Bonhams’ first auction at Amelia island – but was it a success?
As a newcomer to the annual Amelia Island event Bonhams were always going to be playing something of a second fiddle to the established players from over the water. Ultimately RM Sothebys and Gooding & Co eclipsed Bonhams’ achievements if you simply go by the numbers but hey, it’s not a competition is it?
What did well?
A 1980 Ferrari 512 BB predictably smashed a lowball pre-sale estimate of £67-100,000 finding a reasonable £218,000 + 10% premium. A 1952 Alfa Romeo 1900 C Sprint Coupe made a stunning £253,000 + premium against a top estimate of £170,000 no doubt assisted by Mille Miglia eligibility. The 1908 American Underslung 50hp roadster continued the marques recent auction success, making just over £1 million and Bonhams did well with early and pre-war cars such as the 1912 Peerless Model 60 Runabout and 1935 Auburn model 851 custom Phaeton exceeding expectations. A 1981 BMW M1 coupe kept the Eighties cars’ end up, unsurprisingly (to us anyway) exceeding its £270-300,000 estimate to find £370,00 + 10% premium.
What didn’t do so well?
A 1975 Porsche 911 Carrera 2.7 MFI sold for £164,000 against an estimate of £190-230 – these cars are still not matching the expectations of many, in our opinion. A 1968 Porsche 911L soft-window Targa was bid just past £30,000 and remained unsold, and a 1997 Porsche 911 Turbo with less than 15000 original miles just made it through its lower estimate of £120,000 at £127,000 – Turbos did much better in the following sales. No sale for a 1973 Ferrari 365GTB/4 Daytona and 1992 Ferrari F40 – the last US spec car built – made £700,000 + premium against a lower estimate of £800,000. A 1971 Ferrari Dino 246 GT found a mere £180,000 + premium against a predicted £190-210,000.
Patterns and trends
Tough to pick out at this auction but suffice to say that the main pattern was unpredictability! Some pre-war cars did well but one swallow doesn’t make a summer. As with the other auctions, with Porsche and Ferrari some of the heat has come out of certain models so choose wisely – early Porsche has slowed down as have some V12 Ferrari’s – at auction at least. It is worth noting that there wee a number of post-auction sales and results that did not ultimately go through.
We did notice that Bonhams have sold less cars in estimate than they have managed historically – see the infographic below. Are they finding business in the US tougher than before?
You can see our pre-auction picks below.
|Sold over estimate||11||13.25%|
|Sold under estimate||36||43.37%|
|Sold in lower half of estimate||8||9.64%|
|Sold in upper half of estimate||7||8.43%|
|Sold in lower half of estimate or below||44||53.01%|
|Sold in upper half of estimate or above||18||21.69%|
|Sold at median estimate||0||0.00%|
|Sold within estimate – ACCURACY||15||18.07%|
Image credit – Bonhams