“It’s the last of the kind,” Bonhams noted in its news release, “a self-contained 16-acre working citrus farm, ringed with towering palm trees, sprinkled with WWII-era ranch buildings, situated just over the hill from Los Angeles. It’s an oasis of green and calm surrounded on every side by suburbs; a hold-out from a half-century of rapid development and a rare window into early 20th century southern California life.”
It was in that setting that Bonhams auctioned off the Lindley and Ann Brothwell collection this past Saturday, with 100 percent of the lots selling for a total of $13,708,878.
More than half of that total came from the sale of a single vehicle, a 1914 Peugeot L47 Grand Prix racer that sold for $7.26 million.
Bonhams praised the Bothwell collection as including “one of the world’s most important assemblies of pre-Great War racing automobiles, not to mention an incredible assortment of Brass Era touring cars, horse-drawn street cars, and one of the best collections of early model trains in the world.”
The Bothwells began their collection in the 1930s. Bonhams chairman called the sale a “generational opportunity” to obtain parts of the long-held and previously never-sold assemblage of vehicles and automobilia.
Bidders traveled from as far as New Zealand and Holland to be present for the auction, which included a narrow-gauge Baldwin rail engine that sold for $187,500, more than eight times its low pre-auction estimate, Bonhams noted.
The sale included 50 automobiles, led by the 1914 Peugeot L45, that, when the hammer fell, became the most expensive Peugeot ever purchased (prices reported include buyer fees). The Peugeot was sold to an American collector, Bonhams reported.
Another highlight was a 1909 Benz Prinz Heinrich Raceabout formerly owned by Barney Oldfield. It will remain on the West Coast, Bonhams said, after selling for $1.87 million, also a record price for the marque.
Bonhams said several cars sold for double or triple their expected prices.
“We are delighted with the outcome,” said Rupert Banner, Bonhams vice president of motoring. “We’re grateful for the confidence placed in us by the Bothwell family trustees and pleased to see the strength in the market. The Bothwell Collection was quite literally a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and it was a privilege to be a part of history.”
Top 10 sales, Bonhams’ Bothwell Collection sale 2017
- 1914 Peugeot L45 Grand Prix two-seat racer, $7,260,000
- c. 1908 Benz 75/105hp Prinz-Heinrich Raceabout, $1,870,000
- c. 1908 Mercedes-Simplex 65hp two-seat Raceabout, $1,072,500
- 1902 Packard Model G 4-passenger surrey, $423,500
- 1912 Rolls-Royce 40/50hp open-drive Landaulette, $385,000
- 1910 Pope-Hartford Model W 50hp racer, $264,000
- c. 1912 Astro Daimler Austrian Daimler touring Victoria, $176,000
- 1910 Winton 48hp Model 17A 7-passenger touring, $160,600
- 1926 Rolls-Royce 40/50hp Silver Ghose pickup truck, $159,500
- 1914 Packar 1-38 ‘Dominant Six’ Runabout, $143,000
(Prices include buyer’s fees.)
Bonhams next motorcar sale is scheduled for December 2 at the company headquarters on New Bond Street, London.