The Bonhams Quail Motorcar Auction was held at its Los Angeles salesroom on August 14th via a live and online sale. The auction was a great success with hot bidding taking place in a battle to secure some prized vehicles.
Topping the sales was an ultra-rare and champion racer 1959 Porsche 718 RSK Spyder, selling for $2,232,500. Extensively campaigned by legendary Porsche driver Bob Holbert, the 1959 718 RSK was one of only 24 built. It secured multiple wins including the 1959 Bahamas Speed week, where the ‘Giant Killer’, stormed home to finish first in the debut Governers Trophy race.
The Spyder was in possession of its third owner for 50 years prior to it going for sale at the August auction. Bidding battle was tense, with the final bidder ensuring the racer will remain in the USA.
Another noteworthy sale was a 2014 Bugatti Veyron 16.4 Grand Sport Vitesse, which sold for $1,750,000.
This was the only US-spec version of three ‘Meo Costantini’ special editions that honoured the head of the firm’s factory team and winner of the Targa Florio. It paid homage to the fabled Type 35, with a unique livery and motifs on the bodywork and interior depicting the glory days of Bugatti racing.
The Bugatti Vitesse was unveiled for the first time at the 2012 Geneva Motor Show with the Veyron 16.4 Grand Sport Vitesse being a targa top version of the Veyron Super Sport. The engine has a maximum power output of 1,184 bhp, giving it the ability to accelerate from 0-60mph in 2.6 seconds
The third highest sale at the auction was achieved by a beautifully restored 1956 Mercedes-Benz 300 SC Roadster which sold under the hammer for $951,000.
This example was heavily restored in the 90s and was previously owned by Cary Grant and Aga Khan.
The Mercedes-Benz 300 S was first presented at the Paris Motor Show in 1951.Three variants were produced, including the coupe, convert In addition to the coupe variant, production of which began in 1952, there were also a convertible and a roadster.
The revised 300 Sc version made its debut in September 1955 and was differed by having a single-joint swing axle with a low pivot point and direct injection replacing the carburetors. This raised the engine output to 175 hp.
Other top results included:
1931 Alfa Romeo 6C 1750 GTC ‘Coupe Royale’ by Carrozeria Touring for $582,500
1957 Porsche 356A 1500 Carerra GS – $428,500
1964 Porsche 901 Coupe – $340,500.
Rupert Banner, Bonhams auctioneer and Group Motoring Director, said: “Our live and online format is an innovative response to the global situation regarding Covid-19, and combines the best of both worlds. Interested clients previewed the majority of the cars at the Petersen Automotive Museum, as well as in New York and at other locations around the country. It led to a lot of interest and resulted in spirited domestic and international bidding, online and by telephone.”
Jakob Greisen, Bonhams Vice President and Head of US Motoring added: “This sale shows that the interest in collectors’ motorcars is as strong as ever and good examples of rare and pedigreed vehicles from all eras are attracting strong bids from passionate collectors around the world.
“We are delighted to have played a part in the virtual Petersen Car Week and are grateful to the Petersen Automotive Museum for their support in facilitating our Los Angeles previews.”
“While we missed being in Monterey, we look forward to working with the team at Quail Lodge and Peninsula Signature Events next year.”
The final two Bonhams auctions in the U.S. are taking place at the Simeone Foundation Auto Museum on October 4, and the Barber Motorsports Museum on October 10.