HomeThe MarketCastle-found collection scores at Spa sale for Bonhams

Castle-found collection scores at Spa sale for Bonhams


300 SL roadster tops Bonhams' Spa Classic auction | Bonhams photos
300 SL roadster tops Bonhams’ Spa Classic auction | Bonhams photos

The sounds of Ferrari 250 GTOs, Mercedes-Benz 300SL and McLaren F1s roaring around the Circuit de Spa Francorchamps weren’t the only sounds heard Sunday at the historic Belgian racing circuit. Punctuating that mechanical symphony was the knock of the auction hammer indicating another vehicle had been sold at the Bonhams’ fourth Spa Classic auction.

The boutique sale featured an 80 percent sell-through rate with collector cars from Germany and wearing Mercedes-Benz or Porsche badging. Total sales exceeded $5.35 million.

Leading the way was a 1959 Mercedes-Benz 300SL roadster that sold for €1,127,000 ($1,259,873), nearly double its low pre-sale estimated value and considerably more than even the high end (€800,000) of its pre-sale range. Prices reported include buyer’s fees.

The roadster was part of collection of 12 cars discovered at a Swiss castle. All 12 of the cars went to new owners, several exceeding pre-sale estimated values. Among those were a 1969 Maserati Ghibli SS 4.9-liter coupe that brought €174,800 ($195,408), a 1980 Aston Martin V89 Volante convertible at €172,500 ($192,837), and a 1933 Rolls-Royce 40/50 hp Phantom II roadster purchased for €111,550 ($124,701).

On its own, the collection brought in €2,026,300 (more than $2.27 million).

Porsche Speedster surpassed only by 300SL at sale
Porsche Speedster surpassed only by 300SL at sale

Other highlights of the sale included a three-way bidding battle for a 1958 Porsche 356A Super Speedster that eventually sold for €322,000 ($359,963).

Porsches were popular with bidders. A 1989 911 3.2-liter “narrow-body” Speedster brought €280,000 ($334,252) and a 1993 911 Turbo 3.o6-liter Type 964 coupe sold for €195,500 ($218,549).

While German marques led the way, Ferraris were well-received. A one-owner, 21,000-kilometer 2006 575 Superamerica F1 sold for €293,250 ($327,824) while a 2003 456 Modificata GT coupe with only 456 km on its odometer brought €120,750 ($134,986).

“Holding a sale at such an adrenaline-fuelled location is always a privilege,” Philip Kantor, Bonhams head of Motoring Europe, said in a news release, “and we were delighted to bring such a varied selection of motor cars to Spa once again.”

Kantor said he was particularly proud of Bonhams achieving 100 percent sales of the “castle-found” collection.

Top 10 sales, Bonhams’ Spa auction 2017

  1. 1958 Mercedes-Benz 300SL roadster, $1,259,873
  2. 1958 Porsche 356 A 1600 Super Speedster, $359,963
  3. 1969 Porsche 911 3.2-liter “Narrow-body” Speedster, $334,252
  4. 2006 Ferrari 575 Superamerica F1, $327,824
  5. 1971 Mercedes-Benz 280SE 3.5 cabriolet, $321,396
  6. 1993 Porsche 911 Turbo 3.6-liter Type 964 coupe, $218,549
  7. 1969 Maserati Ghibli SS 4.9-liter coupe, $194,408
  8. 1980 Aston Martin V8 Volante convertible, $192,837
  9. 1996 Ferrari F355 Challenge coupe, $177,410
  10. 2003 Ferrari 456 Modificata GT coupe, $134,986

(Prices include buyer’s fees).

Bonhams next auction takes place June 4 in conjunction with the Greenwich Concours d’Elegance in Connecticut. The auction house’s next European sale is scheduled for June 30 at the Goodwood Festival of Speed.

Larry Edsall
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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