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Records set at Bonhams Goodwood auction


Records were shattered at the Goodwood Festival of Speed, and we’re not talking here about the times for the hill climb but the prices paid at the Bonhams auction of collector cars, where records were set for the most expensive British car sold at a European auction and for the most ever paid at public auction for any BMW.

Provenance carried the day as cars with history drew high bids, helping to boost the overall sales total to more than $37.36 million.

Final 2012 Bugatti Veyron Super Sport brings $2,691,410

“We are simply blown away by today’s results,” James Knight, chairman of Bonhams Motoring department, said in a news release. “This is our 50th sale at Goodwood — which happens to coincide with the silver anniversary of The Festival of Speed – and it was the perfect celebration of classic and collectors’ motor cars. 

“The world records that we set today are indicative of the continued market desire for the historically significant motor cars with impeccable provenance such as ‘2 VEV’ and the John Surtees BMW 507.”

The “2 VEV” is the British registration number of the 1961 Aston Marti DB4GT Zagato formerly campaigned by the Essex Racing Stable team at Le Mans and by Jim Clark in the Goodwood TT. The car sold for more than $13.26 million at the auction, a record for a British car at a public auction held in Europe. 

The overall record for a British car was the $22.55 million paid for the 1959 Aston Martin DBR1 prototype racing car last summer at RM Sotheby’s auction during Monterey Car Week.

Ex-John Surtees 507
John Surtees and his BMW 507

The “John Surtees BMW 507,” originally owned by motorcycle and formula car racing star John Surtees, became the most expensive BMW ever purchased at public auction after a long and heated bidding battle, reaching more than $5 million.

Another car with motorsports history — the former Scuderia Ferrari 1932-34 Alfa Romeo Tipo B Grand Prix racer — brought more than $4.59 million at the auction. 

Though not a racing car, the last 2012 Bugatti Veyron Super Sport coupe produced sold for more than $2.69 million. Also topping the $2 million plateau were a 1931 Bentley 4 1/2-liter supercharged tourer, one of only 50 produced,  and the 1965 Aston Martin DB5 driven by Pierce Brosnan as James Bond in the Goldeneye movie. 

Also of note, the ex-works 1954 AC Ace roadster, the first of its kind and winner of its class in the Tulip Rally, as well as the Goodwood racing circuit, sold for $532,492.

Top 10 sales, Bonhams Goodwood Festival of Speed 2018

  1. 1961 Aston Martin DB4GT Zagato Grand Touring, $13,264,951
  2. 1932-34 Alfa Romeo Tipo B Grand Prix monoposto, $6,043,906
  3. 1957 BMW 507 roadster, $5,012,432
  4. 2012 Bugatti Veyron Super Sport coupe, $2,691,410
  5. 1931 Bentley 4 1/2-liter supercharged tourer, $2,654,569
  6. 1965 Aston Martin DB5, $2,580,886
  7. 1960 Ferrari 250 GT coupe, $688,279
  8. 1964 Aston Martin DB5, $591,439
  9. 1954 AC Ace roadster, $532,492
  10. 1969 Aston Martin V8 Vantage, $517,756

(Prices include buyer’s fee.)

Bonhams next auction is scheduled for August 24 at The Quail Lodge in Carmel, California. Bonhams returns to Goodwood for the Revival auction on September 8.

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, 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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