 211 1932 Willys 6-90 Silver Streak Roadster; S/N 8610; Engine # 8714; Dark Blue, Black fenders/Grey leather; Black leatherette top; Estimate $20,000 – $30,000; Older restoration, 2- condition; Hammered Sold at $41,000 plus commission of 10.00%; Final Price $45,100. No Reserve. – 3-speed Synchromesh transmission, Yellow wire wheels, wide whitewalls, rumble seat, rear-mounted spare, wind wings, fog light, Twilite headlights. – Very good paint, interior, chrome and top. Orderly engine compartment. Restored better than new a while ago, showing some age and use but still very good. – With a 65hp 6-cylinder engine this was nearly the performance counterpart of Henry’s 1932 V8, however the design, with its slightly raked and subtly veed grille shell, horizontal hood side louvers and sweeping fenders were a customizer’s Deuce dream. It was one of the most striking cars in Bonhams sale both for its design and its restoration and there was a notable contest to own it. Even ending up at half or less than the price of a comparable condition ’32 Ford V-8 roadster it still represents a sound value, a car that says, ‘What do you know? This is an extraordinary automobile.’
1942 GMC CC-150 Pickup
Lot # 212 1942 GMC CC-150 Pickup; S/N CC1523142; Engine # B228101942; Dark Green, Black fenders/Brown leatherette; Estimate $25,000 – $35,000; Older restoration, 2- condition; Hammered Sold at $20,000 plus commission of 10.00%; Final Price $22,000. No Reserve. – Hubcaps, wide whitewalls, outside mirror, no heater. – Very good fresh repaint, upholstery and interior trim. A thorough old restoration with fresh cosmetics. – Sold freshly restored by RM at Meadow Brook in 2001 for $13,750, then by Bonhams at Quail Lodge in 2010 for $25,740, its cosmetics have been redone since to high standards and the mechanicals received attention including conversion to a 12 volt electrical system. A classy and quality truck for show or go, it should need nothing and brought a very modest price.
1950 Rolls-Royce Silver Wraith Touring Saloon, Body by Park Ward
Lot # 213 1950 Rolls-Royce Silver Wraith Touring Saloon, Body by Park Ward; S/N WGC63; Engine # W262C; Metallic Red, Black fenders/Beige leather; Estimate $30,000 – $40,000; Visually maintained, largely original, 4 condition; Hammered Sold at $30,000 plus commission of 10.00%; Final Price $33,000. With Reserve. – RHD. Skirts, fender mirrors, wheel covers, blackwall tires, trafficators, Jensen cassette stereo, – Poor old repaint over old rust blisters. Sound, dry old upholstery. Dull interior wood trim. Chassis and underbody repainted over old, peeling undercoat. Thin trim chrome. Sadly neglected, a car with no good surprises. – Assessing this Silver Wraith is a challenge between originality (because nothing significant other than cosmetics have been done to it) and neglect (for the same reasons). The paint is a disgrace to Park Ward’s quality finishing, the interior wood likewise to Britain’s craftsmen. The slantback coachwork is attractive, but more fussy than inspired. Making it any more than it is will be an expensive challenge. The seller should be very satisfied with this price.
1968 Morris Mini Cooper Mk II 2-Dr. Sedan hotrod
Lot # 214 1968 Morris Mini Cooper Mk II 2-Dr. Sedan hotrod; S/N KA2S61179700A; Red, Black vinyl roof/Black cloth; Estimate $18,000 – $24,000; Modified restoration, 3+ condition; Hammered Sold at $14,000 plus commission of 10.00%; Final Price $15,400. No Reserve. – 1400cc/90hp engine, two SU carbs, 4-speed, ’85 Mini shell, high performance brakes, Mountney woodrim steering wheel, folding sunroof, Cibie Oscar fog lights, braced rollbar, cassette stereo, auxiliary engine gauges, Fulda Assuro tires. – Good paint and chrome, old undercoat in the wheelwells, good interior. Alloy wheels’ clearcoat is peeling. Everything appears to have been done to good, workmanlike standards. – A Mini hotrod, or at least a Mini Cafe Racer, that offers exemplary performance without being stressed beyond reasonable limits. It should drive the part it looks and is a great value at this price.
1967 Lotus Elan S3 Coupe
Lot # 215 1967 Lotus Elan S3 Coupe; S/N 36/6740; Red/Black vinyl; Estimate $35,000 – $45,000; Cosmetic restoration, 3+ condition; Not sold at Hammer bid of $29,000. With Reserve. – LeCarra woodrim steering wheel, gold painted 5-spoke centerlock Panasport alloy wheels, gold painted bumper covers, banded aluminum Talbot outside mirrors, upgraded CV joints, dual master cylinder, electronic ignition. – Sound repaint and interior done in 1986. Clean gauge faces and lenses. Orderly underbody. Crazing window frame chrome. Road grimy chassis. Orderly engine compartment. – Thoroughly and impressively upgraded in a long term effort to incorporate the latest improvements as Elan owners perfect their cherished possessions. This isn’t a collector’s Elan, it’s a driver’s Elan, and potentially a very good one at that. The seller should have no regrets about hoping to find a more attuned audience for this finely tuned Elan S3 Coupe.