Market Analysis

Market Commentary - which classics are selling, by whom and for how much

Lamborghini sets CHF 8.28m (£6.79m) world record in Geneva, where cache of confiscated supercars sell out. 100% of cars sold in Portugal and Ohio, whereas an average of 66% did so in UK, where buyers still spent £23.16m on classics

SEPTEMBER SALES REVIEWED by Richard Hudson-Evans

Despite the worst efforts of politicians on both sides of the Channel and Atlantic, an 8.28m Swiss Francs (£6.79m) world record auction price for any Lamborghini was set at the Bonhams Bonmont sale near Geneva, while 100% of cars in both the RM Sotheby’s Saragga and Taj Ma Garaj Collections sales in Portugal and Dayton, Ohio, sold out.

The record busting 2014 Lamborghini Veneno Roadster, one of only nine made that had only been driven 325k by the son of the President of Equatorial Guinea before confiscation by the State of Geneva, raised CHF 8,280,000 (£8,280,000 with premium).

Also being auctioned ‘Without Reserve’ in a sequestered multi-Supercars deal with the Swiss authorities to end a money laundering and misappropriation of public assets enquiry were a 2015 Koenigsegg One:1 Coupe sold for CHF 4,600,000 (£3,772,000) and a 2003 Ferrari Enzo for CHF 3,105,000 (£2,546,100). A 2015 Ferrari LaFerrari Coupe realised CHF 2,185,000 (£1,791,000), a 2011 Aston Martin One-77 Coupe CHF 1,552,500 (£1,273,050) and a 2010 Bugatti Veyron EB 1.6.4 Coupe CHF 1,311,000 (£1,075,020).

Among market noteworthy prices for the other 46 cars in this 85% sold sale were the CHF 1,955,000 (£1,603,100) paid for a 2010 Lamborghini Reventon Roadster, one of just 15 produced, and the CHF 1,150,000 (£943,000) for a 1993 Porsche 911 Type 964 Turbo S ‘Leichtbau’ Coupe. A 2011 Ferrari 599 SA Aperta with factory hardtop made CHF 996,425 (£817,069) and there was a CHF 508,875 (417,278) valuation by the buyer of a delivered new to Basle in 1963 Ferrari 250GTE S3 2+2 Coupe.   

There were 100% sale rates at both RM Sotheby’s dispersal auctions of The Sarogga Collection at Alcacer do Sal in Portugal and the Taj Ma Garaj Collection in Dayton Ohio. Spirited bidding in the Sarogga estate saleroom saw a 1931 Bentley 8-Litre Tourer sell for 680,000 euros (£598,400) and a restored 1973 Porsche 911 Carrera RS 2.7 ‘Touring’ with matching numbers went for 602,375 euros (£530,090).

In the US meanwhile, there were buyers for all 32 of the Porsches and VWs amassed by the late John Dixon, led by his rare 4-cam 1957 Porsche 356 A Carrera 1500 GT Speedster by Reutter sold for $1,380,000 (£1,117,800) from another Touring version of the 1973 911 Carrera RS 2.7, which, this time, made only $412,000 (£333,720). Dixon’s 1997 911 Turbo Coupe with several ‘Porsche Special Wish’ options went for $368,000 (£298,080) and his 1981 924 Carrera GTS Clubsport for $357,000 (£289,170). A really very weird 1953 356 with stretched Limo bodywork found $207,200 (£168,075).

In the Bonhams tent at the Goodwood Revival, although an ex-Donald Campbell 1961 Aston Martin DB4GT pre-sale estimated at £2,200,000-2,800,000 changed hands before the auction for an undisclosed sum (the vendor presumably accepting an offer that he could not refuse), the late Barry Burnett’s 1935 Bugatti Type 57 A talante Coupe, one of only three T57s with Atalante coachwork, sold to a Continental bidder on a telephone, who beat off competition in the seats from fellow Europeans with a winning £1,499,000.

All the cars consigned from the estate of the late Peter Phillips, the former owner of the Jones Bootmaker footwear chain, also sold out during the nearly £11.6m afternoon beside the Goodwood circuit, headed by his 1969 DB6 Mk2 Volante converted to Vantage-spec by the factory, which made £743,000, top estimate money. Sir Jackie Stewart had movingly introduced the first loto of the sale, a 1961 Cooper-Climax T55, driven in period by fellow three-time World Champion Sir Jack Brabham and generously donated by Peter Livanos, which went on to raise £244,375 for Sir Jackie’s charity, ‘Race Against Dementia’.

The previous weekend during a £2.93m International Beaulieu Autojumble Sale, the top seller had also been a Bugatti, the catalogue-cover featured 1929 T44 Harrington Tourer made £293,250 and will relocate to Hungary. A high-rise 1908 Napier 45hp T23 6-Cylinder with Burlington Carriage Open-Drive Limo coachwork meanwhile that had drive-on parts in Downton Abbey, Mr Selfridge and Peaky Blinders also left the country, heading for the star-truck US for £235,750 with premium. But although 74% of cars sold to an international audience in the grounds of the National Motor Museum, 32 did not, while, one week later, another 41 cars were also unsold at the Revival sale.

Later in the month, the going was even softer at the Dallas Burston Polo Club, where though 15 of the 34 Ferraris in the Silverstone Auctions catalogue sold for £1.75m in the morning, 56% of the no longer Prancing Horses were returned to their stables unsold and, while 14 out of the 30 Porsches on offer in the afternoon session had sold for £1.25m, 53% were unsold.

Nonetheless, left-hand drive Ferraris to change riders in Warwickshire included a 2008 599GTB Manual sold afterwards for £360,000 and, under the gavel, a Jay Kay entered 1972 365GTC/4 for £219,375 and a 2012 599GTB 60 F1 Alonso Final Edition for £208,125. Whereas the sale of a 2005 4300m Carrera GT 5.7 V10 to Spain accounted for £607,500, half the Porsche sale total, and £106,875 of it was spent on a second Jay Kay car, a 2015 911 Type 991 Turbo S with Tiptronic that had been driven only 5000 miles by the Jamiroquai front man.

Simultaneously, and attracting a larger Saturday crowd to the Brooklands Museum, where there were 33 ‘No Reservists’,  Historics sold 96 or 67% of their 144 car entry for £2,317,996 with premium. Their top priced car was a French registered, though right-hand drive 1961 Aston Martin DB4 S3 with original leather sold for £275,000, close to the guide. 48 cars did not sell though.

Another DB4, though a stalled project, had also been the best seller under the Brightwells hammer earlier in the month at Leominster, where the matching numbers 1960 S2 with restored, but stripped out shell with a huge amount still to do was taken on for £210,560, more than twice the lower estimate forecast. By the end of the 'live' sale, 110 cars had been hammered away and, after 14 more post-sale deals had been done, a total of 124 cars, 69% of the 179 in the sale, had sold for £1.85m.

At the end of this busy month, Bonhams MPH held their first and consumer-reassuring ‘Drive Through’ for the more accessible classics within the Brightwells-vacated Hangar 113 at Bicester Heritage. After being warmed up by 143 lots of automobilia, 69 or 63% of the 110 collector vehicles offered in the debut sale sold for £1.31m, ranging from a £49,500 1993 Escort RS Cossie to a £47,250 Ford Model 68 Cabrio via a coup-ready convoy of Military Land Rovers, which made from £49,500 with dummy weapons and camouflage nets to £16,666 without.

In Herefordshire and Oxfordshire however, and increasingly on-line, precious buyers, it seems, were not prepared to meet or better the reserves of 96 cars. Sale rates of 56% at Barons Sandown Park and 46% at Charterhouse Shepton Mallet, where another 51 classics were unsold in September, also confirm just how cautious provincial spenders have become in possibly never to actually Brexit Britain. Even so, 533 or 66% of the 838 classics auctioned in the 9 UK sales reviewed by this website in September did sell for £23.16m, amounting to a premium-inclusive average of £43,452 spent per auction car.