HomeThe MarketBonhams does $10 million in sales as Amelia auction action starts

Bonhams does $10 million in sales as Amelia auction action starts


1955 Ferrari 250 GT Europa sell for more than $2.2 million on Amelia Island | Bonhams photocar | Bonhams

The collector car auction action on Amelia Island opened Thursday with Bonhams’ sale, where preliminary results reported by Hagerty show total sales of $10 million with an 83 percent sell-through rate. The collector car insurer and vehicle value tracker noted that while the sell-through rate improved by nearly 15 percent compared to the same sale a year ago, the dollar total was off by nearly 64 percent compared to $27.7 million in sales generated at Bonhams’ 2016 Amelia auction.

While Bonhams sold its top offering, a 1955 Ferrari Europa for $2.2 million (figures include buyer’s fees), Hagerty reported, “their next three biggest cars” did not sell during the live bidding.

“For comparison’s sake, Bonhams had four sales exceeding the million dollar point during their 2016 Amelia Island auction, totaling around $16.5M, which was 60 percent of last year’s total,” Hagerty reported.

Hagerty pointed out, the issue may not be with the auction house but with the market, there has been a “cooling off at the upper middle of the classic car market” during the last two years.


Hagerty pointed out that sales were ‘vibrant’ in the sub-$100,000 market.”


“While it’s too early to draw any definitive conclusions about Amelia after only one day, this trend seems to be continuing,” Hagerty’s daily report added. While Hagerty monitors each on-the-block transaction at major auction venues such as Amelia Island its reports do not include post-block transactions which may not have been reported immediately. Auction houses report their complete results within a week of the sale’s conclusion.

Adding to the difficulty in analyzing reports this year from Amelia Island is looming weather that on Thursday led organizers of the concours d’elegance to reschedule it and other related events from Sunday to Saturday, a move that seems sure to impact the auctions, especially those already scheduled to take place on Saturday.

While Bonhams sold only one car for $1 million or more, Hagerty pointed out that sales were “vibrant” in the sub-$100,000 market.

“Seventy-five percent of cars valued between $250,000 and $1 million brought high bids below what the Hagerty Price Guide would suggest based on their condition,” Hagerty said, “In contrast, 61.5 percent of cars valued below $50,000 sold above HPG estimates based on their condition. This speaks to the growing divide between the vibrant sub-$100,000 market and the cooling $250,000 to $1 million market.”

Analysis should become more clear tomorrow as hammers fall Friday at the Gooding & Company, Hollywood Wheels and RM Sotheby’s auctions.

Top 10 sales, Bonhams’ Amelia Island 2017

  1. 1955 Ferrari 250 Europa coupe, $2,227,500
  2. 1911 Pierce-Arrow Model 48 Touring, $550,000
  3. 1986 Lamborghini Countach LP5000 Quattrovalvole coupe, $335,500
  4. 1961 Jaguar E-type SI 3.8 flat-floor roadster, $326,700
  5. 1954 Arnolt Bristol Bolide roadster, $324,500
  6. 1904 Knox 16/18HP Touring, $292,600
  7. 1951 Allard J2 roadster, $275,000
  8. 1989 Aston Martin V8 Volante convertible, $247,500
  9. 2011 Porsche 911 Carrera Speedster, $247,500
  10. 1968 Lamborghini Islero 400 GT 2+2 coupe, $247,500

(Prices include buyer’s fees.)

Larry Edsall
A former daily newspaper sports editor, Larry Edsall spent a dozen years as an editor at AutoWeek magazine before making the transition to writing for the web and becoming the author of more than 15 automotive books. In addition to being founding editor at ClassicCars.com, Larry has written for The New York Times and The Detroit News and was an adjunct honors professor at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University.

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